BEST OF 2018: WEDDING DAY
March 16 was definitely my favorite day of 2018, and also my favorite day ever. It's the day I got to marry my Instagram photographer #instagramhusband. Just kidding, it's the day I got to marry the best man I have ever known with the most genuine heart and kindest soul. Sometimes I tease him and call him a golden retriever, but his unwavering good nature and unconditional love really do make goldens his spirit animal! Our wedding story is a little bit unconventional, so I thought I would share it today, on New Year's Eve.
Dan and I planned our wedding and got hitched in 72 hours. We got engaged in November of 2017 and were planning a medium sized wedding for June of 2019, but then we came up with a different idea. I suffer from generalized anxiety, and it started to rear its unnecessary stress causing head as we started the early stages of wedding planning. We had engagement photos scheduled for the day we actually got married, and when we were three days out I had a total meltdown because I couldn't pick out the right outfits or decide on the perfect location (first world problems, I know). Dan and I started talking about the other tiny wedding details that we would have to stress over in the next year, and realized that neither of us really cared. We didn't care about centerpieces or choosing the perfect favor. We weren't interested in a grand spectacle, we don't want to be the center of attention. So we ultimately asked ourselves "why are we doing this?" and decided that the wedding we initially had in mind wasn't the right fit for us. We made the decision to get married in three days, because why not. All we wanted was to be married to each other, and it's the only part of a wedding that actually matters. We decided on a location (Byrd Park in Richmond, VA) and decided that we would meet at the park at noon and say our vows before both of our immediate families.
From there, everything just sort of magically fell into place. Publix could have our three tiered wedding cake ready in 24 hours. Vogue Flowers and Gifts could do my wedding bouquet, my flower crown and Dan's boutonniere (which he forgot to wear!) in 48 hours. My mom's best friend's husband does photography, and he oh so generously agreed to come and do photos for us. My mother in law knew someone from the court system named Bishop who was willing to officiate the ceremony.
My mom is Say Yes to the Dress' number one fan, so she had always dreamed of taking her only daughter wedding dress shopping. Tiffany's Bridal was my fairy godmother in this situation. They told me they have a basement room with dresses all under $500 that are either from a past season or have a small tear in the tulle/missing a bead etc. that they would let me shop. The dresses were actually beautiful, and I ultimately decided on the one that I loved and also seemed to make my mom the happiest, by Essence of Australia. I paid $100 for this $2,000 dress. Tiffany's Bridal THEN called their partner who does alterations and convinced them to do my dress in 24 hours. At that point I was really asking myself is this real life. She said she would do it and the finished product blew my mind. For $200, I had a perfectly fitting wedding gown that made me feel like a very real bride. The most important detail that came together was Dan's brother, Stephen, who lives in California. Dan absolutely was not ready to say his vows without his big brother standing by his side, so when Steve called to say he would be on a flight to Richmond the next day, we both cried. This 72 hour wedding planning experience could not have been more unbelievable as everything we wanted came together. It also made us both feel so connected to our hometown as we watched these phenomenal local businesses go all out to make our day happen even though we weren't spending much money. It was a really touching experience. We got our wedding certificate from the court, and we were ready to go.
On the morning of the big day, Sephora did my makeup for free. When I told the makeup artist that it was my wedding day, she spent 90 minutes on my face when normal appointments are only 60 minutes. She was phenomenal. My brother's girlfriend, Bronte, did my hair because I don't know what I'm doing with a curling iron and she is a WIZARD with hair. I put my dress on, donned my flower crown (which I was SO excited about haha) and grabbed my handwritten vows. I was ready to go and meet my groom!
The ceremony was beautiful and we could not have been any happier than we were during those 20 minutes. It was the best 20 minutes I've ever had. When it was over, we did family pictures and got shots with our guest of honor (our dog, Hadley), and then we all traveled to my new in-laws' house for a little luncheon reception. We were joined by some of our friends and spent the afternoon sipping champagne, munching on delicious food, and just soaking in our day.
We wrapped everything up at the Jefferson Hotel in downtown Richmond, where we invited our friends and family to join us for cake and more champagne (because on your wedding day you get all the champagne you want). Afterwards, the "kids" got together and went over to Quirk Hotel for more drinks and celebrations. It was honestly the best night where we were surrounded by all of the people we love the most. I was so excited to celebrate with my girlfriends, because I missed the bridesmaids/bachelorette party experience. Here are my beautiful "bridesmaids":
Our wedding was a dream and I can't imagine a better 2018. We took our honeymoon a couple of months later in the Virgin Islands, which I will share in a later post. Thank you so much for reading and I hope you got to have at least one magical moment this year!