Happy Leap Day brides! A rare Mrs. Monday today falling on this bonus day in February 🙂 As always, I’m excited to share a new beautiful wedding with all of you, planned by a real-life bride. Whatever kind of wedding you are planning, take a quick break for some inspiration from today’s bride.
Meet Miranda! Miranda and her husband Eric tied the knot on August 1, 2015 on a warm summer afternoon. Their wedding was full of hand-made touches and charm. Read away and enjoy 🙂
How did you and your husband meet?
We met in high school through the National Future Farmers of America (FFA) Organization. A friend of mine told him I had a crush on him and he asked me for my phone number in the taco bar line. The rest is history.
Length of engagement?
Exactly 2 years
Favorite part of planning?
Crafting a lot of our own things & seeing it all come together.
Hardest part of planning?
Keeping everything straight. It really is a lot to do for one day!
T he wide open space under some tall trees in Konarcik Park , a local park located in Waterloo, IL.
We planned to use a bluetooth speaker (Jambox) for our music. Actually, the batteries died right before the ceremony, so my friend put his phone in a cup to try and project the sound. It wasn’t ideal, but at that moment, it didn’t bother me. I was just excited to be marrying my best friend.
We had a “Vitamin String Quartet” playlist for pre-service music, and then various songs by the artist Eric Church for the rest of our ceremony.
Columbia Turner Hall in Columbia, IL
Light purple, ivory, & burlap
We used artificial flowers because I really wanted to keep my bouquet forever. We bought all of our flowers on Black Friday and then Eric’s aunt put together our arrangements as our wedding gift!
We had sunflowers, lavender, and little bit of baby’s breath. We did, however, use real baby’s breath in our lanterns down each side of the aisle.
Wedding party size?
7 Bridesmaids, 6 groomsmen, 2 ushers, a ring bearer and a flower girl
Overall size of your wedding?
We had a small intimate ceremony, and a large reception. Some people wonder why we did it this way, for us, it just worked better. Our ceremony venue was small and intimate and it didn’t make sense to have a bunch of people there.
First dance song?
“Keeper of the Stars” by Tracy Byrd
I had two! With my Dad is was “Against the Wind” by Bob Seger.
With my Step Dad it was “Forever Young (From NBC’s Parenthood)” by Rhiannon Giddens & Iron & Wine which was a remake of the theme song from our favorite show.
“Don’t Blink” by Kenny Chesney
What did you DIY?
I think the question would be what DIDN’T we DIY? Ha! We made parts of our own centerpieces including the wooden slices that everything sat on.
Eric also welded a brand that said “E&M” surrounded by a heart and branded small slices of wood for the centerpieces.
We made a three-tier pie holder out of wood and my Dad built a big cross that we stood in front of at our ceremony.
Eric made shepherd’s hooks that hung our big lanterns going down the aisle on both sides.
We made cute little boxes that had a homemade cookie inside as our favor.
We also created our own programs using a website I found. They sent us the supplies so all we had to do was print the programs and glue them together to make paper fans. It made things so easy.
What was a fun & personal touch you added to your day?
We wanted to incorporate some of the food we really enjoy. We had pie instead of cake because we LOVE pie. We also served soft pretzels from St. Louis’ famous Gus’s Pretzels & toasted ravioli which is another St. Louis staple.
Any fun stories from planning?
Eric decided it would be a good idea to brand the small slices of wood for our reception without shoes on. It’s pretty normal for him to be outside without shoes on. We built a really hot fire in the fire pit for the branding…one of the coals jumped out and Eric stepped on it. At the time, it wasn’t so funny, but it’s definitely a memory we won’t forget. He was burning his feet all for a wedding decoration.
Favorite part of your wedding day?
My favorite part of our wedding day was our first look. We were pretty skeptical about having one, but now I can confidentially say that it was 100% the right decision for us. We will never forget it.
For me, I was feeling nervous about having to wait all day to see him. After we had our first look, all of my nerves and anxieties vanished. It made us more relaxed. That was a moment with just the two of us and it was captured by our photographer.
Our first look also meant that we were able to get all of our photos done before the ceremony, therefore we could go straight to the reception after our ceremony.
What resources did you love to use?
Pinterest was really great for ideas and DIY projects. Etsy was awesome for personalized gifts and decorations. Also, I used the talents of the people around me to help make our day special!
Any ways you were able to save money?
We bought a lot of used stuff on a local online garage sale.
For our invitations, my friend’s cousin is a graphic designer and she offered to design our invitations. When she was done, I printed them at Walgreens as a regular 4×6 photo. IT WAS SO CHEAP and most people throw them away eventually so I couldn’t justify spending hundreds of dollars on invitations.
We also bought a lot of things on Black Friday at Hobby Lobby. In addition, we did a lot of the projects ourselves, which saved money.
What advice would you share with a bride-to-be?
Please do not sweat the small stuff.
For example, when I look back and think about how our speaker ran out of batteries, it’s not something to fret over. People didn’t leave our wedding saying, “oh my goodness, can you believe their music didn’t work?”
Also, in the middle of my planning, my computer’s hard drive crashed. Therefore, I lost my entire guest list. It was so frustrating, but in moments like that, take a deep breath, and move on. At the end of it all, you’re going to be married, and it’s going to be AWESOME!
Miranda’s Photographer: Courtney Smith Photography
“I absolutely LOVED my photographer!” -Miranda
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal dresses in “Iris.”