WE ARE MARRIED! We returned from our breathtaking and amazing honeymoon in Greece (holler if you want a blog post on our adventures)! Our wedding weekend was truly wonderful and filled with so much family, friends, and celebrations that my introverted soul needed the ten days vacation. But it was perfect and the best result: I married my best friend. Perk: he’s super handsome.
Courtney Smith Photography was with us all day long and perfectly captured everything we had planned. Keep scrolling to see the beautiful photos, my notes, and what I took away from the day!
We were both able to start the morning relaxed, with our best friends and some family too. My girls brought in giant BRIDE balloons to fill the hotel room, ordered Bread Co, brought Starbucks, and it was perfectly low-key.
I had a custom bracelet made from Etsy with our wedding date. When we bought his wedding band, we got it engraved to match. VIII.IV.XVIII.
Yes, I’m handing my mother a crochet hook. Because every planner knows it helps button those buttons. (Especially when your mom is so teary-eyed that she can’t see straight.)
After we were all ready, we checked the weather again (it was hot at 92 but much better than we had been expecting). Courtney found a shady and cool spot in Benton Park for our first look. [We had to put my dress bag around the windows of the car so Conner didn’t sneak a peek and MOH Dani was working up a sweat coordinating it.] Well worth it.
A lot of brides ask me about first look versus not. I’ve always been a traditionalist and thought I would never do a first look. But the planner in me has come to love the perks of a first look. [Hint: Photographers love them too!]
I left the decision up to Conner and a few months before the wedding, he changed his mind and decided he wanted a first look. I am extremely happy we ended up doing it – it gave us more time together, got all our pictures out of the way, and was truly more relaxing. Plus they are some of my favorite pictures from the day. And yes, his reaction when I walked down the aisle was still awesome because the moment of getting married is still real and emotional. But go with your gut! The timeline will always work out.
Quick moment to say our friend Ashley NAILED the hair game. All the girls looked amazing and she took my super complicated style (and heavy hair piece) and made it look effortless.
Courtney Smith Photography
The look that says, “You can’t stop being a wedding planner, can you?”…. Also, I hear a joke at every.single.wedding about not sticking someone with a pin. Our wedding was not an exception.
After we regained composure our crazy wedding party joined us.
We were told to, “do the Janice laugh from FRIENDS.”
These pictures were a lot of fun and another shout-out to Dani for bringing a confetti popper – my ALL TIME favorite picture came from that moment and I’m impatiently waiting for my large print of it to come in the mail.
Client Q: How did you make sure to stay in the moment and enjoy yourself?
A: I had a day of coordinator 😉 But really, when you’re next to your best friend and surrounded by family – it’s so much easier than you think! Nobody believed I would be able to stop being a planner and be a bride and I think I did okay. I didn’t end up checking the timeline or running around like I thought. I let go and let my vendors do exactly what I had hired them to do. I felt relaxed and all that really mattered at the end of it all was that we were laughing, having fun, and getting married.
Okay….. so when I said I “let go” – some of these pictures don’t reveal that. Yes, I had my Panic Packs on hand; yes, I pinned the boutonniere on my man; yes, I checked the timeline once or twice. But I also think those were special moments for me – the collision of what I love to do with my favorite day. See, look how happy I am!
And I know I’ve said it a lot, but the picture below is one of my favorites. I texted Courtney the other day and said that, “it perfectly encompasses us.” Him at the piano and me writing notes on a timeline.Recommend: private vows. Highly recommend: let the bride go first. This was the part of the day I was looking forward to most. He volunteered to go first and I didn’t realize it was the wrong choice until my makeup was smeared and I couldn’t stop tearing up. But it was so special and we will have memories of this moment together for the rest of our lives. (Shout-out to Courtney Smith again for the custom vow book!)
I only had one photo request for the day: to have a ring shot on the piano. I can’t wait to blow this up and hang it above his piano in our house someday. Our second shooter Molly killed it!
After all of this, it was time to actually get married. We had a prayer circle with our wedding party and parents right before we went down the aisle and then we were cued by some pretty awesome music.
Groom’s Entrance: Taking Care of Business by BTO (Conner’s pick)
Parents & Wedding Party: How Would You Feel by Ed Sheeran (this song played in the background as Conner proposed to me)
Bride’s Entrance: my favorite version of Canon in D by Trans Siberian Orchestra
For the first time I was at the whole ceremony and present instead of in the back looking through my binder and calling vendors and keeping track of the timeline.
Recessional: I Choose You by Sara Bareilles
Now THAT is the kind of reaction you want!
Okay, on to my personal Instagram favorites: detail and setup shots. I was able to go to the venue all Friday to setup and it was truly special for me. To be able to do for myself what I do for all my clients was actually a lot of fun. Call me crazy, but it was a huge reason I chose the venue that I did. I used it as a time to unwind, focus, and make our wedding exactly what we wanted it to be. Thank you to friends and family that helped us that day!
All vendor love is at the bottom, but I’ll spread some here too. Karen with Serendipity Floral Events went ABOVE & BEYOND what we asked. She added in peonies and ranunculus making my bouquet a combination of my three favorite flowers.
Jody and An Affair to Remember’s team helped narrow down my options for linens and they were my favorite part of setup. We had ivory satin, champagne sequins, and ivory rosette linens. It was the perfect combination of beauty, fun, and flair.
The centerpieces, cake stands, and decor all come from my personal inventory. So brides, future clients, if you see something you love – you know where to find me!
I also painted this canvas as an anniversary present for Conner a year or so ago. Not knowing that it would combine our proposal song and first dance song. Coincidence or perfect planning?
Oh, the cheesecake cutting. I had to carve out time during our wedding week to make his favorite, home-made cheesecake. I also bought a can of whipped cream (one of his life staples) and stashed it under the table.
The photo sequence of this event is pretty awesome, I think. Except the part where I didn’t actually get to taste cheesecake.
Conner had three requests for the wedding: his own ceremony walk-out song, cheesecake, and the shoe game. He got all three (and me) so it was a pretty good day for him 😉 Also, pretty sure this was the moment of our first marital spat.
First Dance: Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran
Does anybody ever wonder what the bride and groom talk about when they’re on the dance floor during their first dance? Well Conner and I talked about…Actually, neither of us can remember.Father/Daughter Dance: Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
Mother/Son Dance: Handful of Weeds by Sheri Easter
The rest of the night was spent with our family and friends – who traveled so far to celebrate with us – dancing, laughing, and catching up.
Thank you to everyone – vendors, wedding party, family & friends – for making our day so special. So beyond what we imagined or could ask for. You are really the ones that made it truly fantastic. I’ll stop talking now.
Photography: Courtney Smith Photography // Bridal Gown: Cleo Bridal / Designer: Stella York // Florist: Serendipity Floral Events // Caterer: Pasta House Co // Suits: The Black Tux // Rentals: An Affair to Remember // Donuts: Tony’s Donuts // Cupcakes: Custom Cakes by Kindra // Hair: Ashley Akins (contact me if you want her info!)