Wedding tips from a bride who has been there, done that!

There is something about June heralding the long, sunny days of Summer which makes it the most popular month for weddings. Though not a June bride, my feature guest is insanely creative, the queen of DIY projects and had such an amazing wedding, I just had to share some of her tips with those of you who may be June brides.

Meet Terri-Ann Grant who has been my BFF for too many years to count, and who will blow your mind with her out of the box wedding ideas!

Vintage theme comes to life

Terri-Ann got married last October to my twin (OK, so he’s not really my twin but we were born on the same day!) Arvel Grant.

The proposal

No. Not that proposal. Yes, there was a fairytale proposal (see the couple's wedding in the Jamaica Observer), but there was another proposal. The bride proposed to all her bridesmaids!

I mean, come on! The thought of proposing to my bridesmaids did not even cross my mind. I thought an email and a phone call were sufficient, but you definitely raised the bar! How did you come with this idea?

Well, to be truthful, I've been dreaming of my wedding for a long time. In my mind, I always knew exactly who would be in my bridal party because I've been with them all my life. My foundation gals! These girls are so special to me; in fact, we’re a sisterhood. I'm pretty sure everyone who got a bridesmaid proposal knew they were naturally a bridesmaid before there was even an engagement.

Arvel and I were already together for 10 years, but we didn't just decide to get married. He took the time to plan and execute a beautiful proposal. I never take anything for granted, and I thought it would be a good to let my girls know how special it was to have them with me on that day. They got to feel how I felt on my proposal (well, almost). It also gave me the opportunity to give them a taste of the theme I had in mind, and it certainly got everyone excited to start planning.

This proposal certainly got me excited

These photos do not do justice to the proposal, but it certainly got me excited and teary-eyed

Wedding theme and décor

We all know that you are the super creative DIY queen, and so I was not surprised that you took full charge of your décor ideas which were all so original and unique. Tell me more about your theme. What inspired your theme and how did you bring it to life with your own original ideas? (I know, I know too many questions in one!)


A snapshot of the elegant vintage elements of the decor

As a little girl I remember loving pearls. They were always so classy and timeless. Audrey Hepburn is my style reference. As I grew up, the love for pearls stuck with me. As you already know, I have a passion for all things vintage, from clothes to makeup to décor. I love vintage and shabby chic.

We also didn't want our wedding to be cookie-cutter or boring, so Arvel and I decided we would go with the vintage theme. Once we decided on vintage, the ideas seemed to flow endlessly. In fact, as soon we said vintage, Arvel exclaimed, "Oh shit, we could have scroll invitations!  We will summon our guests!" Of course, he was referencing our love for medieval movies. We got über excited, laughed and didn't look back.


The scroll which summoned us!

We also made sure the décor reflected our personalities. From our scroll invitations, to feathered centre pieces draped with pearls, our programmes, the signs, our wine bottles clothed with lace and pearls (we love wine ), even my dress and hair! We basically took all the things we loved; the things that makes us, "us" and made these a part of our décor. Yes, you guessed it, my biggest resource was Pinterest. Knowing exactly what I wanted was helpful too.

movie theme seating

The couple's love for old romantic movies influenced their table decor and signs



Did you have a budget and how did you manage to stay within budget?

Budget! Ha! That fictitious number we put on paper, we soon realized was completely unrealistic (LOL). Yes, we had a budget. In fact, we had about three versions of it. In the end, we decided what were our must-haves and what were our splurges, and we quickly got rid of the splurges. We also received a lot of contribution in cash and kind from our friends and family and this helped a great deal. We also did a lot of DIY projects to cut cost. We were adamant that we were not getting married poor or in debt!

Pre-wedding stress

Every bride eventually learns that weddings are extremely stressful. I remember having a ton of arguments with Garfield leading up to our wedding. You can become frazzled and a real bridezilla (which I was). How did you de-stress? What helped you to keep it together?

Arvel and I are very structured. We used The Knot to plan and track our activities and had weekly meetings to discuss our progress. Having seen and heard many horror wedding planning stories, we wanted to make sure we didn't kill each other. We also bore in mind that there was a marriage after the wedding, so we made sure we still had our date nights as per schedule! This along with getting help from my friends and family were very useful in helping us to remain stress free.

I declared Fridays "DIY Fridays". I provided food and wine and my friends and family provided their services, cutting and gluing and spraying! We got to bond even more and this took some of the edge off. I also genuinely enjoy planning events, so I was too happy and engrossed in it all to stress. I think my biggest stress was the shock I experienced when I received vendors quotations in US dollars! But, for those things that were exorbitant, I simply dismissed the idea or made a DIY project out of it.


flower and dress

Introducing the bouquet!

The bride’s bouquet

Gosh, I remember how you kept hounding us (bridesmaids) for brooches, and I must admit I was slightly annoyed. I kept wondering why is this woman bothering me and what’s so special about these damn brooches. Of course, when I saw your bouquet, I was speechless.  It was an absolute beauty. Where on earth did this idea come from? A bouquet of brooches!


And to think, the bride made it herself!

It all sparked from my theme. As I said before, I was going for all things vintage! I went to Pinterest and Google scouting for more ideas on how to bring our theme to life and stumbled on a few keepers. I saw the most beautiful brooch bouquet and fell in love instantly! But when I saw the price, I was like hell no, not happening! Being the DIY junky that I am, I kept looking at it over and over again. I decided that I really wanted it. It would be my keepsake. So, I took to YouTube and— Voila— a DIY video! The sky's opened up and the trumpets rang! (LOL)

table and flowers

More vintage inspired pieces

I then decided I wanted all the ladies in my life to be a part of this experience. I wanted to take a piece of them with me down the aisle so that I would be able to remember it for years to come. I knew each brooch would be a clear reflection of their personality, and trust me they were!

The brooches added to the personalization of my bouquet and made it all the more special to me. It ended up costing almost the same as one with real flowers, but it won't die. It sparkles endlessly and is made up of all the ladies that mean the world to me. Now, it's a decorative piece in my home, and when I look at it, I remember that special day and the special people who made it possible.

Sand ceremony

Your sand ceremony was the first of its kind that I had ever witnessed. Unlike most ceremonies where the sand is poured by the bride, the groom, and sometimes their immediate family (in my case the bridal party) all the guests at your wedding were invited to pour a bit of sand into your jar. What was your reason for this? And what significance did this hold for you?

sand pouring

Everyone was invited to fill the jar!

This was the entirely the groom’s idea. He wanted all of our guests to feel like they were really a part of our ceremony. For us it symbolized the support of our family and our extended family. It was also the celebration of our union and us coming together as a whole. Our guests loved it! They felt special, like they were helping us to seal the deal! It's the little things that count.

If I could change one thing about my wedding, it would have been my cake. It didn’t turn out exactly as I envisioned. Of course, no one but Garfield and I even noticed this. I know no matter how perfect everything appears there is always something that the couple, especially the bride, wished they could have changed. Looking back on your wedding day, did your wedding turn out as you imagined? Is there anything you would have changed?


The couple heading to the dance floor

We had a vision for our first dance: we would dance in the middle with our guest in a circle around us with sparklers. That didn't really happen as it was supposed to. The coordination was a bit off as persons were only on one side and not opposite the camera. The guests ended up standing in a straight line rather than a circle, so the shots were not very effective. It was still magical, but not as magical as we wanted.  Aside from that everything was pretty close to perfect.

What’s the most ridiculous request or experience you  had before or during the wedding?

The typical, “May I bring so and so?” I didn't get any rude comments, but I did have a guest who decided to take home my entire sweet station in their bag.?

The sweet station

The mystery of the missing sweets

Bridesmaids’ souvenirs

By the way, my favourite wine glass is my bridesmaids’ keepsake engraved with my name! I totally cherish this gift. I thought of giving my bridesmaids keepsakes, but at that point my budget was completely busted (LOL!) I now regret that I didn’t sacrifice something else because my wine glass means so much to me! How important was it for you to give your girls these keepsakes?

Bridesmaid keepsake

The beautiful bridesmaids and our keepsakes

My ride or dies are everything to me. I wanted to say thank you in a very special and personalized way. I wanted to show my appreciation for my girls by getting them something they too would remember for years to come, but was functional at the same time! We all love wine!

Wedding night

So, I have to ask you this. Everyone knows (read here) that I did not have sex on my wedding night! I was exhausted. Thankfully, we had broken the rules on the morning of the wedding (to hell with tradition), so did you?

We totally did the do! It didn't last long, but we certainly got it in! Lol

Just hicthed

The happy couple!


Where did you honeymoon and how did you decide where to go?

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We always wanted to go there, so when it was time to plan, it was a shoe in. It was so beautiful and magical.

Enjoying Punta Cana!

Enjoying Punta Cana!


I’m sure I already know the answer to this question because you guys are veterans! I mean, you guys have been together way longer than our dating and marriage altogether! Now that you are married, how have things changed, if they have changed at all?

Well, I changed my last name and that's about it! As you said, we have been a couple for a while now! 11 years! Damn! We haven’t changed much, but I do feel as if our relationship has been solidified even more, and we now are activating a lot of the plans we had before. We also enjoy saying “hubby” and “wifey” and we tease each other a lot as newlyweds,  like “Come man you a wife now, you know” or  “That's what hubby's do!”

vintage seated

The definition of love

Finish this sentence. Love is…

Like my vow says, love is the recognition of your soul's heart in another.  It's happiness and laughter and never getting bored. It's knowing, believing and trusting God and your partner.

And they lived happily ever after!

And they lived happily ever after!

Still craving more inspiration? Go check out more photos of the couple's fabulous wedding!

3 Responses

  1. love it!

  2. Love this:-)

  3. charmaine ranger

    Whilst I am not married, I certainly enjoy reading the stories.