Ever thought about going all DIY on your wedding? Well, Heidi and Parks were able to do it — so can you! Most couples would actually have second thoughts about making a DIY wedding but it becomes really easy once you round up everyone to help you. It would definitely be a fun activity to do together with your family and friends. Especially when everyone gets to participate for your big day. Now almost everything on this wedding were DIY projects; from the flower arrangements, the decorations on the ceremony and even the embellishments on the cakes. And it was an absolutely huge success! Congratulations again to the lovely couple!
What is your story as a couple, how did you meet, fall in love..etc?
Parks and I met in college. We lived on the same floor in the dorm at Virginia Tech. We also attended the same Bible Study. We started dating the spring of my freshman year, and haven’t looked back since. After undergrad Parks moved to South Dakota, and Heidi remained in Virginia for veterinary school. Parks proposed during my 2nd year of veterinary school, but we weren’t able to get married until after I graduated. 7 years after we first began dating, we were able to have the wedding of our dreams at Custer State Park in South Dakota.
What was the best advice you received when you were planning your wedding?
Take time and enjoy the planning. We had 2 years to plan, and it was really fun for the two of us to figure out what our friends and family would like, and ways to honor them on our special day. One big thing that everyone kept saying to me was make sure you relax and enjoy the day! This is especially true, the planning is finally over, things will go wrong on the day of your wedding (it POURED on our wedding day) but you just need to accept it and enjoy the day. It is such a special day, and I had so much fun spending the day with my family and friends, and my new husband.
What inspired your wedding decor? Why did you choose the things that you did?
We wanted to a rustic elegance theme. We both love the outdoors, and are moving to South Dakota. I grew up on a farm, and wanted to tie into some of the things I grew up around. He is a forester thus the reason for the tree “cookies” on the tables. Sometimes the rustic theme can be overdone and appear cheesy, and our plan was to be simple yet elegant. We also went off of our favorite flowers for our colors. I knew I wanted sunflowers, baby’s breath and delphiniums (the blue flowers). Working with a florist to purchase our flowers allowed us to make the most beautiful bouquets.
Do you have advice for couples still in the planning process?
The small decisions that don’t matter just need to be made. It was the last month before our wedding I kept getting asked questions about what songs they should play during prelude and the reception. Do we care if there is a bride side and a groom side… the answer to all these questions was… I didn’t really care. But a decision needed to be made. We didn’t have a hired wedding planner so these might have been her job, but since we didn’t have one it was up to me. One of my bridesmaids told me once… it doesn’t matter what the answer is people just want a decision made so they can make it happen. After that great advice I wouldn’t obsess over what songs to be played at the reception and just chose some songs I liked and let the boys in charge of music fill in the rest. 🙂
Where did you save the most money?
Flowers – we made our own bouquets!!! Some people told me this would be a terrible idea, but it was what I wanted and more. Time for me, the bridesmaids, my mom, and a few other friends to hang out the day before the wedding. We really turned it into a girls day and enjoyed the time working on bouquets and boutonnieres. We also saved money by making all of the invitations, save the dates and thank you cards ourselves. It was really fun, but also time consuming. We made all our own decorations. One other huge favorite was instead of having a typical wedding cake we made all our own cakes. I don’t really like boring yellow wedding cake with yucky icing, so I made multiple smaller cakes with the help of my aunts and mother. We made a rum cake, german chocolate cake, red velvet cake, carrot cake, coconut cake and a lemon blueberry cake. The cakes were a highlight of the reception. 🙂
What songs did you use during the ceremony?
- For the Beauty of The Earth
- The arrival – Roy Todd
- Be Thou My Vision
- Home – Vitamin String Quartet ((a great group we found, they take pop songs and play them with string instruments) We used a lot of their stuff for the reception and prelude as well.)
How many guests were invited in your wedding and what was the final guest count?
225 were originally invited and 98 showed up.
Was it difficult to narrow down your guest list?
NO – our wedding was somewhat of a destination wedding, so the guest list was narrowed down on its own. 🙂 I knew a lot of people wouldn’t/couldn’t be able to
What makes the two of you a perfect match?
We are very different which is really fun, because we compliment each other very well. But when it comes to our core values and beliefs we are similar. I am much more outgoing, adventurous and forward than he is, but he is such a good compliment for me. He keeps me from talking too much, making silly rash decisions, and keeps me level. I am much more money conscious than he is, and I am always aware of how much we are spending, but he has helped me learn that spending money is NOT always bad.
What inspired the wedding day outfits?
I wanted to use colors that we loved. Blue, yellow and silver. We also wanted the dresses to complement our flower choices.
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
Black Hills of South Dakota.
What was your favorite part of the day?
The vows – we wrote our own vows, and didn’t read them to each other before the ceremony. It was wonderful to have this special time for the two of us. The ceremony and the reception were really fun!!!
Was there a theme for the ceremony and reception?
What was the wedding budget?
15,000. We stayed pretty close to this. Some of the hidden costs are wedding favors, wedding gift bags, and postage.
Was there any Do It Yourself (DIY) projects? If so, can you describe them in detail?
We had a ton of DIY projects.
- Flowers – we made our own flowers, bought bulk flowers from the florist and made all the flowers for the wedding! It was so much fun!!!
- Cakes – we made all our own cakes. I don’t really like wedding cake (boring yellow cake with nasty icing) so I went ahead and with the help of my mom and aunt made all the wedding cakes. We had German Chocolate, Red Velvet, Rum Cake, Lemon blueberry, Coconut and carrot cake.
- Postage – We made all our own save the dates, and our own invitations.
- Our decorations were all made by us. My brothers made tree “cookies” for the tables, my mom sewed burlap for the tables. I put together the vases. My bridesmaids made burlap bows for the pews. We made our own cake toppers. Our lights were Christmas lights with burlap, lace and blue ribbon tied around them (one of my favorite things!!!)
What were the highlights from the ceremony & reception?
- The vows
- Father – Daughter Dance
- Dancing with my ring bearer and flower girl.
- Just hanging out with all my friends!!!
What are you most excited about for the future?
Getting to finally live together and be his wife. 🙂
Photographer: Cadey Reisner Weddings
Event Venue: Custer State Park Game Lodge
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