Alert, this is a wedding post! And it’s a long one. If wedding posts aren’t your thing, go ahead and skip it. It’s actually my last wedding post for the main page of the. I’ll add all my vendors to the wedding page eventually.
Details and Decor
It is so hard to know where to begin when talking about wedding details and decor. There are just so many details, there is no way you could possible capture or even remember all of them.
Our wedding was defined by its location, Saratoga Springs. We figured if we were going to make so many people travel upstate, we’d stay true to what is special about the location itself. We embraced the vintage, historical feel of Saratoga. I liked the vintage romantic vibe and loved the Gatsby-inspiration that was so popular around the time I was getting married. However, I didn’t get too concerned with keeping everything themed, I mostly picked what I liked, but stayed away from anything too modern or contemporary.
The Save-the-Date was the first detail we picked out. We worked with One Lonely Apricot on Etsy to create a map that connected the events of our wedding and major attractions in the area.
While the save the dates were pretty whimsical, we went pretty formal with the invitations, picking out a simple, but sleek William Arthur design. We had them addressed by the amazing Dani Writes–highly recommended, she did over 200 invitations in 1 week and was by far the most affordable calligrapher I contacted.
We DIYed the program ceremonies, which ended up being about 20+ hours of our life that we could never get back. While I love paper source, not all of their materials are printer friendly. We bought a slightly shimmery sturdy paper for the programs. The inserts that matched were a light weight plain paper in a slightly smaller and extremely odd size. After we went to about 4 different printing places and none of them could print on our programs and paper presentation wanted some astronomical price per program, we printed them one by one. It was so incredibly tedious I can’t even tell you. Then we assembled them tying the cover and the insert with a peach ribbon. Fun note, while the Catholic Church is pretty strict with almost everything, they did let me put one of my favorite quotes on the back of the program, “When you realize that you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” When Harry Met Sally
Hotel Gift Bags
I love getting gift bags at hotels. It makes you feel so special. I still remember the first wedding gift bag I ever received. Anyways, this was one of the things that I was most excited to do for my wedding. It turned out to be a lot of man power, and I really have to hand it to my family for actually doing the lion’s share of the work ordering supplies, assembling and delivering over 100 bags. I wanted to stick with a Saratoga theme, but I was finding that the themed gift bag ideas in wedding magazines typically cost hundreds of dollars each. EACH. I’m not sure who actually gives their guests $25 hand cream and $60 pashminas–sometimes wedding magazines aren’t very practical. But with ideas from my family we pulled together bags with 2 bottles of Saratoga water, Saratoga chocolate bars from Saratoga Sweets, and boxes of Saratoga chips. In addition, we added a map of Saratoga and a little visitors guide. I rounded out the bags with advil, mints, maple candy, personalized lip balm and a granola bar. Sadly, I don’t have a goodphoto of the finished bag, but I have some of the work in progress bags.
I also put in a schedule for the guests. (I made similar ones for the bridal party as well.)
My great family assembled the bags with lots of tissue paper and raffia…they took over our garage.
For the actual wedding, I knew I wanted a blush, peach, coral and gold color scheme. I knew I wanted black bridesmaids dresses. From there I really just looked at lots of wedding magazines, style me pretty and pinterest.
We met with our florist, David Michael Schmidt from Renaissance, way back in July. He is one of those amazing visionary people who you just want to tell to do whatever they want. However, he really did want our input and we discussed every little detail over the course of about 4 conversations. This was this list of things that were important to Frank and I:
- lots candles
- a warm feeling
- big fluffy flowers (I love me a peony)
- a dramatic escort card tree
- a dramatic head table.
The bridesmaids each had a unique bouquet with brighter shades of the colors in my bouquet. I love the large mix in type of flowers used in the bouquets.
This particular pin really helped me develop my overall vision for the reception.
I had pinned a bunch of trees on pinterest and Renaissance was able to create a gorgeous one-of-a-kind escort tree. It was definitely the focal point of the ballroom.
We discussed a kind of moving hedge of flowers with different colors and levels and taper candles for the head table. That was the only thing that didn’t come out the way we had pictured, but everything else was so far beyond what we had imagined, it didn’t matter.
We had three types of arrangements for the tables, a low full arrangement..
A tall pillar arrangement with hanging crystals. The table numbers were actually places we love in NYC. We went around and took the pictures ourselves and then printed them in black and white and put them in gold frames.
And an arrangement that was a mix of floating candles and three smaller flower arrangements.
For the place settings, I made our menus. I found the shaped paper at Paper Source and then printed them one by one.
My venue already had the perfect peach napkin. I debated getting overlays, but I never found any I liked–the damask in my inspiration photo was too fussy, so I stuck with plain ivory table clothes.While I loved the gold beaded charger, they were $4.50 each and with 240 guests, that wasn’t happening. Fortunately, the awesome event planner at the Hall of Springs, Kevin Sykes, suggested we upgrade to gold rimmed china and order 1 extra plate to use as a charger. This was a great happy medium–it gave me the effect I wanted and saved me the cost of upgrading both the plates and the charger. Excuse the messy napkin in the photo, a guest took this one!
By the way, I found that both our contact at the venue and our florist were willing to do absolutely anything they could to help us create our vision. No request was too great. Moral of the story, it never hurts to ask. Truly great professionals care as much about your wedding as you do.
Lighting was a large part of the decor at our reception. Our venue has a tendency to look very austere without lighting. At first, I was pretty worried about our venue looking like a night club, but in the end I was so happy Frank convinced me to get the lighting. The colors changed throughout the night, We started with a warm umber color, then we went to a fuchsia pink for the bridal party entrance, back to umber for the first dance through dinner and then the colors kind of changed from pink to purple to blue throughout the night.
While I relied a lot of vendors, we did have a few DIY projects. Here’s what we did ourselves or mostly ourselves…
- Schedules for guests and bridal party
- NYC themed table numbers/table places
- Escort cards (although our florist made the tree and strung the cards)
- Signature Cocktail Menus (ordered on etsy and printed and mounted ourselves)
- Bride and Groom signs for chairs
- Baskets for the bathrooms
- “Dancing Shoes” Flip flop basket