I'm pretty excited about sharing a milestone for my business. On December 23, 2017 I married the first couple in my home. I had been wanting to create a small, pretty, and intimate space since September 2017. After surviving Hurricane Harvey (Houston, Texas) there were a lot of families in need who lost everything. I found a family who needed a dining room table set so I gave mine away to them. This freed up my living room space just in time for me to create the wedding ceremony space.
I had never done anything like this before - actually building a structure. So I went to Pinterest and YouTube for visuals. I found about five DIY videos on YouTube by searching "Home wedding altars, DIY wedding altars, etc. something along those lines. I kept going back to this one video and that showed how to put the pvc pipes together and the draping. It looked so easy and it was. It was also very very inexpensive. The one thing I didn't want to do was to remove my large and heavy piece of artwork that was on the wall. It was just too heavy so I opted to cover it instead. Also I really didn't know if this whole idea of mine was going to work and at least the artwork would still be there if all else failed.
Creating and designing the space was very therapeutic. I love creating with my hands and since I work from home, I had plenty of time to take my time and work at my own pace. The hard part was really settling on the look I wanted to achieve. There were so many great ideas on Pinterest and I pulled inspiration from several images there. In the beginning I did have second thoughts. I would say to myself, "I don't want this to look homemade let me just hire a professional." I replayed those words in my mind over and over. I kept going back to Pinterest and kept that vision in front of me. Once I got the draping up and the skeleton of the design in place I could better see the end result. I went to Hobby Lobby for all of the florals and greenery. This was by BIGGEST expense for the entire project even though I purchased everything at 50% off. I have no regrets.
As the project and the design started to come together visually, I felt more confident. I would find myself walking away and going back to the room to see how I felt about it and to make sure nothing had fallen down LOL. after I added the additional greenery to the top of the structure and the up-lighting I was satisfied. It no longer looked crude. I was happy with it. I also had a Ring Doorbell installed. This was absolutely the best decision. Even though I feel safe where I live, I got the Ring Doorbell (that has a camera attached and I can view all activity on my phone whether I'm home or away - I get an alert) for extra precaution. Anyone who comes to the house will be on camera! And I only provide the address after payment is received. The very last thing I needed was to do something about that awful, low hanging light fixture that came with the house. I thought about replacing it altogether but lights are expensive ya'll. So, plan B was to have my dad come over and raise that light for me about two feet. It worked! I was now ready for my first ceremony but I didn't have any inquiries on the books. So, I prayed and thanked God for the opportunity and that I was ready for the opportunity. The next day I received an email from a young lady saying she and her fiance wanted to get married the following week and asked if I had a space. I was so excited because I could confidently say, "yes, I have a space!" She was excited too. They thought about it for a couple of days and asked for a picture of the space. They paid the invoice the next day!
On December 23, 2017 at 10am, the Holden's arrived with their eight year old daughter! They absolutely loved the wedding ceremony space. That's what they said, "we love it, it's so cute." I was so humbled and still a bit critical of myself because it was a DIY project but I was so grateful. They didn't do a ring exchange because the rings are being custom made. Their family knows they are getting married but they didn't know they were eloping. They met on a dating site a year ago. To say that I was excited was an understatement. Everything was perfect. My essential oil diffuser was emitting soft scents of lavender. It was so romantic.
I realized a few things I would do differently. I will have some bridal bouquets created. This bride didn't have a bouquet and I felt bad about that. They didn't have a photography either so I offered to take pictures of them with his phone.
Meet the Holden's!
The first couple to marry in my home. My suburban bungalow. This space is just the beginning. Years ago, I'm talking maybe 10 years ago, I had a vision of a venue. I was working with a "mentor" and he advised me to dream BIG! Look for an all inclusive venue space because that's what couples want. Taking his advice was to my detriment, though his intentions were good. I never envisioned an all inclusive wedding venue. I envisioned a quick in and out space, no fuss, just an elegant alternative to the courthouse or justice of the peace. Now I'm back on track...finally, and I'm holding on to my vision and honoring my own pace.
~ Kim/Best Wedding Officiant in Houston, Texas