bride-groom
June 29, 2016

Jonathan and I met at College in undergrad. Since we were both math majors, we had a lot of the same classes so we knew of each other, but it took three years before we actually spoke to one another. Once we did, after much prayer, we were dating within six months, engaged three months after and moved to Germany three months after tying the knot. Most of our dates consisted of strolling through parks and hiking in forests so we wanted our wedding day to reflect that, which is how we decided to get married in a conservation area! Most importantly though, we wanted the day to not only be a celebration, but also a time to worship our Lord together with people who shaped who we were when we met!

Incorporating aspects of our different cultures was important as well. We had a traditional Chinese tea ceremony which is where the Bride and Groom pour tea for each member of their family as a way to honor them. We also sent guests home with Dutch desserts and Jonathan changed into a bright orange bow tie later in the evening and kicked around a Team Holland soccer ball with friends. Other ways of infusing “us” included using country names instead of table numbers — we got to know each other by learning all the countries of the world together. As if being math students wasn’t nerdy enough, we both love online trivia quizzes so our “kissing game” consisted of having guests complete math problems. We also went for a more relaxed vibe, opting for a barbecue instead of a more formal meal and smart separates for Jonathan instead of a tux.

Just like for most engaged couples, we had the challenge of trying to plan a wedding within our $10,000 budget for 100 guests. Since giving up style was a definite no, we had to get creative with our DIY projects and materials in order to achieve the feel we had in mind.

Jonathan and I both had tight-knit support systems. It was amazing to see all these people offer up their talents to help out — seriously, our friends and family sacrificed so much time, energy, resources just for us — talk about overwhelming love!”

We're swooning over this gorgeous outdoor wedding ceremony!
We're crushing on this Bride's gorgeous invite suite and handmade ceremony backdrop!
How gorgeous are these flower crowns the Bride and Bridesmaids crafted? LOVE!
Loving this gorgeous Bride getting ready for her big day!
Loving this gorgeous Bride getting ready for her big day!
How gorgeous are these flower crowns the Bride and Bridesmaids crafted? LOVE!
We're loving this Bride's dainty details for her big day!
Loving this gorgeous Bride getting ready for her big day!
We're in LOVE with this Bride's $50 wedding dress find with customization's!!
Swooning over this Bride's customized wedding overlay and veil by her Mother!
Such a FUN first look with the Bride and her Bridesmaids! We're in LOVE!
Such a FUN first look with the Bride and her Bridesmaids! We're in LOVE!
Such a FUN first look with the Bride and her Bridesmaids! We're in LOVE!
Loving this sweet snap of the Bride and her Mom!
Handsome Groom getting ready for the big day!
Loving this Groom's fun wedding day style and details!
Handsome Groom getting ready for the big day!
Such a great shot of the Groom and his Groomsmen before the ceremony!
We're in LOVE with this super sweet first look!
We're in LOVE with this super sweet first look!
We're in LOVE with this super sweet first look!
We're crushing hard on this gorgeous couple and their magical outdoor wedding!
We're crushing hard on this gorgeous couple and their magical outdoor wedding
We're crushing hard on this gorgeous couple and their magical outdoor wedding
Loving this gorgeous Bride and her custom wedding dress!
Loving this gorgeous Bride and her custom wedding dress!
Loving this gorgeous wedding and their bridal party style!
We're crushing hard on this gorgeous couple and their magical outdoor wedding
We are in LOVE with this gorgeous hand lettered wedding ceremony program sign!
Loving this gorgeous hand lettered scripture sign at this beautiful DIY wedding!
We love this gorgeous and delicate ring shot! Swoon!
We're in LOVE with this couple's handmade ceremony backdrop!
Such a sweet snap of the Bride and her Mom walking down the aisle!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
This couple performed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to honor their parents and tradition during the ceremony!
This couple performed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to honor their parents and tradition during the ceremony!
This couple performed a traditional Chinese tea ceremony to honor their parents and tradition during the ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're swooning over this super sweet ceremony!
We're crushing hard on this gorgeous couple and their magical outdoor wedding
We're crushing hard on this gorgeous couple and their magical outdoor wedding
What a FUN photo of the entire wedding after the ceremony?! Love it!
We're swooning over this super sweet couple and their gorgeous outdoor ceremony!
We are crushing on these hand lettered signs at this gorgeous outdoor DIY wedding!
We're in LOVE with this couples casual and rustic outdoor receiption!
We're in LOVE with this couple's unique map guest book of the world!
Loving this couple's fun outdoor lawn games idea at their relaxed outdoor reception!
Such a fun idea to use countries as their table numbers! CUTE!
What a fun idea! Two math majors get married and use math equations at their reception for fun!
Loving all of the hand lettered menu chalkboards at this gorgeous outdoor wedding!
Such a fun idea to incorporate their traditions than a Danish treat wedding favor!
We're swooning over this fun couples rustic wedding cake and dessert bar!
We're swooning over this fun couples rustic wedding cake and dessert bar!
We're swooning over this fun couples rustic wedding cake and dessert bar!
We're swooning over this fun couples rustic wedding cake and dessert bar!
We're loving this couple's relaxed reception and their BBQ feast!
We're crushing hard on this gorgeous couple and their magical outdoor wedding
Loving this peek at the sweet couple at their outdoor reception!
Such a cute snap of the Bride and Groom leaving their wedding!

What is your favorite wedding day memory?

There are so many, but we narrowed it down to two. First, the Chinese tea ceremony. It’s a time to honor your family. My Mom and Jonathan’s parents have loved and sacrificed so much for us. Kneeling before them was a special way of showing them our respect and gratitude. The second was walking down the aisle. Mom and I were so overcome with emotion. I love that the pictures really reflect that.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

We DIY’d quite a bit! To start, my we DIY’d my wedding dress! My sister bought my dress at Zara on sale {for $50!!!} before we were even engaged. The skirt overlay was so lovingly handmade by my mom, as was my veil.

Our flower crowns, wanting to cut down on costs, we decided to use fake flowers. Using Michael’s coupons at the right time, we were able to find realistic flowers that worked with our color palette. We also dyed Dollar Store flowers with tea.

Backdrop and hanging installation, it took about five months to complete these two projects. Many hands went into making these, but big shout outs go to my mom and Jonathan for spending countless evenings helping me fold, cut, sew, rip, etc.

Invitations and envelopes, one of my Bridesmaids designed the layout, my sister contributed the map used on the response card and my (now) Sister-in-Law did all the calligraphy on the envelopes!

Chalkboards, another of my amazing Bridesmaids created six chalkboards with her hand lettering skills!

Wedding favors, since Jonathan is half Dutch, we decided to make a traditional Dutch dessert for our favors. We chose something that froze well so we made hundreds of these little sweets in the months leading up to the wedding. Thank you tags designed by my sister and family helped to package them.

Flowers, the Bridesmaids and I put together bouquets and my sister assembled all the arrangements used on the reception tables. Collecting the bottles also required some planning. We asked friends and family to save everything from wine and beer bottles to pasta sauce jars for us. A weekly raid of Jonathan’s student house recycling stash may or may not have also occurred…

Dessert table, my Mom, Aunties and Cousins made everything and also gifted us our wedding cake. The topper was so special to us — our engagement pictures included the iconic HBC blanket so my cousins decided to replicate that by making a mini version of it!

Something old, new, borrowed and blue?

I didn’t actually have one of each, but did have something borrowed and new. My something borrowed was the robe I got ready in. One of my best friends also got ready in that robe on her wedding day, so it was really special to have the memory of her big day as I got ready for ours. My something new was a bracelet my Aunt gifted me a few days before the wedding. She and my Uncle brought it all the way from Hong Kong with them — we were so glad they were able to come and represent the rest of the family members who weren’t able to make it for the wedding.

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

We all know that Pinterest can be a double-edged sword! One way to combat being overwhelmed with ideas is to pinpoint aspects of weddings and decor that you like. It’s so much easier to then put your own spin on it and incorporate these ideas into your wedding. For example, a lot of the weddings I drew inspiration from had hanging greenery or hanging lights over the reception tables. Since we couldn’t afford this option, Mom and I decided to create a fabric/tassel installation instead. Some people definitely thought I was a little crazy, but I’m so glad I stuck to my guns!

Look for multiple ways to use your DIY supplies. We turned old closet doors into chalkboards and utilized both sides. The material used for my veil was on sale so we bought a whole bunch and also used it for table runners. We also had our ceremony backdrop moved to the reception area behind the sweetheart table.

Don’t forget to think about the logistics of transporting all your gorgeous projects! One thing we were really worried about was our backdrop getting tangled. We managed to avoid this by sectioning off strands and tying them together before draping them inside large garbage bags. This minimized the interaction between strands during the car ride to the venue. If I were to do this all over again, I would definitely do this at least two weeks before the wedding instead of the week of! -Evelyn, the bride

Event Credits

Photographer: Natalie Elyse Photography // Videographer: Family Magic Visuals // Venue: Terra Cotta Conservation Area // Caterer: Simply BBQ // Wedding Cake: Gimmie Some Sugar // Calligraphy: Sarah Thomas // Bride's Attire: Zara // Bride's Shoes: ASOS // Bride's Earrings: J. Crew // Make-Up: Michelle Johnson // Bridesmaid's Attire: Zara // Groom's Jacket: Zara // Groom's Pants + Jacket: Old Navy // Groom's Bowtie: The Tie Bar // Groom's Socks: Zara


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