Real Wedding: Chris and JD

Today’s wedding is totally cool because it is all about the bride and groom! Chris and J.D. took a lot of time and effort into making a wedding that was truly “them”.  Plus, it is shot by one of my favorite photography teams, White Rabbit Studios! Ashley and Stephanie are totally awesome and crazy talented (you may also know Ashley from a must read blog, Hi-Fi Weddings!) I will let Chris take it away because she has so much good advice for couples planning a wedding and don’t know where to start!

Here’s a little bit from Chris, the bride:
Planning the wedding was a challenge.  I looked at beautiful pictures of slim, cool couples who both loved the 1940s and had a great retro vibe, at the black dressed goth couples with beautiful red roses and matching nose rings, at preppy cuties with their yellow plaid accents, at sci-fi Dr. Who love birds.  And then I looked at us.  We didn’t have a style or shared aesthetic.  He loves sad indie boy songs.  I love booty electronica songs.  I thought soft peach and ivory were lovely, he was taken by bright orange and yellow.  What were we to do?  What did we have in common (besides love of course)?  What makes us, us?

Over many conversations and little decisions things bubbled to the surface about what we loved in our life together.  Some great late night breakfast parties with friends made it seem logical to serve breakfast for our reception dinner.  My love of paper and glue plus his love for graphic design led to DIY invitations, decorations and favors.  His involvement in a local art community led to our reception location.  And probably the most important factor that shaped our wishes for the event was the people we wanted to be there and the fun we wanted to have with them.  We didn’t want to exclude kids.  We didn’t want to tell people who to sit by.  We wanted to dance and play with all of the people that make our life so great.  

The most important factor in actually pulling off the event was the vendors who brought unique ideas to the table and held our hands as we stared at them open-mouthed, shrugging our shoulders.  I still do not know how we got to be so lucky to have crazy delicious catering, gorgeous flowers and reception decorations, fun and beautiful photography, and the funnest dance party ever for our wedding day, but we did.  In the end we didn’t have a theme, but man did we have an awesome time!  Oh, and did I mention our doughnut cake?!

Like many couples we were on a budget.  We decided early that we would like to use professionals for food, photography, hair/make-up and music.  But everything else was up to us.  We made our own invitations by hand that were designed using a combination of his illustrations and my cardmaking skills.  We used elements from the invitations in our website, in decor elements used to decorate the rec
eption and in the gift favor bags which we all made ourselves (and with the help of some very kind friends).  Luckily we were saved from doing our own flowers and reception decorating thanks to a generous gift from a talented friend who’s a pro.

There’s a home decorating show I saw once called Save or Splurge that decorated rooms by choosing which items you should spend on and which items you should save on.  This is a great way to think about the planning process.  For us, we decided that we didn’t like cake enough to spend $1000 dollars on it.  But we had to have the local DJ who puts on the cool events around town.  Seeing our dads go down the soul train line–priceless.  Since we both have graphic design skills, doing anything involving paper ourselves was a no brainer, but caterering ourselves–I don’t think so.  When it was all said in done, my favorite things about the wedding day were not the expensive things, it was the fun things–the doughnut tower, Photo Booth pictures of my friends in silly dollar store props, the comfort of my $23 clearance reception dress, little girls dancing with grandmas, the crazy sounding delicious tasting spicy tofu omelette, our warm, personal church service led by someone who actually knew us. 

By the time the day rolled around I was so happy.  I had a motto that if I didn’t get to it by now, I didn’t have to worry about it.  We were two people who loved each other a lot and were about to start a new chapter in our lives and have a big party to start it off right.  Our ceremony was sweet and lovely–nothing out of the ordinary but it was finally us exchanging those promises in front of so many of our friends and family members.  There were some glitches like we didn’t take any photos with family because we forgot that we were supposed to have dropped off soda to our bartender so we stopped at the grocery store on the way to our reception and by the time we got there everyone was already eating and helping themselves to drinks :).  But I learned that my new husband’s family is really fun, that my girlfriends’ dance style hasn’t changed to much since our middle school dance days, that everyone loves waffles and that me and the hubs are off to a great life together!

Church | St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, Madison, Alabama
Reception | Lowe Mill
DJ | Kandy at Your Perfect Party
Catering | Happy Tummy
Flowers | In Bloom
Photography | White Rabbit Studios

Huge thanks and congrats to Chris and J.D. for sharing their day with us!
More thanks to the fab team at White Rabbit Studios for sharing your awesomeness!