With the stress of the wedding safely behind me, I can now pause and reflect upon some of my favorite aspects of the day (and the days leading up to the event).
I had a long engagement and it was phenomenal. We were engaged on July 4, 2015 and married on November 11, 2016.
We lived together in the home we purchased before marriage, so there wasn't that rush to get married quickly. Having a long engagement meant I didn't feel pressured to make any snap decisions. It also meant I could spread out expenses, which is easier for the budget.
I took my time on creating table decor and favors. I waited out coupons for Shutterfly (invites) and Joann's for crafting purposes.
We toured several venues and toured two more than once. We could discuss our choices and it didn't feel like every spare moment of our lives was devoted to wedding planning (which B appreciated).
A long engagement also meant I could read way too many articles (pinterest, bridal magazines, the knot, etc) on wedding planning. After spending lots of time in the bridal aisles of local craft stores and attending bridal planning events, I realized I didn't really like a lot of the bridal trends and overly elaborate weddings.
I like burlap as much as the next crafty gal, but an entire wedding devoted to it? No thanks. Overly rustic and mason jars everywhere wasn't my husband's taste. So I used burlap, lace, and mason jars at my bridal shower instead!
Cute for me, just not representative of us as a couple. So I had it at my bridal shower (which was amazingly me: pink, polka dots, lace, burlap, glitter, and Harry Potter with an elegant feel. I am very blessed with amazing friends and family.)
Other wedding trends: rhinestones and feathers? Absolutely not.
Elaborate programs? We passed. Fancy place cards? We passed.
Instead, we found small ways to incorporate our interests into the big day in several ways.
One: Our Fur Babies
I got vetoed on having our dog as our ring bearer. So instead, we used our pets to announce our wedding date.
(Correction, we tried. They didn't always cooperate.)
Two: Crafting & Couponing
So anything related to weddings can be super expensive. Plain white flower girl baskets are over $20 and super bland.
Instead, I snagged some after Easter for 70% off, added ribbon in our wedding colors, added fake flowers, and made 2 for around $12.
I also made our card box. I picked up this vintage inspired suitcase at Ross a few years ago, then added burlap flowers and a banner (pre-made letters and paint). Total cost? $5 and an hour of my time. I got to use the card box at my bridal shower and the wedding.
The best part? Now that the wedding is over, it's back in the corner and stores seasonal napkins.
I liked these frames at Joann's, but not at $12.99 for 4 (we needed 5 packs).
So slowly over time, we picked up a pack at a time with a 40% off coupon. I'll be using some of the frames as thank you gifts once we receive our formal wedding pictures back.
(Completed table numbers)
As I mentioned above, we skipped making programs. Who really saves those anyway?
Instead, I waited until I had a super coupon to Joann's and picked up this chalk frame for $12 (originally $40). With some erasable chalk paint and vinyl stickers, we provided our guests with all the information they needed:
Plus we can reuse the chalkboard sign. His cousin Tony is getting married in May and his fiance asked to borrow the board (which is fine of course).
We also skipped place cards (because guests would probably lose them due to lack of pockets on dresses and the open bar factor) and used picture frames to display table information:
Plus, we can now reuse the frames for pictures in our home. Win win! (Except B doesn't count this as a win because he has to hang them.)
It's not a secret that we are avid football fans and fiercely loyal to our teams.
We used this football in our engagement pictures:
And as the garter toss at the wedding. (Not pictured: "Great Catch, You're Next!"). The groomsman didn't remember to take it home (cough open bar cough), so it's now on our mantle.
We took engagement pictures in our jerseys with #11 (but in our teams).
I surprised him with Broncos socks (for his cold feet) and a new #11 Somma jersey on our wedding day.
I also got myself a jersey as well because I could (and I had a coupon).
But due to miscommunication, we didn't get wedding pictures with our new jerseys. Oh well! Perhaps we'll use our matching Somma jerseys for our Christmas cards next year.
Four: Documenting moments
We had a photo guestbook made from our engagement pictures, but not everyone signed it (it happens). Because of this, I'm so glad we did other small things to document the events.
For our engagement shower, we had guests sign a vase:
It now sits on the media stand (with fake flowers) so we get to enjoy it each day. We also used the "be our guest" sign at our wedding (see above) and it now sits in our guest bedroom. I'm all about using things multiple times!
At my bridal shower, I had guests sign my "kiss the miss goodbye" frame. We used sample lip wands and cheap, vibrant lipstick so we wouldn't share cooties. I then framed a picture with 2 of my bridesmaids.
We also had our bridal party & family sign one of the large S's that I painted.
The S was also used in our engagement pictures and will soon hang on the wall. For now, it sits on the ledge.
Lastly, we followed advice on pinterest and mailed the First Family an invitation. I was a little anxious that we'd get a congrats card from Trump, but low and behold, a few days before their last days in the White House (which I'm still in denial about), we received our congratulations card from the White House.
What a fun keepsake!
My lovely husband couldn't care less about what our cake topper looked like. So I ordered this beauty off of Etsy:
It was the same cost as generic "S" ones at the store, but way more meaningful.
It now sits on the Batman shelf at home, along with our wedding toasting flutes (a Marshall's find), and some of our wedding flowers.
I had a Batman themed garter as well, compliments of one of my bridesmaids.
Keeping with tradition, it had blue in it! It was also way more fun than a traditional (bland) white and blue garter.
I had a magical (pun intended) "Muggle to Mrs." themed shower.
My MOH gifted me with the most amazing ring bearer box:
Which my brother has already called dibs on for his future wedding.
We also took advantage with this iconic chapter title: (The Unbreakable Vow):
I've been asked if I'm sad our "big day" is over. My answer? Nope. It was wonderful to plan, it was a wonderful day, but my life isn't over. There are plenty of big days ahead.