This weeks international treat, beautifully captured by Kristin Marie photography, comes all the way from Seattle and it really is a gem! I’m not sure whether I’m more in awe of this couples impeccable fashion taste or the gorgeous decor and design of their wedding venue. But either way I have serious style envy!
Well wait ’til you hear that the stunning surroundings are in fact their own home. Now if I had a house with as much character and personality as these two, I’m sure I’d be tempted to have people over for dinner on a more regular basis, but I don’t think I ever considered it possible to have a wedding in your own home unless you happen to live in a manor and can set up a marquee outside!
Having had a small city hall wedding to cover the legal side of things, Michelle and Ryan decided where better to declare their love and commitment to each other, than in their home among their favourite people, and equally important, their gorgeous pets!
“We decided to have our wedding at our lovely home! We wanted to share all the hard work we’d done at our house over the past year with our friends and family. We also wanted a relaxed and comfortable environment and to make sure that all of our pets could be there. The financially responsible part of us figured that we should spend our wedding money on something we could use after the wedding not just that day.”
I know that finance and weddings don’t always have the most harmonious relationship but I do think using some of your wedding money towards investment in your home or lifestyle is certainly a smart idea worth considering.
“The bulk of the wedding cost went towards home improvements (paint, new doorknobs, light fixtures, furniture, and decorations), a new deck and landscaping. Some special things to note are the house numbers that my Dad painted for us and all the beautiful flowers my mom planted in the front entry.”
Clearly they have a knack for gathering beautiful things from all sorts of places, so it won’t be any surprise to hear that Michelle is an interior designer and stylist. If you like what you see here, you’ll find more treasures on her site, Reinspired Home.
Michelle and Ryan did their best to source all their wedding items online and from thrift stores to keep costs down.
“All of the decorations from the glasses, silverware, pie plates, chairs, tables, everything and I mean everything was collected by myself (with a little help from Kaye and my mom) from Goodwill and Value Village.”
One of the most impressive finds was her beautiful dress, won on ebay for $76! It was originally a dress for a mother of the bride, so if you’re on the hunt for a vintage dress of your own it’s worth considering dresses that weren’t original wedding dresses, just don’t forget to factor in any alteration or cleaning costs it may need.
“I scoured ebay and etsy for hours, like hundreds of hours. I found the dress that I settled on by doing a broad search for “vintage dress”, not even “vintage wedding dress,” so it took forever to find it. Ryan actually watched it until the very last seconds and bought it for me. It was probably four sizes too big for me. Let’s just say the tailoring costs were WAY more than the actual dress.”
I love the pops of colour Michelle brought in through her jewellery and emerald green shoes. The shoes were another steal bought for $5.99 in a good will store, while her earrings were a very special gift from her mother in law, who wanted her to have something that belonged to Ryan’s grandmother.
“They are pewter or silver with a little bird on each sitting on a nest with little blue eggs in it. They were perfect. I wore them at both weddings. The set is so special to me, but not too fancy that I have to keep them locked up gathering dust. I am absolutely passing this set down to my children.”
How sharp does Ryan look in his suit? I love that he was excited to have his own special outfit for the big day and took the time to have his suit custom made. I know some people may kill me for saying this but guys, it’s not all about the bride! It’s your day too, so men of Ireland don’t be afraid to put a bit of personality into your outfit. Rather than choosing to rent the standard suit with matching waistcoat and cravat option, why not find something that you love and can wear again in the future, always reminding you of your special day.
“Ryan and Jon drove down to Portland to get their suits custom made at Duchess in Portland. Their suits were amazing and every time they went down for a fitting they were so excited, like two kids on Christmas morning. I won’t even go into the story of how we drove down for a fitting and it was actually scheduled for the following week. I got their green ties at Goodwill, and Ryan’s shoes were Allen Edmonds that he got on ebay.”
All their family and friends rallied around to transform their home into a cosy, welcoming space for a ceremony. Rather than having a wedding cake they opted for lots of home made pies!
“Ryan and I are so lucky to have wonderful mothers, aunts and grandmothers who spent hours and hours the day before the wedding making pies for us. I also had my two close friends Diana and Kate make special key lime pies for me, my favorite!”
Instead of going down the traditional bridesmaid route, Michelle originally chose to have their house mate and good friend Jon as a ‘Man of Honour’. Love this idea! Her good friend Kaye had also been such a help during the wedding planning, organising the decor and flowers, that they asked her to step in as a bridesmaid on the day of the wedding!
“My original MOH (Man of Honor) was Jon, he is our housemate and like a brother to me. He helped out so much with everything before the wedding. There is no way I could have done it without him. He was standing next to Ryan during the ceremony, they are also very close friends. As for my bridesmaid, my beautiful and amazing friend, Kaye, flew out from Indianapolis two months before the wedding when I was FREAKING out because I had tried to do all of the wedding planning, purchasing everything and getting the house ready with just the help of Ryan and Jon.”
As they were already legally married, they decided to ask Ryan’s mum to officiate the ceremony at home. Something that made the day even more special.
“Ryan’s mom was our wedding officiant, she has no credentials but since we were already married we didn’t need them. Having a close family member leading the service makes it much more personal and meaningful in my opinion.”
They also enlisted the help of friends for music for the day.
“We played Koerner, Ray And Glover “Lots More Blues, Rags And Hollers” during the brunch, thanks to our friend Dan Drews. After brunch we were lucky enough to have Dubcar, a Seattle Reggae band, play a live show for us. Ryan and I love reggae, our first dance was to Bob Marley’s Is This Love. I hate having all eyes on me so I was pretty stressed about it, but luckily my wonderful husband kept telling me that the only people that mattered in that moment were me and him.”
I can’t convey how much I love all these images captured by Kristin. I think the brave decision to do it alone and have the ceremony at home couldn’t have worked out better. It may not take any less hard work to get it all together, but you’ll be left with the most personal and intimate setting, and amazing memories for you and your guests. For any of you in the middle of planning for your wedding, be it at home or elsewhere, Michelle has some great advice.
“TIME! Weddings take time, so much time. Don’t procrastinate. Get started right away and get help. No one can do this on their own. Also, just walk away. I’m the type of person that likes to be in charge of everything, but no one wants to deal with a crazy stressed out bride. If something is overwhelming you then take a break, get some air, or pass on the task to someone you trust. Everything seems like a big deal, but it really isn’t. The best moments from you wedding day are going to be the ones that aren’t planned. Enjoy them.”
Photography: Kirsten Marie Photography | Hair and makeup: Mode Organic Salon| Wedding Dress: Ebay | Shoes : Goodwill | Groom and MOH suit: Duchess Clothier | Bridesmaid dress: Xtabay Vintage | Event Styling: Kaye at The Wedding studio | Catering: Duos Catering