How I Planned My Dream Wedding in 25 Days

April 5, 2018 20 Comments

How I Planned My Dream Wedding in 25 Days

April 5, 2018 20 Comments

Happy Thursday, friends! I can’t believe we’re already in the month of April! Since Wedding Season is right around the corner, I’ve dedicated this month’s posts to all things wedding! I’ll be sharing my own wedding & engagement stories, including a ‘What I Wish I Knew Before Getting Married’ post, as well as gift ideas for the bride-to-be!

This past December, I married the love of my life here in Albuquerque in a very unconventional, but still traditional, wedding ceremony. Today I’m bringing you all the details behind our unique wedding: why we didn’t have any bridesmaids, groomsmen, etc; why we held the ceremony in a house; and why (and how) we only had 25 days to make the day everything we dreamed. It’s been 3 months since my husband, Daniel, and I said “I do”, which has given us enough time to reflect on the big day. I’m also sharing any regrets we may have three months post-ceremony.

All photos in this post were captured by the incredibly talented Sarah E. Photo | @sarahephoto


Why 25 Days?

When Daniel & I were dating, we were sure of two things about our future wedding: 1) We didn’t want to be engaged until we were ready to get married at a moment’s notice, as opposed to getting engaged and then waiting 6 months+ for the big day; 2) We both were content just going to City Hall one afternoon for the ceremony. Why so casual? For us, we wanted our wedding day to be about one thing: the celebration of the blessing of our marriage. Not that larger, more planned weddings don’t do just that. They do! But for us, personally, our way of celebrating meant keeping it small, sweet, and simple.

So, why 25 days? It’s simple, really. Daniel & I were engaged on Sunday, November 19th. Our parents’ only requests for our wedding was to serve as witnesses at the ceremony. We chose December 22 as our wedding date, since my parents would be in town for Christmas, and Daniel’s parents had time off to drive the two hours it would take for them to attend as well. 8 days after our engagement and choosing the date, we picked up our marriage license and made the call to the judge’s office to make an appointment, only to find out no judge was available until the middle of January (not to mention, judges in New Mexico aren’t very keen on wedding ceremonies). Obvious disappointment ensued. Neither our families, Daniel, nor I were available for months after December. And like I said before, we were ready to be married. Daniel’s step-mom suggested we contact she and her husband’s preacher to see if he would be willing to officiate the ceremony for us. It seemed like a perfect fit. Daniel had known him for years, and we all shared the same faith. The preacher’s response caught me off guard: He said he would be honored to do it. What a blessing! So, with that set, Daniel & I decided to hold the ceremony at my (now, our) house.

Planning The Big Day

Even after our City Hall plans changed and we started planning a traditional wedding ceremony, we stuck to our decision not to invite anyone besides our parents. Neither Daniel nor I are from Albuquerque originally, and neither of our families and friends live here. We felt it was unfair to ask our loved ones to spend money on plane tickets and hotel stays 3 days before Christmas, and with only 25 days notice, no less. Was it a hard decision? Yes and no. No, because we were already used to the idea of not having anyone besides our parents present during our wedding ceremony at the courthouse. Yes, because now we were having a traditional wedding, and I wondered if the room would seem empty without the rest of the people I love there (more on this below). Before our City Hall plans were scrapped, we told everyone we might have a more traditional ceremony in a year, so that people would have the chance to plan and save for the travel expenses. But once the courthouse plan was thrown out the window and we began planning our more-traditional wedding day, we realized there would be no future ceremony. This was it. And so, it was time to plan our dream wedding.

I like to think of our wedding as a God-thing: Perhaps it was the fact that He knew that even if we had gone to City Hall, we still would have decided not to have a traditional wedding down the road. He closed the door on a City Hall ceremony, only to bless us with the opportunity to have the most beautiful, meaningful, loving wedding specifically suited just for us.

(The letter my mom wrote to me on my wedding day. The quote is from our favorite movie, “Pride & Prejudice”).

There were three things I wanted on my wedding day: Gold glitter decor, a robe that says “Bride” on the back, and Sarah E. Photo to be our photographer. Having gone to high school with Sarah many years ago, I watched her photography business flourish in the following years post-graduation, and it quickly became my dream for her to photograph my wedding, if and when I ever got married. When the time finally came to plan my wedding, I knew I had to take a chance and ask her. Without hesitation, she accepted and produced the photos of my dreams.

(A DIY Project: I wrapped tulle around a wooden blanket ladder, then hot glued my favorite polaroids to the tulle.)

Prepping For The Big Day

Originally, I planned to wear a beautiful black floral dress I bought from Dillard’s for our ceremony at City Hall. But once the plans for the traditional wedding were in motion, I hoped for a genuine wedding dress. My mom offered to fly to Albuquerque to help me find the perfect white gown, as well as a bouquet and a cake. She was a lifesaver. There’s no way the wedding could have hit “dream” status without her.

I called a few local bridal shops and explained my situation and the time limit I was under. Everyone I spoke with assured me alterations could be done in less than a month, as long as I found the dress on the first day of looking! And that’s exactly what happened. I walked into Darlene’s Bridal Boutique, and the second dress I tried was the one. Another God-thing. What’s more, I hadn’t even picked the dress: Darlene did. She saw what I liked, found the beautiful gown, and when I saw myself in the mirror, I knew it was the gown of my dreams.

Afterwards, we ordered the bouquet, a cake, and got started on the decorations! Pinterest DIY wedding decor boards became my best friend.

Once my mom was back home in Tennessee, she enlisted the help of two of her friends to make wedding decorations. But they went above and beyond. The wedding would have been almost bare if it weren’t for them!

Our Ceremony

Daniel and I opted to go the traditional route of not writing our own vows. Instead, we wrote letters for one another to open just before the ceremony. And by just before, I mean 5 minutes before I was supposed to walk down the aisle. A sweet memory I like to share with people is how similar our letters were to one another: Both were 3 pages in length; the first page was serious and sweet, the second a little funnier, and on the third, we both wrote a joke.

I decided to style my own hair, but had my makeup done at MAC, and I cried when I saw myself in the mirror. It wasn’t my radiating beauty that made me emotional (ha!), but the fact that I saw myself as I would be when I walked down the aisle to marry my love. I then cried again after reading Daniel’s letter. And again when my dad came in to escort me down the aisle. And then again, when I saw Daniel. It was all very symbolic: When I saw my dad, I cried for sadness and sentiment. When I saw Daniel, I cried for joy and excitement.

Our ceremony was exactly what we wanted: short, sweet, and meaningful. I don’t remember a thing the preacher said, to be honest. And I barely remember saying my vows. The truth is, all I remember from our ceremony is looking at Daniel and laughing, smiling, and (lots of) crying. I remember exchanging the rings, and nodding at him to follow through with a funny, very-puckered-up kiss we had planned when it was time to “kiss the bride”. After our ceremony, we spent two hours in the desert with Sarah, taking the most breathtaking photos I’ve ever seen.


Daniel and I received so much love leading up to our wedding. A week-long group text with my best friends made it feel as though they were with me every step of the way. Of course texting can’t replace having the ones you love physically with you, but the love and support they sent was definitely still felt. On our drive to dinner after our desert photoshoot post-ceremony, Daniel & I both agreed wholeheartedly that the day was everything we ever wanted. It was absolutely perfect for us. It was our dream wedding. And that’s the point of a dream wedding: It can be anything you want it to be: a rustic theme with 300 family and friends celebrating with you; an elopement to a far away island; or two hours gallivanting around in the desert in December. It’s your wedding, your dream. With that said, I want to send a reminder to you: While your wedding day is an incredibly important moment in time and should be represented the way you envision it, please know that what you remember from the day won’t be the decor that surrounds you while you say “I Do”, or the bridesmaid that can’t seem to be content with anything going on, or even (don’t hate me) most of the guest list. What you will remember is how you felt when you saw your husband-to-be standing at the other end of the aisle; and that magical moment when the preacher announces you two as husband and wife. So while you’re planning the wedding of your dreams, soak every moment up, and don’t get too stressed out with the details. The day will be perfect despite the color of flowers you chose for the reception tables. The ceremony won’t be ruined even if your veil keeps falling during the ceremony (personal experience). Remember what the day is truly about: the blessing and God-given gift of marriage, and the celebration of you finding your one-and-only.

Looking back on our wedding day, and what it took in those short 25 days to get there, I have so much joy in my heart. I wish I could relive it all over again. Sometimes when I see wedding flowers or invitations, I have a brief moment of wanting that second ceremony in the future. But then I’m reminded of the beautiful, wonderful wedding that was so perfect for us, and all is well in my heart.


Anna Atchison

Petite Wander was founded by Anna Atchison in March 2018. All comments and opinions are her own.

All posts


  • […] prepare you for marriage! My husband, Daniel and I were engaged for only 33 days (see more on that here), which left us little time to prepare for married life. But, truthfully, if you’ve begun […]

  • Teknoloji May 5, 2018 at 8:35 am

    There is definately a great deal to know about this issue.
    I love all the points you’ve made.

    • Anna Atchison May 5, 2018 at 7:19 pm

      Thank you!! I really appreciate it! I hope it was helpful!

  • SSD or HDD May 6, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    My brother recommended I may like this web site. He was once
    entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this
    information! Thanks!

  • minecraft free download May 14, 2019 at 11:30 pm

    I enjoy, lead to I found just what I used to be looking for.
    You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day.


  • minecraft free May 15, 2019 at 3:41 am

    My spouse and I absolutely love your blog and
    find a lot of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for.
    can you offer guest writers to write content available for
    you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write concerning here.

    Again, awesome blog!

  • minecraft download May 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Thanks a lot for sharing this with all folks you really understand what you’re speaking
    about! Bookmarked. Please also consult with my web site =).
    We will have a hyperlink change agreement between us

  • mojang minecraft download May 15, 2019 at 11:44 pm

    This information is invaluable. Where can I find out more?

  • minecraft download free May 16, 2019 at 1:56 am

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website.
    I am hoping to see the same high-grade content by you in the
    future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has motivated
    me to get my very own site now 😉

  • minecraft free May 16, 2019 at 3:37 am

    Thanks for the marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it,
    you will be a great author. I will be sure
    to bookmark your blog and may come back someday. I want to encourage one to continue your great posts, have a nice evening!

  • minecraft download free May 16, 2019 at 4:03 am

    Hi there, I enjoy reading through your article. I wanted to write a little comment
    to support you.

  • download minecraft for free May 16, 2019 at 8:43 am

    May I simply just say what a relief to uncover somebody who really understands
    what they are discussing on the net. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important.
    More and more people have to check this out and understand this side of the story.

    It’s surprising you aren’t more popular since you definitely possess
    the gift.

  • minecraft download free May 16, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    If some one desires to be updated with most up-to-date technologies therefore he must be visit this site and be up to date

  • minecraft free download May 17, 2019 at 4:05 am

    For hottest information you have to visit world wide web and on internet I found
    this website as a most excellent web page
    for latest updates.

  • free minecraft download May 17, 2019 at 5:24 am

    Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your
    blog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts.
    Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your augment and even I achievement you access consistently fast.

  • free minecraft download May 17, 2019 at 6:42 am

    This article is really a nice one it assists new internet visitors, who are wishing in favor of blogging.

  • free minecraft May 17, 2019 at 9:50 am

    I all the time emailed this webpage post page to
    all my contacts, as if like to read it next my
    contacts will too.

  • how to download minecraft May 17, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    I visit each day some blogs and blogs to read content, but
    this blog offers feature based articles.

  • download minecraft May 17, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but
    your blogs really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back down the road.

  • Leave a Reply

    About Me

    About Me

    Petite Wander

    Welcome to the blog! Here you'll find style ideas for the everyday petite woman! Read More

    Anna Atchison