A little over a year ago my husband, Jeff, and I got married! Our big day was on July 14th, 2012 on a very hot and sunny summer afternoon. Our ceremony was set under a big willow tree in the Niagara Botanical Gardens. Then our cocktail hour and reception took place down the street at the Queenston Heights Restaurant, which sits inside a big park overlooking the Niagara River.
This post is all about our wedding, not so much the story, but about the design and process of putting together our special day. Since our two locations were already so beautiful we didn't need a lot of extra decorations, however, we still added our own personal projects to complete the picture.
Planning a wedding is probably one of the biggest projects a couple can take on in their personal lives. It certainly took a lot of our time during that year, however, for us the hardest part was starting. Picking the venue and what we wanted to do. Once we had all the basics picked, the decor and small projects was the fun part! We had both been to a lot of weddings before and knew exactly what we liked and didn't like. We tried to make our wedding an amazing experience for our guests, while having a wonderful time ourselves.
A theme can be useful in keeping the wedding focused. It is helpful to come up with it at the start, but that doesn't mean it can't evolve as you find something new that you love.
We wanted to have a really fun, easy going, party! Once we figured that out, everything else was planned around this central idea. We stuck with this idea throughout the planning process, but the definition of what that informal party was changed over time.
Once we had settled on the basic idea of our wedding, we added in the top layer of the theme, such as colours and texture. Since we had picked a natural setting our wedding already had a garden theme. Then for a bit of a twist I added an underlaying Moroccan look. Our colours were chosen based both on ones we liked and on the summer season.
We kept our decor fairly simple for these reasons:
Much of the decorations we made ourselves. I haven't mentioned everything we did here, including having paper fans for people to use during the ceremony to cool off, but below are some of the more ambitious projects we created.
We made a photo collage on this old window frame. There are two photos from our engagement session, and then one side is pictures of me through the years and the other side of my husband through the years. I had meant to clip them on with the green clothes pins, but they ended up being too small. So I still used them for show and stuck the photos on with blue tacky stuff. It worked well and I think people, especially family, enjoyed looking at the photos.
Actually, a funny story came out of this photo collage. I just picked photos at random from a bunch our parents sent us to put on the window. Coincidently, the photo of me on the top, in a little white dress, was actually taken just outside the Queenston Heights Restaurant, where our wedding was held. Who knew about 25 years later I would stand there again in another white dress!
The table seating chart was created one afternoon by pulling paper out of my paper drawer. I didn't really have an exact plan for it, but it was made on a magnetic board. Then on the back of each guest's name I placed a magnet. This may seem like a lot of useless work, but it was actually a sneaky plan, as it allowed me to finish the seating chart without actually having to know where everyone was going to be seated. I could move people around from table to table. As some people didn't let me know they were coming until the last minute, it allowed me to move them in or out at anytime.
To tell the tables apart we made labels that represented all the places in the world both of us had been together. The labels were fairly simple to make through Photoshop and then we just printed them out and glued them onto an orange piece of foam so you could read the sign from both sides. I found these green tree stands, and thought they fit our theme and colours perfectly.
Now In Our House
Many of our decorations (especially the ones that cost a bit more) we added to the decor around our house. Since the objects that I picked, I loved, I ended up reusing them after the wedding.
The birdcage that we used for wedding cards, I am now using to house a cactus. I'm sure I'll think of more uses for it in the years to come.
I fell in love with every lantern I bought for the wedding. They are being used throughout our condo for decoration. My two favourites are this blue and silver one and the white one in the background, that was featured in my very first post!
The gift and signing table was decorated using many things we already owned. For example, in this photo, there is an inlay box that I added to the table as part of my Moroccan theme, but I have had that box a long time. It was something I picked up when I was working as an archeologist in Jordan. There are so many things you can add to a wedding that you probably have at home, simply because your theme is something you already like and enjoy!
The vases we used for the flowers we bought at Ikea for about 50 cents each. They were the modern look we wanted, and were pretty cheap. We still have some kicking around our place, here is one in our bathroom holding some bamboo.
When we bought these vases the guy in line behind us was confused by the huge number we were buying and asked us about it. I had just started to answer with it's for our wedding, and he just said "oh, never mind, say no more". I guess it's been done before!
I got this window even before I knew what I was going to do with it, and a little bit against my husbands will. But I loved it and was determined to get it. And, yes I found a good use for it for the wedding, but I think I love it even more hanging on our wall above the bed.
The Perfect Wedding Day
Overall, our day went amazingly, if way too fast. I couldn't have asked for better weather or such wonderful people that worked with us to make this special day happen. My husband and I felt truly blessed to share our day with so many amazing people, family, and friends. Thanks everyone!