Rock the Bells... Wedding Bells!



The weeks following our wedding, people kept asking, "So- do things feel different now that you're married?" This question genuinely surprised me; I'm not sure what they wanted or expected to hear. The root of Mike+Michele has always been an uncompromising friendship.  We supported one another's goals, guarded each other's hearts, and shared dreams. (And lots of music.) This may sound strange, but there are things in this world that the soul fundamentally knows to be Truth. Being around Mike feels like home.

Things felt exactly how they should.


This post has been months in the making- I wanted to let everything settle down before sharing a few moments from our wedding. Much love to our friends and family, especially the all-star bridal party who almost entirely traveled great distances, from West Virginia to Japan. And of course, special thanks to our parents for their support and patience. They have taught and given us so much- we will never be able to show our full appreciation. Beijus. 

I hope you enjoy this post and maybe pull some inspiration for your own planning purposes!












Mike and I did our best to personalize this occasion- from hand picking the entire playlist to the quiz pencils inscribed with "thank you" in Portuguese, my heritage, and Hawaiian, his place of birth. Our goal was to have a bit of our personalities shine through. There were several DIY projects and amazing vendors. Heck, even our sneakers were customized from NikeID (we met on the dance floor after all).

Weddings get expensive- cut corners where it makes sense. Get crafty and ask your friends for help! We all have that hipster buddy with a bunch of mason jars that are perfect vases and reduce florist costs! Please feel free to grab ideas and hit me up if you have any questions. 



For the cocktail hour, I wanted something hanging through the terrace but got my socks knocked off when I heard the estimate to string bistro lights through a vendor. An affordable and fun alternative were Pennants! This was a joint effort between myself and a girlfriend who sews on the side. She carried the team and showed me how to shop smart at JoAnn Fabrics! The time consuming part was cutting out the pennants and then she tore through the sewing while watching Downton Abbey! Thank you so much Rhubarb! Who knew triangles could be so much fun?





The Wedding Invitations, Table Numbers, and Couple's Quiz were made by Mike in Illustrator (got to love being married to a Graphic Artist). They were printed on card stock between Kinko's and a family hook-up in Cali. Nothing a little baker's twine and a hole punch can't handle. There are so many online resources these days, no one should pay exorbitant prices for print materials! Plus, if you ever need a custom design, feel free to contract Mike!


The Wedding Address Labels, Guest Seating Assignments, and Wedding Programs were made in Microsoft Publisher by yours truly. I loved this idea for Address Labels but simplified by creating a template similar to these examples. Multiple labels were printed on a single Avery full sheet and then cut with a paper cropper. The Wedding Programs were printed at Kinkos;  the top sheet is vellum paper (which is slightly transparent) and can be found at Paper SourceGuest Seating Assignments were also printed on the home printer with the business card template in Publisher! We hand wrote the names and numbers in case there were any last minute changes.



As much as a Photo Booth tickled us, we knew it was not in the budget. Instead, we borrowed  a Polaroid camera and bought a second as back up. Guests took pictures of one another and signed with sharpies to hang on a clothesline. We threw in a few gag props (stuff lying round the house from past Halloweens etc.) in a cardboard suitcase I got at Michael's. Note: the film was more expensive than anticipated but a lot cheaper than an authentic photo booth!



The bridal party's flowers and boutonnieres were done by Mike's cousin as a wedding gift. Apparently she dabbled in arrangements on the side! She was legit and took us to a flower depot in Maryland to pick out our theme. It was comforting to be holding something so personal throughout the day. Just look at that beast of a bouquet!


There were a few bumps but we got through the day with flying colors! Susana gave me the best piece of advise the night before: "remember- it's a giant party- have fun!" That message didn't hit until the moment right before the ceremony. I was nervous about walking down the aisle... With my luck, I'd trip or lose a heel in the grass. When I looked up, it was sea of smiling faces and the HusBun's big, amazing grin waiting ahead.



Your love is a fundamental Truth of my life. I love you, Michael.

Ceremony: Oxen Hill Manor
Reception: St. Francis Hall
Cake Topper: Custom Order- Sofie Skein
Wedding Cupcakes: Confections
Lace Cupcake Liners: Jen Bailey
Chalk Art: The Watermelon Stand
Goodie Bags: Pedoozle
Inscribed Pencils:  The Carbon Crusader 
Vintage Plates: Something Vintage
Photographer: Cassidy DuHon