I spent the weekend at the beach. My friend Samantha put on a fabulous party that included a wedding.
I’ve known Samantha since we lived on the same hall our Freshman year at James Madison University. We were both art/graphic design majors, but I don’t think we ever had a single class together. She’s from Richmond, so I spent time visiting her (and sometimes her family) on breaks from school. Now she’s a badass web designer in Northern Virginia, and basically who I want to be when I grow up.
Samantha met Jim at a conference they were both working (they are both designers) Jim proposed to her at SXSW. Her engagement ring is a black diamond. This is a cool couple we are talking about here.
I know Samantha stressed about the wedding planning. She’s extremely thoughtful, so naturally she wanted everyone to have a great time. There was no bridezilla stuff. Samantha and Jim spend their rare downtime at the beach, especially the Outer Banks area. Samantha got the idea to have the wedding in Frisco, on Hatteras Island.
They rented a huge house (The Love Boat) where they hosted a beach barbecue Friday night. The wedding ceremony was held on Saturday, in the sand at the water’s edge, just before sunset. Cocktail hour was around the pool and then the guests moved around the back of the house, under a tent, to eat, drink and dance. I am pretty sure Samantha was on the dance floor for every song. It was great to attend a wedding where the bride and groom are actually having a fantastic time.
The wedding decor and ephemera were all DIY by Samantha and Jim. They designed the invites, program, website. Even wooden signs directing guests where to park were designed in the same hand-drawn font. Samantha decorated with tiny multicolored vases on each table, paper lanterns, strings of white Christmas lights, and old family photos pinned to makeshift clotheslines strung between trees. There was a guest book that encouraged doodles. The favors were custom printed mini notebooks and pencils and tote bags (again with a complementary design) filled with treats for a day at the beach. I think the tote bags are especially cute/cool/nerdy since they so strongly evoke a design conference to me.
Samantha seemed both genuinely surprised and happy that I made the trip down for the wedding. I wouldn’t have missed it.