I figured pictures and social media couldn’t expose all the details and behind-the-scenes, so I’m here to give y’all an in-depth review of the days leading up to the wedding – and, of course, the details of the day, including vendors and my recs!
The Most Important Lesson I Learned and Best Advice For Brides To Be
No wedding can go perfectly as planned. We ended up with a rainy, gray day and could not have our ceremony outdoors as planned, but we focused on what was most important to us – having a blast celebrating our first day as a married couple! We let up control and put all our energy into having fun at our reception, where we would meet and greet our guests and dance the night away!
For brides-to-be, my one rec is to figure out what’s most important to you as a couple – is it dancing the night away? Having one fun party? Whatever it may be that you want to mark your first day of marriage with, focus on bringing that energy to the room and most importantly, find time to be present and enjoy that special day you have been looking forward to! We celebrated with one another, danced with our guests, and had one fun party, which is truly all we wanted for our first day of marriage!
I figure I would not only pass on my advice, but give you the details and recs (especially if you are getting married in the MA area), along with some behind-the-scenes info to help you with wedding planning. For those who are just curious about different wedding traditions or less-than-traditional weddings, here is our detailed recap of our wedding week!
So, first things first and what I anticipate most brides to care the most about: vendors for the day of our wedding day! All of these, I am HIGHLY recommending (no discounts or anything, just the desire to spread the word on these amazing companies)!
Caterers: The Catered Affair
DJ: Brendan from Beat Train Productions
Hair and Makeup: Looks by Lani
Flowers: Consider The Lilies
My Wedding Day Look:
Gown: BHLDN (found in the last minute bride section – perf for a six-week engagement ;))
Shoes: Badgley Mischka(perf for us tall ladies with size above a 10)
Clutch: Bridal Amazon Find
Hair Piece: Looks by Lani Hair Accessories
My Wedding Week Recap
On Thursday night, we had a welcome dinner just for our two families. Believe it or not, this was the first day that our families met (again, I am not one for doing things the most traditional way LOL). My sister and MOH prepared a welcome dinner video that included our baby and childhood pictures and the couple pictures we had from the seven months of our relationship! The songs included some of our favorite childhood songs along with a fav of mine, “Texas Sun” by Leon Bridges, which felt fitting for a couple that met in Texas! From there, we had dinner at a large dining table in my parents’ barn (where the wedding was located). It was a lovely evening with some funny moments with our nieces and nephews going crazy off the sugar that was supplied! An amazing catering service catered the food on the South Shore in MA (highly recommend!!): Cranberry Vine Catering. The welcome dinner cake that the kids went cray-cray from and everyone LOVED was made by Veronica’s Sweetcakes.
The Rehearsal Dinner (& The Best Surprise!)
Our wedding guests were family, extended family and a few close friends. Those friends who were out-of-town guests received an invite to the rehearsal dinner! It was a lovely dinner thrown by my in-laws, who reserved a party room at the Sun Tavern! The night ended pretty early for me because I was at peak pregnancy exhaustion, where I require twelve hours of sleep. Fortunately, I appreciated the alone time and wanted my bed after all the wedding preparation, so I went back to the house to get ready for bed and my husband stayed out with his relatives and out-of-town guests.
When I returned home, I was met with one of the best surprises – my brother! I have two older brothers, one who lives and works in Louisiana as a football recruiter was uncertain that he would be able to take a weekend off since it is football season. He totally surprised me and flew in, making the celebration that much more special and perfect – siblings are the best!
The Morning of the Wedding
I woke up feeling calm, which was a pleasant surprise. So surprising that even the hair and makeup artists were wondering why as a bridal party we were all so damn calm. I was not totally sure as to why my typical anxious self was so calm, but I responded, “It could be the tiredness from pregnancy,” which, in all honesty, probably was a huge influence.
The only anxiety I experienced that morning was over the fact that we hadn’t once rehearsed our first dance, nor did I practice ahead of time for the Father-Daughter dance (that’s what happens when you give yourself six weeks to plan an entire wedding and are pregnant and a perpetual procrastinator). I made sure to take some time to be by myself and do a brief walk before I showered and got ready to prep my skin for makeup time. During that walk, I made sure to stop and appreciate the small things and take in that day, admiring the beauty of nature and the beauty even in the less-than-ideal wedding weather: rain.
Pro Tip: Make sure to order lots of food and snacks for the morning of your wedding! You do not want to walk down the aisle with hanger (especially if you are pregnant) My mom had ordered from our local grocery store’s catering services so that all of us girlies had enough food while we got our hair and makeup done.
We captured our first look outside of my parents house where the photographer had my husband stand with his back to the door as I exited. I tapped him on the shoulder and surprised him and of course the photographer got many snaps of this special moment 🙂 Needless to say the first time my husband saw me was not as I walked down the aisle but it was perfect this way and allowed us both to calm those nerves before we walked into our ceremony!
We had planned to get married outdoors but due to the rain and chilly temps, we had to go with our next best option: an impromptu service where the reception would take place – in my parents’ barn! We rearranged some tables and cleared out a small space to have a little aisle and room for our relatives to stand. Luckily for us, we always planned to keep the ceremony super small to only immediate family so there were no worries about how we would fit a ceremony indoors. It was beautiful and officiated by my father-in-law! We didn’t use any music and the ceremony lasted a total of five minutes (probs less) and it was PERFECT! I know that some of my aunts may have enjoyed the ceremony, but really I always feel like the people who appreciate this are the couple and the parents, aside from that the rest of the guests just want to have fun and celebrate!
We told all our eighty-something remaining guests to come at 5 p.m. for the cocktail hour. Since we did things a little less traditional, we had pretty much all of our photos taken ahead of the guests arriving so the cocktail hour presented us with time to mix, mingle and greet each guest!
After the cocktail hour, we had the DJ announce to everyone to take their seat (we had a seating chart despite the fact that we did a buffet) and we made our debut entrance as a married couple. Immediately after that, we had our first dance to “Harvest Moon ” which felt very fitting given that the (hilariously cheesy but still awesome) music video takes place in a barn. We danced and then thanked our guests in a quick welcome speech and then my Dad made a speech.
Then it was time for food, which was DELISH! Shortly after, we had our MOH and Best Man speeches which were so heartwarming, funny and made us feel full of love. After that, we had our father-daughter and mother-and-son dances (mine was to “My Girl,” my favorite childhood song). Once those dances were over, the dessert table was ready and we had the DJ get right into the dancing part of the night! We planned this out very intentionally because we did not want too much sitting and waiting around before getting everyone up to dance being that our main priority was for everyone to feel comfortable and have fun celebrating with us! The DJ was phenomenal and read the crowd, blasting music until the end of the night at 10 p.m. We also had a photobooth which was a BIG hit and we had late-night snacks arrive.
I danced the entire night away, which says a lot being that I was at peak pregnancy fatigue so once 10 p.m. came around, I was tired AF and ready to take off my dress, enjoy leftovers, watch a movie with the relatives still awake and then go to bed with my HUSBAND.
The following morning, my mom put together a brunch for out-of-town guests who were still around and relatives who wanted to come say hi. We had pastries from our local bakery, French Memories (highly recommend if you ever visit Duxbury, MA). She also bought tons of bagels and prepped a few brunch specials. We saw some of my cousins before they headed out of town and a few of my husband’s out-of-town friends/guests! It was relaxing and of course, being that it was a Fall weekend, Sunday football was on. I ate, rested and enjoyed time with the fam before everyone left. From there on out, we hung out with my brother who was still in town and then met my in-laws for dinner before they left to return home.
It was a wonderful weekend and I highly recommend doing a brunch if you anticipate having lots of out-of-town guests or if you are concerned about getting to see all your guests, the brunch is a wonderful opportunity to thank guests and catch up in a way more chill environment 😉
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