We were so happy to receive photos from Megan’s wedding and to hear that she felt as though her Mon Cheri Bridals – Ciprianna dress was made just for her. (oh, how we love hearing that!)
When Megan also told us that her husband made hundreds of origami flowers for the wedding and we saw her amazing bouquets, we couldn’t wait to see more from their day. It was exciting to hear too that after following along the It’s a Bride’s Life wedding blog, it inspired Megan to DIY a lot of her wedding details. We asked Megan if she could share a bit about her wedding planning and day…
“From day 1, we wanted our wedding to be “a very fun and unique wedding.” Which is us in nutshell. And we didn’t want it to break anyone’s bank account.
We got married outside, on our college campus. We met while attending Northwest Missouri State University. I was the sorority girl and he was the football player – match made in heaven.
Just about every detail we either did ourselves or had help from family and friends.
The DIY projects started with my mom. Ever since I can remember, she told me that she wanted to do the food for my wedding. She’s worked in food almost all my life and is an amazing cook at home. So right away, we started planning. She and my dad came up with more than 100 pounds of smoked pork and brisket, along with pasta salad, hashbrown casserole, corn and rolls. It was delicious.
Wanting to be unique, we brainstormed for hours upon hours of how to serve the food family style as opposed to buffet or plated. Family style as in each table has a platter of pork, a platter of brisket, etc. and they get passed around. Our reception venue didn’t come with any kind of staff and no catering company in the area would let us use their servers or supplies without purchasing food.
In true family style, Derek and I’s families jumped in and found solutions. A donation to a local church group found us a handful of servers to get the food from the kitchen to the tables and back.
My mom was able to find inexpensive polyester tablecloths – cheaper than renting. And that’s where my grandpa came in. (If you can’t tell by this point, aside from fun and unique – family was an important part of the wedding.)
Little to my knowledge, but my grandparents – my grandpa – had a large stash of tableware sets. I often call my grandpa a “borderline hoarder” due to various auction items he comes home with. In this instance it played to my favor. He and my grandma spent countless hours locating, unpacking, cleaning, sorting, organizing and inventorying all of their dishes until they had enough to properly seat 25 tables at our reception. Seeing the various sets of tableware across the room was amazing. It was fun and not matchy-matchy but at the same time it wasn’t the “circus” look I was worried about.
Our guests had a blast trying to decide which table they wanted to sit at based on which tableware set they liked best.
In an effort to tie the various table designs to our wedding color scheme, that’s where Derek came in.
Years into our relationship, he chose to do something special one Valentine’s Day and got on YouTube. After a few videos, he learned how to make origami flowers and folded me a small bouquet as my V-Day gift. To this day, I still have that bouquet on my desk at work.
A month or so into our engagement I recall coming home and telling him “I want you to make me one blue origami flower as my ‘something blue.’” That one flower spiraled into a wedding bouquet for me, which spiraled into bouquets for my 3 bridesmaids and our flower girl, which spiraled into centerpieces and boutonnieres and corsages. Derek spent months folding individual flowers – we guess close to 400 or 500 at 5-10 minutes a piece to make. He’s dedicated.
After he folded the flowers, I used foam handles, hot glue and floral wire from Hobby Lobby to transform the flowers into the bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres.
But the DIY didn’t stop there.
With my career in PR/Journalism/Marketing, I was insistent that I design, create and print our save the dates, invitations and programs. Using Photoshop and my mom’s printer, we did them all.
We made several chalkboards to help direct guests. So I wanted the invitations to have that chalkboard feel too.
Derek and his dad built our altar using just 4x4s, and 2x6s. They’re very handy. Derek’s mom found the fabric that we draped over it.
They also built the head table back drop for the reception. Four sheets of plywood and hinges. Then we took tulle and Christmas lights, stapled to the back and gathered in the middle. Simple. Fun. Pretty.
To be honest, the only things we hired out were the DJ and the Photographer.
My grandpa owns a hair salon and cosmetology school. So he and a co-owner did hair and makeup.
My parents and their friends handled the food.
Our dogs were co-ringbearer and co-flower girl. And my grandma made our co-flower girl’s dress.
After our Friday rehearsal brunch (which was so much fun with bagels, muffins, breakfast casserole, mimosas and bloody marys) everyone in the wedding party and families headed to the reception venue and helped set up the entire place… and decorate.
Our getaway car was Derek’s family’s 1940’s Chevrolet Fleetline. (Derek actually proposed in that car in the middle of our college’s homecoming parade – so it only fit.) His dad was our getaway driver.
The weekend was filled with fun, friends, family and a lot of personalization (we even wrote our own vows.) I couldn’t be happier. Sure it was a lot of work and stress leading up to the day, but I wouldn’t change anything.”
Thank you for sharing your story and photos with us, Megan! Congratulations!
Photos by Lana Cease of Cease Fire Studios