Our January Wedding

eeee!  Our wedding has been featured on Emmaline Bride!  Check it out here.

Haven't had enough of us yet? Scroll down to see some pics from our Engagement Session also.

Location: Our home and backyard in Oklahoma City
Photographer: Aimee Adams of Lovebirds Artistic Weddings
Catering: The Wedge Pizzaria OKC/Debbie and Mom

Tommy and I are huge fans of the music group The Avett Brothers and one of our many favorite songs by them is “January Wedding”. When we got engaged in September 2010, we had big plans to get married the following year on September 10, 2011 (09-10-11) because we loved the date and because we thought one year was the comfortable and expected amount of time to be engaged. The only problem was that the song “January Wedding” kept coming up in our thoughts and we kept wishing we could feature the song somehow in the wedding and make it relevant. Fast Forward to November 2010 and we still had this huge feeling that we should just go for it and move the wedding up to January 2011 so that we could use the song. It may sound silly, be one November morning we just decided to change everything and commit to having our January Wedding inspired by The Avett Brothers.

Two problems: (1) January was two months away. (2) January is in the middle of crazy Oklahoma winter (and we wanted to use our backyard!)

Tommy and I had been planning on getting married at our home in our backyard for quite some time. In early preparation for this, Tommy built a pergola in our backyard knowing that it was going to be the pergola we said “I do” under. Planning a backyard wedding in the middle of Oklahoma winter is pretty daring, but we checked the farmer’s almanac and it said our winter would be “mild”...so again, we confirmed our decision to just go with it. We also contacted our photographer, Aimee Adams, to check if she’d be available for our new plan and she was more than excited and thrilled about our new adventure.

Our other challenge was that we did not want to spend over $5000 for our wedding. We decided that saving our money for an awesome European honeymoon was more important to us. I wanted to be sure that not only was our wedding under budget, but I also wanted our wedding to absolutely reflect down to the core who Tommy and I are as individuals and as a team. So, we did our best to keep as much of the planning between the two of us and to keep all the details of the wedding as close to home as possible.

Tommy and I used our existing furniture and artwork as the main backdrop to represent us. For additional tables and chairs, Tommy either made them by hand using leftover wood from the pergola or we ventured to garage sales and thrift stores. Our outside deck and large pergola (which Tommy and I built together also) were turned into a large tent creating a cozy outdoor enclosed space attached to our home. We were also given a large outdoor heater that was broken and told if we could get it working then it was ours to keep. My amazing husband was able to get the heater working and we got to use it in the tent (and now we have a free outdoor heater!).

We also purchased small detail items such as lanterns (which we hung from the pergola), handkerchiefs (which I used to make the “Sweet Love” banner over the dessert table), dishes (used for dinner), and two porcelain birds from estate sales and thrift stores. I got our hand knitted lovebirds from Etsy and used it as our wedding cake topper. I had a girlfriend hand make my bridal bouquet, Tommy’s boutonniere, and two pin corsages for our moms. They all turned out perfect and beautiful! I also made a personal guest book called “Mad Love Libs” in which I created a story letter from our guests to us. (We got to read our guest book later and they were hilarious!) I also made bookmark size handouts for the ceremony that had the words to our wedding ceremony songs printed for the guests. For favors, everyone was given a glass mug and a packet of hot cocoa with an “Our Warmest Thanks” handwritten note from us tied to the handle of the mug. So many items were given to us from friends and family (I am so grateful), but I was over the moon thrilled to feature my late grandmother’s antique date calendar with our wedding date on our entrance table.

Tommy also made a huge table from left over wood in which dinner from a local pizzeria, The Wedge pizzeria in OKC, was brilliantly displayed and served. The Wedge pizzeria is Tommy and I’s favorite dinner spot and also the place we officially got engaged. We love this local restaurant because not only is their food delicious, but they use a lot of local vendors and ingredients. In addition to brick oven pizza, my mother made her popular homemade shrimp fried rice and coconut covered rice balls to tie in our Pacific Islander background. My mother also made all three cakes from scratch! The cakes were an absolute success and many people complimented and raved that they were the best cakes they’ve ever had... especially at a wedding! I also made my favorite brownies and made sure to have Tommy and I’s favorite sweet snacks (frosted animal cookies, ring pops, and sour patch kids).

For the ceremony, we read from my favorite childhood book of poetry, “Where The Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein. Tommy’s best friend got ordained online and officiated the ceremony. We wanted it to be fun, relaxed, and personal. It was so perfect having someone who knows us so well to officiate for us.

All in all, Tommy and I, with uber help from our friends and family, were able to create the most perfect and unique wedding for us. We decided early what was important to us and focused on those things. It was better than we had imagined and under budget!

Some other fun details

My engagement ring is also my wedding ring. We found my amazing ring at a local antique store, Antique Avenue Market in OKC. The ring dates back to the 1880’s! I have yet to find a band that I like with it because it is so perfect all on its own.

Tommy’s wedding band is a handmade wooden band purchased at a local art gallery, DNA Galleries, in OKC.

I purchased my wedding gown off the rack and on sale for only $98! My mother did all the alterations. My amazing shoes cost more than the gown and were purchased at a local shoe shop, Shoe Gypsy in Nichols Hills.
My birdcage veil was borrowed from a friend.

All the original art in our home is work by Tommy.


Ceremony start: January Wedding by The Avett Brothers
Bridal walk: Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros
Exit: Just Dance by Lady GaGa
First Dance: The Greatest Sum by The Avett Brothers (electric version)

Our amazing wedding video by Lovebirds Artistc Weddings

Engagement Session
Location: Lake Hefner (very early on a Saturday morning)
Photographer: Aimee Adams of Lovebirds Artistic Weddings
I'm so thrilled with the photos!  It was so windy, cold, and early when this session took place and it was all worth it!  Aimee Adams' artistic style is so perfect for Sparky and me. 

Keep on Keepin on.