One Ring to rule them all, One ring to find them; One ring to bring them all. and in the darkness bind them.
Oops, sorry, wrong rings. You all are more interested in our WEDDING rings, not the one from Lord of the Ring (one of my all time favorite stories). Now, you all got to see my engagement ring back in January when we announced to the Internet our intentions to wed. That engagement band is part of a set, so naturally we got me the matching wedding band. My finger is now covered in bling! 🙂 One thing that I love about my wedding band was a happy coincident. The only band of our style they had in stock when we went to get it happened to have 13 small diamonds on it. Thirteen is an awesome number – it’s my lucky number, we got engaged and married in 2013 and our wedding date was October 13! It’s like that band was meant to be!
Picking out Mike’s band turned out to be a little more challenging. It took months of trying on rings, and trying to decide before Mike happened to stumble across what was to be the ring. He found a yellow gold band (to match the gold in my rings) with a simple claddagh design on it. For those of you who don’t know the story of behind the claddagh it is as follows:
A traditional Irish ring given which represents love, loyalty, and friendship (the hands represent friendship; the heart represents love; and the crown represents loyalty) *from Wikipedia**photos by Jenn from Jennifer Galliott Photography**
From the time we got engaged until about two weeks before the wedding, Mike and I were planning on having cupcakes in place of the traditional cake. I looked up so many different styles of cupcakes and had decided on a very simple one. Swirls of icing with sugar pears scattered down one side. Simple yet elegant. The original plan was to make them myself, Joy was all prepared to bake up a storm with me a couple of days before the wedding. Then I was going to have someone make them for me. Then I switched back to making them myself – $400 for 100 cupcakes? I don’t think so!
Eventually I decided that baking that many cupcakes myself was never going to work. One week before the wedding I changed the whole game plan. I buckled down and 6 days before wedding baked up three, three layer cake tiers which I promptly wrapped and popped in the freezer. Then two days before wedding, Joy and I filled and decorated them to create a simple cake.
Insert photo of Mike and I cutting cake!
Yep, I was one of those crazy brides that does her own wedding cake.
*Top photo provided by my cousin Tara Troy, bottom photo by Jenn from Jennifer Galliot Photography*
The one detail that everyone asks about from the moment you get engaged until the bride walks down the aisle is the dress. People want to know what it is going to look like, what kind of style the bride is going for. They just want to know everything about it! Then there is the poor groom, he often gets to know NOTHING about the dress until he see’s his bride. I of course decided to make Mike into one of those grooms who had to wait 🙂
When we first got engaged I started to stress about the dress right away. Would I be able to find one that I liked? Would I be able to afford it? How many places was I going to have to go to find it? Would Mike like it? (that one stressed me the most!).
The classic shot of the dress before wearing it – love that it’s outside and NOT in a window!
Well, I was lucky. I found my dress within a few weeks, at the very first place I went to – a Bridal Show with my friend (and one of my bridesmaids) Helga. There were dresses there for up to 80% off, and I managed to snag my dress and veil for all of $500!
Of course having it for so long in advance I had my moments where I doubted if I liked it, heck, at one point I was sure I hated it! Thankfully, after all the alterations were done (hemming, taking in and adding some straps), I LOVED it.
**Photos taken by Jenn from Jennifer Galliot Photography
As I have mentioned, I decided to DIY several things for the wedding. The one that was the most time consuming and stressful was the flowers. Sure, I could have forked over the money and had someone else put together a bunch of beautiful real bouquets for me, but those are so sad when they die 😦 Also, they are crazy expensive. I’m pretty sure I would have been looking at several hundred dollars to have my bouquet, four bridesmaids bouquets, 9 boutineers and something for the flower girl. Instead I spent about $50 and had them all! How you ask? Why I used paper!
One of the bridesmaids bouquets
Thanks to the wonders of the internet I found instructions on how to make kusudama flowers (origami) and rolled roses. Sure, it involved a bunch of cutting, folding and rolling, but it really wasn’t too bad. I’d guess I spent about 3-4 hours working on the flowers, but it was spread out over several months. I know even have my bouquet resting in a beautiful vase (received at one of my showers) on our dinning table. How many people get to do that after the wedding?
Now the hard questions that one is supposed to ask BEFORE undergoing a DIY project for their wedding:
1) Did I save money? YES!
2) Was it something important to me? Yes
3) Was the time + effort worth the outcome? Yes
4) Do I regret making my own paper flowers? Not for a second!
Over all score? Love them, and so happy that I did it that way. I don’t think I would have been as happy with real flowers as I was with my home made ones.