One of my favorite details of this Indiana wedding, the vintage, mismatched chairs, has such a special story behind them. Promise me you’ll read the brides words, okay? The soiree was so personal and perfect – with vintage touches hiding in every corner. bobbi+mike was the talent behind the camera and we can not thank them enough for capturing this beautiful day. You’ll be breaking out the thank you notes as well as soon as you spend your afternoon in the full image gallery!

Anthony and I knew that we wanted our wedding to be infused with meaning, unique, detail oriented, and extremely personal.  We built our entire ceremony and reception around this premise and ended up with the most unbelievable day of our lives.  From the ring warming ceremony to the mismatched vintage china, to the notes Anthony and I wrote to each guest on their place cards—it was all I had envisioned…and that’s saying a lot!

We chose to incorporate vintage items, specifically chairs, because we saw these chairs as places where families, friends, and spouses have made life’s important decisions over dinner, over coffee, or sometimes in the middle of night.  Maybe it was to discuss a new job offer, moving to a new city, or struggles at work.  We saw these chairs as a reminder that many generations came before us and our time on this earth is fleeting, underscoring the incredible importance of love in this short life.

So I spent about a year collecting vintage dining chairs and other antiques from thrift stores, Craigslist, and estate sales in Washington DC, where we live.  Would you guess that 8 chairs could fit into a Toyota Prius?!  I decided to paint most of them aqua, to really stand out in the old barn where we were having our reception, but left some of the chairs natural and ivory to keep the eclectic look.  Painting 120 chairs was quite a job in the sweltering, humid DC summer; paint drips literally dried instantaneously.  But by the end of August, we managed to have chairs stacked in every corner our house.  Then came the fun part—loading them into the Uhaul and transporting them from DC to Indiana, where our wedding would be held.

Our colors were aqua, coral, and peach with natural colored burlap incorporated whenever I could find an excuse to use it.   I basically became burlap-obsessed!  Anthony and I reupholstered the aqua chairs with burlap fabric, used it as a backing on the AMAZING invitations created by Momento Designs, and chose to use a burlap aisle runner.  I really wanted burlap covered plate chargers, but knew I did not have the time to make them with all the other collecting, chair-painting, and crazy planning that I was doing.  So I asked my planner to create them out of old printed burlap coffee bags—and she did a fantastic job. 

I also knew that I wanted delicate, vintagey napkins, so I found crochet-trimmed cotton napkins on eBay and hand dyed them a peachy-coral with my Maid of Honor (that’s a dedicated MOH for you!)  Also, would you believe that I spray painted the insides of normal vases to get those amazing aqua-colored vases?!   While Anthony was not into digging up china and vases at estate sales or finding vintage lace tablecloths, I LOVED every minute of it!

Finally, the end of August came and it was time for us to leave for Indiana for our wedding.  But, Hurricane Irene delayed our arrival to Indiana by a few days and there were still a lot of DIY items that needed to get done.  Many projects had to wait until we arrived in Indiana because of transport or because the supplies were there—like the hundreds of Mason jars and antique books.   In other words, I was freaking out! Our families were lifesavers, especially my cousin Jeremy and his partner Jason.  They practically lived at my parents’ house the week before the wedding to help with all the last minute DIY projects, like making the table numbers from vintage buttons glued on antique books and assembling the doily drink umbrellas for the cocktails.   Our parents spent hours washing the hundreds of plates that we used.  My second cousin, who owns The Cake Lady Bakery, helped to make the homemade apple butter favors and the fabulous desserts.  Anthony’s family and friends helped to assemble the super cute pennant banners.  We seriously could not have pulled the wedding off without our families—so a huge thank you to them for all of their countless hours of labor.

Our wedding was by far the best day of our lives.  I married my best friend and someone who supported all of my crazy ideas for the wedding, (although he did start to question my sanity when I started dying the napkins.)  The ceremony was so personal and was everything was more personal and touching than we could have dreamed—I don’t think there was a dry eye during our vows and when Anthony could not make it through the letter he wrote to his parents.  All the details shined—from the ceremony elements to the ribbon curtain.  And the first glimpse of the barn made all of the months of hard work worth it.  The antique china, the chairs, everything—including my wonderful husband, were just perfect.   Even thinking back, it feels like a fairy tail.  

Many people have asked what I plan to do with all the chairs, china, and decorations. The chairs are in the process of being sold and I’m hanging onto the décor—it is basically the décor in our house now!  Upcycle, right?  I started a vintage china rental business in DC with the china called Something Vintage China Rental because I love all of the china, plus it gives me a great excuse to keep going to estate sales to find more! 

My advice to any brides out there—follow your vision and your heart, but make sure you have the support of your fiancé, family, and friends.  In the end, they are the ones who really make your dream wedding possible.

Photography: bobbi+mike / Wedding Coordinator: Sarah, April Foster Events / Hair: Lindsay Goodman, Shalorton Salon / Makeup: Beth Jerrells of Champagne and Lipstick / Florist: Lillian Rose Flowers / Officiant: Reverend John DeTaeye / Church: Prairie Grove Chapel / Reception Venue: Salomon Farm / DJ: Quattro Systems / Cake: Peggy Roulo, The Cake Lady / Catering: Blue Spoon Catering / Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bridesmaid Dresses: H&M / Tuxedo: Tommy Hilfiger / Groomsmen’s Bowties: Divine Domestication / Bride’s Veil: Etsy, Emily Clark / Paper Goods: Jennifer Vaughn, Momento Designs / Vintage China & Decor Rental: Something Vintage Rentals

Emilliner and Monique Lhuillier are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.