Nathan and I planned our wedding in 3 ½ months (why not?) and had nearly 200 guests. It was a hectic time but I had so much fun and wouldn’t have changed a thing. I’m a graphic designer and illustrator so I really enjoyed having the opportunity to make so much stuff for the wedding myself.
THEME: The first thing we decided was to have a traditional mariachi band play at the wedding and that ended up setting the theme and tone of the day. We had a mix of traditional Mexican elements with organic and folk styles (I had to fit in animals). Somehow it all fit together and it was both festive and unique to our styles and it lent itself well to the laid back, casual and fun atmosphere that we were going for.
INVITATIONS: I illustrated and designed the invitations. It was a fold out little poster with an illustration on one side and all of the wedding info on the other. I also created a website to complement it for the RSVP (which made it so easy) and other information for guests.
CEREMONY & RECEPTION SITE: Both the ceremony and the reception were held outdoors at a beautiful little cottage set on a secluded 160 acres in Central Florida. The ceremony took place in front of the house in the brick courtyard and the reception immediately followed in back of the house overlooking the lake. The cottage, which was incredibly unique and built by hand, was the perfect size to hold the cake, guest book, and to serve food from.
PROGRAMS: Our wedding was outside in the middle of July in Florida so I decided to make the programs hand fans (it may have been cruel not to). On one side of the fan I illustrated the faces of the wedding party and our families and on the other I wrote out what was happening at the wedding. I printed out each side on my home printer and had a cutting and gluing party to attach them to popsicle sticks.
GOWN & ATTIRE: My dress was from J.Crew. I wanted something simple, understated yet unique, and comfortable. J.Crew was one of the first places I looked and I loved the dress I tried on immediately. My mom and I made the hairpiece I wore out of a re-worked silk flower and pieces of lace that we added beading to. The bridesmaids also wore dresses from J.Crew in a kelly green color and the guys wore shirts and vests from Urban Outfitters.
CENTERPIECES: The centerpieces were my favorite things to make. My idea was so make mini forests in the middle of each table using tissue paper, glass jars and branches. It ended up working out great and was so easy and cheap. I found the jars from uline.com (for only $3 a jar!), ordered the colored tissue paper, and hunted down branches from around the neighborhood. I made tissue paper flowers, affixed them to the branches and placed them in jars with paper grass at the bottom. I also painted a few animals and cut them out of paper and placed them at the bottom to finish the ‘scene.’
FLOWERS: The only fresh flowers I had were for the wedding party and myself and were mainly a mix of orchids, ferns, and dahlias. My bouquet used white orchids and mixed greens and it was based off of a photo I found. The bridesmaids had a bit more color with coral and yellow dahlias.
CAKE: I loved how the cake turned out so much. When I found out how much wedding cakes cost I was tempted to find an alternative but I’m really glad that I swallowed the shock and decided to go with one. The bakery I used, Bake Me a Cake, did a fantastic job. I brought them a few sketches of the ideas I had, gave them my wedding invitation, and photos of the centerpieces and this is what came out! It was perfect.
PINATAS: When we decided on the mariachi band and other Mexican touches I naturally had to incorporate piñatas. I knew that I wasn’t really into the idea of a formal cake cutting (and couldn’t bear to cut into such a pretty thing) so we decided to have a piñata hitting instead of the cake cutting. Nathan and I were blindfolded, spun around, and went at our respective piñatas as the mariachi band played and the guys who ran the place surprised us with mini fireworks. It was so much fun.
MUSIC: The mariachi band was all we needed. They were amazing and were the highlight of the wedding. They played for both the ceremony and the reception the 8 of them were dressed to perfection in their traditional attire.
FAVORS: We created a little fruit stand to give away fruit as our favors. I originally wanted to give away Florida oranges but since they were out of season we decided on the next best thing, Georgia peaches. We had a local vendor that drives them down from Georgia every week bring us extra crates the week of the wedding. Guests could pick their fruit and put them in brown paper ‘apple bags’ that I stamped with our names and wedding date.