Jordan & Sara’s Eco-Vintage Wedding

Y’all are in for a treat. Today’s post is a wedding graduate post written by the groom. And I have, in fact, thought quite a bit about weddings and gender relations, but for some reason lightbulbs kept going on over my head over and over again as I read this post. I wanted to go back in time, and plan our wedding all over again, and this time understand where David was coming from much better. It made me laugh, and it made me smarter. Does it get better than that? Jordan’s wife Sara writes at Eco-Vintage Weddings, but today it’s all Jordan, all the time (and lucky you):

I’m sure there are many grooms are out there, like me, who dreamed of having a perfect wedding some day.


No, okay, me either. Before I considered a wedding seriously with my wife, I (being serious) really wanted to have a projector dedicated to updating fantasy baseball stats throughout the day. Now that did not happen, nor did I request it. But, I did turn out to have a pretty awesome wedding all said and done, mostly thanks to my very talented wife.

When my wife and I began to consider an engagement, the typical wedding-related conversations started. My wife, Sara, had all these details in mind – colors, décor, dress, rings, and church, among many other things. I had two things in mind: honeymoon and cost.

I did make a small push for a destination wedding that failed, based on the requirement that family needed to be there. (Which was valid, given how close we are with our families, especially Sara.) This left us at our very first financial crossroad as a couple, and we came to the conclusion that we wanted a personalized wedding, but with costs that were within reason, and we had to pay for it in cash.

After this point, almost positive that my creative touch would start and end with the engagement, I decided I needed to put as much into it as I could. Long story short, she got a message at work in the form of two dozen roses and a small note with a clue. These clues lead to other meaningful (to our relationship) gifts, along with more clues, which led her eventually to me. When she arrived at my destination (the local waterfalls), I said some great things, got down on one knee, asked her to marry me and she said yes (HOT DOG!).

Much to my surprise, that was not the end of my wedding planning career. Sara is a very creative person who knows what she wants. Since I did not have those wedding-day dreams, I didn’t have many strong opinions, as I’m very breezy by nature. But, one of the things I learned through our wedding planning process was that Sara was very capable of sharing her fun with me. There were times I did not want to share in “the fun” (centerpieces?), but there were plenty of times that I was very happy to help, and we definitely bonded through the process.

I enjoyed taking part in some of “the fun,” including designing our own invitations, ceremony programs, and other print materials on my computer. To complete our ceremony program project, Sara and me holed up on my makeshift bed/couch in my 250 sq. ft. apartment in June with no air conditioning. Some of the other “fun” was hearing Sara gush about her dress (that I wasn’t allowed to see), or being able to make wedding-related decisions based on Sara’s research.

But, the best part of the wedding planning was that we were able to put together an amazing wedding that generated many compliments, and we did it on a budget that never had to get stretched. We never used the credit card, we never had to skip meals, and we never had to make drastic cuts in our daily spending. We splurged on some areas (our reception space – a museum – and a yummy taco bar), and we got creative with others (our iPod was our DJ, and we made our own photobooth wall, among other DIY/DIT projects). The experience of planning our wedding led Sara and me to believe in each other, and in how talented and committed we were. We really created something from nothing, and we survived the highs and lows of wedding planning with each other.

The real wedding day for me started once I put on my tux. I shaved, fixed my hair, and everything became very clear. I felt amazing. What really stands out to me about the wedding day now is that I felt an overwhelming calmness about the whole process. I was nervous about remembering all the steps I needed to take during the ceremony, but I was excited about marrying Sara, and I was confident from the moment of the first look.

Sara came up with the first look concept that was special and intimate for us, as we decided to do pictures before the wedding. I sat waiting in the front of the church facing forward, and ten minutes later (it felt like hours), the door opened in the back, and I could hear my wife walking towards me. Eventually, I felt the sweet touch of her hand on my shoulder that gave me chills, and I got my first look at my wife in her wedding dress. She blew me away. She was gorgeous. She was strikingly beautiful, and I felt like I just won the lottery. Of all the fun we had that day, I’ll remember that moment forever.

Looking back at all of it, the only thing I wish I had known during the planning process was that I could trust us to keep within budget. I was always fairly stressed about it, even when I didn’t have to be. However, this was almost a blessing in disguise as I was continually surprised by how we were so responsible and conscious of our decisions.

Almost one year after the wedding, there are three things that really stand out to me. First, surprisingly to me, was Sara’s dress. She was a knockout. The dress fit her personality, it fit her style, and it made her look (and feel) more gorgeous than she already is. Second, the pictures were perfect, primarily because we had photographers that were personally invested in our wedding. Creative Kindling, our photography team, consists of Kara and Aaron, a husband and wife team who went to high school with Sara and are rather new to the wedding game, although you wouldn’t know it by looking at the pictures! Kara and Aaron took the time to take pictures that we wanted (as crazy as our ideas may have seemed), and they had the creative knack to take some that they knew would be awesome. They did a wonderful job of capturing the day.

Lastly, the detail is something that I’ll look back upon fondly. I said to Sara hundreds of times that every little detail would not get noticed, so she should not stress over every last one of them. While this still is true, I was shocked that while I cannot recall each and every last detail of our wedding day, I will always remember the unique style, look, and theme of our “eco-vintage wedding.”

What didn’t end up mattering to me in the end, was any of the money that we spent. It really is as simple as that. It could have been a different story in the end, but we ended up making every penny work for us, and we made it a special day.

The whole experience of planning our wedding really cemented what is great about Sara and me. We are both interesting people who like to put a certain amount of effort into something we’re passionate about, and in terms of the wedding, we put enough effort in that when we were done, we were confident that our supportive friends and family would take notice and appreciate our “art.” And they did. But even more importantly, we were both extremely happy with the end product, and that is all that really matters to us. Our wedding proved to us that we were (and are) a team: a damn good one.

Photos By: Creative Kindling. Much more (but from Sara’s point of view) at Eco-Vintage Weddings

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Esme

    Jordon has managed to put into words exactly how I feel about the financial aspect of weddings. Thanks for that!

    Great post, well worded. I adore the last line: ‘Our wedding proved to us that we were (and are) a team: a damn good one.’ Go team!

    • Jordan

      Thanks for the compliments! I’m not sure well-worded has ever been said about something I’ve written. Sara has started to rub off on me I think. Haha

      • Me, too! While I’m usually pretty intent on spending as little as possible (in wedding planning and in life), there are certain things that I don’t mind spending money on. And I was surprised that for the wedding, that was most of what we spent (the parts I disliked included caving to family pressure and having favors). So, like Jordan, I think that means we did a good job of making the right decisions!

  • That dress is stunning.

    Also, um, I usually don’t go for baby/kid pictures, but OH MY GOD YOUR FLOWER GIRL. Too precious.

    • Jordan

      I agree!

  • Caroline

    This is one of the wedding graduate posts I identify with the most. And I am fairly sure my other half would agree, particularly with comments like:

    Some of the other “fun” was hearing Sara gush about her dress (that I wasn’t allowed to see), or being able to make wedding-related decisions based on Sara’s research.

    We definitely had that “fun” as well. In addition to the other, no quotes needed fun, like DIT projects that we kind of awesome music-and-beer-fueled assembly lines.

    Thanks for sharing Jordan!

    • Jordan

      I had to ask Sara what DIT meant, haha. I look forward to doing more things together especially as we get a little more settled, I see a busy summer in front of us.

      I’m especially curious about this beer-fueled assembly line…

  • Vmed

    Her hair. Looks SO amazing.

    Also…. is that a rice krispy treat cake?

    • Yes! My parents made our tiered rice krispie cake after seeing one done online somewhere – they will tell you that it took A LOT of batches of rice krispies for the whole cake, but that it was TOTALLY worth it!

      • Sarah P

        We had a rice krispie cake too! Three tiers with some ribbon and delicious, delicious fruit.

        So easy, so delicious, and so cheap! It was a hit.

      • Vmed

        Wow, your parents made it- they did a great job.

        In middle school I made a rice krispie treat model of Stonehenge, and I marvel at the structural possibilities of the stuff (tiers! with ribbon!), but this is so pretty and fun- might solve my cake dilemma yet!

    • I first noticed that the cake was adorable with the yellow ribbon and bird toppers. Then I noticed it was rice krispy treats! What a super fun idea! :)

      • Ris

        I love when I read wedding grad posts and can’t stop grinning.

        I have to say, I scrolled pretty quickly past the cake, froze, then backed up. And my jaw literally dropped. That’s rice krispie nirvana, I think.

  • Pingback: Eco-Vintage Weddings » Blog Archive » WE’RE FEATURED: A Practical Wedding!()

  • Erin

    I love this. Thanks so much for sharing, Jordan and Sara!

  • Everyone is dreaming of a perfect wedding. For others, it is the fulfillment of their long journey that is why they want to make the most of it. By the way, the pictures are magnificent. And what is the cake made of?

    • Thank you for the compliments! The cake is actually made of rice krispies – my parents made it for us and dressed it up with ribbon. :)

      • Ashley B

        I love how personal it is!

  • Jen M

    awesome sauce! I love this post! (and those pics and that dress! Whoa!) Yay for (excellent) grooom posts!

  • I LOVE that last photo!! You both look so happy. Congrats! Great post.

  • I really enjoyed reading this post. Especially this part:
    “The experience of planning our wedding lead Sara and I to believe in each other, and in how talented and committed we were. We really created something from nothing, and we survived the highs and lows of wedding planning with each other.”

    And the whole last paragraph too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • I came to relate to this post (my partner’s female, but she’s much more plugged into the wedding planning than I am) with the same wedding planning expectations and the surprise of how they switch!

    Also, I agree with the commenters, rice krispy cake! Adorable niece! You two are lovely! Congrats.

  • Sarahbean

    beautiful wedding but without a shadow of a doubt- best wedding cake EVER!!

  • Taco bar?? Get OUT.

    • Jordan

      Unfortunately we didn’t get the left overs :/, which would have been fun to freeze, but it was amazing! (Also the best price, go figure)

      • We are having tacos too – such a good price. And we better get the leftovers!

  • my first thought seriously was IS THAT A RICE KRISPY TREAT CAKE?? my mind is blown.

    also I really love this post, a lot of it sounds like what my hubs might say, particularly where budgetary stress is concerned, and “(centerpieces?)” ahahah. looks like you had an amazing wedding, congrats!!

  • Kathryn

    The baby? With the yellow tulle spilling out all around her like she’s a little flower? OMG!

    Also, I <3 "Man" APW posts. The guys are so grounded. Maybe that's why we marry them…

  • This is one of the sweetest APW posts I’ve read. I especially love Jordan talking about the “first look” moment–it really sums up how much love is in their relationship.

  • Class of 1980

    Jordan makes a good point about the details. People won’t remember all of them, but they will remember the atmosphere they created.

    But I’m not surprised that her dress was a highlight for him. From what I’ve witnessed, the bride in her dress gets to most grooms to some degree. I went to one wedding where the groom was so emotional at the sight of his bride, that he bit his lip till it bled. And even my business partner whose marriage ended, told me that he kept touching his bride during the ceremony and that he was blown away by her dress that she created herself (she was in fashion).

    I also think even the uninvolved grooms are impressed by a good party, and most grooms want to have input on certain things.

  • Class of 1980

    Wait a minute.

    Are those Pinwheel Daffodils on the Rice Crispy Cake? :o

  • Larissa

    Jordan, this is absolutely wonderful! I got a little teary-eyed reading through it. You and Sara have come so far together, and it has been amazing watching you guys grow together. Thanks to all for commenting on my little girl. She is the light of my life!! And to Sara, for finding the perfect little dress for her to wear. :)

  • Kate

    What a nice post! I love your descriptions of what you liked about the wedding itself – it’s nice to feel like your planning paid off. I don’t understand why our society (or maybe just the WIC) assumes grooms don’t care about their wedding. They’re getting married just as much as the bride is so it’s a big day for them too.

    My husband actually did always dream of his perfect wedding day. I think he’d been planning it since he was a kid. I was the opposite and never really thought about it until we started planning, so it worked out pretty well. Whenever I didn’t have an opinion on something he was sure to have one so I didn’t have to worry about making that decision. Plus I got to sleep when he stayed up until 3AM a few nights letterpressing invitations (division of labor FTW!). I ended up being really proud about how we worked out compromises in the instances where we did both have opinions, sometimes really strong ones. It set a good precedent for the rest of our message.


  • carrie

    What a fantastic post! I have a few tears in my eyes over the description of Jordan’s first look. I’m currently at a-holy-crap-this-isn’t-going-to-work-out place in planning, and my fiance is wonderfully reminding me that it will. This post was perfectly time,d and wonderfully written. I hope my fiance can say the same things after the wedding. Thank you, Jordan and Sara!

    PS – Rice Krispy Treat cake and taco bar…I totally wish I had a time machine so I could be friends with you and therefore could have been at your wedding.

    • Jordan

      Thanks for the great comments!

  • Sophia

    Hilarious! Jordan, your entry reminded me that my fiance suggested that instead of doing arranged seating, we should pick table leaders and have them do a draft pick at the beginning of the reception. He was only half-kidding (:

    • JEM

      HAHAHAH!!! Hilarious idea.

    • Jordan

      If there was only enough time in the day…. haha

  • Jordan’s description of the first look slays me. Love how he felt confident from that moment forward and that seeing his wife in her dress really did it for him.

    • Jordan

      She makes life easy!

  • This sounds similar to what my husband has told me about how he felt during planning our wedding and the wedding itself. Yea for you guys!

  • Eric Depue

    I must say the Bride and Groom (mostly the bride) were stunningly beautiful. However, those groomsmen looked pretty dapper as well……

  • Awwww the cake :) and the flower girl. Lovely post.

  • AH! The BABY!!!

    This post is an awesome reminder. We’re doing the same type of very together, small details if we want them, within our cash budget shindig. It’s nice.

    Rockin’ grad post.

  • Oy! What an awesome post, Jordan! I too had tears in my eyes while reading this. At work. Ha!

    The words you wrote sound just like what my bf might say (or at least I hope he would say these wonderful things!). Sara is one lucky lady! And you are one lucky man – she is beautiful on the outside and I’m sure just as beautiful on the inside.

    Thanks for sharing this post with all of us. Its wonderful to hear a man’s point of view about love, weddings and planning. :)

  • Thank you Jordan. I am happy to read such a thoughtful perspective from a groom, as I try to actively keep my ears open to what my fiance wants for our special day.

    • Jordan

      If he’s anything like me, patience is gold. Some days I was really interested, some days it was to stressful to think about. :P

  • Judy

    What does DIT mean? I managed to get married two weeks ago without ever learning what it means.

    • Larissa

      DIT means “do it together” :)

  • Alexandra

    Awesome. Congrats!

  • Pingback: A Piece of Cake? | Bixby & Ball()