If I procrastinate with this post long enough, I can make it as rushed at my Summer DIY Wedding was.
You know… The wedding that was planned in three weeks.
Yes, you read that right.
Why such a short planning phase you may ask?
Because blended family life is grand. That’s why.
DM proposed in late March. But since we were already living together, and we had Baby girl together, waiting a long time for a wedding didn’t make a lot of sense. But we were trying to ‘pick a date’ around other things that were going on in certain months: my birthday was April, my sister’s anniversary and Mother’s Day in May, multiple family birthday’s in June, August had ML’s birthday and DM’s old anniversary (which was the primary reason for not doing that month), September was JL’s birthday and my nephew’s birthday, October was gonna be Baby Girl’s first birthday and Halloween (plus, this started to be just further away than we wanted), November was my niece’s birthday and Thanksgiving, December is DM’s birthday and Christmas.
So that left July.
Then we ended up in court with his ex-wife in May. And we were trying to make an agreement with her that would guarantee all three of my stepchildren would be at our wedding. So our ‘tentative date’ kind of became permanent, because we had that weekend put into the court papers.
We probably SHOULD have started planning at that point. And in a way, I sort of did. I was researching venues online. My mom and I went to visit a few venues. But nothing was really working.
Plus, I sort of drug my feet about telling my parents the “date” that DM and I had picked. And then my truck ended up needing some major work that I couldn’t afford, so my parents paid for. And that squashed down what money was available for wedding budget.
So all of a sudden, the end of June was looming. With a July wedding date in mind. And something had to be done FAST.
And so began the planning of my Summer DIY Wedding.
Finding an actual “wedding venue” went out the window. Rental costs pretty much blew that out the window. Along with my dream to get married in a church. But hey, you win some, you lose some.
Instead, we decided my Summer DIY wedding would take place at a farm my parents own.
I ordered a dress (on sale) from David’s Bridal (and prayed it fit when it arrived). I ordered a Matron of Honor and Jr. Bridesmaid dresses from David’s Bridal – and then panicked when my sister’s dress didn’t fit and we had to come up with a new plan. That new plan ended up with my sister wearing a never-worn dress my mom had, and then ordering a dress in a coordinating color for JL from Kohl’s (and praying it would fit, and it did, barely).
I found an officiant and caterer using Thumbtack.com.
We bought a TON of stuff from Hobby Lobby. A TON!
The invitations (that I designed and printed myself) came from Hobby Lobby. The burlap ribbon that decorated almost everything came from Hobby Lobby. The guest book came from Hobby Lobby.
We used flowers from my mom’s yards (multiple houses, multiple yards to get flowers from) as decorations to line the aisle and as table centerpieces.
Used a local bakery for the cake and a local florist for the bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages.
Ordered a cake topper from Amazon, because #Amazon.
A (very good) local photographer my sister had recently used for family photos gave me an excellent price for coverage of my wedding, so we booked her to capture it all for us.
Rented a tent to have the reception under (because, hello, outside in July in Georgia).
The Wedding Itself
Since the planning included having all of my stepchildren present for the wedding, there were things about the ceremony that I designed to include them.
In addition to a Declaration of Consent between DH and me, we planned for there to be a Declaration of Consent between me and my stepchildren as well. We were also going to a family sand ceremony as our “unity moment”, and each of us (even Baby Girl) was going to have our own color sand, joining together.
But in a sad turn of events, only my youngest stepdaughter ended up coming for the weekend. And with two of my three stepchildren missing, it just didn’t seem right to do the portions that had been planned for them. So those ideas got scrapped. It also left DM scrambling for a new Best Man the night before the wedding.
And then. In grand hilarity, my dad started getting ready and putting his suit on, and realized he forgot his shirt. But DM came to the rescue, because for some unknown reason, he had actually brought an extra shirt with him. Saved the day (or my dad would have been looking REALLY goofy).
And overall, the wedding was great.
The flowers (both from the florist and that we did ourselves) were beautiful. The cake was beautiful and delicious. The reverend took the ceremony I had designed and made it even better.
And yes. It was hot. Very hot. Because #GeorgiaInJuly.
Be sure to check out my next post to see a photo summary of my Summer DIY Wedding!