Monday, June 26, 2017

Welcome to Wonderland

Welcome to Wonderland: A modern day mad hatter wedding party

We're All Mad Here

Getting to marry My Person is undoubtedly one of the best things I've ever gotten to do. Every day with him is a gift. But you know what else I loved about it? The creating of something beautiful for everyone to experience.

Decorating and designing spaces is one of my favorite things to do in event planning- and in life, in general. I love combining different elements to match a vision in my head. It's incredibly fulfilling to see all your hard work and effort come to life. The bonus of planning for something like a wedding is getting all your loved ones together to experience the fun.

For our wedding, I thought about things that are key to us. The hubs and I are tea aficionados and we love having adventures, so an Alice in Wonderland themed wedding sounded perfect.

Elegant with just a touch of wild; this was my vision. The characters of the story weren't as important to the design as the feel was. The feel of an adventure, of a journey, of a coming together of people for a little tea party madness. It was important that I also had endless options of entertainment so that you truly felt like you walked into another world. A wonderful wonderland of awe.

Postcards, and a suitcase to drop them in, served as our "guest book" next to a welcome sign that kicked off the adventure of the day. Tea tins filled with flowers adorned seating areas throughout the venue, accompanied by frames filled with wonderland quotes.

A picture of my grandparents on their wedding day was added to my bouquet and the ladies all carried lanterns filled with flowers in lieu of traditional bouquets. 

My dress was a little something I'd been planning for a while, so I was pretty darn excited to see the final outcome of it myself! It was a mystery even to me as to how it would look when it was all said and done. You see, gang, I needed it to be colorful. All white is just not my style. So I found some material along with an amazing seamstress who was able to bring my vision to life by adding the fabric underneath the dress for a pop of awesomeness. 

For the invites, I came up with a little something something in terms of fun for the RSVPs that tied right along with the theme. Then, I took a bridal shower invite and had it repurposed into a menu. If there's something you can imagine, trust me when I say there's a way to make it happen.

It was super important to me that the girls had dresses they were each comfortable in, so we did the (now) very popular thing of getting colors in coordinating ranges in a variety of styles. Even the flower girls did their own thing. The result was a beautiful array of colors.

 To accentuate the garden tea party theme, I rented antique furniture and had it set up throughout the space. I either bought or brought in most of my own items to decorate with, to get it just right. Details, details, details. Every little thing counts.

On the grooms side of things, everyone wore the same shade of purple to offset the mix and match on the girls side. Add some fun socks for just a little pop of "madness" and we were good to go. Clearly, they had no fun during the photos. None at all.

Bride and groom photos...not to mention the insane beauty of the venue. The foliage, the flowers, the architecture - gah!

Both Ryan and I feel exceptionally blessed to have the people we do in our lives. For instance, this dude below, one of my best friends who married us. In his words, "I can't tell who's happier in this picture; me or them!"

This gorgeous antique window served as a backdrop for this equally gorgeous table, which was first set for the ceremony then flipped later for dessert. 

Next up: The ultimate swap from ceremony to reception!
I  mixed and matched the table shapes and the table linens for that little bit of a mad tea party feel, but with the colors all matching it kept everything on the elegant end of things. 

We were all about the kiddos, so of course we had to have a special little fun place for them to enjoy.

The favors were extra special. We spent a lovely Saturday with Ryan's sister and family making those babies. Literal strawberry jam fruits of our labor.

The sweetheart table was sweeter than I expected. Originally, we wanted to sit with everyone. However, in the end we decided a little time to ourselves in the midst of the wedding madness would be good. It turned out to be one of the best decision we made. Just sitting there, looking at all the beautiful lights, talking about how great the day had been, just the two of us, was truly extra special. 

A good tea party comes with many dessert options, and I aim to please. Mini-pies, fruit flavored lollipops, and gelato from our favorite gelato shop accompanied the cakes. A shout out is deserved for Piece of Cake, who deliciously accommodated my gluten free needs and kept everything else gluten filled for the guests.

As for the groom's cake, I wanted something extra special, so I had them make a Superman themed city cake. Not mad hatterish in the slightest, but perfect for him.

With the outside courtyard, we had an indoor/outdoor setup. The dance floor with all the activities was inside right off the patio, while the dinner seating was outside. I was particularly fond of this idea for one specific reason: it separated the noise from the quiet. If you wanted to have a good conversation with someone, outside was your option. If you wanted to dance, inside was for you. 

Ryan's brother made us a signature drink for the evening, being the badass mixmaster of drinks that he is, with flowers to top each drink to keep that garden tea party look going. And Ryan's grandma taught us all how to do a special dance!

As for those "wonderland adventure" activities I mentioned earlier, we had a tattoo bar, a caricaturist, and a photo booth. Between that, dancing, and eating all the dessert you could find, there was never a dull moment. 

And to cap off the evening, we exited to the magic and danger of sparklers. Those bitches hurt, you guys. Turns out beauty (for pictures) IS pain.

When it comes to the group of people that love and support us, blessed doesn't even cover it. A HUGE thank you to our friends and family for all of their help pulling off our beautiful wedding weekend and for spending this special time with us! We love you oh-so very much!

Last, but not in the slightest way least, our AMAZING vendors. I adore these people. They are wildly talented, sweet individuals that basically kick ass in every way possible.

Photography: Monique Hessler Weddings
Venue: Villa Siena (Shout out to Hannah and Hope!)
Dress: La Bella Bridal
Dress Fitting/Enhancements: Sandra at Alterations Etc.
Program/Newspaper: Scripted Ever After
Calligraphy: Emily at Penned by Em 
Caricaturist: Action Caricatures by Bill
Cakes: Piece of Cake
Mini-Pies: PieFection
Gelato: Frost Gelato
Menu: Wedding Paper Divas
Invite and RSVP: Minted
Music: Marcus at Ray the DJ
Flowers: Blume
Furniture Rentals: AZ Retro Rentals and Prim Rentals
Dried Toss Flowers and Cones: The Confetti Cone Company
Bridesmaids Hair and Makeup: Primp and Blow
My Hair: The amazing Rochelle Hynes
Wedding Planning and Design: Yours truly

Featured on Wedding Chicks

BONUS: My favorite part of any and all photos- People Being Real. When you aren't posing, there's some serious magic and hilariousness. 

"Animal Attack" appears to be a popular pose.
Rock on, Jon.
I am 100% certain Thriller wasn't playing, so what we're doing...?
Photo bomb during the cake cutting on point. 
Hahahaha - You're stuck with me.
Way too cool for this wedding.
Photographer: Twirl your dress around.
Me: *dramatically* Like this? 
More animal attacks. This wedding is getting out of hand.
Photographers: When they kiss, you cheer.
Michael (on the end): No.

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