Few things tug at my heartstrings quite like a military wedding. The special love and loyalty that Christy and Rob share, which I think is so characteristic of military couples, shines through these pictures! Their vintage-inspired, DIY wedding was a true labor of love, as Christy and Rob collected decor and mismatched china from every corner of the country to use at their barn reception. After vowing to go wherever the Navy may take them, but to always find their way back to one another (so romantic!), they danced the night away to their favorite country songs. Y’all must know that we adore the idea of ending a reception with a family line dance!
Special thanks to Stephanie Fay for sending us this sweet wedding to share!
We met at a Halloween party in Frederick, MD in 2007. We both noticed each other right away and Rob eventually mustered up the courage to talk to me but we left that evening without exchanging numbers. A week later, I mentioned Rob to my best friend Krystal (who threw the party) and told her how handsome Rob was. A few days later, Rob found me on Facebook and for the next five months we talked over the phone and computer while I studied abroad in Italy. One week after returning from Italy, I drove down to Maryland for my best friend’s (as well as Rob’s brother’s) graduation and Rob took me on our first real date. For the next four years, we did long-distance and saw each other every three weeks.
Christy’s style is right up my alley–I love her Plum Pretty Sugar getting-ready robe (in my favorite print, no less!) and her simply elegant gown!
Finding my gown was a lot easier then I thought it would be. While I was on a wedding blog, I completely fell in love with a gown that I saw a bride wearing. Sometimes you don’t even have to try a gown on to know it’s yours. The only hard part was finding the gown to try it on, but once I found it, it fit me exactly how I knew it would. The best part about my gown was that it had pockets!
Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes! Doing a first look was probably one of the best things we could have done. We were so excited to see each other and it made the rest of the day so relaxed for us. Getting all the pre-wedding jitters out really made the day a breeze and we were able to enjoy moments together that you normally wouldn’t get to do without having a first look.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote our own vows. Rob mentioned that he’d love me no matter how many times he had to replace a bumper on the Denali (I “lightly” bumped his SUV into something the week prior while I was in New Jersey and he was in Mississippi). We also vowed to go wherever the Navy may take us and to always find our way back to each other, no matter what life throws our way.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? During the ceremony my cousin, Dr. G. Drue Smethers, said some kind words about love, faithfulness, and growing together. He talked about how Rob and I grew closer with them while living nearby in San Diego, CA, our passion for each other, and our adventurous nature that always made us up for something new or spontaneous.
These yellow chairs are one of my favorite details about Christy and Rob’s wedding. They really pop against the wood in the barn!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? If you’re a DIY vintage bride like me, start collecting everything early from rummage sales, thrift stores and antique stores. If you’re making a lot of the details yourself, have a plan and write down a project to do each week to keep yourself organized. If you know exactly what you want, go for it; don’t be afraid to be different or unique, even when people around you might think you’re crazy at times! Get to know your vendors really well and make sure you trust them fully. If something doesn’t feel right to you, they probably aren’t a good fit for your wedding. It’s important to choose vendors that you are completely happy with and whose style fits in well with your wedding.
The most memorable moment for us, besides looking at each other while walking down the aisle, was standing in the middle of our reception and seeing all of our friends and family surrounding us. It was the first time everyone was in one spot together and we will never forget it!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were getting ready to go to a Christmas Eve party in NJ three weeks before Rob’s second deployment. Right before we walked out the door, Rob got down on one knee. I was shocked, to say the least, to see Rob holding such a beautiful ring! My response was, “You’re doing this right now?” and then Rob asked, “Will you marry me”? I said YES and gave him a kiss! Rob originally had “a plan” on how he was going to surprise me, but since our life is so crazy and nothing planned is set in stone with the Navy life, it was no surprise the proposal was spontaneous.
When did y’all get married? June 22, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 110
Describe your wedding flowers. I really wanted the flowers to look organic and chic to add to the vintage feel of our wedding. I wanted to incorporate colors that were soft and pastel. After almost eight months of searching, I came across a bouquet by Floral & Bloom Designs on a fellow photographer’s blog. I immediately fell in love with her work! After I met with the owner, Rachel, I knew I found the perfect florist. We were both on the same page and I basically told her “it’s your show; I want you to have fun with it. Be creative and do your thing.” All of the florals for the wedding were absolutely breathtaking and I couldn’t have been happier. I’m so grateful I found Rachel at Florals & Bloom Designs and I highly recommend her!
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Instead of having a traditional cake, we wanted a dessert bar that had a mix of different things. We had a mini cake that was made just for Rob and I by Rob’s aunt. The cupcakes and macrons were ordered from Pearl Cupcake in Richmond and were delicious! We also added in some glazed munchkins from Dunkin’ Donuts and my mom made chocolate cookies for us!
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: There were so many favorite details from our wedding, but I think our favorite was the photo booth that Rob and my dad built. All of the guests enjoyed it and it was a lot of fun seeing both of our families taking photos together. To be honest, I think the line for the photo booth was longer then the line for the bar.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! For something borrowed, I wrapped my grandparent’s wedding bands and my grandpa’s dog tags around my bouquet. I borrowed my mother-in-law’s pearl earrings and my garter had blue in it.
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I buried a bottle of bourbon upside down exactly one month before our wedding at our venue in the bourbon garden. I believe it helped bring us good luck because the sun was shinning and it was a gorgeous out the entire day. All of our favorite country songs were played. Rob and I were driven to our barn reception in a cameo Rhino—it was awesome! We ended the night with a family line dance called the Tush Push, which is played to “Achy Breaky Heart” from Billy Ray Cyrus. It’s a must-have tradition by the Smethers family at every wedding.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was trying to plan a DIY vintage wedding while living in different states. We literally started collecting the mismatched china plates in Virginia Beach, and bought everything else in Maryland, New Jersey, California, and Mississippi. Another challenge was organizing all the décor and china plates at Rob’s house in Maryland (he was living in Mississippi at the time). The week of the wedding, we had to do about seven trips back and forth from the venue with an SUV and trailer because we had so much stuff. Another challenge that we faced was finding vendors that were a good fit for our wedding and nailing down the details while living in California. Early on, if something didn’t feel right to us, we weren’t afraid to keep searching until we found vendors that we were happy with.
If you are comfortable responding, what range did your wedding budget fall into? $25,000-$50,000
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I would say the one vendor that we were really happy to have a part of our wedding day was our photographers, Stephanie and Stephen. They flew all the way from Arizona to capture our special day and there are no words I can express for how grateful we are to have had them there. It’s because of them that we are going to have gorgeous images that will last us a lifetime!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Just being married to each other and spending time together, something that we don’t often get to do. With the military, you never know when there’s going to be another deployment or when you’re going to have to move across the country a couple of times in one year (we’ve moved three times in the last 18 months). We want to enjoy every minute that we get with each other! Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most, like cooking together, watching a movie or just going on long drives.
Photographer: Stephanie Fay | Planner: Bride | Ceremony and Reception Venue: The Silverbrook Farm | Florist: Floral & Bloom Designs | Cupcakes and Macarons: Pearl’s Cupcake Shoppe | Caterer: Mosaic Edibles | Vintage Furniture and Reception Chairs: Something Vintage Rentals | Lighting: Mosaic Edibles | DJ: Mattie Fresh | Bride’s Jewelry: Marolsha Etsy Shop | Bride’s Veil: Jefre Bridals | Bride’s Garter: Rose Bud Lips Etsy Shop | Bride’s Clutch: Juneberry Stiches Etsy Shop | Bride’s Gown: Paloma Blanca, Jefre Bridals | Invitation Design: Paper Dolls Design | Envelopes: Paper Source | Burlap Cases, Tags, Labels, Liners, Vintage Stamps, and Wedding Programs: Handmade by the Bride and Groom | Hair Stylist: Mikyla from The Shop Salon | Makeup Artist: Jodi from Ariel Lewis | Bride’s Shoes: Aldo | Groom’s Attire: Banana Republic | Groom’s Tie: Handsome and Lace Etsy Shop | Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan | Rentals: DC Rental | Bridesmaids’ Necklaces: JaeCmaie Etsy Shop | Flower Girls’ Dresses: Kate Feist, Mother of Flower Girls | Favors: The Succulent Source Etsy Shop