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May Day Wedding
Happy Start of Spring!
When we first sat down to discuss changing up the format of the site, my partner and I thought it was a great idea. I mean, to basically design a themed wedding for our readers, how cool is that! But, as we spent the last few months prepping this blog, finding the ideas, themes, and pictures on Pinterest were the easy part. Actually putting it all together and trying to explain each choice and detail in reference to the whole vision was much harder than originally anticipated. Over the past few months as we were designing this post, I found myself feeling overwhelmed like so many brides and grooms we know. Still, we made it through and after months of sorting through photos and DIYs to find the perfect colors and dress and flowers and cake, we’ve finally done it! So, without further ado, we’re happy to present the first of our new seasonal wedding blogs: The May Day Wedding!
We chose May Day out of a list of over 20 spring wedding themes, simply because it called out to us more than the others. We loved the other themes we came up with, but the May Day Wedding with its pastel colors everywhere and its earthy, getting back to the basics and nature feeling was too appealing to pass up.
We know it probably seems cliché, but once we started with the dress, everything else began to fall in place. We fell hard for one dress, but in an effort to provide a few examples that could fit this theme, we’ve chosen two for you to use as inspiration. Surprisingly, we actually found both dresses from the same designer: BHLDN.
The first dress is called the Grace Gown and we’ll level with you, we are obsessed with it. The structured and simplistic top with the flowy, detailed skirt captures the whimsical, free-spirited feeling that is at the root of this theme. It’s romantic and elegant and makes us think of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and what better way to celebrate the beginning of spring than with sprites and fairies and mischievous woodland creatures.
But, if that doesn’t work for the vision you see for yourself and/or the theme, we highly recommend the Tiernan Gown. The layering of the tulle over the lace creates a stunningly elegant, but fun, combination that keeps those who hate lace from being able to be even slightly repulsed by this dress. The beading and the sheer neckline in combination with the belt add just the right amount of sparkle for the bride that wants a little glitz and glam on her day. The dress is flirty, but also very mature for the bride who is interested in bringing a little more class to her outdoor wedding.
Now, to be honest, we didn’t immediately jump to what the groom was going to be wearing. But, for the sake of organization, that’s what we’ll touch on next. We stayed away from the typical black suit and tux in favor of light colors to keep the event more casual and fun, as befitted the full vision.
Our first choice for the men is this handsome light gray suit from “The Stateroom Wedding” by Kate Connolly Photography. A 100% Pinterest pick, we fell in love with the way the light gray really enhances the pastel tie. With a very color-oriented wedding, the groom and groomsmen’s attire needs to be something that suits all of the colors.
Our second option for the men came from a brief search of Pinterest as well. We quickly found these classy khaki suits from Martha Stewart Weddings’ “An Oceanfront Destination Wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.” While we’re not proposing turning your May Day wedding a beach theme, we were drawn once more to the light colors for all of the reasons that we liked the light gray. Additionally though, the lack of suit jackets makes the men seem even more comfortable and relaxed. Plus, who doesn’t love the way the groom rocks his bowtie, while his groomsmen stick to the traditional. This simple, yet cute touch truly draws the eye and makes it obvious to everyone who their attention should be focused on.
Our next pick was also a Pinterest pull, but we’d thought about the options a lot before we started searching for the right image. We knew our May Day Wedding wouldn’t be complete with one bridesmaid dress style or color; our vision required dresses that would complement the bride’s show-stopping gown without overpowering it and we think we’ve found some examples that hit it spot on.
The first is from Deer Pearl Flower’s “Top 6 Ways to Do Mismatched Bridesmaid Dresses” and the second is from Southern Wedding’s “Romantic Florida Wedding by J. Layne Photography.” Choose between different colors or stick to a variation of shades and then pick between one style or go all out and let the girls pick dresses that are unique to them (just make sure they stick with the same material if you go this route).
For invitations, we stuck with simple but elegant. We love the simplicity of the invitations from Ruffled “Soft and Modern Wedding Inspiration.” Plus, we think that this is one area where couples can definitely save a little money. Rather than designing and paying an exorbitant cost to print invitations, grab a calligraphy pen (you can take a class first if that makes you more comfortable) and some paper you like and write your own. To dress them up more, consider tying a pastel crepe ribbon in a simple bow around it.
The next aspect we’ve actually already hinted at, but we strongly feel that the ceremony space needs to be outside under the open sky (that’s not to say you shouldn’t still have a tent or a rain backup). We found quite a few ideas for decorating the ceremony and reception spaces; all are pretty minimal and don’t overpower or cover up the natural beauty of the outdoors. We recommend picking between a clearing in the woods and a meadow as both spaces will enhance the theme (or consider a clearing for the ceremony and a meadow for the reception and have the best of both worlds).
The first photo above is from Southbound Bride’s “Rustic Pastel Geometric Wedding at Kalmoesfontein by Natural Light Photography.” The second is from Festival Brides, but taken by Brittany Dow photography. And, the third is from Wedding Chicks’ “Outdoor Wedding with Bright Color Palette.” We love the idea of doing different colors and textures of ribbon to look like the maypole is draping over the ceremony and/or reception space.
As for the smaller details, we found a few of our favorites to share with you as well. Consider mixing and matching your table centerpieces/table numbers. You can go big or small, but either way we love both of these options! The first is a maypole centerpiece from R. John Wright and the second is Living Montessori Now’s “May Day Activities.”
For the first, we’d add a simple picture frame or wire picture holder with a table number on it. For the second, we’d swap the month block (or simply leave it out all together) and put some assorted sized and shaped vases with wildflowers behind it, such as the ones by Flourish Root below.
Which brings us to the flowers! We fell in love with the portfolio of a local florist, Flourish Root, and we were drawn by the feeling that our May Day Wedding needed to be filled with fresh, mostly handpicked, wildflowers. From the bride and bridesmaids bouquets to the boutonnieres and the other touches throughout the ceremony and reception, we wanted a mixture of shapes, colors, and textures with plenty of greenery mixed in, and these hit that right on the head.
Similarly, when we thought about the guest list for this wedding, we realized it wouldn’t be a formal all-adult affair, but rather an event with at least a dozen or so children running around and playing tag. We envisioned little girls dancing and twirling throughout the reception and, due to being a child-friendly wedding, we knew there had to be little goodies to keep them entertained. Because of this, we picked out Stone Fox Bride’s baby’s breath floral crowns and the fairy maypole ribbon wands from Sarah Campbell’s Flickr page. These both seem like doable DIY crafts for a few days before the big day or, if you already have too much going on, talk to your local florist for the headpieces and try Etsy for the ribbon wands.
As for the food and drinks, we recommend keeping it simple. A wedding of this style wouldn’t fit with a sit-down meal and fancy china. Instead, consider nice paper/plastic plates and a BBQ or buffet of your favorite foods. We love the idea of keeping it simple and casual. Pretty My Party’s “Tea Party Themed Bridal Shower” showed off this festive pink lemonade in jars in a way that made it perfect for a May Day wedding.
Additionally, we suggest bypassing a wedding cake for desserts that are easier to eat quickly between dancing and playing, such as cupcakes and cookies. The first cupcakes are by Juliet Stallwood and we absolutely adore the detail that went into creating the tops of these beauties. The next two images are by a local cookie and wedding cake decorator, Bijou’s Sweet Treats. We love the details of the lavender cookies and can easily envision how fantastic they would look with other types of wildflowers piped on them. As for the cupcakes, we love that they stick with the flower theme and they draw our attention to the different flavors and colors of marshmallows that could easily be added to a dessert table.
The last things that we are going to touch on are the favors (which could easily be the cookies above) and the send-off for the wedding. For the favors, we picked Etsy’s MintFavorsAndMore, because we love the pun and the whimsicality of the wrapped mint. Plus, what better way to end the night than with a fresh mint!
For the send-off we felt drawn away from tradition and towards these incredible sky lanterns. We can just envision all of your guests in two lines with lit lanterns glowing as they cheer you and your new husband/wife on your way. Just think of the photographs you could get of the two of you walking away from your reception and toward your future together as your friends and loved ones release the lanterns to the sky. We found these on Pinterest and were led to Superior Celebrations, where they have a case of 36 available for order. If you decide to go this route, we wouldn’t get one per guest, but rather one per couple and/or family. Having your guests share will help keep everyone from getting burned, plus it will be symbolic of each couple sending a little bit of their shared love with you as you leave.
And that, my friends, is how we envision our perfect May Day Wedding. Feel free to take these ideas, use them, and make them your own; we can’t wait to see what you do at your wedding!
**Stay tuned for more wedding visions as the seasons change. In the meantime, we will be posting special reports that will touch on DIYs, Top 5s, and vendor/venue posts. You can also check out our Pinterest page and follow as we create perfect wedding visions on our theme boards!**
Of course, during our search through Pinterest, we found a tutorial on how to dance around the May Pole and in honor of the theme, we’ve included it here. So, if you want to get everyone up and dancing, maybe consider including this at the beginning of the reception. After all, who doesn’t enjoy a little dancing! (And, if you’re feeling really crafty, consider trying your hand on a DIY Maypole, don’t worry we found instructions at The House That Lars Built.)
Food & Drink:
Maypole Dance & DIY: