Happy Birthday Once Wed!

Blush Board

Blush Board

Once Wed turns 3 today. Wow! I can’t believe I just typed those words. Being a blogger was never the life I expected for myself or ever planned for, but I’m incredibly grateful it is what God had in store for me. Not many people know this, but It actually took me 6 months to gather up the courage to even launch Once Wed. I remember being in this perpetual state of fear for months over whether to launch the site until my husband finally pushed me to click live (thanks, babe!).

Curating Once Wed has been such a blessing in my life. All the remarkable people I’ve met, the amazing experiences I’ve had, the hard lessons I’ve learned along the way, and the opportunity to do something I love every single day. I can’t even put into the words the gratitude I feel in my heart for all the wonderful readers, contributors, and vendors who have made Once Wed what it is today. Being a part of this wonderful community of bloggers and creatives is truly a gift. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

In celebration of Once Wed turning 3, Joy Thigpen has graciously offered to create a custom inspiration board and offer one hour of free consulting for a lucky reader! Leave a comment below telling us a little about your wedding and we’ll announce the winner next Monday.

1. Marchesa SS2011  2. Upon A Fold 3 for $17  3. Alix Bancourt at Maria Lucia Hohan’s Atelier 4. Maggie Austin

  1. I’m looking forward to a sunny, summer wedding with an outdoor ceremony. I want it to be playfully elegant- beautiful styling with a bit of whimsy.

  2. Happy Birthday!!

    Our wedding will be this October, taking place at my mom’s house. Originally, I was avoiding a color theme and just wanted things soft and neutral. But now I think that a few parameters might be necessary for everything to look cohesive (especially since my mom and I are doing it ourselves!). Rather than going with a vintage-y, pastel palette (which is pretty, but not really me), I am trying to create a look that is more clean and organic- similar to the Scandinavian interior design images I see on blogs. Lots of white and off-white, with birch wood…maybe with burnt orange, sage green and a blush-y nude as accents…clearly I could use some help!!

  3. We are getting married in an old loft downtown, very vintage yet still classy. Very personal, with lots of comfort food :) November will be here before we know it. There isn’t a spot in the loft that we don’t want to leave our stamp on! We definitely aren’t going for the “traditional” look and feel.

  4. We’ll vespa from the church to a rooftop to meet our family and close friends, their laughter glinting in the warm glow of sunset. Thousands of mason-jarred candles will take over once the sun disappears and we’ll enjoy our dinner of sushi and sliders and strawberries to their romantic flickers. The wild giddiness of the night will catch up to us and we’ll dance into the wee hours of the morning. I’ll toss my boquet of peonies to my sister and give one last yell of delight as we zoom away to seal our vows.

  5. I’m having a summer wedding in a beautiful outdoor spot next to a historic hotel. The wedding has a “river” theme, as my fiance is an avid flyfisherman and I’m a birdwatcher–we both enjoy the outdoors a great deal. We’ve found fish-shaped wine bottles to use as vases at the reception, and his mother (an artist) is going to hand-paint river-ish-looking blue table-runners for the long banquet tables. The tables will be named after local rivers with photographs of them to show guests where to sit. I’m really excited for these details to come together! I want our guests to feel that we put care and intention into their experience.

    I love Once Wed! So much lovely inspiration! :)

  6. Planning an early fall wedding in my hometown of Chatham on Cape Cod. I’ve drawn inspiration from Oncewed.com including having my bridesmaids dresses coordinated around a color palette of blues and purples, nailing family photos to trees and adding non-alcoholic reception drinks in the form of limeade. I’d like help bringing all my ideas to make the event feel cohesive.

  7. congrats emily! i’ve enjoyed watching your site grow over the past three years…it’s such a beautiful space!

    although i’d love to spend an hour chatting it up with joy, i’m already married :)

  8. I’m marrying my favorite person on August 20th of this year. After a lot of searching we are getting married at Fairyland Club on Lookout Mountain. The view is incredible and my older sister was married there as well. I want a wedding that is full of our personalities and southern hospitality. I’ve chosen a muted blue-jadite and mustard for the color scheme.
    Your site always has so many unique details and creative ideas I love it! Happy Birthday!

  9. Wow, Three years. It feels like yesterday that my sister told me about your wonderful site & I have been enjoying your unique weddings every since. Congrats!

  10. Happy Birthday!
    I adore your site for inspiration! Our wedding will be clean, chic and lovely, with emphasis on plush, textured white flowers, earthy green foilage and navy accents. The wedding and reception are being held in an intimate outdoor garden and a renovated warehouse-turned-loft with spectacular views of the Indianapolis skyline, exposed brick walls and hardwood floors. :-)

  11. Happy Birthday Once Wed!I am getting married in the fall in a completely white loft space. I am in love with bold colors so it is the perfect space to showcase the colors I am in love with. I am also a HUGE fan of interior design blogs, there are so many I look at obsessively everyday I barely get anything else done (dress design decor, design sponge, decorology, living etc. magazine just to name a few) I really want my wedding to be a direct representation of how I would decorate/style my home….white as the base color and then add unexpected crazy pops of color here and there……making it exciting, fun, fresh, and modern. I am also in love with anything confetti system, I somehow want the décor to reflect my fiancé and I’s quirky sense of style and ultimately to make my wedding feel like one big party!

  12. Happy B-day Once Wed! Our wedding is in a ballroom downtown Omaha. We want it to center around a European Romance theme. The ballroom we are using is already beautiful but I would like ideas on how to add our own personal touch to keep it from being a cookie cutter wedding. I know kind of what our color scheme is going to be as well so finding ways to incorporate this would be helpful. Lastly I really could use some direction on the bridesmaid dresses. I want them to be simple but also to fit the beautiful venue. Thanks for the opportunity!

  13. Happy Birthday! As a fellow wedding blogger I am truly in awe of what you do and look to Once Wed for inspiration! Your sites is one of my tops blogs and everything you do is done with pure heartfelt grace and beauty! Keep up the amazing work and I honestly hope to some day have a blog as cool and beautiful as yours!!

  14. My Grandmother, Mother and I are doing most of the wedding. We are getting married in late Septmeber at our other farm under a big Oak Tree with the reception held by the barn. We are wanting a very relaxed country theme but, yet still eloquent. We have gotten alot of neat ideas from your site and my mother checks it every day for more! I’m growing most of the flowers for the bouquets.
    It will be a whole weekend event! Love your site! We will still be checking your site even after my wedding! My Maid of Honor is also my younger sister and she will also be getting ideas from your site! My mother said, “She wished this site had been available when she and my father were married 26 years ago!”

  15. My fiance and I are both soon-to-be architecture graduates, so we love contemporary feel with traditional touches. We’re getting married in a quaint white chapel and holding the reception in an art gallery. Our colors are yellow, green, grey, and white. We’re getting married October 13, 2012, so we want to infuse lots of beautiful fall florals and clean lines.

  16. My fiance and I are planning a September wedding on a mountain lake in northeast Georgia. We’ll be saying our vows atop his family’s boathouse with sweeping views of the Blue Ridge mountains.

    Some of my favorite wedding details so far (besides my groom!) include our floral designer, Amy Osaba; the clean lines of my Amsale dress; the paper goods hand-painted by a dear friend; my Great Aunt’s 100-year-old engagement ring; and the vintage charm of our lakeside setting.

    I would love the opportunity to bring Joy’s creativity into the mix! I really identify with her nature-meets-glamour aesthetic. Our late-summer fete will blend the rustic beauty of the natural world with a healthy dose of Southern elegance.

    Nick Carraway’s quote from “The Great Gatsby” says it best:

    “There was music from my neighbor’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.”

    If only for one night, I hope to capture a bit of that enchantment.

    Happy Birthday Once Wed!

  17. Happy Birthday! Three years…the same amount of time my fiance and I have been together :)

    My fiance and I are planning a romantic, elegant spring wedding with a “book/literary” theme (my fiance will be staring a PhD program in English lit and I’m a law student!). We met in college as English majors and have a love for reading.

    We are getting married underneath a pergola filled with wisteria and having the reception in an historic estate, all on the same grounds.

    Our wedding colors are pink, gold and cream. I have a champagne colored dress and my bridesmaids have pink dresses. We sent out bookmarks as save the dates and plan on having books and flowers for our centerpieces. I love pink peonies, so we are also incorporating those.

    Thanks for the opportunity and congrats again!

  18. Happy Birthday Once Wed! Your site inspires me daily for my upcoming wedding in October! I visit the site everyday in anticipation of something new. My wonderful fiancé and I are getting married in a rustic barn in Northeastern PA this fall. We have been creating new and off beat ways to make our day uniquely ours, including hand stamping our save the dates on tea stained tags, compiling my great grandfathers vintage school books and my grandmothers original lace curtains that hung in their home decades ago in hopes of incorporating them into our centerpieces and décor. Our entire wedding is inspired by our family’s history and our mutual obsession with barn & yard sales. We have so many great ideas that we want to incorporate but with the barn being already so wonderfully aesthetic on its own would love some direction on how to do incorporate those ideas without taking away from our simple and lovely rustic wedding.

  19. Congrats!! I LOVE your website! It’s so inspirational…!

    I’m an italian astrophysicist who lives in Germany (for the moment). I live my life between Heidelberg and Milan (where my love lives), and I’m always flying around to spend some precious time with him! Our wedding will be on June 25th, in my hometown in Tuscany. The ceremony will be celebrated in Arezzo’s ancient town hall by my brother (yep), and the reception will take place in our garden. We want our reception to be both rustic and elegant, and we’ve got a lot of lovely ideas from your website! Above all: little light bulbs hanging from the beautiful oaks we have (remember that lovely Malibu wedding?).
    Thank you sooo much for the inspiration, you are precious!


  20. happy birthday! so glad i found your blog today : )

    my fiance and i are getting married on 11.5.11 at xix restaurant on the 19th floor of the bellevue hyatt in philadelphia. it’s a gorgeous space that overlooks the cityscape. we’re going for a 1940s/50s elegant cocktail lounge feel and are looking to infuse our day with a chic vintage vibe.

  21. Congrats all!

    Joy – My fiance and I are getting married in the fall at a kids’ summer camp. We are going to have a talent show and have people stay in cabins, etc. I think some of the tricks will be respecting the existing design of the camp and finding that balance between rustic, beautiful and a kitschy sleepaway camp theme. Also, figuring what to splurge on versus what to save on – what to provide people versus what to have them bring.

    Okay – it’d be awesome to have you help!

    Thanks, Hillary

  22. Happy birthday Once Wed! I first discovered your site more than a year ago when my fiancé and I were just beginning to talk about marriage, and I can honestly say your site is what gave me the courage and inspiration to have a tiny wedding (a.k.a. the wedding we dreamed of, not the one everyone dreamed of for us). We are marrying this August in front of just nine members of our immediate families and we’ve already ironed out most of the details, so I’ll leave the styling genius of Joy for someone else to win…I just wanted to say thank you and congratulations, Emily. You have created a site that is not only a stylish resource, but it is also a reality check about the love and meaning that weddings are meant to be all about.

  23. oh my goodness, where to even start. my cute boy and i have been together four years and we are just barely surviving the real world outside of college. we are paying for our own wedding, so oncewed has been a faithful resource for all things crafty, beautiful and DIY.

    we would like to get married next summer in san luis obispo, the small coastal town where we met. we don’t want anytime too fancy, just something outside, casual and warm. lots of colors, eclectic flowers and vases, twinkle lights, bbq, baskets of peaches, strawberries, apricots, lemons, oranges, etc. we want our friends and family to eat, drink and dance and just have the best time with everyone.

    other than that, i just want to spend the whole day and night in the arms of my fiance. he is my whole world.

    thanks oncewed for everything and happy happy birthday to you! you are so great and cute :)

  24. Happy birthday Once Wed! I just started reading you but I already love you.

    We’re trying to plan a beach wedding in Northern California. We want to roast a whole animal as part of our commitment to sustainable eating and local organic food. I’m also hoping to incorporate a theme of travel & books, both elements that are very important to our relationship. There will also be a lot of purple involved!

  25. I’m getting married in LA in September 2011. While I’ve booked most of my vendors, I’m starting to be a little nervous about the wedding details that really makes the wedding us.

    I’m Indonesian, he’s American Taiwanese. I definitely want to bring in my Indonesian heritage into the picture, there are ideas in my mind but I’m not able to make it concrete yet. Loveee the work of Joy, the marrying of ethereal, comfy and elegant. Something I’d love to achieve.


    and happy birthdayyy!! get a cupcake haha

  26. Happy birthday, Once Wed! I’m getting married in October near Burlington, Vermont. We’re having an outdoor Jewish ceremony, and we’re going for a “rustic chic” kind of vibe, full of natural and organic touches, including locally grown in-season food (plus mini cupcakes and pies). We like bright colors for flowers and decor (like orange, marigold and magenta accented with turquoise), and overall want a fun, casual vibe. Oh, and I picked a blush pink dress!

  27. Your website has been such an inspiration to me as I plan my wedding and I admire the courage you had to do something you are truly passionate about. We are getting married at Villa Fiorentino in Positano, Italy with 20 of our closest friends and family. We will all be staying together at the villa for 4 days. I have never been to Italy and have been planning everything from home.

  28. Congratulations- three years of wonderful inspiration! Oncewed has been my favorite wedding blog and I love sharing the link with my engaged friends. I am never disappointed with the quality of the content of this site. Thank you for all your hard work!

    Our wedding is in exactly 7 months! This October my fiance and I will be getting married on Lake Champlain in Grand Isle Vermont. This weekend is the peak season for the amazing Vermont fall foliage.

    Our wedding style is “rustic elegant” and our colors are muted navy with gold we will also incorporate a small amount of blue-hued tartan. I am going for a timeless look and feel. Our ceremony will take place by the water and will follow with a whiskey toast.

    I am having trouble explaining our vision of the big day to my mother and the wedding coordinator so a consultation with Joy Thigpen and an inspiration board would be very helpful!

    Thanks again!

  29. Just wanted to wish you a very happy 3rd birthday! It’s such a huge accomplishment. You should be so proud :) Cheers!

  30. Our wedding is taking place in the grand white marble foyer of a museum in upstate NY. I want the feeling to be whimsy mixed with opulence. Peach, gold, and mint will be the dominant colors with lots of mercury glass votives. I love the idea of incorporating marbled paper into the decor. I would love some help making this vision more of a reality!

  31. Hello hello and happy birthday! To tell a little about Anthony and my wedding: we are getting married July 30, 2011 in Columbus, OH. The ceremony and reception are located in a very urban brick exposed building over looking down town. While keeping that in mind we are going for a very DIY inspired earthy feel. I think that the contrast between the hardness of the brick and skyline next to the burlap with lace table runners and wine bottles with peonies and hydrangeas the contrast will be beautiful. If we think its possible, we are doing it DIY. Save-the-dates, invites, centerpieces, flower girl outfits, all the pies (no cake!) for dessert just to name a few! We could really use the consultation because (on a whim) Anthony and I have yet another DIY project. Our honeymoon! We have bought a 1970 Shasta camper that we (and I mean mostly he) is renovating. Ill link the blog of it below. Anyway, there is a ton on our plate and since we are both first (and last) timers at this whole wedding planning thing we would like to know how we are doing! Thanks :)

  32. Happy Bday Once Wed! My fiance and I grew up in two bordering Boston suburbs but actually met in a far away city, which is strange because that’s just how my parents met! The ceremony will be in his hometown and the reception in mine. Although the reception will be at a country club we want to make sure to keep it completely free of stuffiness which I’m finding to be pretty tricky. We’re hoping to do it with nontraditional invitations, flowers, a spread of pies instead of cake, and somehow incorporating some great vintage maps into the decor. We could really use some help!

  33. This better be the 3rd of many to come. Its such a joy reading your blog.

    I’m getting married in June and I am dying for some inspiration and guidance with my ceremony location. I emailed in some photos a few days ago asking for help and this might be my answer! We have a very natural inspired colour scheme for everything else but I am just stumped as to how to transform our outdoor space. Please help!

  34. Happy Birthday to you Once Wed! Today is my Birthday also the big 24! It’s crazy to think it is my last one as Marks! I am looking forward to my wedding that is fast approaching. Evan and I have accomplished so much in the past year and can’t wait to celebrate our personal success as a couple at our West Virginia Winery wedding on JUNE 25. So far we have all the basics planned and hope to get everything just right so our 140 guest will take home a piece of our love. Our ceremony is outdoors in front of a stone wine cellar with an indoor dinner to follow. After we cut the cake our guest will retune outdoors to dance under the stars for the remainder of the night. I would have to say my only stress for the whole event is the transitions from outdoor to indoor back outdoors. Thank you for my daily fix of pretty, I will always be a follower of your site even after my special day has past…

  35. Happy 3rd–what a blessing!

    Actually, my hubby and I are coming up on five years and I am hoping to do a vow renewal this summer…our friend circle changed drastically after our marriage, and I would love to celebrate our lives together with the friends and family we have together here in Chicago. We often talk about our wedding and then say to our friends, “I can’t believe we didn’t know you then!” I’m hoping for a simple ceremony in a gorgeous, French-style garden near our home, with pale blues and greys as the colors–a light, sweet affair that highlights our love for one another and our friends. I would loooove Joy’s help!

  36. Happy Birthday!
    The theme of my wedding is country-sweet-vintage-y-casual. We made linocuts for the invitations. The bridesmaids are wearing navy (home-sewn) dresses and carrying pink flowers. The bouquets will be wrapped with gingham flowers.
    The only thing left to do is convince my mother that the family will not disown her if there are no tablecloths on the tables!

  37. Happy Happy Birthday (:

    I am marrying my high school sweetheart the week after we graduate from college (he with a business degree, me with a BFA in Art and Visual Culture Education.. opposites attract right?)so needless to say it is going to be crazy… a little help refining my vision would be unimaginably helpful and urgently needed!

    We will marry on a farm in Arizona (near where I grew up) on May 21.. The bridesmaid dresses are “seaweed green” (olive) and my mom’s dress is “espresso”.. The best way I can describe a palette is “earthy.”

    Words that come to mind are: Elegant, Whimsical, Ethereal, Homespun, Organic. And things I love (which tend to inform my vision) include mismatched china, my dog (Paisley), art, food!, thrift shops where the “sticker of the day” directly corresponds to the sticker on the things I want, the sale section of Anthropologie, and the freckle below my fiance’s left eye. I want to fold a thousand origami butterflies to string from the trees! I want to set up a photobooth to utilize the mustache ring I made in metalworks class! I want to eat lots of food made by my friends and family! I want my bridesmaids and I to make our own bouquets from locally grown flowers! Most of all, I want to be able to focus my vision enough that I could hand my friends and family, who are helping with EVERYTHING, a printed image of my inspiration board and say “I love you for helping me, I know I’m crazy, but THIS is what I am trying to do!”


  38. Our wedding is in the pacific northwest. One of my favorite colors is sage and I am hoping to work around this color. Your inspiration boards are so gorgeous and I’m really hoping I win this! Congrats on 3 years OnceWed!

  39. WOW that dress is just FABULOUSNESS!!! The perfect way to celebrate your 3rd birthday! Congrats to you. I adore Once Wed and can’t wait for many more years of goodness!

    And Joy Thigpen? Someone is gonna be a very lucky girl ;-) Good luck to all!


  40. Happy Birthday!! Cheers to 3 more years of your beautiful blog!

    Our wedding will be sweet and romantic, with bursts of 50’s rock and roll. My honey loves the 50’s, but I am struggling with how to incorporate that aspect seamlessly!

  41. Congratulations Once Wed! :)

    My fiance and I met 11 years ago…it was my first day of high school! We are excited to get married this summer at San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito, California. It will be a small, intimate wedding with a rustic/organic touch! In terms of flowers, I plan on hopefully using wildflowers in soft pastel shades but am still undecided with colors…yikes! With about 3 months left until the big day, I would greatly appreciate your advice since I admire your style! We were lucky enough to book my favorite photographer, Jose Villa, and I have noticed that many of the beautiful weddings he photographs have been designed by you!

  42. i’m a really old bride, 51, getting married for the first time. my married name will be alison alison. we’ll be married in our home in late september with 7 witnesses, emerging to whoops and huzzahs from friends and family out on the street, which is where the large reception will be: long tables, family style platters of grilled veggies and polenta, bottles of wine and jugs of water passed hand to hand, white linen tablecloths, taper candles, masses of cafe au lait dinnerplate dahlias in campo di fiori pedestals (i’m a florist), comfort and laughter and ease…the next day we leave for portofino, italy, and one year down the road we will look back at our wedding photos and remark about how young we looked!

  43. Congratulations! I enjoy your blog every day – such beautiful entries. So classy and fun. Here’s to the future! :)

  44. First of all…CONGRATS! I wish you wrote a little more on why you decided to start this website, but that’s ok if you can’t.

    Anyways, my wedding…I have 400 invited guests. What more is to say? Haha. Oh yes, and a third of them is JUST my IMMEDIATE side of the family (first cousins, aunts, uncles, and cousins kids). Having such a large family has definitely influenced the way I am today. In terms of the style of my wedding, it’s going to be vintage with a dash of whimsical touches. I’m incorporating a lot of my parents and fiance’s parents old pictures (black/white and vintage colored pics). That’s why my theme is called, “Making Memories. So far,I have been collecting a lot of vintage picture frames as the table numbers. I’m planning to make my own DIY photo booth with lots of cute and fun props like mustaches, veils, picture frames, etc. The ceremony will be an outdoor garden and half of the reception room walls just windows which faces the garden, bridges, and pond. I’m also planning to rent some antique items (furniture, tables, vases, etc.) to infuse the vintage touch to it. After the wedding is over, I hope the guests will leave thinking our wedding was: fun, romantic, memorable, vintage, and meaningful.

  45. We will (finally) get married this summer and are trying our best to let our both cultures melt togehter in a festival of color and fun. For us environmental-friendly is a core value and will be a theme for the party.

  46. Oh wow happy 3rd birthday Once Wed! You have been such an inspiration for my wedding over a year ago and I still keep reading your posts :)

  47. Happy Birthday, and Congrats on maintaining a fabulous website for 3 years!

    Andrew and I will be married in March 2012. Sounds like a long time to plan, but not if you’re planning it from another country! We currently live in the UK, but plan on moving back to beautiful Cape Town in Feb, and celebrating our return with a wedding (as one does…).

    At the moment we’re looking long and hard to find the perfect venue. Cape Town is well known for it’s beautiful wine farms and vineyard wedding venues, but we’re looking for something a little different. Something that celebrates the mountain and sea views we’ve seriously missed since leaving South Africa. Luckily we have loads of friends and family in Cape Town who have offered to help by visiting venues and taking loads of pictures.

    Since myself and my 2 younger siblings have been traveling for the past 3 years, this will also be the first time the whole family is back together and that’s really inspired the theme of the wedding. A big family and love themed Portuguese celebration! Filled with good traditional food and live music, we want our guests to love every minute of it – that really is very important to us.

    We would really love Joy’s help to create a unique wedding experience for our 120 guests!

  48. Happy B-day OnceWed! Since 2009 you’ve been “handed down” amongst my group of friends & you’ve provided inspiration to us all – 1 beautiful wedding so far and 2 in the works, incl. my own!

    I’ve never the type to harbor grand plans for my wedding; I consider myself something of a minimalist so the idea of pew bows and hundreds of matching vases filed with glass beads always made me shudder a bit. Then a dear friend got engaged and introduced me to the world of ‘real wedding’ blogs, beginning with OnceWed. I was inspired by what I saw! When my fiance, Adam, proposed not long after my friend’s wonderfully unique and beautiful wedding, I began constructing my own plans to make our wedding a reflection of me, Adam, and our fun-loving relationship :)

    We are going to be married on Oct. 1 and Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids, IA. Weather permitting, we will be married in a meadow and the reception will be held in a historic barn (turned “dance barn” during the prohibition – there’s a bar in the basement complete with barstools made of old tractor seats!!!). I fell in love with this setting as it is not far from the farm in central Iowa where I grew up and Adam loves it for it’s unique history and all of the fun there is to be had there! Canoeing, horseback riding, biking (they have a two seater!), hiking, camping, hayrack rides, stargazing… to name a few. We hope to incorporate as much of this nature-themed fun as we can into our wedding, however we have the challenge of counting on the weather and managing a large number of people, incl. a large… non-traditional, wedding party. I have lots of ideas but could really use some help balancing praticality with unbridled creativity :)

    Our theme is romantic-vintage and environmentally friendly. My cotton wedding dress was designed by Lindee Daniel, a sustainable designer out of southern CA. The ladies in our wedding party will be wearing dresses of their choice in muted tones. The morning of the wedding we plan to send a small army to a nearby farmer’s market to buy flowers which we will arrange amongst succulents in the collection of containers I’ve been gathering from varios thrift and Goodwill stores. These are just a few of our concrete plans. We have many more ideas in the works and again, could really use Joy’s advice in bringing them all together. I was delighted to find in this post that Joy was responsible for the design of Eileen and TJ’s wedding… it is my most recent “favorite weddings of all time” – absolutely breathtaking!

    Many thanks for the opportunity and keep up the great work OnceWed (& Joy)!

  49. Congratulations Emily! It’s been awesome to watch from the sidelines as Once Wed has grown and morphed into this unbelievably inspiring website. It’s where I go to indulge my imagination.

  50. Congrats Oncewed! So happy for you Emily!

    My wedding is in May, a very handmade wedding. It’s taking place at the church that my fiance and I started attending together 3 years ago. We’re having the reception at a country club with a cool history of sneaking in alcohol during the prohibition era. I so far have made the sashes for my flowergirl dresses, made the flowergirl baskets, embroidered 30 hoops with our initials for each table, I’m in the works of embroidering a large “welcome” hoop, an idea from the “Handmade Weddings” book. I’m arranging my flowers with my girlfriends and sisters, I was going to make my bridesmaids dresses until my mom talked me out of it, saying I’d lose my mind… (she was right, I would have) But God has belped me in all my planning, providing discounts and deals that have allowed me to just barely tip toe out of my already low budget. He actually deserves all the credit for everything I’ve done so far, I would’ve screwed it up by now without His helping hand.

  51. Congratulations on three years! Do you have any advice for those of us that are thinking of starting a blog?

  52. This colour board is perfect for my wedding! Nude, white and grey with pops of black comprise the colours of my palette! Since our September wedding is being held in Toronto’s historic Distillery District, in a large converted industrial loft space, I wanted a tonal/muted colour palette to soften the space. I wouldn’t say that we have any particular ‘theme’, though I have been describing the wedding as a dichotomy between urban minimalism and lush luxury when anyone asks. Because the space is so unique (and large), the focus is on textural elements that will have big impact.

    Of course the main focus (other than the actual marriage) is to have a super fun party that can be enjoyed by everyone! It would be so wonderful to consult with Joy on all of the ideas that are rolling around in my head for it!

  53. We are getting married Sat, Sept 17 at the Marivmon in LA. Kind of my dream venue …. but that also makes it tricky. The venue has lots going on, from flea market odds and ends to antique-y and lounge-y furniture to a living wall full of succulents! We decided on coral and gray and dark green, but that’s where my ideas stop. I’d love lots of candles but I have no ideas when it comes to including our colors into decor without competing with the cool stuff that’s already at the venue. Joy would be amazingly helpful!

  54. I’m facing the very fun but daunting challenge of planning a destination wedding while also in a long-distance relationship with my fiance (2,000 away while I”m in San Francisco). My fiance wants to be involved with every step of the process. I’m having a great time planning and love my fiance for being so into it, but I’m having a hard time keeping everyone in communication (vendors/fiance/parents/in-laws) and still keep moving forward on all the details! Wedding is 5.5 months away!! We’re going for a low-key vintage feel that is comfortable and a reflection of us. My next task is to focus on table settings, reception decor and decide on flowers. Yay!

  55. Happy Birthday OnceWed! I am so appreciative that after those six months you were brave enough to to share with all of us your inspirational blog. It has been a boost of creativity and also a comfort through my two year long-distance engagement. Thank you! Derek and I will celebrate our wedding in Kauai, Hawaii, where I grew up. I live in Florida now and with the little time I have outside of college I spend planning our event.

    Our destination wedding is outdoors under a kukui nut tree at Kahili Mountain, Kauai 7.2.11. I spent nine years of my childhood at this place and it’s such a spiritual haven for the two of us. With an intimate group of our closest friends and family we will embark on an exciting wedding weekend focused on love, relationships and making memories.

    The events of that weekend are still being pieced together but we will start the weekend with a bonfire at the beach and a lighting of the lanterns (representing our passed grandparents). The lanterns will be lit and displayed through the entire weekend.

    The next morning we will follow a trail up the mountain and have a breakfast picnic. In the afternoon we will have the ceremony performed by my Father in law to be. All the music will be done by gracious friends, both sung and on strings with originally composed music.Our first date was an afternoon tea and since then tea has been a big deal. My aunt collected tea cups for everyone and my uncle is handcrafting a special tea pot to use that day. Everyone will partake in the tea ceremony. After that we’ll head to a friend’s plantation house for dinner and dancing to live jazz.
    The next day will be a traditional Hawaiian luau honoring our culture at a family garden where my mother was married.

    That’s been my main ideas and I feel that I’ve been kinda stuck everywhere else. I have a difficult time with the little details and color plans but I know I like the creams with lavender lime and navy blues. The three groomsmen are wearing browns and the ladies are wearing the different colors as we continue to shop and find dresses we like. My aunt is a florist in Hawaii so I also have good options for local flowers.

    I’ve been really needing some professional thoughts on where to go next and what to do because as time keeps ticking I start to feel more and more anxious about the loose ends. Joy would be such an asset and a peace of mind to talk to and be inspired by.

    I continue to ”ooh” and “ah” over all your blogs and will probably do so long after our wedding day. Thank you again and as we say in hawaiian “hau’oli la hanau”!

  56. oh my gosh! its SO fun to read about all of your ideas!!! its actually really inspiring and makes me even more happy about the work we do. thank you!

  57. It’s a relief to know that brides like myself are going through the same challenges and can take it day by day with a little help from a creative friend named Once Wed. I’m so excited to be part of the OnceWed team as a photographer advertising on your site and look forward to photographing some awesome brides and capturing their beautiful ideas.

    Happy Birthday!

    xoErin Ashford

  58. Happy Birthday, Once Wed! Thank you for all the ideas over the past year!

    We are having a wedding that just yells YAY SPRING at the top of it’s lungs! We’re growing all the flowers that will be used (daffadils, tulips, hyacinths, crocus’, etc!), the colors are yellow and grey with splashes of pink throughout. The girls will be carrying vintage umbrellas in a nod to the “April showers bring May flowers” (the wedding is April 16th) and the location is at a country club overlooking the Great Egg Harbor Bay and Altantic City

  59. Happy 3rd Birthday! Your website has inspired me so many times and I have found it so helpful in the planning. Now I have all these great ideas and if I could tie them all together it would be amazing. We are getting married in September and I need some help b/c it’s coming up quickly and I have all these little things I love and just need the vision to tie it all together. We are getting married on a marina, the views are beautiful (weather pending) I want my bridemaids to chose their own dresses b/c I want their personalities and the beautiful women they are to shine through. I got that idea from your site, I also found my dress through your site. Once Wed has been so instrumental in my planning it would be such an honor to have this be a part of my wedding. When any friends or co-workers get engaged I send them your way. Your site has such a dreamy, ethereal quality that I would only be able to replicate with your help and inspiration. I can’t wait to check your site as I know I will always love whatever pops up.
    Congrats on the anniversary and I know there is so many more to come.

  60. Happy Birthday to OnceWed!! I do not know WHAT I’d do without the people who contribute to making this blog a truly beautiful and inspirational place for DIY brides like myself!

    My fiance and I got engaged this past November. I am student teaching and unable to plan my wedding at this point in time, but I go to OnceWed every day just to glance at some beautiful flower bouquets, photography, dresses, and other items of inspiration for my wedding. It will be happening this fall, although we do not have an exact date yet. Probably November. I like very neutral, subtle, subdued colors like beige, sand, khaki, and ivory. My fiance and I both love being outside, but are getting married in church since we are very religious and traditional. Because we both enjoy nature, we will be incorporating some greens as well. We are both considered “artsy” people and love design, style, and photography.

  61. Happy Birthday from one of your Irish fellow bloggers and huge fans! This site was the first one I came across that really helped me with my vision for my wedding…I was thrilled to find you. Keep doing what you’re doing – love it! x

  62. My wedding will be in November on an island in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. We chose November since that is when the sea turtles will be hatching! My fiance used to do research on the island we will be vacationing on, so it will be an important trip for us since he hasn’t been back in over 10 years. I make button jewelry, so buttons will be an important theme and the color palate will be yellow and navy. Since I am very crafty, almost everything will be handmade.

    Happy birthday Once Wed! Thank you for hosting this lovely give away and for being a wonderful source of inspiration!

  63. wow! thanks so much to everyone who took the time to write in their words of encouragement and exciting plans (which was also encouraging)! it was so so SOOOO hard to pick a winner–holy cow. it sounds like there are some REALLY great weddings in the works and we sincerely hope to see them when its all said and done. in the meanwhile, i’ve chosen Alecia as the winner of the consultation! (though I’d LOVE to chat with every one of you!!!) stay in touch!! –joy

  64. Joy! Thank you so much for choosing me. I am beyond excited to talk with you. I have been a huge fan of your work for a long time. Thank you again!!!!

  65. congratulations emily! i remember meeting you at renegade right as you were launching. it is awesome to see how amazing once wed has become.

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About OnceWed.com

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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