Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Remembering A Labor of Love

A wedding-planner friend of mine asked me to write a blog on my wedding for her blog.  I thought I'd go ahead and post it here, too.  It is a walk down memory lane!  Thank you, Steph (c:  Check out her blog Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With String for wedding pictures and tips, purses, shoes, and other fun stuff!

Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about my wedding are the stats:
250 Guests
7 Bridesmaids, 7 Groomsmen
1 Meal served
1 Custom wedding gown
In a historic German Opera House venue in Downtown New Braunfels, TX

…Budget: $6,000 (and when the dust settled, we had spent less than $5,500)

I think there are two basic trains of thought when planning a wedding.  The first is to basically cut corners where you can, do what you can do yourself, take advantage of connections and resources available, and maybe even compromise on a few things that you wanted, all in the name of a fun challenge and having a budget-minded, but “labor of love” wedding.  The second train of thought is to throw all sheets to the wind and have everything done by professionals in order to ensure all friends and family can sit back, relax, and enjoy the event, even if it takes a few years to pay off.  There is nothing wrong with either approach, but we chose to accept all of the offers for help that were given to us and go with the first method.

This is definitely one of my favorite pictures and definitely the one most people remember my wedding by.  Make sure to get some fun ones!

One of the biggest blessings to me was that my bridesmaids - all friends from different times and places in my life - hit it off with each other immediately.

My inspiration for my wedding came from citrus fruit.  Even a year and a half later, I still love the way yellow, orange, gray, and lime pop out on a dark gray background.  My mom thought gray was an awful color choice and fought it much of the way, and I compromised on that a lot.  I had wanted the bridesmaid dresses to be gray or pewter, but oh well.  The girls had fun with green (c:

My dear friend and sister to my Maid of Honor let me borrow so many glass items and floral arrangements from her own wedding - not to mention put them together beautifully.  Better than I could have imagined for sure!!

Waiting to be paired up and head down the aisle!

I can’t even list all of the help that we received in our 8 month long preparations.  Dorm mates helped with the handmade invitations and programs, amazing, talented friends did the decorations, my cousin’s husband learned how to play Blue October’s “Calling You” on guitar for our processional, close friends did our MCing and DJing, many of my mom’s friends pitched in a LOT to serve food, long-time family friends in the photography business gifted me with their time, talent, and photos.  My parents, uncles, and some of the groomsmen arrived a few days early to BBQ all of the chickens and briskets themselves ahead of time – I would estimate that over 50% of my guests were involved in some way in making it come together for us.

I have received some criticism for putting my friends and family to work.  If I had it to do over again, if any of them felt used or taken advantage of, in a heartbeat I would have had a tiny family-only wedding.  We only asked those who offered - we had to assume their offer was genuine and not just polite!  I hope and pray that they know now how much their effort means to us and that they do not feel taken advantage of.  This might be something for brides-to-be to keep in mind. 

My talented aunt made my wedding dress.  How could a bride get any luckier than to have someone offer this gift?  I am extremely grateful to her and I loved it.

I did NOT know he was going to dip me, but he did it successfully and smoothly (could have been a disaster!)

After I came up for air, catching my balance.

We married and partied in the same room at this historic German opera house in Downtown New Braunfels.  The original wood floors and especially the tiled pewter ceiling won my heart.

Not knowing what to do for the exit (rice, bubbles, sparklers, etc.) but wanting to be different, we came up with kazoos and clappers from a party store.  It went over great!

Little sister had mixed emotions, what a sweetheart.
When I look back at the pictures, sure there are things I would have done differently, but I remember the part each person who helped played and can’t help but be thankful for them each time.  And I got my man, the most important part of all!!


  1. Beautiful!! I love it. :D

  2. I love it! Thank you Kenny-D! :D

  3. I loved your wedding! :D And we were glad to help (I'm pretty sure we helped in one way or another with every wedding we've been to in the past few years, haha!)
    I think one issue about cheap weddings (ours was about the same cost as yours was) is that everyone will have a different level of people that they know that can or will help. Some people don't know anyone that can help, so they must pay for everything themselves. So someone with the same budget as us who had to pay for everything would have had to probably sacrifice a lot more - maybe by finding a place that didn't charge rental fees, by borrowing or buying a very cheap dress, and not serving much food. Some people who had to budget to pay for everything may almost think it "cheating" to have had help or free services by friends (just something I've run across!).

    In our case, it was more of finding the cheapest deals we could. I almost feel like doing a post like this! It's always fun to compare notes. :D I remember the days of wedding planning in Davis... fun times!

  4. I would really enjoy reading a blog about your wedding, Christine!! Do it!!

  5. What a beautiful tribute this is Kenny. I'm so sorry if anyone felt put upon after they helped us with the wedding...but they certainly were a blessing to us that day. I'm happy that you have such great memories of it. Thanks for sharing.