Mr. Hydrangea and I had discussed a few details about our wedding before we were engaged, including the fact that we would like to get married at my family church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Massillon. My grandparents, parents, and both of my sisters were married there, and we wanted to continue the tradition. That was the easy decision. Then we moved on to determining the perfect reception venue, which proved to be more difficult than we ever would’ve anticipated.
Our Ceremony Location - St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Massillon, Ohio
We looked at a variety of venues, from vineyards, to barns, banquet halls, and a few golf courses. We ran in to a few unexpected problems along the way. We quickly found that what looked good on paper, didn’t always match what looked good in person. We also learned that there are a lot of people planning November 2014 weddings. At least two venues were booked solid through November 2014 (for Saturdays) and many others had very few dates available. We literally walked in to an office to look at available dates as the couple that booked our date was walking out. We weren’t sold on the venue at the time, but by the time we go to it, it wasn’t even an option!
We also found that many venues are simply not an option in November due to the colder weather. We checked out a beautiful vineyard in North Canton, Ohio, only to learn that the pavilion we wanted to rent wasn’t an option in the colder months of the year, including November. We were also told by every golf course that we contacted that they would not be willing to hold a wedding in a tent any later than early October.
After considering what seems like 500 venues, the process was becoming frustrating and overwhelming. Mr. Hydrangea and I sat down and really talked about what we wanted in a venue. We decided on three key attributes to look for in a reception space: 1) enough space for our growing guest list, 2) close proximity to our ceremony location, and 3) a blank canvas to decorate as we wish (I love to DIY, as you know!). After making our list of must-haves, we were able to narrow down on our options much more easily. Just days later we decided on the perfect reception venue. The Santa Maria Ballroom at the Massillon Knights of Columbus was the closest we had come to a blank canvas, where My. Hydrangea’s mother and I could get crafy and make it our own. The K of C is also literally up the street from our church AND it holds up to 500 people! And so it was decided – Knights of Columbus it is!
The Santa Maria Ballroom at the Massillon Knights of Columbus
I am beyond releived to have made a decision about our venue and am hopeful that when all is said and done, I can say that the venue search was the most stressful aspect of planning our wedding.
What wedding detail has been most stressful for you?
Hello! I’m Hydrangea Bud, the newest bud in the garden! I’m delighted to join this DIY bridal community and can’t wait to share my planning tips and experiences with all of you.
I am newly engaged as of June 12, 2013. If you ask my friends and family, they would probably predict that my entire wedding was already planned out. I have always been a fan of planning events and parties, with a particular fondness for weddings. So naturally, I’ve been making mental notes in my head about my own wedding for years!
I will admit that much of my wedding is already drawn out in my head. But, as many of you probably already know, making that vision come to life is all the fun! So far, I can say that my engagement ring fit my vision exactly, as do the dress and shoes I’ve purchased for my bridal look. Beyond those details, I have little nothing concretely planned for our Massillon, Ohio wedding which we have planned for November 2014. I do know that I will be DIY-ing a lot! Look for my journey through self-crafted centerpieces, menus, invitations, and much, much more to come!
Mr. Hydrangea and Hydrangea Bud on a recent trip to Silver Beach in Michigan for a family wedding.
Hydrangea Bud, Mr. Hydrangea and their Hydrangea-pups Murphy and Sydney.
When I first began doing my research on menus for our wedding, I was contemplating not having a paper menu at all but instead making a large chalkboard menu, similar to this. As much as I love that, I realized it might be more practical for each guest to have a menu in front of them. We chose to do paper menus that had the same theme as our invitations and place cards.
Menus: Wedding Paper Divas
Everything matched and I was happy with that! The menus were pretty, but I felt like they needed a little something extra. That’s where the bling came in. I purchased these at Hobby Lobby on sale, and they worked perfectly! Here’s the end result:
Photography: Sargeant Creative
Photography: Sargeant Creative
I think even that simple little red rhinestone made the menus that much better and completed our black, white and red theme. They were fun to put together too!
Hi Garden! If you’re looking for the perfect way to entertain guests and have some fabulous wedding mementos for years to come then I have the perfect thing for you. I found these fun guest cards on The Pretty Blog here and thought they would be the perfect little activity for guests to fill out during cocktail hour when there was some time to spare. Guests will fill out their names, how long they’ve known you, and some advice for the newly married couple.
Photo: Sargeant Creative
I just downloaded the artwork file from the website (link above), and printed about 50 sheets out on white cardstock (2 cards on each page). Then I used my paper cutter to cut the cards out and that was it. They were placed right next to our engagement album, which acted as a guest sign in book (more on that later!).
My husband and I couldn’t stop laughing when we read the cards after we were home from our honeymoon. I put them all in a photo album so we can look back on them anytime. Pretty cute, huh? I promise guests will love them.
As a former bride, I found centerpieces to be one of the biggest projects every bride faces. With the era of “DIY” brides in full swing, there is a lot expected of you! Do you go with a florist and leave it at that, or do you take on the task of creating several (at least 10) tables worth of decor, to tie your wedding together and for an extra something for guests to take home.
Sunflower Dude and I decided to incorporate Disney into the wedding, we got engaged in Disney World and went there for our honeymoon, to put it simply, we are a Disney family. On the other hand, we were having a rustic, fall wedding with burlap for miles. We decided to separate the venue into four sections: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios (MGM) and Animal Kingdom, of course! Then in each “land” we created some of our favorite places, rides and restaurants into tables!
How did you all incorporate something you love into your wedding? How did you decide on centerpieces? I’d love to know!
It’s been almost 6 months since my big day! Wow, time flies.
A ton of my friends are now planning weddings, and I am seeing all kinds of statuses on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter about getting “wedding dress ready,” and I know every bride has been there!
The first thing you think about is “I have GOT to get my arms to look good” or “Gotta get that back toned!” Well, I wanted to give a little advice. I managed to lose 30 pounds before the big day (but I actually started before MG Bear and I got engaged, not because I was getting married) and it wasn’t easy! First, I want to say that you shouldn’t want to lose weight or tone up just because you want to look good in your wedding dress. A lot of brides fall into that trap and end up gaining “marriage weight” right after the wedding, and nothing is more depressing than looking back at your wedding pictures and thinking “Gosh, I would kill someone to be that skinny again!”
Here are some of my personal tips on getting in shape to look good on your wedding day!
1. Nutrition is key! Make sure you are eating the right kind of foods. Think fruits and vegetables, avoid refined sugars and eat the good carbohydrates! Carbs are good for you if you avoid the bad ones, such as potato chips and white bread. Always remember, portion control! I count calories using MyFitnessPal, which is an effective way to see how much you are actually eating!
2. Mix your workouts with cardio and strength training. This burns the max amount of calories AND fat. Think Zumba for cardio, and a sculpt class for strength. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy like attempting to be a competitive weight lifter!
3. You can start anywhere! You don’t need to belong to a gym or even run outside. I highly recommend any Jillian Michael’s workout. I started with the 30 Day Shred (which you can get at Target, Wal-mart, Amazon, etc. for around $10), and it is effective! She uses the 3-2-1 method of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of abs. Another great part is that her workouts are anywhere from 20-60 minutes, which is great if you are super busy with school, work, kids, etc. and don’t always have time for a full hour long workout!
4. Most importantly, as I mentioned above, don’t stop after the wedding! Quoting Legally Blonde here when I say “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make people happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!” This is where I encourage you to laugh.
Make sure to start off slow, especially if you haven’t worked out in a long time! You don’t want to hurt yourself. When I was having a hard time motivating myself, I would be on the treadmill imagining how awesome I was going to look in that dress, and it made me push myself harder.
What keeps you motivated to get “wedding dress ready”?
I will admit that I had been planning our wedding (in my head) LONG before a proposal was in the works. A girl can dream, right? When it came down to thinking about where we would have the wedding there was no clear location. I am from South Carolina and SD is from Florida, but his family now lives in Georgia, and we now live in Mississippi. There was no central location for us. I never had the dream of getting married in my hometown or in a church. I knew I wanted something a bit different. So, on a vacation to Florida with his family, the subject of weddings came up, and I casually mentioned that I loved his Aunt and Uncle’s home. I thought it would be a perfect place for a small wedding. Little did I know, his Aunt would say yes right then and as soon as the ring was on the finger, the real planning began. We will be having a small family wedding in Alabama. A location central to no one in our family, so everyone will be traveling. However, I think this will be such a special place to say, “I DO” because every time we visit them, we can think back on our special day with our family and friends and just enjoy all of those memories. The home features a beautiful lake, and we will be having the ceremony on the dock! I cannot wait to share pictures of the day so you can see just how beautiful it is there!
When it comes down to picking your venue my advice would be to make sure it fits your personality and your budget. Also, make sure you feel special about the place and that you will not regret having your ceremony there one day. How did you go about picking your wedding venue?
My bridal shower was thrown by my sister/MOH and bridesmaids. It was a complete surprise and turned out fantastic. They know I have a fondness for Alice in Wonderland, so all they did was class it up a little, and it turned out to be the perfect theme. My sister also set up a ton of games for us to play, including lingerie limbo. They tied new lingerie to a broomstick, and we limbo-ed! Plus, I got to keep all the goodies! Also, that whole toilet paper dress game, I thought I’d hate it, but it turned out to be pretty amusing. I’ve upload some photos here so you can see!
A little advice–make sure you have your guests mark off on the registry what they bought you. A few things weren’t marked off, and we got three sets of dishes! Yikes! Thankfully, it was an easy exchange. We basically have a brand new kitchen now, I’m very lucky!
One of the projects my mom and I were able to do together was our favors. My parents used to have a garden and would grow peppers, tomatoes, jalapenos, etc. and every year they would make their own salsa. It got pretty popular among their friends that sometimes they would only have one jar left to themselves!
MG Bear LOVES anything spicy, so I figured why the heck not! My mom was a little leery at how big this was going to be considering we had to make enough for 130 mini jars, but after we talked about it she was beyond happy to have a project to do with me.
We had to chop the project into two days because we could only make 60-70 jars per day. We went out to the local farmer’s markets and road side stands to find the best deals, and you wouldn’t believe that the second weekend we were supposed to finish up the salsa, we couldn’t find tomatoes ANYWHERE! My dad drove around everywhere, and it had been so hot that local places didn’t have many tomatoes! He ended up finding a nursery that gave him a deal, but it ended up costing a little more than we expected to pay.
We were able to finish up the jars two weeks before the wedding, and my mom got assigned to decorating the jars. We got little printable tags made from Etsy and used twine to tie the tags onto the jars. We also put the salsa in Kerr mason jars because it was my maiden name (cute right?!?!), but that also back fired on us because we ordered the jars from Southern States thinking similar to what they looked like online that the lids would have “Kerr” written on them and they didn’t! They were plain so the only place that had the name was on the front of the jars, but they were so small that it was hard to see. We were all super bummed, but we moved on and finished up the project without any other glitches!
Here are some pictures from the whole process!
Here is the final product at the wedding!
Everyone LOVED the favors and some people didn’t even wait until they got home to eat the salsa! We got so many compliments, which made the hard work worth it.
I had seen a previous post from Morning Glory Blossom about wedding programs and if they are worth the money or not. So, for our wedding, I wanted to do something different from the normal ceremony programs that guests receive (and most of the time just throw away, what a waste!). My wedding planner, Liz of Eventfully Beautiful, created this beautiful chalkboard ceremony board that I just loved!
The inspiration came from here, a wedding featured on Style Me Pretty. Don’t you just love it? And it saved hundreds of dollars in paper!