Saturday, July 13, 2013

Vintage Wedding Blues

When Christmas is over, there is almost always a let-down. When a party or special occasion comes and goes, the memories are sweet, but again, there is that dimming of the emotions that occurs after all the guests are gone, dishes are done, and pretties are put away. A sadness can even take the place of the joy one has felt only a short time before. Weddings are like that to me. So many hours of planning, looking, driving, talking, thinking, returning, changing your mind, going back to the first idea; it is often maddening, the pace with which we drive ourselves as the wedding day approaches.

When my niece Michelle came home from Tuscaloosa last Thanksgiving with a male friend in tow, I thought something was up. When he came back at Christmas, I was sure something was up! It wasn't long after, that my suspicions were confirmed: The White House was having a wedding! Michelle and Kevin were getting married! And yes, girls and boys, he popped the question with a good old fashioned ring pop. No diamond, just two simply beautiful engraved wedding bands to be exchanged on their special day.

Michelle and Kevin...Roll Tide! 

Starry, starry night

Happy, Happy, Happy!

Since I do not have a daughter and I love a celebration, this Mississippi Sunshine Girl wanted to help wherever I could. Lots of old items with family meaning to the couple were used, making this one of the most unusual and frugal weddings you can imagine...totally and wonderfully vintage. I was in heaven! I had lots of projects that I had been wanting to try, and the wedding gave my ideas a place to land and actually take root. From Michelle's maternal great grandmother's suitcases, to a door turned chalkboard, to handmade tablecloths from her paternal grandmother's lace, and wooden crates for fruit, to a cabin replica in the reception hall and a barn fa├žade in the church sanctuary, it was almost unbelievable what ideas materialized into reality. Our family all pulled together to make this wedding a once in a lifetime event!

The guests wrote messages, then placed them in the jars instead of signing a book. 
The miniature bride was made by Michelle's grandmother, the late Mildred "Louise" White.
Mildred is not a name you expect to see in jewelry, so when a friend had this vintage pin with her name on it, I could not resist making it my own. The pearls belonged to my grandmother, who was a dear friend to Michelle's maternal granny.
I learned a lot about Michigan, Kevin's home state, while doing these wedding props. Did you know Michigan is divided into by water? I thought that was pretty cool and included copies of vintage maps of both Mississippi and Michigan in this suitcase.

The little bear bride was also made by Grandma. She was very talented in many ways. When Michelle's mom was cleaning out Grandma Louise's hobby room before the wedding, she found this little jewel tucked away. It is very special indeed.
This is not a good shot of the chalkboard door, but you get the idea. Turned out good for a first try! Since Kevin's family and friends could not all attend the wedding, we wanted to fill up "his" side of the church, too. And we did. When the happily married couple returns home to Michigan, they will be blessed with another reception in their honor.
I made two of these tablecloths plus a runner that used over 65 yards of lace. It was still on the original spool, purchased from a closing lingerie manufacturer, price intact: $10. I am not kidding!
Can you say L-O-V-E?
The wooden monogram in the background was won by Michelle in a cool is that? It made the display complete. Michelle's mom made both of the cakes. Wow!
And yes, Mr. Jacob Tilley is a crazy good photographer. Can't wait to see all the photos!


One of my favorite parts were about the wedding were all the different centerpieces used. All different, rustic, and meaningful to the bride and groom in one way or another. From rusty chains and barbed wire, to replica's of old cars and trucks, to flower filled funnels, all sprinkled with "snow", each table told a story of how a little Mississippi girl came to belong to a tall, funny Detroit boy. North meets South, shut my mouth. It was an awesome thing to see two families from opposite ends of our country coming together as one big family.

Michelle's bouquet and almost all of the flowers used belonged to her late paternal grandmother, and came from her Grandma Louise's hobby room, where she spent many hours designing or "playing" as she liked to say. Her bridal gown was somewhat vintage; it belonged to her youngest aunt, wed 24 years ago. A friend redesigned the gently aged gown for more of a prairie look, and she was a stunning bride. The groom looked very handsome, and completed the bridal party of two. That's right. Two...the bride and the groom. I loved that because it was so romantic that the two of them were the center of attention on their special day, with no distractions. I cried when I saw her standing at the top of the stairs, holding on to her Daddy's arm, smiling down at her groom, with lots of love in those big, brown eyes.

This cabin replica was built by Michelle's daddy, and Kevin. It was a real conversation piece and lots of guests used it as intended, a photo spot.
There were so many other things that went on over the months to prepare for this special day that are too many to include. Being able to do a part of this celebration made me happy. Anytime we can do something for someone else when they ask for nothing, it is a good thing.
The end is just the beginning. Live long and live well, sweet ones. May all your dreams come true.