After featuring what was suppose to be a stylized photo session turned surprise proposal earlier this year, it is always fun to receive a follow up submission of the happy couple’s big day. The stylized photo session was themed Tea Cups and Cigars, which they carried through to their wedding day and did a two for one by incorporating the same props and decor from the engagement shoot into their wedding.
Here’s what the lovely bride has to say:
Bride’s Comments: “The theme was teacups and cigars, which was derived from our hobbies that were previously featured in the surprise proposal photo shoot. It was all very vintage and unique, featuring his love of cigars and my love of dainty things, like teacups and handmade dresses. The tea cups and cigars themed wedding came together through myself and working with the best photographer in the world, Jessica Magee. She helped me with so many things, like how to organize family photos, and to how to sew a bustle hook into my dress. I could not possibly have had my perfect wedding without Jessica Magee.”
Any tips to share with brides planning their own wedding?
“I used the app Wedding Happy to keep up with all of my plans and ideas and made to-do lists for each detail. It really helped me to stay organized. I also made several spreadsheets to coordinate my wedding party with the wedding day itinerary, tasks, and contact information for each vendor that was hired between Thursday until Saturday night.
Have a wedding planner or at least someone who has been through it and knows the ropes to tell you what to think of, like: the flowers, the chairs, music, where to sit the family, and how to word the program.
Also, know that all you need for the wedding are 4 things: the Bride, the Groom, the Minister, and the legal page. That’s it. If a zipper pops, or a groomsman doesn’t show up, it’s not the end of the world because you are still getting married and everything will be okay!”
What was your budget?
“Our budget was about $5,000 and we actually were right on target, including last minute expenses and the honeymoon. We were able to save money by doing a lot ourselves and by the resourcefulness and generosity of our dearest and loving friends. I saved a ton by making my dress myself. That is usually a giant expense, but I found some fabulous deals on fabric and after trying on some gorgeous dresses, I decided that I could do it on my own with the few ideas that I had seen and dreamt about.
“I also had a darling friend who designed my invitations and ceremony programs, which saved a lot of money too.
“Since flowers can be a big expense, I just had a few buds sitting in tea cups and teapots on all my tables alongside a cigar box. This fit the theme and the budget. I also made all the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages for the wedding party and family. I used fabric scraps, vintage napkins, and gloves to make the bouquets and added unique brooches to each one to create a one of a kind keepsake for my dear friends. My bouquet and my sister’s bouquet were made with brooches handed down from our grandmothers, so that was special.”
Describe the bride/bridesmaids’ attire
“My dress was white with a pink sash, a heart cut out in the back, and a lace overlay to give the illusion of an invisible neckline that I could remove. I wore my mom’s pearls and carried a pair of very vintage French crochet tan colored gloved lent to me by a dear friend. I also made my own birdcage veil out of French netting and added a pink teacup charm to the flower in the veil.
“After giving my girls a color range of blush to petal pink and encouraged a knee length dress with any neckline or sleeves, they were able to find their own dresses. My sister and maid of honor happened to be in a sewing class in college that semester, so for her final, she made her own pink, one shoulder dress. Two of my girls found fabric and a pattern and I made their dresses for them. I also made the flower girls dresses and the ring bearer’s bow tie.
“The guys wore navy slacks and a navy vest, while Brady wore a navy suit. I made the corsages with a fabric flower to match the bouquets and they had a cigar charm attached.”
How many guests were invited?
We invited about 350 people and around 250 came. The church was packed!
Was it difficult to narrow down your guest list?
“Narrowing the invite list was extremely hard. I come from a large family and we are both very involved in the community, so I didn’t want to leave anyone out.”
Challenges planning your wedding
“The challenges included my desire to do everything myself, while I am also in graduate school, studying for exams, and working a few jobs. Time management was key! I had some dear friends help me coordinate and think through the details so that my vision could come to fruition.”
Highlights from the ceremony & reception
“What I wanted most from the wedding (other than to be married) was for our guests to hear the gospel at our wedding, for it to be unique and personal, and for people to enjoy the food. And in the end I received the most compliments about those three things.
“All of my details were carried out and my dress didn’t fall off during the ceremony, so I think that turned out well. I was thrilled to see all my visions come to fruition.
“Finally, my caterer is a dear friend and she did an amazing job! She made our chocolate cake with sugared roses from her own garden and the most amazing vanilla cupcakes with handmade icing flowers in her own dainty teacups and lace wraps. We also had a chocolate chip cookie and coffee table for Brady and the meal was tender smoked chicken halves with a mashed potato bar and fresh green salad with homemade ranch and raspberry vinaigrette dressings. It was so delightful.”
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We went on a Carnival cruise to the Western Caribbean. It was perfect. All inclusive, the food was AMAZING, and so much to do on all the 15 decks including, comedy shows, tea time, wine tasting, fancy dinners, 24hr ice cream bar, adult lounge, sea side movies, dance classes, casinos, and more. It was the most relaxing and yet exciting trip that I have ever taken. What a joy it was to share the sunrise on the ocean with my new dreamy husband!”