February 03, 2015

My favourite wedding day details

I think my friends are starting to get sick of me talking about weddings. I know after my wedding I didn't want to look at anything wedding related for a long time. Then I found out our wedding was featured in Wedding Bells magazine 2015 edition and I was thrilled. I was an intern at the magazine ages ago and wrote a lot of wedding-related articles. I was excited that my actual wedding could be in the magazine. It was featured on a one-page spread in the print edition and on the "Real Weddings" section of the website.



We were engaged for 5 years. That sounds like a long time for some people, but it just seemed to work for us at the time. Or original venue fell through, so we took a break from planning for a bit to take our time finding somewhere else--life got in the way a bit--and we rode out the whole engagement thing for awhile. We were both cool with that. One thing that started to drive me crazy was that being engaged for long meant so many wedding ideas went through my head during that time. After so many back and forths, Pinterest boards, decisions and drafts, I think we came up with something that resembled us well.


Recently, I started doing some D.I.Y projects to preserve some wedding memories. I printed out a bunch of photos and put them in an album that I really need to put one of our photos on the front because the stock image photo reminds me of "Gone Girl" for some reason. My parents got us a beautiful wooden keepsake box for Christmas with photos on the side that I have stored some momentos from the day inside, such as a dried piece of my bouquet, our invitation and some jewellery. It's as close to a "wedding shrine" that I will ever get. I believe they were called "hope chests" back in the day.


I wanted to share some of the details from the day in well, more detail. I had Excel spreadsheets going of my planning, projects and budget. After all of the work, I enjoyed the process--as overwhelming and nerve wracking as it was. There were a few things I maybe wanted to splurge on but couldn't bring myself to go overboard; it was just one day after all. I also wanted to do a lot of the things myself instead of buying them to save money and add a personal touch. It wasn't meticulously put together or elaborately planned by a designer and that is alright with me.


Obviously, after everything was said and done my favourite details weren't actually the details themselves. My favourite part was the people I shared the day with and the people who helped me along the way. Everyone was willing to pitch in and was eager to help and as stubborn as I can be sometimes, I welcomed the extra input. Here's a bit of a breakdown of some of the wedding day details:


For my invitations, I turned to Minted's Wedding Stationery. I mean, how do you ever choose on that site? There were so many options, from rustic to classic to bold to formal and you can customize each element of the invitation like the colour, type of paper, envelope and liner. The invitation is supposed to set the stage for the event, so I wanted something fun, rustic and slightly vintage-looking. I chose the "bud and blossom" design from Minted. Also, I realized afterwards that supposedly the bride's name should come first? I just put our names based on how people usually refer to us: "Mike and Laura."

Minted buds and blossom wedding invitation

Once the invitations were sent out and the venue booked, it was time to start in on the smaller details. Etsy is a wonderful place to find great little things for decorations, accessories and D.I.Y projects. One store in particular, Create my Fete, came to the rescue when it came to favour bags and paper straws. I wanted Kraft paper everything and since it happens to be in style now with rustic weddings, some of the options were quite pricey. I would recommend hunting through Etsy before turning to some bigger online stores. For the place cards, I bought a stack of Kraft paper from Michael's and cut cards out from them and hand wrote people's names on them.

Mint polkadot paper straws

Kraft paper striped favour bags

The candy bar was my piece de resistance of the reception room. After going to many weddings, I knew I definitely wanted a candy bar. I incorporated some of the cake stands and dishes I already had with some new additions from the Dollar Store. I wanted to add some height, so I used a wooden crate as the middle base and then smaller baskets to elevate the galvanized buckets. Going to Bulk Barn to get the candy a few days before the wedding was so much fun. We ended up with far too much candy afterwards even with all of the guests taking bags home.

Rustic vintage wedding candy bar table

Another place I found some neat wedding finds was WeddingStar. They have all sorts of cute accessories, favours and wedding products at reasonable prices. I even bought our Save the Date cards from them:


These vintage typewriter place card holders were a neat find and instead of using them for place cards, I used them to hold various signs that I had set up for "sweets," "sips" and "signatures." I also bought some blue mason jars to add some colour to the rustic feel. You have to have mason jars at a rustic wedding.

WeddingStar vintage typewriter place card holder


As you may have noticed too, we decided on long tables instead of smaller, round tables. I loved the idea of "harvest tables" and people all sitting together. Since it was a small wedding, everyone fit at two long tables plus the head table. It added to the intimate feeling. I bought the burlap from a fabric store for the table runners. My husband painstakingly sewed the edges of all the burlap with a sewing machine so it would look nice. He is a much better sewer than I am. 


I knew the four-course meal that the venue made for us would be a lot of food, so we opted for the candy bar and a few little desserts instead of a huge cake. When I heard about Boomf, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. They make marshmallows out of your Instagram photos! I also heard later that it was owned by Kate Middleton's brother, so you could say our wedding had a bit of a "royal" touch. Boomf recommends using lighter rather than darker photos so they show up better on the marshmallows and you can see how some of them are a bit harder to figure out what they are than others. They were still a neat touch to the dessert table. And of course, I had to have my favourite French macarons from Le Petit Bon Bon on there too. 

Boomf marshmallows

Le Petit Bon Bon macarons

To get that "rustic, vintage" wedding feel, you have to do a little vintage shopping. I mean, there are a lot of vintage-inspired wedding things out there now and you can certainly get the look without stepping into an antique store. It is nice to have some kind of heirloom or actual vintage piece to tie everything together. Luckily, I heard about a vintage wedding rental company that was going out of business (well, not so lucky for her I guess) and was selling off some of the props. One cold night in November, I drove an hour out of town after work to see what she had in her barn--the things I will do for vintage. I ended up buying some old signs, crates, frames, windows and tables for a great price. A friend gave me a bunch of vintage tea cups to use.


vintage tea cups

Guess where my mother-in-law found these glass vases for the tables? From salad dressing bottles. She saved every glass salad dressing bottle from the previous year so I could use them for the centrepiece flowers. They were gorgeous with a bit of baby's breath and ribbon tied around. Seriously though, that's the secret to some of this wedding stuff. As long as it looks good--and you like it--it doesn't matter whether it came from the dollar store, a garage sale or the grocery store. 

Baby's breath and jar

I re-painted the signs with our names on it to put outside of the reception venue. My father-in-law did some handy work to put the sign and the old windows together so it would fold out as a seating chart. I wrote everyone's names on the windows with a Sharpie and stuck old photos onto the wood. We also displayed old photos of our parent's and grandparent's wedding days. For our "guest book," we had a Jenga set with some coloured markers for guests to sign their names.

Wooden wedding sign

Vintage window seating chart

As you can tell already, we did a lot of D.I.Y projects for the wedding, even down to the wedding rings that we made ourselves. I have documented some of these projects in previous blog posts, including the seat signs and chalkboard frames. For the table numbers, I glued some postcards of places we have traveled to cardboard numbers that I found at the Dollar Store. Since we had long tables, we didn't have "tables" per se. They were more guidelines for where people were grouped.


wedding menu chalkboard frame

Mr and Mrs wedding seat signs

One of the big debates was around the chairs for the reception. I'm sorry to the chair cover lovers of the world out there. I hate chair covers. They work for some rooms, but not for me. I would say this was the closest thing to an "argument" we had over wedding things. The venue offered us chairs included, however they wanted us to use chair covers as the chairs by themselves were not nice. I love the look of folding chairs. We were worried that for people to sit so long in folding chairs would not be ergonomically nice. And to rent extra chairs instead of using the ones the venue had would be extra money. I am glad I splurged on the extra white folding chairs and also glad that they had cushioning on the seats. I had to put my foot down for that one. In the end, like most wedding things, it all worked out well.


I don't know if I have even talked about all the details. I can't even remember half of the things now because all I remember was enjoying the day. It has also been quite a few months now since we were married. As tempting as it is to only focus on the party aspect of the wedding with all of the reception details, it is also important to remember the ceremony too--as well as what everyone is going to wear.


Once I had the dress, all of the other fashion details fell into place. I was intrigued by this necklace on Anthropologie by its crafty, vintage flair. I knew it would be a statement piece, so I didn't go for anything else too flashy with the jewellery. On the day of the wedding, my Mom gave me an antique brooch from my Great Grandmother that I pinned to my bouquet; it was a complete surprise. My mother-in-law also gave me an heirloom engagement ring from their family to wear.

Anthropologie necklace


My dress was a White by Vera wang a-line lace dress from David's Bridal. As you can see, it looks quite different on a model than a real person. When I tried it on, I loved how it fit me like a glove. It's not the flashiest, puffiest dress of all time. I thought it matched my personality and the style of the wedding. You can't really wear a ballgown to a barn wedding anyway. 

White by Vera wang wedding dress

The lace bolero, also White by Vera Wang, was a last minute addition. When I went back to pick up my dress after it had been altered, my parents noticed the bolero in the store and thought I should try it on. It seemed to match so perfectly with the dress and complete the whole look. My bouquet was made of lovely, blue hydrangeas. The corsages for the Moms were made up of baby's breath. 

White by Vera Wang lace bolero


And we can't forget about the groom's fashion. The dapper groom wore a suit from Sidonio's for Men in Guelph, Ontario with a blue tie from Moores and suspenders from Le Chateau. My Mother-in-law and I made his boutonni√®re the day before the wedding with some of the lavender and baby's breath we bought for the tables. That is some Pinterest-worthy D.I.Y inspiration:

D.I.Y baby's breath boutonniere

I also loved this "bride" shirt from J Crew that I wore on the day of the wedding to get ready in and the day after at breakfast. It was nice that many of the guests were able to join us the next day after all of the wedding hype had died down. I think everyone genuinely enjoyed themselves. 

J Crew bride shirt

Don't be fooled: wedding planning is a lot of work. Is it worth it? I would say it's worth it to make something you are both happy with, but not worth it enough to kill yourself with stress over. Enjoy the process and most of all, enjoy the day as much as you can. 

1 comment:

  1. I was married here and it is a fantastic venue. The food, service and mostly the staff were truly amazing. Despite the pouring rain storm, constant emails requesting changes, and nervous energy, these guys delivered the most enchanting vow renewal night.

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