Inspiration for your road to the altar

Since we got married on a lake, Brad came up with the idea to take a boat from the ceremony to the reception. It made much more sense than a car but I initially thought it would be cost prohibitive. After some research it turned out I was wrong, and it all worked out perfectly. I bought the letters that were hung on the back of the boat from Land of Nod. They weren’t quite hung straight, but they were cute nonetheless. And the most important part was that there was chilled champagne waiting for us as soon as we were on board.

We rented the boat from Gage Marine, which is why the letter “G” appeared throughout the decor. The irony is that our married name starts with a “G” so it looks like the entire boat was customized just for us!
A few months before the wedding, my Mom and I took advantage of a sale at Hobby Lobby and bought 100 white sandwich bags to use as luminaries. Seeing as how I don’t know when to quit when I am ahead, I also bought a hole punch and cut out a lace pattern in the top of each bag.
At the end of the luminary lit path, this was the view through the window…
I decided to use small envelopes for escort cards, along with the wishing rock idea. The sign asked guests to hold their respective rock in their hand and make a wish, like a lucky penny. Then they put the rocks into the large vase in the center of the table (purchased from Pottery Barn). The escort cards and envelopes were purchased from Crane’s and the calligraphy was by Michele Clark.
In this picture you can barely see the green paper that I used to line the envelopes. When I cut the liners for our invitations, I made the cut so that there was a strip left over from each page that fit the escort card envelopes.
We used both low and tall centerpieces, and if I had it to do over again I might have just stuck with the low ones. I wasn’t crazy about the way the tall centerpieces worked out, but hindsight is always so much clearer! Instead of colored tablecloths, I took some inspiration from Kelly Oshiro’s wedding and used two different runners. We rented green runners to go under the damask ones that my Mom made, which didn’t turn out to be quite the color of green I remember ordering but again, oh well!
Our table numbers were moleskin notebooks, which were covered in several different types of paper. We got some amazing responses to our “Advice For the Bride and Groom” request that was stamped onto the inside of each booklet. You can see the full instructions on how to make them from the amazing Laurie Cinotto on OnceWed.
The menu cards (the chicken quesadilla horns were so tasty). When we got back up to our suite at the end of the night, the resort had packaged up two of the dinners and put them in our mini fridge. It was so sweet and so very appreciated!
I included this one because it gives you another look at the runners and the entire table setup. We opted not to have a head table, but instead just sat with our wedding party at a table in the center of the room.
Since we had a photo booth, our guest book was a blank album with space for our guests to paste their pictures and leave us a note. The way the booth was set up, there were two printouts of each picture so that our guests could also take one home as a favor. So that they weren’t carrying around loose pictures in their purses and pockets, we provided some envelopes that perfectly fit the 4×6 pictures.
Our custom stir sticks and napkins were ordered from For Your Party. There was also a green version of the cocktail napkin with white print.
The first dance – I was nervous about dancing in front of everyone but when it came down to it, I didn’t even realize they were there.
And last but not least, the bathroom baskets! The beautiful flowers were recycled many times over. The small tin buckets they are in were used at my shower, and the actual arrangements were our rehearsal dinner centerpieces. The green tray and the oval tin were both purchased from The MacBeth Collection and they are now hanging out in our house.
And with that, our wedding posts are complete! Thank you all so much for reading along and participating in this entire process. I can truly say that it wouldn’t have been the same without you. Have a lovely weekend – I have another fun announcement for you next week!

We wrote our entire ceremony ourselves, which I highly recommend if you have the opportunity. It took some time for sure but every word was personal, sentimental, and so very “us.” After we had put so much time into its creation, I didn’t want to just hand our officiant a file folder of paper to read from. So, I turned to the ever amazing blurb and ordered up a small, square, hardcover book. Give yourself some time if you decide to go this route because it takes a few weeks to produce and expedited shipping will significantly increase the cost. It now sits on our bookshelf and I can only hope that our kids will enjoy reading it someday. I know I would love to have something like this from my parents wedding! Also, if you decide to write your own ceremony, I can’t recommend this book enough. It made the whole process quite simple.
If you’ve been reading for awhile, you will no doubt remember my months of whining about a “stick altar.” In the end, none of the men in my family were having it didn’t give into my pleading (not the first time for that). So our florist provided me with an alternative and agreed to fill the spray painted buckets with baby’s breath. We bought the buckets on sale at Lowe’s and Brad just coated them with some black spray paint. After the ceremony, they were brought over to the reception and sat outside the doors of the tent. If you have the chance to make something work in more than once place – do it!Our sand ceremony vases were set up to the right of the altar. They actually turned out to be one of the funniest parts of the ceremony, which you will see evidence of in just a second.
I made these paper envelopes for our readers, so that they would have their respective passages handy. I used leftover green paper from the envelope liners, printed out a damask pattern, and glued it all together.
Our adorable ring bearer, who was pretty happy to be running around in his shorts also provided some comic relief at the beginning of the ceremony. My Dad and I were still up in the boat house, waiting to walk down, so I didn’t see any of the mayhem but we could sure hear it (and caught the tail end of it all). The little guy walked down the aisle just fine, handed the pillow to his Dad as planned, but then instead of sitting down next to him he bolted back down the aisle frantically searching for his Mom. My Dad and I could hear the screams, and when we rounded the corner to head down the aisle he was coming right towards us frantically shouting”MOMMY! MOMMY!” at the top of his lungs. She was behind him trying to catch him the entire time, and he finally saw her and calmed down. My niece is the little cherub on the right, who could have cared less about any of the people staring at her and instead preferred to stop and admire the candles and flower petals. The older flower girl took her job quite seriously and was tugging her along while systematically dropping petals (a girl after my own heart – just look at the determination on her face).
“No seriously, I have to stop and get a closer look at these. Maybe I’ll pick one up for our stroll.”
“Are you not seeing this? What is your rush? There are candles and flowers down there.”
Meanwhile, my Dad and I started our walk down the ramp from the boathouse. I was sure that I would by a hysterical mess by this point, but I wasn’t feeling anything except for complete calm and extreme joy.
When we rounded the corner to start down the aisle, that is when the little ring bearer was coming at us. You can see him in the top left of this picture, no doubt consumed with relief for having found his Mom.
The sand ceremony took place towards the end of the ceremony, right before we exchanged vows. The idea behind it is pretty self explanatory – just like our lives from now on, once the grains of sand are combined they can never be separated again. To make it a little more personal we each used sands from our childhood. Mine (the white sand) is from the beach in Florida where we use to vacation every year. Yes, I am the type of person that saves sand, its a lengthy discussion for another time. We got married at the spot where Brad spent most of his summers, so we took his sand from the beach there. And that is where things went South…
I had asked a certain someone to go get some sand the day before, so that it would be dry and ready to go the day of the wedding. That didn’t quite happen. As soon as we saw Brad’s sand we knew something was amok and I instantly broke out into nervous laughter. Wet sand doesn’t pour, it comes out in huge messy clumps. You can see that the whole bottom of the vase is my sand. I kept pouring and pouring and looking over at him, and he was shaking his vase like mad just hoping for a few measly grains. One final shake and it came out…oh did it come out.
It went all over the table and into my shoes, but luckily some did make it into the vase. Our officiant started laughing and so did we, which turned out to be one of my favorite moments from the ceremony. I love that his sand is just a big mound on top of the vase!
Here is a look at the little grassy patch where we said our vows. It wasn’t a big wedding, it definitely wasn’t perfect, but everyone we love in the world was sitting behind us as we became husband and wife. And that is what made it a perfect day.
When the ceremony was over, I was filled with such a huge sense of relief and happiness. We did it, we were married, and now we were going to go celebrate with all our friends and family. I think I pretty much floated the whole way back down the aisle.
Tomorrow is the final installment – the reception. Thank you all for your sweet comments and emails, I am so glad that you’re enjoying it!

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We wrote our entire ceremony ourselves, which I highly recommend if you have the opportunity. It took some time for sure but every word was personal, sentimental, and so very “us.” After we had put so much time into its creation, I didn’t want to just hand our officiant a file folder of paper to read from. So, I turned to the ever amazing blurb and ordered up a small, square, hardcover book. Give yourself some time if you decide to go this route because it takes a few weeks to produce and expedited shipping will significantly increase the cost. It now sits on our bookshelf and I can only hope that our kids will enjoy reading it someday. I know I would love to have something like this from my parents wedding! Also, if you decide to write your own ceremony, I can’t recommend this book enough. It made the whole process quite simple.
If you’ve been reading for awhile, you will no doubt remember my months of whining about a “stick altar.” In the end, none of the men in my family were having it didn’t give into my pleading (not the first time for that). So our florist provided me with an alternative and agreed to fill the spray painted buckets with baby’s breath. We bought the buckets on sale at Lowe’s and Brad just coated them with some black spray paint. After the ceremony, they were brought over to the reception and sat outside the doors of the tent. If you have the chance to make something work in more than once place – do it!Our sand ceremony vases were set up to the right of the altar. They actually turned out to be one of the funniest parts of the ceremony, which you will see evidence of in just a second.
I made these paper envelopes for our readers, so that they would have their respective passages handy. I used leftover green paper from the envelope liners, printed out a damask pattern, and glued it all together.
Our adorable ring bearer, who was pretty happy to be running around in his shorts also provided some comic relief at the beginning of the ceremony. My Dad and I were still up in the boat house, waiting to walk down, so I didn’t see any of the mayhem but we could sure hear it (and caught the tail end of it all). The little guy walked down the aisle just fine, handed the pillow to his Dad as planned, but then instead of sitting down next to him he bolted back down the aisle frantically searching for his Mom. My Dad and I could hear the screams, and when we rounded the corner to head down the aisle he was coming right towards us frantically shouting”MOMMY! MOMMY!” at the top of his lungs. She was behind him trying to catch him the entire time, and he finally saw her and calmed down. My niece is the little cherub on the right, who could have cared less about any of the people staring at her and instead preferred to stop and admire the candles and flower petals. The older flower girl took her job quite seriously and was tugging her along while systematically dropping petals (a girl after my own heart – just look at the determination on her face).
“No seriously, I have to stop and get a closer look at these. Maybe I’ll pick one up for our stroll.”
“Are you not seeing this? What is your rush? There are candles and flowers down there.”
Meanwhile, my Dad and I started our walk down the ramp from the boathouse. I was sure that I would by a hysterical mess by this point, but I wasn’t feeling anything except for complete calm and extreme joy.
When we rounded the corner to start down the aisle, that is when the little ring bearer was coming at us. You can see him in the top left of this picture, no doubt consumed with relief for having found his Mom.
The sand ceremony took place towards the end of the ceremony, right before we exchanged vows. The idea behind it is pretty self explanatory – just like our lives from now on, once the grains of sand are combined they can never be separated again. To make it a little more personal we each used sands from our childhood. Mine (the white sand) is from the beach in Florida where we use to vacation every year. Yes, I am the type of person that saves sand, its a lengthy discussion for another time. We got married at the spot where Brad spent most of his summers, so we took his sand from the beach there. And that is where things went South…
I had asked a certain someone to go get some sand the day before, so that it would be dry and ready to go the day of the wedding. That didn’t quite happen. As soon as we saw Brad’s sand we knew something was amok and I instantly broke out into nervous laughter. Wet sand doesn’t pour, it comes out in huge messy clumps. You can see that the whole bottom of the vase is my sand. I kept pouring and pouring and looking over at him, and he was shaking his vase like mad just hoping for a few measly grains. One final shake and it came out…oh did it come out.
It went all over the table and into my shoes, but luckily some did make it into the vase. Our officiant started laughing and so did we, which turned out to be one of my favorite moments from the ceremony. I love that his sand is just a big mound on top of the vase!
Here is a look at the little grassy patch where we said our vows. It wasn’t a big wedding, it definitely wasn’t perfect, but everyone we love in the world was sitting behind us as we became husband and wife. And that is what made it a perfect day.
When the ceremony was over, I was filled with such a huge sense of relief and happiness. We did it, we were married, and now we were going to go celebrate with all our friends and family. I think I pretty much floated the whole way back down the aisle.
Tomorrow is the final installment – the reception. Thank you all for your sweet comments and emails, I am so glad that you’re enjoying it!

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