Jessica and Marcin planned a family oriented DIY wedding after a long distance courtship and engagement. For the details of the wedding, the couple chose to incorporate personal elements like the signature cocktail called “Polish Punch” to honor the groom’s heritage, and involving local artisans from their community, like a local baker to make rustic loaves for guests, to a local ice cream stand that created eclectic flavors of ice cream for dessert!
What made the wedding special and unique?
Our wedding was not only a marriage of two people, but of two cultures. Marcin and his family are from Poland and I am from the Midwest. So it was extremely important for us to celebrate all weekend, involving both cultures in celebration. This gave all our guests something to remember, as well as making everyone feel welcome. After our rehearsal dinner, we invited all our wedding guests to join us for drinks and dancing – it was a great prequel for what was to come the following day.
Tell us about your dress and where/how you found it!
The dress is actually the most personal component of the entire wedding. I did not have the experience of going in to a bridal store and trying on a dozen dresses. Instead, my grandmother made my dress. She’s made many wedding dresses before, including my mother’s, but it had been about 15 years since she had sown her last dress. I sketched out for her exactly what I wanted, and after a few months and a few fittings, she presented me with the most beautiful dress I could have ever imagined.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
Adding personal touches was one of the most important elements of the planning process for me. Just to name a few, Emily of Consider The Wldflwrs, a dear friend and jewelry designer, created custom bracelets and earrings for all the bridesmaids. The wine that was served was from the local winery near the lake my family grew up going to. Our signature cocktail was based on polish vodka to honor my husband’s heritage, which we fittingly named “Polish Punch.” It was important for us to work with artisans of our local community as well, so the bread that was used for the escort cards was from a local baker, and we also had an ice cream stand that served local, eclectic flavors of ice cream. All of the musicians that performed during the ceremony and cocktail hour were either family or friends. We felt very fortunate to have so many talented people help make our special day even more special and unique.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
For me, the most memorable moment was dancing with all of our guests at the reception. Up until that point, there was always something to anticipate – ceremony, cake cutting, first dance, bouquet and garter toss, etc. It was nice to just relax and have fun. Seeing all of our guests dancing and enjoying themselves was so rewarding!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We met at an overnight summer camp where we were both counselors. We quickly became friends, but it wasn’t until the final week of camp that we began to find interest in each other in a romantic way. He was going to school in Illinois, and I in Nashville. We decided to take a leap of faith and begin dating, and two and a half years later we were engaged. We were long distance until our wedding day, so the engagement was a bit tricky, but he pulled it off flawlessly. He arrived in Nashville without my knowledge, and had my two best friends take me on a scavenger hunt throughout the city. At each spot, one of my friends was stationed with a sweet letter from him and a clue as to where to go next. The final clue led me to this beautiful park where he was standing, and after he proposed, many of my friends and family (who traveled to be there) surprised me! It was perfect.
Vendors: Photography: Emily Weis Photography // Videography: Nicodem Creative // Ceremony & Reception: Morgan Acres // Hair: Dakota with Nicole Bryan Salon // Makeup: Ashley Neu // Day-Of Coordination: Ronda Cooper of Embellished Events // Videography: Andrew and Marianne Nicodem of Nicodem Creative // Flowers: Jaclyn Journey // Bridesmaid Earrings and Bracelets: Consider the Wldflwrs // Cake: Rose VanArsdall of Simply Perfection Cakes // DJ: Jared Wade with Event One // Dress: Made by the bride’s grandmother // Locally-Made Ice Cream: Lick // Furniture Rentals: Violet Vintage