diy wedding

Wedding: Bringing it Home.

The one thing people are most surprised about with our wedding was the fact that we hosted it inside our home.  In the beginning of the planning process we had looked into the option of doing it where I’m from in California. But as we started thinking about it more, we began to talk ourselves out of that option.

We wanted our wedding to represent who we are as a couple, and nothing represented that more than this home of ours since we really have poured our hearts into it.

There were some big considerations in hosting our at-home Heatherland Wedding:


Wedding Guest List


We really wanted an ultra-small event.  If we hosted the wedding ceremony inside our home, it would need to be less than 20 guests.  That meant we made really tough decisions on who would be receiving an invite.  We agreed on a rule to only invite guests that have met us both, so no strangers, and also only invite people who really needed to see us say our vows. Regardless of whether it’s a big wedding or not, there are always the feeling of excluding people when you are writing up a guest list.




We opted to clear all the furniture out of our living room and dining room to make way for rentals.  We wanted everyone to be comfortable, and we also wanted people to be able to relax in a cohesive environment.  We brought in benches for the ceremony, and a large dining table for a family style dinner.




We decided to host a winter wedding.  All of our guests were traveling in from out of town, so that meant if there was a blizzard or other flight delays everyone would be in the same boat.  And since we weren’t dealing with a venue, we had the flexibility to adjust the date or time if we needed to.  Plus, the weather in New England is so wacky, I would have hated to have my heart set on an outdoor wedding in spring only to be pushed into a tent by bad weather.



Having a small wedding is the same as having a small party.  You want your guests to be able to drink and enjoy themselves without having to worry about driving.  We set up a driver for the day to shuttle our loved ones from their hotels to our home; which meant no one got lost, no one was late, and no one had to be a designated driver.


With all of that in mind, we had a successful wedding.





Wedding: Welcome Bags.

Almost all of our wedding guests are traveling in from out of town, and I wanted to make sure they would have welcome bags waiting for them when they arrived.


It is so important to have welcome bags for out of town guests.  In the past when I have traveled in for someone else’s wedding, it meant a lot to me when the couple took the time to put together something sweet for my (jet-lagged) arrival.  Because of that, this project was important to me.


And man, I am in my element. I recently told Mr. Heatherland I like pretending like I own a factory when I do this type of project.  He looked at me like I was crazy, and I began happily stuffing goodie bags and wondering if I can hire employees for my make-believe factory.


What’s In the Heatherland Welcome Bags?


  1. Reusable graphic print canvas tote bag- super cute find on Etsy.
  2. Box of special homemade Heatherland Cookies.
  3. Little bag of pistachios
  4. A couple bottles of water
  5. A couple apples
  6. Set of instant hand warmers (brrrrrr)
  7. Walking map of Newburyport
  8. A welcome note from yours truly
  9. And few Lake Champlain Chocolates



I will be delivering these treats to a variety of hotels, kinda like Santa… Yup, like a crazy, spray tanned, heel wearing, bride-to-be Santa.

Wedding: Dress Distress, Part Five.

It was safe to say that I had just lost all confidence in my dressmaker. I really did my best to be a good sport and try not to show just how disappointed I was while I was with her. Losing control of my emotions wouldn’t have made the situation better. During my drive home I filtered through my stages of grief and finally composed myself.


Well, just long enough to walk in the door and have Mr. Heatherland ask me how it went. Then I started crying again as I told him the tale: my long, weepy, mistaken-alteration tale.


After seeing just how upset I was, he gave me the best advice ever, “Buy another dress, something you love, and who cares how much it costs. Just find something else you want to wear.”


There goes my budget!


I poured myself a big glass of wine…. Drank it…. Then poured another one…. Grabbed my iPad and brainstormed some of my favorite dress designers that possibly made bridal dresses or something that looked bridal to me.


After a few strikes, I went to the Tadashi Shoji website, which was a designer that I knew fit my body off the rack, and scrolled though the Winter collection and found this:

At $388 I added it to my cart and checked out within 60 seconds.


Then I scrolled through the new Tadashi designs that will be available in Spring, and I found this:

But since it was an up and coming style it wasn’t available online. I called the Tadashi store in Las Vegas, spoke to a lovely woman named Sarah, who just received the dress I was inquiring about, but only in a size two. I figured it wouldn’t fit, but she assured me that with my measurements it should actually fit fine since they run big.


So I bought it also, this one was priced at $408.


The first one came, it was pretty but the color through the bottom was much darker than I had anticipated and the waist would have needed to be taken in. So I packed it up and shipped it back.
The second one came a few days later and I loved it!
When I saw myself in the mirror I instantly knew this was a dress I could get married in.


I still needed to go to my follow up fitting with the dressmaker. It had been a week since I saw her, now two weeks before the wedding, and I was really hoping she worked miracles (considering I already bought shoes and a veil for it). When I got there the dress looked so much better than before and she found the bow!


But I still a wasn’t loving the length. And she had started the lace top, but it just wasn’t right. The lace had no texture, no interest, it looked dated and made me feel old.
At this point I no longer wanted to make this dress work. I lost interest. The backup dress I bought really was exactly what I was trying to get her to do. So in a long, round-about way, I ended up with what I wanted.


I decided to wear my back up dress, and I wouldn’t be letting it out of my sight: no alterations, no pressing, nothing.

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