“I’ve shot a lot of weddings and rarely does my heart skip a beat like it did at Megan and Joe’s. I melted as Joe picked up his prized guitar and serenaded Megan as she walked down the isle with both her parents. I could barely keep it together! Everything about their wedding reflected who they were: fun DIY elements, the colorful flowers to match their colorful personalities, AWESOME music, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to commemorate their first date, and lots of laughter and smiles. I was absolutely honored to be a part of their big day!” – bycherry photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
There were too many beautiful moments, big and small, to name just one as a favorite. But overall I think what made our wedding so wonderful was the way our family and friends surrounded us with love, support, and joy. Our wedding would not have been nearly as special or meaningful without them. My aunt Jill and uncle Ed hosted the whole thing at their amazing home in Santa Paula, CA. Ed was also deputized for a day (woohoo California!) so he could perform our ceremony. We also had lots of people arriving early to come help out in so many ways, so that the whole week was a blast (more on that below).
What did you DIY for your wedding?
Our DIY elements were actually “DIT” (do-it-together, a term borrowed from A Practical Wedding, one of the most helpful and sane books/websites on wedding planning) thanks to the generous contributions of so many. One detail I loved was we asked guests to share a favorite quote about love or marriage on their RSVP cards – then our wedding party each chose one to read aloud at the ceremony, and we scattered all the other cards around the reception tables. Joe (a musician) carefully curated the playlist so that we could use an iPod for dancing, after his friend played the piano during the ceremony. Joe also played guitar for me as I walked down the aisle – I think that song still brings tears to our eyes when we hear it! My grandma Rose made my veil based on a picture. A dear friend made our delicious cake and cupcakes, and our topper had been an engagement gift, all the way from an artisan fair in Strasbourg, France. Joe’s mom, a terrific chef, made our entire rehearsal dinner menu. We had a whole crew of ladies working on the flowers the day beforehand – we had collected glass jars all year long, bought a TON of flowers wholesale, harvested dahlias that came from my grandma Jean’s bulbs (she passed away shortly before the wedding, so it felt like she was still kind of there with us), and went crazy with them all! The wonderful colors allowed us to keep the rest of the look simple: white candles, kraft paper runners (so cheap!), and white tablecloths. Another dear friend who used to work in a flower shop made exquisite boutonnieres, while a family friend did the bouquets. During that time another crew set up the lights, the bunting flags sewn by my aunts, the tables, the chairs, etc. We served Ben & Jerry’s ice cream because that was where we met. Finally, our superstar friend Kate acted as our day-of coordinator. We did the beforehand planning, then met with her to go over timelines and everything, and passed off the magic clipboard. She pretty much ran our rehearsal and wedding day, to make sure everything went off smoothly. Even if you can’t afford to pay a planner, I highly recommend having a dependable, organized point person like Kate.
We are eternally grateful for the love and support of our nearest and dearest, for all these reasons but also for a million more. Doing all this “prep-work” surrounded by so much love made it really enjoyable, and provided us the opportunity to spend some of the best quality time with our family and friends, many who had traveled from other states and countries. People say your wedding day goes by in a flash. It does! And that was why we cherished this time with them.
Something old, new, borrowed and blue?
Something old: my yellow shoes. Something new: my dress and my veil. Something borrowed: my mom’s pearls. Something blue: my grandma’s garter.
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
My advice to other brides and grooms is to always try to remember the big picture, even when (or especially when) things get stressful. At the end of it all, if you guys are married to each other, then the day was a success. This was my mantra! It allowed me to let go of silly stuff (oh, we forgot to rent forks? oh well!), particularly on the day of the wedding, and just soak up every little moment. I’d also recommend that you think about which traditions matter -or don’t – to you as a couple. Forget the wedding industry and just plan a ceremony and a party for you and your people. Also, remember: Do It Together, not Do It Yourself! – Megan, the bride
Photography: By Cherry Photography // venue: Bride’s Aunt + Uncles Home // Catering: Jennie Cooks Catering Company // Rentals: Amigo Party Rentals // Invitations: Ribbons and Bluebirds // Dress: The Wedding Party // Alterations: Alameda Sewing Cottage // Brides sweater: J. Crew // Veil: DIY by bridess Grandma Rose // Flower crown: Passion Flowers// Grooms suit: Jos. A. Bank shirt Banana Republic // Grooms cuff links/tie clips from the late Grandpa Bill Briggs // Bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen’s outfits: chosen on their own // Bridesmaids hair: Salon Elite // Ties: Macy’s // Bride did her own makeup after getting a makeup lesson from Lupe Muller