Our Low Waste, COVID Wedding

I am unsure how to begin this post. Thinking back to our wedding day, which feels already so far away, conjures up lots of emotions. To me, it was a perfect day overall. There were ups and downs and bumps in the road, but the overall feeling of love that was with us that day is the main emotion I walked away with after the day ended. 

If you have been following me throughout 2020, you will know that much of last year was spent on wedding stuff. We planned, created, DIY'd, baked, renovated... basically everything for our little backyard wedding. It was a feat taking on such a workload, but one I don't think either of us regrets. We were able to enjoy a safe evening outside with a small group of friends and family and eat loads of yummy food that we made the day before while listening to the most bizarre playlist of songs ever (my phone acted as the DJ and it was passed around throughout the evening form what I could tell!)

Since my mind is running all over the place as I pull up memories from this wonderful day, why don't I simply jump in to sharing images from the day itself? 😊 I'll try to go chronologically as best as I can!

THE WEDDING DAY

We started our day -- not too early -- by setting up the remainder of the backyard. There honestly wasn't much to be done as we had been slowly prepping the entire week. The ceremony space was all laid out, we had our tables already in place and the food / desserts prepped. All we needed were a few finishing touches and pretty much everyone attending the event wanted to come early to help! We basically had family and friends coming and going throughout the entire day leading up the the ceremony. 

Arlen took over decorating our wedding arch. The iron arch was an antique find that we then decorated using locally foraged greens like ivy and ferns. We added on some flowers purchased from the grocery store (I wanted to use flowers grown in our garden but a recent freeze killed them all!)

Yellow was Arlen's mom's favorite color, so we filled the arch and decor with beautiful yellow flowers. It felt as if she was a part of the day with us in that way. 

The day before our wedding, Arlen noticed that the plates we had on hand were too small, so we popped by a thrift shop to see if we could grab some larger ones and the thrift shop was literally OVERFLOWING with recently donated plates!We handmade all of our tables + benches for our guests and decorated them using fabrics from my studio, foraged greenery, and thrifted candle sticks! All of the cutlery, plates, and glasses were also thrifted and mason jars from our pantry acted as water glasses.

 My friend's husband set each place setting with a plate, a Lavern Utensil wrap filled with cutlery, and a sugar cookie + second line handkerchief, both gifted to us by my step mom! For those who don't know, a second line parade is a popular New Orleans wedding tradition!

 

With the food warming in the oven, and things more or less in their proper place, my friends and I started to get ready for the first looks of the day. We popped on some music and my friend's generously did my hair and makeup for me (as I am terrible with doing either!)

Christine helping me to put some homemade bee bobby pins into the amazing braided hairstyle Noelia just finished. 

My friends and I (plus at least half of our guests) were tested for COVID  prior to this day to keep things as safe as possible. Practicing the "first look" for my mom with Christine as my friend and Photographer, Michael, set up his camera! 

With the makeup done and the dress on, it was time for a round of first looks! Up until this point, no one had really seen my dress on me. So we decided to do first looks with my mom, dad, and then Arlen. Each one of them was incredibly special to me, especially the moment with my dad. Because of the configuration of my room (where the first looks with my parent's happened) his reaction wasn't captured on camera, but that is ok, because his reaction is something that will forever be a special moment in my heart. 

My dad and I being ultra silly after an emotional moment ! We were cracking jokes before he walked me down the aisle as well. 

Doesn't Arlen look so dapper in his jacket and tie? And I am SO happy he already had a shirt + pants he loved in his closet so that I didn't have to make those, too!

Not going to lie- Arlen and I felt super self-conscious for our "first look" primarily because a lot of eyes were on us. So there I go again being silly, trying to break the ice and get us all laughing again!

Before long, it was time for the ceremony. Since everyone had arrived early, we decided to get a jump start on the festivities. Arlen's best friend was our officiant and had a lovely speech prepared for us that had us laughing and reminiscing about how Arlen and I met. Arlen and I didn't write our own vows, but we did give letters to each other earlier in the day.

I forgot my bouquet, so I wasn't entirely sure what to do with my hands, hands!

After our first kiss, neither of us knew what to do next, so I opted for a high five!

We eventually figured out that we should probably walk back to our backyard and begin the festivities!

Everything after the ceremony was very much a go with the flow sort of thing. Everyone sat around chatting and drinking and having a good time! Each table went into our pergola to grab some of the yummy food we had prepared (we created a taco bar chock full of different ingredients!) as well as drinks if they wanted. We also snagged a few photos with our guests and just had a really lovely time!

Idk what I am saying, but I seem to be really into it!

We didn't plan it this way, but each of us happens to have the birthstone of each other in our rings. 

Three generations of women: my grandmother, my mother, and me. 

After everyone was feeling full, that's when we decided to do our first dance. I will be honest, Arlen had made me a drink earlier and it was a bit strong so I am not fully sure how we managed to get through the dance without my toppling over. But we did and it was fun and full of laughter and twirls and it opened up the dance floor (aka the fire pit area Arlen spent the summer pouring) for everyone who wanted to join! I also snagged a first dance with my dad as well as attempted a dance off with my friend, Christine, before my youngest brother promptly told me I had lost, haha!

 

This is the dance off I lost pretty much immediately, but I totally understand why! Christine is an incredible dancer!

Overall, the day and evening were so enjoyable and we were really thankful for everyone who took precautions and came to celebrate our mini-wedding. Not everyone that we originally had hoped to invite were able to be here with us due to distance and other factors, but we hope to celebrate with those who weren't physically there with us on this day sometime in the future when it is safe to do so. 

And thank you to everyone who was a part of this journey with us, either online or IRL. Whether you were encouraging me through sewing my first ever suit jacket and the struggles of my wedding dress, or were eagerly awaiting the updates to our yard or helping to decorate my wedding cake (special thanks Noelia!), I truly appreciate every moment leading up to this event. You all are the best! 

I made all of the desserts for the wedding with exception to the incredible king cake my family brought in from NOLA. It was fun explaining the tradition of the king cake to everyone and why there is a hidden plastic baby inside!

I am the oldest of all of my brothers and pretty sure I will be the shortest as well!

Finally found my bouquet a! It is currently being dried in our living room, and it's just as pretty as ever. 

Of course I had to make my dad a matching tie from the scraps of my dress! Arlen also got one :)

The best photo of the bouquet as modeled by Arlen :)

PS- If you have any specific questions on how we kept our wedding safe and as low waste as possible, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I am so proud that we managed to generate next to zero waste from our wedding (Less than half a small bag had to be tossed!) and am always here to answer any questions on how we made that possible :)

Of course I had to make us each matching masks! It wouldn't be a 2020 wedding without those!

10 comments

Julianne

Thank you for sharing your day! Everything turned out so beautiful and you look so happy! Many blessings

Wanda J

Outstanding! Loved it all. So glad about the low waste intention. It is very appropriate and oh so very lovely and tasteful! Best wishes.

Melanie

Thank you for sharing your wedding day with us! It looked to be a day full of so much love and laughter. How lovely! 💗

Robbie Magahey

Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful day….you all look like you had a fantastic time. Your dress is beautiful and Arlen looks pretty great himself. Congratulations!! Great job making your wedding day a success despite the pandemic situation we are all living right now. Hugs…Robbie

Nim

Yay! So lovely to finally see that dress and the lovely pictures of your wedding. Looks like it was a fabulous day and one to remember.

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