Katie + CJ’s small town wedding in Elk Grove, California is the perfect picture of young love and big adventures. When CJ joined the Air Force and was stationed in Germany, this sweet bride and groom went about hosting one last hometown hurrah before moving to Europe. Don’t miss the fun DIY wedding decorations, the pretty individualized bridesmaid dresses in peachy pinks…or my favorite, Katie’s charming Peter Langner, Iris wedding gown made of silk taffeta fabric that has the most whimsical horizontal stripes in it!
The Ceremony Our Wedding was on June 7, 2014 at the church I grew up in – St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. More than anything I wanted our wedding to feel personal and for our guests to see us in every detail. C.J. and I met in high school and have so many memories growing up and falling in love in our small town of Elk Grove. C.J. joined the Air Force just over a year ago and he is now stationed in Germany so it was especially wonderful for us to come back to Elk Grove to be married before moving across the world.
The Reception Our reception took place in my parent’s backyard. I knew it would be a tight squeeze with the 150 guests we wanted to host but I loved the idea of complete creativity and control over our venue and thought it would reflect the intimate gathering we wanted. I started working on some special decorations almost a year in advance. When I look back on the photos the things we made by hand are my favorite details because they photographed beautifully…like the marquee “Cheers” sign over our bar, the string lights and a backdrop made of tiny wax paper cones for the “staging area” where my bridesmaids and I got ready. My dad carved a large wooden arch for over the open fence and we painted “This Way to Dinner and Dancing” across it. I did all my own flowers, which was probably my biggest fear leading up to the wedding. Everyone kept telling me it was a giant mistake and that assembling 11 bouquets, corsages and 33 centerpieces the day before the wedding was crazy. I have to admit it ended up being a little stressful but I enlisted some bridesmaids and family to help with the assembling and the groomsmen picked up all the flowers from the San Francisco Flower Market for me at 4:30 am that morning. In the end they turned out better than I could have imagined and I only spent about $700 to have my wedding dripping in fresh peonies and other gorgeous blooms.
Katie’s Dress Search I tried on about ten dresses before I tried on “my dress”. I knew I wanted something that made a statement with a classic look and an A-line silhouette. The first two salons I visited had some beautiful dresses but up close the fabric looked cheap so I kept looking. I tried on a few different styles at the suggestion of the bridal salon attendants but I knew what I wanted and the other silhouettes just weren’t me. The moment I stepped onto the platform in my Peter Langner, Iris dress I knew it was the dress I wanted to wear on my wedding day – it was made of the most gorgeous Italian silk taffeta with tiny stripes subtly gracing the entire dress. Fabric was one of the most important elements for me. I wanted something rich and supple that looked expensive and unique, this was all of those requirements and more. The bodice of the dress is what really sold me, a full corset is hidden inside, built into the dress. When the corset is fastened with all its tiny hook and eyes and one strong strap it completely holds up the dress and brought my waist in very small. The outer layer of silk taffeta buttons easily over the corset layer creating the illusion that the dress fit easily as the pearl buttons lay gently without any pulling. It was clear that the dress was made exceptionally well and it proved itself on my wedding day with many hours of dancing I never once had to pull it up or adjust anything – it stayed completely secure.
How Katie Felt in Her Wedding Dress Stunning. Classic. Secure.
Why Katie Decided to Sell Her Wedding Dress I am moving to Germany with my husband and I am trying to really limit what I’m bringing. I want someone else to feel as beautiful as I did in this dress and it seems sad to have it sit in a closet when it looks brand new (after a professional cleaning of course) and it is so gorgeous.