We've been married one year! So, since everybody loves a good wedding story, we thought we'd share our "Wedding Blog!" Here's the (long) story of our big day, complete with pictures. We are forever grateful to all of our guests and vendors who made our day incredibly special!
Had I known that our wedding would be as AMAZING as it was, I would have been a much nicer person when I was planning it! It was Uh-Maz-Ing. I still really can't believe it.
I'm not sure where to begin with everything - so I will start with the theme. For whatever reason, our theme was "Stars and Constellations." I don't remember why we came up with this theme, we just did at some point, so we went with it. The colors were dark blue and purple. The cake had stars cascading down it and was on a table with a cloth that had the galaxy on it. The favors were Hershey Kisses with little stars on them in little blue star bags. Each table number was a different constellation. I had stars on the walls too! I ordered blue and purple uplighting and two star "gobos" to cast star images on the walls. Even my dress for the rehearsal dinner had stars on it AND so did my Converse tennis shoes I wore underneath! It was super cool.
A candle light ceremony was a dream of mine. But it was 4pm and I kind of have a fear of fire. So, we did string lights in the blackout curtains in the ceremony space and TONS of battery operated candles on wine barrels in the room. We lowered the lights a tad and BAM a candle light ceremony! The pics show things a little brighter, but the lights were in fact dim.
So, now you kind of know the scene. Oh yeah, it was a hotel wedding too (so that people could you know, have their beverages and then safely go upstairs to bed)
A couple of days before the wedding, I KNEW we had everything in order. From the vendors, to the decorations, to the venue, to the schedule. It was planning + preparation. So, we weren't spinning and going too crazy.
The party started with the rehearsal dinner and we had the BEST wedding party ever. My side had three of my best friends and Rob's daughter, Jessica. Rob's side had his youngest son and three of his best friends. We could not have asked for a kinder, funnier, sweeter and more supportive group of people. We had a small enough group of people at our rehearsal dinner to be able to introduce everyone to each other. From our wedding party, to out of town guests, close friends, my Canadian relatives and my parents we acknowledged everybody and then ended the evening with a cigar (no, that's not a normal habit for us!) and an evening in the pool.
Of course, the next day was our Wedding Day. I don't even remember being nervous. I think because I was focused on getting food for my wedding party. THAT was the big goal before my hair and make up was done. So, after breakfast, I said goodbye to Rob for the day (I know, we're naughty, we saw each other the night before AND the morning of!) and my mom and I went to Costco for those pinwheel sandwiches and some chips and drinks.
I was VERY OBSESSED with making sure that everyone ate. I didn't want anyone passing out. You know those videos where people are at a wedding and they pass out? I always wondered how that could happen...until I had my own wedding. Then, it became very clear that with all the chaos of the day and the days leading up that people don't eat, then end up standing at the altar...and then BOOM...down they go. Well...NOT AT OUR WEDDING, MY FRIEND!.
At Noon, it was time to get ready. THIS is where the nerves set in. Denise and Brittany, our hair and make up women came to the hotel suite. I made it through the hair appointment pretty well, but it was when I was getting my make-up done where I got nervous. Cuz you can't do much more than sit there when your make up is getting done...so you just have to sit and think..."Are the flowers here yet?" "Are we running on time?" "Is the DJ here yet?"
Actually, the DJ became this weird obession of mine. I was SO WORRIED that the DJ wouldn't show. It had nothing to do with him either. He assured me that in 25 years of DJing weddings, he had never missed one! But I knew that if there was no DJ...there was no party. I think this stemmed from a wedding I was at 25 years ago where the DJ didn't show because the deposit hadn't been made. SO at the last minute that had to dig into the yellow pages (remember those?) and find a DJ! They DID. But that always stuck with me.
So, at 1:30, I called DJ Pete...he was four miles away. YAY!
I kind of relaxed about that whole thing, but still, I was a ball of nerves. People were telling me to smile for pictures and in my head, I was like "Smile? I can't SMILE at a time like this!"
We did a "First Look" where my dad came in to the suite to see me. There IS video of this and soon, we'll have it for you.
Then, we all walked down to the ceremony and reception spaces so that I could check them out before the big moment.
It was quite fun walking down there. We went through the halls (avoiding Rob and his groomsmen) and met up with some friends along the way. I got down into the lobby and people stopped and saw me and yelled "Congratulations!" It was pretty cool. I mean, you don't get to walk around in full bridal regalia everyday!
Then, we waited for a VERY long half our in the reception space waiting to go next door to the ceremony space. Some of my girls went out into the lobby and saw Rob. They said he looked excited and nervous. I sat, I stood, I drank water, I waited.
Finally, our Day-Of-Coordinator, Tina said "Let's go get married!" I get tingles typing that.
Our bridal party walked in to Iz "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I rememeber hearing that music...and then Canon in D started for me. It's funny, I always dreamed of walking in to that song...but when the moment came, I didn't even hear the music. With my wonderful, incredible father by my side I just walked in and saw so many familiar faces. SO many of them. Old friends, people from far away, family, people I see all the time and people I rarely see. I stopped right before we went down a little set of stairs and looked at the face of my (future) husband. My dad kissed me on the cheek and hugged Rob, and then I took a deep breath and had Rose, our officiant pause so I could look around. Then, she began our vows.
It was a GREAT ceremony. Rob and I waited so long for it. We did not recite our own vows, but we did send Rose reasons we loved each other for her to include in the vows. We did this in secret so that it was a surprise when we did out vows. Some of our loved ones also sent words of advice to be included in the vows. My Uncles Mark's were particularly funny as he had adult language in his!
When I slid Rob's ring on his finger, I whispered "Finally!" At one point, Rob wiped a tear from my eye. Writing about this ceremony in no way does it justice. But it was the ceremony I've waited for my whole life. After Rob kissed his bride (he did a very good job of this too!) we danced back down the aisle to "You Make My Dreams Come True" by Hall and Oates. It was AWESOME.
As we gathered together after the wedding, Rob told me how beautiful I looked and that I looked "ravishing." He still tells me what a beautiful bride I was.
While our guests enjoyed cocktail hour (well, I hope they did!) we took pictures. I asked our photographer, Will, if we could do a SHORT session of photographs. So, that's what we did. Next thing I knew, he and our wedding coordinators Terri and Tina were like "Well, you can go out and mingle!" I was like "Really? That's allowed? We can mingle?" So - we did!
We went out to cocktail hour. We didn't get too far, but we did see a good handful of loved ones. At one point, Terri and our photographer were like "Why don't you guys take a quiet moment to yourselves?" Terri was like "We'll buy you a drink!" This was a BRILLIANT idea. We got about 20 minutes to ourselves to have an adult beverage and collect ourselves. What a great idea. Seriously, I reccomend this to any bride and groom. This moment enabled us to walk in to our reception energized and ready to go.
When that big moment came, we waited outside the reception space with our wedding party and my parents as everybody was introduced. We all walked in to Bruno Mars' "Uptown Funk." I danced until the song was over. I don't know if I was supposed to do that...but I did! This also gave me a chance to show the crowd my high top shoes with the glow in the dark laces that I changed in to after the ceremony.
Speeches were given by my parents, our maid of honor and our best man. They all did a wonderful job.
The meal was great. After dinner, we tried to socialize as much as we could...but any bride and groom will tell you that it is SO HARD to spend enough time with everyone. It's a shame, because the room is truly filled with everyone that you love.
Our first dance was to Collin Raye's "In This Life." That is a beautiful song (look it up!) and we've waited years for that moment.
My favorite moments during the ceremony were when my friends and I did a dancefloor sing along to "Africa" by Toto. Our final songs were Etta James' "At Last" and "I Can't Help Falling in Love with You." As we danced to that final song, just Rob and I, Rob said "Look...look around..everyone is singing" and indeed, everyone was around us in a circle singing with Elvis, holding hands and looking at us. It was a breathtaking moment...just typing this makes me cry!
It was a helluva wedding. We still have people telling us it was the best wedding they've ever been to.
I still can't even believe it went so beautifully.
So - advice to future brides (and grooms!)
If you're doing the big ol' wedding (we had about 100 people) plan ahead. It really does take a year to plan.
Everyone tells you this - but it's true - do NOT sweat the small stuff. It's not worth it AT ALL. There are so many moving parts and details and the day is so big that sweating over the wrong flower will create unnecessary misery. I had a backdrop to use for our "Flipbook" station that I ordered that was actually NOT going to work. I just laughed and let it go and had the flipbook people bring their own. I just had too much going on to worry about it. For me, I fretted over the time and money it was taking to put together an event that only lasts a couple of hours...but I will tell you...it was worth every moment and penny.
And what matters most? I married my soul mate.
Thank you to everyone, from our friends and family to our vendors who made our day incredible. Here's to a lifetime of love.