How to Plan a Wedding with Heart
When Kyle & I got engaged we were blissfully happy (& to be honest.. overwhelmed)! We decided from day one that we wanted to make our wedding day memorable, meaningful, and focused on marriage; not just one day of celebration. We were married on October 1st at Kyle's family farm among the trees & had a fun filled reception in their 100-year old barn. It was a day we'll never forget with all of our friends and family from near and far.
We couldn't have made our day happen without the help of family, friends, and vendors who understood our vision. We made nearly everything we could so we could do things on a budget but still make it beautiful. Kyle's dad & brothers spent nearly every weekend of summer and fall getting the barn ready and building our reclaimed wood tables for our reception. His mom grew the flowers for our reception. My mom & dad, and family friends came together to help us collect milk vases for tables, arrange flowers, decorate, and make signs. The idea that so many people came together to make our wedding beautiful was so perfectly us. Our photographer, Laurelyn ( of Laurelyn Savannah Photography) captured every moment that meant most to us.
We'll never forget our wedding day. Just like everyone said it would, it went by so quickly! We wanted to share a few of the things we learned while planning our big day and our favorite moments from our Moon Ridge Wedding day. I'm thankful to have a partner in life that was with me every step of the way to plan for our rustic woodland wedding.
MOON RIDGE WEDDING DAY
We are still feeling so incredibly blessed post-wedding. We've also had a lot of time to reflect on our big day! We're so thankful for the way we approached things and wanted to each share a few of the things we learned about designing a heart centered wedding day.
CREATE A BUDGET, TOGETHER
Budgets (or lack of) can be one of the biggest sources of stress while wedding planning. From the start, we decided together what we wanted to spend most on (photography & food) & what we'd save on (decor, favors, wedding dress, etc). Kyle adds that working on shared google drive sheets made this process a ton easier. Be realistic when budgeting and focus on what's most important to both of you. I cared much more about delicious food than a fancy gown, so I actually bought my dress (a white bridesmaid dress with a topper) for only $500 at BHLDN. It felt perfectly vintage & romantic and it didn't break the bank either!
FOCUS ON TRADITIONS & START YOUR OWN
Though some may think it's non-traditional to see the bride before the wedding, having a first look was one of our favorite parts of the day. We were able to get out some pre-ceremony jitters and have a moment completely to ourselves during a day that's surrounded by people and timelines. We also wrote each other notes (and had to laugh because our messages to each other were nearly identical). Writing our own vows was something we were so glad we did. We created a ceremony that was so personal to us- we even used part of Kyle's parents vows in our ceremony "today, I marry my best friend, the one I share my dreams with". We wrote our vows together, and each recited the same words during our ceremony. One of my best friends officiated the ceremony, which made it even more personal!
ADD PERSONAL ELEMENTS INTO YOUR BIG DAY
This was a big one for us. We wanted to weave as many stories and personal elements into our wedding day as possible. The project that caused the most blood, sweat, and tears for us were the 10-foot farm tables that Kyle (and his dad) built for our reception. He spent so much time sanding, cutting, staining, and constructing these to help carry out my vision. They were a TON of work, but they were also the spotlight of the entire reception (and we are working on a rental business to rent them out to other fun couples)!
We also did a tree planting ceremony using soil from each of our childhood homes which was so special because Kyle grew up in a family tree planting business. Kyle's mom cultivated a garden full of flowers that would eventually make their way into vases and bouquets. Our family friend (hi Pamm!) created our gorgeous (& boho) bouquets utilizing flowers from the garden, Whole Foods & Trader Joes. We collected seeds from the flowers that didn't make it to the wedding day and made them into small favors with the mantra "let love grow"! Our two wines even had "moon" in their names, a nod to our beloved Moon Ridge Farm.
PLAN FOR THE TWO OF YOU, NOT YOUR GUESTS
Wedding planning brings in a lot of opinions. From friends, family, wedding magazines, and even blog posts like these. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that it is your day and it's impossible to please everyone. We were lucky to have friends & family who supported our vision, but it's easy to get caught up in what you're "supposed to be doing" versus what you truly want to do. If you want pie instead of a wedding cake, go for it! If you don't care if your bridesmaids wear matching dress, don't stress! Keep your focus on each other and what feels right to the both of you collaboratively.
THINK BEYOND THE WEDDING DAY
This was a central idea we kept in mind while designing our dream day. When it comes down to it, it's about the vows and commitment to each other. The little things that were easy to stress about (Did we have enough food for cocktail hour? Do the groomsmen's socks tie back to the rest of their look? We don't have enough dahlias for the bouquets!). Those little things are also what will not matter 10 years down the road. Your guests won't notice. They won't make or break your wedding day. In fact, focusing on what isn't "perfect" will just take away from your ability to enjoy the most important parts of the day! Easier said then done, we know!
Have any questions about planning a wedding with heart? Just shoot us a note in the comments! We'd be happy to answer. Keep an eye out for more news on our rentals. A special thank you to Laurelyn for these beautiful photos-- we will cherish them forever.