Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Quest to a Wedding

Warning this does get a little lovey dovey...

            I know that it sounds stupid but this whole wedding thing has become a quest. A quest to prove that I can have a great wedding pieced together with some help from some really awesome people, and without the help of a wedding planner and some of the other pushy professionals who want to take my money. Yes once again I am being stubborn as all get out, but I refuse to pay the outrageous prices that some of these places are asking. I have however resigned myself to the fact that I am going to pay for a photographer, as this is probably one of the more important aspects (to me anyway) about this whole shindig. I mean really when am I ever going to wear a dress like this again? I can tell you when… never. So I want to have some evidence of the occasion.
            So in my quest I have decided that I would try to craft most of this wedding myself. And so far I have had a blast with it. My first project was one that may or may not really have anything to do with the wedding. I took one of the old paddles that we had lying around and decided it needed to have what will be my new last name on it. I’m thinking that it will have over our door on the porch. I did however quickly realize why someone would charge you several hundred dollars to do it. It was rather involved, but I am one of those who enjoy a project that can get intricate and involved.
The paddle. I was hoping that the crackle paint
would have turn out better than it did
            The centerpieces have been a little easier. I found some great little baskets and easels at Michael’s Crafts, and while there found invitations and matching thank you cards, some stain on sale for $1.00 and went to town. While I liked the dark look of the baskets and easels, I got to thinking and decided that I wanted them to look a little older, so a little dry brushing with paint I already had, and most of my centerpieces are done. I am also planning on using a lot of things we already have around the house. I a have a rather extensive river glass collection that is actually acting as the inspiration and color pallet for the rest of it. We have several really cool river rocks that will make an appearance and act as a deterrent to anyone who thinks they are going to misbehave. I was also able to score some various glass containers on sale to fit in the above-mentioned baskets. I am also saving any glass container that comes from the grocery store, as they will be used in the centerpieces as well. As you have probably picked up on I am going for a mix of eclectic, country, rustic, paddling, and nature theme. And yes that is a pretty accurate description of Charlie and I, and our style. The best part is that the whole theme is pretty easy going so nothing has to be perfect (or expensive). It’s really not that hard if you are willing to put the effort into it. The best part of this whole thing is that I feel totally inspired by all of this and much of what we use at the reception we can easily use again around the house.

Original finish
A little bit of stain
Dry brushed to look a little older

            One of the most helpful guides in this whole process is a book called Bargain Brides. It is like the cheap girls guide to a wedding. They list alternative ideas and tricks to get what you want at cheaper prices. For instance booking a space for the reception saying that it is a family reunion (technically it kinda is for most folks) and getting a cheaper rate on the venue, and like the bride who pulled this said what are they going to do once we are there and have paid for the place? Genius. The one thing that I am going to need help with is obviously the dress. Like I said earlier I hardly wear anything other than my work uniform, rafting clothes, or jeans. I have found a dress that I absolutely fell in love with from a little known resource, J. Crew. I had no idea that they had wedding dresses, but thanks to Bargain Brides I checked them out and I think that I have found the dress. Plus I plan on having it shortened later on so it is less formal and wear it for the larger party that we plan on having after the honeymoon. I won't post a picture of it here because I do want it to be a surprise. Probably much to my mother’s dismay I refuse to go to bridal stores. I think she was hoping that I would get a little more girlie about all of this, and for me I am. I’m just hoping she doesn’t mind bringing out her inner Martha Stewart. Thank goodness she was on board for skipping the bridal show. The more I researched the show the more I knew that it wasn’t going to be my scene. There seems to be a bunch of useless crap that I would never use after the wedding. At least by using mason jars I can reuse them later, and those that I turn into lanterns will be turned into citronella candles for the deck. I love repurposing.
The first official purchase for the wedding. Thanks Mom
these are going to look great in my hair.

             We are hoping to have our extremely small ceremony (we are talking maybe 20 people) along the river in the James River Park system. This place holds so much meaning for us, and is quite centrally located for all those in attendance. We’re hoping to borrow the bus from River City Rafting for transportation (you really can’t expect anything less from us) and we are using the backyard for the reception. For the reception I am planning on making furniture out of palates. That’s right palates. I have found a ton of plans on how to use palates for all kinds of stuff. I’m pretty excited about this project. Then afterwards we have backyard furniture for        around the fire pit. I will be sure to post more pictures of the wedding crafts as they are assembled.             
            One of the most amazing things that I am noticing about planning for this wedding is how excited that I am about becoming a wife. Since Charlie and I have been together I have always felt that we were a team and that this was the last relationship that I was going to be in. And thank goodness because we both agree that dating again would be the pits. When I think about it I am overcome with a mixture of excitement and calmness all at the same time. It is an amazing feeling that I get to come home to someone who completely understands me and is okay with the fact that I am not always the easiest person to get along with. He’s ok with me picking up thing from the side of the road to turn into art projects and he is even okay with the fact that I really hate folding laundry. It’s an amazing thing when you find someone who is willing and wanting to put up with you and all of your faults. We are going to have an amazing life together I know. It won’t always be easy, but I always know that he’s going to have my back and I will always have his. I love you Charlie Holland, always have and always will. 

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