“The event was at beautiful Pebble Hill Plantation in Georgia. The bride DIY-ed a lot of things herself along with the help of her friends… the beautiful bouquets were done by a floral designer, but the rest of the details were handmade!” – Woodland Fields Photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
“Wow, I’m not sure if I can narrow that down. Can I have 2?? I’ll name two:
First, it was during our ceremony. Saying our vows; dedicating our lives to each other in honor of God and in front of so many people that we love so much; seeing my husband wipe away precious tears after our pastor prayed for us and our marriage – it was the most beautiful thing I have ever been a part of. Our pastor then took a moment while we were standing there to let us take a moment – to take it all in, to look around at the faces of the loved ones that were there to celebrate with us and to simply savor the moments that we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
The other memory that really sticks with me is, at the very end of our reception, before our send-off, our last song was Piano Man by Billy Joel and what started as a few of us in the middle of the dance floor standing, arms around each other in a small circle singing along, ended with LITERALLY ALL of our remaining guests in a huge circle around the dance floor, arms on each other’s shoulders, singing with Billy, swaying back and forth and taking turns passing around the microphone handed over by our awesome DJ. It was epic. There was so much joy in my heart. I just remember standing there, singing, looking around at all those people thinking “I’m the wife of my best friend now. I get to spend the rest of my life with him and all of these wonderful people. I am so thankful. God is so good. And Billy Joel is the man.” ;)
What did you DIY for your wedding?
There were several DIY projects that went into our wedding day. The biggest one, though, was tackled by my awesome Mom: our centerpieces. Our wedding was fairly simple. Simple but elegant, I would say. Our venue was so beautiful that it really didn’t take that much to dress up our reception or our ceremony site – both of which took place on the same plantation, just in two different locations on the grounds. All of our reception flowers were paper. Over 300 little blush and white colored paper flowers were made by my dynamite mother. She made them out coffee filters, fixed each of them to a wire stem and dyed each of the blush “flowers” by hand to get the perfect shade of pink. You should have seen our living room and dining room back home during the 5 months that we had to prepare for the wedding. My mom was a DIY queen. She also decorated the glass mason jars that the flowers were placed in. We used two sizes for the reception tables – 24oz mason jars to hold the paper flower bouquets and then a jelly jar size to hold small votive candles. Each were wrapped with lace and finished with a thin gold ribbon tied in a bow. We used the same width-size lace for both mason jar sizes, which gave a really cool effect to the jelly jars because they were totally covered in lace and had the light of the flame dancing behind it. I had also decided that I wanted a long wooden beam to run down the center of the 8-foot rectangular tables, so mom did those too – bought the wood from Home Depot and stained them a dark brown. The flowers and candles sat on top of the beam, along with these little white lanterns that mom had found too.
Another DIY was done by me for our gift table. We had decided that we would not have assigned seating either at the ceremony or reception because we wanted it to be as family-friendly, comfortable and simple as possible. So, for the ceremony, I took five or six spare floorboards (we had just recently bought and moved into a house) and hammered them together so that they interlocked with each other creating a large surface for a message board. I then used a white paint marker to write the phrase: “Friends of the Bride, Friends of the Groom, Please Sit Together There is Plenty of Room!” I drew a little design at the bottom, added our initials and the date and voila! It was set just outside the ceremony site so that guests saw it before they walked down into the garden.
For the reception, I took two old window panes and screwed a couple of hinges in the center so that they opened like a book and were able to stand alone on our gift table. On one window I wrote across the panes: “Come as you are, stay as long as you can, we are all family now, so no seating plan!” On the other side, I wrote out the bridesmaids’, groomsmen, ushers, maid of honor and best man’s names to give them a little bit of much deserved credit and appreciation.
Our guestbook also had a touch of DIY. It was a photo book that I had made on Shutterfly.com, compiled of our engagement shoot photos that were taken by one of my talented bridesmaids.
I also saw something (on Pinterest) that I mimicked for our reception décor. I had my husband come up with several different sentences that started with “She.” I told him to just make observations about me, things that he had learned or like about me and I did the same for him. I put together a print with the words “HE” or “SHE” respectively in large font taking up most of the page and turned the opacity down creating a watermark effect. That way the rest of the words in each sentence could be read. I framed each one and put them on our gift table.
The best part about all of this DIY stuff is, not only did it look great at our wedding, but we got to keep it all. We have several things hanging up in our house now as a sweet reminder of such wonderful memories. Our “Friends of the Bride, Friends of the Groom” sign is hanging in our living room, our “HE,SHE” framed prints are on our photo ledges and our window is up on the ledge above our kitchen cabinets.
Something old, new, borrowed and blue?
Something old: a string of pearls that had once been my great-great grandmothers and had been passed down the line and then on to me by my mom when I got engaged. Something new: my wedding dress. Something borrowed: this one was a little unexpected but I borrowed my earrings from one of my bridesmaids. Something blue: my maid of honor and one of my bridesmaids, very shortly after I got engaged and we picked a date, sent me a blue pin to be pinned to my bouquet with my name, my husband’s name and the date of our wedding.
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
..First and foremost, my best advice is to simply enjoy it. Being engaged and planning our wedding was (albeit sometimes stressful and the most fun, exhilarating and special time of my life – but it goes by way too fast. Also, include your hubby-to-be on anything and everything. Make sure to listen if he wants a say in something and even if he doesn’t – tip your hat to him, his love and his personality in some way in the décor or the music or events. It’s so much more meaningful when you both are represented. One more thing, take a deep breath and know that it doesn’t have to be perfect and that in some (hopefully small) way, there are going to be tiny glitches and bumps in the road – let them go and focus on the fact that when this is all said and done, the biggest thing that you and your guests are going to remember is you and your husband – that you made vows to each other and now you get to spend the rest of your lives together. The rest is truly just icing on the cake.” – Amanda, the bride