My daughter and son-in-law’s wedding was, obviously, as very DIY affair. In the early days, we thought we were going to do it all. As the planning process progressed we realized, for the sake of our sanity and relationships with each other, that we should consider hiring a few professionals. Now that it’s all over, I don’t regret a single one of them. So, as I frantically try to get ready to be a vendor myself at Siren Nation this weekend, it feels like a good time to give all of our wedding vendors the public and sincere Thank You they all deserve.
I’ll start with the first person we hired, and the one you’ve already seen a bit here. Heather Fitch from Heather Fitch Photography was calm, professional and gave us photos that were everything we hoped for. She not only captured everything we expected to see, but the spunky, fun personalities that define these two.
I’ve mentioned before that the groom has celiac disease. Gluten-free isn’t a choice for him – it’s mandatory. After we decided on a dessert buffet for the reception, we also chose to make sure that the groom (and the bride, since she gave up gluten for his sake) could eat anything that was served without worry. That’s where the amazing Liberated Baking came in, providing treats that had me saying “Yes, I know it’s delicious and you can’t tell, but it really is gluten-free!” to guests all evening.
We thought it would be fun to have some popcorn on the buffet too, and so we ordered some from a local store called iCandy. I think it was the best cheese corn I’ve ever had, and everyone we’ve talked to there has been so sweet.
It was very early on that Codi proclaimed there would be cupcakes instead of a traditional wedding cake. I think it had something to do with Gluten-Free Wednesdays at Bella Cupcake. The couple went in for a tasting and chose Raspberry Lemonade, Pumpkin Chai, Strawberry Shortcake and Salted Caramel. How was anyone supposed to choose which of those to put on their plate? To alleviate that issue, we went with mini-cupcakes so guests could sample more than one flavor.
Bella Cupcake also provided the adorable giant cupcake for the bride and groom to cut and share.
When it came to the bridesmaids’ and flower girl’s dresses, Codi knew what she wanted. And I knew I was capable of making them. However, just because I could didn’t mean I should and I decided that was a project that could be better accomplished by someone else. We went with BL Couture on Etsy. I’ll admit, I tried to talk Codi out of putting just the maid of honor in yellow and everyone else in grey, but it really worked. And the girls loved playing with all the different ways they could wear these.
Did you see all the amazing hair in that last photo? Codi wanted all the girls in different braids, and our regular hairstylist, Wendy from the Orient Barbershop, totally delivered. Not only did Wendy come to our house for the entire day and style all the girls hair, but she did their makeup as well. Thankfully, I was included in that because otherwise I probably would have been a mess. Wendy was a calming presence while everyone was getting ready and I don’t know what we would have done without her.
Another Etsy store we shopped at was for Codi’s garters. We talked about making them, but as we started looking around she spotted exactly what she wanted at BridalGoddess. All we had to do was attach the firefighter charm Codi wanted and she was ready to go. These were so pretty, and the quality was great.
One of the last things we held out on doing ourselves was the flowers. The closer it got, the more terrified I became, which was a good sign I should give it up to a professional. Fortunately, one of my closest friends has a sister who owns In the Garden, a floral shop in Redmond, Oregon. Kellie agreed to do them for us, even though she is halfway across the state from us and it was pretty close to the event. We emailed her photos of arrangements Codi liked, and when the flowers arrived we were all stunned. They were amazing.
We originally planned to set up a stereo with an iPod playing for the reception. We didn’t think anyone would really dance anyway. I am so glad we hired Dennis Marcellino to DJ instead. He had almost everyone out of their seats and dancing – my husband I were a little shocked. He was great at keeping everything running smoothly and made sure fun was had by all. He even sang “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” since he was a member of the band the hit belonged to, The Tokens! He also played the saxophone, which was a nice combination with the recorded music.
Last, but not least, is this lovely young woman – Savannah Gentry. She is one of the bride and groom’s friends from high school. Listened to her playing the songs they chose in my living room before the wedding brought me to tears. She provided violin music while the guests were finding their seats and during the ceremony and every note was gorgeous. Savannah is talented and beautiful, inside and out.
In addition to all these amazing vendors who made it a day to remember, I’d also like express my gratitude to all of our friends and family who went the extra mile (or several) to make sure we could enjoy the day without having to worry about anything. You all know who you are – THANK YOU!