10 Secrets You Didn't Know About Our Wedding

First and foremost, let me start by saying that Anna Shackleford absolutely KILLED it on our wedding pictures. I didn't expect anything less because I hired the best vendors out there! Thank you Anna for these wonderful images!

1. The bridesmaids' dresses came in the wrong color.

Yep, 2 months before the wedding. They were powder blue and not gray blue like I wanted. But, it was too late. It was a good mistake--they are gorgeous dresses. And quite frankly, it wasn't worth me stressing out. So, instead of gray-blue, slate, and white. We went for blues, grays, and white. We had to last minute buy the guys' ties from Macy's because Men's Wearhouse didn't have baby blue ties--weird, I know. BUT, it worked out!

2. My veil was from a yard sale.

Everyone laughs at this one. I was studying at UGA and was extremely bored--honestly, just wanted to avoid writing a case study on a Saturday. So, I went yard sale shopping (one of my favorites) in Comer, GA. A lady was selling all of her wedding goodies, and I stumbled across this veil. It was stark white, so I dyed it in warm water with tea bags for 2 days. AND VIOLA! It was antiqued white. My veil cost me a whopping $20 (tradesy.com also has great used veils)!

3. Jeremiah and I had no idea what our flowers would turn out like.

I hired vendors that I trusted. I knew that if I had to wear a trash bag down the aisle, that all of my vendors would make me look good. I met with Kim McNaron, owner and stylist of Holland Daze, and told her these rules: no Baby's Breath, we like Summer-y mixes, and if it has to be pink--make it peach. I'm not a huge pink fan. She pretty much create the mood for how whimsical I wanted my wedding to look. I was absolutely STUNNED when she showed up with these. See, if you let your creatives play, they always deliver. Hire people who are worth your money, pay them well, and let them take care of you.

4. We didn't do party favors.

And guess what? No one noticed. You know why? No one cares.

5. My mom packed a Mr. and Mrs. bag.

In our get-away car (AKA my Dad's Jeep), my mom put a basket of champagne, a tupperware box of cake, Advil, water, snacks, and you name it. Mom always saves the day. We inhaled the cake when we got to the hotel. It was one of the best ideas about the wedding day.

6. We didn't craft.

I picked a venue that was pretty. So, less work for me. I made the state signs on the backs of our chairs, little signs that say what food is served, and our ring bearer boxes. Pick a venue that's pretty and keep yourself from crafting so much that your wedding looks like a glorified yard sale.


7. The custom made Bobblehead was from Groupon.

Once again, I'm a thrifty gal.

8. We didn't feel bad for not giving + 1's

Jeremiah and I made a guest list without thinking. We just started writing and ended up with 450 guests (and we cut that in half by 50%). That's $4500 just for food. Sometimes, I don't think guests realize how expensive it is for just food--and then add the alcohol, cake, etc. For just ONE person, it costs around $13 for just cake and food (and we served BBQ because it's affordable and everyone loves it). That didn't include the beer, wine, champagne, or extra fee for chairs over 200 people. So yes, Jeremiah and I limited ourselves to giving plus one's to those who were engaged or married--sorry peeps. We didn't feel bad.

PS- Guests, PLEASE RSVP to any wedding you get invited to and be honest. Don't lie and say you're coming because you don't have the guts to say "No, I just really don't want to come" or "No, I'm not coming because you pissed me off and didn't give me a plus one" or "Sorry, already have plans." Every person that didn't show up to our wedding was still paid for...so, thank you for driving me nuts. I would say that I'm not trying to make you feel bad, but you should feel some sense of guiltiness. Just be honest. I don't care if you didn't come to my wedding. I care that my parents spent over $500 for people that said they were coming and just didn't.

9. Our invites were printed at Office Max.

Invites get thrown away. The only person that keeps them is your mom and grandma. I had a close friend (Our Smith's Nest on Etsy) design our invites for us. She sent me the PDF and I printed them on sparkly paper at Office Max. It was $28 bucks. STEAL!

10. We shoot weddings all the time and still got excited for our wedding.

That was the catch-all phrase..."so what about YOUR wedding?". As many weddings that we've seen, we still were incredibly excited, anxious, thankful, and blessed that we had the opportunity to gather with friends and family to celebrate joining our hands in marriage before God. Seeing Jeremiah dressed up was the moment that my stomach dropped before he saw me AND THEN waiting for me at the end of the aisle was so surreal. I am still trying to get use to seeing a ring on his finger!


Hillary Nichols

20 something Georgia and destination wedding photographer.