Speakeasies, Gatsby, and Downton Abbey all have one decade in common: the 1920s. Decadent and desirable. Roaring and rousing.
Imagine my elation when I found Corrie and Matt’s 1920s inspired wedding. Soft and romantic with that vintage flair, I couldn’t get enough.
Jodi Miller Photography was so gracious to share such a beautiful wedding with us. And the beautiful bride was so sweet in providing all of the details we yearned to know. Like her dress. Jenny Packham. And the b-maids. Sue Wong.
While they’re both stationed in the Air Force, you won’t find any hints of a military wedding here. Corrie explained, “We both knew we didn’t want anything military in the wedding. We have to wear a uniform every day. This was a celebration of us, not our jobs.” One of the best quotes ever, in my opinion.
“When we got engaged, I was living in Virginia and Matt was living in California. We decided to get married in VA because it was halfway between our families and it was close enough for me to do the majority of the planning. We knew we wanted to get married at either a brewery or a vineyard (we like to drink) and when I visited Keswick, it just seemed perfect for both the style and the price.”
“I’ve always loved the early 1920s, and Jenny Packham has the most beautiful dresses.”
“All of the bridal party got to choose their own attire (within reason) and all of my girls ended up wearing Sue Wong ’20s inspired dresses that they can definitely wear again.”
“My mom made all of our bouquets and boutonnieres (they had bottle caps in the center to go along with their bottle cap cuff links).”
“We knew we wanted a soft, antique-y, laid-back vibe, but I HATE pink and purple. He liked blue and I liked green, so we just chose those colors along with a neutral palette.”
“When we started looking for prices for renting decor, I decided I could collect items myself and re-sell them afterwards. My mom and I are really big crafters, so we pretty much made everything.”
“We bought large amounts of burlap and hand dyed it before sewing lace on the edges for tablecloths. We bought a bunch of different fabric and made 150 napkins, as well as, used lace to make place mats. I collected odd antiques from thrift stores to put flowers in.”
“I collected (drank) bottles of wine and recrafted them with spray paint or etched them. I bought over 400 mix and match plates because it was way cheaper than renting them. My mom also made us a wedding quilt and our signature book was scraps of fabric that will also be turned into a quilt.”
“A friend of the family painted a mural of us that is still hanging in our garage. And another family friend made our wedding cake. The toppers were a ceramic turtle and dinosaur that we had painted on a date night a year before. We had family photos all around and used them as centerpieces as well.”
“My dad handmade personalized lawn games for us that we still have in our back yard. He made corn hole (with our school emblems), ladder golf and lawn-sized Jenga. We literally had a hand in everything that was in our tent. It was very personal. In fact, I was told by several people that it was the most personal wedding they’d ever been to.”
Best use of budget?
“I was willing to spend money on a few key things and the rest I felt was unnecessary cost, so I tried to limit spending in those areas. Matt and I decided to pay for the wedding ourselves so that we could make all of the decisions without feeling guilty about not appeasing family, etc. I’m really glad we did that and recommend it if you can.”
“We were willing to spend money on our photographers (couldn’t be happier, Jodi and Kurt are AMAZING), the food (also couldn’t be happier with The Catering Outfit) – since everyone said it was the best wedding food they’d ever had, and then my dress/his suit. If you’re going to spend money on your special day, why would you try and find a ‘deal’ on the dress? You want to feel and look as amazing as you can, plus you want to look back at pictures and be happy with your choice.”
“The things I didn’t think we needed to spend a fortune on: flowers – ours were beautiful, but minimal since you literally throw them away a day later, booze – we bought our own on base because it’s tax free, or through Costco, and saved a lot of money; plus it gave us the ability to choose a bunch of different craft beers, and, of course, rentals. We were able to sell everything we made, except for the bouquets, which are currently on tour in quilt shows, and saved a ton of money. It was a lot of work, but I figured I had nervous energy anyways, so I might as well do something to take my mind off the wedding stress.”
Did anything not go as planned?
“When we booked with Keswick, they told me they only had to move ceremonies inside 3 times for rain, and that the weekend we chose (Columbus Day) was typically very sunny. And the 10 day forecast showed it was going to be beautiful. It was wrong. It down-poured ALL week. We’re talking torrential, flooding rain. Obviously I was stressed about the weather because I really wanted to get married under that big, beautiful oak tree. My wedding planner decided to start setting up in the tent without my consent, and when I found out, I told her to move all of the chairs back outside.”
“She was worried that the guests would be upset in the drizzle and I just said, ‘too bad, it’s not their wedding.’ I’m very glad I did this because the skies cleared for one hour while we had the ceremony and pictures.”
Worst use of budget?
“The wedding planner. I honestly have no idea why I hired her and her team. They honestly didn’t help and stressed me out more than had I just had friends help. I guess if you aren’t the DIY type of person, a full-on wedding planner is a good idea. I paid for partial service, and did not get my money’s worth. And I don’t just think it was my planner since I honestly did the majority of the work beforehand. I found all of my own vendors/decor and my family did all of the work on the wedding day. If I were to do it over, I wouldn’t have hired a wedding planner. But I did it because I wasn’t from Charlottesville and thought she’d know better vendors.”
Advice for future brides?
- “Destination weddings are SOOOO much easier to plan, just think about it.”
- “Separate your honeymoon from your wedding. Both are stressful to plan, why compound it? We did our honeymoon 6 months after we got married and I’m so glad we did it. It made both events that much more special.”
“So in light of what I said in point 1, my husband is the absolute best. I told him about 1 month after we got engaged that we should just have a small destination wedding with family and close friends, but his reply was, ‘Absolutely not! I don’t want you regretting that decision for the rest of your life. You will have the biggest blow out wedding of your dreams because I don’t want to hear about how we didn’t do it right forever. You’ll always wonder, and I don’t want to have to do this more than once.’ I’m glad we had the big dream wedding, but I told my sister to get married in the Bahamas where the hotel plans everything and you just show up for a vacation.”
“Matt said it best, ‘Our wedding day was like a tornado, chaos all around us, but the two of us were in the eye of the tornado just calm and serene.’ I totally understand why people renew their vows. It was so much fun, I want to do it again and again. But, it was stressful enough leading up to it that I know we don’t need to do another one.”
Photographer: Jodi Miller Photography~Venue: Keswick Vineyards~Wedding gown: Jenny Packham~Bridesmaids dresses: Sue Wong~Florist: Hedge Fine Blooms~Catering: The Catering Outfit~DJ: 20 South Productions~Event coordinator: Barb Lundgren