The Bride Wore Red (Shoes)

Yesterday marked seven years of wedded bliss to my husband, Wes. We don’t do anniversary gifts. We usually do “experiences.” It’s a good thing, too, because apparently year seven is wool; my skin does not love wool. Of course, this year’s experience was staying home, eating fettuccini alfredo, and rewatching the first season of Bridgerton (already!). When things get closer to normal, we’re planning on doing something special.

Preparing for our wedding seven years ago was quite hectic. We got engaged in December the year before—on Wes’s birthday, actually—and were considering a summer beach wedding in 2014. Then, in September of 2013, Wes got a job opportunity in Los Angeles and had to move out there in October. That meant that I had a little over two months to plan our wedding before joining him in January.

In the end, although it wasn’t the wedding we’d initially wanted, it turned out to be just what we needed. We thought we’d stay in L.A. forever (that lasted about a year and a half), and we wanted our wedding to be a going-away party in some ways as well. It ended up being a lovely, intimate affair with close friends and family, and it was a fabulous day.

Since Wes and I love retro fashion, and since I love all things vintage/retro in general, our wedding theme was vaguely 1940s/50s inspired. Getting married right after Christmas proved to be cost-effective as the church was still decorated for Christmas, as was the banquet hall we rented for the reception.

We had our “first look” and exchanged letters before the ceremony. Then, we took most of our posed pictures so we could get to the reception quicker once the ceremony was finished.

Wes made my red cape. Isn’t it stunning? A dear friend of mine makes fabric bouquets and taught (and helped) me to make them. I added one of my grandmother’s brooches to mine for my “something borrowed.” Since Wes is a costume/fashion designer, I added sewing-notion touches like the thimbles (which also symbolize a kiss in Peter Pan), buttons, and spools of thread. I wanted the details to double as keepsakes and to reflect our interests with a touch of whimsy.

We got married in the old church connected to the one I grew up going to. I’m not a big traditionalist—I know that’s odd since I love classic things—so Wes and I walked down the aisle together instead of being “given away.”

We had our guests sign postcards instead of a guestbook. If you look closely at the image in the photo on the left, I have a pretty remarkable story here about how I found that photo.

Instead of table numbers, I used paper doll pin-ups. For the centerpieces, we filled oversized mason jars with Christmas ornaments and fabric flower balls. They turned out really lovely. If I could have changed one thing, it would have been the colored lights in the smaller mason jars filled with fake snow. The colors didn’t translate well, so the teal ended up looking like Kryptonite under the flakes, and the pink looked fuchsia. I should’ve stuck with neutral tea-lights.

Does anybody actually eat at their own wedding? I only remember eating the cake after we cut it and not having time to eat or drink because we were too busy. We had signature drinks. If I remember correctly, one was a Shirley Temple with vodka, and the other one was Root Beer with some sort of vanilla-flavored alcohol. There was also a bar with other drink options. This was outside of the reception room, so I don’t even remember seeing it night-of.

Probably the biggest hit of the night was the photo booth. The booth popped out two prints per session, and we asked our guests to take one and leave one for us. We also danced, of course, but I didn’t want to add too many photos of people who might not want to be featured in a blog post. Wes and I danced our first dance to Mama Cass’s “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” and we ended the evening with a silly, impromptu group dance to Michael Bublé’s version of “Save the Last Dance.”

This post would be far too long if I added all of the beautiful photos we have of that special day. If you like these photos, check out more from our oh-so-talented wedding photographer, Betty Elaine.

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