As with every good story, this one starts with a bride, namely, me. Given the unusual nature of irony to enhance a story's charm, so it happens to this one - I have never thought of getting married, wearing white, dreaming of the wedding gown, like most women out there. I have never cared much for flowers, or looked for anything weddingy up until the 17th of May, 2015, a day after my sweet boyfriend at that time (husband now) had proposed.
The do-it-yourself wedding in Denmark
On that second day of being engaged, the magic started. I all of a sudden became fully captivated in everything bridal. Then and there I fell in love with colors, fabrics, patterns, veils, flowers and everything in between the "Will you" and "In sickness and in health".
In three short months I have successfully planned a wedding. I am one of the luckiest that got to wear the dress twice and one of those not being Halloween. The first wedding day took place in Denmark, in the little fairytale town of Odense, surrounded by around 60 friends. There we had the church service, the civil ceremony and the reception all in one day.
Our church generously offered us the fellowship hall, which is super pretty with its exposed, red brick and beautiful windows. I think it worked very well with our style, which was rustic, relaxed and intimate.
The day was filled with cheer and fun, except of course the nervousness of walking down the aisle, wearing terrible high heels, dying of fear of tripping in public. After watching all the videos on youtube with wedding mishaps the only consistent thought in my mind was about all the many ways this moment might go wrong.
Because the church service was so personal and unique, I think this is my favorite part of my wedding day. Some of our favorite hymns were sung and I entered the church on "Beautiful Things" by Gungor. Our pastor had a nice illustration and sermon about one of our favorite Bible passages, Ecclesiastes chapter 4, verses 9 through 12. He even came with a three braided cord, as in the verses mentioned, to prove his point. He shared my husband's proposal story with our friends and everyone had a laugh. Ask if you want to know about it, it involves a ukulele, though much unlike this proposal.
Soon after I became a misses, I have been stolen, a Romanian tradition, but we had no idea our friends had planned this. This mischief was a complete surprise. Crazy fun though.
My husband had to go through a lot to get me back. He had to sing a Disney song in front of everyone, he had to write a poem for me on the spot, but the trick was to only use the words he was given to by his mates which were mainly from a tech, geeky, lingo. He is a programmer so he pulled it off beautifully though. He also had to guess my weight and every time he was off a friend would come and kiss me on the cheek. Lastly, he had to say I love you in all the native languages of the people present at the reception, and there were quite a few.
We played the shoe game and we were just showing off with our perfect matching of the shoe. We danced the evening out and at the very end, we all went for a walk and a beer at a local irish pub.
The planning was easy, I enjoyed it thoroughly, no tears were involved. I got lots of help from my bestie and my husband and I think that in just three months we have done a pretty good job.
Most of the suppliers were friends and that helped a lot.
The flowers came from a friend I went to danish language classes with, she and her husband own a flower shop. I choose wild flowers in early autumn colors. They looked like they have just been picked from a garden.
We didn't do much in regards to the stationary, we didn’t need save the dates, since everything happened in three months. But we did do our invitations, we got a calligraphy set, paper and decorations and we had a few fun evenings writing them by hand.
My hair and makeup was done by another friend and I really loved how she made me look fancy but still very natural.
My dress was bought from a Lilly shop. I went there once, I tried on this one dress and I bought it. That was it. It was love at first sight. I came with no expectations in the shop, I had only looked at a few pictures on Pinterest but I couldn’t figure out what I like or dislike. But as soon as I have seen my dress I was set.
The food was delicious, it was catered by a local company and the wedding cake was made by a very talented acquaintance.
The professionally planned celebration in Romania
The second time around though, we had a ceremony of 200 guests. This happend back home in Romania for all our relatives who couldn't make it in Denmark. This time it was more formal and traditional and I am so happy I got to experience both, because the wedding days couldn't have been more different. I know now both sides of planning: the DIY kind of wedding and with a proper wedding planner.
The second time when I had a wedding planner and she was great, she did basically everything, and I got to be the guest at my own wedding. It was an amazing feeling to just take in all the small surprises and details rather than expect them to be as you design them anyway.
The planner decorated the venue and picked the flowers, the centerpieces and she surprised us greatly with a photo booth décor in the garden, it was just perfect, it fit our tastes and everyone enjoyed the fun around the booth.
My advice for the future brides is think very well what you want mostly, what atmosphere you want to enjoy together with your guests, that’s what most of them will remember, all the decorations, the stationery and color scheme are just supposed to enhance that one feel you want to bring about.
As it follows, after the wedding, I wanted more, I didn’t want the planning and the beautiful world I entered to end so I started looking for jobs in the wedding industry. After working a little while I decided to try something on my own, and here I am. The story ends here and the work begins.