Real wedding: Kelly + Terrell







From the beginning, Terrell and I knew we wanted a laid back, relaxed
wedding, so most of the decisions we made revolved around that. We
were going for a warm and whimsical feel and knew we wanted a fall
wedding outside. We both come from large extended families and so we
planned for 250, which turned out to be about right.

VENUE: We wanted the ceremony and reception at the same place, and it
was pretty important to us that we be able to do our own decorating
and have time to spend with our people. So we were really happy to
find a barn-styled retreat center near our home that we could rent for
the whole weekend. The Barn at Valhalla had a pond and rolling lawn
for the outdoor wedding and beautiful mahogany floors for dancing
later on. There was an outdoor fireplace that made a great hangout
spot away from the dance floor, and the site was casual enough that 20
or so kids could run around and explore. We spent the day before
decorating with the wedding party, our family and helpful friends and
were able to have a larger (40+) rehearsal dinner there Friday night.
Bonus: the barn had an upstairs which slept 18 and had two full
bathrooms, which made it a great place to get ready, too.

THEME: I know most people plan these out, but ours sort of happened by
accident, evolving from our save the dates (baby pictures using moo
cards) and invitations (little fabric pouches). We’re both known for
taking lots of pictures, so incorporating family photos made sense.
Sewing also ended up being a common thread, as my family has long ties
to the garment industry and his is full of quilters (In fact, all of
the fabric used in our invites came from our parents’ various
stashes).

DECORATIONS: The one drawback to our venue was the art lining the
walls. We got around this by incorporating lots and lots of family
quilts. Terrell’s mother and uncle spent a good bit of time on Friday
using tobacco sticks from his grandparent’s farm to hang almost 20
quilts inside and outside of the barn over the art. It really made the
whole place feel comfortable and homey. There was also a wonderful
quilted tablecloth on the cake table. On the cocktail tables, we had
centerpieces made out of three wooden frames, assembled around a
candle. These held family shots printed on vellum so they could be lit
from behind. We used leftover moo cards from our save the dates as
accents on the flower arrangements. And perhaps one of our most fun
ideas was to line the tables with brown kraft paper and set out small
tin buckets of crayons. We had no idea the guests would enjoy this as
much as they did, but we ended up with lots of wonderful drawings and
personal notes.

FLOWERS: We wanted simple arrangements in mason jars and had been
planning to go with our local farmer’s market for flowers, but our
wedding date ended up being at the end of the growing season. We were
able to get lilies from a local greenhouse and supplement the rest
through Whole Foods (who was fantastic to work with). If you feel
comfortable doing your own flowers (and have the time and some
helpers) I would recommend it to anyone on a budget. Since it was a
fall wedding, my dad also brought in a ton of mums, and we decorated
the arbor with ivy from my parent’s yard. My friends and I made the
guy’s simple boutonnieres out of daisies and bittersweet (which we
also used on the arbor).

FOOD: Keeping it laid back, we had a buffet line catered by our
favorite BBQ joint and used our favorite Mediterranean place for the
vegetarian options and appetizers. We weren’t sure if this was a weird
combination, but all of the food was devoured and one friend told us a
highlight of our wedding for him was being able to combine his two
loves: hushpuppies and hummus.

CAKES: Oh my god, the cakes. We have the most amazing friend Kim who
offered to do our wedding cake as our present. As we talked about what
we were thinking (cupcakes), she suggested multiple wedding cakes in
several flavors instead (apparently, she has strong opinions about
cupcakes). I was so glad we listened because the cakes (9 total) were
amazing. Not only were they gorgeous, but easily the best I have ever
eaten. People are still talking about them. In fact, we had to move up
the cake cutting time because lines began forming right after dinner.
Most people went back to try multiple kinds. And Kim took care of
everything, even the flowers for decorating them — she made it as
stress-free as it gets.

FAVORS: We rented an old timey photo booth (the-photobooth.com) for
five hours and used it as both our guestbook and our favors. We asked
everyone to leave us one strip and sign our book and the rest were
theirs to keep. This was a huge hit with guests and the book is one of
my favorite things from the wedding. The company also brought a
scanner and scanned each strip for us, so it was awesome having these
images to look at right after the wedding. (online at
www.flickr.com/photos/kellyink/sets/72157608188917552) We also ended
up getting some fun personalized koozies, since for some of the
refreshments, we had sodas in large galvanized tubs. These turned out
to be in demand.

ART: Both of us really appreciate art and well made craft, so we
incorporated these into our wedding wherever possible. I’m a huge fan
of outsider art and have tried to visit some of these artists around
our home state. We had visited artist Vollis Simpson a couple of times
before we were married and owned a few of his whirligigs. So we
decided to ask him to create a larger piece for our wedding day. We
also had him make many smaller whirligigs which we gave to our wedding
party and families. Other wedding items (ring bowl, wooden guest book)
came from artists on Etsy.com and I made our caketopper using a basic
kit from another Etsy vendor, The Small Object (she now sells
caketoppers, too). We also invested in great photographers, Whitebox
Weddings, who have really made our memories of the day come to life.

[images from Whitebox Weddings]

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Cake topper




After slaving away for nights, the cake topper is finally complete. You’ll notice Kiki, my maid of honor, putting it all together, being a good friend and all.  There are vintage flowers from Tinsel Trading, the fabric for my dress is ACTUAL fabric from my dress, Chad’s tux is velvet ribbon, and the green fabric is leftover from my vase cozies. You’ll maybe notice the dove on Chad’s shoulder and the rat peeking out from under my dress….its an inside joke that dates back to the day we got engaged…maybe one day I’ll tell it to you.

This site helped a lot with the construction, so check it out if you feel like making your own.

[images by Brooklyn Bride]

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