Real Weddings

/ March 21, 2017

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a questionnaire from the photographer to the bride, Jasmine… 
1. What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning? 
It was actually hard for me to pinpoint exactly what I wanted the wedding to be when I started and it seemed to evolve the more I talked to my vendors or potential vendors. So many people asked me “what’s your style?” or “what’s the theme?” and it sort of stressed me out. I just wanted to say, “I don’t know! Something pretty!” I started by picking a color palette and from there, I think I started to develop the sense that I wanted the wedding to have a soft, classy, romantic feel – full of light, festivity, and love. I wanted windows in the reception hall so natural light could come in, and I wanted green fields with blue skies above me when I married the love of my life. I wanted to be surrounded by everyone we loved and laugh and cry happy tears during the ceremony and reception – which definitely happened! 
2. What were your color palette and your style vision? 
My favorite color is blue, but my fear was that the blue would be too bold or too bright or too Easter-like. I wanted something easy-going on the eyes for a summer wedding. So I found a dusty blue that I fell in love with, and finding that exact shade in bridesmaid dresses was hard! People cater so much more to shades of pinks and purples for weddings, I swear! To complement the dusty blue, I envisioned light peach and light pink mixed in with some creams. I had a feeling it would be hard to find the right blue flowers, so these complementary colors would be essential! Overall, I discovered that my style ended up being soft and romantic.”

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3. What is a personal story about yourselves that you would like to share? 
They say “nice guys finish last,” but I have to say it’s not always true. I ended up picking the “nice guy.” Brandon and I have known each other for about half of our lives – 14 years to be exact. We met in my second year of high school through a good mutual friend (my matron of honor). Over time as we hung out more, I found it easy to talk to him and we gradually became best friends. Of course, college threw in a long distance wrench, but that didn’t stop Brandon from trying to ask me out in 2006 during my winter break. After 2 weeks of dating and going back to school 300+ miles away, I broke it off and told him I didn’t want to lose his friendship if we didn’t work out. So, he remained the dutiful best friend on the side for 7 years while I was in LA for college and grad school and he was in the Bay Area. We dated other people, but Brandon still sent me birthday flowers every year. And he would be my first call when I was crying at 1am because some immature guy had broken my heart yet again. He’d answer without fail at any hour. When I finally moved back home to start my residency, I could tell he was still waiting for me to figure it out. So I took a leap of faith and decided to date my best friend. My life has never been the same again – for the better! 
4. What unique elements or DIY details did you include? 
When it came time to wedding planning, Brandon told me that he wanted to build a wedding arch/trellis for us! I was a little skeptical at first, but he pulled it off and it turned out fantastic! My florist even offered to buy it from us afterwards because she said it was the most solid arch she had ever decorated. It also made a fun painting project to do together. We also built a big 5-foot tall, double-sided, wooden chalkboard to write a wedding welcome greeting. I learned how to make long garlands from fresh bay leaves that my co-worker provided me to frame the chalkboard too! The garland ended up being 15 feet long and smelled heavenly. It was Pinterest-inspired and Brandon was awesome enough to put his woodworking skills into play again for me. I plan to let our future children use the chalkboard! Additionally, I learned how to write some calligraphy for the wedding, so I hand-wrote all invitations, place cards, and chalkboard signs! For the place cards, Brandon actually cut up wooden square blocks with little slits to fit my handwritten name cards. We ended up doing a lot more woodwork than we expected, but I like how it made the wedding more personal to us and to the guests! Lastly, Brandon’s mom is an artist and she painted our guestbook, which was a big tree filled with leaves that our guests could sign!”

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5. Where did you find inspiration to plan your wedding day? 
Pinterest, wedding blogs, the Knot. But I always did it in small doses because Pinterest can be overwhelmingly inspiring sometimes, and I didn’t want to have so many ideas that I didn’t know how to execute! 
6. What was your favorite moment? Your favorite crafted detail? 
My favorite moment was reading our vows beside the arch that Brandon had built for us. I also had special personalized vow books made for us from an Etsy shop! In every wedding, my favorite part is hearing personally written vows, and that was the same for ours! It was even more special because Brandon is not a man of many words. His actions speak so much louder, and he’s not one to verbalize his feelings all the time. So hearing his vows to me in front of all of our friends and family by the labor of his love was incredibly special and had me sniffling the entire time!”

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7. Tell us about your flowers, your gown, your favors, your cake, etc. 
Flowers: I wanted full blooms like peonies and garden roses in whites and peach with smaller filler flowers and dusty miller in the bouquets. My florist suggested blue bella to help carry out my color palette, blush spray roses, freesias, and lisianthus. For centerpieces, I decided to save costs by scattering a few tall floral arrangements in trumpet vases amongst trios of clear glass cylinder vases filled with water, flowers (roses/dendrobium/hydrangeas), and floating candles. My wedding coordinator mentioned this was a good idea to have different elevations to draw the eye to different things across the reception hall. We re-used the large floral centerpiece in the middle of our arch for our sweetheart table centerpiece too. 
Gown: My bridesmaids were pretty much all located out of town, so when one of them was in town, I took her with my sister to shop at BoLee Bridal Couture! This was the second bridal shop that I visited. I had started at David’s Bridal where I tried on different silhouettes and decided that I liked a sweetheart A-line look. It had a very princess-y feel to it! I didn’t expect to find my dress so soon, but I’m so glad I did it while I had a few bridesmaids with me. The dress I ended up getting was a Stella York dress with a perfectly swirled sweetheart neckline, detailed with lace and beading over layers of ivory tulle. It also came with a sparkly belt, which was nice that I didn’t have to buy another one myself! 
Favors: Since we wanted that soft romantic look, we wanted candlelight around all the centerpieces. While we had some tea lights surrounding the glass vases and trumpet vases, we decided to also utilize the favors as part of the decoration and add even more candlelight. We designed personalized frosted tealight holders, which also doubled as shot glasses, and added tealights in them. I’m glad we opted for the frosted ones, because they definitely softened the candlelight! 
Cake: We chose two flavors for cake since, why not? More cake for all! It was a vanilla sponge with strawberry mousse cream and red velvet with cream cheese frosting. I thought it was also sweet to include red velvet as a flavor because I baked Brandon a homemade red velvet cake for his birthday one year – probably about 10 years ago actually. It was the ugliest cake I’d ever seen or baked. But he claimed it tasted great, and it was his first time trying red velvet cake! We had a 3-tier cake adorned with some leftover garden roses and flowers topped with a “Happily Ever After” cake topper! Oh yeah, and he built our wooden cake stand too! 
Surprise: I coordinated with my DJ that I would do a surprise song to Brandon right before our first dance. I practiced singing to the instrumental in my car the week leading up to the wedding. I think he was suspicious something was going on but he didn’t know exactly what it was going to be. I sang Christina Perri’s “A Thousand Years” because Brandon loves belting out random words to this song instead of singing it properly. It’s been our running joke that every time he heard this song he would try to butcher it. Safe to say, he doesn’t do that anymore! I also noticed during the middle of the song that some guests had picked up the frosted tealight holders and were waving and swaying with them in the air like we were at a concert!”

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8. What is one piece of advice that you could give brides-to-be? 
While we were on our honeymoon cruise, a couple who was celebrating their 25th anniversary told me that she always tells brides-to-be, “There are a lot of things you cannot control on your wedding day. But the one thing that you can control is your mood. Enjoy the day!” I thought that was very good advice and one that I completely agreed upon. No matter what happens during your wedding day, remember that the most important thing is the love between you and your spouse that you are celebrating! So enjoy it; whatever happens is all trivial compared to marrying the love of your life!”

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