Kellie & John’s Wedding Full of Grins

What to say about Kellie’s wedding? Well. Sometimes your weddings make me cry. Sometimes they make me ooohhh and ahhh. Well. Kellie and John’s wedding? It made me grin. Grin and grin in a warm-in-your-tummy, my-face-hurts, why-do-I-feel-so-inexplicably-happy kind of way. When I told that to Kellie, she said, “that is exactly how I felt. I expected to cry and sob and be all blubbery, but when the day arrived, all I could do was smile and laugh. It was such a great feeling – during such an emotional event, the emotion that overtook me the most was pure happiness. Quite frankly, it kicked ass.” And f*ck yes. You never know how a moment like your wedding is going to hit you until it hits you, but I love you ladies who grin down the aisle. Take it, Kellie:
What made our wedding creative: Simple – We discovered etsy. The world of wedding blogs (like APW) led me to etsy, and I owe so much of our day to the amazing sellers I found there. Literally almost every detail was etsy born – our wedding bands, the amazing table runners, my veil, my jewelry – and the list goes on. One of the greatest finds of all was being introduced to the work of Miss Christine of {cevd} and Pretty Pretty Paper. I dabble in graphic design, and it was my dream to create all of the paper pieces for our wedding. I really could not have done this without Christine (Editors note: Christine did our invites, and seriously let me add my voice to her praises. Working with her was a high point of the planning process for me). Even from across the country, she helped me put together an incredible line of invitations, menus and programs, and was kind enough to handle all of my printing. Another creative twist I have to mention is my dress – It was made completely from scratch by a local seamstress. This was SUCH a fun experience, and let me see the gown as it came together bit by bit. The seamstress was even able to use buttons from my Mother’s wedding dress, which was an extra special detail.What made our wedding thrifty: We prioritized. The first thing we did when we got engaged was book our photograher, because great pictures was pretty much top on our list. Corey O’Connor of Oco Photos had shot our friends wedding, and we knew he wouldn’t disappoint. After that, we really sat back and thought about what was most important to us – in short, throwing a great party.By skipping the tradional “wedding package” (which included four courses, a champagne toast, etc.) we were able to afford our number one location, Gibbet Hill. They worked with our budget, and were able to put together an absolutely fantastic menu. And since Gibbet Hill is already stunning, we didn’t have to worry about decorating the space much at all. We also have some pretty awesome friends who helped make our day.The cake was gifted by a friend with bakery ties (yes, it tasted as good as it looked), another friend offered to be our videographer, and yet another gifted his services as a DJ. In addition to being truly thoughtful, our friends literally saved us thousands.What made our wedding sane: Remembering the point of it all. John and I love to throw a good party, and reminding ourselves that our wedding was to be just that helped A LOT. Having extremely supportive family and friends was crucial, as well.We planned our wedding for 160 guests in just under 9 months, and that is not something we could have done without help. Don’t get me wrong – I cried. I cried a lot. I even screamed while punching the couch (more than) a few times. But planning a wedding is scary and stressful, and I think you need to just have a private meltdown every once in a while. Then the smoke clears, and you remember why you are getting married – not because you owe your parents a steak dinner, not because you enjoy packaging wedding favors, but because you want to celebrate the start of your marriage. When it was all said and done – we did just that. And I have to say, it was pretty freaking awesome.And Finally, My Best Advice:
Planning a wedding is what I like to call a ‘horribly wonderful’ experience. It’s true that weddings can bring out the inner-beast in all of us, and those are the times when you have to sit back and remember who you are. I really cannot stress ‘prioritizing’ enough. It is SO EASY to get wrapped up in planning, and before you know it, you are making decisions based on what David Tutera thinks is best. Then there is the flip side, where you are telling yourself “nothing should matter, because I love my fiance and that’s all this is about”. True as that may be, you are allowed to enjoy your wedding for God sakes. Did I need a new pair of Louboutins for my wedding day? Nope – I wore shoes I already owned. Did I want a Monique Lhuillier crystal belt being sold online for $200? YEP – I bought it, and had no regrets. My point is – everyone is different, and it’s okay to splurge and save on different things. Just because you want to hire a makeup artist for your wedding day doesn’t make you a Bridezilla. I think it’s also important to look to those around you for support. I was lucky enough to have my two younger sisters as bridesmaids, and I gotta tell you – they really put things in perspective.Try telling a 14 year old that you *need* matching chiavari chairs for the ceremony, or your color scheme will be ruined. Sometimes just sharing your feelings out loud with another person is all it takes. Bottom line, just enjoy it.There is no right or wrong way to get married – so go ahead and laugh at the altar, raise a glass of whiskey for the toast, and shake your ass on the dance floor with your friends and family. It’ll be fun – I promise.Pictures: OCOphotos (of Massachusetts)

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  • sam

    This makes me happy. Very, very happy.

  • This is a HAPPY wedding and we all need more HAPPY in our lives. Congrats on a beautiful start to a HAPPY marriage

  • Eek! I am wiggling in my chair right now! Yay for more Massachusetts brides, yay for more smiling down the aisle, and yay for this gorgeous, gorgeous wedding. Kellie, can we be friends? Because you rock.

  • How perfect is this wedding?! I think one thing that almost every Graduate has mentioned is that it's okay to freak out… and that it happens. Keep that part of your stories coming, ladies. It's definitely one of the most grounding things you could say while a lot of us are planning our weddings/marriages.

    Also, this blog is saving my life and sanity and I know my upcoming year will be a lot easier because of it. Thanks so much for creating and maintaining it!

  • Also, can I add that I thought the title of this post was "Wedding full of Grains" and I was all "oh, is it in the midwest or something?" Ha ha.

  • I love LOVE it when people smile like she's smiling. Just that happy "I'm SO close to laughing you don't even KNOW," kind of grin. How can you not smile too when someone smiles like that??

    Plus, the dance moves on the guests? AWESOME.

  • My goodness, does Kellie have an incredible smile. I don't think you can read that wedding and not smile just a little. I'm so happy for her and her new husband.

    It's so awesome that they had friends who wanted to help them. It's so awesome that they could prioritize. Just fab.

  • What a happy happy bride! This wedding looks super fun. I can't get enough of that beautiful cake!

    Lauren – I read it as grains the first time too, te he.

  • I love wedding graduates. HARD CORE.

  • Thank you all for the extremely sweet comments :-) I am so happy to have been able to share my wedding with APW, because this blog was a life saver. I found so much fantastic advice from the Wedding Graduates (and a special thank you to Meg, of course), and it all came together on the big day. Seeing other brides celebrate marriage in their own way truly inspired me and my husband to toss the rules aside, and made for an amazing event that really felt like "us". So hooray for Team Practical, and hooray for choosing fun over etiquette – you guys kick ass!

  • One more thing – Lauren: You rock too. Your wedding was one of my absolute FAVORITES. If I had known that getting into MIT would mean access to that incredible chapel, I would have tried harder in school :)

  • Completely obsessed with the design on your cake – Love It!

  • Oh, my, GOD!! I love this blog in general, and I love wedding graduates, but this one just hit me like a ton of bricks– that's our venue!!! We're getting married on-site (right there, in the first picture), and then having the dance floor and party and– it's just so amazing seeing Gibbet Hill in a Practical Wedding graduate post. It's AWESOME.

    And Kellie, we too are making some choices to be go with Gibbet (DIY flowers, for starters), and I'm so excited. It's a beautiful location and a great space (it's airy, rustic, gorgeous, and my anal-retentive over-worrying-tendency is so relieved by the rain option built in with the deck).

    ….And, Kellie, we're actually getting rid of the four-course menu, too, and I'm really curious– what did YOU do for a menu?

  • Wifey- glad to know I wasn't the only one!

    Kellie- well, of COURSE we love each other's weddings, because they were essentially the same thing- low-key, heartfelt events with giant white-toothed smiles and families that clearly know how to party. Awesome. PS- I didn't go to MIT, just work here- luckily, they didn't ask for my GPA when they let me reserve the chapel!

  • Hi Sarah! I am so excited for you :) Gibbet Hill was awesome, and made my life SO much easier.

    We chose Gibbet Hill for the exact same reasons you did – and good thing, because we had planned on being married outside all along…and it rained. We got married in late June, when we were having crazy rain every day for weeks. It poured all morning on our wedding day, so we decided to have the ceremony right inside. Everything worked out in the end though, because it cleared up just before we got there, so we were able to get pictures outside and walk around.

    The menu was AMAZING. Sara Z. at Gibbet Hill was wonderful, and went through dozens of options with us. We ended up choosing to serve both chicken and steak on the same plate, to avoid needing to keep track of meal choices. This wasn't just any old chicken and steak though – it was a 4 oz filet mignon and a delicious 6 oz chicken breast with some kind of buttery sauce. They were both SO GOOD, and came with mashed potatoes and vegetables. I was blown away that we could afford to serve filet, and everyone loved it. We also served a salad beforehand (the one with dried cranberries). This was plenty of food, because the guests got to chow down on grilled pizzas during the cocktail hour (I know – PIZZA WAS AN OPTION! No brainer when making that decision.)

    Feel free to email me with any questions – I had an awesome experience and clearly love sharing :)

    Oh and the design on the cake, runners, etc is called "waverly essense onyx" – I am certifiably obsessed with it.

  • Ok – the part about the matching chairs made me cry! (and that's when I remember that I'm a bride… when I cry about chairs) I'm having such a hang up about chairs… I want the more expensive ones that aren't in our budget… and its the only thing I can't seem to compromise on. I think I'm going to go find a 14 year old to talk to and get their opinion… WONDERFUL idea!! Sometimes all we need is someone else to remind us about perspective. Great post… thank you!

    PS LOVE the cake!!!

  • YAY FOR MASSACHUSETTS GRADUATES!! I'm 100% an APW fangirl, and it makes me SO excited to see MA weddings on here! Kellie and Lauren, both you ladies rock my socks. And Meg, if you had a dollar for every time I thought "OMG YES! Thank you for saying that!" you'd have a whole lot of money. I think half of the starred items I have in my Google Reader are from you. Keep it up!

  • Jessica

    I’m coming to the posting-party a little late, but I came across this blog post in my quest to figure out more about Gibbet Hill (aka- if I could afford it on my budget). Not only did you give me confidence that I can make it work, you also made me feel SO much better about my weird wedding mood swings (aka- planning to wear shoes that I already had because “who needs new shoes” but feeling that I NEEEED to have chivari chairs … because, you know… the chairs really seal the deal on whether a party is fun or not… LoL).

    I’m also curious as to who made your dress, since I think that’s the same route I want to take for my dress but am not sure who to use (or where to start looking…!).

    Yay for perspective!! I’ve bookmarked this particular entry for future reference :)

    • Hi Jessica! I’m so sorry it’s taken me so long to respond – but ‘m happy I checked back here for new comments just in case! I cannot say enough good things about Gibbet Hill – they really took the time to work within our budget, and the food was just wonderful. My dress was made by a fantastic seamstress right in Townsend (next town over from Groton). I will be happy to get you her contact info if you like! Feel free to send me a message through my wedding website ( , and then we can exchange emails. If you are still considering that area of Massachusetts, I have a million other referrals for you as well :-) Take care, and hope yo hear from you!