Vintage Cactus Wedding

Gold Wedding Sandals

It is always a treat when I have the opportunity to feature a reader’s wedding on Once Wed especially one with so many creative and thoughtful details. Emma, the bride, is clearly one talented gal and created a lot of what you see below including her beautiful wedding dress. Isn’t it amazing what a bit of vintage trim and a new overlay can do to a simple, white dress?

When I started planning our wedding I knew that we didn’t have a lot of money to spend, but being a designer, I also wanted as many creative details as possible. Almost everything was DIY and we had such a great time putting everything together. The wedding details ended up being an eclectic mix of everything that we love: the old west, mexico, succulents, vintage ephemera, moss, Liberty florals, our frenchie, Colby and of course humor!

For my dress I had a vision of this shimmery fabric and I couldn’t find a dress with it anywhere so I ended up making it. I found the fabric and vintage metallic trims in NYC and instead of making my dress from scratch I re-vamped a dress that had a perfect fit that I bought off the rack.  My Matron of Honor, Tina, designed my headband, necklace and bracelets out of re-purposed vintage pieces.

Gold Wedding Sandals

Gold Wedding Headband

Gold Wedding Dress

French Bulldg Wedding

Yellow Bridesmaid Dresses

Unique Bridesmaid Bouquets

Green And White Wedding Bouquet

Bright Bridesmaid Dresses

Liberty Wedding Ties

Katherine O'brien Wedding Photography

Cactus Wedding Centerpieces

Moss Wedding Escort Card Table

Cactus Wedding Favor

Desert Wedding Centerpieces

I designed and printed all of the escort cards and program fans, which were inspired by old timey western posters. I love moss and had to incorporate it somehow so we covered a table with it and stuck all the escort cards into it. It was possibly my favorite detail of the wedding.

Our centerpieces were a wonderful collaboration of family and friends. My mother and our dear friend Ann gathered all the succulents and potted them the day before the wedding in little terra cotta pots. They arranged them on the tables with Mexican tiles that had been brought to us from Mexico from my sister-in-law, Kelly. For the table names I used scans from a book from the 1940s that I found in a thrift store years ago called “What kinda cactus izzat?”. I had used cactus on our invitations so I loved being able to incorporate the cactus motif but in a more humorous way.

Wedding Coordinator: Lindsey Webb
Vintage Trim: Tinsel Trading Co.
Bridesmaids Jewelry: Susan Beh at Dinosaur Designs
Antique Wedding Band: Erie Basin
Bridal jewelry: Tina Lurvey
Centerpieces: Ann James
Flowers: Verbena Floral Design
Venue: House on the Hill
Photography: Katherine O’brien
Catering: Matt’s El Rancho


Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding. 

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