Erin Cook + Bentley
May 26, 2012
Tell us a bit about your wedding!
My biggest inspiration included simplicity, elegance, and personalization. We were searching for an elegant but also very simple look to match both of our personalities. Pinterest was my absolute best friend during the planning process. In fact, I planned most of the ceremony and reception around ideas I took from Pinterest. As far as the color scheme, I wanted to take into account how beautiful and natural the venue was, so that is what inspired our green and white theme.
Some of our special elements included:
- Our program and itinerary was written on an old window and set close to the guest book when guests first walked in.
- Our guestbook was a fingerprint tree where people placed their fingerprint in green ink, put it on a branch, and signed their name. The final product was our “family tree”, the ones who made our wedding day so special!
- Wine and love letter box sealing during the ceremony (we write each other letters about why we want to get married, what makes the other person special to us, etc. and we seal them in plastic bags, pack the box with wine and wine glasses and the letters. If we ever reach a tough spot in our marriage when we feel we have nowhere else to go, we were instructed to open the box and read the letters. OR if our 10 year anniversary comes first, we'll open it then, read the letters, drink the wine, and write more letters and seal it up for the next 10 years!).
- Our something old was my grandmother's old prayer book. We tied our rings on this prayer book for the ring bearer to bring and give to the minister. This was a very special way to incorporate my grandparents and their strong faith.
- I dedicated a song to my mother, “Somebody's Hero” by Jamie O'Neal, during the reception. From the very first time I heard this song on the radio, I knew I would dedicate that song to my mom, my best friend, on my wedding day. I handwrote the lyrics to this song on a picture mat, along with one of my favorite pictures of us, framed it, and gave it to my mom that day. It was something so very special to me!
- We offered wine and beer during the reception. Bentley and I love a red blend wine called “Menage a Trois” so we provided that wine to the guests. We only had ONE bottle left after the wedding. This is an example of how we wanted our day to be individualized and it obviously paid off because the guests loved it as much as we do!
What are three things you're glad you did?
- Selected our vendors carefully. Researched and talked with them about their values, interests, visions to see if they matched exactly what we wanted. Stayed true to who we were as a couple and as individuals and not let the planning process take over what we truly wanted for our wedding day.
- Writing our own vows…that was the most special thing we did!
Things you wish you had done?
- Eat when we had a chance! We did not get enough time to eat any of the catering (even though we heard for weeks how great the food was from guests) and there were a few times we should have sat down to eat. Take that time, even if it's for 5 minutes!
- Remembered how to bussle my dress!!!
Anything you wish you hadn't done?
- Drive to Atlanta in the middle of the night for our 6:30 AM flight for our honeymoon to St. Lucia. Our reception ended at 10, we left at 11 to drive to Atlanta to get there at 4:30 to catch the 6:30 AM flight Sunday morning. Always book your flights later than you think! You will need sleep!
My very best hindsight advice…
EAT SOMETHING!!!! On a serious side, when you are planning a wedding, don't get caught up in the small details. Instead, focus on what makes you and your husband/wife very happy. For us, it was incorporating our favorite wine, our favorite song, our family, and each other. If you spend most of your time on what makes you happy, the planning process and your wedding day will run very smoothly. Trust your vendors…have confidence that they will help make your wedding day special. Most of all, several times during the day/night, take your husband's hand, pull him to a corner, look out at your guests. Take in all the details – watch people smile, laugh, dance — these are the memories that you will remember. Some of it will be a blur but try to stop and take a second with your husband several times to make a memory. These memories will always last.
- Photographer: Jean Moree Photography
- Caterer: Johnson City Catering Company
- Musicians: Kayla Neikirk, Harpist
- DJ: A Sharp Entertainment
- Event Venue: Chateau Selah
- Officiant: Rev. Carolyn Claiborne with Distinctive Wedding Ceremonies
- Attire: Wedding Dress and Matron of Honor Dress: Annie's Room in Kingsport, TN.
- Favors: Donation to the Washington County Animal Shelter Guardian Angel Program on behalf of our guests
- Bridal Hair & Makeup: Rachel Hall at Deanna's Hair Shack in Kingsport, TN.
- Cupcakes: My personal friend, Linda Hendrickson (not associated with a business, she made them at her own home)
- Flowers: My personal friend, Linda Bradley (again, not associated with a business)