Playing on her new last name, Olive, Real Bride Jennica incorporated olives and olive branches into her gorgeous wedding to groom Andrew on the University of Michigan campus.
Date: May 6, 2017
Venues: Ceremony, Zion Lutheran Church, Ann Arbor Michigan. Reception, Michigan League Ballroom, Ann Arbor Michigan.
Photographer: Tiffany Marie Photography
I had the pleasure of attending Jennica and Andrew’s wedding reception as a vendor, and I see a lot of weddings – but theirs was particularly beautiful. The way that the evening light was coming in through the stained glass windows at The Michigan League added to the overall glow and beauty. When Andrew and Jennica performed their first dance, I actually teared up a little bit!
How he proposed: It was December 28, 2015. I had left my family for Christmas for the first time to spend with Andrew and his in Cortina, Italy. Andrew decided to take me on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the Dolomite Mountains in the next town over. Naturally, there was a loud Italian family on our ride with us, but gave Andrew the perfect opportunity to spot out the perfect location. After the ride, Andrew insisted on a walk, while I insisted I needed food. After our lunch, Andrew was still insisting on a walk, so we went and walked a path along the lake. He then proceeded to take me into this field. On one side the Italian Alps, and the other side the lake; it was beautiful. I happened to be in front of him, when he called back to me, and when I turned around, he was down on one knee, with the most beautiful ring with a canary yellow diamond in it. He asked, I said yes, and cried for the next hour and a half.
Makeup: Chelsea Leming Artistry
Hair: All Dolled Up
Caterer: University of Michigan
Officiant: Pastor Jim Debner, Zion Lutheran Church
Florist: Lasting Touch Floral
Wedding Planners: Bride and Groom Jennica and Andrew
Invitations: Since Jennica is a graphic designer, she made her own invitation suite and paper products.
Videographer: No videographer, but did have our service livestreamed through a private link on YouTube from our church
DJ/ Band: Rusch Entertainment
Cake: We had a mini bride and groom cake, and cupcakes, through Kieft’s Cakes in Ann Arbor
Linens: Linen Hero
Chaircovers: We didn’t need chair covers, because we rented Chivari chairs from Lasting Touch Floral
Lighting: Rusch Entertainment
Photobooth: SG Photobooth (rented through Rusch Entertainment)
Favors: We decided to play off of our last name being Olive (an unofficial theme for the wedding) and made our own infused Olive Oils. Truffle, Lemon, Garlic, Herb, and Chili. They were a hit!
Floral Design and colors: (Lasting Touch Floral) I wanted something classic and timeless, but with pops of color. For our centerpieces, we had tall arrangements in gold candelabras, and our shorter ones in gold vases. We trusted the design to our florist, Nicki. We also requested for texture to put some element in there that kind of looked like olives (green Hypericum berries). I love how the green played off of the pinks and purples of the flowers.
Honeymoon: We waited a 2.5 weeks after our wedding for things to calm down again before heading to Greece! We spent most of our time in Crete.
Wedding Party: I had my two sisters, and Andrew had his brother and his best friend. We wanted to keep it simple.
Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Angelo #8630S in ‘Viola’. I wanted my girls to wear something that was classic. I loved the back of their dresses had buttons the whole way up.
Tuxedos/ suits: Men’s Warehouse, Calvin Klein in black with purple vests and ties. Andrew wore a black vest and a black bow tie.
Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero, ‘Prestyn’ in Ivory. I felt like a princess!
Shoes: Jessica Simpson Women’s ‘Mugara Ballet Flat’ in sparkly gold.
Jewelry: House of DeVaughn Bridal in Jackson, MI. I went with a classic look of pearls. I love pearls! For my girls, I just decided to go with some awesome earrings. I am a huge earring lover, so I found some really cool gold earrings from Charming Charlie’s.
Rings: I got a beautiful Tacori ring from Andrew. He did a lot of research and spent a lot of time on the design. It’s got a halo style with a gorgeous canary yellow oval diamond. The groom got an Art-Carved ring. He wanted something a little more simple than mine, and something that had a little bit of a brushed look. Both from the Fabulous Lewis Jewelers in Ann Arbor.
What was your old, new, borrowed, blue? My borrowed and blue was an earring from my sister. My something old was a handkerchief that belonged to my papa, I had it wrapped around the stems of my bridal bouquet with a necklace (my something new) that had some of his ashes in it. He really wanted to walk me down the aisle one day, but he unfortunately passed before that could happen, so in a sense, he still got to in some way.
Vows: Traditional Vows
First Dance Song: ‘The Way you Look Tonight’, by Frank Sinatra. We decided to take dance lessons a few months before and had a choreographed dance.
Hand-made/ DIY Wedding items: We made the favors; infused Olive Oils . I also made all of our wedding invitations/programs/signs.
Most Memorable moment: Seeing Andrew for the first time. We did not do a first look. I saw him and started crying. He put his hand up to his mouth and was teary-eyed. It still makes me cry thinking of it.
FRONT LOAD your project. Andrew and I learned in our career fields to try to do as much earlier on, that way if something is to go wrong or takes longer, you have time to fix those issues. Another thing we did that paid off in the end was having one of my coworkers act as a reception coordinator of sorts. Our church provided us with a Wedding Coordinator for the ceremony, and with the Michigan League setting everything up for us, we really did not see the need to hire someone for the reception. My coworker went before the reception to make sure all of our vendors showed up, and everything was set up accordingly.
What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? Being a graphic designer, it was hard for me to design my own invitations. That was probably one of the longest design processes I ever had to go through. Also, just asking my groom for help. He is always super helpful to begin with, but I felt the need to try and do it alone. We divvied up tasks by our strengths and it worked out great!
Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? Andrew! He was the best. We are both planners because of our jobs, so I think that helped us out in the long run. We both tried sticking to our strengths.
What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? Getting to marry my best friend. You have to remember that this is just a day, and at the end of it all, it is the person who is by your side that is most important.
Which part of the process gave you the most stress? Invitations and seating chart.
What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? Wine! Ha ha. But in all seriousness, my husband was great. I was getting stressed pretty easily, so he would sit me down and we would talk about whatever tasks we had to do. Then we would delegate who would do what, and write a list. I do not know why a pen to paper really made me feel better than the virtual to-do list, but somehow it did. Also, towards the end, I got a few massages!
Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? Everything went perfectly! I am still shocked by that. I listened to so many people who told me to expect something to wrong, so I was almost anticipating it the whole day, but seriously, it was great. I attribute that to the amount of planning we did.
If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? Nothing. I probably would have told myself to relax a little more. I did not realize how stressful wedding planning could be until I did it myself.
What did you do to save money? Me designing our own invitations/ other paper products helped out a ton. I also have a relationship, through work, with a local print shop, which aided us in getting an outstanding look, for a fraction of the cost. We also shopped around for vendors. It can be overwhelming, but it is best to make sure you are not overstretching your budget.
What was your biggest splurge? Reception. We wanted to throw our friends the best party for coming to celebrate our marriage with us!
Big thanks to Jennica and Andrew for sharing their wedding story with us! They really are a wonderful couple.
All photography by Tiffany Marie Photography