I realize it's cliche to say your wedding day was the best/most perfect/happiest day of your life, but if I'm being entirely honest, it was! And it wasn't because I was wearing my dream dress, everything ran smoothly or how perfect the venue was.
But when I walked in those doors to marry my husband, I could see and feel the love, anticipation and hard work that was put into making our day so utterly magical.
My mom's carefully crafted bouquets, decor and greenery. My sister's hand-painted signs and artwork. My dad's beautifully made backdrop and donut towers. The words and hugs from our closest family and friends. Each and every person that traveled, brought gifts out of the goodness of their hearts and shared their time with us.
Kevin & I got to witness a tangible form of love that day, so humbling and overwhelming.
Of course I can't forget to talk about my best friend in the world, who I'm lucky enough to call husband, Kevin. There are honestly no words to describe walking down the aisle knowing I was walking out as his wife.
Everyone said I would cry happy tears through the whole ceremony, so I came prepared... handkerchief, waterproof mascara and all. But surprisingly, I didn't cry a single tear. As my dad took my arm and the two barn doors swung open, I looked at him and said "Dad, I can't breath!". And yep, I couldn't breath again until I reached Kevin & he took my hands.
We didn't prepare our own vows, or light any unity candles, but chose to keep it simple with a traditional ceremony. One thing I would ABSOLUTELY recommend is that you take the time to look behind you at all the people that gathered to see you. This is something I am so glad we did! Getting to see the faces of your parents, family & friends in that moment is seriously invaluable.
Our Photos & Video
We had the most AMAZING videographer, Breea Guttery of Tell the Birds capture our day so perfectly. She was an angel to work with and documented all of our special moments. And yes, I have watched our wedding video more times than I would like to admit. But hey, I brings me right back into that moment and I love it! I would HIGHLY recommend budgeting a videographer into the wedding budget. I have to say, I was unsure at first especially since weddings are just so dang expensive to begin with. But after a year and a half of marriage, I still watch it at least once a month... maybe even three or four times... hard to say really.
Photos!!!! I can't say enough about our photographer Paul Yerrick. He met with us numerous times, making sure that he would capture everything we wanted and wouldn't have to ask us questions on our wedding day. He even coordinated with the videographer and DJ to make sure everything went according to the schedule I gave him! Honestly, he was a lifesaver. At the end of the evening, he handed us a stack of small Polaroid photos that he had snapped throughout the day without us even knowing. He captured all of the highlights of our day in these tiny photos and was such an amazing touch to his already beautiful work. Paul is the real deal you guys and such a joy to work with. Every photo you see here was shot by him!
Hair & Makeup
So I've never been one to like it when anyone styles my hair or does my makeup, so this was something I struggled with when planning the wedding. I tried a few hairstyles on my own and with my sister's help, and when that didn't go well I hired Ashley Petty. I sent her photos of exactly what I wanted and she was meticulous! At each step she made sure I loved it, or she would completely redo it until I got what I wanted. Loved loved loved her and would absolutely recommend having someone do your hair. It just takes so much stress off!
As for my makeup, I insisted on doing my own. I had never had good experiences and knew what I liked on me and what I didn't. I went for a more natural look because I wanted to feel and look like myself in my photos and videos. The waterproof mascara I'm wearing is a MUST, it's the voluminous million lashes collection by L'Oreal and is my absolute favorite!!
Flowers & Dress
All of my florals were done by my talented mom!!! Ladies, if you've ever planned or helped plan a wedding/event then you know florals are OUTRAGEOUS. Like, you may need to take out a loan kind of outrageous. And well, my budget just wasn't going to work with that. BUT, you can still have incredible looking bouquets for so much less!! My mom & I ended up looking at wholesale flower markets in the Phoenix area and decided on Arizona Flower Market. We bought all of our florals and greenery for the bouquets and tables from them and picked them up two days before the wedding. And honestly it was so fun being able to create our own bouquets and centerpieces! So if you're looking for a less expensive alternative, this just might be the way to go.
My. Dress. I was and still am to this day in LOVE with my dress. And do you want to know a little secret? It's not even a wedding dress!!!! I know right? My dress was designed by Adrianna Papell and is actually considered a formal gown. This made it WAY less expensive. I was then able to go in and have it altered and little off the shoulder sleeves added, which made it uniquely mine. I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out and the cost was just an added bonus!! My veil was purchased from Shaffer's Bridal and the piping along the edge went so perfectly with my dress that I couldn't resist!
Just some general advice that we did not happen to follow, make sure you drink plenty of water! We got married when it was about 117 degrees outside in the dead of summer in Arizona, and let me tell you, we definitely felt that dehydration the next day. And I know everyone tells you to make sure you have time to eat, but if we're being honest no one ever does!! There is just so much excitement, dancing and far too many people to talk to for you to actually be able to sit and eat a meal. But you definitely don't regret it :)
DANCE!!!! Make sure you feel comfortable and just enjoy your night. It's the best thing in the world to know you're married to your favorite person and now all you have to think about is dancing the night away!! The DJ plays a super important role in this. We made sure to meet with our DJ several times and let him know exactly what we did and did not want played at our wedding. We also gave him the order in which we wanted the songs played! This made our night stress free and we danced right up until we drove away.
For the meal at the reception, we decided to go with a buffet style and have the DJ release each table to the buffet line. We hired two servers from our venue to portion out the food and ensure that everyone was served and it moved quickly. Ordering the food from an outside restaurant and having it delivered was HUGELY cost saving. Food is expensive!!! And even more expensive when you have a seated dinner catered by your venue. This worked out great for us and saved us so much money!
Well the credit for all the decor goes to my favorite team, my mom, sister and I. After tons of Pinterest searching, Hobby Lobby trips and crafting nights, we managed to make every single decoration. We actually purchased the gold chargers at the dollar store and the white plates and cutlery are PLASTIC!! Yes, plastic. It's not hard to find beautiful looking plastic ware online for a fraction of the cost. Plus, the added bonus is that they can just be tossed at the end of the night!
The votives lining the tables were clear and purchased from numerous garage sales, Walmart and pretty much anywhere we could find them (these are expensive too). We then just spray painted them gold and they looked perfect!
We chose to line the tables up end to end to create a cohesive layout where we didn't have to section people off. It also worked great when it came to creating the seating chart since it was essentially only four really long tables!
When it comes down to it, all of the details, decorations, song choices and florals are not the most important parts of planning a wedding. Don't get me wrong, I did my fair share of stressing, researching and a tremendous amount of planning. And yes, it caused many arguments between everyone involved (oops!). But just try to keep in mind the forever part of this day, and that's your spouse. Everything else becomes a beautiful distant memory, but your spouse stays at the center of your life. Put them first in all things, including wedding planning and everything will fall in place, trust me!
This day, the people and my HUSBAND! So perfect in every way!