Boho. Classic. Steampunk. Whimsical. Ethereal. Traditional. Glam. Shabby Chic.
Geez! Is your mind racing too?? There are a plethora of wedding themes and styles out there with more being cultivated every single day. What happens if none of the styles out there match your vision? What if there isn’t a cookie-cutter theme that perfectly encapsulates you and your fiancé? How do you go about creating a style all your own? What are the steps involved with making up a wedding theme that is all YOU? If you missed our blog “How to Find Your Wedding Style in 3 Steps” Blog, read that here.
This is how I put those steps into action…
“What IS my wedding style?” This was my exact dilemma when planning my own wedding two Septembers ago. My now-husband, Joe, and I had a variety of interests and things we wanted incorporated into our special day and were struggling to come up with theme that matched our desires. Joe and I love being outdoors enjoying nature in all her splendor as well as both having an affinity for floral, since we both worked in Joe’s family greenhouse for years. I have a deep inclination towards clean lines, classy colors, originality and aesthetically pleasing details and Joe loves to craft creations out of wood, metal, pallets, etc. We searched and searched for a theme to call our own, but kept coming up empty-handed. With the wedding date picked for September 3rd we knew we had to balance the fine line between summer and fall colors and didn’t want the wine and heather grey we had selected to turn country-fall-bumpkin with the wrong details. I scoured Pinterest for ideas and theme outlines for weeks and nothing seemed to click with us. So finally, I gave up. Joe and I decided we didn’t want to have a wedding that someone else had already done a million times – we wanted a wedding celebration that was tailor-made for us. We wanted our friends, family and guests to come to our wedding and be taken aback with how “us” it was.
Thus began the hard journey towards generating our wedding design. My husband and I called a meeting with our parents and Sarah and Monica (yes! These two are not only some of my closest friends and now colleagues but they were a HUGE part of planning our wedding with us!) so we could conjure up the details as a creative team.
We started by putting all our goals, ideas, thoughts, colors, visions out on the table regardless of availability, ability to achieve, or money to get us all on the same page – not all on different pages in the same book! After we proclaimed our thoughts, we put our heads together to come up with a realistic way to make it happen.
We had to start by tackling some of the big details – like a venue. Without a venue, you can’t easily decide guest count, building design, vendors, transportation, or many other smaller details until the venue is nailed down. I had dreamed of getting married in a greenhouse ever since I met Joe and he showed me around his family’s greenhouses. Their odd shape, clean slate interior, and capability to let in warm natural sunlight cut me to my core and I was in love. I looked into venues that had greenhouses (i.e., Frederick Meijer Gardens) but found that their pricing was out of our range. That meant going back to the drawing board. We all sat there quietly drumming our fingers on the table, thoughts racing for a solution. My father-in-law suddenly looked up with a twinkle in his eye and said “Why not get married in one of our greenhouses?” I was sold!
Now we were getting somewhere! We had our colors and our venue picked – we just needed to find a way to mesh the two together. With the greenhouse having a cream cement floor, clear plastic siding, and industrial metal piping, I knew our design would have to include “dressing up” this venue from floor to ceiling! Wanting to go with the Meijer Garden feel, we decided we would use a portion of the greenhouse tropical trees, bushes, palms, and plants to green up the inside and give the building a greenhouse vestibule warmth. Accenting with maroon tablecloths and white chairs for about 100 guests helped to fill the open area and give the venue some life. The question now is, where would the rest of our 200 guests sit?
My parents had always loved estate sales, garage sales, thrift shopping and even the occasional shame-free dumpster diving adventure for furniture and pieces to refurbish to their prior glory for as long as I can remember. In watching them, I came to love vintage turned shabby chic décor and wanted that to play a part in our wedding design. We wanted to incorporate their love for refurbs with classy places for our guests to sit and take in the wedding day so my parents teamed up to go on the lookout for classic pieces that were from the Victorian-Lincoln era and boy did we find some stellar pieces! On top of that, Joe wanted to create some special seating with pallets that were laying around the greenhouse so he built a couple “L”-shaped couches with homemade cushions from my grandmother to top them off!
With places for our guests to sit, now we had to feed them! As Joe and I got to know each other in the beginning of our relationship, we found out that we had MULTIPLE mutual friends and even family members who knew each from years ago! With inter-mingling sure to take place, we decided a seated meal didn’t make sense – we wanted our guests to mingle, get to know each other, and chat. Joe and I aren’t very formal either so having a more appetizer/finger food meal made perfect sense. Joe wanted to be in charge of the food and picked a fabulous meal full of our favorite foods – pulled pork from a pig that a family friend roasted, our favorite brand of potato chips, fresh fruit salad, decadent baked beans, green kale salad, and veggies. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! We LOVED the idea of having a mix of all of our favorite foods to showcase and share with our guests so they could get a better sense of the “one” we were becoming as a couple with similar tastes! To top it off, I have a sweet tooth like no other (cavities anyone?) and donuts are the way to my heart. So what makes more sense than a donut truck during cocktail hour? Nothing! With fresh donut holes and hot coffee, our guests were loving the warm early September air and live music from some friends of ours pursuing music in Nashville! It couldn’t be more us.
As Joe and I continued to pull together smaller details that described us as individuals and as a couple, we could see the vision of our perfect wedding design coming into focus. With the help of our family and friends, we began to slowly see that this wedding was going to be truly magical and oh-so-memorable. It is so vital to stay true to yourself and what you and your fiancé want this day to look like – the whole point is to celebrate your love and starting of a new life together so why not make it as “you” as possible?! There were times when it was hard to see how the day would come together without having a theme foundation already created but I personally found it a million times more rewarding to formulate a wedding design and theme was totally, 100%, without a doubt, completely, Joe and Ellie.
Love and laughter,