Chris & Sam's Intimate Woodland Wedding Brunch (with Gold Flamingos!)
Sam & Chris were married in October 2017 at Frozen Head State Park, Wartburg, TN USA. Their intimate woodland wedding and brunch reception were full of personal, handmade details to remind them of their families, and of their own story as a couple. We asked Sam to share a bit about their wedding and how they planned such a unique wedding on a small budget!
Tell us about your wedding!
SAM: Leading up to the wedding, I knew I wanted to make it as meaningful and detail oriented as possible. I put a lot of effort into incorporating family and friends and the things we love. We wanted a joyful ceremony and a fun reception, and that's exactly what we got! Our wedding is proof that $3,000 can give you the wedding of your dreams. ($40 venue, borrowed tables and chairs, DIY all the things, food prepared by friends and family, $100 dress...it can be done, y'all!)
My aunt handmade my veil using pieces of lace from my mother's wedding dress. The Bible I carried in lieu of a bouquet was a childhood gift to my mother from my Grandaddy McKinney. I carried it with dried greenery from my late grandmother's funeral floral arrangement as a way of carrying her with me.
My dad, Steve, and I walked in to a Dolly Parton cover of “Turn, Turn, Turn” by the Byrds. This song was played in my parents' wedding as well. I chose modern versions (hunter green and metallic gold) of my parents’ wedding colors (70s avocado green and goldenrod) to pay tribute to their influence in her life. In addition, we cut the cake with the same knife used by my parents at their wedding nearly 45 years ago.
Chris wore overalls because that was his outfit of choice for our first coffee date. Chris chose an instrumental version of Ozzy Osbourne’s “I Just Want You” in honor of his late father, Richard Ledford, who was a huge fan of metal and a huge influence on Chris’s life.
Our pastor is like a second father to me and drove more than 300 miles to perform our ceremony. We wrote our own vows promising to share in the good and bad as well as sharing our ice cream. We chose to take communion together as husband and wife immediately following the vows using wine made by my late grandfather, Wilburn Jones, and bread homemade by my mama.
After the ceremony, Chris and I stood at the path to the walk way so we could hug each of our guests and personally thank them for coming.
"Let go of anything that's not super meaningful to you."
Now on to the reception! Since I was a little girl, I've loved flamingos. We had gold flamingos lining the aisle, and we used a set of flamingo salt and pepper shakers as our cake topper. Those shakers now reside on our dining room table as a reminder of our wedding day.
My aunt (who also made the veil) handmade magnolia blooms out english crepe paper. We used recycled green glass bottles from our favorite Mexican soda for the centerpieces. Chris and I collect vinyl records. He actually proposed at our favorite record store so we had our engagement photos made there as well. We used 45s that were sprayed gold as part of our centerpieces, and our guest book was a poster with our own gold record attached.
We danced to a song by Dawes called "All Your Favorite Bands", and we had a great time dancing, talking, taking photos and being truly present for the most important celebration of our lives to date.
We started our ceremony at 11am and then had a brunch buffet for our guests with biscuits with jellies, butter, gravy, ham, pimento cheese, etc., fruit with yogurt, our favorite cereals and milk, sausage balls and more. Everyone loved it, and it was sooo cost effective! We also had a coffee bar available with flavored syrups and creamers for guests to grab a cup before the ceremony or during the reception.
We left in Chris's papaw's restored 1960's Ford Galaxie to a crowd of smiling, waving and crying friends and family. My #1 tip for all the bride and groom chillas out there is to let go of anything that's not super meaningful to you. Napkin rings and china patterns will not be what defines your day. Your wedding won't be perfect, but if you'll relax and enjoy the moment, it'll be perfect for you. Make sure to take a few moments to sit back and take it all in. It flies by, but if you're careful, you can make time stand still - if just for a moment.
How did the Bridechilla Podcast help you with Wedding Planning?
SAM: Oh man...the podcast was life saving and life giving! Grateful for Aleisha talking me off the ledge a few times.
Photography by Forget Me Not Photography
Thank you so much to Sam & Chris for sharing their wedding with Bridechilla! Submit your wedding at the link below!