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Unfake brides. Unfake weddings. Go on, get inspired. You know you want to.

Are you a bride wanting to be featured? If so, go here and let me know! If you are a photographer, please hit me up via Two Bright Lights or send me an email.

 

Monday
Oct312011

{Unfake Wedding Feature} Trisha & Robert 

Next to me and The Candyman, I swear this is one of the most handsome couples I’ve ever featured here on The Thirty-Something Bride. I’m certain that this couple is a ton more humble than we are! Hope you enjoy this wedding as much as I do!

Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Trisha & Robert!

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The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

We did.

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer: Courtney Bowlden

DJ/Band: John Coyne from Melody Music

Reception Venue: Meridian Valley Country Club

Ceremony Venue: St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

Planner (if you used one): N/A

Transportation: We rode from the church to the reception in my uncle’s restored hotrod.

Guest Hotel: No specific hotel was used.

Flowers: Laura from Marine View Florist

Dress (please list the shop and the dress Designer/Style): from RMine Bridal in Studio City, CA. Pronovias dress style Friburgo

Accessories: Badgley Mischka shoes

Hair/Make-Up: I did my own hair and make-up.

Tuxedos: Groom had his suit custom made.

Catering: Meridian Valley Country Club

Extras:  Chocolates and caramels provided from Sweet Necessities.

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Who was your favorite vendor and why?

Everyone was wonderful and easy to work with, but probably David Burch, the manager of the country club. He served as a planner and since we were planning from out of state. His help was greatly appreciated.

Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

The reception site was local and where my grandparents are members. The florist and DJ were recommended from the reception site. The photographer was found from my husband doing many hours of research online. The cake was made by my sister’s best friend who works as a pastry chef in Seattle, WA.

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How long did you take to plan your wedding?

About 10 months.

How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

140 were invited, about 125-130 were in attendance.

What was your budget?

$15K-$20K

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Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

Rings, but not honeymoon!

Were you over or under budget? By how much?

Within the budget

How large was your bridal party?

3 bridesmaids, 3 groomsmen and 2 ring bearers.

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

Match boxes ($150), caramels and chocolates…not sure on cost.

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Did you include any special family traditions?

Nothing specific.

What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

No big crisis, probably just that some family wasn’t quite on time, which impacted the pictures before the ceremony.

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What was your biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

No huge wedding planning crisis, but a big crisis during the rehearsal dinner. The dinner was at a nice restaurant/hotel in Seattle, it was the hotel that was planned for the wedding night. When at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding, Robert went to check on the next night’s reservation. It was said that the reservation was cancelled (which was not the case, it was in fact confirmed the week before). Through MUCH discussion and confusion the general manager came and explained the exact suite was now occupied and she would try and get the room cleared before the next day. It created frustration and headaches and unfortunately didn’t allow the dinner to go as planned, took up the time for speeches and toasts. On the day of the wedding we were notified that the suite was cleared and after the reception we checked in as planned.

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day?

Surprisingly everyone got along and was easy going…honestly!

What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

The wedding dress, after purchasing and alterations it was more than I’d like to spend but so beautiful.

What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

Nothing!

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

The cake, since it was a friend she only charged for ingredients but it was beautiful and very delicious.

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What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

During the reception Robert serenaded me! It was so good everyone thought it was planned!

What was the funniest thing that happened?

Probably the choreographed dance with the father of the bride and bride. It started with a classic dance to Frank Sinatra then jumped to the Blues Brothers.

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

When one of the groomsmen sang an amazing rendition of the Lord’s Prayer during the ceremony.

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Did you DIY? What parts?

Yes, we made our own invitations, programs, centerpieces, hair and make-up.

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Thailand! We’re going in 2 months.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

The only thing would be to take more time for family pictures, and to take more pictures with our friends.

 

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Congratulations to Trisha & Robert!

Tuesday
Oct252011

{Unfake Wedding Feature!} Barbie + Ken Get Married!

Well, it’s about time right? This happy little couple has been together for what feels like forever, right? What took them so long? Well, we all know that Barbie was focusing on her career for quite some time, finally getting that hot pink Corvette she’d been dreaming of, buying her own dream home and even an RV-style camper! Ken was always there for her, patiently waiting in the wings while Barbie reached high for her dreams and aspirations.

So during a much-needed vacation, it was Barbie who actually proposed to Ken! As usual, Barbie took the reins to lead the way!

So without further adieu, let’s start this Unfake Wedding, shall we?

Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Barbie & Ken!

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The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

We tried! Since they started painting on Ken’s tightie-whities a few decades ago, we got tired of trying to get them off and just fell asleep.

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer Beatrice DeGuigne Photography

DJ/Band We used an iPod!

Reception Venue The Mattel Room at The Faraway Castle, in Plasticity.

Ceremony Venue The balcony at The Faraway Castle.

Planner It was all me!

Transportation Ken drove the Corvette!

Guest Hotel The Faraway Castle

Flowers We made our bouquets from flowers we got at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby. Weren’t they beautiful?

Dress  The Barbie Gown by Mattel, was purchased at The Fairy Godmother Shop. It was custom made just for me! Shoes were from The Cinderella Store (it’s the only shop that carries my size!).

Hair/Make-Up My MOH/Sister Skipper did it for me!

Tuxedos The Prince Charming Emporium for the groom, Groomsmen were outfitted by The Mensdoll Warehouse.

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Who was your favorite vendor and why?

Absolutely my photographer Beatrice of Beatrice De Guigne Photography! Her attention to detail was amazing! She also did my boudoir and some artistic shots of me prior to the wedding day (you can see those here, here and here) , so I totally felt at ease with her – comfortable in my “skin” and relaxed during the entire day!

I also want to give a shout out to The Rock-n-Roll Bride who first featured our wedding back in August! I just love her site!

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Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

Well, I’m somewhat limited in who I choose due to contractual limitations I have with my Mattel empire, but it was definitely all about my gut feelings! I went with who I really loved!

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How long did you take to plan your wedding?

About 3 months. Ken and I have been together for so long, it was easy to jump right in and figure it all out. We knew we wanted it to be small and intimate.

How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

We invited four and four came.

What was your budget (you don’t have to share the exact amount, but you know brides want cold, hard numbers! A range would also be fine!)?

Let’s just say we didn’t go into debt. We’ve been able to save a lot over the last  few years, what with the multiple iterations of myself for sale. I get percent royalties from all the Barbie versions. It was nice to simply pay for what we wanted without a whole lot of thought. Thought can be difficult for us.

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Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

We did not include rings because we decided not to exchange them. I know, it seems very unromantic not to, but since we’ve had such an undefined relationship for so long, we decided to keep it that way. And we did not include a honeymoon in our budget. We’re still deciding where to go (again, it’s all about that thinking stuff that makes it hard to decide!). Ken says he wants to go to the mountains for a ski vacation, but I look much cuter in a bikini. Besides, standing upright is difficult enough without putting skis on these tiny feet!

Were you over or under budget? By how much (you can give a percentage)?

Budget-schmudgit!

How large was your bridal party?

We had two groomsmen and two bridesmaids, my sisters Skipper and Midge.

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Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

No. Since we had such a small wedding, we figured that we’d do without. Besides, what could I give them that they don’t already  have?

Did you include any special family traditions?

I am the very first in our small family to get married, so we considered the wedding a new tradition! We simply followed what we saw on blogs and added our own, personal twist.

What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

Oh my gosh! Ken’s shirt didn’t have any sleeves! He totally forgot to check it when he picked up his tuxedo! I was super bummed because I had these really cute cuff links I’d gotten him off of Etsy and how can a guy wear cuff links if he doesn’t have any cuffs! I was so mad at him for ruining the big surprise. Oh well. I got over it and got on with the magical day!

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What was your biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

I swear, the people at The Faraway Castle were SUCH a pain in the ass to deal with. I had wanted to use the carriage that Cinderella took to the ball where she met Prince Charming. They told me it was available and I paid for the dang thing, but then a few days before the wedding they told me they couldn’t locate The Fairy Godmother dust and it was still a pumpkin. I’m still waiting to get a refund on that. 

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day (you can opt out of this if you’d like)?

Skipper. I swear, you’d think by now she’d be used to the fact that she isn’t ME. But no. She had to go and try to make it all about her, as usual.  She refused to wear pretty pink lamé bridesmaid dress I picked out claiming the color didn’t suit her. But I mean, come on, PINK is my signature color! Midge finally pulled her aside and must have told her to get with the program because she finally chilled the fuck out.

What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

Oh my gosh! My pearl encrusted gown was divine and worth every penny!

What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

The vintage inspired props. I mean, they made for some cute photos. I just did it because everyone else was doing it all over the internet and I thought it was cool. My guests did too, but they don’t read all the blogs like I do. In my experienced eyes, it looked a little cliché.

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What did you love that was also the cheapest?

I loved my color coordinated soda bottles! I found them on-line for a steal! It was a little strange though because they were empty.

What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

During our first dance as husband and wife, Ken dipped me as his final dance move! I was so shocked! After all our time together, I had no idea that Ken could bend at the waist!

What was the funniest thing that happened?

O.M.G. it was SO funny! So you can see from the photographs that the balcony at The Faraway Castle has those really wide spaces? Well one of the groomsmen accidently stepped in one! He fell and because Midge was being escorted by him, she fell too! No one got hurt (thank goodness because repair work on mold injected plastics is SO EXPENSIVE these days and Mattel's PPO plan does NOT have a restorative plastics clause), but they ended up in a tumbled mess on the floor! We all had a great laugh at their expense!

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

Definitely Ken’s vows. He talked all about how he’s waited his entire life for me and how all his dreams were finally coming true! It was super-sweet.

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Did you DIY? What parts?

I had a girl’s night during the wedding planning process and me and my maids got flowers from the craft store and totally put together the alter flowers. I didn’t carry a bouquet, mostly because my fingers don’t bend around things very well and I didn’t want to draw attention to that fact. I don’t think anyone really noticed! I got our vintage photo booth frame prop at a garage sale and spray painted it gold. So easy and so cheap!

Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Like I mentioned earlier, we’re still undecided on a honeymoon location. Honestly, I think we should just pack up the Barbie Camper and hit the road! I mean, it can tow the Corvette (or the Jeep!) and everything! And G.I. Joe said Ken could borrow some of his gear for mountain climbing, so it’s really a win-win situation!

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If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

I’d start planning a little earlier, for one. Also, I’d consider inviting more people. There were a few people like G.I Joe who were pissed about not getting invited (and you kind of don’t want to piss Joe off).  We left out my Hispanic counterpart Teresa, my African American edition Christie, and Steven (Christie's boyfriend). We did not invite a few cousins including  Todd (Stacie's twin brother), Stacie (Todd's twin sister), Kelly, Krissy, and Francie. I wanted to invite Blaine, an Australian surfer I was friendly with during my split with Ken in 2004, but Ken thought that would give Blaine the wrong idea.

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Congratulations to Ken & Barbie! At last!

Monday
Oct172011

{Unfake Wedding Feature} A Boulder Brunch Wedding!

I love when things come full-circle. Closing the loop always gives me unexpected pleasure. This Unfake Wedding is no exception. A while back, I featured the family-style engagement shoot of Corrine and Corey.  Now I get to feature their wedding! WOOT! WOOT!

Both Corey and Corrine have previous marriages under their belts. Corrine has a child from that previous marriage. What? Not the fairy tale you image? Perhaps we need to re-write those stories then, because the reality is that the world is not a perfect place. “Perfection” might come in packages you might not recognize at first. I think this wedding is a perfect example of that!

That’s why I’m so excited to feature this Unfake Wedding. I think it’s a great reflection of what actually happens in life sometimes: a second wedding, children. Those things certainly don’t mean that the second time around there is less love, less excitement or any reason why you wouldn’t/shouldn’t celebrate being a bride or a groom all over again!

Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Corrine & Corey!

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The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

A bride never tells…

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer  Autumn Cutaia

Guitarist  Michael Lancaster

Reception Venue  Green Briar Inn

Ceremony Venue   Green Briar Inn

Guest Hotel  Courtyard Marriott Downtown, Boulder, Colorado

Flowers  My mom made us beautiful broach and ribbon bouquets.

Dress  Venus Bridal/Pallas Athena

Accessories  Charming Charlie for my jewelry and Off Broadway for my shoes. They were on clearance!

Hair/Make-Up  Leslie Snyder

Groom’s Suit K&G

Catering  Green Briar Inn

Cake  We don’t believe in wedding cake; Corey has a theory that as soon as
you eat wedding cake the sex stops… so we had chocolate covered strawberries!

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Who was your favorite vendor and why?

My photographer Autumn! She was flexible and fun and made me /us look fabulous!

Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

We both had big weddings the last time around so we wanted to have a smaller more intimate venue. We also Didn’t want to break the budget. We opted to do a Brunch Wedding since that is our favorite of all meals… minimal dancing just a bunch of close friends, mimosas, Coors Lights and Bloody Mary's!

T30SB Commentary: Mmmmmm, Bloody Mary’s…

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How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

Annoying topic for me…. 70 invited 45 responded yes, maybe 30 showed… come on people if you say you are going to be there be there or just say no in the first place!

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What was your budget ?

$3000-$4000

Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

Corey’s ring was $30… thank carbon fiber for being an affordable trend!

Were you over or under budget? By how much (you can give a percentage)?

Pretty dead on!

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How large was your bridal party?

Four, including the bride and groom! Should have been 5 but the MOH is most favorably pregnant after numerous tries so travel restrictions kept her away! She was terribly missed.

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

We did coffee packets (the perfect blend to represent the blending of family) they were about
$100. We also did custom pencils and crossword puzzles to keep guests busy and to go
with brunch theme… Pencils were $25 and I had card stock in my closet for the printing.

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Did you include any special family traditions?

We did the traditional German plate breaking (Polterabend) the night before the big day…the bride and groom are supposed to clean up the plates to keep evil spirits at bay and to show their union as they work together to clean up. Funny story: someone over shot the front stoop and destroyed our storm door breaking all the glass out of it… It was too funny!

Also, we were also lucky to have my new aunt bring a snowman ornament to represent Corey’s mom who has passed away. We tied it to his sand…. she was there in spirit!

What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

Day of was pretty easy, but by then I’d say I didn’t care so much! The snowman ornament I mentioned above was hanging from the sand vase and well, that actually sort of broke so his aunt came up with the idea of gluing it together with a piece of gum… who knew MacGyver was at the wedding!

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What was you biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

We had our A/C go out the same week of the wedding. 100+ degrees with 5 additional family members staying with us. Needless to say the nest egg went to pay for the A/C. So, thank you Visa for sponsoring our big day!

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day (you can opt out of this if you’d like)?

I’m pleading the fifth!

What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

The Guitarist!!! I mean we could have just played an iPod, but he was amazing and added something so classic and charming to the wedding. He even learned to play Carolina in My Mind for the groom and his family who originate from North Carolina…it made for an awesome first dance moment!

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What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

Having my dress pressed… it ended up being wrinkly anyways and you couldn’t tell.

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

My flower girl’s dress was too cute and I got it for $15 at Target!

What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

Corey took out his iPhone which is where he wrote his vows.

T30SB Commentary: Nooooooooooooooo.

What was the funniest thing that happened?

My brother’s toast was hilarious! He did a mad-lib…. Corey and I had to pick words to fill in the blanks… I’ve never seen such a small group of people laugh so loud!

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

It was a really emotional day…more so then I thought it would be. My dad has been really sick and had just conquered cancer in the last year, so I think having him there to hug me and walk me down the aisle was very emotional for me. I also think our vows… having experienced divorce made the process of marrying the right person extra emotional and special. Something about confessing your love like that can’t ever be explained…only felt.

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Well, we share custody of my son with his dad and he ended up asking to have Aiden over the weekend in August that we were going to use to go camping as a family…so instead, we packed up the Harley and headed to Sturgis, South Dakota! It was so fun and spontaneous and as soon as we pay off that A/C in 15 years, Corey promised me a beach vacation!

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

Nothing… life is never perfect and rarely goes according to plan. It was all an experience: good parts and not so good parts. I think my only regret is I should have eaten a lot more!!! Definitely one of those cake-replacing chocolate covered strawberries… and another bagel with lox! They were to die for!

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Congratulations Corrine & Corey!

Wednesday
Oct122011

{Unfake Wedding Feature!} Mike & Jennifer, Virginia Chic!

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for these pictures to be done! I think the bride was too....but I'm so happy to finally have the Unfake Wedding of Mike and Jennifer! I actually got to meet Jennifer here in Charlotte when I dropped off her fascinator to her. It was a pleasure to meet a bride face-to-face! She was so sweet and unassuming and we sat and chatted over coffee long after our "transaction" was done. Jennifer has shared quite a bit of her experience with us, which I love! Veteran Brides really do have so much to share to help those in the throws of planning their big day! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! Soo....


Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of Mike & Jennifer!

The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

Ha! It seemed to take forever to get my dress off! It appeared to be super glued to my body; it was tight to begin with and add a night of rain, dancing and sweating (yeah, gross) and it was not coming off without a fight. Then we decided we were hungry. Since we didn’t get to sample the hors d' oeuvres at the cocktail hour decided to eat all of the ones the caterer packed for us…which lead to eating leftover mashed potatoes, and then sampling the various desserts, which pretty much induced a food coma and we both fell asleep on the couch in our suite. We are wild.

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer  Sera Petras Photography

DJ/Band  Wes Fleet, Zoned Entertainment 

Reception Venue  The Inn at Old Virginia

Ceremony Venue  The Inn at Old Virginia

Planner  One of my best friends, Conni Young, helped plan and coordinate as her gift to me. It was the best gift EVER. I don’t know how people do it without someone to help.

Transportation  The Staunton City Trolley

Guest Hotel  The Stonewall Jackson Hotel

Flowers  Valley Florist

Dress  Allure Bridal Style 8713 purchased at The Bridal House in Charlotte, NC (LOVE them)!

Hair/Make-Up  Mill Street Salon and Spa in Staunton, VA.

Tuxedos  I really, really hate rented tuxedos and decided that I wanted seersucker or a lighter suit since it was an outdoor spring wedding. Last fall I was browsing the summer sale at Belk and found Haspel seersucker suits on sale for $120, a 75% savings! Everyone purchased their own and they were perfect.

Catering  Brent Hisey, Now You’re Cooking

Cake   The caterer provided the cakes and pies as well!

Ceremony/Cocktail Hour Quartet (which I don’t remember at all): Peter Markush 

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Custom fascinator by yours truly at TruLu Couture!

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Who was your favorite vendor and why?

I really loved my caterer. I sort of blindly hired him – mostly because a lot of others were either booked, would not respond to my emails or cost more than I was willing pay. I am completely neurotic about food and was terrified that it would have that ‘catered’ appearance/taste. The food was great! Everyone raved about it. He let me create the menu and everything turned out so well. He was a very hands-off vendor…almost to the point of concern. I later figured out it was because he knew what he was doing, and I felt really stupid for bugging the crap out of him all along. To this day I suspect he may think I’m crazy.

I also really loved The Bridal House where I got my dress. I went to the fancy shops and tried on dresses that were out of my budget, but really never found anything I loved and mostly found the staff to be cold and acting like they worked at Kleinfelds (Hello, this is Charlotte, not New York and you aren’t selling Vera Wang). TBH is a very unassuming shop in a strip mall off of WT Harris Blvd. and I was sure it was going to be a flop. I was wrong. The staff there is SO sweet and friendly and immediately made us the center of their world. The dress I ended up choosing was the least expensive of all that I tried on and I got nothing but complements on it.

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Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

No, not really…it was mostly just madness on my part. Just in time to plan a wedding, Mike and I relocated from Richmond to Charlotte to start new jobs. What started out as a wedding being planned from an hour away became a destination wedding being planned from four hours away. I relied on Google and cyber stalking (via photographers websites, etc.) to find vendors. I feel that I got really lucky because all of my vendors were great, there were honestly no major issues.

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

I booked the venue and photographer early and held off a little while on everything else. We were engaged for eleven months and I would say I worked on it pretty consistently, but not that hard, the entire time.

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How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

We invited 215 and the final head count was 140. – Which was what I was aiming for.

What was your budget?

I wouldn’t say that we really had a budget, but we definitely had a number in our heads. My parents gave us a very generous check (so I didn’t have to fight with my Mom about the shocking costs of linens, etc.) and Mike and I paid anything that didn’t cover. We paid for everything along the way, so it wasn’t too bad. His parents also helped with various things. I think when we totaled it all up it was encroaching on mid 5-figures. It adds up quick!

Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

Yes, that’s included in the number above.

Were you over or under budget? By how much?

Over. I think we were hoping to land at about $25,000…that didn’t happen. I think we were over by about 50%.

How large was your bridal party?

Twelve people, plus a flower girl and ring bearer. A little larger than I sometimes feel is appropriate after people reach a certain age, but there was no one that we were willing to cut. Every single person in the wedding was there because they are an important part of our lives and we wanted them to be a part of our day.

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Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

Yes. My sweet mother and her friends made various flavors of homemade fudge. I have no idea how much it costs – just the cost of ingredients. I ordered Kraft board boxes, candy bags and raffia from Nashville Wraps for a steal so they were really inexpensive, but cute.

Did you include any special family traditions?

No, not really. I wasn’t aware of any family traditions that we would include. It’s kind of a bummer, I do wish we had some. Are we in the minority here?

What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

RAIN. The rehearsal dinner was outdoors and it drizzled the entire time. We stayed outside anyway. I really wanted the ceremony to be outdoors and not under the tent, which was the backup plan. The rain held off until we said our “I do’s”…as soon as the minister pronounced us man and wife and we turned to exit, there was a Biblical clap of thunder and it poured for about 10 minutes. After that it held off for the rest of the night. The thunder was hysterical and perfectly timed (I’m still on the fence as to whether it was a loud approval from upstairs …or a warning). I really freaked out at the rehearsal dinner, but the day of the wedding had to come to terms with the fact there was nothing I could do about the weather. It really ended up being a non-issue and I worried for nothing.

The other disaster: One of the makeup artists at the salon REALLY sucked (think blue eye-shadow and red lips). This chick was the salon owner’s daughter and was using a GUIDE BOOK to figure out what colors/brushes/techniques to use. I was elsewhere getting pretty and completely oblivious to this, otherwise I might have had a stroke. My poor sister left looking like the Black Swan and friend Lindsay was taking on a clown persona after she was done. We were running out of time so only Lindsay was able to get her makeup fixed. My poor cousin, who was also 8 months pregnant, had to shower and start over because her makeup and hair were so bad. We were scrambling to re-do hair/makeup before the ceremony.

T30SB Commentary: This is a really hard place to step up and say something, for any woman. There’s something about being trapped in that damn chair, letting people do horrendous things to us, that scares women and somehow, seals their mouths shut! I am guilty of this myself. I had to tell two women I didn’t like their work and it SUCKED. BIG TIME. But whether bride, maid or just an every day client, you have the right to speak up if you don’t like what’s going on on your head/face.

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What was you biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

To be honest, there really was no crisis. I felt like there should have been, but everything went so smoothly.

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day (you can opt out of this if you’d like)?

I will opt out of this one.

T30SB Commentary: Dang. Does that mean there was one? You know there’s a story there…

What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

Flowers. I LOVED my flowers. They ended up being a big chuck of our ‘budget’ and of course were thrown away or died the next day, but they were so lovely. My Lily of the Valley bouquet was ridiculous, and it died before the night was over.

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What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

We got a suite for our wedding night. It was expensive and we honestly didn’t find it to be that great nor did we spend much time there. I would have rather just gotten a regular room and saved some $$.

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

I loved the flower for my hair (thanks!) and I love our “Guest Tree” that everyone fingerprinted and signed. It was from Etsy and I think I may have paid $30 for it.

T30SB Commentary: I made a custom fascinator for Jennifer via TruLu Couture, which is how we met!

What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

My three-year-old nephew Jack, who usually wants nothing to do with me since I’m a girl and I don’t know much about sports, became my stalker for the night. He would not leave my side, danced every dance with me and held on to my hand for dear life. It was so strange, but so sweet.

What was the funniest thing that happened ?

I had heard a story of Mike’s uncle Dick having some fun at a party a few months prior to the wedding. He had apparently decided to do a dance to Cotton Eye Joe (yeah..that song), much to everyone’s amusement. Mike and I arranged for the DJ to call him to the dance floor for an encore performance. All of the men in Mike’s family joined in and it was a riot. He wanted to kill me, but it was one of the funniest moments of the night.

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

Mike’s brother gave a really really sweet speech. I’m not much for being sentimental, but there was not a dry eye (at least from the women) in the house, including mine.

Did you DIY? What parts?

I work in the graphics and printing business, so I’m surrounded by a lot of creative people. I had a co-worker help me create coordinating programs, place cards and menu cards for the wedding. My aunt made the burlap table runners and as previously mentioned, my mother made the favors. I had big DIY plans, but with moving, etc. they just didn’t pan out.

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We went to the Sandals Emerald Bay in Exuma, Bahamas. We wanted, and needed, a resort where we could sit on our butts and drink pretty drinks after our crazy year (with or without the wedding). It was perfect. I’m not sure we would do the all-inclusive couples resort thing again – it gets pretty cheesy – but it was a great trip and we had an awesome time.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

Humm…not really anything. Everything turned out just as I wanted. Everyone that I wanted to be there was there, our families had a great time, we had a great time. You can think of a million different scenarios/styles/etc. for your wedding after the fact, but does anyone REALLY want to plan a wedding all over again? Not this girl!

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Congratulations to Mike & Jennifer!

Tuesday
Oct042011

{Nashville Unfake Wedding Feature} Kathleen + Mickey

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The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

Not telling!

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

PhotographerLaurie Carpenter

DJ/Band – Kyle Stephens, K&M Music

Reception VenueHouston Station

Ceremony VenueChurch of the Assumption

Planner (if you used one) – ME!

TransportationSignature Limousine (bought a Groupon for them)

Guest HotelHoliday Inn Vanderbilt

Flowers – Phillipe Chadwick (childhood friend of my sister’s)

Dress  The White Room,  Designer- Pronovias,  Style -Genova

AccessoriesKohl’s

Hair/Make-Up – Hair, Julie Holt at Hair Expressions,  Make-up, Shana Clary

Tuxedos Men’s Warehouse

CateringChef Christopher

CakeThe Bake Shoppe

Bridesmaid DressesDesigns by Sara Marie

Tables/Chairs/LinensLiberty Party Rental

Invitations – Melissa Sledge, Prim and Paper

Videographer – Matt Currier, Nashville Audio Video

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Who was your favorite vendor and why?

This is a 3-way tie for me!

#1 - Sara Marie made the bridesmaid dresses. Yes, sewed them by hand. I found a bridesmaid dress that I liked at a bridal shop, but it didn’t come in navy (my chosen color). So I found Sara Marie online and she said she could make the same dress in navy (with a few awesome alterations, like pockets!). She was INCREDIBLE. The dresses looked FANTASTIC on everyone, they cost the same as the dress in the store AND included alterations, and most importantly she was one of the most genuine and nicest people I have ever met. She also altered my Mom’s veil so that I could wear it again. (i.e. swapped out the 1977 “cap” it was on for a comb and removed some of the “hippie” daisies my Mom had on there ).

#2 – My photographer, Laurie Carpenter. She was so quick and easy to work with. One of the most helpful vendors throughout this whole process and she made me (who is a little uncomfortable in front of the camera) feel at ease. I already miss talking with her on a regular basis.

#3 – Josh Woodall at Chef Christopher. Josh was one of the most organized people I have ever worked with. He thought of things I never would have dreamed of for food/drinks/logistics and the food was DELICIOUS (or at least that is what everyone has told me !). This list was very hard to narrow down to 3 for me because Phillipe, Kyle, and Elizabeth Gilbreath at Houston Station were all AMAZING as well. I was very fortunate to have such wonderful vendors.

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Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

Word of mouth and SCOURING the internet. Literally I would spend HOURS at night searching for the best “deal.” My rule of thumb for the big vendors (caterer, photographer, etc.) was to narrow my search to 3 and pick from those 3. But I will say that with caterers, I finally started telling them that I had $6,000 to spend on food for 200 guests, what could they do for me? A lot of them hung up on me after that or stopped returning my calls/emails. Only 2 were interested after I told them my budget, so that made the narrowing down part easier.

T30SB Commentary: This bride did the right thing. It’s best to be honest and upfront about your budget with anyone you might want to work with. I know it’s annoying to look at vendor’s website and not see pricing. Or to look and see a “Packages starting at $5 billion” statement that you assume knocks you out of the running. Do NOT always assume this, particularly if you like the vendor. I called a photographer whose work was featured in The Martha. His rates were SUPER high, but when he found out my wedding was on a Sunday, they were cut almost in half. It can’t hurt to submit your budget and make your request. Just don’t be surprised or disappointed if it’s denied. There is an interesting and totally funny podcast by Hindsight Bride and Rogue Bride talking about rates and such.

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

Nine months (although most of the planning happened in the first 3). I am a tax accountant so most of the planning had to be completed before “busy season” began!

How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

We invited about 315 and we think about 215 came.

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What was your budget?

$30,000

Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

Yes – everything was included down to the last mai tai we drank on our honeymoon and Delta’s baggage check fees. I’m an accountant so I must know the “bottom line.”

Were you over or under budget? By how much?

Over by $2,000.

How large was your bridal party?

7 bridesmaids, 7 groomsmen, a flower girl and ring bearer.

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

No, we chose to make a donation to the American Cancer Society in lieu of favors. Both of us lost grandfathers to cancer so it was our way of honoring them.

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Did you include any special family traditions?

Not aside from having a traditional, Catholic wedding. We were both raised Catholic, so a traditional ceremony was very important to us. We also involved as many family members a possible in the ceremony – my uncle was the priest, and several cousins, aunts and uncles were the readers, gift bearers, Eucharistic ministers, and program attendants.

What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

We didn’t have one. The only thing “bad” thing that happened was we had decided to take pictures in the park where we got engaged after the ceremony. Well I didn’t factor in that it would be 95 degrees outside and that in Tennessee in July, there are mosquitoes EVERYWHERE. We were both sweating profusely and I kept slapping mosquitoes biting my back. Didn’t exactly make for the “romantic” atmosphere we were hoping for. We looked miserable in a lot of the pictures!

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What was you biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

The organist quit two weeks before the wedding because she and the soloist got in a fight during another wedding (that I actually attended). She basically sent me an email that said she “couldn’t work with the soloist” so she wouldn’t play at my wedding. Something you might expect out of third graders, but not of grown women. Thankfully the soloist found a replacement and everything turned out fine.

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day (you can opt out of this if you’d like)?

I didn’t have one on the wedding day, but the wedding coordinator at the church was definitely the most difficult person to deal with throughout the whole process. When I finally met her at the rehearsal, she was surprisingly nice, but she was very hard to work with during the planning stages.

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What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

The lighting. Lighting is a racket in my opinion, and frankly I think Mickey and I need to learn how to hang paper lanterns and start charging people for it! We might make more money than in our current careers. But it was worth it – I loved the way the paper lanterns, the “Italian” string lights, and up-lighting on the brick walls looked. The lighting company I used was a bit difficult to deal with – wouldn’t return phone calls, give me a signed contract, or even tell me when they were going to be there. Otherwise I would recommend them. I had my Dad go to the reception venue on the way to the church to make sure they had shown up that day to hang everything! Luckily they had!

What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on? Thankfully I don’t have an answer for this one! if I had to choose, I would say getting my makeup done, but honestly she made me feel beautiful and that’s how a bride should feel on her wedding day!

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What did you love that was also the cheapest?

I loved all of our DIY projects (see below)! I also loved the groom’s cake (I had a coupon for it), which was a kickball theme. Mickey and I met playing adult kickball (yes, you read that right – it’s like coed softball, but requires less talent), so it was perfect for us and all the team members at the reception LOVED it!

What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

I cried uncontrollably when it was time to leave the reception (The limo driver probably thinks I’m a nutcase). I think all the emotions throughout the day, plus seeing 9 months of HARD work come together exactly like I wanted it to, just overwhelmed me. Luckily I held it together so that I look like a normal human being in the pictures of us leaving the reception…but when the limo doors closed, I lost it.

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What was the funniest thing that happened?

Two of the groomsmen and my sister’s boyfriend were clearly NOT listening at the rehearsal when instructions were given about how to come up and receive a blessing at Communion if you were not Catholic. Mickey and I sat on the altar during Communion and watched as the guys took Communion and then (this is the best part), watched as one of them STUCK THE BREAD IN HIS TUXEDO POCKET because he didn’t know what to do with it. It was difficult to contain our laughter.

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

For me this moment happened a few weeks after the ceremony when Mickey and I took some of the pictures to my 91 year old grandmother who wasn’t well enough to make it to the wedding. It meant so much to me to share the pictures with her. She has dementia so it was also funny having to explain to her that no, that wasn’t my Mom in the pics (I look a lot like my Mom when she was my age), and that the guy sitting next to her was Mickey, the same guy in the pictures, my husband. It is always fun having her repeatedly say “You got married? Well CONGRATULATIONS!” as if it was the first time she had heard the news.

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Did you DIY? What parts?

The tissue paper flower balls (I believe the correct term for them is “pomanders”) that hung down the church aisle. My parents, Mickey and I made them. So that Mickey doesn’t lose his man card, I will say that we made most of them while watching the NCAA tournament. They were time consuming to make, but I loved the way they looked. I also made out of town guest packages, the menu chalkboard and an “alternative” guest book that I stole from T30SB!  My Mom and her friend made the tie-dyed tablecloth on the groom’s cake table at the reception. The tie-dye matched our kickball uniforms exactly.

T30SB Commentary: I love wedding idea thievery and highly condone it.

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Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Kauai, Hawaii.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

Probably nothing – even the things that were the most stressful: the church situation, having a large bridal party (coordinating with 14 people and 14 personalities is a bit difficult at times), and staying within the BUDGET – they were all extremely important aspects of our wedding so I would not change them at all!

Throughout this whole process I wondered if I would regret spending the money to have a “big wedding” (the Wall Street Journal has an article that shows you how much you would earn if you invested your wedding money instead of having a huge party) – I don’t regret a single minute or dime of it! We had the time of our lives that night!

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Congratulations to Kathleen and Mickey!

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