For event planners Laura and Marty, every decision of their wedding was made with sentimental value as a top priority–they wanted their friends and family to be involved in every aspect of their big day. Keeping this in mind, they celebrated their reception in Laura’s parents’ backyard and borrowed as much as they could, including Laura’s gorgeous gown, courtesy of her aunt! Another important piece of their planning revolved around the phrase “All In,” after a song Marty wrote just before he met Laura about how he was looking for someone who was ready to be “all in” a relationship. I’d say he certainly found his girl in Laura!
Hugs to Brooke Bakken for sharing this sweet day with us!
Our top priority for every wedding decision was sentimental value. We really wanted our family and friends to be involved, so we borrowed as much as we could. When I explained the style of dress I was looking for to my mom, she said it reminded her of my aunt’s wedding dress that she wore at her second wedding to my amazing uncle the year after I was born. I was so excited that she allowed me to borrow it and that it fit perfectly, because it made the day that much more special knowing I was wearing my aunt’s dress as I married Marty, for both of our second marriages. There are happy endings… and new beginnings!
My wedding dress and flowers are the two things that got the most recognition! The flowers were gorgeous, and I couldn’t have been more happy with them! I am an event planner, and one of my best friends, Whitney Blair Johnson, does event and floral design. We have worked on several weddings together and know each other’s styles and strengths. When it came time to figure out the flowers, I emailed her the budget, colors, and the items I wanted, and we didn’t have to discuss it again! I completely trust Whitney’s artistic abilities and knew that the flowers would be amazing, and she did not disappoint! Not knowing exactly what flowers and combinations she had chosen was an added element of surprise on our wedding day.
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? Both Martin and I are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so getting married in the temple was very important and special to us. We had the reception in my parents’ backyard, which meant the world to me! I moved to Utah this past year and didn’t realize how much I missed home and wanted to get married there until I went back for my first visit. We moved around a lot, but my entire extended family is from Virginia and my parents have lived in this house for ten years, so there are a lot of memories and love shared there!
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! My something borrowed was my aunt’s wedding dress. My something blue were my shoes. My something old was my maternal grandmother’s hairpiece and my paternal grandmother’s ring setting. My something new was my family ring. Marty has three children from his first marriage, so Cheryl Fuller (one of my bridesmaid’s moms) made Marty’s wedding band, as well as spoon rings for our entire family. Since their Daddy was giving me a ring on our wedding day, we thought it’d be sweet to give rings to the children, too!
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. A song Marty wrote called “All In” played a huge part in our wedding. He finished writing this song an hour before we met, and the main point was that he was ready and looking for someone who was ready to be “All In” a relationship. Both of us had experienced relationships with people who were living out of a place of fear and would not be vulnerable, and we had both usually been the person giving everything to a relationship without getting much in return. Man, does it feel good to be “all in” with someone who is prepared and ready to do the same! We hashtagged every picture on social media with #palmersallin, starting with our post announcing our engagement! We built a stage in my parents’ backyard, and Marty and several groomsmen performed throughout the evening. He obviously sang “All In,” but also convinced me to sing a song with him that he wrote for me! I am not a singer but I adore my husband enough to do something that was WAY out of my comfort zone!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Marty’s sister, Darcie Palmer Sanders, has been making wedding cakes for years. She made our cake at my parents’ home, so we were able to smell and taste test it as we were prepping the reception! Marty and I both grew up moving around, so instead of serving a meal to our guests, we served desserts from each place we’ve lived. My mom is an amazing baker and she took on all the food by herself! At the last minute, we added in a few savory items as well.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? My parents’ backyard looked so magical with the globe lights hanging and candles glowing. There was a moment during someone’s performance (probably Marty’s) when I felt like I just needed to pinch myself because this was real life, MY real life. I just grabbed the closest person to me, who happened to be our photographer! I’m sure she was in vendor mode instead of family mode, because she quickly asked what I needed, and I just said, “I love you!”
How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met at a house show and hit it off immediately! Marty is a musician, and I noticed him from the moment he played his first song. When one of my friends and I got up to leave, the host asked if we could take a group picture. Marty and I started talking while everyone tried to get situated behind us. We were blocking everyone’s view of the photographer, and without saying a word to each other about it, we both started pretending like the pictures were just being taken of us! We kept flirting and being silly while the pictures were being taken. When my friend and I were about to leave, he came straight over and asked for my number. My friend was quickly distracted by other people, so Marty and I continued our conversation, and it went from super silly to super serious. I immediately knew that he was someone worth getting to know!
Tell us all about the proposal! Soon after Marty and I met, he took a long trip to California. I found myself wanting to simply be with him. It was a VERY bold move on my part, but I asked if I could join him, and he picked me up from the San Jose airport a day later. At the end of the trip, we flew home into the Provo Airport, so airports now hold significance to us because of these special memories. The night we got engaged, Marty blindfolded me and took me out to Utah Lake, where the Provo airport is. He took off my blindfold facing the beautiful lake and mountains, and I immediately knew where I was and the significance of the location. We found a spot to sit down, and Marty proceeded to pull out three pages of notes–he was worried that he’d forget some of the things he wanted to say! We laughed and cried as he read/told me how he felt. I absolutely love that he wrote everything out because I can reread it whenever I want! My favorite line was, “You are worthy of the greatest love. The kind you give. And if you want me, I want you forever.” We loved this so much that we made a sign of that quote to hang at our wedding and later in our home.
When did y’all get married? August 30, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? Less than $10,000
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We were lucky to have amazingly talented friends and family, so we didn’t have to use any vendors that we didn’t know! Another thing that helped cut cost was borrowing items. We spent very little on decor and we were super creative with any of the items we did spend money on.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Choose details that give you the biggest bang for your buck. Try to think of larger items to display that will set the tone instead of something small and time-consuming.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? During our wedding planning, we realized how well we work together, so we’ve been talking about possibly purchasing or building a wedding venue!
Photographer: Brooke Bakken / Planner: Martin and Laura Palmer / Ceremony Venue: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Washington DC Temple / Florist: Whitney Blair Johnson / Cake Baker: Darcie Palmer Sanders / Rentals: Party Rental, LTD / Band: Copper Quail / Paper Products: Color Quick Printing / Wedding Band and Family Rings: Cheryl Fuller / Performances: Arete Entertainment