Everygirl Weddings: Meaghan Graber

Between the rich color palette and rustic accents, it’s hard to pick a favorite part of this Everygirl’s charming winter wedding. We are so glad that Meaghan shared her special day with us, and we know that you will be too. Read on to get more details about this elegant, cozy affair.

Bride:
Meaghan Graber

The Details:
Our wedding was on December 18th, 2010, and we had around 200 guests.  It was held at a restored barn on a large property of land in the country outside Kansas City. Our bridal party was quite large! There were eight bridesmaids and groomsmen, most of which were family. Our wedding planner, Holly, was awesome.  She helped us find vendors, get ideas for coordinating our wedding timing, organizing the “flip” from our ceremony to reception, and keeping myself and my mother calm!

How did you settle on a budget that you felt comfortable with? What factors went into coming up with that number?
We were fortunate to have our families help out with most of the finances.  Together we decided on a guest count and a dinner menu, which is where a majority of our budget was spent.  We wanted our wedding to be a comfortable event for our guests, but also knew areas where we could save a little.

What was the most important aspect of the wedding to you? (i.e. photography, wedding gown, venue, food, etc.)

When we started planning our wedding, we knew that we wanted a venue that allowed us the have our ceremony and reception in the same location.  We had quite a few family members and friends that would be driving in for our wedding, and we wanted them to be able to get to our venue, and stay there.  Also, having one location allowed us to save time commuting and spend more time with our guests.


How far in advance did you start the wedding planning process?
We were engaged in February, and began planning pretty quickly.  We booked our wedding coordinator first, then our venue and photographer soon after.

How did you save money on the big day?
I found most of our table décor at garage sales or on craigslist, and handmade a lot of the little touches.  We found friends and family to help out with other aspects: wedding paper designs (by my maid of honor!), cake and cake stand (by my cousin!), we had friends make candy and treats for our dessert bar, my mom sewed all of our chair bands, our videographer was a good friend, and our officient was my father-in-law.

What was the most stressful part of planning your wedding? What was the most fun?
The most stressful part of was being far away from my fiancé! He was finishing his degree about 4 hours from where I was living and working at the time.  Also, our address list was a bit hard to nail down!

The most fun was definitely all of the design and personal touches. I had such a good time making and putting together invitations, bridesmaid gifts, my garter, the cake topper, candy buffet, my hair piece, table décor, etc.  My glue gun was my BFF for those few months before the big day.

How did you make the wedding feel personal to you and your fiancé?
We wanted to make sure that we had enough time together during our wedding, to really enjoy each other’s company, and to take it all in together.  We had a “first look” before our ceremony, and then took all of our pictures with our wedding party.  After our ceremony, we went back to a cottage on the same property as the wedding barn and had about 45 minutes with just our wedding party to relax, have a snack and celebrate!  We ate dinner at a sweetheart table where it was just the two of us.  I never felt like we were out of touch, and yet still had a chance to visit and dance with all of our guests.

How did you decide on the type of wedding you wanted? Did budget have an influence? (i.e. did you have a traditional wedding, a destination, eclectic, formal, casual, etc)
We knew we wanted to get married in the winter, so it was fun to put together our wedding in an unpopular wedding month!  That alone made it feel unique to us.  It was dark right as our ceremony begun, and so the Christmas lights and candles gave a wonderful glow to the barn during our ceremony.  It might seem strange, but the warmth of that barn felt very “us”.  I’ll never forget that feeling.  I would describe the “type” as rustic elegance. Of course, all of the personal touches mentioned above and being surrounded by our friends and family made it extraordinarily special.

What did you choose to splurge on for the big day? What did you decide to save on?
Our food was excellent.  There was plenty to eat and drink, which we felt was a great way to thank our guests for their love and support!  Also, we couldn’t have had such a smooth running wedding without our coordinator! Our DJ helped set the mood and helped transition from each aspect of the wedding. We saved on decorations, suit rental, transportation, and invitations.

What were your favorite sources of inspiration for your wedding?
Can you imagine planning a wedding these days without Pinterest? I can’t believe I did it.  That would have been so helpful! I read a lot of wedding blogs (Style Me Pretty, Southern Weddings, 100 Layer Cake, and more) and also looked at a lot of photographer’s sites and weddings they had shot.

Would you do anything differently?
Sounds silly, but I would have worn my veil in more photos! I only have a couple photos with my veil, and I loved it.  So sad.  I honestly can’t say I’d change anything else.  Can I relive that day again, please?

What advice do you have to Everygirls in the midst of planning their own weddings?
Don’t procrastinate.  Things will come up as the date is closer that you never planned for, and that will take away lots of time! Also, delegate! You don’t want to be the one worrying about where the flowers are supposed to sit while the tables are set up when you’re busy putting on your dress. Plan times when you and your (new!) husband will have time together.  Otherwise, someone else will steal him away! Have fun! Don’t let little things bother you.  It’s the best day because those that you love will surround you.  Take in the love.Waterproof mascara.  You’ll cry from the first look down the aisle, the toast, and the first dance.  You’ll sweat from those groovy moves on the dance floor.

 

(Wedding Coordinator: Holly Davidson with Simple Elegance / Venue: Mildale Farm / Photographer: Katie Day Photography / Caterer: Classic Catering / Florist: Craig Sole with Craig Sole Designs / DJ Encore Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Nolte’s / / Bridesmaid Dresses: Nolte’s / Hair and Make-up: Jessie at Double Take Salon / Cake: Constentio’s Market / Cake Topper: DIY / Graphic Design (invitations, programs, signs): Ashley Jenks with Something You Design)

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