Ok, so we really didn't plan a wedding in quite five weeks, but we did throw it together fast!
That's 39 days or 5 weeks, 4 days!
Early this summer, we decided we wanted to get married this fall. We looked at dates and decided on October 13. I joke with Kevin that he picked out this date because it was Clemson's off week. He said that wasn't the case, but if he had thought about it, he would have made sure we picked that date anyway!
We held on to our little secret for a few days, but had to get planning. I know it's very non-traditional (and we're both very traditional) to begin planning a wedding without an engagement ring, but time was of essence. We decided not to talk about it with others except for our immediate families, but planning couldn't wait.
The first decision we had to make was where to get married. Kevin was in favor of us going off somewhere by ourselves to get married. I loved that idea and the romance of it, but I really wanted to have our families, especially K.C. and Kaden there, to witness our commitment to love, honor, and cherish each other forever.
We live near the beach and it's a special place to both of us (we even got engaged there), so that was one option. After looking into various places and checking with caterers and potential dinner venues, things just weren't working out.
Enter option two in late August. Our church. Shortly after Kevin and I started dating, we started going to church together. We've both always been active in church and know the importance of being involved in a community of Believers together. Neither of us had any opposition to getting married in our church to begin with, but knowing we were going to have a very small, intimate ceremony, we initially liked the thought of doing it somewhere else.
I know it's a really superficial thing, but one thing I was really worried about was finding a dress in time. Please forgive me for being a snob when I say this, too, but I really didn't want to have to buy a dress from a store or order one off the Internet.
When we were at the beach with Kevin's family the end of July-early August, I looked for a dress. I had talked to Kevin about buying one before we had a ring and he was ok with it. One rainy morning, his sister and I went out shopping. Dress shopping.
We ended up at The Little White Dress
, a bridal boutique in Myrtle Beach. I hadn't made an appointment and didn't think I'd be able to get a dress there, but we figured it didn't hurt to look. The things that happened next amazed me and I can see God's handiwork in them.
The store was having a sample sale and I found a dress I was completely in love with. (Full post about The Dress complete with pictures is coming Monday!) After taking pictures to send to my mom and sister who weren't with me, I left with a purchased dress and appointment with a seamstress for a few weeks later.
Later that week, as we were out on the beach, I got a call from the boutique asking if I could come in for a fitting as they had a cancellation. Everything worked out perfectly!
At this point in time (we'll say August 1), we had a date and I had a dress, but that was it.
Later in August, we decided to have the ceremony at our church and a dinner after it in Kevin's backyard. We booked a caterer which just so happened to be our favorite Italian restaurant (again, a non-traditional choice but so us) and had a cake tasting. Things were moving right along!
My grandfather is a retired Baptist minister, so having him perform the ceremony was a no-brainer. It was so sweet to me to have him marry us.
With the location, dress, dinner, cake, and minister secured, we still had the invitations, programs, flowers, decorations, music, and photographer to consider.
The photographer fell into my lap. One of my good friends who took our family pictures early this summer but who now lives in Montana recommended a few local photographers. After contacting several and not hearing back from many (In case you haven't tried it for yourself, it's tough to book someone for a wedding six weeks out.) Amber with Carolina Moments Photography was available and amazing. Amber and I met and hit it off immediately. We also have similar stories, so that was cool as well.
The music decision was easy, too. We asked Meredith, Kevin's sister, to sing. She has a gorgeous voice and a degree in musical theatre to boot. She also runs her own musical theatre program. My mom is also a very talented musician. She has a degree in piano performance and I've always said that if I had a tenth of her ability, I'd be amazing. Unfortunately, I didn't like to practice! I didn't want to ask my mom to play for the wedding as she was the mother of the bride, but I had told Kevin how absolutely special it would be to have her play. We were talking one night before she was making a call to ask someone to play and she casually mentioned that she'd love to play as long as she could see me walking down the aisle. Music was done. (A full ceremony recap including the music is coming soon.)
During the day, I'm a marketer. I'm surrounded by talented designers. One of my co-workers designed our invitation, program, some special cards for the dinner, and our thank you notes for us as a gift. That was really special.
When it came time for the decor
, I didn't know exactly what to do. I had a few boards on Pinterest of floral inspirations
and wedding ideas
, but that was it. I normally have a definite idea of what I want and what I like, but that wasn't happening. And I know it was because I wasn't worried about those things because what mattered to me marrying my husband.
We decided to use round tables with ivory linens for our families and cake and a standard rectangular table for our food. I ordered ivory table clothes, napkins, and chair covers from tableclothesfactory.com.
I was really pleased with the quality. If you chose to order from them, make sure you allow ample time for shipping though.
As far as flowers were concerned, it's also difficult to find a florist with only weeks before a wedding. I love hydrangeas and decided I wanted to go with a southern chic look for the reception using blue hydrangeas in mason jars on our tables and burlap table runners. White it didn't quite end up this way with blue hydrangeas conflicting with my sister's dress color, I couldn't have been more pleased with the final outcome. (More on the decor and flowers as soon as we have our pictures back from the photographer.)
After much online research, we decided to order flowers in bulk. My mom and Meredith are both very talented when it comes to arranging flowers, so we decided to use their talents and go this way. We also later learned Kevin's dad is a master centerpiece maker! I ordered large ivory hydrangeas from fiftyflowers.com
and green hydrangea and Vendela roses from Sam's. I was more than impressed with the quality of the flowers and especially the service from fiftyflowers.com. I recommend both if you're ordering flowers in bulk.
I am so glad we leaned on the talents of my mom, Meredith, and Roy as the flowers all turned out beautifully!
A few weeks before the wedding, we decided to have my sister be maid of honor and Kevin's dad serve as his best man. I told Stephanie I wanted to use blue for her dress, but let her decide what she wanted. She chose the Taryn
dress from J.Crew and looked beautiful in it!
I don't think our wedding could have been more perfect! We ended up doing most everything ourselves with the help of some family and my best friend, but even that was perfect. I have to admit that I like to be involved in things and as event planning was an integral part of my former job, planning a wedding in five weeks, give a few, didn't bother me. We had so many special, personal touches, too.
Can you plan a wedding in 5ish weeks? Yes, you can!