I can’t believe it’s been TWO years since our wedding day! While we are celebrating, I thought it would be fun to follow up with a wedding blog post! This can also double as a blog to help my future brides plan and prepare for their weddings, as well! The following tips are a few things I picked out myself, along with the notable details and amazing guidance from our wedding planner, Deborah, owner of Weddings by Design!
For us, it was a no brainer. We wanted to get married on the farm. Cody is a sixth-generation farmer and Gross Farms is a century farm here in the heart of North Carolina. We knew we wanted to continue the legacy of love and hard work that has been here for over 100 years – so why not celebrate our marriage on the same soil? We love it here, and we made sure to take pictures in the same spot that Cody proposed – in between the pumpkin patch and asparagus field 🙂
Make no mistake – Gross Farms is not a wedding venue. It is an actual working farm with lots of dirt, dust, and equipment. It took months of cleaning and preparing for our big day. Which was SO stressful at times – but SO well worth it looking back!
Cody and I love traveling, and we had a few friends and family members that traveled to be at our wedding. For us, it was extremely helpful to have a dinner party the evening before the wedding, which was essentially a rehearsal dinner that everyone was invited to! It was the perfect way to socialize and catch up so we could enjoy spending our wedding evening dancing the night away!
For our wedding party, we stocked up on airplane bottles and put them in a gift bag with our wedding logo stamped on the front!
I hand lettered dress hangers for myself, my bridesmaids, my mother, and my mother in law. I found the hangers at TJ Maxx, but you can also buy custom hangers like this one on Etsy!
Below is a list of items included in the bridal party gifts!
Cody got the guys Custom personalized Jack Daniels bottles and they were a huge hit!
Cell Phone Check
This was the most brilliant thing we did. We rented a darling sign from Wildflower Vintage that told guests to be fully present at our ceremony. Guests were so appreciative and understanding!
Not only did we have our ceremony heavily documented (3 photographers and 2 videographers) but we didn’t want any photos of us going up before we had a chance to soak in our wedding day ourselves. We loved having everyone fully present at our wedding! There was no instagramming at the dinner table, everyone was talking and laughing and having a wonderful time! Our wedding photos didn’t have any awkward hands sticking out with phones in their hands trying to take photos. Since we do live in the digital age, we had our amazing photographer bring two additional photographers to capture more moments throughout the day.
Don’t forget a comfortable robe to get ready in! You can find one similar to mine here!
I found my garter on Etsy. I LOVED it and loved how it matched my dress perfectly! You can find one similar here!
Ring box – Although this is optional, I chose a neutral ring box from Etsy to keep the rings in and for a few detail photos for our photographers!
Cell phone – I had one of my maid of honors – YES I had two and YES you are allowed to have two! It’s your day, you can do whatever you want! They were in charge of my cell phone all day. They were allowed to answer any texts/calls from vendors and our wedding planner so I was able to enjoy the day without worrying about answering texts or calls!
Our makeup artist was Chelsea Regan. She is phenomenal and all the girls LOVED her!
Wedding Party Attire
You will want to start planning this right away, because a lot of items (wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses) take a long time to receive after ordering. My dress designer was Justin Alexander and I found it at Maggi Bridal. I cannot say enough about this darling boutique! They were WONDERFUL and made me feel like a princess all day! I also ordered my shoes and veil while there. My shoes were Badgely Mischka in a blush color. Badgely Mischka updates their selection often, but I have included a similar style here!
I chose a simple Cathedral veil, since my dress had a lot of lace detail!
The bridesmaids dresses were from infinity dress. They flattered everyone and I love that you could tie them (literally) an infinite number of ways. All the girls tied theirs differently, and some even switched their style before the reception so it looked like a completely different dress!
We ordered the guys suits from Gown and Tux. Cody and I wanted a neutral color, and we decided on a tan suit with white shirts and vests. The guys wore their boots, which were Georgia brand and Ariat.
Bride and groom gift
We hadn’t planned on exchanging gifts on the wedding day, but I planned a surprise gift for Cody anyway 🙂 Our favorite jeweler, Brenda at Brenda’s Jewelers, made custom Tobacco leaf cufflinks for cody to wear on the wedding day. I love that this will become a family heirloom that we can one day pass on to our children! Cody also surprised me with a pair of pearl earrings, also from Brenda’s!
Cody’s tips. Here is what Cody wanted you guys to know:
Just go with the flow. 🙂
We were fortunate enough to be able to get ready at different locations near the farm. My girls and I got ready at Cody’s Aunt Kathy’s house, and Cody and the guys got ready at the house he grew up in. We were also fortunate to have my Uncle as our Pastor, and all of our amazing musicians were family members as well. Our wedding truly was intimate – our motto was that we wanted to be married in the presence of God, and our dearest family and friends.
Our Wedding Invitation Suite was designed and hand-painted by Dana Reid & Brittany Rawls. Dana created the overall design, including the logo, the calligraphy, and the envelope liners! Dana was absolutely a joy to work with, and we worked closely together to create a custom design that celebrated all the details of our wedding day! Our invitations included tobacco leaves to celebrate the farm, blue hydrangeas – which are my favorite flower (they were the inspiration for my colors) and they also grow in Cody’s grandmother’s garden on the farm! Brittany Rawls painted our wedding venue site that was featured on the back of the reception card. She also sent us a larger 16×20 print that we were able to display in our home 🙂 Dana also gifted us our vow books and a sweet ring dish that included a tobacco leaf she hand-painted! (See below!)
The monogrammed cups were gifted to me and my girls from my sweet cousin, who hosted us in Savannah for my bachelorette trip! They are from Courtland & Co.
Cody’s Aunt Kathy was sweet enough to host us at her house while getting ready. She also stocked the kitchen with lots of water, snacks, and of course, mimosas!
Deciding to wear my hair down was a last minute change! After curling my hair, my girls asked, “are you sure you want to put your hair up?” I originally planned to have half of my hair pinned back to accommodate my veil. My videographer immediately said “No! Keep it down!” so, I wore it down! And I’m so glad I did! Chelsea placed a small braid horizontally underneath my hair that my veil fit into!
Be sure to have a bridesmaid watch how your hair stylist places your veil! This will come in handy later on if you need to take it out for travel/portraits!
If your dress features a lot of buttons like mine, another great item to have on hand is a crochet needle! This helps to button the dress a lot faster without causing any damage to the dress hooks!
Saving time for prayer was important for me. My dear Uncle said a heartfelt prayer with both me and Cody before ceremony time, and it was captured on our wedding video as well!
Our flowers and the boutonnieres featured tobacco leaves from the farm! It was the first time our florist had ever used them, but they loved being able to try something new! The tobacco leaves were also featured in the centerpieces at the reception!
The gift bags that included our wedding logo can be found here!
Wedding blog continued here!