Vilija of Love, V

I’m thrilled to introduce our newest wedding graduate – Vilija of Love, V. Because I do click through comments and poke around on your blogs, I’ve been hoping for Vilija to email me and ask to be a wedding graduate since this SUMMER. So when she did, I did a little jump around the living room dance. And it was worth it. So I bring you Vilija and Trevor’s wedding, the wedding that has inspired me to add “learn how to make a wedding cake” to my life list… because it just seems like a skill I should have. In fact, it’s made me think that all of us wedding grads should learn some wedding skill, so we can give it as a gift over and over again. (Oh! And please take note! Another church wedding, yay!!) Take it, lady:
I approached planning my wedding like planning a great party. Trevor and I wanted to be the best versions of us on our wedding day and wanted to showcase things and people who were important to us. We tried to incorporate as many of our friends’ talents that we could and employed several of them. We also wanted to make what we could. Being organized and asking for help was a large part of our success in our wedding planning venture. We printed our own save the date postcards and made most of our wedding stationary on my gocco. My mother was our calligrapher and also made the caramels we left out for guests to take home. Our friends are impressive, giving, and talented they: catered our reception, made my veil & jewelry, styled hair, did make-up, arranged flowers, made bouquets, sang, played instruments, were Djs, decorated, and so much more.Trevor decided that he wanted to bake our wedding cake. He officially became my boyfriend with an angel food cake layered with strawberries and fresh whipping cream, so I was all for it. Most of our guests were coming to Seattle from out of town so instead of a traditional rehearsal dinner we invited our families to a home-cooked BBQ dinner. Good food was especially important to Trevor so we spent time “practicing” for our big day together. After several test cakes and pots of baked beans we were ready.While Trevor and I are a good team in the kitchen, dance lessons put me outside of my comfort zone. We are the opposite of most couples I know because Trevor was the one who suggested lessons. I acquiesced because I wanted to make him happy. When I’m dancing with Trevor in a lesson I get all uptight and snippy. It caused plenty of arguments but taught me a good lesson in compromise. It was important to Trevor that I dance with him, and he wanted to dance well. Although I struggled, I learned something new that I can share with my husband. It wasn’t always easy, or pretty but it reminds me of being married.One thing I learned that I didn’t realize until now is that my success was due to the fact that I asked for help. I am the type of person to take on projects with trouble delegating. I really like to be in charge (type-A really). Our wedding came together so smoothly because all of my friends know my tendencies. They made sure that instead of running ragged I had time to relax and show up to the ceremony rested and collected. People asked to help, but more importantly I asked for help. Inspired by this blog I had my own team practical, which actually turned out to be a wedding army. I learned that I really could not do it all on my own. I also learned a lesson in good karma, what goes around comes around.The most important part for me was being able to spend time with my family and to meet Trevor’s family. I met Trevor’s dad for the first time at the wedding rehearsal and was pleasantly surprised when he smiled and took my hand to swing me around the dance floor the next day. I also relished quietly sneaking off for a quick photo shoot with Trevor before the reception. I remember looking at him in the car and beaming. I have to admit that it was kind of fun walking around a park in our finery and getting asked if I was a princess.I stressed about appearances and I blame this on my infatuation with pretty pictures and styled wedding posts. At first, when I saw the chairs that were provided by my reception site I was worried that they would look ugly and that I should get chair covers. Insecurity about chairs? These wedding people are geniuses. I snapped back to reality when I looked at prices for stuff like that, not practical. I forgot to realize that people would be looking less at their chairs and more at the view. I reminded myself that it was about the people in the chairs.
Trevor and I were also on a budget, which reflected in many of the decisions we made during wedding planning. I think that keeping our budget in mind made me focus on being practical and realistic instead of getting swept up by the beauty of images online. I was surprisingly decisive in my wedding planning. Although I relied on blogs to entice me with pretty pictures on a daily basis, I feel like I had a good idea of what I wanted to accomplish from the beginning. Several of my friends had relied on my help when planning their weddings and I think that it made approaching my own easier. Aside from great pictures, the internet was a huge research tool and planning aid. After spotting my ideal wedding dress in a store, I ended up purchasing it for half price on Craigslist.My advice is as follows:

  • If you can make something yourself it’s worth a try. If you know someone with a talent or a skill work together, barter with or employ them.
  • Ask for help. Maybe you can do it alone, but it is not fun and is stressful.
  • Don’t be afraid to eliminate things from your list. If something is bogging you down, it may not be worth pulling your hair out.
  • Compromise. It may not always feel great, but no one ends up losing.
  • Make time to spend alone with your husband after your ceremony. Let the bliss sink in, beam at each other.

Photography: Cheryl Jones of In A Frame Photography

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  • I love that you wanted to be the best version of yourself on your wedding day! It's not about being a "buff bride" or fitting into a teeny-tiny dress (which you do because you look really amazing in that dress!) but it's about starting your new marriage off with confidence and pride in yourself and your new husband!


  • Yay for asking for help! And I think a wedding a great time for you to truly realize how amazing your friends really are. When someone takes the glue gun out of your hand and says, "Here, give me that. Calm it down. We got this…" then you know they are lifers.

    As a big fan of being a princess, I love that you were asked that! (I'm assuming it was by some adorable urchin and not some crazy homeless guy. Which doesn't make you any less of a princess, but still…)

    And I'm swooning over the black and white photo of you two against the wall. HOW ROMANTIC IS THAT?!? So iconic, like out of an old film…

    (p.s. I stalked your blog and the first full page of entries are all gorgeous cards. As a paper slut, I officially love you.)

  • Great advice… I could definitely use some encouragement when it comes to delegating, because I suck at it. Hardcore. Congrats to the happy couple!

  • Great job on making your wedding cake. Absolutely an amazing feat. You also can't beat finding a dress you love on craigslist. I am very budget minded and am also enthralled by these amazing pictures of grand weddings online. I keep telling myself that mine will still be beautiful even if I don't have __. Oh and chair covers!! I have been going back and forth on that one myself!! So not necessary but a want that I could probably fit into my budget. The question is…do I really need to?

  • Meg

    No. You don't. You know why? Because you won't notice them (you'll be WAY to busy getting married) and any talented photographer will make ugly chairs unnoticeable (we had a big old fan on our dance floor… not in any shots) so you won't even notice them later.

    BUT you'll pay for them. That's one of a billion arguments, but no, you don't need them.

  • First off, YAY for Seattle weddings! :-D (I live in Seattle too)

    Second, awesome recommendations. While I'm not planning the wedding yet, I know it's coming soon (ahem, a little birdie may have let it slip that he asked my parents and my best friend for permission last week *lol*), and reading all of your wonderful suggestions is so encouraging and re-affirming to me that yes, we *can* plan our wedding to be the huge, awesome party we want it to be.

  • @Lyssachelle – I love the term paper slut, I might have to adopt it.

    @Frugalista – chair covers are ridiculous, no one is looking at the chairs, especially not you. I'm thankful I didn't cave. I didn't miss them at all.

    Thanks for all of the great comments!

  • What a cute couple! Love love love that wedding cake. And I loved that it is homemade. Looks so good. Also adore that walking up the aisle shot. Thanks for sharing.

    P.s. Meg – I adore your blog, and have been snooping around here for years. I am far too nervous to email you my post for wedding graduates – as much as I would be THRILLED if you asked me. I think we all worry about our weddings being good enough – and I am sure this holds a lot of people that would love to be included, and probably have great words of wisdom, back from emailing you. Maybe if you find blogs with weddings you love you could leave them a comment. I know a comment from you on my blog would blow my mind – you're kind of like wedding blog royalty.

  • @Mrs.T – Girl, email your wedding in if you have wisdom to impart! I know it can seem daunting, but Meg is great.

    And I think all of us wedding graduates have done a post because we did have something to say, and would have done it without photos. Our pictures just illustrate what the end result of all our wedding stuff was…a couple who is happy and in love. It was so great to see those who read my post and felt better about their upcoming wedding. Or their past wedding. Or the wedding they may have if he/she finally proposes (or you get the nerve to propose.) Those comments still make me smile.

  • I can definitely agree with the last piece of advice. Taking that moment together, just us, and it was just a moment, was absolutely wonderful.

  • Loved the birdcage veil- that's exactly the style I want! I completely agree with you and want my wedding to be the best versions of ourselves…you guys had a beautiful wedding.

  • Hey Lyssacelle,

    Thanks. You so need a blog of your own. I love all your comments here at a Practical wedding.

  • @ Team Bride – my friend Mary made the veil for me – we found the netting at a local fabric shop and the flower is a combination of a silk flower, fabric, millinery leaves a button and a hair clip. All of the supplies were under $10! If you're crafty you can make one yourself.