bride-groom
December 13, 2017

“Ann and Tony were probably the nicest, happiest and sweetest couple that I have ever photographed. Their emotions were always on their sleeves, and you could see that they were totally in love with each other. And totally happy. Their wedding was a DIY affair, equipped with handmade bouquets, stitched towels and homemade cupcakes and cakes.” –Erin Morrison Photography

What is your favorite wedding day memory?

This is such a hard question! I had so many wonderful memories: seeing so many of my friends and family from all over the world, admiring my beautiful bridesmaids and handsome groomsmen, singing a worship song with my sister during our ceremony, tearing up during the father-daughter dance, walking through the fields of our venue with my husband and our wonderful photographer Erin Morrison. If I had to choose, my favorite wedding moment was our first look. I don’t know why, but I had so many knots in my stomach the morning of our wedding. I was so incredibly nervous. On top of feeling nervous, it was raining outside {like torrential downpour}. But when it was time for our first look, the rain magically stopped, and the blue skies came out. I got to see Tony for the first time that day, and I just felt so giddy and happy. The nerves dissipated, and I felt so ready to get to the ceremony and to celebrate the night away with my husband-to-be!

What did you DIY for your wedding?

Literally so much DIY. My sister and I love art. We are the kind of people who appreciate the small details that make things more personal. Plus, I’m in school and on a budget, so saving money was just part of the challenge! We set out on a mission to make the wedding as personal as we could. I was engaged for about 1.5 years, so we had lots of time to plan {not all brides can afford the amount of time we put into our DIY}. I would walk through stores like Anthropologie and Altar’d State to get inspiration about how we wanted to decorate. Anthro has so many amazing art pieces that local artists install in each store. I remember there was this gorgeous flower art piece made from coffee filters and pipe cleaners. We ended up dying coffee filters and stringing them to make a backdrop for our photobooth, as well as a dance floor ceiling decoration. My sister drew personalized cartoon characters of our wedding party for our wedding programs, which we created on Vistaprint. I also wanted wedding favors that were useful but also personalized, so I hand-drew three designs to embroider on tea towels. My sister digitized them, and Tony used an automatic sewing machine to embroider all 250 of them {he’s an engineer and very talented at mass production!!} They turned out amazing and were one of the most amazing personal touches of our wedding.

We also bought flowers from Trader Joe’s {they have seasonal peonies and eucalyptus for a great price!} and Sam’s Club, you can order them to ship to your house and did our own flowers. We bought ribbon from Hobby Lobby and decided to use long draping ribbons for the bouquets. My mom and I watched YouTube videos on how to arrange flowers, and we arranged them with our bridesmaids the day before. We also made these peony bud boutonnieres for the groomsmen. I thought they all ended up gorgeous, and our photographer even thought we had a florist arrange them! So many more things I could mention – like buying cupcakes from Sam’s Club custom ordered, making book art with secondhand books from Goodwill, setting up our sound equipment (rented from Guitar Center), arranging centerpieces in mason jars the day-of, setting up our own photobooth, having talented friends bake a cake for us and make signs for us, but I think you probably get the point.

Did you have a something old, new, borrowed, blue?

You know, I didn’t set out trying to fulfill this old adage, but my shoes were old, my dress was new, my earrings had blue in them; I just didn’t have anything borrowed! We did end up incorporating some Chinese culture though instead. We did a unity ceremony involving pouring tea that represented each of us into a communal cup and drinking from that cup together {green tea + earl grey tea is actually quite yummy!} And my relatives from China gifted me with gold jewelry, which is a tradition more unique to Chinese culture.

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

As much fun as it can be to plan the wedding and DIY all your dreams, the most meaningful part of the process is to prepare for being married to your spouse. Make sure to not get too wrapped up in the details so that all you talk about is your wedding. Sometimes, I would tell Tony, “ Let’s not talk about the wedding today; let’s talk about other life stuff!”, and so we did. We also took time to do premarital counseling through our church. Weddings are exciting, but truly the best is yet to come – marriage! You get to learn how to walk through life together through the good and bad times, understand that love is not about what you can get from it but what you can give, and start to know someone as well as you know anyone in your lifetime. -Ann, the Bride

Event Credits

Photography: Erin Morrison Photography // Venue: Pleasant Hill Vineyards // Flowers: Trader Joe's // Catering: Dead End BBQ // Cupcakes: Sam's Club // Invitations: Vistaprint // Engagement Ring: Charles and Colvard // Bride's Attire: JJ's House // Bride's Shoes: Forever 21 // Hair + Make-up: Go Glamorous // Groom's Attire: Combat Gent // Ties: My Tie Shop


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