Gingham evokes a sense of down-home comfort that translates perfectly for smaller celebrations. The no-fuss, quintessential vintage pattern adds instant charm to your rustic wedding.
Whether you’re serving up freshly baked strawberry pies or cutting into a three-tiered cake, a gingham ribbon can add an extra dose of sweetness to your desserts. For favors, top off your grandmother’s award-winning jam with a gingham-patterned fabric for a DIY-friendly adornment.
The best thing about gingham is that it looks great in both big and small doses. The bold pattern allows a little to go along way, so add a pop of the checked trend to your napkins or tie around mason jar centerpieces for a jubilee of textures and patterns. Don’t be afraid to mix with other motifs for a playful look — stripes, toile, paisleys and florals all blend harmoniously together with gingham. For a country chic statement, line your table with a table runner or cloth that gives nod to a casual summer soiree.
Whether you’re donning a picnic-inspired summer dress down the aisle, adding a touch of Southern style with accessories, or dressing your wedding party in casual chic, the Americana print is classic.
Add it to your floral design as well with a touch of gingham to your groom’s boutonniere or your bouquet wrapped in the provincial pattern.
Gingham lends itself to DIY details. A simple stop at your local fabric store can churn out amazing accents, such as cake flags and banners, or add charm to a guest book vignette.
Photo one: Southern Weddings Mag; Photo two: dawnephoto.com; Photo three: stylemepretty.com; Photo four: babylifestyles.com; Photo five: camillastyles.com; Photo six: rusticweddingchic.com; Photo seven: jillthomasphotography.com; Photo eight: Dawn E. Roscoe; Photo nine: Occasions; Photo ten: United With Love; Photo eleven: iloveswmag.com; Photo twelve: CurtseyBridal; Photo thirteen: BuddyandBean; Photo fourteen: oncewed.com; Photo fifteen: iloveswmag.com
You don’t have be fluent in the HTML language to create a stunning wedding website, nor do you have to tap into your bank account. With Wix.com, you are able to share with your guests the who, what, when, and where details of your wedding day, all with some serious style.
1. Customize: You want your wedding website to reflect you as a couple. We particularly like Wix.com’s drag-and-drop usage, which is extremely user-friendly, and the outcome can be comparable to a professionally designed site. You can choose from hundreds of templates to suit your theme and style, upload your song to play on the site as guests browse the information, and include one of the numerous bells and whistles (such as RSVP management, event calendars and a countdown!) that you often have to pay for on other sites.
2. Visitor Information: Particularly if you have out-of-town guests, directions to and from the ceremony and reception sites are necessary (plus any other points of interest you’d like to recommend). Wix allows you to take it one step further and include Google Maps to help accurately guide. Be sure to also include information for any hotels with rooms blocked off for the event.
3. Get Guest Feedback: Whether you’re debating between a band or DJ, or deciding whether to have a bouquet toss, asking for guests’ solicited opinions is a great way to include them in the planning process. Wix has the option of adding a poll to your site, so you can garner desired feedback to make those informed decisions. They also have a menu selection form so guests can mark if they want the steak or salmon.
4. Add a Gift Registry: Traditionally, couples list their registry information on the their wedding website, but Wix actually allows you to link directly to your registry on the store’s website with a widget or upload their Wish List App to your wedsite, where you can use MyRegistry.com to curate your dream registry from a variety of your favorite stores.
5. Fact-check: Your guests will be relying on the information that you provide, so double-check that addresses, phone numbers and other important info is accurate.
6. Spread the Word: Share your wedsite link through email, Facebook and more. You can also include it on your save-the-dates and shower invites.. For a polished look, treat yourself to Wix’s monthly $8 upgrade to create a customized domain name that’s pretty enough for the invites themselves.
7. Upload Photos: Whether it’s your engagement or vacation photos, bio pictures of the bridal party or of your families, you can include several different galleries within your Wix website.
Though Wix’s features are free, upgrading will give you a domain name and an ad-free site. For the next month, you can enter discount code intimatewedd221 and receive 10 percent off all yearly plans. Sign up here.
Courtney and Bradlee from Milton, Ontario, Canada, knew from the moment they got engaged that they wanted the wind in their hair and the sand beneath their toes on their wedding day. They also knew they wanted an intimate wedding.
“We didn’t want the stress or hassle of planning a large wedding and all the factors that come with it. By having a smaller wedding we were able to focus on the experience for the guests who decided to come,” says Courtney.
A restaurant wedding with 30 guests in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic was the perfect fit for the couple.
“It was truly magical,” says Courtney.
Their fun-filled, beach wedding was captured by Katya Nova.
Courtney, 26 & Bradlee, 33
Punta Cana, DR
Wedding Date: November 9, 2012
Number of Guests: 29
Wedding Ceremony Location: Jellyfish Restaurant, Punta Cana, DR
Wedding Reception Location: Jellyfish Restaurant, Punta Cana, DR
Why did you have an intimate wedding?
Bradlee and I have talked about a destination wedding since we met. The idea of the traditional church/reception combination really didn’t appeal to us, and a large wedding with tons of people made both of us a little anxious. We felt that marriage is an intimate bond between two people, and we wanted to share it with people who we truly wanted to be there with us. We didn’t want the stress or hassle of planning a large wedding and all the factors that come with it. By having a smaller wedding we were able to focus on the experience for the guests who decided to come.
What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?
Most of our challenges had more to do with the destination aspect of our wedding. Our guest list was left up in the air until very close to the wedding because a lot of people were more comfortable booking closer to the date. I am not good with being pushy, so although I organized a group rate with our travel agent, I really didn’t want to be bothered with nagging everyone to book. This made it hard to plan for things like favors, seating arrangements, OOT gifts, and overall cost. Another challenge is the lack of control that you feel like you have when it comes to details and planning. All of our planning was done only through e-mail with Mayte, the amazing wedding coordinator at the Jellyfish Restaurant. I started to stress out and worry as the date got closer because I felt like so much was out of my hands.
Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?
Somewhat, but in the end it wasn’t a huge issue. We decided on close friends and immediate family only (aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents). We invited around 170 people, and being a destination wedding, the list pared itself down from there, with 29 people accepting our invitation. We couldn’t have been more thrilled with the amazing group who came. Of course there was some disappointment along the way when some close friends and family who really wanted to be there (and who we really wanted there as well!) simply couldn’t make it.
Did you have any issues with the small guest list from friends and family?
If people were offended by not being invited, we didn’t hear about it! Some people who were invited might have been upset that we decided to have a destination wedding as it made it more inconvenient for people to attend. We didn’t want anyone to feel inconvenienced by us and we understood from the get-go that the vast majority of invited guests would not be able to come.
If so, how did you address them?
Again we didn’t hear that anyone was offended or left out, however we had a few people who were not on our original ‘formula’ for guest selection express some serious interest in joining us. I took some of my extra invitations and sent them to them in the mail!
What were the highlights of the ceremony?
Our personal vows were my favorite part of the ceremony. Brad was shaking and stumbled over his words when he read his out. I could barely get through my sentences without crying. Seeing our beautiful nephews cry still makes my eyes well up. Also, the song we walked away to following the ceremony was The Gladiator theme song, “Now We Are Free” by Hans Zimmer & Lisa Gerrard. It was an amazing song picked by Bradlee and was so completely overwhelming.
What were the highlights of the reception?
Definitely the surprise ‘Sexy And I Know It’ dance by Bradlee’s amazing nephews. You can see by the reaction in our faces just how surprising it was! Everyone still talks about it. The food was also spectacular and I highly recommend making a reservation for lunch or dinner at the Jellyfish if you are ever in Punta Cana. Because of our small group size, our guests were able to order off the main menu, which Mayte printed out on booklets to match our theme. The LED dance floor and full bar tent that were set up on the beach were an amazing touch. The fire show was a great experience and a nice surprise for our guests. Last but not least, the decor and setting were breathtaking; it was truly magical.
What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?
The best part of our intimate wedding was that we were able to truly sit back and enjoy the company and soak in the day. It goes by so fast, I can imagine what can be missed if you are focusing on trying to socialize with a large group of people. Our guests were able to become a close-knit group during the trip by the time our wedding day rolled around. Instead of sitting awkwardly at a table where they didn’t know anyone, everyone had so much to talk about and were able to relax and enjoy themselves. We were also able to spend a lot of time with all of our guests over the course of the evening.
What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?
Do what makes you and your future spouse happy and try not to focus on pleasing everyone.
Photography: Katya Nova
Videography: HDC Photography
Venue: Jellyfish Restaurant
Wedding Planning and Coordinator: Mayte from Jellyfish Restaurant
Hotel: Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana
Alterations: Alice Li Alterations in Markham, Ontario
Groom’s Attire: Luigi Bianchi Mantova, Eton via Blazers for Men
Best Man Attire: Tommy Bahama
Maid of Honor Dress: RW & Co.
Ring-bearer & Rope-bearer Attire: Divine Domestication
Barefoot Sandals: Red-i by Chelsea
Custom Dress Hanger: Handcrafted Affairs
Ring Bearer Pillow: Edgar and Aguilar Heritage
Hair and Makeup: By the bride
Bride’s Garter: Garters by Kristy
Bride’s Veil: Sarah Gabriel via Pearl Bridal House
Monkey Fists: Karen’s Rope Work
Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade
Travel Agent: iTravel2000
Bride’s accessories: Tiffany & Co.
Reception Dress: Marika Brose
Having a rustic wedding? These adorable DIY favor bags are a cinch to make and they’re perfect for brides who don’t sew. These bags don’t require a sewing machine, or even a needle and thread.
Most of the fabrics we used were second-hand finds from local thrift shops, making the bags extremely economical. Fill them with goodies such as handmade caramels or chocolates – and you’ve got the perfect wedding favor!
Easy No-Sew Fabric Favor Bags Tutorial (Bags measure 8″H x 4″W)
Starting along the straight edge of your fabric, fold your fabric so that the good side is on the inside. The fold will be the bottom of your bag. It should measure 8 1/4″ H from the fold to the edge. Measure 5″ where the top of your bag will be and draw a line with pencil or chalk; draw another line along the side as shown in photo. If you are making several bags, keep measuring across your fabric.
Use pinking shears to cut the top portion of the fabric. If you used a pencil to create your lines, be sure to cut off the line.
Use scissors to cut the sides.
Now that your bags are cut out, press each bottom corner (right sides together). This is where you will start your fusible tape; pressing the corners ensures you won’t have any gaps at the bottom corner of the bags.
Open fabric, showing fabric right side up. Starting at the bottom where you just pressed, lay your fusible tape along both sides of the fabric, close to the edge but not over. (You don’t want your iron to touch the tape.)
Read the instructions on the fusible tape; it will tell you which side down to place the tape. Fold fabric and press each side according to the the directions on the package. We pressed the bag on both sides to ensure a good bond.
Turn your bags right side out. Poke out corners using a pencil or a ruler.
Use ribbon to tie the bag, or rip a piece of mismatched fabric to use as a tie. Fill with goodies!
For a more rustic look, use different vintage fabrics for each bag.
Organization is key to wedding planning. After all, guests should be aware of what’s going on, but not too aware if things go awry. A wedding program is a good starting point to keep your guests entertained, happy and informed throughout the ceremony.
Programs are an extension of your wedding stationery and a keepsake of your special day. A basic wedding program can include your names, wedding date, location, order of events and names of the wedding party (including officiants and parents). Depending on the type of ceremony, you can include the names of readings, poems or songs and even an explanation of parts of the ceremony. Programs are a great way to elaborate on rituals and traditions that your guests might not be familiar with.
You can also add directions to your reception, audience requests or why you chose the specific location or venue.
Feel free to add as much or as little detail as you like. Some thoughtful additions include the story of how you met; your engagement story; how you know the wedding party and what they mean to you; thank-you notes and tributes to loved ones. If you have many people to thank, a program is a great way to mention everyone – just in case you forget during the speeches.
There are lots of neat ideas to package all of that necessary information. For a warm, summer day, why not fashion your programs into fans for guests to keep cool? (Learn how to make them here and here.)
You can have your ushers hand out programs before the ceremony or have programs displayed in boxes, trays or on a table like this one:
You can make the program a traditional folding booklet or use fabric, kraft paper or cards of your choosing. These burlap programs are gorgeous! (Get the DIY here.)
You can incorporate your artistic abilities and show your creative side with hand drawn pictures and even cartoons, depending on how simple, humorous or romantic you would like it to look and sound.
You can have the programs made along with your custom wedding stationery or you can make your own programs. (Make sure you double check the spelling of everyone’s names and titles before you send them off to the printer!)
Programs should represent your style and story. If you enjoy writing, why not use programs as a way to elaborate on the important details of your wedding day? Knowing the back story will build interest for your guests – creating excitement for your guests.
Photo one: stephanielaursen.com; Photo two: stephanielaursen.com; Photo three: junkaholique.com; Photo four: junkaholique.com; Photo five: junkaholique.com; Photo six: justinwrightphoto.com; Photo seven: carolinetran.net; Photo eight: melissabaum.com; Photo nine: melissabaum.com; Photo ten:Intimate Weddings: Photo eleven: lilia.com; Photo twelve: Intimate Weddings: Photo thirteen: justinwrightphoto.com; Photo fourteen: justinwrightphoto.com.