Saturday, January 30, 2010

weekend cuteness

Teehee. I love when cute birds are on top of cakes.


Check out even more cuteness at thefeltedpear on Etsy.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

directing our guests

I love when things that are necessary to our wedding are also appealing to the eyeballs. Since our ceremony + reception location is at a summer cottage which is a good 40 minutes from the main city as well as completely unknown to the majority of Mr. FP's family, our guests are going to need some serious directionage (that's right, I said directionage).

Although my last post may have caused me to come off as insensitive to our guests, it's more about the fact that I don't want to fork over hundreds of dollars to entertain them, but I do want to make sure they can find our wedding. Well ... most of them. The ones on my side, at least.

Step #1 to making sure our guests can find us:

- A wedding website!

We signed up for a free website from MyWedding which has pages for everything from guest attire information (I swear, we're not snobs... it's not about formality, it's about warning them that it will be cold once the sun goes down and that ladies may want to avoid wearing heels unless they fancy sinking into the grass all day), accommodations, and driving directions. On the driving directions page, we've included 2 links from GoogleMaps: one gives directions from my parents' house and one from his. We're also linking to a map made through our account with WeddingMapper which is neat because it allows us to attach markers for important locations. I found this example if you're interested:

{click image to enlarge}


While our location doesn't have as many interesting extras as "Anne and Michael's" wedding, I think the maps are great because they're fun and, more importantly, easy to understand.

Step #2 to making sure our guests can find us:

- Tons of pretty, handmade signs like these:



{Photo sources: 1+2: The Knot; 3: WeddingBee}

We figure we'll place them sporadically along the only two roadways to get to the cottage. And something I'm happy to have thought of is that we'll have to include either our names or initials on the sign in the off chance that there's any other weddings going on in the area which could confuse our guests.

I love, love, love these signs and ones like them. The rustic, country look of them is perfect for our wedding since it's basically in the middle of nowhere. Plus, they can easily be recreated by yours truly, especially since my mom has already started to collect wood for them. Score.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

our entertainment value

Best of luck getting your private, intimate wedding reception broadcast to millions of complete strangers in the Sunday New York Times

After reading this post (by Meg at A Practical Wedding) (plus Mouse's story on Souris Mariage) about the pressure brides feel to turn their weddings into a show, I've decided to insert myself into the conversation because I don't think it's a subject which can be repeated too many times.

Like Meg says, the wedding industry is built upon the idea that a wedding should feel like a grand production which seeks to entertain those in attendance. If it weren't for the idea of a wedding as a production, the wedding industry wouldn't be able to convince us that we need to hire a caterer, lighting designer, personal stylist, baker, wedding planner, florist etc.. And, well, without all of those professions, the wedding industry would be out of business.

After doing some research on The Knot and exploring their articles, I've discovered several articles devoted entirely to explaining how the happy couple can impress their guests. In gems like "15 Ways to Wow Your Guests", brides are reminded how important it is to make an impression upon the guests:
  • "all eyes will be on you, so it'll be a huge shocker when you go from a classic wedding dress for the ceremony to a shorter, flirtier dress at the reception"
  • - "take a few dance lessons [...] kick it up a notch by learning a sultry tango or a high-energy swing routine, and then surprise everyone during your first dance. For an unexpected surprise [...] imagine the looks on your guests' faces when you and your pops break into a hip-hop routine mid-father-daughter dance".
And while I have nothing against changing dresses or choreographed dances, the thing that gets under my skin about "tips" like these is that brides and grooms end up feeling as though they have something to live up to. As if getting married isn't impressive enough. Now their wedding needs to have an entertainment value. Otherwise, what will happen? Will they end up being less married if they fail to meet the standards?

Logically, the answer is no, of course not. You'll still be married. You'll still have each other. And you'll still be in love.
But when guests are spending their valuable time and money to celebrate with you, there is a certain amount of pressure to create one of those weddings that "people will remember forever".

As if that weren't enough, there's articles like this one which "conveniently" list many common complaints from wedding guests "so you can avoid these nuptial no-nos and throw a wedding that's fun for everyone". Now, not only do couples have to worry about the ceremony, food, music, decor but they're also burdened with the idea that their guests will be offended by bad wedding singers, the distance between the ceremony and reception locations, instrusive videographers, seating charts ... honestly, that article goes on forever with people moaning about the carefully planned weddings of friends and family.

One of the first things I got a complaint about when we started discussing the reception was the concern about how the guests would be entertained while we were doing private photos between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the reception. And I remember thinking to myself: "um, I don't know... they're adults... can't they entertain themselves?". While we always planned to have seating available, appetizers and drinks, I was suddenly made to feel as though I should hire some salsa dancers which cost $500 to travel 40 minutes out of town just so our guests would have something to stare at for 40 minutes. Totally normal, right? It's entertaining. And we have to entertain our guests, right? No matter what the cost?

Um, oh yeah... no. I want my wedding to feel more like a family reunion. I want people to talk, to laugh, to share stories and for the two families to enjoy the collective experience of watching us commit ourselves to one another.

For an introverted bride such as myself and one who is constantly worrying (though she really, really wished she didn't) about what other people think, the pressure to turn our wedding into a show is enough to make me want to elope.

In the months leading up to our wedding, the last thing I want to worry about is whether or not the ice water is too cold for the guests with sensitive teeth or whether or not we should reduce the number of Bible passages from our ceremony so as to not offend our agnostic friends. What I really need to worry about is the marriage we're entering into and how we're going to make that work in the real world.

showin' some blogger love

I like winning things. Especially when it's recognition from other bloggers. So I'm sending out a huge thanks to The Office Bride who has voted me in for the Best Blog Award.


For those interested, here are the rules:

1. To accept the award, you must post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted you the award, and a link to their blog.
2. Pass the award on to approximately 10-15 other blogs that you recently discovered, and think are great!
3. Contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

So, I'm going to pass the award on to the following lovelies:

A Mountain Bride
Backyard Bride
BP Wedding
Bridalhood
Bride on a Shoestring
Cupcake Wedding
Earth Friendly Weddings
Jus Hearts Cole
Lucky In Love
The Office Bride
Wedding For Two
With This Ring...

Thanks again to The Office Bride for voting for me and for introducing me to the idea. It's a great way to show some love to fellow bloggers!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I think I have a problem...

Okay, I'm just going to come out and say it.
I'm an accessory whore.

And while I struggle with this on a daily basis, my condition has been exacerbated during the wedding planning process. Not only do I seem to fall in love with every bridal accessory I see, but we spent so little on my wedding dress than I figure I have some wiggle room when it comes to the accessory budget. Honestly, by the time June rolls around, I will have spent $350 on a dress and probably $550 on accessories. Okay, that's a lie. Mr. FP would not stand for that. But you get the idea. Oh well, I can still dream. And in my dreams, I will be covered from head to toe in accessories. Ones like these...

I actually do own these. And I love them. So much so that I've already worn them twice. And no, neither of those events were my own wedding. I'm horrible, I know. Find them in roundabout's shop here.


And since my dress has an empire waist, my sister, mother and I decided that it needed a sash. So I bought one in light blue. And I might be going back to buy another one in purple to jazz it up for the reception.


And to go with the sash, of course I'll be wanting a brooch. Which I've already found one similar to the photo above (which I know is from The Knot, but I forget the exact location) by browsing through Etsy's vintage brooch category. Um, actually, I already have two because I bought another one this past weekend. And I am still in love with this vintage Sarah Coventry brooch even though it goes with nothing else I want to wear.


As if that's not enough brooch for one person, I've also always wanted some bling for my bouquet since I came across this photo:


And of course, I've found one I love from joojooland.


Okay, earrings. Sash. Brooch. Fine, all still within the realms of normal. But if you think I'm done, you're wrong. So very, very wrong.

I'll also be needing a veil. And by needing, I mean wanting. But I figure this one is totally justified since my dress is beautiful, but plain. And I've heard so many other brides talk about how a veil is the difference between feeling like a woman in a white dress and feeling like a bride. If I thought for a second I could pull of a birdcage veil it would be this one from PrimandPosies.

More than likely however, I will end up with something more like this one from veiledbeauty.


And by request from Mr. FP, I've also been desperately searching for a hair fascinator and/or flower. It's one of the only requests he's made of me so far and probably the only one he'll ever make about how I look on the day of. He's a go-with-the-flow kind of guy. Always. Except, apparently, when it comes to hair flowers. And ever since he told me that he would love for me to have a flower in my hair the first time he sees me on our wedding day... well, honestly, how can you refuse a request like that?!

Although I have a massive collection of photos on my computer, I recently came across this one from lottiedadesigns which I'm totally smitten with because it has polka dots. Which are my favorite things next to my dog Pearl and Mr. FP (in that order, nonetheless).


Unfortunately for me (and Mr. FP's PayPal account) I also saw the photo below and became obsessed with the idea of wearing a scarf/pashmina as a shawl.

But at least this idea won't cost me anything because I already have one! (Now I'm starting to justify this sickness... how pathetic.) My grandparents recently brought me back a scarf as a thank you gift for house/dog sitting for them and I love it and the significance behind it. However, during my Etsy browsing for the "groomal party" (Mr. FP's new name for the people standing up with him since he refuses to admit that they're part of the bridal party... yeah, welcome to my life) attire, I came across these silk scarves from toybreaker which are gorgeous.


And to top it all off, I might also be needing a necklace. And if I ever turn sane and forget about all the previous madness, I might be able to afford/be able to pull off the Pearly Girly necklace by VirginiaGeigerJewels. Which also happens to have significance to me since I always refer to my 14 year old cairn terrier as pearly girly. Damn me and my tendency to associate certain memories and sentiments to physical objects!


So clearly, I have some editing to do.
Or I need to get married 4 more times.


Okay, editing it is.

Monday, January 25, 2010

they have arrived!

Our invitations have arrived! And since I recently received permission from the creator of the artwork we used, I get to share them with the blog-o-sphere. After working on these puppies for the last... um, almost 8 months, I am ridiciulously happy to finally have them finished and ready to go. While I won't be entirely rid of them for a few more months, I am definitely looking forward to April when we get to send them far, far, far away. And now that it's over I have an incredible sense of pride for having created them on my own.

Okay, not really on my own. Not even close.
I have to give a big thanks to Etsy seller adrianneasu who sold me the original artwork which I modified to fit our style and personalities.

I also have to give kudos to Mr. FP, without whom this project would have been impossible. Not only did he teach me how to use Photoshop, but he spent endless hours listening to me freak out at my computer when things weren't going my way and trying to help me through the snags. More importantly, when I started to doubt myself, he spent time (probably more than he wanted to) convincing me that I was doing a good job.

Although the photos leave much to be desired, I've tried to do the best I can to give a sense of the quality. If my word means anything, I think they're top notch and I think it was definitely worth the $1.00 it cost to upgrade the paper for the invitations from glossy to linen finish.

I've also used the first photo to show off one my all-time favorite fonts (especially for wedding stationery) called "Feel Script". For a while, we were using Honey Script (another one of my favorites) to emphasize our names, date and location, but as soon as I came across this one, we both fell in love with it. The only sad part is that I have no idea where I found it. I know it's for sale online, but it was in a random pack of free fonts that I downloaded a while back and now I'm at a loss to find my resource for it. For those who are interested, I do know the rest of the font is called Libby Script and can be downloaded for free here.

{click images to enlarge}


And talk about an economical project! Thanks to VistaPrint.ca we were able to order 60 invites for $31.50 (since I get half price through e-mail offers) which also included free envelopes and an upgrade to linen finish. As for shipping, it only cost $10.10 because we opted for the slowest shipping time and although VistaPrint estimates that the process for what they call "slow shipping" should take up to 21 days, we received ours within 2 weeks. All in all, they cost us a measley $47.01 and while 8 months is longer than I would have liked to spent on the creative process (blame my indecisiveness, not me!), it was more than worth the time, effort and repeated yelling at my computer.

In addition to the invites, I designed RSVP's to fit VistaPrint's postcards as well as business cards with our wedding website which includes guest information, driving directions and information about the area of our wedding since it's out of town and unfamiliar for the majority of Mr. FP's family. And the cost for both of those projects was FREE, plus $15-ish for shipping.

I'd highly recommend that anyone with any computer and/or creative ingenuity take this route for wedding invitations. While many choose the 40-pack of invites from places like Michael's, we never had any luck finding a design that matched our personalities and I was a little scared about how much they would cost after factoring in ink. Not only did I enjoy (for the most part) creating our stationery, but they fit us perfectly, which my grandmother noted after seeing them for the first time by telling us that they were very me. And if, like me, your talents don't even come close to those of a graphics designer, there are tons of digital artists on Etsy who will sell their designs for you to personalize as you please.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Brooch Bouquets

I keep falling in love with inanimate objects. These bouquets by Fantasy Floral Designs are the latest objects of my affection.

{All photos from Fantasy Floral Designs}

Although my bouquet will be fresh flowers, for brides who want an alternative to flowers, I think this is perfect. Not only are they gorgeous but they'll last practically forever. If I was at all convinced that I could pull off something like these works of art myself, I would probably try. But since I'm not that DIY capable, they'll just serve as tantalizing eye candy for now. Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Actually, It's Our Wedding, Not Yours


After reading this post on A Cupcake Wedding, I realized that it describes exactly how I've been feeling for the last year and a half of planning a DIY Wedding. Okay, I take that back, it's only been a year because although we've been engaged for a year and a half, it took me 6 months to come to my senses and realize I didn't have to hire dozens of people to do things for me.

As many of my previous posts have expressed, I'm embarrassed to say that it took me those 6 months to step away from thinking about our wedding in context to the wedding industry to thinking about it in context of it being... well, OUR wedding. And while I was so proud of myself for this realization, I was bombarded by criticism from people everywhere. While it's easier to ignore the online voices on The Knot boards (I warn you, stay away... stay far, far away), it's not so easy to ignore the voices of your own family members.

When I told family I wanted to make all of the bouquets and boutonnieres myself, I was told that I "really should" hire a florist. When I said I wanted to make the cupcakes myself (in lieu of traditional wedding cake), I was encouraged to hire a baker. When talking about my pre-wedding beauty regimen, I was told (under no uncertain terms, by the way) that I will go to a spa two days before the wedding to get a manicure and pedicure.

Comments like these caused me, like Cupcake, to feel doubtful of myself and question my decisions. Maybe I really was taking on too much. Maybe I really should leave these things up to the professionals, even if it means going over budget.

Oh wait, no I shouldn't. It's so strange, because at the time these doubts are running through my head, they seem totally normal and justified. And then a day or two passes by and I can't believe how foolish I was to doubt my decisions and to doubt our capability to handle this wedding on our own.

Besides, just because we're not hiring professionals in no way implies that we'll be doing it alone. We have tons of family and friends who have been more than willing to help. And while certain people have made it quite plain that they don't agree with our choices, I have to do my best to ignore it (which I'm terrible at, by the way, and the only way I'm managed to retain even an ounce of sanity is thanks to the level-headed Mr. FP). The pleasure I've gotten so far from creating all of the stationery and painting our centerpieces has given such a great sense of pride that (although, yes, it was stressful) I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. And these preliminary examples of our DIY-ing have given me renewed hope that I'll get just as much satisfaction from making my own bouquet and baking the cupcakes that will be enjoyed by our guests. At the end of the day, I don't have to stress about coordinating with a florist, baker, DJ, limo service, caterer or the the lighting designer (for a wedding, seriously?) because they're not a factor for us.

The most amusing part of this whole debacle is that people told me I would stress myself out from taking on so much, yet my main source of stress has come from the wedding industry and disapproving family members and friends ... not from the DIY projects themselves. Haha.

oh, and p.s. tonight we're going to pick up our completed invitations which just arrived from VistaPrint.ca. so excited!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Including the Kids

Unlike traditional wedding venues where people might want to provide coloring books or games for the kids to keep them from getting bored at the reception especially, this hasn't been an issue in our wedding planning. Since both the ceremony and reception will be held at my family's summer cottage, which almost all of the youngin's are familiar with, I know they'll be more than happy to entertain themselves. Plus, with a candy buffet, I don't think they'll wander too far.

But since there will be kids in the wedding as well as attending both the ceremony and reception, I've been trying to figure out some methods to make them feel included. And I think I have finally found a solution. I found these adorable cameras in The Knot's Wedding Shop (here for the girls, and here for the boys) which seem perfect to keep kids entertained either during the ceremony or the reception.

While I don't expect the results from these camera to replace the photos our photographer will be taking, I think it's cute that the kids will get to feel included by taking photos of the special day. Although I know my 8 year old cousin who's really into taking pictures with my digital camera will be disappointed because she won't get the immediate satisfaction of seeing the photos, I know she'll enjoy walking around the reception with the camera.

Although they cost a little more than I'd like to spend -- $7.99/camera x 4 or 5 + shipping from US to Canada = probably too much -- these cameras are kid friendly, reusable and completely adorable, so I might have to splurge.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Ceremony Debate Pt. 2


I've talked before about our journey to a self-scripted ceremony and how Reverend Judith Johnson's book has been a tremendous help throughout the process, but it's still proving to be quite the pickle. In spite of all the amazing examples provided in the book, it's difficult to create a non-denominational ceremony script which reflects both of us individually as well as us as a couple. Thankfully, there's lots of information out there for those seeking it and I've found some amazing resources from the blog-o-sphere. The inspirational Sara Cotner from 2000 Dollar Wedding has compiled a list from a wide variety of blogs which provides a great cross section of what modern couples are including in their ceremonies.

While we're still wracking our brains to figure out whether or not to write our own vows which we'd surprise each other with on the day of (and by we, I mean me, because Mr. FP is persistent in his desire to have us write our own vows ... despite my desire to avoid being a sobbing mess in front of our 80 guests), if we do decide on writing our own vows, I think we'll stick to a form similar to that of Sara and her husband Matt. In their ceremony, of them began with a list of examples which explained the reasons they loved one another which was following by a list of commitments they both made to one another.

I love this format because it allows for creative expression, but it doesn't give room for the possibility of the groom showing up the bride, or vice versa. Honestly, this is my secret fear when it comes to writing our own vows ... I'm convinced Mr. FP will do a much better job and I desperately don't want to disappoint, haha. That's always been my favorite part of pre-written vows that are repeated by both parties during the ceremony because it allows for creativity but it doesn't cause any of the stress attached with writing individual vows. So, I think Sara and Matt's format fits both of our needs ... Mr. FP will get his surprise vows and I'll get the structure I need.

But for other brides who are looking for something even more unique, Sara's list definitely has something for everybody, so I highly recommend it. Moreover, on my last post on this subject, Born to be Mrs. Beever recommended checking out wedding videos found on the websites and blogs of videographers for even more ceremony inspiration. (Kudos to her for that great idea, by the way!)

Jeez, with all this inspiration and my tendency to fall in love with every ceremony script I read, our ceremony might end up being three hours long just so we can fit in everything I read between now and June 26th. Oh well.

Friday, January 15, 2010

once in a blue moon

I saw such a gorgeous morsel of wedding inspiration by Ariella Chezar and Meg Smith on one of my favorite blogs, Snippet & Ink, that I couldn't resist borrowing it.

These wedding ideas are the best expression of blues and purples I have ever seen. Plus the combination of blueberries and hydrangeas which is entirely unexpected and completely amazing.

If I were going to devote myself to a color combination, this would be it ... *swoon*.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

101 DIY Wedding Projects

One of my favorite new lists of DIY projects came to me via Sara at 2000dollarwedding who found it via Stylish Events. It's an amazing list of 101 DIY Projects and Ideas for weddings and it can be found here. The best thing about this list is the way in which it's divided into categories so you can easily find a project for any aspect of their wedding.

Some of my favorites include the bouquet mason jars with handmade name tags which were used to hold the bridesmaids bouquets during the ceremony.


And from Martha Stewart weddings comes door monograms and two-minute corsages.


And some of the most special inclusions are the DIY Pocket Square Love Note and the DIY Bridal Party Survival Kit ... both of which I plan on attempting, in spite of the fact that my embroidery skills leave much to be desired!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

woodland weddings pt.2

To keep in the same vein with yesterday's post, here's an inspiration board from Etsy's whichgoose who does some amazing work which would be perfect for a woodland wedding.

I had originally planned to include one of her pieces in the last inspiration board, but it was too difficult to choose just one...

Monday, January 11, 2010

woodland weddings

The latest inspiration board comes from one of the fastest growing wedding themes out there: woodland weddings! Maybe it's only a result of my shameless addiction to Etsy but the woodland theme for weddings seems to be popping up everywhere lately and I have to say, I love it.

Although we decided early on that we didn't want to commit ourselves to a strict theme or color combination for our wedding, both Mr. FP and I seem to be drawn to all things woodland. And even though most woodland items scream fall wedding, the simple and natural qualities of most woodland-related ideas are go well with our outdoor wedding. So I've been scouring Etsy lately for ways to incorporate these elements into our day without overdoing it and this has been the result. For in case this wasn't enough woodland for you, try searching Etsy's categories for "woodland wedding" for even more inspiration. Enjoy!

{click image to enlarge}


Top row from left: the silver dipped leaf necklace is from briguysgirls; the lovely boutonniere is one of many from myrakim who has some amazing collections for bridal parties and is available for custom work; these bird seed hearts are from naturefavors; for one of my all time favorite tree toppers, check out the super romantic Rose Garden cake topper here.

Row 2: custom eggs in a nest for place cards or guest favors; feather garter is also from myrakim; silver leaf necklace with your choice of gem.

Row 3: 14k white gold birch ring from esdesigns; amazing ceramic buttons from beadfreaky who does some amazing work and all kind of different designs (I'm hoping to somehow incorporate these into my DIY boutonnieres because I love, love, love them); super romantic ring bearer pillow from bstudio who also has many designs; set of 3 natural white birch tea light candle holders.

Row 4: uber unique bridal bouquet from AprilHilerDesigns; my all-time favorite ring pillow... er, nest from JloveS; birdhouse boutonniere from HeartFelted who was a finalist in the DIY Weddings Crafts Contest with Etsy and Martha Stewart Weddings which you can read about here.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

escort card envy

Please don't sit me at a loser table

Although I spent the better part of my last post mentioning that I was happy about not having to stress out over a seating plan, I still have a ridiculous collection of escort card inspiration stored on my computer. So in an effort to live vicariously through the brides that get to complete an escort card project, I've decided to share some of my favorites.










I'm shamelessly in love with the apple ones. So cute!

For those in need of further inspiration, The Knot has a ridiculous amount of escort card photos here.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

musical chairs and dress-up


When Mr. FP and I first got engaged, I immediately went into what I like to refer as "bride-mode". I started scouring the internet for as many ideas as possible concerning every single detail of the wedding. After being engaged only a week, I was convinced that I'd made the final decisions on table linens, centerpieces, the guest list, the bridesmaids dresses etc. (Ha! "Final decisions". I've changed my mind about 340,093,787 times since then.) This "bride-mode" took over my brain and made me think strange thoughts. Although I've always known that I wanted a simple, small and (above all) casual wedding, I forgot all about my dream wedding because I was so consumed with what I thought a wedding had to be.

Once again, here's an example of the wedding industry at its best ... making people who are otherwise perfectly sane think they need to spend $30,000 on their wedding. As far as I was concerned, there had to be fresh cut flowers in my centerpieces, I needed to have a caterer, I had to get married in a church and I reception would have to be at a banquet hall.

Some of the biggest "ah-ha" moments I've had during wedding planning occur when I realize that I don't need to have any of these things. The first one occurred when I was talking to my mom about the seating chart and she suggested that it might be better to forgo escort cards and a seating chart entirely in order to promote the casual atmosphere of the wedding. The first thought through my mind? : "What do you mean? Not have a seating chart?! How can I possibly do that?!".

The second one came during my first visit to a bridal salon. I had spent the past half an hour sweating and maneuvering myself into giant, puffy wedding gowns that cost more than two months rent. I did not like it at all. I didn't want to spend $1,200 on a dress. I wanted to be able to move around without fear of knocking people over with the layers of tulle under my dress. And above all, I wanted the ability to pee by myself on my wedding day! It wasn't until the consultant at the salon brought in a bridesmaid dress that was similar to the style of gowns that I had hated the least that I remembered my original plan to order a bridesmaid dress in white in lieu of a gown.

Looking back on these moments, I feel so stupid. So unbelievably stupid. I'd been duped! From the moment that ring hit my finger, all those visions of a simple, fun, casual wedding that I really wanted flew out of my mind.

Thankfully, I ultimately realized (after an embarrassingly long time) that our wedding didn't need to have or be anything. And while I've been frowned upon for some of these decisions which go against the grain (from making my own bouquet, to doing my own makeup on the day, to not including the names of our parents on the invitations) it's been much more rewarding on the whole. When the day is done, we're planning our wedding, not the wedding industry's.