Bottom Line: I loved our wedding. Every single second of it. This past week I actually watched back our wedding ceremony with a friend, and it was so sweet to look back and still remember feeling like everything was perfect. However, I thought it might be helpful/fun to look back on our day and make note of a few things I learned from having a wedding of my very own, as opposed to from reading online or observing other weddings. I genuinely can't believe that this day was two and a half years ago.. and the engagement portrait below was 3 years ago! WOW!
We actually traveled to Austin to take our photos with our amazing photographer, Caroline. If I could only keep one thing about our wedding the same (besides my groom, of course!) it would be the decision to have her shoot our wedding.
I LOVED taking a little day trip with Ben for these photos. It was really fun for us to get out of town during the crazy season of wedding planning, and truly enjoy our session. It was really sweet.
I remember trying to be frugal and use what I had for photo outfits, which is totally great and fine.. but I changed my mind last minute and ended up running out and choosing the first dress I didn't hate. I do like it, but if I would have researched like I usually do with things, I might have actually ended up saving more $$ and ending up with something I'd been happier with. In this case, the dress I purchased was from LOFT, a retailer that has 40% off sales every weekend or every other weekend. I got this dress during the week because I was on a time crunch.. no discount.
We chose to get married at the church Ben grew up in, that I attended in high school. The only problem was that it isn't a very attractive space. And beautiful photos were a huge priority for me. The house pictured above belongs to Ben's aunt and uncle. It's just two blocks away from our current home, and about a minute away from the church. It's beautiful and Southern.. my favorite! One day inspiration struck and we decided to have all the girls get ready at the Thomas home, and to do our first look and all the portraits there. One of the best decisions we made! Aunt Cathy took such good care of us, and feeling the comforts of home leading up to our big day was incredibly sweet to me. If you're dissatisfied with the outer appearance of where you're getting married, I highly recommend looking into an alternate portrait venue.
We got married at 3pm, meaning our first look was at 12:30. The whole morning I just wanted to savor the time getting ready with everyone, and I ended up not having time to write Ben's wedding day letter. Worst wife ever, I know. If you think your schedule might be tight or you know yourself. Write it the day before. It will still be sweet. :) This notecard is literally still in my nightstand drawer. I'll save it for our 5th or 10th anniversary or something.
I let Ben pick out my wedding shoes and surprise me with them day of. I realize this could have gone really wrong.. but in our case, it went WAY right. :)
Just a note: wearing a veil was what made me really feel like a bride. :)
Put your MOH first on the hairdo schedule. Sweet Lucy looked beautiful in every shot of our video and in photos, but it ended up she got her hair done last, and so she was left with normal hair in some shots. It doesn't bother me at all, but I would hate it if she ever felt weird about that. It could have been eliminated with some extra thought though.
While on the topic of my sweet MOH, the morning of our wedding she stitched my new monogram into my dress. It was last minute but is one of my favorite details of the day. She completed the monogram first thing in the morning and then stitched it into the dress once our photographer was there to record the sweet moment.
Being lead in prayer with my bridesmaids by my highschool/college/forever mentor was one of the sweetest parts of the day, and it was a great way to include Christy in our day. She also played the piano, but I loved getting to see her before walking down the aisle and to bring our focus to Jesus before the big shebang!
I had saved some wedding inspiration throughout college, it was one image of bridesmaids with their arms linked, all wearing crochet shawls. I am so pleased that we chose to order them for our bridesmaids, I think it really completed the look. And kept them warm! You wouldn't know looking at photos.. but it was freezing! And just a few days before there was snow on the ground.
I didn't realize it was true until the morning of our wedding.. but I'll never forget our sweet photographer commenting on what a classic bride I was. The strand of pearls I was gifted by my hubby morning of really added to that, too! I might have chosen slightly differently now, but I am so thankful I didn't go overly trendy. I'll always be attracted to different gown styles, but I think what I ended up with was truly timeless.
Because our venue wasn't exactly beautiful, I'm really glad we invested in a few personal details that really made it special. Example: overly expensive VW van cake. :)
I used our wedding as a shameless excuse to purchase this beautiful canvas. It now hangs in our home and is one of our most complimented pieces.
This week my friend Susan told me that her favorite detail of our wedding was that we had a violinist. I'm so glad we got connected with Ashley, because the strings really formalized the feel of our mostly laid back affair.
I love that we got to include several subtle family shout outs during our reception!
One of the perks of choosing the church over a formal venue is that we had an unlimited guest list. We gave our parents the freedom to invite whoever they wanted, and I invited pretty much everyone and anyone that I wanted. This isn't for everyone, but we loved being surrounded by such a large and varied support system. I wish I could go back and relive having so many special people gathered together.
We included the Aggie War Hymn in our reception.. and it was such a blast. So glad we included it!
My cousins from England who I rarely see made the trip for our wedding. So thankful for that! I wish they had been included in formal portraits. It's an error 100% on me.. but because of the distance it would have been sweet to take advantage of it. We do have the photo below, from the rehearsal. It's one of my all-time favorites, because it was the first time my Nanny saw all four of her grandchildren at once. She's seen us in different combinations, but never all together!
You can find more details and posts from our wedding here.