A few weeks ago we read the sweetest love story of Katie & Jesse and featured their darling engagement pictures here on She’s Intentional.
Today we’re seeing more from this fabulous couple — but now on to the wedding gallery!
She’s Intentional: What was the most challenging aspect of planning your wedding?
Katie Hall: Time and money, but mostly time. Given enough time you can find almost anything for a deal that will help stretch your money. After “dating” for seven years Jesse and I didn’t want a long engagement. We were engaged on December 20, 2012 and were married on April 26, 2013, only four months later! Planning a wedding like we had in four months is nearly impossible and I would highly recommend giving yourself more time than we did, but hey — we made it so it is doable! Luckily for us we had a great group of friends and family who all worked so hard to help us pull it together in such a short time.
SI: What kind of atmosphere were you trying to capture and portray in the decor of your wedding?
KH: Honestly, most of my ideas came from Pinterest; I’m a little bit of an addict. Because most of our budget was spent on venue and catering, I needed a lot of DIY ideas that I could do myself with a little help of course. I’ve always loved a southern style wedding; the south has such beautiful gardens and foliage during the spring and I wanted to incorporate that feeling into the wedding. Because things were outdoors we didn’t want anything overly fancy, we wanted people to be comfortable. I’ve always loved the old vintage style dresses made of all lace and the old newsboy caps on men, so I wanted something along those lines but slightly more modernized. Some people said it had a DIY/vintage/hipster feel. I didn’t really want a theme, but things did have a modern vintage feel, we were very mix and matched. All of the guys wore different ties and no two bridesmaids wore the same dress.
We wanted an atmosphere that everyone could feel comfortable in, we wanted people to feel like they fit in. I wanted a relaxed and fun feel, almost like an outdoor evening dinner party. We had lights strung up in the side yard with lanterns on the tables and hanging from the trees. There were fresh flowers everywhere; part of the benefit of having an outdoor wedding is nature is already so beautiful you don’t need to add much to make an event feel magical. I also wanted everyone to have fun — I know sometimes weddings can get kind of boring for kids so we had corn hole to play and also little goodie bags for the kids with game booklets and pictures for coloring. I had found a lot of little vases at garage sales for flowers along with mason jars, we had wooden slabs to arrange things on or vintage looking books, small picture frames with love poems inside, and candles adorned the tables. A thousand origami cranes hung from the lights overhead and music from Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Henry Mancini, Nat King Cole, and Billy Holiday played in the background.
SI: Why did you opt to have an outdoor wedding as opposed to the more traditional church wedding? What was the venue you decided to use?
KH: Both my husband and I are very outdoorsy people, if we aren’t working we are hiking, kayaking or biking. It’s where we prefer to be and plainly put, whenever I’m outside in nature, everything I see reminds of the God. It’s where I feel closest to Him. Whether watching a sunrise or sunset, sitting alongside the ocean or peering down from the top of a mountain, it’s in those moments He takes my breath away with His creation. I love my church, but buildings are manmade. My most intimate encounters with God were usually in nature. Whenever I’ve been going through a hard time or just need to speak alone with him I prefer to go outside. It’s for all these reasons that I knew I wanted to be married outside. We found a lovely old plantation, Inglewood Manor, it was near the area where we lived and perfect for the vintage inspired southern wedding I wanted. It ended up being beautiful and everything we wished for.
SI: Your dress! Simply stunning! Did you have a difficult time finding a modest dress and did you have to do a lot of work to make it fit your expectations of a dream dress?
KH: Yes and yes. Finding a modest dress that would only need minor alterations wasn’t actually the difficult part, there were many that would have worked; however, finding this kind of dress within my price range was another story. Getting something made for me in such a short time frame was a dead end. I knew I wanted all lace, which tends to run a little higher priced, and I had a very specific look in mind. After trying several dresses on, I knew what I liked just wasn’t in the price range I could afford. Most of my budget had gone toward the venue and the catering, forcing me to get creative when it came the decorations and my dream dress.
However, I’m not one to give up easily so I started looking online. I stumbled across several used dress sites, which being a thrift shop lover, was right up my alley. These dresses were worn for what, maybe 8 hours? They were half, if not less, of the original price and by the time all the alterations were done it would feel like a whole new dress anyway. Still considering the short time frame, I didn’t have much time to stalk out all the sites waiting till a suitable dress popped up. I needed to find something almost immediately so I would have time for alterations.
Luckily for me there was a used wedding boutique just a couple towns away and I was able to find a dress that was the right material and shape except for one huge part: it was strapless. With this in mind we would need to add sleeves and bring the neckline up, all while making it feel cohesive and not pieced together. I really wanted it to feel like one solid piece. In the end, the best route was to remove the lace from the waist up and add satin sleeves, extend the neckline then re-overlay the whole top piece with lace so there were no seems except at the waistline which would be covered by my sash. No seamstress wanted to touch this project in such a short time frame, but fortunately, my mother is an amazing seamstress — in the end everything turned out perfectly. It turned out exactly as I wanted and all the credit goes to mother, who stayed up endless nights, sewing many parts by hand and adding seventy-five buttons down the back. She is super human!
SI: What was your favorite aspect of your special day?
KH: The people. Honestly, everything was beautiful; the moment I walked down the aisle with sun shining through the trees, rose petals covering the ground and music softly playing, I literally felt like I was in a fairy tale. But all those things wouldn’t have meant anything if it weren’t for the people who were there to share in that moment. Having everyone I love with me that day was so special. I come from a very big family, most of whom still live up north, so I wasn’t expecting a hug group to be able to make it all the way down to South Carolina since they only had a few months to make preparations. But on our wedding day all of my husband’s family from North Carolina were there and I had the majority of mine there, as well! Aunts, uncles and cousins from California, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Washington were all there. Then there were all the members of our local church, friends from college, and co-workers: we were so blessed to be surrounded with so many people who loved us.
Our wedding really was just one huge gift from all the people we loved. I don’t exaggerate one bit when I say it wouldn’t have been possible without each and every one of them.
Images :: Jenna Bowen Photography | Venue :: Inglewood Manor; Columbia, South Carolina | Cake :: Katie’s Super-Human Mother | Decor :: DIY