Monday, January 27, 2014

The Camel Wedding: Budget Breakdown

Originally we set a budget of around $15,000. We knew we wanted to invite as many friends and family as possible as it would be one of the few chances in our lives to have our widely separated families together at once. In the end, we went over our budget. I'm sure this is no huge surprise to anyone currently planning a wedding! Wedding costs add up fast. You might even have that wedding budget anxiety attack when you realize how expensive your dream wedding will cost. Suddenly your Pinterest-worthy wedding dreams begin to fade. But don't give up! There are lots of ways to trim your budget and incorporate DIY elements to keep costs down. We certainly could have had a much cheaper wedding without sacrificing the look and feel of our big day. 

Anyway, enough yapping from me. Here's the Camel Wedding Budget Breakdown: 

Number of Guests: ~80

Location: Athens/Arnoldsville, Georgia

Date: May 26, 2013

Type: Outdoor, seated buffet

Honeymoon: $3000
Two weeks in Malta, Gozo, and Paris (cost not included in budget)

Venue and Catering - Cloverleaf Farm / A Divine Event: $8,800
Sunday discount; this included the venue from 3:00 pm to midnight, the staff, two bartenders, two passed appetizers, a buffet with two entree choices, salad, rolls, and three side dishes, the cake cutting, a day-of-coordinator, all linens, all tables and chairs, and ceremony set-up and breakdown. 

Outdoor Lighting: $500
This was stupidly expensive but we just had to have it for the desired ambiance. It was worth it though, for it gave the entire reception a magical, fairy-party sort of feel. We were originally planning on having the reception inside the house and therefore never budgeted for lighting. This was a last minute addition when our venue coordinator suggested moving the seating outside if the weather was nice. I was immediately in love with the idea and thankfully the weather was perfect! But it was definitely a much-debated last-minute expense.

Alcohol - All Night Open Bar: $850
We collected bottles of red and white wine from Trader Joe's for over a year. We also purchased lots of beer from Costco and about 10 bottles each of rum and vodka for mixed drinks. Our caterer provided mixers for the alcoholic beverages. We had a LOT of leftover alcohol! 

Cake - Cheesecake Factory & Cecelia's: $200
We bought three chocolate cakes from the Cheesecake Factory (Linda's Fudge Cake is my absolute favorite cake in the world), and one lemon cake from Cecelia's so we could still provide a "traditional" cake offering for our guests. Plus it looked great in photos! Price also included the cake stand and cake delivery. 

Photography - Christopher Helm: $2800
Sunday discount; 10 hours of coverage, one shooter, engagement shoot, digital files with copyright

DJ: Gifted
My brother is a DJ and brought all the lights and sound equipment as part of our wedding gift. We had a blast!

We hired a florist for my bridal bouquet, the Mr. C's boutonniere, three corsages (for my mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother), and ten table's worth of flowers for the reception and miscellaneous flowers for the main room, gift table, dessert table, and guest book table. We then DIYed everything else. We ordered around $100 worth of baby's breath from which was used for our aisle decor, groomsmen boutonnieres, and bridesmaid/groomslady bouquets. 

Ceremony Decor: $180 
The aisle was decorated with hanging baskets I bought from Hobby Lobby which were filled them with moss. My mother made bows for them with sheer blue ribbon and they were filled with baby's breath which is included in the estimate above. We also rented a chandelier from a local antique shop which was hung from the tree directly over our ceremony site and provided guests with dried lavender to toss as we passed by during the recessional. 

Ceremony Music: $160
We paid two former students $80 each to play the cello and violin for about an hour and a half. I asked them to learn two different songs for the event. 

Hair & Make-up - City Salon and Spa $800
This included my bridal updo, hair trial, updos for our nine bridesmaids/groomslaides and two mothers, my wedding day make-up, and gratuity.

Dress: $2,300 (Jim Hjelm 8105 purchased as a sample from Wedding Angels Boutique), Shoes: $50, Bracelet: $40, Hairpiece (DIY): $20, Sash (DIY): $30, Alterations: $400. I never in my wildest dreams expected to have such an expensive dress, but it was absolutely the one. I can't imagine our wedding day without it. As such, I tried to spend less on the other bridal accessories. I bought my shoes (by Lola Cruz) on sale on Amazon, but I just noticed that BHLN is now selling them for $200 in rose gold. 

Groom’s Attire: $440
Suit (from Macy's): $280, Shirt: already owned, Socks: $15, Tie: $25, Shoes: $120

Transportation: $120
A limo ride from our venue to our hotel the night of the wedding. This is one luxury I wish we had skipped! 

Paper Products: $300
All paper products were designed by me with Adobe Illustrator and printed either through Moo or Catprint. Moo is better quality, but a little pricier. This estimate includes our postcard save-the-dates, invites, RSVP cards, program fans, mini Moo cards with website address, rehearsal dinner invites, thank you bookmarks, envelopes, and postage.

Favors: $200
Around 200 French macarons from a Korean bakery in Atlanta. Some were individually wrapped with attached thank you tags for gifts and some were displayed on our dessert table as seen above.

Wedding bands: $500 
I bought mine used (it's a slim platinum band from 1926) from an online vintage jewelry dealer and Mr. C bought his tungsten from a local shop. 

Rehearsal dinner - Highwire Lounge: Gifted
Hosted by Mr. C's dad and stepmother. We never saw the bill, so I have no idea! It included one meal and two drink tickets for around 40 guests. 

Hotel - Hotel Indigo: $150
One night at the Hotel Indigo in downtown Athens. We know someone who works there and we were upgraded to the palatial presidential suite for free! 

Officiant: $50
Our officiant was Mr. C's dear friend and former coworker. We gifted him a local restaurant gift card and a night of babysitting for their two girls. 

Marriage license: $60

Gifts: $500
I gifted my bridesmaids and groomsladies gift bags with Anthropologie initial mugs, picture frames, chocolates, and a piece of jewelry from Etsy seller Edor. My maid of honor, our moms, and my sisters-in-law who held my bridal shower were also gifted with floral cotton robes. The bridesmaids and groomsladies were given paper parasols from Luna Bazaar for some post-wedding photo ops. Our moms received necklaces and embroidered handkerchiefs, and I gifted my dad a Little Prince popup book (for sentimental reasons, he's hard to shop for!). Groomsmen were gifted pocket knives with their initials on the sides.  

Reception Decor: $500 
I collected milk glass, silver trays, tray mirrors, and votive candles for over a year and I never bothered to keep track of how much I spent on everything, so this is a rough estimate. I still plan to sell everything if you are in the Atlanta area and interested!

Reception Party Items - Oriental Trading Company: $80
We bought  glow necklaces and plastic sunglasses to hand out during the reception dance party. They were distributed by our catering staff. They were a huge hit and I consider this money well spent! The glow sticks also made it possible for us to have a glow stick exit when our sparklers were MIA. Speaking of sparklers. . . 
Sparklers - I Love Sparklers: $50 
Never used. Later discovered in the trunk of my car and sold to a local bride to recoup my costs. We went with the 20" sparklers, if you're curious. 

Crafts: $150 
I'll throw in this figure for any miscellaneous paper, hole punches, ribbon, baker's twine, and whatnot I purchased from the craft stores throughout the wedding planning process. Thankfully teachers get a discount at Michael's (and I used those 40% off one item coupons all the time) to help save some money!

This included the guest book itself, archival ink pens, washi tape, and several packages of film for my Fujii Instax MINI 25 camera which I already owned. 

Website: $50 
Created through Wix and with a personal domain name. 

I think that's about everything! I'm sure I've managed to forget some cost here or there, and some of these costs are estimates, perhaps slightly over or under what was actually spent, but this should give some idea of where our money went! And now for the grand total . . . 

Grand Total: Around $21,800

Yes, that's quite a bit over the $15,000 we originally envisioned. 

And now, some advice: 

A few areas which pushed us over our budget would be my dress, the outdoor lighting (which wasn't originally budgeted), and the flowers, which we originally planned to DIY. As I mentioned above, we could have definitely skipped some of these items and still had a really amazing wedding. Another suggestion for those of you with long engagements is to buy wedding-related items in increments. It makes things much more financially feasible and palatable. Our venue came at a steal, but came with the caveat of booking their in-house catering which was a little pricier than we would have chosen otherwise. If we had chosen a similarly priced venue with cheaper catering, we could have saved money. I also highly recommend booking a venue that allows you to provide your own alcohol. This saved us a lot of money! Also, remember that many of our items like there reception and ceremony decor can be resold in order to cover some of these costs. 

In hindsight, we could have been a little more strict in our spending -- but in the end we have no looming regrets and personally, I think our wedding turned out perfect! Despite being over budget, we accumulated zero debt from our wedding, which was funded primary by Mr. C and me along with some very generous help from my dad and stepmother. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

After the Wedding: What I Would Change

By and large, we had an amazing wedding -- one that I still look back on with pride, joy, and love. When you plan a wedding you are coordinating so many minute details and most of the time you have no idea how these details will come together on your wedding day.  Even as lovely and amazing our wedding was, things still went wrong. Something will always go wrong. I'm sure you've heard this before, but please understand that it's impossible for everything to be perfect; you have to learn to live with your day, for better or worse. Hopefully it's for the better! And look at it this way, sometimes the things that go wrong (like our glow stick exit) make some really awesome memories later!

In the spirit of learning from those who have gone before you, I've compiled a list of things I would consider changing if given a second chance. Last week I wrote a post that mentioned some decisions that I'm glad that we made. But these are just my personal regrets, so yours or another bride's may be different. Some are just wishful thinking (like the second photographer) as we were already over-budget and there was no room for added luxuries. Some are just hindsight and some are correcting stupid mistakes. Speaking of stupid mistakes, remember my sparkler exit vision?

The Dream:

Image source via: Jonathan Hoffner Photography
Keep Important Items Organized 

After spending $70 on extra long wedding sparklers for our sparkler exit, I accidentally left them in the trunk of my car. My car was parked at the Hotel Indigo in Athens, about 30 minutes away from the venue. At the time, we weren't sure where the sparklers were located. We had several boxes packed with wedding decor and personal items (including lots and lots of milk glass, vanity mirrors, silver trays, etc) and the venue coordinator was searching frantically through our things to find them. I figured that they had to have been left at the apartment and my poor dad even sent a friend back to our place to search for them. In the end, we had an impromptu glow stick exit, which while not as romantic, still did the trick! Do I mourn the amazing photo opportunity we missed? A little bit, yes. Am I over it? Yes. I was able to find another local bride to sell the sparklers to so I was also able to recoup my costs. Otherwise we would have had one wild Fourth of July sparkler party!

The Reality:

Keep the Party Going

I'm pretty sure this is one complaint that every bride and groom have after the wedding: it was over way too soon. It seemed like my brother (the DJ) got everyone on the dance floor and then about five minutes later it was time to go home. OK, it wasn't actually five minutes but it sure felt that way. I wish we had paid our venue for another hour so that the party ended at midnight instead of 11:00 pm. I know time would still fly, but I would have really loved another hour of socializing and dancing. Plus, you spend so much money on everything, why not go for another hour? If you have the funds and your venue offers this option, I say try to extend your time!

Invite More People

I was terrified that we would have over 100 people at our wedding. It would have significantly increased our catering and alcohol costs. Because of this fear, I was not willing to toy with the 20% rule, even though almost all of our family had to fly or drive in from out of town. In the end we had about 80 people at our wedding and there were a few local coworkers and friends that I wished that we had the foresight to invite. Obviously this suggestion will vary greatly depending on your budget and how many guests are coming in from out of town.

Pay for the Second Photographer

If we didn't have such a tight budget, I would have really loved having a second shooter. Your photographer is only one person and cannot be everywhere capturing every moment. Moments will be missed with one photographer. Hell, moments will be missed with two photographers, but at least it is less likely. I wish we had a second photographer taking photos during our cocktail hour which I was never able to experience. I wish we had more photos of our guests. I barely had time to talk to so many of our guests and now I don't have photos of them either! But our photographer was doing his best to capture every moment he could and I certainly don't fault him. That's why people hire a second shooter.

Enjoy Your Meal

That's right, like many brides before me, I barely ate or drank a thing at my own wedding. I even vowed not to be one of "those brides." It was my wedding day and I was going to enjoy myself! Alas, everything was moving so quickly and I felt torn in a million directions so I never settled down into our first meal, a slice of cake, or even a nice cocktail. For dinner Mr. C and I were taken upstairs to the bridal suite in order to be alone for a few brief moments. We were only upstairs for around 15 minutes, but even without the interruptions of guests I barely touched my food. And how I managed to forgo a slice of delicious chocolate cake will always baffle me. So take my advice: take a deep breath and try to make an effort to enjoy the fruits of your wedding planning labors!

Skip the Limo 

For some reason, I thought we would be drinking at our wedding. I have no idea what could have given me that crazy idea. It's not like we had an open bar or a signature cocktail or anything. Oh wait, we did. My reasoning was that we would be a little tipsy and shouldn't drive. It felt weird asking a friend or family member to drive us to our hotel downtown so we hired a limo. We got a good deal on it, but it was still a very expensive thirty minute drive. I wish we could have skipped the expensive and just driven ourselves!

In conclusion, we don't really have much to complain about. These things are all small beans in comparison to the act of getting married in the presence of our family and friends. Make sure to always keep sight of what is most important: your marriage. All these little regrets mean nothing in the grand scheme of things!

Monday, January 6, 2014

After the Wedding: What I Wouldn't Change

Happy New Year hive! It's a new year and I'm guessing we have some newly engaged readers here at Weddingbee. I was married on May 26, 2013 and I wanted to share my wedding planning advice for those of you who might just be getting started. I've had a lot of time to stop and reflect on our wedding, including what I loved and what I would change if given a second chance. Here are some decisions that we made during the planning process that I still feel good about.

Skip the Bouquet & Garter Toss 

I'm so glad we skipped these two wedding traditions. At 30 (and being the youngest in my family) and 36, we don't have too many single friends or family left these days, at least not ones we wanted to publicly humiliate by forcing them to stand in a group while I toss a bouquet at them. I've always been really embarrassed when I have been forced into a ring of younger women who are ready and willing to fight for the chance to be the next to get married. The garter toss didn't fit the vibe of our wedding either, nor does it really suit our personalities. I think these traditions are starting to lose popularity over the years, but they are probably a lot more fun if you are getting married young or have lots of younger family members who would be excited to join in. Go with your gut on this one, and don't let friends or family members talking you into having anything at your wedding that doesn't suit your style or personalities! Besides, who would want to toss this bouquet? 

Skip the Out-of-Town Bags: 

As much as I would have loved to pamper and impress our out-of-town guests, I am so glad that we skipped the out-of-town bags. It would be have been a huge extra cost for us (when things were already over budget) and it would have been very stressful to gather these items and assemble them at the last minute, not to mention getting them to the hotels and into the hands of specific guests. A lot of bee bloggers have made them and you see them a lot online, but please, please, please do not feel obligated or pressured to provide out-of-town bags to your guests. I don't think any guest arrives to a destination wedding expecting anything other than witnessing a wedding ceremony. Yes, it's a very special touch but it's a luxury, not a necessity. When I thought about all the money I was practically hemorrhaging those final weeks leading to the wedding, I came to the realization that it was just an unnecessary expense.

Skip the Bathroom Basket

This falls under the same category as the out-of-town bags. It's an unnecessary expense. I've seen women spend easily $50-100 on bathroom baskets. It's a very generous final touch, but guys -- you are at a wedding for maybe five or six hours. I don't think guests need an entire basket of conveniences for such a short period of time. This whole idea of being the gracious and generous hostess who anticipates the needs of her every guest is getting out of hand. If you have the money, go for it. Otherwise, skip the bathroom basket. No one will notice and you will save yourself time and money.

Be Yourselves!

I love that we incorporated some fun, silly photos into our wedding day portrait session, like the one below of us "Vadering." We aren't the most serious of couples, so this allowed some of our personality to shine through on our big day. Don't be afraid to ask you photographer to incorporate some fun or goofy photos like these!

Have the Sunday Wedding

We decided to hold our wedding on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. When negotiating with vendors, I did not mention it was a holiday weekend, I only mentioned that it was a Sunday. We ended up with a significant discount from our photographer and a great discount from our photographer! This meant we were able to afford a venue and caterer that otherwise would have been out of our budget. Don't be shy about the Sunday wedding, especially if you can get it to line up with a day most people will have off anyway!

Book the New Venue

I know it's not always possible, but we took a chance on a brand new wedding venue and really lucked out. A Divine Event had just bought the property that would become Cloverleaf Farms when Mr. C and I stopped by to have a look. There was still a lot of work to be done, but the event coordinator who showed us the property was able to help us see their vision and I loved what I heard. We were on board immediately, and took a chance booking a venue that was still a work in progress. As such, we received a significant discount as one of their first pre-advertising bookings.

Rent the Cafe Lights

We spent a lot of money on rented cafe lights. Yes, it's crazy. I realize it's crazy. But they turned out so magically beautiful. If I was a bit more industrious I would have found some way to purchase and hang my own cafe lights, but that was unrealistic considering the time crunch we were under as the wedding approached. But if you need to rent some ambient lights for your reception space -- go for it! It makes a huge impact. Originally we were going to hold the reception inside the house but since the venue coordinator suggested it, we decided to move all the tables outside and we needed to have lighting. We definitely wanted something more than the garish flood lights already attached to the house. Beauty and function! So for that, I say it was money well spent. But maybe see if you can buy your own and put them up the night before!

Get Edible Favors

Do you ever keep knick-knacks around because you feel guilty throwing them away or donating them? You keep them in a box in your closet or in the junk drawer, taking up space but simultaneously making you feel too guilty to toss them. That's me! That's why I'm glad we chose edible favors (French macarons) so our guests wouldn't be stuck with some random object they felt obligated to take home and keep. Not only were they practical, but they were beautiful and delicious as well. We had some on display on our dessert table and others were individually wrapped and passed out to guests with hand-stamped thank you tags. So many of our friends and family had never tried French macarons before, and everyone was so delighted by the amazing flavor and texture of these fancy little French cookies. It made me happy to share one of my small joys with our guests.

Sorta DIY the Flowers

Originally we were going to go total DIY for our flowers. The plan was to order flowers in bulk from and then spend the Saturday before our Sunday wedding arranging the flowers into my collection of milk glass vessels. This all sounded feasible during the dreamlike "anything is possible" first six or seven months of wedding planning. And then reality sunk in. I didn't want to spend the day before my wedding frantically cutting and arranging flowers, transporting them to and from the venue, all the while asking my mom, family, and bridesmaids to sacrifice their time to help out. In the end, we went the semi-DIY route. This decision was also inspired by the floral quote I received. The compromise was that the florist would handle my bouquet, the groom's boutonniere, and the table decor while we DIYed the bridesmaid bouquets, aisle baskets, and groomsmen boutonnieres. We bought baby's breath in bulk and my mom made the arrangements in an hour or so two days before the wedding. They were fine sitting in water until the big day. In an ideal world I would have loved to have something a little more colorful for the bridesmaids, but I'm still happy with the end result. Plus it saved us a ton of money and we had plenty of baby's breath leftover to fill our aisle baskets too.

Keep the Seating Chart

If you are having a seated buffet, people will tell you that you do not need to have assigned seating. I had several people try to convince me that it was unnecessary. Others told me that guests would not want to stay at their tables. I beg to differ. First of all, as you might recall, I have some serious drama in my family and I wanted to ensure that each family member was sitting with the appropriate people. Secondly, as a guest, I hate having to save a seat for myself and my partner only to realize I'm sitting with a group of people I don't know. Maybe some people enjoy the element of surprise, but personally, I hate small talk with a passion. With these things in mind, I made sure to seat all of our guests with friends and relatives. If you feel like having a seating chart fits the vibe of your guests, go for it. Again, listen to your instinct and don't let anyone talk you out of it. 

Wear What Makes You Happy

I struggled with my decision to wear a blue sash on our wedding day. On one hand, I loved the look of the dress without the sash. On the other hand, I was kind of obsessed with the idea of the sash. I even waited until the last minute to ask my mother to make one because I just wasn't sure it was what I really wanted. I was terrified that I would regret the decision. Thankfully, I love the final look and I can't imagine our wedding day without it. No one ever tried to dissuade me from wearing it, but it would have been tough to ignore the comments of my friends and family. Even so, stick to your guns and wear what makes you happy! It's your wedding day, after all, not theirs. 

Did you make any tough decisions that you are still glad you stuck with, even months or years after the wedding? 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'll Never Desert You: Wedding Day Details

Details post! Details post! Oh how I love wedding day details posts here on Weddingbee. I hope you guys enjoy mine as much as I have enjoyed others! Like other bloggers before me (namely Mrs. Turtle and Mrs. Perfume) I was largely inspired by Sophia Coppola's film Marie Antoinette. I love all things Marie Antoinette and 18th century France -- but something a little more relaxed and without the gilded gold details. I had Versailles dreams and a Georgia backyard wedding budget. Yikes! But somehow, with some patience, planning, and DIY savvy, I think we managed to pull off my vision!

The "LOVE" sign was placed on our unused sweetheart table. Making similar letters with scrapbook paper is super easy and inexpensive! I even made a tutorial for it last year. Now these cute letters grace the top of our bookshelf and they always bring a smile to my face when I see them.

The first taste of our wedding day style came from our ceremony site. We rented a fabulous glass chandelier from a local antique store in order to give our countryside wedding a little refined flair. It was an amazing detail and I love the way it looked on our big day!

The guest tables were arranged with an assortment of milk glass vases and flowers in our wedding colors (soft pastels: pink, cream, orange, and blue). For some reason, every table seemed to have one vase with nothing in it, but I have no idea how or why this happened. I made the table numbers in Adobe Illustrator using the same wreath design seen on our silhouettes from our save-the-dates.

All of the milk glass, tarnished silver vessels, mirrored vanity trays, and silver platters were collected throughout the year before our wedding. Mr. C and I gathered them from a variety of locations, but mostly from thrift stores, antique shops, and flea markets. I wrote about my quest for milk glass early in my blogging days last year. It's one of the things I miss most about wedding planning, as we spent many a Saturday scouring antique shops and thrift stores for items to add to our wedding decor. I still have boxes and boxes of milk glass I would like to sell, so if you are in the Atlanta area and interested in buying it from me (no way am I packing this stuff up and shipping it), shoot me a message!

Our sweetheart table that was barely used for the entire night!

For our seating chart, we bought some thin plywood from the hardware store and had them cut it down to this size. We then painted it with two layers of chalk board paint. I had bridesmaid SK draw it out with chalk pens from the craft store the night before the wedding (talk about last minute!) She's an artist, so I gave her a rough sketch of what I wanted and in a few minutes she had this whipped up! There are lots of other ideas I would liked to have tried for seating, but since we were seated outside (with limited tables) it was hard to think of something we could have easily displayed for our guests. 

Here is our photo guest book table. Including a picture of the instructions I created for it. 

Our dessert table with macarons and our wedding cake. The cake was later moved outside for the cake cutting. 

I found our cake topper at a local thrift shop. I thought it was perfect for our theme! 

French macarons! Glorious macarons! Having macarons at our wedding was a big deal for me. You can read about my obsession with macarons here. We also had some prepackaged with little thank you tags (hand stamped by me) that were passed out as wedding favors at the end of the night. I collected the silver trays and domed cake stands from thrift stores and antique shops. 

All of our paper goods were designed by me. I would have loved to do something more complex or use pocket folds, but honestly we were already over-budget everywhere else so I kept the stationary to a minimum. Our save-the-dates were printed by Moo and I loved the quality, but they were a bit pricey. We used Catprint for the invitation suite and thank you cards. 

I also designed our fan programs (inspired by the amazing fan programs by Mrs. Bunting) and had them printed at a local print shop. 

I also hand-stamped these muslin bags and filled them with dried lavender. One was placed on each seat during the ceremony so that it could be tossed as Mr. C and I made our way back down the aisle during the recessional. 

What were your favorite details from you wedding day?

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I'll Never Desert You: The Accessories

Oh how I love wedding day details posts! I hope you enjoy mine as much as I've enjoyed other bee bloggers' posts! I definitely took the minimalist approach to my wedding day accessories. I knew that I was going to have a "statement" gown, especially with the blue sash, so I wanted all of my other details to remain subdued to allow the dress to take center stage.

I also never took too much thought about the "somethings" (i.e. something old, something new) as part of my wedding day accessories. But I think I inadvertently managed to hit all of them except "something borrowed" -- oh well!

All photographs are by Christopher Helm Photography

Perhaps my favorite wedding day accessory was my beautiful bouquet created by Gardenia Floral Design. It was packed with pink roses, giant peach-colored garden roses, and pops of blue delphinium. The colors were inspired by the gowns and sets of the Sophia Coppola film Marie Antoinette. The stems were wrapped in lace from my mother's wedding dress and secured with a blue ribbon which I bought to match my blue sash. The brooch, while I wish was a cherished family heirloom, was actually purchased at Michael's craft store! 

Another shot of the bouquet. It turned out more beautiful than I ever imagined! We were originally going to DIY our flowers and I'm so glad we didn't, even if it did end up costing us more in the end. 

The signature blue sash was handmade by my own mother. I bought the fabric at my local JoAnne's Fabric store and mailed it to her in Illinois. A week later she mailed the completed sash back to me. It was absolutely perfect! Unfortunately my bridesmaids had to steam out some wrinkles at the venue. 

And what would an accessories post be without the lady of the hour: my ivory silk chiffon Jim Hjelm gown. I wrote an entire post about my dress which you can read here. I am still so in love with this dress! I need another wedding just so I can wear it all over again. 

I wore VIKTOR & ROLF's Flower Bomb as my wedding day signature scent. I carried a vintage lace handkerchief with me (wrapped around my bouquet) to catch any emotional ceremony tears. I wore an art deco inspired bracelet I purchased on sale from Macy's. My ivory lace garter with blue ribbon and crystal was purchased from Etsy seller JLWeddings

I had no desire to wear heels on my wedding day, especially since our entire ceremony and reception were being held outdoors, mostly in a field. I saw a wedding blog post with a woman wearing these shoes (in brown) on her wedding day and I ended up finding them in gray on Amazon for $55! You can read more about my reluctant hunt for wedding day shoes here

I made my hair accessory two days before the wedding and burned myself with a glue gun in the process. I bought an almost identical accessory from Etsy seller TopWedding, but somehow in the weeks leading to the wedding it went missing. I'm convinced that either Mr. C or I accidentally threw it away, as it was inside a bag and went missing soon after an apartment clean-up. Since the Etsy seller is located in Hong Kong, there was no way I could get another one in time for the wedding. I was thankfully able to order similar feathers from a shop in the U.S. so I had them priority mailed to me and I completed the replica hair accessory just in time! The internet to the rescue! Incidentally, I now have a lot of leftover feathers. 

Here's a good shot of two accessories at work: my bracelet and the beautiful pearl necklace from Tiffany & Co. that Mr. C gifted me that same afternoon! Originally I did not plan on wearing a necklace, but his choice was the perfect complement to my wedding day look. I still can't believe he picked it out on his own. 

And finally, to top it all off, an ivory lace parasol. I found this at an antique store on one of the many weekends we spent collecting milk glass. It's not actually an antique, but at $25 I couldn't help but buy it for a few photos after the ceremony. It seemed decidedly Marie Antoinette to me and I think the photos with it turned out great.

What was your favorite wedding day accessory?