I wanted to link up today with Holly and Melanie they are hosting a link-up party since it's wedding season and have asked everyone to share their special days! And let's be honest, what former bride doesn't want to talk about the wonder of their wedding day (or the horror) right? So here goes, follow the link and link-up if you have some great wedding wisdom you'd love to share with newly engaged girlies!
I've shared a lot of my wedding details and photos on here (if you're interested click on the OUR WEDDING tab or go here). My husband, Mike and I had dated for quite a while before we got engaged. We didn't mean to necessarily plan a quick wedding, I always thought I'd plan for a full year, instead we planned it and made it happen just six short months after he proposed. I figured we'd been together this long, we're not getting any younger AND I wanted a fall wedding so engagement in April meant having a October wedding.
We were married on October 22, 2011. Ten. Twenty Two. Eleven. The date really wasn't significant other than wanting a fall wedding, in October, and it was the only week available at the venue we chose. We later discovered that in fact the date 10/22 is actually Pearl Jam's anniversary of their first official show. Being HUGE Pearl Jam fans, we were floored when we found this out while watching their PJ20 documentary. It was meant to be. [We spent our first wedding anniversary celebrating at a Pearl Jam show, obsess much?]
We wanted an outdoor ceremony, from the moment we discussed a marriage and wedding that was our plan. I had always wanted a beach wedding but quickly realize that due to the nature of our outdoorsyness (totally a word) we were much more suited for the wilderness vs. an ocean front wedding. We settled on a great Lake lodge in Alabama with water front views and foliage as our back drop.
BRIDAL PARTY //
Um, it was huge. Way larger than I would have thought I'd originally want in my wedding party. That being said, Mike has a huge family so most of them are his siblings and our friends sprinkled in. I was very happy to have so many friends from so many phases in my life. I had my oldest and closest friend from 7th grade until graduation and beyond, another dear high school friend, my maid of honor and I didn't get a long in high school and becomes the best of friends in our 20's, a dear friend I met in my late 20's and became close to, my future sister-in-law, my hubby's best friend and my dear friend, and my junior bridesmaids both daughters of two of my maids. The party is filled out on my husband's side by three brothers, a brother-in-law, and two best friends. His father also jumped in this photo, which makes me chuckle. Our flower girl is my youngest sister-in-law and our ring bearers were Mike's nephews. Did you get all that? It was huge but I'm really happy to have so many dear friends from all the different parts of my journey in life to find my husband.
Olive or Fern Green and Chocolate Brown were the main colors but we also went with lots of oranges and golds for the flowers. I simply wanted as many fall colors present as possible. As you can see the girls all wore green dresses, junior bridesmaids wore brown and I allowed them all to pick a dress they loved on their body. Oddly enough four of them in different locations picked the same dress. This concept BLEW their minds. None of our shoes match either. The girls all got gold heels, different styles. I also told all the dudes to simply pick a pair of shoes they loved, as long as they were brown, they were good by me. We had cowboy like boots worn and torn, we had Vans (worn by my husband), nice loafers and even TOMS on the little boys. I loved it. I wanted each person to be able to express themselves. My husband purchased special ties in green for the guys with a tree screen printed on them, and he got a brown one with a gold tree on his. The little boys had brown too and I nearly died when they little clip ons came in, SO cute!
FIRST DANCE //
We had our first dance to GnR's "Patience" The song has special meaning for our relationship because for me, I knew from the moment I met him I wanted to be with him. And while he was really fond of me too, he wasn't sure if he wanted to start a long distance relationship (for new people to my blog I am originally from Maryland and he lived here in Alabama where we currently live. Yes, after 5 months of dating I hauled my cookies to AL from MD and never regretted it for a single minute). If we hadn't chosen Patience and if the song "Longing To Belong" by Eddie Vedder had been released in time for our wedding THAT would have been our first dance song. Our videographer knew Mike's love for PJ and when he did our "teaser video" for the wedding he used that song in the beginning so I still feel like it was a special impact to our day. I can't listen to the song without picturing our wedding video so it's a great compromise.
We went to Cozumel, Mexico. It was poised to be an epic vacation but was dampened by Hurricane Rina. Dampened as in... we had to leave our resort and travel inland to safety and stay at a $45/night hotel with a few of the other hotel patrons we befriended while there. It wasn't horrible but a bit scary. Needless to say we spent maybe 2 days in our 5+ day trip relaxing total, and that was only in bouts of 2 hours at a time. The rest of our honeymoon was spent flooded with text messages, emails and panic from our parents. We plan to have a do-over eventually. We made it safely home and we have an exciting tale to tell to everyone. However, I would have traded having a boring story about eating until we popped, drinking until we passed out and woes of sunburn instead.
WHAT WOULD I CHANGE? //
I really wouldn't change much about my wedding. I might have gone with a different dress. While I loved mine, it didn't have the free flowing bohemian vibe I thought about having. I also would have said eff the padding for my boobs - I didn't need padding I looked REALLY top heavy. It was a bit crazy. I thin the dress was a bit of my biggest issue. I ate, I drank, I was merry and we partied well into the night. And I would definitely change the fact that we rented chairs for the event. The resort supplied chairs but I didn't love them, so I rented chairs for the ceremony, half of them were busted, and dirty and Mike and my father spent the AM stressing over that to get it right without me having ANY knowledge of this. It was a waste of money, and I should have gotten over my "has to be perfect" moment because the chairs the resort had were just fine. I got pretty much everything I wanted for my wedding day, and all within reasonable prices. My biggest splurge was photography and it was worth EVERY penny. They are the memories I have the most.
We forgot one item so a checklist is vital. I forgot to purchase things to cut the cake and serve it with and the hotel didn't have any available by the time we cut the cake (9PM) so I would have cut the cake sooner but I guess I saved myself embarrassment right?
Everything else went well. We had signature cocktails, we purchased our own booze for the event so we got to keep all the left overs and had a blast with all our friends and family. I might have changed one thing and that's the honeymoon destination - I'm usually really in the know about hurricanes and I'm not sure why it slipped my mind that it was still PRIME hurricane season over there. OOPS! Live and learn!
HEAD OVER AND LINK UP!!!! I want to hear everyone's stories!!!