Just because you’re on the beach doesn’t mean you have to be casual. And just because you’re going for elegance doesn’t mean you can’t go for rustic as well. Here we have a beautiful wedding that perfected the right mix of a classic and rustic beach wedding. Their outfits are very dapper which looked awesome on the sand. Their decorations were very sweet and personal. And our bride, Polly, spilled it all on how you can do it yourself – on how you can pursue the wedding of your dreams. It isn’t exactly as easy as ABC but being organized like Polly will go a long way – it’ll even make you enjoy the planning part of your wedding! Congratulations on a beautiful wedding Polly & Devin!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet & fall in love?
Devin and I are both career oriented people. The last thing we expected was to meet, stay up all night
talking, see each other every weekend for months there after. Never once did we miss a weekend and to fall
in love all because of a work conference Memphis TN.
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
Laughter is the sweetest creation…we laugh together until we have tears in our eyes…my weakness are his strengths and vice versa. Life can be a taunting task but knowing we have each other is all that I need. At the end of every single day, Devin is my best friend no matter where we are or where we are headed. If we are together, I am home . It’s as simple as that, we love each other.
How did he (or you) propose?
For months and months we debated on the perfect vacation…we wanted to get away and to have an adventure together we rappelled, zip lined, snorkeled and hiked our way through Costa Rica. From volcanoes to rain forest, we did everything the country had to offer. We left on Christmas day and toured 3 different locations but saved the best location for last, a bungalow nestled in the mountain side of Manuel Antonio with a villa an open veranda with a majestic view to the Pacific ocean. So naturally when he suggested we have breakfast on the porch New Year’s morning, I obliged. Right there, over orange juice and scrambled eggs he dropped to a knee and asked to me to marry him.
How long was the planning process? Did you think it was enough time?
Devin and I got engaged on New Years Day 2014 and our wedding day was Sep 13, 2014. 8 months and 13 days. When you get engaged, you got into auto plan mode. I was a “Do It Yourself Bride” and planned our entire wedding. I LOVED planning our wedding – doing research, finding and booking vendors and planning all the small details was something I enjoyed but I won’t lie it took me every minute of the 8 months I had to plan! We got married in 8 months because we wanted a beach wedding and we didn’t want to wait 2 years so the following spring/fall was our only option..otherwise I would have given myself more time. My advice is give yourself a solid year, if not more. Planning the wedding was amazing but don’t miss out on the amazing reason your planning a wedding. YOU’RE ENGAGED, take time to enjoy that! You are going to be married forever, no need to rush!
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
The best advice I received during the process was STOP, ENJOY IT, take in EVERY moment! As life has a way of doing, this time will fly by. It’s not about the invitations & registries, its about the two of you. You have decided to spend your life together. Take a moment to take that in!
What tips & tricks (can we use “hacks”?) can you share future brides that you yourself have learned during and after your wedding?
You’re going to get stressed, its going to feel overwhelming at times; but the fact of the matter is, you are going
to marry the person you adore. LIFE IS GOOD!!
- No one will remember if you your initials are on the guest towels, or what the acoustic guitar song was as the guest walked in…Please, Please, Please dont sweat the small stuff!! Its important to plan but its not end of the world if the little details don’t come together.
- Don’t talk to your groom EVERY SINGLE DAY about the wedding. Guys are still guys. Talking about bouquets and guest list isn’t their forte. Dont let the wedding dominate your conversation with him
- BE ORGANIZED. Regardless if you are a “do it yourself’ bride or if you hire a wedding coordinator. Don’t depend on anyone else to care as much about details as you do. Keep records, have an outline and know what you want the day to be. A well thought out plan WILL pay off!
What were some challenges you faced while planning your wedding & what did you do to address them?
My biggest challenge was my guest list. We had a smaller venue, so deciding who was in and who was out was a difficult task. At the end of the day you want your wedding to be a day you recall as friends and family surrounds you. If it comes down to having to pick, choose those who you know will be there to celebrate in your 10 year anniversary. And as my husband calls it “the cell phone theory” – if they aren’t in your phone book maybe they shouldn’t be at the top of your list.
What inspired your wedding décor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
I think the decor and feel for the wedding was a direct reflection in my personal style. I love all things rustic and chic but that are simple and understated. Our wedding turned out to be much restored wood, candle light, ivory linen and silver…..all my friends could say was “this is very you”. There is no wrong way to choose your wedding decor – if you love it then its perfect for you!
What was the wedding budget?
We had a wedding budget of $18,000. We paid for the wedding ourselves so I cant stress enough how important
a budget is. Starting a marriage off in debt didn’t seem appealing so we worked very hard to stick to our plan.
Where did you save the most money?
FLOWERS!!!!! Ok, here is a secret, you can pay a florist more than half your wedding budget or you can go to Costco and get white roses by the bundle for more than half the cost! I am fortunate and have a mother in law who is amazing and did our flowers herself – my bouquet, boutonnieres and all centerpieces. If you know someone who is willing and able, flowers is where you can really save the pennies!
What was the biggest expense?
The biggest expense for us was our venue. We had our wedding on the beach and the reception to follow was at a beach house which we rented out for 6 days. That came at a cost but that was our choice. We could have rented it for the weekend but we figured, hey we only do this once and let’s enjoy it for as long as possible! The other expense was food and alcohol. Do your research. There are tons of amazing catering companies out there you can find one that is within you budget. I found that a “buffet” style was very affordable and can be as high end as you like, don’t be discouraged by the word buffet, think of it as never ending heavy appetizers. Our food was wonderful and our guest loved the stations we created. Anything is possible if you just do a little research and cross comparison.
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
We invited a total of 108 and we had 95 show. But of those 95 I knew each and everyone of them. That was the best part, the wedding was very intimate.
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
Devin and I had an acoustic guitar playing as our guest walked in and for the ceremony. As guest entered he played light acoustics. As the groom and all other wedding party entered he played -Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring- Bride and Dad enter- Guitar to play- Cannon on D
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
We were very fortunate and were able to honeymoon in Maui. It was fantastic!
What are you most excited about for the future?
To wake up every day knowing I have found a partner, a best friend and someone I trust with my heart and soul. He makes my life easy.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
- Stick to your budget. It’s there for a reason and it isn’t fair to yourselves if you break it!
- Don’t let your wedding encompass your engagement. Enjoy one another…
- Deligate task to those you trust. If you can feel confidant that someone will take care of something for you, it’s one less thing you will have to do
- Write your thank you notes as they come. Don’t let them pile up for that can become a HUGE task. But if you take it as they come in it is much easier to tackle!
What is the overall story for this album?
I waned our wedding to be looked back upon as a beautiful memory that I adore…and it has become just that. I felt that our wedding was timeless, beatiful, personal and Fun.
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
Our wedding was at the beach..but I wanted our attire to be the opposite of casual! I dressed in a wedding gown and him in a tux. Our wedding photos are so stunning and part of that is because our photographer was amazing but also because our attire was dramatic against a simple back drop of sand, ocean etc. I loved that our wedding was chic in a rustic setting…I love all things fashion so I wanted to stay true to that in my wedding.
What was your favorite part of the day?
I know it is cliché to say..but the entire day was my favorite part. I would live that day over and over again for the rest of my of my life if it could. It was the perfect day!
Was there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
Ok…I cant say I was a total do it yourself bride. I did not cook the food, or DJ the reception nor did I even do my own makeup. I did however find the best vendors Charleston has to offer (in my opinion) and from there I did everything else myself. All the decorations I did, all the planning was me etc..think when you hire a wedding coordinator…I did everything she would have done.
- Decor – Although at the beach I did not want a themed wedding. Everything was rustic, soft colors and had a romantic feel. For tables I did ivory round tables (8-10 seats) and mixed and matched the centerpieces with Candles and lanterns. Although no one centerpiece was the same they all had the similar feel. I put all of my centerpieces on mirrors so they all looked cohesive and from there I had purchased similar lanterns; think wood, galvanized tops and ivory candles. For my candle only centerpeices I had different sized silver candle holders and clear glass holders…staggered in height. I have beautiful pictures I can provide to help give the idea. We arrived on Thursday and we decorated all night Thursday and into Friday…lights, flowers, tables etc…we did it all!
- Programs: Our wedding was at 5:30 in September so it was still warm and sunny. I made our programs to be fans and they were multi functional and everyone seemed to love them. I found the format I wanted to use of etsy and then I printed them off at home. My hubs went to Lowes and gathered 100 paint sticks and I bought white spray paint and painted them. Then I used spray glue to attach them to the fan together. I had them displayed on the porch
as guest walked down to the beach…grab a fan and a water…and find a seat.
- Gifts for Parents: Our parents were so wonderful so I wanted to shower them with a little love…I didn’t want to do the standard gift basket so I jazzed it up a bit. I found these really cute boxes at TJ MAXX that looked like suitcases. I got different colors for each parent. I had them displayed on a long table when everyone came over for the rehearsal. I made little name tags to put on each one to help identify who’s was who’s. All of them had beer mugs (father of the bride, Father of the groom etc) with a cool craft beer. For the ladies, I did a wine glass (mother of the bride etc) with a nice bottle of wine….yummy chocolates from dean and DeLuca, coffee for coffee lovers..I made each
suitcase personal and added little things they liked. All of them did have a nice photo frame in them and I made insets that said “use me for your favorite wedding memory”…the suitcases were a huge hit and everyone loved them.
- Pergola: Devin built our wedding pergola out of bamboo. I bought the fabric and he built the construct. It was a total PAIN but in the end it was beautiful and turned out just as I had hoped.
- The Entire Plan: Im an organized person so I knew I would need a itinerary for myself. I made one for each day. Friday Rehearsal, times who needed to be there and where they needed to be. Rehearsal dinner checklist, and then the welcome party checklist. I handed one to my sister and she helped me navigate everyone and everything.
- Day of wedding had a very detailed timeline as well. Times of vendor arrivals, who needed to be doing what and where. Ceremony flow, reception flow, times of dinner, formal dances etc. I made a timeline for all my vendors and for my sister who took over and let me enjoy the wedding. The vendors thanked me for my organization and said it left no questions and allowed them to get to work with no questions asked. My sister knew exactly what to do and when I’m telling you, it was detailed. It even gave a time frame for someone to walk my dog so she wouldn’t have an accident as she walked down the isle. It was a HUGE to have everything pre-planned so I didn’t have to worry one bit the entire weekend.
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
Ceremony: Our own wedding vows! They we so personal and so us. We had discussed and decided on length so we could be somewhat cohesive but it was such a gift to hear his vows that day. I wouldn’t change that for the world.
Reception: Devins sister is extremely talented so she sang our first dance while playing a guitar. I cried the entire time because she played our favorite song. It was the most personal and lovely gift we could have received, loved it! It was just another element that made our wedding so US! the other fun part of the reception was THE DANCING our DJ was amazing. He was so fun and his music mash-ups made people stay on the dance floor the entire night…I have so many awesome pics from our reception. People had a blast.
Was there a theme for the ceremony and reception?
Our theme was “personal”. We added personal touches to every aspect of the day..our dog was the “flower pup”,
we wrote our own vows, his sister sang and played guitar for our first dance. We wanted it to be a direct reflection of us so we made our wedding as personal as we could by including elements of our life we love the most as far as decor I would say the theme was “soft and romantic”
What part of the ceremonies do you think was the most memorable for you? (& your guests?)
Our ceremony was one the beach…it was so beautiful because we were the only ones out there…we had it positioned right up against a jetty of rocks and stood under a homemade pergola that Devin built that stood 9 feet tall. We didn’t have a wedding party which I loved because it was so romantic it being just us. We had an acoustic guitar on the beach playing as guest arrived and also as we walked down the isle. I did have my parents walk down the isle so after they walked then came the stars of the show. My niece in a beautiful dress and rather than throwing flowers she walked my Boston terrier, Olive, down the isle. Our officiate was wonderful and helped us build a personal ceremony that told our love story and was very personal. WE added our favorite verses as well but it was a non-traditional ceremony. We also wrote our own vows which I have framed and will forever cherish
What was your favorite part of the day?
I really enjoyed the dancing part of the evening. DJ Brian from Other Brother Entertainment, knew exactly what to play to keep people moving and having a blast. Polly & Devin’s families were so much fun, we were capturing awesome photos, but we also wanted to stay at the perfect party!
Was there any Do it Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
Polly didn’t let a detail go by her, without making sure that it was perfect. Everything she created for the special day meshed so well together, nothing was overdone, just simple. From the hand painted sign at the end of the drive way, to the photographs all around the house. Polly made every guest feel like they were at home, a home that Polly and Devin had made their own. Polly and I watched as the boys pitched in, and set up the gorgeous alter. Billowing yards of burlap cut up the background and framed the couple so nicely. At the reception, everything was touched by Polly. There were adorable centerpieces, and hand strung twinkly lights covered the whole space. A huge sign read the lyrics from “You are my sunshine”, there were dancing shoes, and lemonade! One of my favorite additions was the sign near the exit providing guests with taxi cab info!
What part of the ceremonies do you think was the most memorable for the bride and groom?
Poly and Devin had an impossibly cute love story meeting up to their wedding. They’re both such fun, outgoing people and Christy Loftin was able to portray that so well during the ceremony.
Photographer: Molly Joseph Photography
Cake Designer: Ashley Bakery
Officiant: Christy Loftin Details Charleston
Makeup Artist: Dannon K. Collard
Caterer: Crazy Dutchman Catering
DJ: Other Brother Entertainment