This past year has flown by, and here we are, one year wed. I never posted pictures of our wedding, so I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorites, along with some details of the day.
John and I had a short engagement - less than 3-1/2 months- on account of my sister leaving for basic training with the Air Force. She was leaving January 7, making January 4 the last possible Saturday. 1-4-14.
If we had it our way I think we would've eloped. Neither John or I particularly enjoy being the center of attention. But we both agreed that a wedding is more about the people that have loved you and supported you, and will continue to love and support you. Having a "small" wedding was impossible with our extremely large families, so we grit our teeth, whipped out an excel spreadsheet, and watched our guest list climb to over 200.
We decided right away that we wanted a morning wedding and brunch reception. We liked the symbolism of starting the day with the beginning of the rest of our lives, and we love brunch food over any other meal. We also didn't want to have a dance, or take up our guests' entire day. Plus, it was much cheaper! (Less food, less booze!)
After looking at several different venues, most of which couldn't accommodate our guest list or the time of day, we decided the most economical and least stressful option would be to hold the ceremony and reception at a large building my step-dad Dave owns, and runs a ministry out of. Dave took a series of pictures I sent him and completely transformed the empty building into an outdoor wonderland. Old vines helped to hide the dated drop-ceiling, pallets covered the walls, lighting and fabric concealed the pillars, and old doors provided a backdrop for the band. He literally cut down full trees and brought them in to flank the altar. It was beyond anything I could have asked.
We got all of the flowers for less than $600 from a flower wholesaler in the Twin Cities. My aunts put together all of the arrangements and decorations the day before the wedding. It was a little chaotic but it turned out so well.
Newsflash: Wedding dresses take a long time to get because you have to order them! I visited three different bridal shops and not one could accommodate my tight timeline (most have a lead-time of 12 weeks, minimum). My options were to take a dress off the rack and have it altered or have one made. Nothing I tried on really felt like "me" so I found a few dresses online as inspiration, found a seamstress, and had my dress made. This was definitely stressful- for me and for the seamstress- but it all worked out and I loved having a one-of-a-kind dress!
John bought a gray suit, fancy shoes and a tie. We told Juli and Pete they could wear whatever they wanted, so Juli found a great BCBG dress at Macy's, and Pete's coat is vintage. We were a mismatched crew and I loved it.
Our wedding ceremony was fast- 17 minutes! We didn't do any of the "usual" wedding rituals, like lighting unity candles or taking breaks for music or long readings. A lot of people commented on the brevity of our ceremony but most were positive comments. (I don't think many people LIKE sitting through long ceremonies!) Also, I basically sprinted down the aisle. I'm a fast-walker by nature, and didn't even think about doing the old "left-together-right-together" wedding march. My dad had to tell me to slow down when we were halfway down the aisle.
The only thing I really cared about was the food. Both John and I were adamant that we have great food, and were not interested in the typical "chicken or fish" selection. And we didn't want people to leave hungry! Wedding portions can be small! Happily, the local food co-op, which normally doesn't do weddings, agreed to cater it. It was so much cheaper than going with a standard caterer (one quote I got was for $15k!), and the food was incredible. A year later and I still have people tell me that they loved it!
We hired a blue grass band out of the Twin Cities to play for three hours, knowing that our reception wouldn't last much longer than that. Having live music certainly added to the ambiance, and I'd use them again in a heartbeat.
These are my three favorite pictures from the day.
^ ^ I love the picture above because my mom and I are standing the exact same way. #genes
John grabbed my butt during our kiss, which something I did not know was coming. It was hilarious and shocking at the same time. Oh, John...
ADVICE FOR FUTURE BRIDES
Keep in mind that this is one day out of your entire lives. Be as flexible and laid back as humanly possible. You'll enjoy yourself so much more if you aren't worried about things that 99% of people won't even notice or remember. Seriously.
And finally, a VIDEO my cousin Luke put together for us. I've watched it an embarrassing number of times.