I had a lot of trouble narrowing down the images, and editing the story for today’s post. Sara and Zac’s love story is so sweet, and they also put so much time, and creative effort into their day that it was almost impossible to pick and choose what to share. If you are planning to DIY any part of your day, especially the flowers, read about Sara’s experience (at the end of the post). It also doesn’t hurt that they’re a totally adorable couple, that definitely suite each other to a T. My favorite details: the shoes of both the bride and groom, the DIY bridal bouquet, and Sara’s lovely hand made accessories. A big thank you to her for sharing the story of their day, and to Dayna Pollard Photography for the lovely images.
Who, What, Where ~ Ceremony & Reception: Chandler Hill Vineyards. Photographer: Dayna Pollard Photography. Flowers: Harold’s Wholesale Florist, assembled by the bride, her friends, and family. Invitations: Sam Wiley design. Dress: 2be Bride, Clarices. Shoes: Seychelles. Hair: Lauren Zenke, Main Street Salon St. Charles. Cake: Federhofer’s Bakery. Bride’s jewelry & bridesmaid necklaces: Sarah Timmons of Pink Street on Etsy. Cake toppers: Knotting Wood on Etsy. Officiant: Rev. Rex Barbeau.
More loveliness and details…
My husband and I met on Thanksgiving 2006. I was living in California at the time, and was back home in St. Louis for the holiday. My girlfriends and I were going out that night, and one of my friends brothers were going as well. Zac was one of these brothers, and we started talking that night. He came to California a few days later for a convention and we spent lots of time together. I realized that I was really sad that he was leaving when his trip was coming to an end, but was excited because I was going home for Christmas for 10 days in just a few weeks. We talked for many hours on the phone over those couple of weeks, and we spent every day that I was home for Christmas together. Zac eventually moved to California, and eventually we decided it was time to move back to our hometown.
In December of 2009 it took me 3 days to drive back to St. Louis. I had to drive through a blizzard, as well as stop to put air in my tire in freezing cold temperatures the entire way. There were a couple of times during that trip when I questioned if I was making the right decision. Why was I leaving sunny, warm, southern California again? Had I lost my mind? Well, when I arrived at our new home, the answer to those questions was spelled out for me. Zac had decorated the whole house (roof & all!) in Christmas lights. Out in the front, on a huge 8 ft sign, written in lights were the words “Will you Marry Me”. Right then, I knew that I had made the right decision.
When we first started planning our wedding, we knew that we didn’t want a traditional, cookie-cutter, St. Louis wedding. We wanted to get married somewhere outdoors with a rustic & romantic feel. When we saw Chandler Hill Vineyard we both knew immediately that it was the perfect venue. We wanted the overall feel of our wedding to be laid-back and personal, and the best way to do this was to have a hand-made touch on almost everything! After many months of scouring the internet and wedding blogs, and thanks to many creative and talented friends, I was able to create my “vision”.
There were so many aspects of our wedding that were DIY. It started with my save-the-dates and invitations that my bridesmaid Samantha, graphic designer of samwileydesign.com, created. My fiance and I spent about a week of evenings tying twine with opaque leaves around the invitations to give them the rustic feel we were going for. My mom and I cut many, many yards of burlap and lace for the table runners and the aisle runner. We mounted our engagement pictures on cardstock to hang on the mantle of the fireplace. We designed and printed the programs, table numbers, and escort cards.
I had gone to a couple of florists, and was just not loving what they were suggesting, for the price they were asking. After seeing many weddings online where brides had done their own flowers, I began to do some research on how I could do my own. I felt like it would be a great way to save money, and would make the wedding that much more special. I was able to find a local wholesale florist that allows you to order flowers, rent a table space to work on, store the flowers in their cooler for a night after you’ve assembled them, and then they deliver the flowers, all for a fraction of the cost that the florist was going to charge! The afternoon before the wedding, my mom, sister, a bridesmaid, and myself had 4 hours to create every flower arrangement. It was very stressful, but completely worth it!
It was important to me to have something to remember my grandfathers and remind me that they were there with me in spirit on my wedding. I was able to size down pictures of each of them and made small bouquet charms that hung off of my bouquet. I also had my great grandmother’s wedding band tied onto my bouquet. The braclet that I wore was my grandmother’s. My grandfather had given it to her on their 50th wedding anniversay when they renewed their vows in Jerusalem. Every bride in my family has worn it since.
My favorite part of the day was when my husband and I had our “first look”. I had been stressed & rushing around all day and was concerned with how everything was going to get finished with the winery being open up until 1 hour before the wedding. I could hear all the noise of the winery off in the distance, but when we saw each other, it’s as if everything stopped. I was overwhelmed with emotions! It was so quiet and seeing him relaxed me and made me realize that all the hoopla of the details of the wedding were just that, details. All we really needed for the wedding was each other.