Jessica and Conrad's wedding is the perfect example that you can do DIY on a budget and come out with a really cute event. I especially love the boutonnieres and candy bar (jawbreakers AND Charleston Chews?! Count me in!). Angela Lyons Photography did a fantastic job of capturing the sweet romance of this couple (full disclosure: I know Angela and she is super cool beans). Read below for Jessica's DIY tips and how she stuck to her wedding day vision.
I'd love to hear about any specific details, your vision for the day or DIY projects?
My vision for the day was simple -- I wanted a relaxed, no-fuss wedding that felt more like a family reunion than something fancy or stuffy. I wanted the wedding to reflect who we are as a couple, and I think by having it casual it felt natural for us and was lot more fun. We put a lot of work into the details around both the ceremony and the reception. Even though I wanted it to be simple, I also wanted everything to be beautiful, and I am so thrilled by how it all turned out.
My amazing mom helped out so much during the whole process. I was trying to plan from the East Coast where I was going to college, and without her help nothing would have gotten done. Because we were on a pretty tight budget, we did almost everything DIY. From the cute signs in various flower arrangements to boutonnieres to the photo booth, we were DIY all the way! It saved us thousands of dollars, and everything ended up wonderful.
Probably my favorite DIY projects were all of the flower arrangements. My bouquet and the corsages for mothers and grandmothers were made professionally, but all the other flowers we bought from the Tacoma Farmers' Market. We went the day before the wedding, got way too many flowers and my bridesmaids all made their own bouquets. They turned out gorgeous, saved us hundreds of dollars, and left us lots of extra flowers we were able to put in mason jars and vases. It had a very eclectic feel, and I loved it!
Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you?
We had the wedding at our church, First Baptist Church of Lakewood. I grew up in the church, and the same pastor who baptized me, when I was five years old, officiated the ceremony. On top of our pastor officiating, lots of church people came together to help with the wedding, from decorating to cooking which was a huge blessing!
What was the most meaningful part of your day?
The most meaningful part of the wedding day was towards the end of the ceremony, right before we lit the unity candle. Our best man played and sang a beautiful song, and Conrad and I took communion together. It was a special moment between the two of us where we were able to thank the Lord for His guidance and His ultimate sacrifice to atone for our sins. Without Christ's sacrifice, Conrad and I would not even know what love is, let alone be able to share it. So having the moment together to remember and give thanks was absolutely precious.
Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?
Nothing too funny or crazy happened, although during our first-look session my husband surprised me with a real pearl necklace. He didn't know I wouldn't be wearing a necklace, so instead of giving it to me on the honeymoon, he was able to actually put it on me while our photographer, Angie, got pictures. It was so sweet, and I will always cherish that moment.
Tell us details of the events surrounding the wedding.
Because my husband and I go to college on the East Coast, most of our wedding party had to fly in. So we literally made 5 or 6 trips to the airport in two days to pick everyone up. A little crazy, but it was a great week to spend with all of our closest friends. Of course, Conrad and I had our respective bachelor and bachelorette parties, and a delicious rehearsal dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Having everyone around us that entire week made a big difference, and I am grateful to have had all the extra time with my girls.
How did you know your partner was "the one"?
We realized "this was it" pretty early on in our relationship. Conrad and I fit together like peanut butter and jelly, and I believe there is a divine reason we are together. So many of our goals in life mesh together, and our hopes and dreams were right on par as well. I really see him as my other half, and that is a beautiful gift. Of course, we have lots of differences too, but we just seem to fit. It's like we've always been together.
Any advice you'd give new brides who are just getting started?
If I were to give any advice to a new bride just getting started, it would be to do what feels right for you. There were times when I felt a lot of pressure to go bigger, fancier or just different from my vision, and thankfully I was able to keep in mind my goal. Once you can identify your vision, help your support system understand, then go for it together! There is no reason to do something you don't want to, just try not to stress about the small stuff (or the big stuff). At the end of the day, you and your honey will be married and that's all that matters. It may not feel that way at the time, but nobody will remember if the cards on the table were the exact shade of lime, or if you start your first dance on time. Just enjoy and soak in the experience, from start to finish!
Photographer: Angela Lyons Photography
Venue: First Baptist Church of Lakewood
Dress: David's Bridal
Accessories: Forever 21 & Target
Groom's Attire: Army Class A's
Groomsmen's Attire: Yellow ties from Men's Warehouse
Flowers: Tacoma Farmers' Market & Lakewood Florist