A vibrant, alternative DIY wedding in San Diego, CA
Amanda and Dan’s December wedding at the Town and Country in San Diego was a brilliantly quirky and delightful celebration of their love for one another… and all things Alice in Wonderland! Chasing Daylight captured all of their fabulous DIY details.
I’ve loved Alice in Wonderland my whole life. My mom was always playing the Disney version for me and my sisters when we were kids; I read the book in high school and saw Tim Burton’s theatrical version at least 5 times while it was in theaters (and at least another 100 times watching the DVD at home with friends and family). So when my bridesmaid Krista suggested Alice in Wonderland, it was a no brainer. I love the quirky, whimsical perception that it conveyed, and with my husband being an avid card player, it seemed to fit very well with things that we both love. I decided on red, black and white as the color scheme and went with a subdued but classic Alice in Wonderland (book version) motif. I wanted to keep it as elegant as possible, while still maintaining a fun, eccentric theme.
My mom was the one to suggest the Town and Country as the venue. My parents were married there Oct. 22, 1985, and they also held an additional ceremony in Ohio on Dec. 22 of the same year. I instantly fell in love with the antique feel of the Town and Country. It has a very classic charm and came with a wedding coordinator to help me along the way. When she told me that December 22 was on a Saturday and was available, I jumped on it. It was extremely special to me to share my anniversary and wedding location with my parents. The wedding took place in the Rose Garden, which fit wonderfully with my theme. The reception took place in the Le Chanticleir ballroom, which is on the top floor of the resort, overlooking Mission Valley.
My favorite detail was my teacups. I started collecting teacups anywhere I could find them. I set a max price for each saucer/cup set at $3, to try to keep the cost of them down. My family loves scouring garage sales, swap meets and thrift stores, so it was fun hunting all of the sets down. I stuck the tea cups to the saucers using glue dots, put some red and black crinkle paper in the bottom and stuck a tea bag wrapped in a custom tea bag cover at the bottom. I wrapped the whole thing in some glittery tulle and topped it off with ribbon and thank you tag. Everyone thought they were so cool! For the center pieces, we collected a ton of tea pots and I passed those along to my florist. Whenever I was at Michael’s, I was looking for something for the wedding and often came across things in their bargain bin like little keys. Etsy was a lifesaver: it became a great source of crafting ideas, including the custom tea bag covers I mentioned, as well as small knickknacks, like a bird cage to hold cards.
I also knew I wanted silly signs leading up to our “Mad Hatter Reception,” so my husband carved them all out by hand and my maid of honor and I painted them. They turned out better than we could have hoped for, and it was fun coming up with the wording for each sign. ~ Amanda
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