[All photos from John + Louise Photography]
Lance and I celebrated our first anniversary this weekend so it felt like a good time to share a few vintage and DIY elements from our wedding last summer. We live in San Diego, but were married in the Bay Area where most of our family and friends still reside. We kept everything true to ourselves - simple and casual, but with lots of personal details.
I went back and forth (and back and forth a few more times!) on what I wanted to use as our guest book. I eventually settled on a mini cloth binder from Russell + Hazel with kraft pages that I hand cut and punched. Guests had their pictures taken and then taped their picture down along with their messages and well wishes. I loved the end result and definitely wouldn't change this decision.
If you decide to go with a similar idea for your wedding guest book, be sure to pick a friendly and outgoing friend or relative to man the camera. Kendra, who I like to call my future sister in law, put camera shy guests at ease and made it a fun experience for all. And don't forget a big bowl of washi tape! I was surprised at how many guests loved digging through all of the tape options to pick out their favorite.
We had a traditional wedding cake, but also put together a sweets table because I have a huge sweet tooth! I used strips of cotton fabric to make the simple but impactful garland. I raided my mom's house for all kinds of vintage containers to store and display the goodies. A stack of mismatched plates collected from thrift stores and antique shops finished off the table.
I included a dozen or so donuts from my favorite local donut shop that's been around since I was a little kid. I think a few people thought this was an odd addition, but the donuts were the first to go and I received compliments on just how good they were for days after the wedding!
To eliminate any worries, nearly all of the containers I used to house the sweets were new and/or glass. I used old boxes and a scale as display pieces, but these never came in contact with the food. The tall metal display piece is new, but I also used plates and paper wrappers to keep the food safe.
Escort cards were another tough decision for me. I struggled to find a solution that wasn't too complicated, expensive, or large in size, but still creative and fun. My mom's vintage collection came to the rescue again with this antique card catalog box. I collected vintage postcards, put seating assignments on the backs, and then sorted by last name using index card dividers. A short sign housed in an old price tag stand explained the process to guests.
I tried my best to match up the location on the postcard with the guest. For example, one of my cousins lives in San Francisco so his postcard was of the Golden Gate Bridge. Guests from out of state had postcards from their home state, and so on. Although certainly not necessary, it was a fun challenge for me and not too tough if you give yourself enough time to search online and at local shops. Lots of guests also took notice of this little touch.
I had two objectives in mind when choosing the flowers for our wedding - keep costs down and use plants that would survive past the wedding. This meant using a lot of succulents and other live plants, including some planted in old coffee tins. It also meant doing some of our own flowers which was admittedly fun, but a little scary.
Succulents are everywhere in San Diego because they're perfect for our dry, somewhat hot climate. Lance and I collected succulents from our local farmer's markets and flea markets in the months leading up to our wedding. San Diego has an awesome selection at really reasonable prices. We planted the succulents in various pots, cups, and other vessels. These were placed throughout the venue, including the table that held our guest book and escort cards.
After the wedding we gifted some of these succulents to friends and family who were a great help. We also ended up with many to take home ourselves. These now line the window sill in our entry way and are a great reminder of our special day.
I wanted very casual, loose floral arrangements for the tables so I decided to tackle them myself, along with some help from my friends and family (including my brother who turned out to be a floral arranging pro!). For anyone in the Bay Area, I used the Oakland Flower Market for my dahlias, goldenrod, scabiosa pods, and other flowers. I was impressed with both the selection and price, and would encourage anyone looking to do their own flowers to seek out a wholesale market in their area.
Doing some of your own flowers does take a serious time commitment the day before, but I was happy with the results and it was a huge money saver. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who prefers more structured floral arrangements that require more precision or anyone who has their heart set on certain flowers. I pre-ordered all of my flowers, but had to substitute one of my greenery choices on the day of due to availability.
I left my bouquet as well as the bouquets for my bridal party in the hands of a professional. I was lucky enough to find a florist who was willing to take on this small order as long as I did the pick up. I incorporated a few large succulents into my bouquet and it really tied together everything nicely. I wrapped the bouquet with lace from my late grandma who was an avid sewer and included a pendant with her sweet face.
We lucked out and were very happy with nearly all of the vendors we worked with for our wedding, except perhaps the DJ who mispronounced several key names! However, there were two I would recommend wholeheartedly to anyone in the Bay Area planning a wedding or other event.
- The Magnolia Photo Booth Co.: This company rents photo booths throughout the country. It is an investment, but guests thoroughly enjoyed themselves. I also spent a good chunk of time in there! The quality of the photo booth was impressive, and the staff was incredibly easy to work with from start to finish.
- J. Jasper Events: Shannon from J. Jasper Events was my wedding hero. We planned the wedding ourselves, but hired her as our "day of coordinator". Simply put, she was incredible. She's insanely creative, entirely responsible, and so fun to be around. Definitely check in with her if you're looking to plan any sort of event in the Bay Area.
Hope you enjoyed the little tour through our big day! If you have any questions about our wedding or the vendors we used, please be sure to ask!