As matron of honor and sister of the bride, I got to help out with all of the wedding decor! Crista's strict budget meant that if we weren't making it ourselves, we were calling for a lot of favors from friends and family. We also could not have done it without the fabulous Ashley of Events by Peyroux who served as the wedding coordinator.
Thankfully, friends and family stepped in to help with food, serving, music, security, set up, clean up, and more! Plus, she hired church friends for the cake, flowers and photography so she could get the perfect intimate event that she wanted.
(Picture Right: See that beautiful dress? Custom made for Crista for around $250 when she was abroad in China. Daniel proposed to her the day before they left the U.S. to spend 10 weeks in Guangzhou and soon after she touched down, she made her way to the wedding district to find a seamstress. The inspiration came from a picture in a designer bridal magazine and Crista made some modifications to make it perfect for her! Her veil was $6. Almost cheaper to just fly to China to get your dream dress, right?)
I want to share with you all of the creative ideas that Crista had that made her vision of the perfect wedding a reality. Tons of these ideas were inspired by magazines and Google searches, and with a little tweaking from the two artists from Kidspired Creations were (cheaply) transformed into beautiful wedding decor.
The wedding ceremony was held outdoors at Magnolia Mound Plantation in front of the Overseer's House and guests walked across the lawn to the open-air barn for the reception. Crista combined shades of green and different natural fabrics and textures such as burlap to create the outdoorsy/natural feel to her wedding.
We found these small chalk boards at Michael's and used them to direct guests to the ceremony and reception areas.
FLOWERSWheat! It served as the bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids, toss "petals" and halo for the flower girl, boutonnieres for the groom and groomsmen, aisle runners, centerpieces for the tables, cake topper, and random decor throughout the ceremony and reception (and now it currently serves as decor in my house as well as my mom's and sisters since wheat lasts forever!). These bouquets were cheaper than traditional flowers AND she was able to get them before her bridal shoot (weeks before the wedding) to use in her pictures. They stayed in her closet until the day of the wedding, no need to worry about them wilting!
Burlap (shown above): a pretty inexpensive (but scratchy) fabric. Crista bought rolls and rolls of burlap to use as decoration throughout the ceremony and reception. My mother-in-law made chair slip covers out of burlap to dress up the white plastic folding chairs. We used 3 ft. squares of burlap to cover the white table cloths, and long, 18" wide table runners for the picnic tables and buffet tables. We made a curtain and a shower rod to dress up the corridor to the bathrooms since it wasn't a very pretty site. We also used a whole roll of burlap to drape from the ceiling beams of the barn near the cake table to hide the trashcans and DJ from the cake pictures. Also, we used remaining burlap to wrap all of the guest favors. After all of our burlap creations, Crista realized that she was actually ALLERGIC to burlap and had developed itchy bumps after each time we worked with it. Not many brides can say they were allergic to their weddings.
Crista's bridal cake incorporated her "nature" theme with a beautiful wheat topper. To save money, Crista opted for a smaller display cake, and a larger sheet cake that servers had pre-cut to hand out to guests.
For the ultimate Saints fan, Daniel had two grooms cakes: 1. a giant Saints cookie cake and 2. his only request for the entire wedding: jello (and a jello cake).
|Groom's 1st Cake|
|Groom's 2nd Cake: Jello|
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle:
Crista and I began collecting mason jars from 2nd hand thrift stores and garage sales from the moment Daniel proposed. At one garage sale I bought around 8 jars for .25 cents a piece.
Pine cones were an after thought closer to the wedding date. We wanted a cute way to label food or instructions such as signing the guest book or thumbprint tree. The pine cones naturally held the labels in place while carrying out the nature theme. Crista printed out all of her labels and instead of cutting them out, she tore them to create a rustic look. Cost: free!
|Instead of a unity CANDLE, the couple chose a unity BIRD FEEDER, combining black and white bird seeds.|
|One of the problems with having a wedding at a historical site is that there are more restrictions for what you can do on the grounds. One of the rules was that there could not be confetti, rice, or anything that could be harmful to animals and vegetation in the area. Crista chose bird seeds for guests to throw as she and Daniel left the reception.|
|A cute touch: Salt and Pepper Shaker love birds|
|A bridesmaid handmade all of the programs for 200 guests.|
|Instead of a typical guest book, Crista chose a photo book with artistic pictures of hearts in nature.|
|Family Members were asked to stamp their thumbprints to create a Family Tree|
|Favors were two gladiolas bulbs wrapped in burlap.|
|Cake Pulls: Personal notes to her bridesmaids|
|Crista hand-picked the charms to make her own cake pulls.|
|Crista and Daniel released a balloon in memory of our father.|
|A special toast for the Saints and LSU Tiger fans|
|To dress up the barn, pictures of Daniel and Crista were hung with clothespins and rope.|
|Ring Pillow was hand made by our aunt and cousin.|
|James the Ring Bearer|
Perfect weather for a perfect wedding for the perfect couple!
|My family had a great time!|
All pictures courtesy of Kase & Alli Photography.