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Shea Shoemaker
Shea Shoemaker December 11, 2019

Stunning + Handmade San Diego Wedding

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What is your favorite wedding day memory?

My favorite memories revolve around dancing! I played lacrosse in college and have a very close-knit team with lots of songs that deeply remind of us of getting pumped-up before games. “Jump for my Love” is one of those. My DJ made the happy mistake of playing that song as “dinner music” instead of “dancing music,” so my teammates all stopped eating their dinners and promptly stormed the dance floor while dinner was still being served. The rest of the attendees followed, and we proceeded to have a beautiful 20 minute dance interlude in the middle of our catering staff setting plates down! Similarly, my mother-in-law having a dance-off with my husband’s pal was pretty spectacular.

What did you DIY for your wedding?

I knew from the start that I needed to be a little selective and most importantly PRACTICAL about the things I wanted to do myself. My wedding was in San Diego, but I was planning from Chicago, o that definitely was something that made an impact. For me, I DIY’d the things I knew I’d be overcharged for elsewhere. The biggest standout was our Escort Card display and the cards themselves.

During a planning trip to California, my dad and I did a Home Depot run and build an oversize frame fitted with chicken wire in his garage. Note to self- wear gloves. Chicken wire is fickle and you are sure to get a few scrapes along the way! I bought small craft clothespins on Amazon that would ultimately hang the table cards. For the Escort Cards themselves, I wanted to replicate a ‘look’ I saw online dip dyed! This was MUCH harder than I thought. Using nice cardstock, I first printed the names/tables using a template I’d created. After cutting them down, I then used RIT fabric dye to create a dip-dye effect. I did this by dipping layer after layer and letting them dry a little in between. to dry flat, I actually put them in the oven on a very low heat and then pressed them in between weighted books. They turned out awesome. My only snafu? The dye said it was a green color… it was actually blue. Still worked!

I also DIY’d program printing and design. This is an area that can get pricey, so by buying nice cardstock and using my home printer with some clever design… I saved at least several hundred bucks. I think that one great tool for brides/grooms/humans to purchase when doing something like this is the Fiskars SureCut Portable Paper Cutter. It cost about $20 at Michel’s Crafts or Target, and made cutting small papers- escort cards, placecards, programs, etc., much more professional looking and FASTER!

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

Something old: My grandmother passed in March, and I got married in December. It was sad; she’d been there for my cousin’s weddings. It felt weird not having her at mine. At my shower in October, my aunt gifted to me something truly precious– my grandmothers diamond butterfly pendant. It was left to her by my grandmother, but she wanted me to have a piece of my grandmother with me on my wedding and thereafter. I wore it pinned to the shoulder of my gown.

New: So much new! My gown, my shoes, my hair pin!

Borrowed: My scent. I don’t normally wear this scent, but to honor my grandmother and her late sister who had also recently passed, I wore Chanel No. 5. A sweet idea from my cousin!

Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?

First, emotional advice: Don’t over extend yourself, emotionally, financially, or otherwise. It was so special to us to have all the people we loved in the same room at the same time. We did a traditional ceremony and dinner reception set up, but we would have been just as happy to throw a cake-and-punch backyard wedding. OR a Chinese-food catered dance-marathon. Or anything! Whatever you chose to do, do it with love and make it the best version of itself! If you and your spouse are relaxed and happy, your guests will be too. I spent a year planning our wedding– and I’m a professional meeting planner. When it was over, it’s not that I felt the day itself was fleeting, but rather I missed the work we’d put into the process. I still love talking about it, because I’m so proud we pulled it all off.

Second, logistic advice: HIRE A DAY-OF-PLANNER! Or a month-of-planner. Or a dedicated non-guest that will help you out for a favor in return. Or a very dedicated guest that will act as the director for you. You definitely need someone to help the stars align that day, so that you and your closest family don’t have to. -Frankie, the Bride

Event Credits

Photography: Let's Frolic Together // Venue + Wedding Planner: BRICK San Diego // Catering: MIHO // Cocktails: Snake Oil Cocktail Company // Bakery: Cute Cakes // Invitations: Minted // Florals: Jennifer Cole Florals // Ceremony Music: Curt Owen Music // DJ: DJ Kerry Glass // Rentals: Farm Tables & More // Engagement Ring: James & Sons // Bride's Attire: BHLDN // Bride's Shoes: Adrianna Papell // Hair + Make-up: SoCal Hair & Makeup // Groom's Attire: Blvdier Chicago // Groomsmen's Attire: Black Tux

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