A Cross-Country Celebration

October 1, 2012 in
Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

Melissa Fontaine

Melissa Fontaine is a California native living (and loving) the Southern life in Athens, Georgia with her husband George and dog Ryman. She is a blogger and the owner of Hip Pops , an artisan ice pop company.

George and I met through my future matron of honor. At the time, I was living in Nashville, Tennessee, and he had recently moved to Atlanta, Georgia. We spent a year and half tearing up I-75 every weekend before I finally moved to Georgia. After a few more years, we got engaged. The planning began immediately. We decided to hold a destination wedding in my hometown – Menlo Park, California – and my mom booked a date at our family church, the same church my parents were married in 33 years earlier.

Inviting all our friends from across the country was the top priority, so we had to stretch our budget to accommodate a large guest list.  The goal was to make sure people felt like our wedding was a really fun vacation, and to celebrate our guests as much as we were celebrating getting married. Hello Tenfold created a map save-the-date with a dot for each city a guest was traveling from – in the end, it totaled around 90 dots!

By choosing a distinct color scheme with consistent elements like a chevron print, we were able to make the wedding cohesive and personal without spending a lot of money. My godmother lovingly made 30 incredible runners for our tables. We ordered custom chevron print ties from Bacon Handmade Neckwear, and Ellie at Hello Tenfold incorporated the chevron print in the paper goods she designed for us.

Ellie also designed our wedding logo – our initials surrounding a guitar, because our shared love of music initially brought us together (plus George works for a record label). We used this logo on canvas reusable welcome bags, koozies, paper goods and in the lighting. The logo was created in a single color, so it was easy for different vendors transfer it to their products. It was a simple, inexpensive way to create a uniform look.

My mom and aunts spent hours stuffing welcome bags full of our favorite treats and tying bows on booklets and wedding programs. Doing these tasks ourselves saved money and gave us a chance to drink some wine and hang out before the big day.

Everything I wore on my wedding day had a special meaning. I wore my mom’s veil and diamond bracelet, which my grandmother gave her. My earrings were borrowed from my mother-in-law, and my gorgeous necklace was from George’s great-grandmother. My engagement ring belonged George’s mother and my wedding band was his great grandmother’s. George gave me a beautiful diamond bracelet that will become an heirloom in our family now, too.

Since George and I aren’t dessert people, we ditched the traditional wedding cake. We chose to do a candy bar and a groom’s cake in the shape of a Waffle House with our dog, Ryman, sitting outside eating a waffle from his dog bowl. We’re big Waffle House lovers, so this was a fun surprise for George on our wedding day.

While our wedding did include a lot of DIY projects, one place I would never skimp is on a wedding planner – we had amazing help from Sugar Rush events. It was nice to be able enjoy the day and not have to worry about any details, even when the trolley forgot to pick me up to go to the church!

I wouldn’t change a single thing about our wedding day. I got to marry the best guy I’ve ever met, and celebrate with wonderful friends and family. It doesn’t get better than that!

All photographs by Sabine Scherer.