bride-groom
December 20, 2017

“After meeting in a writer’s room, Bette and Brian immediately fell in love. A love so strong that they were certain they would never feel heartache again. WHOA became their pseudonym for I love you after a quick “I love you” from Brian two weeks into dating followed immediately by a Joey Lawrence Blossom style “whoa!” Blessed with the birth of our daughter, Josephine, on the exact day of their one year anniversary followed by a Griffith Park Observatory proposal a desire to tie the knot quickly they decided on a Winter Wonderland NYE wedding! After finding the perfect small, quaint and historical church for the ceremony at The Little Log House, Bette started putting her DIY plan into action. Personal touches were spread across the spaces with books, candles, tiny handwritten cards and hundreds of bottles and cans filled with baby’s breath that Bette recycled and hand painted gold, rose gold and pink. There were even custom cocktail napkins with fun facts about Josephine so even after she fell asleep she was still at the reception. Keeping things close to come they booked a local band to play at the ceremony and celebrated the flavor of Minnesota with burgers, cheese curds, Surly beer battered onion rings, local donuts and Minnesota State Fair cookies from Sweet Martha’s! With some many of their guest traveling in from out of town they made door hangers for the hotel rooms and kicked everyone’s New Year off right with super positive resolutions like “every time you look in mirror, say, “girl you fabulous!” or “drink more mimosas!” Embracing the reception hall space and the dance floor that reminded them of high school prom they added a kitschy photo booth wall, streamers, and balloons reminiscent of high school prom. Instead of hiding the elements that reminded them of a high school gym, like the huge doors by the dance floor, they embraced them! Even had a school bus to transport our guests – so they could all ring in the New Year without having to drive! The final element to a winter wonderland DIY wedding? A serious kick ass playlist – put together by the bride + groom. Oh and that kicks some serious ass dessert table with all the height, dimension and perfect cards? All Bette, through and through. The biggest personal touch of all was having their daughter, Josephine, at the wedding. Although it’s not the most traditional path they both love that they got to share their wedding day with their daughter.” –Mandee Johnson Photography

What is your favorite wedding day memory?

The Groom: The ceremony. I was just looking at Bette looking back at me and forgetting where we were and how much work went into it and that there was a room full of people watching us. It was only us.

The Bride: Walking down the aisle toward Brian and seeing our baby sitting on my Mother-in-Law’s lap. In that moment, I felt my whole life behind me and in front of me. Everything had led us to this moment and it was magic. I just held his face in my hands at the end of the aisle and thought when I first looked into his eyes and realized they were the safest place in the entire cosmos.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

Oh boy! Pretty much everything! Our venue was very bare bones. All of the decor, linens, streamers balloons, everything we brought in – we had 3 trucks! The venue was amazing and let us drop everything off 2 days before and spend the day before setting up. Having ample set-up time is key for DIY brides. Try to find a venue that will you have the day before as a set-up day. It made doing a completely DIY wedding {including bringing in our own DJ equipment possible}. Some of my favorite DIY touches where the small details, like the “pick your resolution” bowl. We wrote uplifting resolutions like, “Eat more butter!” or “Every time you look in the mirror say, “Girl, you fabulous.” I also loved our little sugar cookies that pointed to midnight! A local bakery worked with me to create those and they were so special! We did all the flowers {which I bought in bulk} and we stuffed into the vases the day before, the dessert buffet, brought in all the linens {which I bought used off eBay}, balloons, photo booths wall, the cocktail napkins, the custom doorknob hangers and the paper bags with “WOAH” printed on them filled with our favorite Trader Joe’s chips.

The dessert table was a labor of love. I wanted to concentrate on one area the day of the wedding. Height, dimension, materials, flowers and fruit {you need that organic greenery to cut up the pastries} and lighting are key to a fabulous dessert buffet. I wanted to evoke a lush, overflowing feeling {we had half a truck filled with just dessert buffet elements!} I also wanted to nod to the prom feeling so I brought in kitschy desserts like twinkles, little debbies cakes and sprinkle cookies, but then also had gorgeous handmade desserts brought in by a local baker such as old fashioned donuts, rosette cake, handmade midnight cookies. The midnight cookies were something I drew up for the local baker. Sugar cookies with a clock almost to midnight. I wanted touches of New Years Eve at every station!

Something that made our wedding so special sprinkling our secret word for “I love you” though out the wedding – “Woah.” After 2 weeks of dating Brian accidentally let it slip that he loved me. Then he immediately said “woah!” kinda like Joey Lawrence in Blossom. It became a pseudonym for I love you for us. We had bags of potato chips guests grabbed as the entered cocktail hour, and we printed WOAH on the bags. We also had big mylar WOAH balloons scattered throughout the space.

Also, having our daughter there, well it just made everything better. We made cocktail napkins that had all her favorite things on them, so even after she fell asleep {which was right after the ceremony} she was still at the reception. To be honest, I love the order in which we did things. We had our little baby and then got to feel all the romance and fairy tale of our wedding with our daughter. Our hashtag was also her middle name – which just made it so special!

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

My beautiful and incredible Mother-in Law made my garter with a blue piece of fabric from her wedding dress and a piece of lace from her mother’s wedding dress, which was my something old. I borrowed my sweet Mother’s earrings. My wedding dress was new, and big and straight out of a fairy tale!

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

I was a very “unconventional” bride – I am a new Mom and this was my second wedding, but don’t let anyone tell you how you should celebrate or what the norm is. For any ladies who are reading this who have been married before and are planning a wedding, please follow your heart. You’ve probably been through hell and back, you thought you would never be happy or find love and that just had to be okay, but then you found your forever mate. You have every right to celebrate however you like. If anything you may want to celebrate more than ever before! This is about you and your spouse and your happiness! Your friends and family who have been with you on your journey will want to celebrate you too. For my mommy brides – it will all work out! You are already a superhero – you’re a Mom. Assign {or pay} someone who you really trust to care for the baby, but also someone who you’re not going to miss at the reception. Remember to bring a a pack-n-play, and soak up every second of being with your baby and the love your life. You’re normally covered in spit-up and in sweatpants so savor all of this fairy tale. I can’t describe how magical it was. Also, if you’re a DIY bride, give yourself a cut off time. no matter what. So whatever you can get done by, say, 1 PM {or whatever time} the day of the wedding is great, but after that you are done. Even if you couldn’t get everything done, you stop! Have a glass of wine, decompress, then start being a bride! It’s important to not push yourself to the last minute or you won’t have that time to feel great. Also – if you can afford to hire a “day of” planner or just someone to help be boots on the ground to complete all your projects the day of – do so! We didn’t have waiters or a clean up crew or really any staff, so I realized having a someone to take care of the breakdown and just to be there to oversee the event was important. I wanted my best friends to be able to enjoy themselves. I hired a coordinator a couple weeks before the wedding and it was the best decision! Theresa was incredible! Wouldn’t of happened without her! -Bette, the Bride

Event Credits

Photographer: Mandee Johnson Photography // Venue: Little Log House // Wedding Planner: L'Etoile Events // Catering: Cannon River Catering Co. // Desserts: Hi-Quality Bakery // Officiant: Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church // Transportation: Hastings Bus Company // Bride's Attire: Wedding Shoppe Inc. // Groom's Attire: Men's Warehouse // Groom's Shoes: Nordstrom


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