An interview with the bride:
Tell us a little about your inspiration behind the day:
We certainly had some preconceived ideas of what we wanted our wedding to look and feel like, but many more emerged as we began putting all the many pieces together.
If we had to choose one phrase to describe how we envisioned our big day, it would probably be “Farm Formal” (which we ended up using as our attire description). Since it was on a farm, we warned people against wearing super nice duds, but we wanted it to be elegant at the same time.
We wanted it to feel unique, relaxed, fun, and full of juxtapositions; like lace and burlap, dresses and livestock, and bouquets with delicate flowers alongside wild grasses. Finding the right balance seemed like a tall order, but the atmosphere of the venue certainly helped to create the foundation for just the right vibe.
The setting (and caterer) also matched our ideals of supporting quality, locally raised food on our big day.
We were living in North Carolina while planning much of the wedding, so we relied on a couple of friends, and Brian’s brother and sister-in-law to scout the location for us. Despite only seeing the venue in the winter, they all could sense the potential and told us that it seemed “very us.” So, we decided to book it, sight unseen. Boy, are we glad we did.
What are some special touches that made everything extra lovely?
First and foremost, all of the help from family and friends made it such a memorable experience and really allowed us to customize the details. Also, the toasts were so lovely! We were even (pleasantly) surprised by a couple of the speakers who stepped up to the mic, and when they offered all their witty and touching remarks, we were just tickled.
What sources did you get your best ideas from?
Much of what came to fruition sort of happened organically as we worked through all the elements one by one, hunted for raw craft materials, and combed through our own stockpiles of wood, glassware, and metal. Pinterest certainly played a part in generating new ideas, and the occasional wedding magazine provided some excellent (what our MOH likes to call) “wedding-porn” too.
What decorations were DIY projects?
We decided to not only make our own Save The Dates, invitations, and programs, but also the centerpieces, guest sign-in art piece, table runners, bouquets, and party favors.
It was an ambitious endeavor, but well worth the effort since we ended up with exactly what we were envisioning. We also collected all the flatware and dishes at thrift stores and garage sales, with the enormous help of the bride’s antique dealin’ mother.
We were particularly proud of our party favors, which doubled as table assignments. In keeping with the farm theme, we designed 17 different table markers, consisting of various barnyard animals, vegetables, fruit, and a barn for the head table. I did the artwork, my groom cut old fence posts into 3.5”x 3.5” squares, and they both painted the blocks, decoupaged the images, lacquered, and affixed them all with hanging wire (and, once again, we drew on family labor to help cut out all those little images--a big help).
Each of the tables had a larger version of one of the 17 images mounted on a willow branch that was stuck in the centerpiece. The centerpieces were vintage coffee cans filled with different kinds of succulents.
Our guest sign-in piece was also pretty fun. We found two cool pieces of old, painted wood and decoupaged chickadee images (also used on our invitations and hand-drawn by the bride) to each one. We also embellished it with two pages from an old French encyclopedia. One side had the “M” page, and the other, the “B” page. We connected the two pieces and a smaller block in the middle with “&” using some old chain.
What were the thoughts behind your music choices?
Having a great soundtrack for the entire day was a top priority. The main thought behind the music was to compile songs that we enjoyed but were also crowd pleasers (mostly golden oldies, but some newer hits too). We wanted to appeal to all ages throughout the night and end with a rowdy dance party.
What's your favorite memory from the day?
One of the best moments came in the evening, just before sunset. The light drizzle stopped and the sun poked out its head one last time to create the most glorious and brilliant rainbow we had ever seen… then a second one appeared.
We believe this auspicious omen came as a gift from a close friend of the bride who passed away last fall, and who would have been a bridesmaid. We found out after the wedding that on the morning of the ceremony her mother gazed skyward and told her daughter, “your friend is getting married today, so make sure she knows you’re there.” And she did. Her middle name was Rayne, so we call the one that appeared at our wedding our "Rayne-bow."
Do you have any advice for brides planning now?
One piece of advice we can give to any brides/couples in the planning process is to not fret too much and be flexible. There are going to be elements that you have no control over, so being able to roll with the punches is just part of the fun.
For instance, at the last minute we opted to have a big tent due to a rainy forecast, and even though it wasn’t part of our original “vision,” it turned out to be a good decision.
Second, don’t let anyone talk you out of a task that you really want to do yourself!
Lastly, a great wedding dress doesn’t have to break the bank!