The Valeskis Say I Do... Pop Culture Style
Updated: Jan 8, 2020
Indiana, PA Downtown Theater Wedding
Alex proposed on August 15th 2016, three weeks before we left for our first Disney World trip together. How perfect that we could now get some Engagement Photos IN DISNEY! This guy had the right idea.
Alex and I love all things pop culture. From Harry Potter and Game of Thrones to Power Rangers and WWE, we wanted our wedding to showcase all the things we enjoy and what helped shape us. Also, we love collectibles. Sue us.
Wedding Planning 101... Do Whatever You Want ;-)
I'll admit, I was the same as everyone else. Navy blues and grays and pops of color would make for a beautiful spring wedding. But the deeper I got into wedding planning, the more I realized it looked like everyone was having the same wedding. You'd scroll through Pinterest and think you were seeing the same wedding over and over but they were all different people. Alex and I realized we wanted our wedding to stand out. Big time. The first thing we did was look into unique venues. Little did we know, and clearly we had been living under a rock, the pretty theater downtown on Philly Street actually housed a church! We are still so thankful for the people we met through the church, we love them dearly. When we took our tour, it was a no brainer. How could we not want to get married on a stage in a vintage theater? We kept our decor minimal to really focus on how cool the space was and we couldn't have been happier with how our ceremony went. We had screens featuring a movie trailer of our kitty Olive, our guys made their entrance to the stage to Shooting Star by Earth Wind and Fire and my ladies walked down the aisle to Hey Soul Sister by Train. None of these are expected moves and to be blunt, it was the best thing we could've done. We are still now, a year later hearing about how unique and fun our wedding was.
Lean With It, Rock With It
When I saw there was going to a jazz festival in town less than a block from our church I definitely got a little nervous. Alex and I specifically planned our wedding at the end of May so the college in our town would be on break and there wouldn't be any intereference getting around town. My bridesmaids assured me this festival would be fine and would actually give people something to do between the ceremony and reception so I decided not to worry. Turns out this festival gave us the opprotunity to get some amazing pictures with our bridal party dancing in front of the band and we even made our local newspaper! Sure, we'll sign your copy ;-)
Themed Tables Because, Why Not?
During the planning process, we realized we were in over our heads on ideas. That's a good problem though, right? Too many good ideas to choose from. We decided to combine them all and to have each individual table be a theme. And to top it off, we wanted to match our guests to the tables we thought they would most enjoy. Doesn't seem ridiculous, does it? Haha. My parents love Stranger Things, so naturally they had to be at our Stranger Things table, number 11 of course- we're not rookies. We watch Game of Thrones with his parents so they sat at the table with a dragon egg and Ned Stark figurine. We go to WWE events with some of our closest friends so they got to be entertained by our HHH and Dolph Ziggler action figures. You see where I'm going with this. We wanted to encourage our guests to mingle around to the different tables to take a look, talking with extended family they may not see often. We got some weird looks when we told everyone what themes we were using, but seeing the ballroom come together with trinkets we collected was magical.
Take It All In...AND SPEND THE MONEY ON PHOTOS/VIDEO SERVICES
Alex and I really tried to take time during the day to appreciate everything around us, all the hard work we put forth coming together. Not gonna lie, during our post ceremony photos -as I was shoving handfuls of Cheese-Its in my face, already exhausted - we looked at each other in shock... and I said "OMG Alex, we still have a reception!" We could not believe it. This day will fly by but will also be forever long if that makes sense. We are beyond grateful for our AMAZING photographer Jill Stiffler of Jill Gearhart Photography for giving us the most beautiful pictures to reflect on and my ultra talented/super fun/professional videographer friend from high school Dylan White who provided the best wedding video to fit our personalities. This sounds like impractical advice, but please, please, don't google "cheap wedding photographer" or "least expensive videographer". You get what you pay for. While Jill and Dylan were both middle of the road in prices, their work surely exceeded our expectations. You may get lucky. The "cheapest" photographer may be wonderful but I've seen time and time again online couples getting burned by unprofessional photographers who just don't know what they're doing. Do your research! We met Jill and her hubby Brandon (Alex knew him from school but it was my first time meeting them) when we toured the church. We are so thankful to know these sweet souls and knew right away we wanted this photographer/DJ duo on our team. Same with Dylan. I totally lucked out to have a rockstar of a videographer a text away. You'll have these to look back on years later and remember your special day, invest in yourself and your memories.
At the End of the Day, Was Your Wedding Really You?
Looking back, our day was everything we dreamed up in our crazy heads, and more. This wedding was detailed, over the top, and exhausting, but we can't imagine it any other way. Our friends are still talking about it, my family still calls to talk about the salmon burgers and double battered fries, and my Maid of Honor was actually able to get use out of her dress for several other events!! My advice is this. Be lax on things that don't concern you, be firm on what you want. It's simple really... I'm not a flower person so we bought silk ones from Amazon and made our own arrangements. I wanted unique and delicious food so we insisted on the Country Club. Take other people's suggestions to heart but don't let them define your day and for the love of God don't (almost) get hit by an ambulance on your wedding day.
Until next time,