I think this adorable wedding from Raymond Siler Photography is a great way to start off this week! A family farm, an old chicken coop, a gazebo FULL of sweets… there’s just something so cozy about a family-oriented DIY wedding like this one! The crafty bride Emily is here to share some of her advice and insight with us too, so sit back and enjoy!
Our wedding was truly a community effort. Our wedding took place on a family farm during the weekend of our annual family reunion so people started arriving early in the week and were immediately put to work. Our family and friends helped string lights, set up tables and chairs, decorate the farm, and help with countless other things that I am sure I am forgetting now. We had friends throw us a fiesta themed rehearsal dinner and cook fajitas for everybody who was there on Friday night. Another family friend who is a hairdresser volunteered to do everyone’s hair for the wedding, including the moms and the flower girls. Our immediate family members spent the day before the wedding working in three different kitchens to create a wedding feast. The unsung heroes of the wedding were my parents. They helped with the really heavy work. We spent three weeks before the wedding cleaning and painting a barn and an old chicken coop, building a stage and a dance floor, and laying gravel. My amazing mom spent two full days before the wedding creating all of the beautiful flower arrangements, including the bouquets and boutonnières. At first I felt guilty asking everybody to help out, but it actually ended up being really cool. People were so excited to be able to offer us a helping hand. It also created an opportunity for the different families to really come together and get to know each other.
What was the most important thing to you when deciding who to work with for your wedding?
We were both students when we were planning our wedding and were not able to contribute much to it financially so it was important for us to keep costs down and decrease the burden on our families. We were able to achieve this by having a mostly DIY wedding. We decided early in the process that one of the few things that we wanted to have done professionally was the photography. In choosing a photographer it was really important to us to find somebody who would capture the genuine emotions and feel of our day. Ray’s photo-journalistic style seemed to fit this ideal perfectly. When we met him for the first time we all clicked and we knew he would be a great fit for our wedding.
The ceremony ended up being my favorite part of our wedding day. I was a little bit surprised by this because I wasn’t expecting to have as strong of an emotional reaction to the ceremony as I did. My husband and I lived together for five years before we got married, and in my mind we had already been in a committed relationship for a pretty long time, so it didn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal to make it official. However, there is something incredibly powerful about standing in front of a group of people who genuinely care about you to publicly state your love for each other and your commitment to spending your life together. I think it helped that we worked to make our ceremony very personal. Instead of lighting a unity candle we preformed a “unity chemistry experiment” because we are both huge science nerds (mostly we were just looking for an excuse to wear goggles on our wedding day). Our officiant was a close family friend whose spiritual beliefs very much reflected our personal belief system. We wrote our own vows which were very much reflective of our individual personalities. These elements all came together to create a really special moment that I will never forget.
Ray and his wife Kelly both shot our wedding day and they were awesome to work with. It never felt like the flow of the day was interrupted by the pictures being taken, but they managed to so beautifully capture so many of the special moments from our wedding. They were really quick in getting our wedding pictures back to us, which was great because we were able to use a lot of prints as Christmas presents. They also sent us a gift for our one year anniversary which was very sweet.
Try to have fun on your wedding day. After a year or more of planning it can be hard to let go of control and enjoy the day. It is such a fleeting moment that it is really important to be totally present for it. A year after our wedding it is not all the little things that went wrong on that day that I remember(and trust me there were plenty). What sticks with me most vividly is the overwhelming awesomeness of having so many loved ones gathered around us to share in the joy we felt about committing to spend the rest of our lives together. Try to remember what is really important on your wedding day.
Seriously, there is nothing like the love of your friends and family on your wedding day! I feel like it really makes ALL the difference, and this wedding shows it! :) A big thank you to Raymond Siler Photography for sharing this wedding with us, and to Emily for sharing her wedding insight too!
Even if you have professionals handling most everything for your wedding (which is of course what I recommend), family members almost always find a way to help! So I’m curious- how many of you are planning on having your family members help out for your wedding in some way?