Any guesses? I’ll give you a hint: It was our wedding day … duh!
Holy crap. We’re MARRIED! And what’s even crazier is that it has already been over a month since we said “I do.” It’s insane how quickly time flies. I have been dying to write a wedding day recap post since the day after we got hitched, but the past four weeks have been unbelievably busy and I haven’t found the time. So much catching up on life to do! But, now that a month has already gone by, I figured it’s time to bite the bullet and share all about our perfect day.
So, I am declaring the rest of January “#Vinicky121314 Wedding Recap Month” and flooding the Internet with stories and LOTS of photos of our numerical nuptials. You’ve been warned. To kick it off, I’m starting with a detailed recap of our wedding day. However, since I have so much I want to share, I’m breaking down our wedding day into two posts: getting ready/first look/the ceremony and the reception/after party. Here’s part one.
On the morning of December 13, 2014, Jimmy and I woke up in separate rooms at the Andaz Savannah in downtown Savannah, GA and began getting ready for what was sure to be the best day of our lives. I can’t tell you what he was doing that morning, but I can certainly tell you what I was doing: minorly freaking out. Not because I was getting cold feet or nerves were getting the best of me, but because the place cards hadn’t been finished, I hadn’t even started on our wedding programs yet, and my vows were a bunch of jumbled, unorganized thoughts saved in Notes on my iPhone. (Okay, in my defense, I planned the entire wedding – every last detail – on my own, and everything else took priority at the time … and then I ran out of it.)
So, after a restless night (because I was too excited to sleep), I hopped out of bed at 5:45 a.m. and got to work. Two short hours later, my life-saving bridesmaids came to the rescue and helped me out. While I was creating the wedding programs in PhotoShop, Amanda, Whitney and Lauren were finishing the place cards, and Sarah was typing my vows and making us all cry as she read them out loud. Around 11:30 a.m., another life-saver, Meghan, came to the room, took the flash drive with the program file to FedEx/Kinkos, and came back an hour later with our ceremony programs printed and cut. HOLY COW … talk about the start to a wedding morning. All I can say is thank goodness for mimosas, amazing friends, and Sarah’s ability to keep our glasses full.
While this chaos was taking place, Rachel was starting on makeup and Mrs. Debbie and Heather were starting on hair.
To add to the craziness, my sister was MIA with my flower girls, my mom was putting things together and running around like a mad woman, my step dad was trying to figure out how the chairs needed to be set up at the ceremony site, the guys were trying to figure out how to get all of Jimmy’s stuff and the groomsmen’s tuxes from my room, one of the bridesmaids was struggling from the night before, and two of my friends were remaking some of the decorative signs because the first try didn’t fit in the frames. There was probably more, but that’s all I needed to know about. But hey, we had mimosas and Peppermint Mocha Kahlua-spiked coffee! And somehow I wasn’t really panicking too much.
We all caught our breath, continued getting ready, and the photographers and videographer started doing their thing. And my, oh my, did they do it well. I didn’t even have to give any instructions .. they just did what they love doing and the result was flawless.
My flower girls finally arrived, I gave them their gifts, and we all helped get them dressed. (P.s. I think it’s safe to say I have the most precious nieces ever!)
While getting ready, Jimmy and I exchanged gifts. His sister was the messenger, and the photographer captured both of us opening them. I gave him a black and gold watch to go with our wedding colors, along with a pair of personalized collar stays that said “You’re my person” and “See you at the altar.”
Once all of us girls were finally ready, it was time for a first look with the bridesmaids. How precious are they?
Next up: portraits with my gals!
The guys got a lot of great photos, too! So handsome and so silly.
Everyone looked so spectacular.
Next up, first look with my daddy!
Are you crying yet? If not, you will when you see these photos of me giving my mom and dad their gifts.
I gave my mom a few goodies, and an embroidered handkerchief that said, “Mom, To dry your tears today as you have always dried mine. Thank you for the wedding of my dreams. I love you, Blakeley 12.13.14.“
I gave Dad a pair of personalized collar stays that said “I love you, Daddy!” and “Always your little girl.”, a handkerchief that said, “Dad, Of all the walks we have taken, this one will forever be my favorite. You’re the first man I have ever loved, and I will forever be your little girl. I love you, Blakeley 12.13.14,” and an appropriate T-shirt.
I also gave Jimmy’s mom a handkerchief that said, “Sue, Thank you for raising the man of my dreams, for your love, support, and for welcoming me into your family. I love you, Blakeley 12.13.14.” She’s a crier, too!
Now that my eye makeup was smudged from my parents making me cry, it was time for the first look with my almost-hubby! We debated long and hard about seeing each other before the ceremony, but decided to go for it, and I’m glad we did. His sister walked him out with her hands covering his eyes, my bridesmaids peeked out of our hotel room window, and his and my sister secretly watched on the side. We were both so excited to see each other, I think it helped calm us down a little bit, and we were able to get some really great pictures together. Oh, and I cried AGAIN!
We’ve been together more than five years and have lived together for three. We’ve done a lot together and are each other’s best friends, but there’s just something about seeing the person you love most for the first time on your wedding day. That feeling of love and excitement, knowing you’re about to marry the man of your dreams … I can’t even explain it. It completely took my breath away.
Once we dried each other’s eyes and I wiped the pink lipstick from his face, we were also able to sneak in a few pictures together, too, before the sun went down.
Shortly after, it was time to head to the ceremony. My girls and I jumped on the trolley and headed to Telfair Square. And guess what … we were a few minutes EARLY! I know, I found it hard to believe, too.
Our ceremony took place at 5:30 p.m. in Telfair Square in downtown Savannah, just as the sun was beginning to set, and the weather was absolutely perfect.
It was so neat driving up to the square and seeing everything set up. I’d pictured it in my head for the past 11 months and worked so hard to create everything, and I was blown away with how beautiful it looked, and how everyone who set up made it look just like I’d imagined. (A huge thank you to those who set up the square!!! You did a fabulous job.)
We had a hot chocolate bar to keep our guests warm …
… and my nieces passed out the wedding programs and lavender to toss at the end of the ceremony.
I was excited, anxious, happy, ready, and my mouth was really dry. Surprisingly, though, I wasn’t nervous at all. Just plain happy, and I couldn’t wait to walk down that aisle and marry the love of my life. The trolley pulled up to our drop-off spot, and it was time to make our way down the aisle. I remember everyone gathering around to hide me and fix my dress’ train, and a tour group on a trolley driving by, shouting “Congratulations!” and “You look beautiful!” and snapping pictures.
Then suddenly, I heard my song, everyone stood, and Dad and I started walking down the aisle. I think he was more nervous than me!
I was waving to people as I walked down and doing just fine, until I made eye contact with Jimmy and saw him choking up. Then my eyes started to leak, too. (Fun fact: Instead of walking to the traditional “Here Comes the Bride,” I walked to the “Portuguese Love Theme” from the movie Love Actually, and surprised Jimmy. That’s his favorite movie and he loves that song, and he knew nothing about it until that very moment. He said it made him start tearing up the second he heard it.)
In that very moment, everyone seemed to disappear and nothing else in the world mattered. Just us.
Our ceremony was absolutely perfect. Our dear friend and former co-worker of mine who is now a pastor, Michael, officiated our wedding. He did such a wonderful job sharing personal stories of us, and it means the world to me that he was the one to legally solidify our commitment to one another. It was fun hearing him tell personal stories of the two of us, and really meant a lot to hear him say the kind things that he did.
There were many parts during the ceremony that had us giggling, but one of the funniest parts was right at the beginning when Dad and I made it to the altar. Before Michael even asked, “Who gives this woman away?,” Jimmy was already trying to snatch me from my dad! Dad told him to “Hang on!” and gave me a big ol’ hug, which made Jimmy even more anxious. These pictures that my friend’s mom took are priceless!
Our fiend Sean sang a song that Jimmy and I have loved for years, “Happy” by NeverShoutNever. He’s just so talented – I had to show him off to our friends and family! (Wonderful job, Sean!)
Michael read a few beautiful scriptures from the Bible, and my sweet nieces, Hope and Olivia, stood up for additional readings. Hope read “Carrie’s Poem” (from my favorite show, Sex and the City) and Olivia read an excerpt from the book Wild Awake by Hillary T. Smith. They did such a perfect job!
Jimmy and I decided to write our own vows for our wedding. We wanted to make our wedding completely personal, so doing this only made sense (but it was really hard!). Besides, when else do you really get to say those kinds of things to your special someone? We successfully made each other cry and laugh at the same time. (I’ll share our vows in a later post!)
We exchanged rings …
And then the disaster happened. To add to the originality, we decided to create our own unity ceremony. Instead of blending sand or lighting a candle, we thought it would be fun to blend two types of moonshine into one, to symbolize the two of us becoming one.
We started with homemade peach moonshine (an obvious flavor since I’m from Georgia) and apple moonshine (made with Wisconsin apples – where we vacation with his family every summer), and took turns pouring them into one large jar.
The plan was to drink a little on the 13th of every month for the first year of our marriage. All was fine and dandy … until Jimmy every-so-slightly touched the wobbly table with his knee and it tipped over, and the jars came crashing down. Before we knew it, glass was all over the ground, peach and apple slices were surrounding our feet, my girls RAN to save my dress, and everyone sat in silence waiting to see how we were going to react.
That’s when I started laughing … and laughing, and laughing, and laughing. I couldn’t stop!
Mostly because I’d debated on going through with the moonshine thing up until that morning, AND because Jimmy said he wanted something to go wrong to make our wedding memorable. Well, he definitely got his wish!
Holy cow! What an amazing feeling. I can’t even begin to explain the rush of love and happiness I felt at that very moment, but I hope it’s something everyone gets to experience in their life. Pure bliss.
After the ceremony ended, our guests loaded the trolleys and headed to the reception, and we took a few photos with the wedding party …
… and our families …
… just the two of us …
… and even got photo bombed by The Grinch himself!
Then it was time to load on to the trolley and head to the reception. Party time (post part two)!
It was the most perfect day of my life, and I wouldn’t change one single thing. The weather was absolutely beautiful, 60 and sunny, and we were surrounded by 240 people we love with all of our hearts. AND WE GOT MARRIED!!!!
A huge thank you to everyone who helped with the ceremony. Whether you were in our bridal party, helped set up, had a part in the ceremony itself, took down the chairs and decor, helped with coordination (Renee!), took pictures or video, or simply came out to witness our marriage, we are eternally grateful to each and every one of you. THANK YOU!
Here’s a full-length video of our ceremony that my step dad recorded on his phone (if you feel like watching!):
So what was our reception like?
To be continued …
In case you can’t tell, our photographer was PHENOMENAL! Click HERE to see all of the amazing pictures our fabulous photographer, Finnegan Photography, took of our wedding day.
(Note: All other photos were captured by friends and family – Mrs. Monica, Elke and Neil. Thank you all for the beautiful pictures!)