Weddings Closer to Home

Read these tips from real-life brides who have "been there, done that" and have practical tips and advice to share with anyone planning a wedding.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe Couple: Abby Stonewall and Jeff Kapp; The Location: The Portland Art Museum: Portland, OR

All About

Abby's Story: "Our wedding took place on Feb. 11th, 2006, so I wanted it be themed around 'love' but I did not want the wedding to be Valentine's Day theme-y. I decided to go with the colors pink and brown."


Her Tips:

Show your personality: "I think that I am a very creative person, so I wanted that creative side to show in my wedding. My mother and I did all the planning and came up with the decorative ideas ourselves. For example, traditionally a wedding reception has a single centerpiece duplicated on every table, but I decided that I wanted to come up with a different centerpiece idea for each table. It took a little more time and energy for both the florist and me, but the outcome was spectacular. I also didn't want to have a traditional layered wedding cake, so instead I opted for a cake buffet, where I designed each cake myself and we got to have six different flavors of cakes! The guests loved it and most wanted to sample more than one flavor."

Keep your perspective: "We had numerous little things go wrong during the planning stages, which you should expect to happen. However, when I got sick and ended up in the hospital with appendicitis exactly one week before the wedding, all of a sudden everything was put into perspective. The goal of the week leading up to the wedding became getting me strong enough to stand up and walk down the aisle, instead of worrying about whether or not we were going to line the aisles with flowers. I think the fact that I had to stop, relax and de-stress made our big day easier to handle, because I actually did take time to 'stop and smell the flowers' instead of stressing over if they were the right color of flowers!"

Guard your memories: "I wanted to remember every little thing about my wedding, but as it is often told, the day goes by in such a blur that that becomes hard to do. A friend gave me a journal which I wrote in all through the engagement, and I took it with me on our honeymoon. During the long flight to Thailand I got a great start in documenting every little detail of the day that I could remember, and by the time we returned from our honeymoon I had finished my memory 'novel' of our special day — almost 30 pages! Yet even now, only one year later, as I go back and read what I wrote I am so glad I recorded my thoughts right away because there are so many little details and feelings that would've slipped through the cracks if I hadn't."

End with a bang: "Unbeknownst to us, my brother had spent all day making a rickshaw to take us to our hotel after the wedding. The seat collapsed when we got in and it took six guys to fix it. And my brother basically dragged us six blocks to the hotel, but it was an hilarious ending to a day we will never forget!"