Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

A beautiful gazebo surrounded by fairy lights, woodland and a pond. Karen & Derek had a simple but romantic wedding celebration with eco-friendly flowers and baby’s breath decorations at a truly magical venue.

THE ENGAGEMENT

Derek and I got engaged in November of 2014, almost five years after we started dating. Most people won’t think that our engagement story is anything to swoon over, but you’d have to know us to know that it was everything that I wanted. I had been pretty adamant about not wanting a huge proposal when the time came. I’d consider both of us introverts, so something small and quiet would be perfect for me and easiest on him. We had talked a lot, and I mean A LOT, about getting engaged over the past year or so. We were finishing up our second year of college and had already been living together for over a year. He would always do those joke proposals, where he’d ask and of course I’d say yes, but that was about it. One day I came home from class, Derek had made me lunch, and we started watching a movie. Around halfway through, he asked me. I obviously said yes and kind of rolled my eyes (he should already know the answer!) and then he surprised me by grabbing a box. Inside was the most beautiful ring. I started crying, I couldn’t help myself. And just like that, we were engaged <3

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

THE WEDDING

I wanted an outdoor wedding. I’d always planned my wedding around it being outdoors. We found the PERFECT venue at Wings Event Center in Edmond, OK. Addison was amazing and beyond helpful with planning the details. I wanted our wedding to be simple, but still beautiful. We didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on unnecessary things but instead wanted it to be a focus on us and our journey to get to this point together. We got married in front of a beautiful gazebo, next to a pond and right by this adorable

We didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on unnecessary things but instead wanted it to be a focus on us and our journey to get to this point together. We got married in front of a beautiful gazebo, next to a pond and right by this adorable little wooded area with about 70 of our closest family and friends present. It was everything I ever could have imagined. The rehearsal was great, everyone knew their places and we had such a blast getting everything decorated and ready to go. It was about 75 degrees the day before the wedding and so pretty outside, and then I woke up on the 25th and it was about 40 degrees. I was so nervous that it wouldn’t warm up at all, and everyone would have to suffer through our outdoor ceremony. We took our first look and bridal party pictures outside in the cold, and even though all the girls were freezing we had a blast. As it got closer to the wedding time, it warmed up to somewhere in the 60’s, so it was still cold but that that point I couldn’t even tell, I was just ready to walk down that aisle and marry the love of my life. I wouldn’t say that I was nervous, but at the same time it was the biggest day of my life and I didn’t want to trip or mess up my vows (every

The rehearsal was great, everyone knew their places and we had such a blast getting everything decorated and ready to go. It was about 75 degrees the day before the wedding and so pretty outside, and then I woke up on the 25th and it was about 40 degrees. I was so nervous that it wouldn’t warm up at all, and everyone would have to suffer through our outdoor ceremony. We took our first look and bridal party pictures outside in the cold, and even though all the girls were freezing we had a blast. As it got closer to the wedding time, it warmed up to somewhere in the 60’s, so it was still cold but that that point I couldn’t even tell, I was just ready to walk down that aisle and marry the love of my life. I wouldn’t say that I was nervous, but at the same time it was the biggest day of my life and I didn’t want to trip or mess up my vows (every

I wouldn’t say that I was nervous, but at the same time it was the biggest day of my life and I didn’t want to trip or mess up my vows (every bride’s nightmare).  In the end, everything went perfectly. Our vows were amazing, and everyone had a blast. If I had to describe the entire day in three words: Perfect, Family, Love.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Venue & Ceremony

Our venue was Wings Event Center in Edmond, Oklahoma. We wanted a venue that was close enough that our friends and family would be able to make it, but that still had everything that we wanted. My friend Kaitlyn actually sent me the link to the venue when I first started looking around for somewhere we could have an outdoor wedding and an indoor reception. March is always a little tricky weather wise, so an indoor reception was a must have on my list. We met with Addison, who is the events coordinator at Wings. She showed us around the property and had already started to provide great suggestions for wedding decorations and our floor plan. She gave us a history of the place, and how they are a community day program for adults with special needs. This really spoke to my heart, and I knew that I wanted to get married here. The property itself is breathtaking. There is a gazebo that has hanging lights connecting to the reception building, a pond, and lots of space to walk around and explore. The reception area had lots of natural light, a mirror wall, and hanging lights throughout the room. It was perfect for my vision of how I wanted my wedding and reception to look.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

The Dress

I purchased my wedding dress from Pomp & Pageantry Bridal and Formal Wear in Oklahoma City. I’d been following them on Instagram for a while prior to shopping for a dress, and I always loved everything on their page. My friends in high school had also gotten their prom dresses there, so it was somewhere that I’ve heard really great things about.

The funny thing about finding my dress was that I wasn’t really even looking. We hadn’t set our date yet, I just wanted to find a style that I liked so I would know what to look for when I was actually looking for a wedding dress. I had browsed some of their styles online and found one that I liked and wanted to try on. They didn’t have that specific one in stock, but she found one that was similar and added it to my “try on” pile. My dress was the second that I tried on, out of six. The minute I put it on I knew I had to have it. It’s a Morilee Voyage style gown by Madeline Gardner. I knew that I didn’t want a strapless dress, and I tried on a ball gown and wasn’t a fan. My dress is form fitting, with a beautiful lace V-shaped back, and it’s everything I ever dreamed of. I still want to put it on some days, just to admire it.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Accessories

I wore a beautiful baby’s breath crown from Dearest Delight on Etsy. My garters were beautiful. I had a lace garter from Selinish Design on Etsy and a jewelled garter from Chantilly Couture Bridal, located in Oklahoma City. Other than that, I wore my necklace and rings that Derek had bought me over the years. Simple was the goal.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Hair & Makeup

I did my own makeup. I always see brides that look drastically different on their wedding day, and I didn’t want that at all. Derek married me for ME, I wanted to look like myself. I did have my bridesmaid Morgan help me with my eyeshadow because she had this incredible eye palette. I straightened my hair because it hates to curl and also because I was wearing the crown. I wore a liquid lip stain from Smashbox because I didn’t want my lipstick to come off after our first kiss. I felt beautiful, I looked amazing, what else could I have asked for.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Groom & His Men

Derek got his suit from Men’s Warehouse. It’s a Calvin Klein suit, and I love it beyond words. The groomsmen wore navy slacks and white button up shirts. They also had Blush bowties that I purchased from Sweet-N-Swag on Etsy. We didn’t want them to spend too much money on their outfits that they’d wear once, or make them dress up and feel more than a little uncomfortable. Also, they range in ages, so allowing them to dress simple made it easier for them to find something that fit and looked good on everyone.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Bridesmaids

My bridesmaids each picked their own individual dresses. As long as they were blush pink or tonal light pink, I let them pick what they wanted. It was important to me that they each felt comfortable in their dresses. The morning of the wedding they all brought their dresses in, and magically they were all the exact same colour! I thought they were all beautiful.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Flowers

We used baby’s breath in mason jars for our decorations. The venue had hanging pots outside by the ceremony area with beautiful spring-colored flowers in them. Our bouquets were purchased from Eco Flower and were absolutely stunning. My bouquet was a mixture of pinks, blushes and navy, and the girls’ bouquets were plain navy. My toss bouquet was a mini replica of my bridal bouquet. Eco Flower did an amazing job making recycled wood look like the perfect bouquets for my big day. We also used the spare flowers they sent us as decorative flowers on our cake. I’m excited that we chose wood flowers because my bouquet will last a lifetime.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Cake

Our cake was amazing! I am not a huge fan of icing, so I opted for a semi-naked style cake. My best friends sister is a baker, so I was honoured that she was able to make this cake for me. It was a three tier vanilla cake and it was so delicious. We didn’t make a huge deal out of cutting the cake, and everyone was free to grab as much as they wanted. We chose not to save the top layer, instead to just have a mini cake made on our anniversary. We did have extra to take home, but that made our mini-honeymoon even better! Our cake topper was from Best Wedd Ever on Etsy, and it was so beautiful.

Food

We didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on food, so we opted for something simple and affordable. We just got fruit and vegetable trays from our local Sam’s Club, and then little meat and cheese trays. For drinks, we offered bottled water and punch, since neither of us drink alcohol or soda.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Stationery

We chose to skip save the dates, we had already announced on social media, and we weren’t inviting a TON of people, so it was easier and more affordable to just send invitations instead. For our invitations, we decided to go simple with a pre-designed card from Vistaprint. They were adorable, a charcoal card with blush writing, and they had little mason jars with baby’s breath inside, and hanging lights, just like at the venue. They were perfect.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Photography

I booked Ariana Coral Photography to shoot our wedding. Ariana is a friend from high school and she is beyond talented. I’ve been following her business since she got started and when we were looking for a photographer she was one of the first people I messaged. It was really important to me to get someone that I could be comfortable with since they were going to be a part of the most important day of my life. Ariana was sweet, funny, and knew exactly what she wanted us to do, while still taking poses that I had on my list of must-haves. She captured every single moment perfectly, and wasn’t even mad about struggling in the cold with us that morning! I am obsessed with my wedding photos, and I can’t wait to hire her for milestones in the future.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Special Mention

Our Guestbook! Oh my gosh our guestbook alternative is breathtaking. We ordered it from Country Barn Babe on Etsy. I’m obsessed with it, and the customer service we experienced was incredible. Our frame initially arrived broken, and we were immediately sent a 1-day shipping label to send it back and in less than three weeks we had a brand new one at our doorstep. I knew I didn’t want the traditional guestbook because if I put it in a box there’s a chance it’ll never come out again. We chose the wood frame that you can drop signed hearts into because that gives us a chance to hang it on the wall and look at it for years to come.

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Cherished Memories

Oh my gosh, there is so much. I think the main thing that I will always remember is the ceremony itself. Derek was beyond sweet, and you could tell he was nervous. He knew I was freaking out about having to speak in front of so many people, so he just stood there and smiled at me while he was rubbing my hands with his thumbs. I felt so much better, and it made the day that much more perfect. Everyone kept commenting on it after, telling me how sweet my new husband was and that I was lucky to have him, and I agree 🙂

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

Bride To Bride

My advice would be to definitely not stress the small stuff. I was so worried trying to plan the littlest details that my anxiety would shoot through the roof.

Also, plan your day for YOU, not your parents or your friends, etc. If you don’t want something, don’t have it. If you don’t want to spend a ton of money, don’t! I also say that you should save more for the honeymoon than worrying about having the most extravagant decorations or flowers. Simple can still be beautiful, trust me!

I also say that you should save more for the honeymoon than worrying about having the most extravagant decorations or flowers. Simple can still be beautiful, trust me!

Real Wedding: Karen & Derek

SUPPLIERS

Ceremony & Reception: Wings Event Center
Wedding Dress Designer: Morilee Voyage
Wedding Dress Shop: Pomp & Pageantry Bridal and Formal Wear
Accessories: Dearest Delight & Selinish Design
Groom & Groomsmen: Men’s Warehouse
Flowers: Eco Flower  

Photography: Ariana Coral Photography

 

 

 

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