Tamara + Trey
October 1, 2011
Morganton, North Carolina
Want to know the secrets to a successful DIY Mountain wedding? DIY Bride Tamara is here to day with the inside scoop on her gorgeous, handcrafted wedidng in the Smoky Mountains including:
- Don't make drastic changes to your appearance on your wedidng day;
- Don't worry about being surrounded by those who love you;
- And use your resources!
From the Bride:
As high school sweethearts, our wedding had been a long time in the making. After having a long distance relationship for four years as we attended different colleges, we finally knew the time was right to get married. We made it official on October 1st, 2011, our eighth dating anniversary. More than anything we wanted a party. Not only did we want to celebrate beginning our life together, but we also wanted to thank our many friends and family that watched and supported our relationship throughout the years. Though our wedding was held in early fall, it was blustery cold (what else can you expect for the mountains?), but all of the love we felt from our family and friends made for a warm and perfect day.
We were married and held our reception in Morganton, NC on a family friend's farm. Though we currently live in Raleigh, NC, we were both born and raised in the mountains of North Carolina. We wanted an outdoor wedding because we wanted to be surrounded by the beautiful scenery that we are proud to call “home.”
I knew even before we were engaged that I wanted a very handmade, DIY wedding. I have always been crafty and wanted to put “my” touch on things. I also had a little motto that I used throughout the planning process – “I'm not going to pay anyone to do it, if I can do it myself.” We had an extensive list of DIY projects – drink and buffet food signs, centerpieces, printing, cutting and assembling invitations and programs, a directional sign, boutonnieres, the favors, ribbon wands, corn hole boards and personalized bridesmaids gifts. We also enlisted the talents of several family and friends who made our fingerprint guestbook, bouquets and catering.
Things we are glad we did
1. A first look with our photographer – Trey and I decided to go against tradition and see each other before the ceremony. It was the best decision we made throughout the entire wedding! It allowed us to have our own little private moment before the wedding, which was so special!
2. Related to Number 1 – taking ALL of our bridal party and family portraits before the wedding. Since we saw each other before the ceremony, we were able to take all of the pictures before this wedding. This allowed us to go from the ceremony to the reception without that normal waiting period. Our guests definitely appreciated it!
3. Adding sides to our tent – This may sound silly, but I am so glad we decided to rent the sides of our tent. I fought and fought with my Mom about not wanting the sides, but she insisted that we rent them just in case we had bad weather. I am so thankful that I finally agreed with her, because it was 60 degrees and horribly windy! The sides kept us warm and comfortable!
Things we wish we did
1. Hire a videographer – Unfortunately, it just wasn't in our budget. But I would love to have professional video footage to remember the day by!
2. Have a send off – We didn't plan any special grand exit, so the end of the wedding was pretty anti-climatic. If I had to do it again, I would love a sparkler send off
Things we wish we hadn't done
1. Change my hair choice the day of the wedding! I absolutely loved my hair trial for my bridal portraits. However, the day of the wedding, my hair dresser put braids in each of my girl's do's, so I decided I wanted one too. I didn't love it as much as my original style. The wedding day is not the day to be changing your mind!
Things we shouldn't have worried about
1. The number of guests – This was probably our biggest struggle. We both have very large families and we found it very hard to narrow down. At the end of the day, we loved having every single person there! The more love, the better!
2. An even number of bridesmaids and groomsmen – Originally we each asked an equal number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, but a few weeks before the wedding one of my bridesmaids moved across the country! I was stressed because I wanted the pictures to be “even”, but I shouldn't have worried. Now looking back, I kind of like that our numbers are uneven… it makes our photos interesting.
Best Hindsight Advice
Use your resources! We recruited so many family members and friends to help us. You will be amazed at how willing everyone is to help you. It makes you feel like your wedding is a labor of love, made possible by everyone who loves you! Also, just relax and enjoy the day. No matter what happens or goes wrong, the most important thing is that at the end of the day, you will be married to your best friend.