Emily + Henry
(October 16, 2021 in Mead, WA)
This blog post shares the story of a bride's vision for her wedding, and how it evolved throughout the planning process. Initially, she had wanted soft colors for her October wedding, but after receiving advice from a florist and friend, she fell in love with neutral and burnt orange bridesmaid dresses. She also shares how her dress, venue, and guest list changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ultimately resulting in a magical backyard wedding with only immediate family and the wedding party. The bride also highlights the importance of working with vendors who are trusted friends, and how everything came together perfectly on the day of the wedding.
By our real bride, Emily:
What was the vision for your wedding?
Before being engaged I always loved soft colors, lavenders, light greens, and soft grays. I planned on that being my color scheme even when I came to my appointment at Honest in Ivory we held up a light green bridesmaids dress to the dress I had picked! I told my florist and good family friend my color ideas and she said, "are you sure those are the colors you want for an October wedding?" So I immediately started to second guess and searched "October Wedding" on Pinterest and fell in love with neutral colored bridesmaid dresses and deep orange dresses. One of my bridesmaids suggested more than one color which I thought was intimidating and something I would never want because I love the matching look, but then I saw a picture of a neutral, burnt orange, and a very pretty deep green all together and I was in LOVE. Orange was our main color for everything, the ties, some decorations, and the sashes on the flower girls dresses!
For my dress I always thought that I would want something fitted, low back, and plain, but I also had my eyes set on a Hayley Paige polka dot gown. When I tried on a plain fitted gown I didn't even come out of the dressing room because I hated it, and I didn't love the dress I had been internet stalking for months either. It took my entire two hour appointment to find THE dress and it was completely opposite of everything I thought I wanted. I ended up with Eloise, a lacy, beaded, Essense of Australia ballgown I had tried on in a blush color. While my family loved the color of the dress, I ordered it in ivory and decided to take out two layers of the tulle under to make it more of an A-line silhouette!
We knew we wanted a fall wedding and getting engaged in 2020 we knew we'd need to act fast if we wanted a venue for 2021. I wanted an outdoor venue with an indoor reception and we first looked at a couple venues in Greenbluff, but wanting an October wedding and knowing the traffic in Greenbluff for fall festivities, we decided to go completely opposite and booked Overbluff Cellars in downtown Spokane. Watching thousands of indoor weddings get canceled in 2020, we were nervous booking an indoor venue but got hope around June 2021 when things started opening up again. Then August 2021 came and masks were again required indoors regardless of vaccination status. The anxiety of having possibly 120+ guests indoors started to set in and we started questioning if it was a good idea to continue with our original plan.
Mid-September we decided to cancel our venue and we were very fortunate to get a full refund! We still wanted to get married because we had already planned so much and had bought dresses among other things but we knew it needed to be outdoors. We decided to cut our guest list down to only wedding party and immediate family. We invited 65 people to my now husbands childhood home and had the most magical backyard wedding with everyone we love! It came together thanks to my maid of honor who the day we changed our plans had already booked a tent, tables, chairs, outdoor heaters and lights.
I rented letter lights from Alpha-Lit Spokane/CDA and they were able to accommodate the venue change. A bridesmaid showed me Alpha-Lit on Instagram and I cant recommend getting those letters enough, it was a huge highlight and talked about all night! I contacted my florist, who grew up with my husband, and she was thrilled to change it to my in-laws and made all of my greenery dreams come true. I wanted simple flowers and mostly just greenery everywhere, she recommended using Smilax to accomplish that and it was amazing and affordable!
We were fortunate to personally know all of our vendors which also made everything so special. Our caterer was my maid of honors father, and our DJ is a regular of mine where I work! Our florist has been a long-time friend of the grooms family, her name is Tia and she is the owner of In Bloom and she is magic! For my makeup I went with Sami at SJL Makeup Artistry, I've been going to Sami for 5 years now for everything from lash extensions to brow henna. Sami is an amazing makeup artist and has more of a natural glam style, even though I was wearing more makeup than I ever had on my wedding day, Sami made it look so natural and I just felt comfortable and beautiful! I actually found our photographer from another wedding that was featured on Honest in Ivory's Instagram story! Jalyn was tagged and I loved her work, the first look they had posted that she captured was amazing. I looked at her Instagram page and quickly had her booked! She did such an amazing job and I plan on using her for other photos in the future!
Even though everything got turned upside down about a month before our wedding I think it turned out even better than our original plan. Of course we would've loved to have all of our friends there as well but to keep everyone safe we had to be responsible and do what we thought was best.
How did it go the day-of?
Everything went so perfectly! We got married in the middle of October and somehow got lucky enough to have almost 70 degree weather! The bridesmaids came over to my house in the morning where we had mimosas, coffee, bagels, and Taylor Swift playing while getting ready! The guys got ready at the venue and we later met there to change into our dresses and do the first look. Having our wedding in my husbands parents backyard was a big family effort and it was so amazing having everyone there helping get everything ready for our big day! We did our first look in the front yard and then took all of our wedding party photos and some photos of just us two there. After photos were done, we toasted with a beer and waited in the basement as guests started to arrive.
I wasn't nervous at all until we were all starting to walk down the aisle. I turned the corner to walk down the aisle and I couldn't believe how beautiful everything looked, the sun was shining out from the tree behind us and it felt like an actual fairytale! After our vows and signing the marriage license, we went to a nearby wheat field to take some golden hour photos while the guests had drinks and appetizers. I love those photos the most and would definitely recommend sneaking away for some just-married pictures! Seriously it was just the best day ever!
What is your #1 tip to future brides?
Listen to your vendors!!! They do so many weddings and they know what they're talking about! Our florist actually changed our layout the night before when she was there setting up greenery. She FaceTimed me and changed where the dance floor and bar were and everything flowed so much better! She also adjusted our arbor so we got a beautiful background with the sun in the trees! My makeup artist also gave me the best advice: once you make a decision and find what you want, GET OFF OF PINTEREST! Especially when you're indecisive like I am, that was the best advice because I just kept changing my mind on everything.