Oct 23, 2010
We stayed at the gorgeous Paradisus Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. If you go, be sure to upgrade to the Royal Service area...it's the adult-only area of the resort and you have a swim-up bar, butlers, private dining rooms, internet, etc. right there. We also were able to have room service 24 hours/day and a private jacuzzi on our balcony overlooking the ocean...absolutely amazing! We went on a catalina/snorkeling trip as well as a deep sea fishing trip, but other than that, we just relaxed and ate, and ate, and ate...
We are planning on going back for our one year anniversary!
All photos by Derek Cookson Photography.
(about to lose it during my dad's speech)
(my DH surprised me with our first dance song :))
My DH would kill me if he knew I put this last picture up, but I couldn't resist. I think it's hilarious...especially since he's doing it right in front of my mom...maybe it's okay, because we're a married couple? :)
All photos by Derek Cookson Photography.
(my little BIL welcoming me to the family)
(with my brother...the first time I cried all day!)
NOTE: My dad and brother restore classic cars as their hobbies, so my dad drove one of his to the church for our pictures. The capelet was made from a vintage mink my dad had bought my mom years ago (they've been together for 50 years!) and she had my new name handstitched on the inside. :)
Second Dress "First Look"
I bought my original dress (the dress below) at a sample sale and it was six sizes too big. Three weeks before the wedding, I was freaking out because the alterations had not gone smoothly, so I went out and purchased the ceremony dress off the rack (for both dresses combined, I ended up paying less than what the cost of the most inexpensive dress at a traditional bridal salon was, so it I was still well under my dress budget). I am having my reception dress cut down to a cocktail dress so I can wear it again and again!
I accidentally let the cat out-of-the-bag to my DH the day before the wedding about the second dress. Needless to say, he had no idea what it looked like, so we did a sort of "first look" for the second dress.
When it was all said and done, we ended up with about 550 edited photos from our photographer, Derek Cookson. He was amazing and if you are getting married in the Detroit-area or Windsor-area, I encourage you to check him out. Here's a SMALL sampling of some of our favorites.
Thanks to the helpful hints I found all throughout the ProjectWedding site and forums, we were able to have our dream wedding on a budget.
We were married on October 23, 2010 (which also happened to be my in-laws' 34th wedding anniversary!) at the Newburg Church in the Greenmead Historial Village, with our reception at the Radisson Livonia. The day was perfect...no hiccups whatsoever. The skies even cleared up while we were in the church so we were able to take advantage of the gorgeous Michigan fall colors. Our colors were gold, champagne and black.
FOR SALE (including my ceremony dress): please click here.
I DIY'd most things for the wedding...
Using a Vistaprint template.
Soooooooo much work. I didn't make the pocketfolds, but I made everything else. I had to cut each sheet and then using the Crop-a-Dile art deco corner chomper, cut the corners on every.single.piece.of.paper.
I printed a collage of our engagement photos on gold vellum and then cut them out using a homemade template.
Rehearsal Dinner Invites:
I purchased a stock photo illustration and reworked it for our invites.
Note: working with satin and spray glue is VERY hard...try using a different fabric...one that is more textured.
Note: all of my DIY projects took a long time, but this one was back-breaking...however, totally worth it. Our programs were 10 pages including the vellum overlays you will see below and not including the cover stock.
Large Monograms (for the church):
Note: my mom made all of the pew bows you see in the picture below. :)
Two days before the wedding, my shipment of Classic Woman Piaget garden roses arrived and my mom and MIL stripped them all of thorns, leaves, etc. After the rehearsal dinner, my bridesmaids, my mom and I gathered in my hotel suite with our PJs on and made our own bouquets while watching movies (ironically, The Wedding Planner was on). It was SO much fun to have our girl time. We also put together the church arrangements, all of the guys' bouts (groom, GM, ushers, dads and grandfather) as well as the corsages for our moms and grandma.
Killing two birds with one stone, I printed everyone's name out on cardstock, used a decorative handpunch to punch them out and then did the same with the table numbers. I then attached them to a toothpick and inserted it into a Ferrero Rocher.
Escort Card Table:
Since both sets of parents are still married and all of our grandparents were/are still married, we thought it would be nice to honor them by using pictures and their wedding dates. We also wanted a chance to throw in a picture of our pups. :)
I bought the 5x7 frames at Dollar Tree and using Photoshop, wrote the numbers on our engagement pictures and then had them printed.
Our venue gave us the mirror tiles to use, so I purchased the vases, silk flowers and clear rocks at Dollar Tree; the floating candles online; and the votives and crystals at Hobby Lobby. Total price per centerpiece: about $8!
Head Table Bouquet Holders:
Using the same vases from Dollar Tree as well as the clear aqua beads from the Dollar Tree, all we added were submersible white LED lights.
My mom and dad made most of the chocolate and candy and then wrapped them up in gold foil. I made the signs using a free save-the-date template from WeddingChicks.com.
Candy Buffet Bags:
I used the same monogram as our programs, only slightly modified.
Inside the bags, hotel guests received water, a Cleary University chocolate bar and cookies in the shape of Michigan, All-Dressed chips (a Canadian favorite). There was a little welcome/thank you poem attached to the outside.