Today, we’re taking a break from the craziness of all the holiday hooplahs out there for something super inspiring. It’s really the only title I could come up with for this one. Because when our friend Martin at Britsnap Weddings let me drool over these photos from a wedding he photographed, I knew I had to stalk down the fabulously talented bride and share them with all of you.
The wedding of Maggie Casey + Bradley Adams took place on a glorious day on October 12, 2013. I was lucky enough to have a quick interview of sorts with the talented gal who shall henceforth be known as my best friend. (No, that isn’t remotely creepy. Once you see these photos, you’ll want her to be your friend, too.) If any of you have ever planned a wedding before, you know what it takes to pull off an event like this, even down to the wedding guest book. One of the reasons I’m so enamored with it all, is that Maggie isn’t a party professional planner. She just did what she loved and went for it. So without further ado, a little (oh-so-inspiring) Q + A.
Where was your wedding held?
Hope Hull, Alabama at my Aunt and Uncle’s (I call them Thomas and Lissa) farm/home
I have always known I wanted my wedding to be held at their home. Lissa and my daddy are extremely close, so our families have always spent a lot of time together. Thomas and Lissa have 3 boys, so they never had a “little” girl to spoil (even after 3 grandchildren, they are still anxiously awaiting a girl). So, I happily filled that position. I spent a significant amount of time with them. From the pond to the most amazing sunset, their entire setup is breathtaking. So many memories have been made there and I knew all along it would be the location for my ceremony and reception. I also love them so very much!
What would you say was your main inspiration for your wedding day?
I had so many sources for inspiration. One in particular being an antique quilt that belongs to my mama. It had the most colorful, eclectic prints, and like any handmade quilt, showed so much detail. In order for my wedding to be completely representative of myself and my personality, I had to throw all “wedding rules” out the boring back door and do what I wanted. I truly believe everything falls into place when you make decisions based on what you like. Be a wedding rule-breaker! It’s super satisfying.
Are you a professional events planner? Because you absolutely should be.
I am a 6th grade math teacher! Shout-out to my supa fly 6th (They will make me show them this).
That’s the most important job in the world. So maybe you should still do this, on the side? ;}
Being the bride on your wedding day can get a little overwhelming as it is, let alone with a wedding as detailed and fun as this. How did you pull it off?
I had the most amazing wedding posse’ in the history of wedding posses. Close family and friends soldiered through my bogus ideas and complicated requests and made mine and Bradley’s day perfect! Word to the wise, do not try and do everything yourself. Yes a DIY wedding is totally doable and satisfying but make it more of a DIO (did it ourselves) event. Ask for help! No way possible could I have pulled off this wedding alone. I am extremely unorganized and scatter-brained, therefore, I needed much assistance staying focused.
As for being overwhelmed with the details, I wasn’t. My posse’ might disagree. I have this warped perception of reality sometimes. Everything always seems ‘just peachy’ in my brain and I tend to think I’ve got things under control when in fact, I DON’T. That’s what moms and nannys are for though. My mama, knowing how particular I am about how things are set up (especially my tablescapes at reception), suggested we set up each table centerpiece at home, just like I wanted, take pictures of them, and put the items, along with the photos in separate baskets so that whomever was setting up the tables would know exactly how I wanted it. This prevented a lot of confusion.
This is so smart! Okay. Let’s talk about your sources for everything. This is what people will want to know. There’s a lot of detail and time and effort that went into all of this. We’d love to know how/when/where you did all of this before the big day.
Note: When I refer to our “stash,” I am referencing the collection of junk my mama and I have collected over time for no reason or use at all, only because we wanted it and had to have it (I might be a little more of a “collector” than my mama). I hate the word hoard/hoarder, it sounds gross.
• Signs: My talented Nanny nailed my every sign idea to a tee! She cut each from plywood (some were made from old barn wood) and handpainted them.
• Chalkboards: I mentioned that I hate the word “hoard,” but to say that I collect chalkboards is an understatement. I no doubt, hoard them. However, I have yet to master that beautiful chalkboard art. So, one of my dearest friends, Heather, took on the dreaded chore for me. Her tip is to use a chalk pen to keep the design tidy (it also creates a bolder look). A little forewarning, if you plan to bring the chalkboards back into your home, you may or may not end up with chalkboards in every corner that still read “Toss one.” “Love grows,” and other wedding lingo that is irrelevant to your home because you don’t have the heart to erase them.
• Bouquets: All of the bouquets were made from vintage brooches I had “collected” over time (long before marriage was even a thought). I had close to 200 brooches so I was able to make my bouquet, my 5 bridesmaids’ bouquets and my mama’s and mother-in-law’s tussy mussies out of brooches. My nanny found a tutorial online on how to assemble them and we had all bouquets completed close to 5 months before the wedding!
• Dress: My dress was a lace, trumpet style dress by Mori Lee. When we purchased it, it was strapless. My mama, knowing how “graceful” I am, suggested we add straps. The dress came with an optional shawl-like attachment, which she used to make cap sleeves from. The sash/belt was another added detail. We purchased an ivory silk ribbon and used old lace and tatting made by my late me-maw to create contrasting texture and color against my dress. Then we pulled some of my favorite brooches from another “stash” of mine and applied those atop the lace and tatting. When I took the dress to be hemmed, I had the seamstress sew the belt into my dress because I wanted the belt to appear as a part of the dress as opposed to an ‘after-thought.’
• Headpiece: The sentimental value in my headpiece is indescribable. I was completely opposed to wearing a veil. So my mama and I searched for different ideas and inspirations and came up with a headwrap/headband? Then it was on to, ‘What do we make it out of?’ My Lissa then came to the rescue and recommended that we use a piece of lace from her wedding dress (which she and my me-maw MADE BY HAND). And we did just that! We used the lace from her dress as the main wrap piece and added an old lace medallion, that came off a baby’s bonnet, to go under the brooch.
So in this open field, you guys literally built these things? The simplest of elements had the most charming effects!
• Chairs: I love old chairs. Which could explain why we were able to provide a different style chair from every era, in every color and shape for each individual guest. Between yard sales, thrift stores, and auctions, my mama, Nanny and I always came across chairs at very reasonable prices. When we began to price rental chairs, we were blown away by how expensive and unattractive they were. The only decent chairs started at around $4.00 a chair to rent! I was bummed. Not only were the rental chairs expensive, they were also NOT the look I was going for. So, I suggested we collect an UBER amount of chairs (we had a place to store them) and we could resell after. So we bought and borrowed chairs and made it happen even if it required eating on the floor for a few days.
• Ceremony doors: So, my mama and I “collect” antique doors as well. You might ask, “Why?” and I might ask you, “Who wouldn’t want old doors on hand that you can set up anywhere at any time and use as your escape that leads to outer space, or a fairy land, or Narnia!?” But in our case, we used them for our wedding entrance. Given that I can be difficult and/or make many, what should be fairly easy, tasks difficult; it seemed only natural to choose the largest, heaviest, solid wood doors I could find. Right? Well, my crazy talented and smart daddy, man could whittle a spaceship out of wood and rocks AND make it fly, was able to build a frame sturdy enough to hold the doors. Although difficult, they turned out beautiful! Some of my favorite wedding pictures were taken in front of those doors.
• Lamp shades in trees: The lampshade lights in the tree were extremely easy and economical! My mama, Nanny, and myself collected ugly, dirty, musty lampshades, mainly from thrift stores, for close to a year. To remove the fabric, I started with the vertical piping, it makes removing the rest much easier. Also, shades with a spider harp fit over the bulb better. My mama purchased light kits from txlampparts.net in green (white cords in trees look horrendous) and we bought incandescent bulbs from the Dollar Tree.
• Men’s attire: Vests-studiosuits.com • Shirts-Kohl’s • Pants-Dillard’s • Ties- thetiebar.com
Young Groomsmen’s attire: • Shirts- Kohl’s • Pants-Kohl’s • Tweed bow ties- etsy.com/shop/oceanityhandmade • Suspenders – my mama
• Men’s boutonnieres: My Nanny made each boutonniere from dried Billy Balls, various other fall flowers, and antique stick pins (to add some quirk). Tip: Buy dried Billy Balls. They look identical to the fresh, last forever, and are half the price.
• Flower girl and ring bearer attire: I felt I had to include this because it was so special to me. All of my flower girls and ring bearers, 6 in all, wore heirloom outfits that my mama made (a few my brother and I actually wore). I should refer to my flower girls as the lollipop guild because instead of tossing flower petals, two tossed colorful pom pom balls while the other two handed out lollipops to guests that they carried in antique metal sandbuckets. Rest assured, the nose-picking flower girl didn’t start picking until after she disposed of all her lollipops
• Photographer: Obviously the amazing Martin from Britsnap Weddings
• Reception entertainment: More Cowbell Band from Birmingham <- these guys rocked!
What’s your favorite element from your beautiful day?
This is so very difficult. But if choosing one, I will say the ceremony music. My friend Heather and I chose the songs that were sweet and meaningful but also fun and upbeat. Some very special people including Heather, her daughter Ella, son Thomas, sister Donna, Keith (church friend), his daughter Ruby, Trey (another church friend), and my cousin Samantha, all nailed the music. There were 2 acoustic guitars, a violin, bass guitar, and a ukulele in the mix which gave the entire ceremony a folky vibe. It was out of this world beautiful. The songs were: Crazy Love by Van Morrison; Count on Me by Bruno Mars; Home by Edward Sharpe and Magnetic Zeros; Canon in D by Pachelbel; Home by Phillip Phillips; Sweet Sweet Spirit by Doris Akers).
Sorry I couldn’t do just one favorite. Instead I am doing one from ceremony and one from reception. My favorite element from the reception was no doubt the ‘kids/sweets’ area. I had old fashioned novelty candy I ordered online (circus peanuts, candy buttons, burnt’ peanuts, wax lips, nik-l-nips, etc.) displaying in Lance jars and gumball machines. We had pinwheels, animal masks, capes, hats and crowns for the children to play with (even some adults joined in). I also had live goldfish in an old battery jar. This whole area was awesome not only because of how bright and inviting it all was, but also because the children played their hearts out the entire night. One of my favorite memories from the night was when I saw shoeless kids with candy stained mouths, running around and dancing wearing capes and cowboy hats.
My maid of honor, much like myself, has her head in the clouds. Case in point, the night before the wedding, she informed me that hadn’t yet tried on her dress. Before I continue, I feel I should inform you of a few minor, yet important details. At the point when she shared this, she was lying in the bed, in her pajamas, under the blanket, and I am almost positive her eyes were closed. My first wave of panic sets in. I force her to try it on. (Cue second panic wave) It’s a disaster. Not only did it not fit, it was slightly inappropriate. She then interrupts my state of shock with “Ah, we’ll figure it out tomorrow.”I don’t know if it was exhaustion, defeat, or the good Lord that stepped in at that moment, but I somehow walked peacefully to my bed and was able to sleep that night. Thankfully, we did end up “figuring it out” and she ended up looking amazing in that dress. And yes, Meagan and I remained friends after the incident.
No catastrophe, just funny: A few minutes before we were to walk outside and begin thewedding, my aunt kneeled eye level with one of my flower girls, which is her granddaughter. She went into a full lecture about how she was to not pick her nose during the wedding. What I took as a nod of understanding agreement, coming from this child, really turned out to be a nod of pretense. One of conspiracy. For she picked her nose throughout the entire ceremony. It wasn’t done innocently, because many kids pick their noses. No, it was done out of spite.
Swaying as if she were trying to make her dress swish back and forth, like a sweet angelic child, she picked her nose with every finger the Lord blessed her tiny hands with while staring at her horrified mama and grandmother. It was priceless.
Any tips you guys want to share for anyone about to go through their big day?
Bride tips: Your dress will get filthy, don’t sweat it. Taste your cake (every single one of them). Force your maid of honor to try on her dress before the weekend of the wedding. Hire a videographer. Give your husband a big sloppy kiss. And take note of every precious memory (even the tiny ones).
Groom tips: I consulted Bradley, my husband for this because unfortunately for him, he was totally dragged into the planning (we basically used him for his truck and his muscles ;)). “Face it, it’s her day not yours. Oh, and leave your feelings at home.”
Then he gets a little more serious and sweeter.
“The day comes and goes so fast. It’s all a blur. Focus on the memories being made with you and around you.”
I absolutely adore this wedding. Don’t you guys?
The thing is, that Maggie and her husband Bradley had fun with their wedding. She literally tossed out the rules, and they went for it. I’m sharing this with you because not only is it inspiring, but I think we should apply this everywhere in our lives. This post isn’t just chock-full of inspiration and ideas for events, but for our homes as well. They were successful at conveying a feeling, and it’s the same way I want my home to feel when someone drops by. Fun and free, colorful and lovely.
Major thanks to sweet Maggie and Bradley for taking the time to share their special day with us. And another thanks to Britsnap Weddings for allowing us to share the photos! What’s your favorite part?
Oh, and guess what? Maggie will be getting rid of some of her “stash” in her Etsy store in the coming months. Something tells me you may want to stalk it… so stay tuned! ;}
Have an inspired day, y’all!