Fast forward to October 2015. We got married in my hometown and I knew that I wanted to be married in one of my favorite spots growing up, the pine tree forest at Rock Springs Conservation Area. Our wedding was perfectly us. My husband's family is Scottish and my family's ancestors hail from Ireland. I'm also heavily influenced by Art Deco and gold everything. Put it all together and you have an art deco wedding with a Celtic twist (with a few special Jodi touches thrown in)!
We went the nontraditional route for our wedding and had a ton of help from our families along the way. One thing we agreed on at the start was that we wanted to do the wedding on a budget and well within a given price range. To do this, every aspect of our wedding was hand crafted by us, our friends and our family, which also makes it extra special to me. We literally could not have done any of this if it wasn't for the countless hours our family and friends dedicated to making sure our day went off without a hitch. Special thanks to my absolutely wonderful mother who made sure everything got done and that we got exactly what we wanted. Also, thank goodness for Etsy! I'm not sure what we did before Etsy and Pinterest, but I am so glad they were around for our planning process.
I'm taking a page out of Molly's book and picking seven highlights to tell you about. Let's get started!
1. My wedding dress. From the get go, I knew I wanted my wedding look to be old school glamour. I've always thought that old Hollywood film stars were so beautiful and I wanted to feel the same way on my wedding day. To accomplish this I found a rose gold sequin gown on Etsy. My aunt added tulle around the neckline to make it more wedding appropriate and I found a gorgeous headpiece (also on Etsy) and a white fur stole to wear for the ceremony. My fabulous hair guru, Mark, styled my hair into loose finger waves and I did my own makeup.
2. Bridesmaids in jumpsuits and groomsmen in kilts. As I mentioned, my husband's family is Scottish and it's always been a huge part of his life. His grandparents settled in Michigan before his dad was born and they've kept the Scottish traditions alive in their family. It's customary in Scotland for men to wear kilts to formal events. He wore his family's tartan and the other guys wore a tartan that was similar.
While I was planning the wedding, I went to a bridal show where they showcased jumpsuits as part of the wedding party attire. Since that day, I was hooked on the idea of my ladies wearing them. I picked a style that was flattering for everyone and took great joy in the fact that the women were wearing pants while the men wore kilts. :)
3. Forest ceremony. Like I said above, one of my favorite places growing up was a pine tree forest
on a nature conservation area in my hometown. I always found it so peaceful and magical, so I couldn't think of a more perfect place for my wedding ceremony. The backdrop of the forest is decoration itself, with the trees and pine needles everywhere. All we needed to do was add a few minimal decorations to create a forest chapel. We used tassel garlands and flower planters to create the altar area, burlap runners and mason jars with fairy lights for the aisle, and straw bales for the guests to sit on. The ceremony was also extra special because my cousin performed our marriage for us. I couldn't think of better person for the job!
4. Art Deco and Celtic theme. As you know by now, I'm drawn to Art Deco style. I also thought this would be easier to incorporate the Celtic theme into as well. For the ceremony, we gave each guest Irish wedding bells to wave when we walked out. We also used thistle, heather and Bells of Ireland for part of the wedding flowers, along with calla lilies . We focused heavily on Art Deco for the reception since the forest spoke for itself. We used the same tassel garlands to decorate the hall as we did for the forest. We also alternated luminaries and flower arrangements in wine bottles down the center of the tables for the guests. If you look closely, you'll see an intricate gold Celtic knot tied around the wine bottles (courtesy of my mom) which was another subtle way of tying the two themes together. I also found Art Deco style Mr. and Mrs. placecards for the head table.
Another way we incorporated the Art Deco theme was with fun signs at the reception. Molly, being the doll that she is, offered to create the signs for the reception. She also made the huge Jodi & Graham sign that we used at the ceremony.
5. Gold everywhere. I'm a huge sucker for anything gold and shiny. Since my husband decided early on that he wanted to wear his family's tartan for his kilt, I used that to choose my wedding colors. I settled on navy blue, forest green and gold. I used gold accents to lighten up everything and to help tie in the Art Deco theme. I think one of my absolute favorite things about the entire wedding though, was the huge gold fringe curtain that hung behind the head table. It really transformed the entire space!
6. Live entertainment at the reception and ceremony. Have I mentioned how ridiculously talented all the people in my life are? We are related to and friends with a lot of musicians, including a whole bagpipe band, so it was given that we would have an open mic portion of the evening. The bagpipe band started things off and then we had anyone who wanted to come up and sing a song or two. I'm also very lucky to consider Stacey Randol one of my good friends. She formed a trio with my brother and my cousin to provide music for our ceremony.
7. Wedding cake in jars and the candy/dessert bar. I might be biased, but I am almost positive that my aunt is the world's best baker. She's so good, I had her make my wedding cake! Or I should say cakes, because each guest got their own personal cake in a jar, complete with love quotes on the lid that my mom painstakingly collected, printed and applied. We also created a candy bar for guests. Each person could choose a baggie and fill it up with candy to take home.
Phew! What a day! It's true what they say, it really is the best day of your life. We are so very lucky to have such incredible people to call our family and friends. I know I will remember this day for the rest of my life! I'll leave you with a few more of my favorite photos. Enjoy!