Earlier today, we introduced you to our Real Bride Bloggers, all of whom we’ll be following along with as they plan their wedding day. One of those Bride Bloggers is a recently-wed bride named Victoria (Vicki), who found her wedding photographers, Cat & Al of BG Productions Photography & Videography, from The Bridal Book here at Emmaline Bride. We are so excited to share her wedding with you today! Since Vicki provided us with an in-depth look at her day as told in her own words, we figure it is best for her to tell you the beautiful story as it unfolded. So, without further adieu, take it away, Vicki!
Handmade Real Wedding: Vicki & Tim
“As I sit here after the wedding holding onto as many memories as I can, I am getting floods of comments of how special our wedding was from start to finish. We knew how meaningful the wedding would be just from where we got married – Mount Gretna, Pennsylvania. It’s a vacation spot of my husband’s family for a couple generations now. His whole family rents houses for 2 weeks over the summer, and it’s an amazing chance to bond with everyone. I knew it would be the perfect wedding spot. Everyone could rent houses together and make a weekend out of it! The ceremony would be at the Tabernacle, an outdoor, giant gazebo and the reception at a dinner theater/restaurant among the trees. I was sold when I saw the high raftered ceilings that reminded me of a barn. The space was a blank canvas, so my work began.”
I had a year and 5 months to execute an amazing party. I knew I mostly wanted to do things handmade, because my husband (so fun to say!) and I were paying for the wedding. Our priorities were awesome food, an open bar, and the best photographers out there who I found in the preferred vendors section of Emmaline Bride (Cat & Al of BG Productions!). The rest of it fit in where we could.”
I made these myself, with assembly help from family members! We wanted to convey a relaxed and fun mood from the start! I used thick kraft paper and designed the invitation myself, down to the poem in the middle. The RSVPs were also a special touch, with funny responses! The assembly was done with the help of some awesome family members, cutting off the extra paper at the bottom, folding the invites, and tying it all together with light blue and plum twine.”
Here’s the wedding day as it unfolded, along with DIY details along the way…
Bouquets / Boutonnieres
Going along with the no fresh flowers, I led my bridesmaids to believe we would be carrying bouquets of dried lavender. But I ended up getting them customized clutches from Allisa Jacobs (who I found in the Marketplace on Emmaline Bride) as their gift and what they would carry down the aisle. Functional, cute and reusable! For the boutonnieres my MOH pitched in and made guitar pick boutonnieres, since my husband was in a band, along with 3 of his groomsmen. I also made boutonnieres with leftover burlap, twine, lavender and baby’s breath for the moms, grandparents and aunt (who “officiated” our self-uniting ceremony).
This was a decision that kept changing, even with the last weeks of planning! I wanted to use something like pallets to tie twine to and attach cards to that. However, I ended up using a blanket ladder from my grandmother, tying twine across and attaching 100 hand cut leaves (using the leftover bottom scraps from the invitations!) and wrote everyone’s names and table names on them.
I knew I didn’t want to use real flowers because I felt that it was a lot of money that could be spent elsewhere! I used blue mason jars, tied with plum and brown twine (our colors were plum/lavender and light blue) filled with dried baby’s breath and dried lavender. The mason jars were placed on a wide piece of burlap fabric with 2 candle holders (from Ikea!) with electric tea lights. A very special touch was the wood burned table name signs (all places in Mount Gretna) that I did myself using Harry Potter chapter font! On the topic of wood burning, I also wood burned wooden planters to use for the s’mores bar.
Additional Real Wedding Details
The back of the Tabernacle had a big cross in the back of it (even though it’s not totally a church). So my dad made a PVC pipe frame and my MOH also pitched in big time by fabric painting our song lyrics on black fabric chalkboard style. The fabric was framed by light blue curtains, along with grapevine wreaths covered in baby’s breath and lavender (made also by my MOH).
My husband and I are not overly emotional, mushy or PDA kinds of people. So I wanted the ceremony to reflect that. I found the idea for Dr. Seuss inspired vows (a surprise to the guests!), and since we were doing a self-uniting ceremony, we weren’t limited by what we had to say. I found ones that I tweaked to include our personalities (i.e. would I love him even if a touchdown pass is blown? because we met playing football). I also used non-mushy readings: “The Art of Marriage” by Wilferd A. Peterson and “All I Ever Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. His aunt officiated the ceremony, making the it even more personal.
We had people hula hoop if they wanted to see us kiss (hate the glass clinking!). I painted a corn hole board with our initials and the “LOVE” sculpture design with the “O” in love with a football in it. A random special touch was the blue flower hair clip that was my great grandmothers. My husband and I danced to our song (“Little Wonders” by Rob Thomas) and broke out into “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley. My husband and his mom danced to “Bangarang” by Skrillex (both dances were a surprise to everyone!). We used Jenga blocks for the guestbook because we’re both really into playing games!
All in all, I had some people say I was crazy for doing so many of these things myself (and sometimes I wondered as well if I was crazy!), but ultimately it totally paid off and I was able to totally embrace the weekend (and the day!). We were thankfully able to decorate the day before the wedding, with my whole family and bridal party pitching in to help! Everyone said it was the BEST wedding they’ve ever been to because there were so many personal touches. Everyone felt that every single thing I did, no matter how small, let everyone fully embrace the day and it also let me and my husband’s personalities shine through. There were of course minor hiccups, but with the help of my AMAZING photographers – who also became friends and wedding planners during the process – we were totally able to soak in every single moment. It does go as fast as everyone says it does!
Thank you for sharing your big day, Vicki! And a special thank you to Cathie and Al of BG Productions Photography & Videography for capturing these beautiful photos.