I sit here now debating how to begin…
Do I try to channel the great, classical romance writers who have taught me what true love should be? Do I think back on my Middle & High School days of binge reading Nicholas Sparks who had me swooning over sweet guys with southern charm and a dash of heroics? Or, do I go back as far as my childhood and tap into my memories of fairytales and hopes of being swept off my feet by Prince Charming?
Well, guys, this is why I am not a writer! You’re going to get the blogger version of my tale, and it goes something like this:
ONCE UPON A TIME (okay, but seriously…)
I met Brian when we were freshman at West Virginia University in 2003. We remained good friends over the years, even after he graduated college and moved away for a job while I stayed in our college town of Morgantown, West Virginia. Eventually, work brought him back and at some point or another, we decided it wouldn’t be a terrible idea to go on a date.
Folks, the worst part about this was having to admit that my mother, who thought I should date Brian all along (we’re talking for years), was right!
Dated. Got engaged. Stayed engaged. Continued to remain engaged. 3 years later and…you get the idea. I really had no desire to plan a wedding, but Brian wanted a huge wedding! We couldn’t quite find a compromise between enormous shindig and elopement, so we just kept putting it off. Till July of this year…
I cannot recall when or where I stumbled across the venue and pricing (because I also did not want to break the bank planning an event that will only last a few hours when, well, LIFE is ahead of us), but I am glad that I found it. There is a beautiful historic hotel in Morgantown, WV — Clarion Hotel Morgan — that has a picturesque view for a rooftop wedding. We decided to do a family-only wedding (about 50 people) and set it for the end of September, so…2 months later!
You heard right! We willingly, for zero reason other than we could, planned a wedding in 2 months! And, I was not a bridezilla (personal opinion)!
We later found out that we had the venue till midnight after setting a 5 p.m. start time, so we actually decided to keep the ceremony and dinner to just our family then invite some of our friends to dance and enjoy the night with us. It still wasn’t Ireland, but progress, people! Things were finally moving along, and we’re hoping to still take a trip to the Emerald Isle next year!
There is so much about weddings that people do just because it’s typically done, but I planned so little that is “the norm” and doing what I wanted made me so happy that I truly didn’t stress during the planning process.
I wore a shorter dress with custom Chuck Taylor’s, the procession walked in to “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, we did not have a cake (and therefore didn’t cut one or feed each other), we didn’t do any garter or bouquet rituals, etc. IT. WAS. SIMPLE.
Now, for the fun stuff! Because we were at a historic hotel, it was beautiful on its own. I still wanted to add my own flair, though, so, of course, this bookworm’s touch was everywhere!
I used a teacup and saucer atop a low stack of old books with some pearl string accents as my main decoration. We also added handmade paper flowers — cut out with a pattern using the Silhouette Cameo then assembled by a group of my friends and I one evening (*note: the globe, mirrors, and candles were provided by the hotel).
My sister was so excited for me! She found some great, inexpensive buys online, one of which was this gorgeous book with folded pages that said “B <hearts> K” from The ABC Market on Etsy. I am absolutely making room for that on my bookshelves! She also found some cute party/directional-type signs by Andaz Press on Amazon made to look like burlap and lace, which we framed and used on the gift, “guestbook,” and favor tables.
I chose an unconventional guestbook. I decided to go with a tree where guests could sign the leaves from Fancyprints on Etsy. I did opt to upgrade to a canvas because, I don’t know! I suppose I thought it would be nicer! I love that we have something that we can display in our home that’s actually really pretty.
I wanted a way for guests to write something more, though, so I took a page out of the wedding book from a childhood friend and broke out my mom’s old typewriter! Can I just tell you how funny this was to have at the wedding!?! It was not only a great way for our guests to leave us well wishes, but it was a fun conversation piece and added a touch of something extra to the decor and the interaction. LOVED it!
Likely my FAVORITE part, next to my shoes, were the favors! As a bookworm, I support bookish companies constantly, so I decided to do a mix of favors for our guests, and I could not have been happier with how they turned out!
One of the items was a wonderful blend of Brian and I — a candle from Novelly Yours! The scent combines Coffee, Pumpkin, and Chocolate, which shouts us, and I think it’s amazing. Brittany, owner of Novelly Yours, created custom labels and made a few larger ones for me, too. This scent, though, is one that is currently available in her shop — Levi’s Pumpkin Mocha Breve, based on Rainbow Rowell’s Young Adult Contemporary, Fangirl. I knew I already liked the combination and thought it would be great for a Fall wedding.
The other item is from a company I also enjoy as a regular bookworm, Juniper and Ivy! They make such quality products, and bookmarks are my weakness. One can never have too many bookmarks, you know! Immediately when we set the date, I placed the order for these custom, wood-burned bookmarks. I truly think they are lovely, and the design ties together with the tree “guestbook” that we ordered.
I was also terribly lucky to have one of my favorite people, and a fellow bookworm, officiate the wedding. She also happens to be the one who cut out the paper flowers for the decorations and so kindly made me the amazing picture that you can partly see above with the bookspines, our names, and wedding date. I was very fortunate to have her there while planning and on our special day.
There is a lot that I’m uncertain of, but of a few things I am sure:
- Planning a wedding should not be stressful, and in the end, I am glad I had one (I will also be glad when I make it to Ireland). Let me go ahead and recommend right now planning a wedding in 2 months, putting minimal effort into the details and all the effort into enjoying the time with the people there.
- Be true to who you are and what you want because it is YOUR day. If you want to walk down the aisle to a rock-n-roll song on a rooftop in sneakers with just your family watching…well, I already know it works out okay.
- Enjoy every minute of it because even a 7 hour wedding goes by quickly.
So now here we are…finally at our Happily Ever After! I cannot wait to see where life takes Brian and I, especially because the last 14 years (whether it was as friends or once we became more) have been full of amazing adventures and memories. I can tell you, though, the future holds a lot of books!