our wedding

...our mostly DIY wedding :)

after waiting five and a half years to be married [i had to go to college to become the awesome designer that i am today; i know hard to believe, folks], it was important to me that our wedding was extremely personal. everything needed to communicate who we are as a couple. 


it was also important to stay in a small budget. everything remained under $7grand. everything. some people would say that is impossible, some would think it impossible to spend $7grand on a wedding... i don't have time for either of these groups.

if you want to know how to try and keep a small-to-medium sized budget for your wedding, i have tips scattered throughout!

ENGAGEMENT DAY: september 8th, 2010
[ see jason's proposal here ]

WEDDING DAY: may 28th 2011
jason is scottish and irish, so he wore his kilt.
the color palette was based on jason's clan tartan, the macpherson dress tartan.

mainly black and white with accents of deep purple and golden yellow.

we had a lot of fiends and family help with everything from my dress down to the photo-booth props!

the whole process begins at the engagement photos. here's a sample. engagement photos done by Rebekah Wright. they were taken at the Richard Bland College Water Gardens and Pecan Grove.

i made the save the dates myself. used one of the black and white photos from our engagement shoot and turned it into a post card. since it was black and white, it was a quarter of the price of getting color prints (cha-ching!).
postcard stamps are also less expensive than regular stamps (cha-ching-ching!).

also created our invitations, envelopes, and thank you notes myself... don't believe me? here's a video to prove it.
created my invitations using an "outdated" art-form, letterpress. but it is any graphic designer's dream to letterpress their own wedding invitations... well, at least this graphic designer :) they turned out stunningly.
ampersands (aka - &) were also a motif used in our decor. one hung above us in our ceremony to symbolize our union. they were also topped on our cupcakes.

alright, enough tease. here's the wedding.

L O C A T I O N

our wedding was held at the earlyhouse in louisa, virginia. a one-stop shopping trip for all your venue needs. got ready, had our ceremony and reception there (and they catered it too! it was delish!). 
it's a lovely 1800's plantation home on a large plot of land. a lake on the middle of the property - dead center in the lake is an island (where your ceremony takes place). there is a bridge to and from. on the other side of the bridge is your reception site. it was the perfect place to enjoy wedded bliss.
if you want, you can even have doves fly overhead during or right after your ceremony [fo free!]... it's super magical. we had them fly right after we kissed and exited the island. this made for a perfect segue for the guests from the ceremony to the reception (it also tricked them into thinking that we had no part in it! one man really thought it was a sign from God!).

D R E S S
my dress was made by the tantalizingly talented jubilee bonam.

bridesmaid dresses were made by seamstress extraordinaire, jordan routhier (she also made my getaway dress!).

groom and groomsmen vests were made by my mother in law.


my hair was done by my sister in law, abigail. she also tied the bow of my dress because that's how cool she is.

my jewelry was nothing fancy. items that have a lot of sentimental value to me (like the locket, one of my favorite pieces of jewelry that jason gave me; i wear it nearly everyday), or were found on etsy.


our wedding bands were created by tinahdee. we found her work on etsy. so wonderful and cost effective for couples like us who don't have a giant budget for wedding bands.

D E C O R
flowers were done by my aunt ann.

handmade decor [including hanging "poms", hand-lettered chalkboard program, and hand-painted frames] created by one of my maids of honor, stephanie shanks.


my grandfather officiated our ceremony. he came all the way from brazil to do so!

my knight in shining armor... er...kilt... whisking me over the bridge and far away!

cake topper: letterpress letters Q & U (reason: they're the cutest couple in the english language! it's rare that you see q without u!) that were found on etsy.
cake, cupcakes, and white & dark chocolate ampersands created by jeri whitener [they were deeeeelicious! can't wait to eat the top of the cake for our one year anniversary!].
cupcake tier decorated by my sister in law, leah. used pages of the dictionary [as to go with the letters/words theme of the cake] to cover some clear plastic.

we had a bagpiper perform all the music for the ceremony. it was the bomb. and he's a friend of ours named bryce melton. so nice to be blessed by the talents of friends and family!

all of our photographers were also our friends! they blessed us immensely, capturing every moment of the day that would get blurred in our memories. thanks to becka wright and melissa wren for being a great main photo team, and also to carra sykes for being a wonderful photobooth photographer! they all captured the best side of everyone!

speaking of photobooth, thanks to stephanie, debbie and my family-in-law for helping us find such fitting props and frames for the photobooth! pictured above is my cousin, who was also debuting in her first role as a flower girl earlier in the wedding :)

and finally, our getaway. we chose to be sent off in flames! thanks to my mom for finding such a great deal on these sparklers! here you can see the getaway dress that jordan made. you can also see justin pendleton of the firestarter group videoing our getaway!


all in all, it was one of the best days of my life. the weather was perfect; it had been raining the whole day up to about 2hrs before the wedding. then by an act of God, it all cleared up and was sunny with a light breeze. just stunning. and everything went so smoothly! there were a few hitches along the way (like the best man "losing" the ring), but they make for great stories! a special thanks to rachel miller for being the best wedding coordinator, my sister olivia and sister-in-law rachel landrum for being an awesome DJ & MC team, and of course my parents, family, family-in-law, and close friends who helped with all the details!


my only regrets: 
wish TOMS had released these in time for our wedding, my dream wedding shoes!
and if shoes were the only thing i regretted, that's gotta be saying something... because i did a bunch of insane dancing at the reception, and i don't regret any of that one bit. yeup.

we were so blessed by the talents of our family and friends, they all helped us so much. we aimed to make sure everyone had a good time, even without alcohol! we were blessed by all the feedback we got about our wedding. so many came away saying they were so touched by the blessing of God on our lives as well as HOW FUN our celebration was (some said it was truly the best wedding they had ever been to!). we couldn't have had such a great time without our guests! 

i hope our wedding will give inspiration to others to do things themselves instead of paying exorbitant amounts of money to have some random person do it for you. and seriously, now that all of you brides have full access to pinterest anytime you want [hah, i can say i did a DIY wedding before pinterest was created! hah! how hipster of me!] you really have no excuse to do a run of the mill, cookie cutter wedding.

let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like to see a tutorial or explanation of anything you've seen here! just leave a comment!

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