Part 1: Miss Johnston Plans a Wedding

Please forgive me for the non-educational post, but if you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been busy planning my wedding....that is happening in ONE MONTH! AHHH!!! Jason and I are getting so excited! In case you missed the proposal....

That was on July 23, 2014. Two days later, we drove down to Oklahoma to visit my dad, grandparents, and brother and sister-in-law. We had this vacation already planned...and Jason purposely proposed when he did, so we could share the excitement with my family. It was about a 10 hour drive to Oklahoma from Iowa...perfect time for wedding planning...and asking Jason lots of questions.
First thing's first....get yourself a wedding binder, and include tabs. In mine I have contracts, vendors, photography, venue, and ideas. First thing I have is a spiral so I can write things down as I think of them. I love this Up&Up binder, because it comes with a snap pouch that I can include little pamphlets and things in. I also put in some invites we had received for inspiration when I designed ours.

Think about what your priority is for your wedding. Jason and I's were food and fun. We're definitely going the whole 9 yards with food! I won't tell you how much it is a person...but I have to pick up people's jaws off the floor when they find out! It also includes an open bar. So there's the fun! Jason and I are having what's considered a destination wedding. I found this place on The Knot about a year before Jason proposed, and fell in love via pictures. When we went to visit in August, that was it. My heart was set on it. I told Jason I didn't care if I had to eat ramen noodles and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches for the whole school year. Luckily, I have not had to do that...mostly thanks to L. Paull Designs for All. So it was decided...on June 12, 2015, Jason and I would get married in Galena, IL at Eagle Ridge Resort & Spa.
Now I needed my bridesmaids! I asked my best friends by sending each of them a little package of goodies!
Bridesmaid dresses. Ugh. I've been in a couple weddings, and am in another later this summer. I've had my share of bridesmaid dresses. I wanted to make sure my maids were comfortable. For example, I hate strapless dresses. I've had 2 dresses that were strapless. If they wanted strapless, that was fine...but I wasn't going to push it. I also didn't care if they had different styles. My most important thing was that each were comfortable and felt beautiful. I chose to go David's Bridal because originally my sister-in-law was supposed to be a bridesmaid, and she lives in Oklahoma. I learned from being in her wedding, it was really easy for her to tell me what dress, go to my local DB, get that dress, try it on, and I was done within 30 minutes.
My experience at DB was awful. I don't even want to get into the details, but I will never, by choice, step foot in another one. The kicker is my sister-in-law is now expecting and will be 7 months pregnant at the wedding, so she's not going to stand up with me. So...I could have gone somewhere else. Oh well...their dresses are beautiful!

One thing I knew I didn't care too much about was flowers. In my mind, flowers are a waste. Not that I don't like flowers, but they're expensive people. Why should I pay all this money on something that's just going to die in a couple days? So, I decided on silk flowers, and my mom did all the arrangements for me. She watched YouTube videos and voila! I think it's important to consider things that you can do for a lower cost. Flowers was one area that I cut costs.
All the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres!
Bad lighting, but my bouquet with pearls and rhinestones.
Wrapped with pearls and lace.
Speaking of flowers, you probably want to know what centerpieces are. AHHH! I love them! I wanted to include my students in my wedding in some way, and I found the perfect way. Right before spring break, I had each student do 3 things.
1. Draw a picture of Jason and I on our wedding day.
2. Write their best advice for a happy wedding.
3. Write why they think people get married.
Add those to some colored paper and washi tape...insert in frame. Perfect!
Advice: "Jason has to listen to you."
Why do you people get married: "To have babies!

My mom and I spray painted the frames from IKEA with Chalkboard paint. I have a subtle teacher theme in my wedding, so there are a few  chalkboard accents scattered in the decor. I took some chalk and decorated the frames for a little more color. My table numbers are cute little chalkboards! The tables will also have Gerber daisies, my favorite! We are also using chalkboard paper from Target on the tables, displayed with chalk for people to doodle and write messages.

Since we are paying so much for dinner, I had to get a little bit creative with certain things. Luckily, I have a family friend who offered to do all of our printing!
Save the Dates
Wedding Invitations
Top half of invite front
Top Half back
Bottom Half, gray dotted line is perforated so RSVP gets thrown in the mail, and hometown reception card goes on the fridge.
Bridal Shower Thank Yous

Mad Lib Guest Book
Hometown Reception Post Cards- You see, since we're having a destination wedding, we had to limit our guest list, so Jason's parents to decided to throw us a more casual hometown reception so we could celebrate with all of our family and friends.
I absolutely love them. I created all of the graphics, including the silhouettes. The fonts are by Kimberly Geswein.

I loved the idea of a personalized hanger, but those things can be pricey! But, if you have a Silhouette Portrait or Cameo, it's easy peasy and inexpensive. My mom bought a 5 pack of wooden hangers at Wal-Mart for like $4. I then ordered mint vinyl here. I ordered 3 12x12in sheets for less than $10 (including shipping). I used my trusty Portrait to cut out the lettering, adhered it to my hanger, added coral ribbon, and BOOM! A personalized wedding hanger for less than $15. And I have a plan for the other 4 it ends up being less than $3 each! SCORE!

I also used the vinyl to make part of Jason's groomsmen's gift. Jason is getting a nice bottle of liquor for them to enjoy the day of, and I personalized tumblers from Target. Perfect!
During Jason and I's relationship (4 years in July) we have been in  4 weddings. There are so many detail questions...where, when, what, etc. So, I decided I need to make something to help our bridal party know exactly the plan. I've made several flipbooks for my classroom and have them on TpT. I decided I could easily make my template into a Bridal Party Agenda Flipbook!

And you can download your free, editable copy HERE!

Something else that has helped me be organized is getting using a small index card holder like this. I got this one at Dollar Tree.
I labeled it with the different groupings we did when we created our guest list. So each RSVP has their home!
Okay...have I overloaded you quite yet? I hope not! I hope you have found it informative, inspiring, and enjoyable! In late June or early July, I will be posting Part II, Miss Johnston Gets Married! Late July will be my the finale, Part III, The Paull's Parade Disney! Our Magic Bands ship this week!!! For more wedding planning images, check out the hashtag #missj2mrspaull


  1. Thanks for the post girl! And congrats! I needed this post and it's so helpful!

  2. Great article ...Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.
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  3. I love your centerpieces! This looks like so much work... but so much fun! Deb :)

  4. I LOVE everything about this! I can't believe I hadn't seen the proposal before tonight though! How cute is he!! Can't wait to see your beautiful wedding friend! You are going to be a stunning bride!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

  5. Your organization is so impressive! Everything looks fabulous - you definitely have an eye for detail!


  6. Well perfect planning of wedding is really important. And it is important for both bride and groom to make wedding day special for every guest whom they invited. You know I arranged everything with help of a planner for my wedding, and the best part was that planner booked a nice banquet halls in Miami at very affordable price.

  7. Beautiful pair..
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  8. That is great and I must say that she planned for a wonderful party. Thank you so much for sharing it here. I am also planning my wedding reception at reception halls in Atlanta. Can you help me with few good planning ideas?

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  13. Amazing Pictures: Nice to see : I would love to share your hardwork


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