Amanda + Dan couldn’t wait to start planning their perfect wedding – a day with all their loved ones in one place, under extra-special circumstances, for an unforgettable celebration. Lots of ideas started flowing + they began to find images for inspiration and gathered materials to transform their dream into reality. From multi-colored buttons + tablecloths to retired doors + dusty pallets, they hot-glued and hammered their way deeper and further into this dream of theirs. :)
From the lovely couple, It was really a ton of fun! Amanda and I utilized our separate talents to add qualities to the wedding that would make it obviously ours: She had everything thought over in lists and scrapbooks, keeping me on point with deadlines while scouring for milk glass vases and the perfect fabrics. I was designing the ceremony space, cleaning doors and windows, fabricating signs, or tasting my latest beer or wine to see if it would be the perfect recipe to serve at the wedding. We worked separately and together to make the dream come to life, setting the weekly rhythm with ballroom dance lessons.
We wanted to work locally as much as possible and stumbled upon father/son duo musicians John and Derek Pell. Their classical guitar and violin fit right into our theme and provided the delicate simplicity we were aiming for. For our First Dance, we actually mashed together Luis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald’s “Cheek to Cheek” followed by “The Stroll” by The Diamonds for the track, we fox trotted to the former and swing danced to the latter. Thanks to our weekly dance lessons the movement felt natural and at ease!
Dan: I hope to never forget any moment of that day, but if I had to choose one to have forever it would be seeing my wife-to-be for the very last time before the ceremony, all dressed up for our "first look" photos with our photographers. There were few moments that burned so sweetly with finality, and made me so happy to flip a page into the next chapter.
Amanda: Of course mine would be seeing my husband-to-be for the first time. However, another memorable moment was when the song “In the air tonight” by Phil Collins came on during the reception. (Yes, we requested that this song be played). Suddenly, Dan was floating in the air, held up by our friends. Next thing I know, I’m also in the air (tonight) twirling and dancing in a dramatic fashion. I looked down at all of our friends dancing, throwing their hands up, singing, and air drumming. In that moment I felt like the luckiest person, to be surrounded by all of our friends from around the country, celebrating and singing to Phil Collins. You can’t get anymore memorable than that!
Take your time. Have fun! Try not to rush a second of the pre-wedding process. There are nuances to DIYing a wedding that can get lost if you get overwhelmed and stressed with how much there is to get done. Make smart decisions to keep your sanity like hiring a good wedding planner, especially if the wedding is somewhere you don’t live. We planned our Nashville wedding from Chicago, and the value of a dependable “in-state” organizer really helped to bridge the gap. Ensure this person isn’t just organized, but awesome too! Keep reminding yourselves that you decided to make things rather than buy things because it's YOUR WEDDING!! Don't try to copy things store bought. Use any scraps and resources to piece together something special. Don't fret crooked lines or imperfections; they are what make it unique. Don't judge your own handwriting, it's yours after all. Embrace problems that arise that you hadn't thought of and roll with the punches. Trust each other and say "I love you" whenever you can. While putting together something as important as your wedding you both will fall into certain roles, let the planner be the planner and the builder be the builder. You will be doing both anyway, but respect the authority of the one who wears the badge and support their efforts with aid and encouragement, rather than pointing fingers if something hasn't been done yet. There are always a million things to do and a million things will get accomplished, but when the day comes and everything is set, the personality you've taken the time to build into your wedding day is for everyone else to enjoy. We found we had much more important things to focus on.
Big congrats to Amanda + Dan for throwing a super-fun, totally unique to them wedding!
photography: Love is a Big Deal // venue: Hachland Hill Vineyard in Tennessee // event design + planning: Jessica Sloane // floral bouquets: Jasmin Trenary // wedding dress: Jess Audey // bride’s hairpiece: handmade // bridesmaids hairpieces: Dusty Luck Vintage // shoes: Indigo by Clark’s // bridesmaid dresses: Louise Hedley Sohomode // hair: Elan Salon // makeup: Heather McAlister (Bride’s sister) // groom suit: Various vintage pieces // cinematography: Derek Robinson // invitations + paper goods: This Oktipus Printing Company // catering: Phila Hach at Hachland Hill // cake: Laura McAlister (Bride’s stepmother) // dance lessons: Ballroom Dance Chicago // music: John and Derek Pell (ceremony), Brian Pheneger (DJ)