I am FINALLY getting around to posting about our wedding. We decided to get married around Christmas. It was a crazy time to get married. Four kids between us, Christmas to pay for and myself and the children to get moved. I enjoy being crazily busy.
When we thought of our vision of what we wanted the wedding to be, the first thing we thought about when planning this wedding was the kids. We wanted it to be intimate and include them. We wanted them to know that they were just as much a part of this as we were and that they were loved and cared by all their extended family, friends and us.
All said and done we were able to have a beautiful, budget friendly wedding that didn't cost an arm and a leg and really brought together the heart of what we were trying to accomplish--the love we have for each other, our kids, our family and friends and the reason we continue moving on in life.
The girls did not share that same vision on the decorations and dresses and ideas but we reigned them in.
We put together the perfect wedding that was everything we wanted and at the heart of the wedding was our family.
A special thanks to Heather Schraedel Photography for making sure our engagement photos turned out beautiful in spite of our old age. 🙂 Most of the photos we've taken of us over the past few years are from hikes, after snorkeling trips with crazy humidity hair or in exercise clothes. We were wanting a few nice photos of us. We also realized we are old. 🙂
This was her first time doing engagement photos and we think she rocked it. I do not like taking photos of myself and it's really hard to feel at ease around a camera immediately but she did a great job of capturing us in photos at times I didn't even know the camera was on me.
For the wedding we opted to have an intimate at home wedding right in our front foyer. All About You Rentals totally made this wedding happen with gorgeous decorations.
My fiance DID NOT want a Christmas wedding so I presented the idea of a more rustic, natural wedding. A friend at work mentioned All About You Rentals and I took my youngest along with me. The cute owner and my daughter picked out all the decorations after I did the only thing I was going to be good at during this process--showing a photo of our foyer on my phone. I sat in the corner COMPLETELY overwhelmed by all the decorations and questions they had for me. They were all so beautiful and I had NO idea how to choose from all of them and I had no idea what I should do so I'm glad my daugher and the owner took over for me or our house would've not had any decorations. And at the end I did the next thing I am contributing to--I gave the owner my card to run. I survived. Now keeping the kids away from me using the card? Ha!
We went with a eucalyptus and babies breath theme wedding.
The antique table and shabby chic decor really tied everything together for a more modern classic look.
And of course, what would an intimate wedding be without a warm welcome?
There were three areas that we really focused the bulk of our budget on. The first was on our photographer. We were doing a winter, indoor wedding and wanted to make sure that we hired someone who could take some really good photos so we would have memories that lasted. We loved Lexxi Smith Photography. She did an amazing job of capturing our day.
In fact, all of the wedding photos you see posted here are from her. She perfectly captured my son and his lifelong goal of taking not one normal faced photo.
It's been a few years since we let him go to another wedding after the faces he pulled in his uncle's wedding photos.
Yeah, not ONE normal photo.
Lexxi was very sweet and embraced the looks. She even got a few photos of his protest--since we made him wear a suit, he got to wear his Vans.
The girls went fancy but we ended up being able to reign them in a little. My oldest daughter we spent the most on her dress for the wedding, but when she found the dress she fell in love with it and is going to wear it to her next school dance coming up! And the rose gold shoes were the perfect compliment to the dress.
And then there were the girls. My stepdaughter was dying for some high heeled shoes and we gave in with some lower wedge heels instead. I let her try on the higher heeled shoes just to give in to some of her persistence in the store. When she tried them on she kept insisting that she could walk in them but she wobbled a lot and kept looking down the entire time when she was walking. In a few more years that fight will come again but this time I got to win with the wedges. Next time in a few years I'm sure her Mom, Dad, and us stepparents will probably loose the battle and instead resort to a whole box of Kleenex and a carton of ice cream to console us as we realize she's growing up. Her dress was gorgeous, sparkly, and definetely had the twirl factor that she wanted.
My youngest found her dress at H&M. We were going in to find some pants for her and ended up finding her dress and shoes while there! We did not expect to find the dress there. We paired it with a shimmery rose gold belt so she would tie the colors the other girls chose together. She loved her dress. A couple days before the wedding she got the flu and the day of the wedding had just started getting her appetite back so she looked paler than the dress. Poor thing! She had a blast putting on some blush and makeup so she had some color for the cameras.
Once the girls were all settled, it was my turn to find a dress. I know, totally opposite what it should've been. It was more like I was getting frustrated trying to find a dress, the date was coming closer and I couldn't be trying to find myself AND the girls a dress THREE days before the wedding! Ugh! That's right, I found my dress three days before the wedding. I wanted to go more bohemian with my dress but with the girls going more fancy I opted for a lacy dress with crystal belt. I did NOT want a veil--I hated my veil the last time. It was so heavy in my thin hair and weighed it down. I ended up taking it out halfway through the reception so this time around I knew I wasn't doing that. I opted for a weaved crystal headband instead.
The other thing I was really wanting to make sure that our budget went towards was our officiant. I wanted someone who really had a grasp on our situation, some of the things our kids had gone through and how to tie together all of that into a blended family situation.
Reverend Sharon did an amazing job and and the service was so beautiful. She knew exactly what to do. I didn't know what to do about not having my Dad there to walk me down the aisle since he passed away several years ago. She suggested that I have my husband walk me down the aisle, then walk arm in arm together down the aisle. The symbolism of unity and watching him walk to come get me got me tearing up the second I saw him coming towards me.
We also did a great unity ceremony where we recited vows to the kids and did a sand ceremony with them. I think it was important for them to know that from the time my husband and I met we were a united front. That same thing will carry into our home. (It's going to be an ongoing lesson and process to work on post wedding! It always feels like two steps forward and one step back or one step forward two steps back).
But it was the perfect ceremony.
We also decided that the other part of the budget needed to go towards the dinner. After the dinner we had immediate family go to dinner at Rodizio Grill. With my food allergies, another family member who had food allergies, my sister who suddenly went keto two weeks before the wedding and my husband who is Mr. Meat and Potatoes, finding a place to eat was no small task. But we really wanted to have some place to hang out and enjoy time as a family. Rodizio Grill was perfect! My oldest crushed on the waiters, my stepdaughter got to live out her love of buffets, the boys had all the meat they could ever want and everyone could pick and choose what they wanted to eat.
Focusing on the big three things we wanted allowed us to save in other ways. We served cake and a sparkling cider bar for the after wedding refreshments.
The younger girls had flower headbands and my oldest and I went with flower bouquets. We made them to match a lot of the decor. They were so simple and easy to make!
And for the wedding favors, we sent home guests with some beautiful handmade ornaments with some decor from the wedding.
We wrapped them in some natural paper and more decor from the wedding.
And I decided to opt to NOT do the girls hair and my hair myself but still save some money. So while the boys went to pick up their suits and some of the decor, we girls went to get our hair done at a local beauty school. I thought the younger girls would get so bored but they had a blast getting their hair done and working with the stylists to tell them what they wanted to do with their hair.
In the end I'm so glad that I married my best friend. I'm so grateful to start our new adventure together and that this guy chooses us everyday! Sorry ladies, he's now taken!