Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wedding Wednesday ~ It's All in the Details

Our wedding day, as of now, is one of my most favorite memories. The most important day of our lives so far and I am extremely proud of how it turned out. Since I wasn’t blogging while we were planning I’m going to continue to back track to wedding details so that we can remember the year leading up that wonderful day.


When Nick and I started wedding planning our first step was to create our vision. We had to imagine what our day would look like and then figure out how to piece all of it together.
I’m not going to lie, this was no easy task. Mr. M {ahem} has a difficult time visualizing things that aren’t in front of him... But that's ok. It challenges me to put more thought into my ideas and come up with creative ways of convincing him to like what I like, so I can get what I want. Which is always the end goal right?
It was easy to decide on our theme. We knew we wanted to get married in Napa. So of course our theme was what I like to call "Vineyard Chic". We spend a lot of time in Napa and it’s a place that we both love so that part was a no brainer. The problem was that Napa is not cheap. We are young homeowners with student loans to pay and we didn’t have endless funds to blow on a wedding.

We are both Type A crazy people list makers, and excel spreadsheet lovers. So, we were able to budget pretty easily and set off to find a venue that we both loved, that we could afford, that was near vineyards. We couldn’t believe some of the pricing at some of the places we toured. A $15,000 minimum for just the bar tab? No thank you.

Our goal was for our entire wedding to be a direct reflection of us. We wanted our guests to look around them and think "they would do that." We are both very traditional in the sense that we wanted to incorporate traditional wedding events and well... traditions, but to make them our own at the same time. I also wanted to be able to make almost all of the decorations & accents myself.

The Photos
We both agreed that we didn't want to see each other the day of the wedding. We didn't talk or text except to say good night and a quick mushy text the next morning.

I'm not a fan of the "first look". I feel like it takes away from that once in a lifetime, magical moment of walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time. Instead, we did a "not-so first look" with blind folds. The photos turned out very Fifty Shades of Grey but I'm happy we did it. All of the nerves and anxiety of the day melted away as soon as I heard Nick's voice {and got to kiss him}. Everyone including the photographers were laughing. It was fun to do something different.

The Flowers
We didn't want typical wedding flowers. We found a florist who totally understood us and created exactly what we wanted. We wanted real wine grapes to be incorporated into our arrangements. I originally wanted peonies, but they were out of season and extremely expensive. She was able to fake the peony look by using white cabbage roses and accented them with hydrangeas that turned out perfect.

My bouquet represented my "something old." The florist used a piece of lace from Nick's grandma to wrap the stems and then wrapped my mom's rosary around the entire thing. It was beautiful.

The Gifts
We agreed that we would not spend a lot on our wedding gifts to each other.  We wanted them to be from the heart and more meaningful than a piece of jewelry or a watch or something. The challenge was to give something homemade.

I did a bridal boudoir photo shoot and slipped some super sexy {and tastefully done} photos into his card to read the morning of the wedding. Not going to share those... But I do wish I could have seen his face when he opened his card!

His gift to me? Amazing. Melt your cold feet, make you cry like a baby, amazing. I opened my gift and literally bawled my eyes out. Nick made a box, lined it with black satin, and filled it with a piece of every special memory that we share. He had saved ticket stubs from different sports games, my plane ticket from our first vacation to Hawaii together, a photo of the gas station we were at when I let the first "I love you" slip, the cork from the champagne we opened the night he proposed.. and so many more. He attached a little note to each item explaining why it was special. At that moment, I was certain that there was no better man on earth. Not one.


For my bridesmaids, I hand painted a monogram of their fist initial onto a champagne glass and bedazzled it of course. I bought them each a bottle of Bridesmaid wine from a vineyard in Napa {except little Lexie who got a bottle of sparkling cider} and ordered them each a monogrammed necklace with a Swarovski pearl from Etsy. I got one for myself as well to wear on the wedding day. I love me a good monogram.

The Ceremony
Since we couldn't get married outside of the church by a Catholic priest we had to look for ministers to marry us. I felt weird about having someone marry us that hardly knew us at all and so we started thinking about other options. Turns out that anyone can be ordained online by filling out a quick application and paying $10 for a certificate. Boom. Done. We asked Nick's cousin if he would do the honors and we wrote the ceremony on our own. It turned out beautifully and was completely us.

My dad is an extremely talented wood worker. It's not a job, but a hobby, that should be his job. I'm constantly bugging him to set up an Etsy shop. Nick and I asked him to build us an arbor to get married under, that we could later put in our backyard. He built the most beautiful piece of art. When I showed our florist a photo of the arbor she cried.

For our unity ceremony, which would typically be the lighting of the candles in the church, we did a wine box. We each spent about $100 on a bottle that we individually selected, that we knew would age well and locked the bottles in a box with letters for each other to open on our 10th anniversary. Just to make it interesting, as we were sealing the box, Nick's dad threw in a $100 bill to go to whoever's wine is the best. It's nice to know that I'll  be $100 richer in 10 years.

My dad also made the box. He told me the next morning that he had used the wood from the cherry & apple trees that grew in the front yard of my childhood home. Trees that I played under every summer growing up. Cue more crying. If my husband isn't the sweetest, most thoughtful man alive, then my dad is.

The Reception
Our wedding venue had an amazing barn wood book case that we could use to decorate. We assigned by wonderful Mother-in-love to that task and she did a beautiful job. Most of the items she used were things that I either made from Pinterest and Etsy inspirations, or bought from Etsy. It was a beautiful way to personalize the reception venue.

We have an extremely talented friend with one amazing voice. We both knew from the beginning that we wanted her to sing our first dance song. I always knew that I wanted Alison Krauss' "When You Say Nothing At All" to be our wedding song. Nick wasn't sold at first {typical} but after much pouting and playing the song on repeat he warmed up to the idea. He surprised me with the news on my 25th birthday. Do we see a reoccurring theme here? This man has the sweetest heart.

We went back and forth about how we wanted to do our guest book. I definitely didn't want a book for people to just write their names in. I mean, what's the point? The book will likely end up in a box in the garage, and who really cares? Instead, we enlisted yet another talented friend {he's also the guitar player you see above }who makes these great wood prints to make us a guest book. He designed a grape vine graphic with hundreds of little grape leaves winding around a large piece of wood for people to write their names in.

Nick loves whiskey. So rather than have a groom's cake, since he doesn't like cake, or sweets at all really, we put a cigar and whiskey bar on the patio. I personally didn't have any whiskey or a cigar, but I loved this idea and I think everyone else did to.

When we were planning I kept thinking about how depressed I was going to be when the wedding was over. I was already dreading coming home from our honeymoon and resuming real life. But you know, as wonderful as the whole thing was? I'm happy it's over. I'm so happy to be married to my sweet husband and to be living this real life of ours. I love looking back at these photos and reliving the day over and over. But for now? I'm ready to go to our friends weddings.

{Quick side note: Pandora must somehow know that I'm reliving these memories right now. It just played our wedding song and the song I danced with my dad to. Back to back. You're creeping me out internet.}


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