As it’s 14th February today we are celebrating Valentines day! Notoriously the most romantic day...
Another weekend done and another week ahead of us…welcome to Monday everyone! Lets hope it’s a great week for everyone! I have a whole week of fantastic weddings for you, starting with this beauty all the way from Massachusetts . It’s an amazing wedding that takes place in the bride and grooms backyard and what better place for a wedding! It is FULL of the most amazing details, vintage touches and DIY projects, it’s simply bursting with creativity and homespun talent. I absolutely LOVE it. The bride and groom have really made this wedding their own. Big thanks to Marina from MCMD Photography for the gorgeous photos, she has done a cracking job and created some beautiful group shots in the warm evening sunshine!
Shaina and Stanley were married on 14th June in their own backyard in Attleboro, Massachusetts ‘We had a budget that we were trying to stay within, and we felt that cutting out the biggest expense, the venue, would allow us to do that. Also, any money that we ended up putting towards the “venue” would be just upgrades to our own yard that we could then enjoy after the wedding. Plus, I knew I was going to have a lot of personal touches that I would need time to set up before the wedding, and a venue rarely lets you in to decorate any more than a day before the wedding. We had about 80 guests. We were engaged for two and a half years, but I only really started getting into the actual planning about a year and a half before the wedding.’
How they met
We met at the store that I worked for at the time. He walked in and went over to the photo department to pick up pictures that he had developed. I still can’t say why, but for some reason I noticed him immediately when he entered the store and just followed him over there. We said a brief hello, he purchased his photos and left. After that, he came back in every week or so and we chatted, until eventually, after a few bumps in the road, we started dating. We dated for two and a half years before he proposed. Then we had a two and a half year engagement, and we were married on our five year anniversary.
Stan took me to Newport, RI for the Newport Dinner Train, which is a scenic train ride along the Narragansett Bay. When the train stopped at the bay right at sunset for dinner, he told me to look out the window. When I looked back at him, he was on his knee in the aisle with my ring in his hand! I said yes, of course, and we hadn’t noticed, but all the other people at the surrounding tables had witnessed him ask me to marry him, and they all started clapping and then our waitress took our picture. Then we ate our dinners watching the sun set over the water.
Why did you choose your photographer?
I started researching her photos, and I just fell in love with her work. I love the way she crops her photographs and the way that she edits them, and once I had my first session with her (our engagement shoot) I just felt so comfortable taking pictures with her. She really listens to what you want, and does whatever she can to make sure you get that out of your photographs. I love the way she doesn’t put any restrictions on you; she just lets you do your thing while she does her thing. She really captures the most natural photographs by just allowing you to do what you would normally do, all the while boosting you up with compliments. And the way she captures light is just so beautiful! After that first session, I knew she was the right person to photograph our wedding!
My dress was by David’s Bridal. I got my shoes from Charming Charlie’s and I just clipped a flower hair clip to the middle of each of them to add a little detail. My earrings were a pair that my sister bought for me, and a pair of diamond studs that Stan bought for me. My necklace was the necklace I wore to my best friend’s wedding the previous fall, and one of the bracelets I wore was a birthday gift from Stan the month before our wedding.
The suit and bridesmaids
The guys’ outfits were so hard to put together! I had a very specific style that I was going for, and it just seemed that every single piece of it was so difficult to find. Let’s start with the waitscoat…. I don’t think I’ve ever looked so hard for a piece of clothing in all my life! I knew exactly what I was looking for and nobody seemed to have it. It had actually come down to the point where I was just going to have them made, when finally my mom found them online from Orvis, and they were just perfect. The hats and bow ties I also purchased online; the hats from Zappos and the ties from Amazon. The shirts and pants we got from JCPenney. If you can believe it, the guys’ outfits cost about 10 times more than the girls’ outfits. The girls’ dresses we actually found at JCPenney on clearance for $10 each! They were a little bit too red and had sleeves at first, so I asked my grandmother to cut off the sleeves and then I dyed them purple to create the burgundy color that I was searching for.
Theme or colour scheme
Our wedding was a DIY vintage country garden themed wedding, and I tried to stay with more earthy tones. The girls wore a burgundy color with brown accents, and the guys wore brown and tan with olive/sage green accents. I tried to use those two colors, the burgundy and the green, in everything along with browns, creams, and pale yellows.
We had two big tents, both decorated in white lights and paper lanterns. For my centerpieces, Stan’s mom helped us make a terrarium for each table, and I surrounded those with candles. My mom and I go to second hand stores all the time, and that’s actually where a lot of our decorations came from. I used a lot of glass bottles, bud vases, wine bottles that we cut the bottoms off of, and candles around the yard, but the main feature was the landscaping itself, which my mom had been working so hard on for a couple years before the wedding.
We had our wedding catered by Ralph’s Catering out of Cranston, RI, and they were amazing! We had prime rib and turkey, along with two pastas, shells in meat sauce and tortolini in Alfredo, potatoes and green beans. For appetizers we had chicken fingers and grilled pizza slices. All of the food was so delicious! For dessert, we had a cake made by Diane’s Sweet Tooth out of Cumberland, RI for us and for our guests, I asked my coworker Lena to bake special cupcakes with roses and cake pops with our monogram, which were amazing!
We had DJ Chad from A Taste if Music do all the music for both our ceremony and reception. I chose all the music for the ceremony and then gave him what we liked for music for the rehearsal and he took it from there, and did a fabulous job! He even coordinated with my sister for her slideshow projection that she made for her maid of honor speech, which was so beautiful.
Stan’s aunt Gail actually works for a florist, so she did all my flowers for me. I had a beautiful mix of peonies, roses, astilbe, baby’s breath, and carnations for both my bouquet and my girls’ bouquets.
Personal / DIY touches
We had a lot of DIY touches
• I made my own invitations on the computer using Illustrator and had them printed.
• But the project that probably took the most time would be the program fans. My sister did most of those… she was such a huge help on that and I can’t thank her enough for spending days and days and days working on those fans. I made the fan design based off of our invitations on the computer, but she spent weeks cutting and pasting and hole punching and lacing ribbon for all those fans.
• We also made the monogram sticks that were in the cake pops based off the design of the invitations.
• Other DIY projects include the favors (a tiny mason jar filled with wildflower seeds and topped with five “love in a puff” flower seeds, one for each year we had been together),
• The wine bottles with the bottoms cut off for candles
• The entire photo booth that we had set up for the guests to enjoy throughout the night, along with all the mustache and lip props
• The alter that we were married under. For the alter, we found a lace canopy for a four-poster bed on Craigslist, but it didn’t come with the posts, so my mom cut down four small trees and we decorated those and used them as the posts to hold the canopy.
I loved when we completed our ceremony and our JP had just announced us husband and wife, I chose the song “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” by The Darkness to play, and I just remember the song beginning and everyone standing and then we were having sprinkles thrown at us and I was hopping into Stan’s monster truck, it was such a huge moment of relief and excitement!
I also loved playing in the photo booth with everyone. That’s when I really got to just relax and enjoy myself and just have fun, surrounded by all the people I love.
But probably the most amazing moment of the day was when I realized just how lucky I am to have the family and friends that I have. We had to clean up a week’s worth of rain in the backyard the morning of the wedding, and I really just could not have done it without everyone that was there to help. I just can’t express the gratitude and love that I feel for the people in my life that helped make our wedding dreams a reality.
For the planning, just take your time! Start early and keep all your thoughts organized in whatever way is easiest for you. And don’t be afraid to mix it up a little and try something a little less traditional to make it your own!
As for the day itself, the best advice is literally just to breathe. Make sure that you are taking your time to breathe and look around you and take in everything that is happening before it’s over!
How fast it was over!
I was really lucky and got to work with some amazing people during my wedding. These people helped make my day run as smoothly and as beautifully as I could have ever dreamed, and I can’t thank them enough!