So as most of you know, I love weddings. Duh! I mean, why would I have a weekly feature (that I never miss, mind you!) devoted to them?! Well, what I love even more than weddings found online are those of my readers. Fun, exciting, love-fueled nuptials! When Christina contacted me about her wedding, I knew I had to feature it! Lots of DIY and a short dress?! Yes please! Hopefully you'll love it just as much as I do! Don't forget to click through the "Read More..." at the bottom to check out her interview! She dishes all of her bridal-knowledge to those of us preparing (and just waiting) to walk down that aisle! (Psst... she did it on a shoe-string budget, too! Swoon!)
Hello gorgeous bride! Let’s start from the beginning! Tell us how you met your Prince Charming and how he popped the question!
Michael and I met online! MySpace to be exact. I used to be so embarrassed to say such a thing, but whatever, we’re awesome! Michael and I were friends on MySpace for a long time. He born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA and I was born and raised in Salinas, CA (just about forty minutes away), however, we were both living in the Central Valley. We talked here and there every once in a while. He was seeing some girl, I was seeing some dude, and coincidentally, we broke up almost at the same time. Like a normal girl, I was having a hard time and like a normal boy - he was ready to move on. He invited me to have dinner and a movie; to cheer me up. It was more of a friends getting together; not a date. However, from that day forward, we were two little peas in a pod. Michael and I moved really fast. We moved in together only three weeks after meeting each other - I know, I’m easy.
Michael always told me, he never wanted to get married. After a year being together, Michael and I purchased our first home! To him, he was in it for the long run and we were building our life together - but to me, I wanted a ring on my finger. Then, Michael popped the question! We were setting on our back porch, and I was looking pretty tore up. It was a hot day and I wanted to go inside. I got up and told him I was going inside, and he asked me to come give him kisses. When I went over, he pulled me to set on his lap and he asked, “will you marry me?”. I screamed like a little fat kid in a cupcake shop.
When did you get engaged? How long did you plan before walking down the aisle?
We got engaged on July 13th, 2009. Out of all honesty, that was good enough for me. I had a ring on my finger and I was a happy little pumpkin. We knew that when did get married, that we wanted it on Halloween. Why, you ask? Because Halloween is our favorite holiday. Michael + Love + Halloween = Complete bliss! Halloween, to me, is the complete vision of Fall - it’s just so beautiful. We got married almost a year and a half after he popped the question; October 31, 2010!
Where you working with any certain budget constraints?
This is a tricky question - and I apologize if it gets a little long. When we first started to plan our wedding, we were told that “anything you guys want, you can have”. A girls dream come true, right? Well this was told to us by my father and his girlfriend. With these two, there is a lot of ruff history and Michael and I knew that things do not come without strings. Well, when we were looking at venues, we looked at amazing, fancy places - however, I just felt so uncomfortable. We accidentally came across Michaels on Main in Soquel, CA and we fell in love. It had a wonderful atmosphere and it was very laid back. Michael and I did not want a tradition wedding, and this was perfect! We wanted to drink, get married, eat and drink some more! We wanted to have fun - we wanted our wedding to be us. Well, when it was time to put a deposit down, my father and his girlfriend made excuses. It was a cat and mouse game and I wasn’t going to play. I made an appointment with my Mother to go put the deposit down and my fathers girlfriend caused such a scene. She was telling us who we could invite, what we could have, what we could not have and I wasn’t going to play that game. Needless to say, we told them to not worry about paying for our wedding, and that we would take care of it. Michael and I took care of some of the costs, and my Mother covered the majority of the cost. She never gave us a budget - never. She just told us to do what we want and have what we want. So, that’s what we did.
When all was said and done, our wedding cost five-thousand. Five thousand! I’ve very proud of this number. This includes everything! I felt very strongly that we spend the money on our guests, and our bridal party. I personally feel that the tradition of asking someone to be in your wedding and then asking them to purchase a dress or outfit for your day is ridiculous. Michael felt the same way, so we bought all the outfits, shoes, ties, everything that our bridal party wore. We also wanted to use homemade decorations and let the guests take anything and everything home with them! Our wedding was not only the day that Michael and I became man and wife, but it was the day that our families became one. We wanted to celebrate all of us - not just the two of us.
Where you working with a certain theme of color scheme? How did you achieve this?
We were working with a certain them - Halloween. However, we didn’t want traditional pumpkins, dark orange colors, scary masks, witches and goblins. We wanted something elegant - yet Halloween. It was kind of a hard task. However, my Mother and I owned it! We went to Marshalls and found these gorgeous crackled glass, cream pumpkins. We also found class jars that look like pumpkins. We filled these with gorgeous popparie that we found at Target. We also used mason jars to put our flowers into. Very cute, yet very easy on your wallet. We also used a handmade theme. I made our table runners, the candy bar, our save the dates and the stuff I couldn’t hand make myself - I purchased off Etsy. When everyone saw the pieces separately, they couldn’t envision what it was going to look like together - however, after our wedding and still till this day, people constantly tell us they loved our wedding and how low key it was!
What one item did you spend the most money on for your big day?
The one thing that we spend the most on, was our attire. Like I mentioned before, we purchased our bridal parties outfits. That what we wanted to do! Not only did we purchase their outfits, but we also gave them (in my opinion) amazing gifts. These people were our closest friends. Friends going back twenty-something years! For my ladies, we gave them diamond and pearl necklaces. This sounds very expensive, and it could have been! However, if you hit up Macy’s at the perfect time; you can score big! For the gentleman, we gave them tobacco pipes and tobacco. My husband is like an old man, always with a pipe in his mouth! Now, these, we didn’t get the best deal on - but, they were for our closest and dearest friends, so cut lose, right?
Did you do any special DIY projects for your wedding day? If so, what did you do?
For our wedding, the majority of it was do-it-yourself; which cuts down on costs a lot. I made our table runners out of fabric and burlap. I collected for months from Marshalls, Target and Ross. I made our save-the-dates and hand-stamped them all. Our thank you gifts to our guests were homemade honey (which a close friend made), and I did the fabric for them. I also collected vintage hankies for our guests to take when they entered the ceremony area. I labeled these, “tears of joy”, and I also made wands with ribbon for the guests to wave in the air when Michael and I walked down the isle as husband and wife!
Did anything go awry on your big day or leading up to it? How did you handle the stress? Did it end up being okay in the end?
You know, wedding planning is stressful. And if you don’t have a strong support system, it could be awful. I’m going to keep it real and be honest - I had a lot of conflict with my father and his girlfriend. They started telling us what we could have, what we couldn’t, and then trying to yank us around on paying for things (like mentioned above). Well, Michael and I had to finally put our foot down because it was giving me serious anxiety and bringing me down. Well, after telling them that not to worry about paying, they totally fell off the center of the earth. You know, on a girls wedding day, or bridal shower - you want your father there. I did. We invited them to everything, and they didn’t show. My maid-of-honor invited them to a co-ed wedding shower that they threw for us, yet they said they were not going to attend. I sent out our invitations, and they never replied. It was seriously so hurtful. How could my dad not want to be there for the most important day of my life? I kept messaging asking if they were coming and I received no replies. It was seriously rough, and sent me into a deep depression. Nothing you wanted before your big day. So, I started seeing a therapist three months before our wedding - every week. It helped a lot.
On the day of my wedding, my father didn’t show. Not only did he not show, neither did my brother. It was a total shock to me and so upsetting. However, I learned a lot of tools in therapy that helped me deal with it. I learned that the most amazing people were there for my day. The most amazing people. The people who traveled hours and ever across the States were there to celebrate Michael and I! These were the people who mattered. To be honest, when my Mother walked me down the isle, and I saw my soon-to-be husband standing there, smiling waiting to take me as his wife - I teared up. I don’t remember seeing anyone, I don’t remember seeing my ladies standing up there with me - but I do remember starting to cry thinking of how my husband and Mother were there for me, and how my father wasn’t. If I said I’m over-it, I’d be lying. It’s very upsetting and a pain that will never go away. But it’s things like this and days like this that really show who is important.
Did you use any online sites or blogs for your wedding inspiration? If so, which ones?
I was constantly surfing wedding blogs and Etsy like a crazy women. My husband always joked, “What the hell are you going to do when we are married”. I was a big fan of http://www.theloveliestday.com/, http://greenweddingshoes.com/, and http://www.oncewed.com/. These sites are full of inspiration and ubber cuteness. I also looked on Etsy.com for ideas. There are so many creative people out there!
If you could give any advice to a Bride-To-Be, what would you say?
I would just like to tell every bride-to-be that this is your day. This is a day for you and your husband. Don’t let other or mistakes ruin your day. Your wedding day is suppose to be the happiest day of your life. Let it be! To be honest, I let my father and my brother not showing up put a black cloud over my head. It brought me down a notch. If something like this happens to you, brush it off - and enjoy your day. This is the beginning of the rest of your life - enjoy it.
Photographer: Margaret Jacobson Photography http://www.margaretjacobsen.com/
Bakery: The Buttery, Santa Cruz CA
Vendor: Michaels on Main, Soquel, CA http://www.michaelsonmain.net/newWP/