Childhood friends that reunited later in life, Whitney and Preston designed a wedding to celebrate and showcase their love for one another.
Date: April 15th, 2016
Venue: Ceremony and Reception- both held at the Horizons Conference Center, Saginaw, MI
Photographer: Unity Design
Love and family are important to Whitney and Preston, so they chose to have their wedding reflect these ideals with a romantic wedding theme, and the help of friends and family. This couple is clearly loved, as their wedding party included a whopping 25 people! Whitney and Preston decided to make it easy on friends and family by having the ceremony and the reception at the same location, and saved money by holding the celebration on a Friday.
Whitney met Preston as a child, but they later unintentionally reunited as adults when Preston unknowingly attended a birthday party for Whitney. As the couple reconnected while talking at the party that night, they realized that they wanted to continue talking. They have not been apart since.
How he proposed: Preston Proposed on Valentine’s Day 2015 at home. Preston’s best friends’ father passed on this day, so Preston was away most of the day. Before he left he placed 4 Pandora charms around the house and throughout the day I found them. When he got home after helping his friend during his time of need, he came with his last charm. It was a Snow flake. When I opened it I didn’t understand, and then I looked at him he was down on one knee and stated that he wanted to make me an official “Snow” (i.e. the snow flake). He was on one knee expressing how much he loves me and asked me to be his wife.
Caterer: Horizons Conference Center
Officiant: Sister Marietta Fritz (Preston’s mother, she cared for him as child)
Florist: Horizons Conference Center
Wedding Planner: This was a joint effort between my aunt, Pamela Parks, with Concepts Design 200, and Horizons Conference Center.
Cake: Rachelle Charbonneau (She is a private baker)
Linens, and lighting: Horizons Conference Center
Favors: Photobooth, SG Photo Booth
Theme of wedding: Romance
Colors: Marine, White, and Ivory (champagne)
Flowers/ Centerpieces used: Half of the table settings were with High Glass Vase with blue Hydrangeas and the other half had three tier high glass vases with water and floating candles.
Chaircovers: White with Marine sashes, Horizons Conference Center
Wedding Dress: Soft Tulle Corseted David’s Bridal Collection Ball Gown, in Ivory
Shoes: My shoe was a sliver flat sandal with rhinestones on the straps from David’s Bridal. I never wore them I actually walked down the aisle bare foot.
Rings: I have a gold band with a single 1 ½ ct diamond setting from Saginaw Gold and Diamond, and Preston has a Silver wedding band with ½ ct diamond tungsten Carbide from Kay Jewelers.
Jewelry: I did not have a lot of Jewelry on but my necklace was a handmade piece from Perfect Fit Bridal in Clio, MI.
What was your old, new, borrowed, blue? Old- I did not have anything old. New- was my handmade necklace. Blue- was the garter. Borrowed- the earrings that one of my Bridesmaid wore. I saw them the day of the wedding and she gave them to me and she wore the earrings I purchased.
Tuxedos: Black Vera Wang Tuxedos with Navy Blue Vests and Ties – Men’s Warehouse
Bridesmaids Dresses: Long One Shoulder Lace Bridesmaid Dress David’s Bridal Collection (Style F17063), in Marine for the bridesmaids, and Metallic gold for the Maid and Matron of Honor.
How many bridesmaids/ groomsmen? 12- Bridesmaids and 11- Groomsmen
Vows: Traditional Vows
First Dance Song: Lately, by Tyrese.
Wedding Song: You for Me, by Johnnie Gill
Honeymoon details and location: Our Honeymoon never happened due to family situation but hopefully we will go this year.
Most Memorable moment: Originally my step father was going to walk me down the aisle and that is how we rehearsed it. However on the day of the wedding when I got to the pick up my step father was there and then out comes my Biological father which was so awesome and it meant so much to me that they both were there to give me away. Preston’s most memorable moment was when I walked down the aisle.
Did you hand-make or DIY any wedding items? I did not hand-make anything. But my best tip to others is to try and do this. Thinking back, I could have saved a lot of money just doing small things myself.
You and your husbands’ wedding advice: Our advice is to save a lot of money and try to do as much as you can yourself or use family and friends.
What was the biggest roadblock that you ran into while planning the wedding? The Bridesmaid dresses I chose were discontinued and I was not notified. One of my bridesmaids went to purchase her dress and was advised of the problem. Half had already purchased their dress and half still needed to order. So within 3 days I had to get 6 girls to purchase and get fitted for a dress in hopes that it came in on time.
Who/what gave you the most help in the planning process? My Aunt Pamela Parks with Concepts Design 200 provided so much advice. She was very helpfully with helping me play out my vision while also keeping all 12 of my bridesmaids in the loop. On the day of she was my hero she directed this whole day and did it flawlessly.
How much influence did your family/ fiancé have in the planning process? Although I think my husband would have liked to have more involvement he stayed back and allowed me to create my dream wedding. My Aunt Pamela helped out a lot but I created a manual that had all wedding details in it for everyone else that was involved in the wedding. The Manual included Dress Color and style, important dates, hair and makeup information, vendor’s information and also a letter thanking them for being involved.
Which part of the process gave you the most stress? The stress came financially. We did not take out a loan and were not given much by family or friends. So our wedding was funded 95% out of pocket. We had to budget like it was a job and cut unnecessary spending out in all aspects of our life.
What did you do that you found helped out with stress the best? What helped is knowing that we were in this together. We didn’t argue over it my husband just wanted me to have the wedding I wanted. His support through this was priceless.
Is there anything that didn’t go as planned? Everything went as planned (to my knowledge). Everyone was on time, everyone’s flights worked out, small details during the wedding were executed perfectly. There were no music glitches, or mishaps in the order of ceremony. Everything flowed.
What was your favorite part of the experience/ event? Being able to announce to the world our love and that we are now ‘one’ was my favorite part. To see all my family and friends that mean so much to me all come together from both my side and Preston’s side was so special to me. For Preston, seeing his biological mother after 20 years was his favorite memory of the day. He was so emotional. He was happy she was able to attend our big day.
If you could go back in time, what would you have changed? I would have taken more time to enjoy. It was a very fun night but I felt like I was everywhere. I didn’t get a chance to eat, or talk to my dad and see how he was holding up. I would have also taken more pictures.
What did you do to save money? We cut back on a lot of things. We did not have a cake- we had cupcakes instead. We did not have favors, but had a photo booth for our guest to enjoy. We also choose to have our wedding on a Friday which gave us a great package at the venue.
What was your biggest splurge? My Husband said the splurge is sitting on my finger, and I would say I was very practical when purchasing things but the necklace I wore was a piece that I had to have, but it was for sure costly.
Whitney thanks so much for sharing your wedding story with us!