A Wedding Designer's Challenge: From Concept to Concrete Reality!

The challenge? Design a wedding for $2,000 or less, including the dress!

You don't get that sense of completion until you see all the pictures. I finally got the disk, this past weekend.

It is official - I designed my second (and final) wedding. For $2,000. If we went over budget, I know it was by less than fifty dollars!

Our photographer did a stunning job, and did not charge us. She got it all, from decor and design, all the way to subtle expressions in the eyes of the bride and groom. This girl works for a print publication in west Knoxville - if you want her for your wedding, contact me.

Back to the wedding. From concept to completion, I took my daughter Sarah's general dream (of a vintage-inspired wedding, with western boots worked in, just for charm) and made it a detailed design. Here is how it all turned out:

The wedding was March 20th. Nothing was in profuse bloom yet, so we went with the idea that there are always bare branches and birds in early-early spring! Our photographer had taken engagement photos, and we enlarged two of them, and framed them for the foyer decor. This is how the concept came together, in the foyer of the church...

Sarah wanted rustic, vintage, and simple...the sunburst grapevine wreaths in all the windows tied into the theme of birds and branches. All table covers were burlap, covered in tulle. Love the contrast of rustic and fluffy!

We created the backdrop for the ceremony out of two room dividers, and the unity candleabra. It turned out exactly as we hoped!

I made paper cones from vintage papers for the aisle markers, and put fresh baby's breath in each one.


On to the reception~

Cutting the bundt cakes...I am crazy-glad we chose bundt cakes rather than traditional wedding cake, or ubiquitous sheet cake. It absolutely completed the atmosphere and decor!

We used boxes for cake stands, and created garland from twine, vintage papers, and clothes pins. On each paper, there was affixed a pin with a bird silhouette, and the bride and groom's name and wedding date. So the decor also became the party favors. Everyone took one home for their scrapbook.

Sage advice, on the "wishing tree". (An old custom. Guests write well wishes and blessings, and hang them on a "wishing tree". We chose a beautiful jardiniere, poured concrete in it, and set two very large branches trimmed from a tree that was storm damaged earlier in the winter. We draped pearls all over it, and created special tags with ribbon hangers for guests to write on.)

See all the birds? We gathered them from antique shops, Hobby Lobby, anywhere we could find them. We also used candlesticks from around the house - nothing matchy-matchy. There were wood candlesticks, mercury glass, and porcelain. We kept the candles uniform in size and color, to tie the look together.

Harvest Church's resident disco king...

A little line dancing - my daughters love country music! (The bridesmaids wore western boots too!)

The venue for the reception was extraordinary...and free. A dream location.

Did I tell you our photographer was good? Oh yeah...she's good.

Me, there in the middle, literally surrounded by family. Can I tell you? God's plan is that you "plant vineyards and eat the fruit of them". God has said, "You shall not plant, and another eat." It is not normal to have ongoing broken relationships. If you value relationships, and you stick and stay and cultivate continuity, you will one day eat the sweet fruit of all that labor of love. And there I am, up there...

This picture is such a metaphor. There they go, walking away into their new life together. The views at the Bower's home are so pastoral and peaceful.

Hope you enjoyed the results of my wedding "designer's challenge".

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