Saturday, October 20, 2012

WEDDING! (Venues and Vendors)

***All photos were taken by Jalene Taylor of J. Taylor Photography.  My tribute to her (because she was BETTER than I could have imagine!) can be found on my bridal shoot post.
Wedding Ceremony
For those of you who are not familiar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is a special opportunity to be married in a temple because we believe that marriages sealed in a temple are not "until death do you part" but for "time and all eternity," lasting after this life.  Because of the sacred nature of temples, there is no photography during the ceremony.

We chose the Salt Lake temple because of the rich pioneer history and 40 YEARS of work it took to build this BEAUTIFUL house of God. 

I ordered my wedding dress online from a website similar to ebay (but instead of auctions, sellers only use the "buy it now" function) where all the sellers are from China.  I figured that everything is made in China anyway, so why not cut out the middle man?  It paid off!  My dress cost $200 so I paid an extra $100 to get a 2nd dress.  Shipping was $60 through UPS and my dresses arrived in perfect condition (custom-made for my measurements) less than 48 hours after the Chinese seller told me they had given the package to UPS. Wow!   

The party/50's style dress fit pretty well upon arrival, but the wedding gown wasn't quite as I wanted it.  I took it to Connie at Artful Stitches & Sewing in Provo (a locally owned business) and she made it even more beautiful, flattering, and fitted to my personality than I could imagine!  After alterations, I ended up paying about $460 for 2 wedding gowns that would have cost me about $3,000 if purchased from a bridal salon.   

My engagement ring and wedding band originally belonged to my grandmother on my dad's side.  She later took the diamonds out and put them in different rings.  When she & my grandpa passed away, I was lucky to receive these 2 rings.  Brandon got the setting replaced on the engagement ring and bought new diamonds to complete the set.  I don't know much about the jeweler that he went to, but I LOVE the rings!

I purchased his ring at the Shane Co. in Murray, UT.  He wanted to simple gold band, so I chose this ring with a Satin finish.  The best part is that the Shane Co. has a lifetime warranty, and free sizing, cleaning, and polishing (he can go from glossy to satin finishes as he chooses!) for LIFE!

Erin is a friend I've had since high school and started her own floral design business.   When I consulted with her, my instructions were, "I want sunflowers but not too many. I want orange and yellow and coral colors, and I want kind of woodsy and whimsical feel."  I feel like these are slightly vague instructions for a florist, but HOLY COW, she created the most beautiful bridal bouquet I've EVER seen!  THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

Hair & Beauty
My personal friend and cosmetologist did my beautiful hair on the wedding day.  I wanted an up-do that was timeless, classy, and had a braid incorporated somehow (I love the earthy feel of braids).  This is what she came up with! I loved it and it lasted the whole day without problems or bobby pins stabbing my head!

We purchased the hair clip at Smith's (a local grocery store...random but it was last minute and turned out lovely!) and the veil on ebay for $8.00 from a Chinese seller.  I did my own hair for the bridal shoot and did my own makeup for the wedding day and bridal shoot.

I wore freshwater pearl earrings purchased from the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet in Honolulu, HI (They cost about $2.00!) and a (fake) pearl necklace that belonged to my grandmother (I wore the necklace during the bridal shoot with both dresses, and on the wedding day with the party dress only).

I originally had a different vision for my wedding colors but when I saw this dress on Shabby Apple, I had to have it. It's in their Mad Hatter collection (inspired by Alice in Wonderland) and it has such a classy feel to it.  I love the color & lace.  I sewed a dress for my 11 year-old sister-in-law and little flower girl dresses for our toddler nieces as well as baby dresses for our infant nieces. I bought a bunch of small, fake sunflowers from the Hobby Lobby and hot-glued them to safety pins so that the small children could match everyone with the flowers but have no fear of tearing them to shreds.

Groom & Groomsmen
My extremely handsome husband purchased his suit & tie from Macy's.  We rented the tuxes (or slacks, vests, & ties) from Tuxedos by Lee.  I didn't want the groomsmen to match the bridesmaids too much, so we opted to have them wear black ties and leave the boutonnieres to tie them into the wedding theme.  I liked the light grey vests/slacks with the casual feel of no suit/tux jacket and the white shirts with rolled up sleeves.

We got the suspenders for the little boys from and, like the little girls, I made the sunflower safety pins so they could have mini boutonnieres without fear of destroying fresh flowers.

Wedding receptions in Utah are typically more of an Open House style with a few hundred guests stopping by throughout the night.  As a result, we needed a venue to accomodate the number of guests and more casual feel of an open house.  As mentioned earlier, I wanted a more "woodsy" and "whimsical" feel to our wedding.  I also wanted a reception center that didn't require us to find a separate vendor for decorations, rentals, etc.

Stone gate is a lovely center that used to be a church and was converted into an event center/fine arts institution.  Our venue rental included tables, chairs, basic decorations, linens, space rental, labor, and an event planner.  They also provided a large, flat-screen TV for our slideshow to be played on, signing & gift tables, a "Kid's Room" to entertain all our nieces & nephews, a large parking lot, and a lovely bride's room.  There are 2 different rooms to choose from for receptions (the Grand Ballroom with more of a classical feel and Great Hall with more of a vintage, rustic feel).  We went with the Great Hall (maybe partially because it reminded me of Hogwarts).  So happy with this choice!

Being the frugal people that we are, we wanted catering that would be fitting for an Open House style reception, accommodate a lot of guests, taste delicious, but still be inexpensive.  We opted for the "Flaming Crepe Bar" from Utah Celebrations Catering.  It was EXTREMELY affordable but was so convenient, delicious, and classy!  Our contract included a few cooks to make crepes fresh and entertain our guests, crepes for everyone, a bar of delicious dessert crepe toppings, beverages, plates, utensils, and staff to bus the tables.  More than worth the money!

Ever since I heard of people having photobooths at their weddings, I knew I wanted one too!  I went with All Occasions because they have really classy looking booths to match the colors/feel of your wedding, high quality photos, and unlimited shots & prints!  Guests could get their photos taken (4 photos in a strip) and All Occasions would print a strip of photos for the guest and 1 for us to keep! They also gave us a CD with all the photos.  It was fun to see grandparents, little kids, neighbors, family, etc. have a blast taking silly photos.


  1. Your bouquet was seriously beautiful. One of my very favorites. I loved it!! Love your photos too! Gorgeous bride.

  2. Is that outside the venue where you guys took pictures? I love the general feel on the inside, and your black and white linens on the tables are a perfect touch with you other colors.

    1. The pictures were right outside the venue. We absolutely loved it! The best part was that they had a variety of linens & decorations available for use, and they set everything up for us (at a very reasonable price).

  3. Thanks for sharing this information on wedding ceremony. Well, I am arranging my sister’s first wedding anniversary function at lovely venue Houston TX. I am doing preparations for a grand event. Hope I will succeed in arranging a lovely event.