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Wedding vision? It can often times be a tricky concept. Shortly after a couple gets engaged the questions about theme, floral design, color scheme, bridesmaid dresses, etc. come out in a flurry. Overwhelming? Of course! Enter: All in the Details. We love helping couples figure out their wedding vision and helping guide them through confusing decisions.

bride and groom hand in hand

It’s not our vision that counts, it’s yours!

A wedding vision isn’t just the items listed above and ambiance however, it involves so much more. Is your vision to follow Emily Post’s etiquette book to a “T”? If so, that’s great! Or rather, is your vision to throw the so-to-speak rule book out the window and lead your own path? That’s outstanding! Or maybe your vision is somewhere in-between the two. Guess what? That’s fabulous as well! How are all of these scenarios not only acceptable but outstanding? Simple. At All in the Details, “it’s not vision that counts, it’s yours.” Emphasis on “yours.” It’s your day, you do it your way! We’ll gladly guide you through the path you choose.

Sounds great, right? As owner and executive planner of All in the Details, I enjoy writing about my experiences and offering advice. Today, I’m offering a rare glimpse into my past to show how I paved my own path for my wedding nearly six years ago. What was my path? I like to think it was a mix of formality and originality.

Why am I sharing this? To show you that we practice what we preach and that it’s your wedding- so you get to make the rules.

Pre-wedding Breaking Tradition

Sapphire engagement ring

The first major unique item was my engagement ring. At the time, sapphire rings were not popular (cue Duchess Kate Middleton for later giving rebirth to the trend). I didn’t want to provide too much guidance for an engagement ring except that I wanted a sapphire center stone and not a diamond. A common question I get is whether or not a sapphire is my birthstone? It is not. I have just always loved them and wanted something different.

Vegas

Ice bar

Another key pre-wedding concept for my now husband and I was that we did not want a traditional bachelor or bachelorette party. We both have nothing against them, it just wasn’t for us. Instead, we told a bunch of people we were going on a quick weekend vacation to Las Vegas together. If people wanted to join- great! The more the merrier!

I know…Las Vegas is such a cliche; however, thanks to Bookit.com we got an amazingly cheap deal that was too good to pass up. The deal was so great that a lot of our friends decided to vacation with us.

In the end, for a variety of reasons, this option was the best for us. One thing we really loved was that when it came time for our wedding, many of our friends who had not known each other prior to this vacation were great friends by then. Plus, we made lifelong memories and had a blast.

Wedding day-We did it our way.

I’ll be the first to admit that we were very fortunate with our wedding. The traditional aspects could be felt through the ceremony at the grand St. John the Evangelist and the reception at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. That’s not to say, however, that we didn’t do a lot of cost-saving measures along the way (but that’s for another blog). For now, here are some examples of how we paved our own path for this occasion; sometimes throwing the rule book out the window.

(Note: Some trends and styles have obviously changed since our wedding day.)

Princesses?

Princess Flower Girls

A wedding isn’t just about the to-be-wed couple. I wanted my flower girls to feel special too. Which is why for the rehearsal, I bought each of them their favorite Disney princess dress so that they could be true princesses in a grand church.

Absorbing Costs

Bridesmaids getting ready

Having had the privilege of being in a few weddings before, it was important to my husband and I when budgeting to absorb as much of the bridal party costs as we could. We removed other elements from our wedding to make sure this could happen. For the ladies, we supplied everyone with comfy get-ready wear, lodging the night prior and paid for everyone’s hair styling, accessories and shoes.

A special gift between friends

Bridal Bouquet charms
Bridesmaid charms

I wanted to do something special when asking each of my bridesmaids to stand at my side. I ended up getting each of them a custom charm made on a silver bangle. Each charm had etched into it a different word reflecting how she inspired me to be a better person.

On the day of the wedding, each bridesmaid wore their custom bangle and I had a corresponding copy of each of their charms with their unique word on my bouquet.

After the wedding, I had all of the charms from my bouquet put onto a charm bracelet for me to wear so that I could be inspired by, and always remember, the lovely ladies who stood by my side.

What bouquet?

Bridesmaid Bouquet

Have you ever been a bridesmaid and you have to stuff your lipstick, phone etc. into your neckline or give it to your date? I had. I ended up getting nice black satin clutches for each bridesmaid and then had the florist put two simple gerbera daisies on the outside. This served as their bouquet. Why? First, it provided the girls a convenient way to carry things around the entire day. Secondly, the clutch was reusable for them after easily removing the flowers. In the end, it actually ended up being cheaper than bouquets that they would have only used for an hour.

No petals for us

Flower girls

As our flower girls made their way down the long aisle, we had them hand out long stem red roses to guests along the edge of the aisles. They were adorable.

Pick your dress

Bridesmaids

Have you ever worn an expensive bridesmaid dress once and then never again? Me too. I gave each of the bridesmaids the opportunity to find any black satin cocktail dress they wanted for the wedding. This allowed everyone to pick a dress that reflected their style and fit into their personal budget. The sassy red shoes were provided by me.

Lampshade centerpieces

Tables cape

For our centerpieces, I opted for three different varieties. The most unique one involved tall glass cylinders with floating white flowers topped with a white and black lamp shade and a floating candle underneath. Another option involved black branch structures with red flowers adorning them. The other tables had a trio of white hydrangeas in vases of varying heights.

Newspaper

Wedding newspaper program

I’m fortunate enough to have an amazing graphic designer as a mother-in -law. She created these “Wedding Bell Post” newspapers for us to have instead of programs. The inside contained all of the ritual information, but the back contained pictures of us with our bridal party members and information about how we all became friends.

King’s table

Now, utilizing a king's table for a head table is rather common. At the time though, we got a lot of pushback about this decision until guests saw it and realized it was ideal for conversation.

Now, utilizing a king’s table for a head table is rather common. At the time though, we got a lot of pushback about this decision until guests saw it and realized it was ideal for conversation.

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May I have this dance?

First Dance
Wedding Introduction

Instead of having guests seated at dinner tables during our first dance, we kept everything upstairs on the balcony looking down. Being the Purdue Boilermakers that we are, we entered to “Hail Purdue” and gave guests Purdue pom poms to wave. Boiler Up!

The gift that keeps on giving

Purdue Big Bass Drum guestbook

My husband and I met at Purdue University. I was captain of the Golduster Dance Team and he was captain of the saxophone section in the Purdue All American Marching Band. Since the dance team traveled with the band, both Purdue and the AAMB hold a very special place in our hearts. For my gift to him, I surprised him by having a small replica of Purdue’s Big Bass drum created and had guests use it as a guestbook. This drum now proudly hangs in his office and we regularly check out the loving signatures.

Late night surprises

Late night snack

At the time, many people weren’t offering late night snacks at their reception. Our guests enjoyed mini sliders, warm cookies and milk in lunch boxes and frozen nitro pops. See that Mickey ear? Very small hidden Mickey’s were found throughout the night to honor our love of Disney (A fabulous surprise from the caterer!)

Favors

Even though you eat a great meal at a wedding, don’t you ever find yourself back at the hotel room starving? We wanted to give the guests something they would use for a favor so they were provided with cookies and coke. Each bag contained a cookie made with my family’s chocolate chip recipe and an orange cookie made with my husband’s family’s recipe. We were fortunate enough to have some friends make these delicious favors.

A separate kid’s party

Kid's party

We love kids, but sometimes when they are at a wedding parents are too busy to enjoy themselves. Also, let’s face it, formal receptions can be boring for children too. We wanted everyone to have a good time, so we hired babysitters that were students from Butler University. There was a side room in the reception space that we hosted the kids in with the babysitters. This was great because the parents were able to easily check on their children throughout the night if they desired. We tried to make the kids feel like they were at their own party. We created kid-style invitations and mailed them to the attention of the invited children in advance. They got to have a great kid’s meal, watch movies and play games at their private party. My husband and I made it a point to go up and visit as well to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves.

Not perfect, but perfect for us

Bride and Groom

Was our wedding perfect? Not by a long shot! It poured all day, the bus driver hit a statue, grandparents got stuck in the parking garage, a bridesmaid broke her toe…I could go on and on. You know what though? None of that mattered. Things happen. What mattered was that I got to marry by best friend with my friends and family by my side.

It may not have been a perfect wedding, but it was perfect for us.

Why? Because we did it our way.

I encourage you to do the same.