Category: Weddings

Wedding Tips

One of Matthew’s friends in Texas just got engaged. He emailed us asking for wedding resource advice. Here’s what I jotted down for him in a few minutes…please feel free to add your best wedding tips/resources in the comments, and I’ll pass them on!

I don’t know anything about wedding vendors and resources in Texas, but here’s some advice from a bride/bridesmaid/friend/guest of many weddings….

If you know anyone who could arrange flowers for you (if your bride has a
friend who has ever worked for a florist, etc.), I LOVE Grower’s Box.
You can order a ton of beautiful wedding flowers (they have special
wedding packages) for a lot less money than using a local florist.
I’ve done flowers for two weddings this year and we ordered the
flowers from Grower’s Box and they were beautiful and fresh.

Trash the Dress has some amazing, inspiring ideas for
post-wedding portraits. Look at a LOT of photography blogs and
websites and be willing to put the money into a photographer who
really captures your style. The flowers fade, the food gets eaten,
but you’ll have your wedding portraits forever…they’re worth it.
You should be able to get an excellent, creative, professional for
$2,000 – $4,000. Get someone who will do an engagement session with
you well before the wedding as part of the photography package. It’s
important that they get to know you and practice shooting you so they
can really capture your day.

Hire a good videographer if you can possibly afford it. Don’t just
trust a friend with a crappy camcorder. You may only watch your
wedding video once a year, but you’ll be glad you have a good video of

You don’t have to spend a ton of money on cake. A lot of guests don’t
even like wedding cake. Don’t be afraid to do something
non-traditional. One awesome wedding we went to recently had a
cheesecake bar – a bunch of simple, plain cheesecakes from a local
restaurant, and a whole bar of toppings, like fruits, nuts, chocolate,
whipped cream, etc. So fun, so easy, so inexpensive! And delicious.
You can always have a tiny, one-layer cake for you to cut. Put fresh
flowers on the top and it’ll look like a million bucks. Or if you
like the look of a big traditional layered cake, order it from Sam’s
Club or something, iced simply in all-white, and put some of your
wedding flowers in the top of each layer.

Skip favors. They’re not worth the expense. Most guests will just
end up throwing them away.

Get someone to work closely with your bride to coordinate all the details -
someone who is really good with attention to detail. Having someone
check and double check things for her will take a lot of stress off
her and allow her to relax and enjoy the process. Also make sure she
appoints someone on the day of whose job is to take care of her…run
errands for her, make sure she’s eating and drinking, let her know
where to be and when, run interference on annoying relatives, etc.

Congrats again, and good luck!

Preparing for My Brother and Sister-in-Law’s Wedding

I arrived in OKC Tuesday night, and it’s been a whirlwind since then. We stayed up late talking with Hannah Tuesday night. Wednesday we spent at the Barton’s house. My mom worked finishing the flower girl dresses. I compiled everyone’s lists and made a master schedule/to-do list. Katherine chased Tomkins all over the house saying, “Cat! Cat!” Ivan, an exchange student who was Zach’s West Point roommate, flew in from Croatia. My mom and I went to Wal-Mart to get diapers and shampoo, and ended up with a plastic cell phone for Katherine which is now permanently attached to her body. And holy moley, K’s new shoes for the wedding are to die for!

Thursday I worked on finishing the programs, and Zach worked on finishing the photo montage video they’re playing at the start of the wedding. (We are all now summarily sick of “Sweet Child of Mine.”) Hannah and I went to !Hobby Lobby! (I MISS HOBBY LOBBY) to get flower stuff, and ended up with really cute mini-castles for the tables. Hannah and Hope and I cleaned 200 roses (removed the leaves and thorns, cut them and put them in water). Zach took Hannah’s brothers shopping for shirts. My dad arrived, and we had a Barton/Castle family dinner as various relatives came in and out.

(Insert K anecdotes: 1. When my dad got there, K was outside with us playing with the water in the buckets while we worked on flowers. He took her over to play with the dog and tried to teach her how to pant like a puppy. She came back with her tongue hanging out of her mouth. So attractive. 2. K loves Tomkins to bits and hugs him like a linebacker. She has seen me lean my head down to rest my cheek on a cat’s fur, so she tips her head and smushes it into any cat she gets close to. 3. Hannah’s littlest brother, Jeremy, adores Katherine. He’s been picking her up and playing with her every chance he gets. After dinner, he came and took her off my lap, and she leaned her head toward his shoulder like she was going to give him a cuddle…but instead, she bit him. On the neck. Like a vampire.)

We had some time to pray for Zach and Hannah before everyone went their separate ways for the evening. While Zach and his West Point buddies did whatever it is West Point guys do, Hannah and I picked up Gwyn from the airport and went to the !Sonic! in Bricktown for cherry limeades. (You have to understand what a blessed event it is for someone living in New England to be back in Sonic territory again.)

Tonight I am up trying to actually get some work-work done. I have to give two presentations soon after I get home next week. In the spirit of true procrastination, here are some of the amazing aspects of the wedding Saturday that I am particularly excited about.

There’s a huge, red curtain at the front of the church, which will be opened after the grandparents and parents are seated, revealing a gigantic gazebo covered with roses.

Hannah is processing to “Follow Me” by John Denver, which her parents had at their wedding.

The flower girls are wearing brown and cream dresses made from this pattern. And they are processing to “Concerning Hobbits.”

The bridesmaids are carrying LANTERNS. Instead of bouquets. Pretty much the coolest EVER.

The recessional music is “He’s a Pirate” from POTC. Isn’t that the most awesome recessional song in the world?

Everything is coming together well. And I can’t think of any other ways to waste time, so I guess I will go work now.

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