Our wedding was quite small, but I promise you, we still brought the funk- in a good way!
In planning our wedding our hope was to create an event that was both meaningful and fun, for our guests as well as ourselves. We placed a strong emphasis on elements that would reflect our values and interests, and we wanted our wedding to respect tradition while remaining unmistakably ours in its execution. For us, that meant incorporating our faith, creativity, humor, community, photography, music, and exploring do-it-yourself choices, and taking a hands-on approach whenever possible.
When it came to choosing a venue for our ceremony we didn’t have to look further than our own church, Vineyard Church of Columbus. We have come to love the friends and community that we have developed within the church since we started attending about three years ago- it was definitely the right choice for us, I don’t think we could have tied the knot any where else. Being the largest church in the Vineyard movement the building is quite large but the chapel was the perfect fit for our intimate affair.
Throughout our ceremony and reception we placed our hand-made chalkboards which were made of up-cycled picture frames that we picked up at a local thrift shop. We hand lettered as best as we could, the boards with special messages for our guests. We felt that the chalkboards helped to enhance our relaxed mind-set for that day since we wanted it to be as laid back as possible.
I think the best part of these chalkboards is the fact that they are now hanging throughout our house being used as our everyday decor. Maybe someday I’ll erase our wedding messages, but for now, I enjoy seeing them in our home as a reminder of our wedding day.
One fun aspect of our wedding was our guest book that we made through Shutterfly. If you’ve never made a photo book before I highly recommend it- it’s super easy to do and with all the discount codes and sales out there, it can be a relatively cheap option opposed to scrap booking. We were able to take our engagement photos from our photographer (since we paid for the print release) and inserted them into a guestbook format that had a bunch of fun layouts and “activity pages” for our guests to have a ball filling out! It was a nice personal touch that we feel really reflected our more humorous side.
We had a good time picking out our wedding bands as well. Josh’s was actually purchased from a friend who owns a jewelry store up in Lansing, Medawar Jewelers. We picked out a white tungsten carbide ring for Josh, and it looks just like white gold but is much, much stronger and more scratch resistant (meaning that it would have to be shattered to get it off if anything were ever happen). We took a more custom route for my wedding band because we didn’t like the enhancers that were made for my engagement ring. We opted to have two thin bands with diamonds soldered to my engagement ring to create a three banded ring. Which I particularly love because of the verse from Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” It was my “something new”. Love it.
We also had several family touches throughout the wedding as well, which were perhaps my favorite of all. Since we didn’t have a ring bearer for our wedding, we needed some way to get the rings up the aisle other than the best man’s pocket. We opted to have the Bible from my mother’s parent’s wedding 5o years ago be that vehicle to get the rings to where they needed to be. I simply hot glued some ribbon with lace around the Bible for some decoration and used some silver cording to attach the rings to the Bible for their walk down the aisle, being carried by our best man.
I also wore some pieces from various family members on the big day. My “something old” and “something borrowed” was the bracelet I wore. It is actually is a necklace that belongs to Josh’s grandmother. With my gown I couldn’t really wear a necklace but this one was long enough to double over and wear as a bracelet. That necklace was given to Josh’s grandmother on her wedding day and I feel so blessed to have been able to wear it on my wedding day.
As far as my “something blue”, that was the ring from my maternal grandmother. It was given to me a week before the wedding and is an aquamarine stone (my birthstone) that was given to my grandmother from my grandfather on their anniversary the year I was born. Being able to wear that ring was definitely a sentimental touch.
We were also lucky enough to be given the cake topper from my paternal grandparents wedding, also 50 years ago (how wonderful is it that we have such great examples of marriage in our family?) that we were able to update for our own use. I was really careful to preserve the floral arbor that originally fit the top of the cake topper and DIY’ed the current bunting with some scrap book paper, wood skewers and my handy dandy hot glue gun. I love that we were able to update the topper just enough to make it ours, but still keep the history and integrity of the piece- one that we can pass down to our children someday.
Keeping with cake theme, a while back we were given a cake cutter/server from my great-grandmother that she and my great-grandfather used at their fiftieth- that’s right, fiftieth- anniversary party to cut their cake. She happened upon it one weekend we went to visit and thought it would be perfect for our wedding. And it was indeed.
Another DIY of ours was our unity candle. We opted for this to be added to our ceremony because we loved how it symbolized how two families were becoming one. Doing this ourselves also helped us save a few pennies as well. We looked for unity candles for quite some time, trying to find the right colors and the right prices without any luck. We did however have leftover ribbon and lace from our Bible project and opted to buy our own candles for a much cheaper price. We simply added some pearl detailing to the edges of the ribbon to give it a more finished look. We are much happier with how they turned out than with anything that we could have bought and allowed us to personalize our wedding even more.
A lot like most couples, we decided to make our own centerpieces for our reception. Our end result was quite different from what we had originally planned, but we are so glad we went with this option. We picked up several packages of different sized candles and the stainless steel candle plates from Ikea during one of our road trips a few months prior to the wedding. We simply were going to group the candles in threes, all different sizes on the plates. A week before the wedding we picked up wreaths from Home Depot (that happened to be on sale- cha-ching!) kept them cool in the garage until the day of the rehearsal. I feel that it reflects our winter wedding quite nicely with the evergreen wreaths and the candlelight was perfect for our evening reception.
One last detail for our wedding was probably the most meaningful of them all. Instead of the traditional wedding favor that most newlyweds send their guests home with, we chose our own route- a donation to a meaningful charity. The chalkboard explains it all- “With much thought and consideration we have chosen a special way to say “thank you” for sharing our wedding day. In lieu of traditional favors, we have made a donation in your honor to the Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation in loving memory of Steven Johnson, a dear friend of the groom. We feel the finest of gifts is one which helps others live longer and healthier lives.” As it turns out, it was the perfect favor, and it brought about quite a few tears amongst our guests.
So there you have it, most of the little details for our quaint little wedding day. And when I say little, we aren’t exaggerating- we had 35 people TOPS at our wedding, including our two photographers. And it turns out, that was the perfect number for us, not too big where we couldn’t visit with all of our guests, and not too small where we had too much time on our hands. In all seriousness, it was truly our perfect day and we feel so blessed that it was what we hoped and dreamed it would be.
Are any of you guys and gals out there getting ready to tie the knot? I would love to hear what details you are all planning because in my book, the details are what make the day. Are you incorporating any family items, or are you starting from scratch? There’s so much to consider when planning a wedding and I wish you the best of luck in making the day perfectly yours.