Friday has finally arrived and I am excited to share a fun, quirky wedding from Don Mears Photography with you today! Morgan and Chris had a “It is what it isn’t, but it is” motto for their wedding decor. All of the details were each an own ode to a part of them and their relationship- such a great idea!
What (or who) helped you most in your planning process and/or on your wedding day?
Wendy & Amelia at Fete Studio were indispensable. My entire family (and bridal party) lives in New England, so I didn’t have a huge support system in Richmond to help with wedding stuff. Chris & I spent lots of time at their office, and they were always were available to answer our questions. Artistically, they helped shape our ideas and creativity into a cohesive look and feel for the event. By the time we got to the reception itself, they were more than just planners – they were our friends!
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
I actually work in the wedding and event industry in Richmond, so I did have a couple ground rules: 1) the venue had to be somewhere where I had never worked. (I just didn’t want to have any mixed memories!) 2) I wanted to use vendors that are committed to their craft and educating themselves about the industry, so where possible, I used NACE (National Association for Catering and Events) members, and 3) If we didn’t have an opinion/couldn’t make a decision, we would trust the judgement of the Fete Studio team (because that’s part of the reason why we hired them!). I ended up with an awesome group of folks who went to the moon & back to make this event happen, and make it so special to us.
What was your inspiration for your wedding details and/or design?
When Chris & I started planning our reception, we had two things in mind: FUN & different! We wanted our guests to be well taken care of and have a kick-ass time celebrating with us. Since we had gotten the actual getting married part out of the way, that really opened the door for doing things a little differently.
Chris and I are quirky. We know that, and it’s what our friends and family love about us. Combined with a background in the industry (and a desire to stay away from anything remotely “wedding-y”), we really tried to stay as far off the beaten path as possible. That being said, since we had taken the ceremony away from folks, we still wanted people to know they were celebrating a marriage. We still did dances and cut a cake. And leading up to the party, we kept our guests engaged with a custom email campaign that tied into our custom wedding website (morganandchris2012.com) with monthly teasers to keep them excited. As for thematic elements, we really wanted to incorporate our geographic backgrounds (Chris is from Richmond & I’m from Massachusetts) and our love for both places (we met at school in New England and now call Richmond home). We also both have theater backgrounds, so we loved the idea of putting on a “show” for our guests. Throughout the event there is a lot of what we called “It is what it isn’t, but it is”. From the regal looking & sounding save the dates that really were about cheesy souvenirs to the “chandeliers” that were made of cardboard to the cocktail hour music (pop songs sung in the style of vegas lounge singers), we really wanted to keep guests guessing and giving them the “wow” factor.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding?
There was a moment in the evening when I realized that these people would never be together in the same place again, and I was so excited that we had created an atmosphere and an event that they would remember so fondly. Every time we see family, or visit a friend who was able to join us, they always say – “that was such an AMAZING evening” or “it was unlike any wedding I have ever been to”. Bringing all these folks together and helping them create these memories is something that just felt (and still feels!) so good.
What is your best piece of advice for other brides?
Hands down, hire a planner. Even if it’s just for day-of coordination, it is worth every penny to be able to “take the day off” on your wedding day. We loved that we felt like guests at our own party, as did our family, friends & bridal party members.
How much did you love that?! I love their inspiration for their details and how each part of their wedding was exactly what they wanted it to be. And, her advice to brides, spot on! So many times I hear brides who aren’t going to hire a planner and so many times I find myself reminding them that someone has to place the escort cards, and the place cards, and make the timeline, and do all of the things a planner does. One of the things I definitely did right was hire a planner- I got to spend all morning with my mom and my girls instead of having them running around doing little tasks. Great advice from Morgan!
So tell me, will you be having a planner for your wedding?
Happy Friday! Cheers everyone :)