The best advice Jonathan and Ruby were given was to enjoy their wedding day as much as they wanted their guests to. These two got it right. Without getting too hung up in the details, they put together a beautiful and fun wedding day to celebrate with their friends and family. Read on to learn more from Ruby!
We met at a political conference one summer when we were in college, though we went to different schools. We stayed in close touch the years following as really great friends. Jon was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and after graduating college, he moved back to start his job.
After I graduated from CU (GO BUFFS!), I was offered an opportunity to do a fellowship with a lobbying organization out in DC. We reconnected and started dating pretty quickly after that. After dating for almost 2 years back-and-forth between Baltimore and DC, we decided it was time for one of us to make a move. I got a great job opportunity in Baltimore, so I packed up and shipped out.
We lived together for just under a year before Jon (elaborately, alongside my parents) planned his proposal. We decided our wedding would be the following summer in Denver.
We wanted the day to be effortless. I've seen friends spiral and get caught up in every single little detail, and it completely kills the excitement of what this day is actually about. We went for a sort of rustic-meets-classic look.
Our chuppah (a 4-post wedding canopy used in Jewish weddings) was made of aspen tree branches, which we loved so much. We tried sticking with neutral colors (bridal party in black and white), since our venue was so breathtaking and was basically just floor-to-ceiling windows around us, we didn't want elaborate decorations.
We tried to incorporate small details here and there; we got tiny little mercury glass jars that we hung from every other chair that lined the aisle and we put a small bit of baby’s breath in each one.
Most of our guests were from out of town, so we wanted them to enjoy the view! We wanted our guests to remember how much fun they had more than anything else and keep their tush's on the dance floor all night!
We were very strategic about where we wanted the money to go. The photographer (11th Door Photography!) was where we really wanted to spend our money, and ours did a wonderful job capturing the joy of our day.
Food was, of course, important, but that's going to be costly no matter where you are or what you do.
We found ways to cut costs in certain unexpected places, like flowers. I absolutely love peonies, but I found that I was more drawn to the characteristics of the flower than I was the actual flower (the very pale pink, the big, fluffy shape). I spoke with our florist (Plum Florist) who said she could easily substitute a different flower for my bridesmaids that looked almost identical to peonies. It cut the cost of their bouquets in half (seriously in half!!)
To be totally truthful, the dress wasn't as important to me. I knew I wanted something timeless and, obviously, something I'd love, but I just couldn't justify spending over a thousand dollars on something I was going to wear for 6 hours and never wear again! I absolutely loved my dress and found it at a great price.
Because Jon is from Baltimore, we really wanted to bring a touch of his hometown to mine (Denver) for the wedding. We brought dozens of Berger cookies (a real Baltimore staple) to serve along with our wedding cake! Our caterer set up platters of them where the coffee and tea was being served, and my incredibly creative friend made a cute sign for us to display on the table.
Jon also made the cufflinks for his groomsmen with their initials, which was such a cute, personal touch!
I have two very distinct favorite memories of the day. Jon and I weren’t so comfortable with saying our vows in front of tons of people, so we decided to basically write what we wanted to say to each other in a letter to read right before our first look. It was so special to read these thoughts that just summed up our entire relationship up until becoming husband and wife.
My second favorite memory was walking down the aisle. It is Jewish custom that both the bride’s parents escort her down the aisle, and the three of us were just beaming as we saw Jon waiting for me at the other end. Jon and my dad started crying and hugging when we reached the end of the aisle.
My father was killed in an accident 2 months to the day after our wedding, and because Jon and I live in Baltimore, this is the last time I was with him. I will forever remember this moment down to every single detail.
Truly, none. Like I said, we worked very hard to ensure we didn't get caught up in small details. We wanted to remember what this day was about and have the best night of our lives. And we did!
Our planning was really simple, but the absolute best piece of advice I got was to ENJOY THE DAY as much as you want your guests to. I was also told that in the middle of the ceremony, look out into the crowd at all of the people who are here because they love and are so excited for you. Jon and I both did that, and it was such an incredible, warm feeling.
Tips for Engaged Couples
Wedding planning resources are awesome (Pinterest, blogs, magazines, etc.), but don’t feel like you’re “doing it wrong” if you go a little off-script. I found bridal magazines to be daunting and really overwhelming. This day is about you and your partner and nothing else. Your guests want to have fun and feel the love between you two. They don’t want to go to an event - they want to go to your wedding!
Have fun. Have fun. Have fun. No one will remember the nit-picky details that you think they will. They'll remember what a great time they had, and that's it!
Guest List Count: 130 // Photographer: 11th Door Photography // Venue: Wellshire Inn // Planner: Jaime Brown at Saphire Celebrations // Bakery: Cakes by Karen // Caterer and Bar Services: On-site at Wellshire Inn // Florist: Plum Gallery // Hairstylist: Amanda at Star Salon // Makeup Artist: Cynthia Goodberry