We’re always supportive of couples who want to make their wedding day as unique as they are, so when we saw that bride Sara chose to have her grandmother act as a bridesmaid, we were sold. Sara went to town with endless DIY projects, which only added to the personalization of the day’s events you’ll see captured here by Leah of Vis Photography.
From the bride, Sara: I was really inspired by the stylings of Free People, BHLDN, and Anthropologie. While I realize they’re all the same company, their stylists and merchandisers have such an amazing grasp on what I wanted: a mix of vintage charm and natural, rustic woodsy touches. I’d say the look is romantic, natural, woodsy, and vintage. Our venue provided both the vintage charm and a natural setting with the ocean view, the rolling hills, and the farm animals. I incorporated my artistic side by using an airy blue watercolor effect on the invitations and the feather garland surrounding the reception space.
Flower recipes: My bouquet was freesia, garden roses, silver dollar eucalyptus, seeded eucalyptus, lisianthus, amaranthus, China mums, white statice, and dusty miller. The centerpieces used the succulents I’d grown, eucalyptus, bay leaf, and rosemary amongst the antlers. They smelled amazing!!
In line with the emphasis on personalizing my big day was inviting my Grandmother to be a Bridesmaid. She has always been such a big part of my life, and I’ve always considered her more a friend than an “elder”. Not to say she isn’t wise–I can always count on her for being up for Happy Hour and for dishing out fashion tips (she always has the latest issues of Vogue and InStyle in her purse!) She picked out her own version of the bridesmaid dress and had custom, flowing, bohemian sleeves sewn on to her liking. We even included her in my bachelorette party! My Maid of Honor Kate printed out my grandmother’s face and put it on a paint stirrer. We took pictures with her everywhere with everyone all night!
I designed my Save the Dates, Invitations, and Thank you Cards. I cut hundreds (I think we counted 300 in all) of feathers out of scrapbook paper for garlands because I’m crazy like that, and I also painted watercolor paper in our signature blue and cut feathers out of those as well. These were also used as a detail accent in our place cards for the reception. I made the “his” and “her’s” arrow and dreamcatcher with a little help from a vendor on Etsy that provided the woodcut arrows. My mother in law and I made the druzy necklaces for my bridesmaids, as well. My Mom, Mother in Law, and Bridesmaids helped set up the altar as well as the centerpieces. I created signage from wood slices that I painted with chalkboard paint, and then used chalkboard markers for lettering. Basically, if I didn’t have anything to work on, I created a new project for myself. I just couldn’t stop. ;)
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Do what makes you happiest. I was fortunate in that my friends and family supported me when I told them “I want antlers as centerpieces!” and “Mom! I found the perfect venue: there are dogs and horses everywhere!!!” Even though my idea of the perfect day may have sounded a little off kilter, it truly WAS my perfect day in the end because it was so personalized. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. Really. A week before the wedding, our flower provider (props to Reyna at Mellano Wholesalers for being AWESOME) told me the peonies and anemones I’d based my bouquets off of were wilting due to an unusual heat wave. I made compromises from my “dream” and guess what? No one knew the difference, and our bouquets were still beautiful!! On the day of, take time to take it all IN. You are so busy up to that day and on THE day, it’s easy to be swept up in it all and forget to truly zero in on the details of this day that you have worked so hard to prepare. Remember the look on your mother and father’s faces when they see you in your dress for the first time. Remember how excited your bridesmaids were to get ready and have champagne and celebrate everything that you and your Groom are. Remember how your groom teared up when he saw you walking down the aisle. Remember the atrocious dance moves you did with your Dad’s best friend’s wife on the dance floor! There are so many amazing moments to be had on your day. Forget about the rest and be PRESENT for it all!
View all images from this wedding in the gallery
Bridal Party Processional: “Bloom,” The Paper Kites
Bride’s Processional: “Down The Aisleway,” composed and performed by my father
Recessional: “Someday,” The Growlers
First Dance: “We Found Each Other In The Dark,” City and Colour
Father/Daughter Dance: “Bittersweet Waltz,” written and performed by Austin Ladd Roberts III, (my father–years before he’d even met my mother and way before I was even an idea!)
Cake Cutting: “Stuck On You,” Meiko