Welcome to the first installment of Real Brides! One of my favorite things to do when I was planning my wedding back in 2008 was meeting other brides, hearing about their planning process and also getting peaks at real weddings. I loved seeing what flowers they had chosen, bridemaid dresses, hearing about vendor experiences and who doesn't love hearing a great proposal story?
So I have decided to start a new section on my blog all about real brides, their experiences and even give you a peak at their gorgeous weddings. For the very first installment, I interviewed Ashley Harris, a sweet Arkansas bride with an adorable little boy who had all but given up on finding love. She had even started a blog called "On Wings Of Pigs", as she was convinced he wasn't out there and she'd find him, 'when pigs fly.' Enter Mr. Right, her now-husband, Jason. Ooooh I love a good love story!!
How did your Mr. propose? Jason had always talked about how a proposal has to be done "right" and it should be this planned out, perfect thing so when he finally got the rind in his hand it was like torture for me because I knew there were not going to be any opportunities any time soon for just me and him to go do anything where he could plan something right and actually surprise me like he wanted to, so he took me completely by surprise when (as I was hanging up clothes in my closet and picking on him about how we were going to have to wait and wait and wait) he called out my name and I turned around to find him on one knee in the floor behind me with the ring. Surprise indeed!
Wedding date: October 24, 2010
Wedding colors: Aqua blue
How did you find most of your vendors? I'm so blessed to have photographers for a mom and sister (http://www.brookshirephotography.com/) and luckily my sister helps to coordinate and plan weddings too. The wedding that they shot before mine just happened to be in Hot Springs, too, so they had the pleasure of finding a florist that was absolutely amazing and so we never looked any further than him. The biggest dilemma that we faced was the venue because everywhere I looked at on the internet just wasn't "the place" for me. It was like someone elses dream wedding, not mine. Since we wanted to get married in Hot Sptings, we decided that nothing said "Hot Springs" more than Bathhouse Row. We were looking at the other side of the street for empty buildings that we might could rent and fancy up and then we came upon The Regency. It was affordable and the caterer (who owend it and 3 other fabulous restaurants) came with it!
What was your favorite detail from your wedding? My flowers were probably one of my biggest "wow" things, especially one arrangement at the door where the florist included a pigasus (flying pig) next to the guest book.
What was one thing you stressed about that after the fact wish you hadn't? I really left the stressing to my sister who was taking my wants and ideas and handling the rest of the details for me, so there really wasn't one thing I had to stress about. BUT the one thing that I was very specific on was the wedding cake because I wanted a french croquembouche cake/ I wanted it in a tall rectangular tower not a heap of cream puffs on a plate. It didn't turn out like anything I wanted, in fact, it was like all the pictures that I said that I didn't want it to look like, but it totally didn't matter when it came down to it because it was just a cake.
The funniest moment of your wedding day? Definitely when Jason, Ty and I walk down the aisle after the ceremony and we go upstairs to bustly my dress and chang up my hair and the fire alarm goes off! The first thing I though of was that one of the kids or groomsmen had pulled the fire alarm but it turned out that is was raining so hard outsie that water somehow came into the building where the system was and set it off. Lucky for my my Daddy is a jack-of-all trades and saved the day!
My 80-something year old uncle even added a little blush to my cheeks when he announced what a "hot" marriage we'll have if we set off alarms!
The most emotional moment, where it hit you that you were getting married? When we started up the aisle. It was the moment when everyone was finally away from me and there was no jabbering and no stress and no drama and all the stress just melted off of me and I felt like "Finally!" All the stress of the morning just disappeared and I had that fairy tale feeling of realizing my dreams really were coming true.
One word to describe how you felt inside when you saw your groom? Peaceful
One (or a few) piece (s) of advice you's like to give to other brides that you learned from going through the wedding planning process? The thing that I did that I'm so thankful for is I let me mom and sister handle and plan it all! I would totally recommend that every bride utilize those that are willing and capable of helping, there is no sense in shouldering it all yourself.
The other thing I would recommend is something I never realized the value of until you look back on your own wedding and everyone elses weddings and see how pivotal it is. Your attendants are almost as big of a decision as your groom. Okay, not quite. But think of them with as much seriousness because THEY will set the tone of your wedding. THEY are the ones around you all morning. You want to surround yourself with the tried and true, the ones that have your back no matter what and that want everything good in the world for you. If one of your girls doesn't handle stress or is the kind to cause stress, maybe they'd be better off at the guest book or in a guest seat. You need to have la creme de la creme on your side. Brides, you won't realize how important this is until it's your wedding day and you either have great girls and an enjoyable day together, or you don't have it.
What is your favorite part so far about being a Mrs.? I love that it really is like being part of a team. It's not me against the world anymore, it's US against the world. And everything's better when you have someone to enjoy it with. Even the bad times don't seem as bad because there's someone there with you, supporting you. THAT is my favorite part, but I also love the little things. Going to sleep with him next to me. Being silly or lazy or grumpy together. It sounds so cheesy, but life really is better when you have someone you love to share it with you.
Thank you, Ashley, for sharing your wedding experiences in your own words, I enjoyed it so much! I know readers will enjoy it too and hopefully take away some good tips and ideas. Best wishes to you and your handsome groom!
Gorgeous photos by Brookshire Photography