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Real Weddings: Southern Sparkle

Jan 22, 2014

by Mary Andrews handmade and vintage goods

Mary and Tim are a creative couple living and working in Richmond, Virginia. Mary spends her days on Etsy helping to lead up the Merchandising team and Tim is a freelance writer, blogger and food stylist. Keep up with their creative adventures over on their collaborative lifestyle blog, 17Apart.

Tim and I first met over nine years ago, and as with our long relationship, we took our time planning our wedding — a special day with 60 of our closest family and friends in our hometown of Richmond, Virginia.


The real planning began after I found my gown, which was handmade by Sarah Seven. The dress set the tone for the rest of the wedding: golden sparkle, complemented by pops of pink and muted grays. We wanted that feeling of down-home Southern fun with a hint of Hollywood glam.

We made our own save-the-dates with seed paper we found on Etsy. Kristen from Teal Typewriter Studios helped us design the entire paper suite. Kraft paper and gold doilies tied the overall feel of the wedding together. Each of the programs included an excerpt from a love poem found in my maternal grandmother’s wallet — “Lorsque Tu Seras Vieux.” She carried it with her through more than fifty years of marriage.


I made my veil with supplies I sourced on Etsy and wore meaningful family heirlooms, like my great-grandmother’s earrings. My mother-in-law’s 1960s garter completed the look – she wore the same garter 50 years prior at her wedding! Our bands were custom made by husband-and-wife team Mika Scott. We had our fingerprints molded inside one another’s rings. I love the idea that Tim’s fingerprint is wrapped around my ring finger and mine around his.


Kasey of Kay em Kay designed and made all the bridal party dresses. The flower girls’ dresses, also made by Kasey, stole my heart — she made them to complement the heart-backed designs of the bridesmaids. She even sent us extra fabric yardage so we could make a matching bowtie for our nephew, the ring bearer, to wear. Let me tell you, bowties are a great option for 2-year-old fidgety boys who might pull at a necktie! The girls’ look was completed with personalized initial bracelets from Georgie Designs and hair accessories my sister made. We had gold earrings from Louisa Gallery and grey monogrammed pocket squares from Miniature Rhino custom made to tie in with our colors and serve as gifts for our bridesmaids and groomsmen.


We held the ceremony at the Edgar Allen Poe Museum, which feels like a secret garden in middle of the city. We made hanging flower vases out of glass mason jars to line the ceremony aisle, which later doubled as table decor at the reception. Our friend J Seger (who is also an artist, musician and fellow Etsy coworker) designed the chalkboard welcoming guests as they arrived. Instead of flower petals and a ring pillow, we had heirloom star wands from Jennifer Raichman and a burlap sign from Nana Montana made for our nieces and nephews to carry during the ceremony and keep as gifts to play with after the fact.


After the ceremony, guests were taken for a ride on a working Richmond trolley up through historic parts of Richmond to our favorite local restaurant, The Roosevelt, where we held the reception. Though the focus was on the Southern food and handcrafted cocktails, we mixed in vintage decorations like wooden crates, metal baskets and milk glass vases to add to the restaurant’s charm. I made gold-dipped mason jars and filled them with paper straws from daintzy to pair with cocktails.


Our cake was topped with the same blooming fresh peonies and greenery from the bridal party florals. We used the original 1920s bisque Kewpie doll toppers from my paternal grandmother’s wedding cake, accompanied by her handwritten letter indicating a wish for her future generations to use them in their weddings.

We got creative with the guestbook by setting up a letter-writing station where guests could write us a note on vintage Richmond postcards we’d sourced from Bursts of Creativity. Each message turned out a little different — from funny to sentimental – and we love flipping through them every so often.


We danced to classic tunes by Johnny Cash and George Jones (with little Hank 3 tossed in for good measure) as the summer sun dwindled and the glow of city the city lights lingered. We left the party while DIY heart sparklers shimmered, feeling like we’d remained true to ourselves in creating our special day. We love the memories we made that night.

All photographs by Tori Watson of Marvelous Things Photography. Check out a full list of wedding items Mary sourced on Etsy here.


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