Last night I was sorting through photos on my computer and came across our wedding (circa, um 2009). I forget about how much I like looking at photos of the day, and with quite a few friends getting engaged and planning weddings, I thought it would be fun to share a bit about my wedding on the blog. Thanks for reliving the moment with me!
My husband and I had what one might call a “budget wedding.” We DIY’d most of it, but ended up with some incredibly successful results. You don’t need to have a ton of money to make things work. One way we saved money was that we majorly lucked out when it came to our wedding photographer. Capturing the day on film was a big priority to me. But with such a small budget I was concerned. It’s a long story, but we ended up with an official White House photographer! A friend of a friend from DC, Kristoffer Tripplaar, agreed to do his friend a favor and photograph our wedding. He was just amazing! He is kind, artistic, and takes photographs with a keen, journalistic eye.
The next few images were taken by our famed friend, Ross McDermott. A dear friend of ours and a groomsman (he actually set my husband and I up), he also happens to be a professional photographer. He captured some of my favorite images right after the ceremony while we were doing group shots.
This one (below) is a favorite because it captures my birdcage veil. I made it with lace that I had ordered from a French milliner and embellished with silk organza flowers that I sewed on with small pearl beads in the center. The flower effect was created by using an open flame to sort of “melt” the edges of the organza flowers so that they curl up. The total cost of the veil was only $25.
The bouquet was all white orchids and went well with the dress. The necklace was my “something old,” a cameo that my Mother inherited from my Grandmother. I paired it with classic jewelry, pearl earrings and a pearl bracelet.
I made a hair piece for each of the bridesmaids to coordinate with their dresses. Emily and her sister Mandy helped me a great deal with all of the sewing for these pieces. One of my best friends from college made all of the boutonnières and bouquets. I loved my husband’s orchid boutonnière.
The look and feel of our wedding was a mix of modern and european chinoiserie. We rented traditional Blue Willow and lotus pattern china and had orchid centerpieces with cranes that I folded, vintage Asia magazine covers illustrated by Frank McIntosh, and wasabi peas for snacking. My Mother-in-law did all of the orchid centerpieces herself in vintage planters that coordinated with the china. If you can’t tell, we had a ton of help!
We saved money by having the reception in our church’s hall. It has lots of character with dark wood, large palladium windows, and wood flooring. It wasn’t perfect, but served us really well. We didn’t have to rent any tables, chairs, or white table clothes because they had those. We also discovered boxes and boxes of tea light candles in old glasses and clustered them all over the room. The result was very romantic.
So many elements of our wedding, including the food, were made possible by the generosity of others. There was no way we could afford catered food. A good friend of ours had a connection at a local chinese take-out place. So we had dumplings passed as an appetizer and we served a large buffet of “american” chinese food for dinner. We also have quite a few friends who bake, and one of my bridesmaids is a professional chocolatier in DC. She and others supplied us with delectable homemade cupcakes instead of traditional cake. They were a hit! The ones pictured above are chocolate with salted caramel butter cream.
The whole weekend was full of friends and family and we felt completely surrounded by love. But the best part of the day was the ceremony itself. It will forever be one of the best moments of my entire life. A budget wedding doesn’t feel as “budget” when you realize how many people have come together to help you celebrate the most amazing day of your life.
Some Great Local Resources We Used:
- Bar: Beer Run for Kegs, Trader Joe’s, in Richmond, for cases of wine
- Classic Party Rentals / Festive Fare for all of the tableware
- The Orchid Station
- The Men and Boys Shop for tux rentals, shoes and bow ties
- The Event Co. (They were awesome!)
- Yuan Ho chinese food catered
- Circa and the Covesville Store for antique planters and pots