I’m pretty sure my mother-in-law thought I was crazy- even in the days leading up to our wedding, if anything wasn’t ready yet, my answer was always, “but I’m not worried about that.” And truly, I wasn’t! David and I agreed, as long as we had someone special to marry us, great music, an abundance of tasty food and the best company to share it all with, we would be in love with our day. We wanted to keep it simple but full of personal touches.
The girls and I began the day getting ready in my parent’s house, while David and the boys were getting ready in the lodge next door (his best friend Russ’ family home).
Two wonderful stories about next door- it is where David and I met, and more impressively, David helped build the lodge! We are blessed to have spent so much time there getting to know each other and falling in love, and so grateful to have taken our portraits in a spot that already holds so many amazing memories.
Russ’ parents are two of the sweetest people we know, and we consider their family as part of our own, so it only seemed natural to ask his dad to become ordained in order to marry us. If you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Frank, you understand why we wouldn’t want it any other way.
It began to rain just as the ceremony was supposed to begin, so we had to move it indoors. This is the only part of the day I was a little disappointed in. We planned to marry in the gazebo in our venue’s beautiful gardens, and the one photo I was most looking forward to was a “reverse” photo of our first kiss, where we would get to see our family and friend’s faces, too, rather than just their backs. Unfortunately, there was no room for this inside. Still, [Reverend] Frank did an amazing job with the ceremony, David’s vows were nothing short of breathtaking (so, going after him, mine were alright. . . ), and we escaped the August heat. I may not have the photo I wanted, but I have the best husband a girl could ask for, and that’s really all I need!
Since the invitations and RSVP cards were book themed, we tied that into a few small touches at the wedding.
I found a single card catalog drawer and we used that as our seating chart. I wanted to add some books, so we found The Best of Families, The Red Raven, and David the King (very fitting). Yes, I am a dork.
We placed David’s grandfather’s typewriter next to the card catalog, with one of my favorite songs typed out. (Alright, I cheated a bit there- they were actually printed and placed in the typewriter. . .) I love that it was another piece of family history we were able to integrate into our wedding.
We found a set of small encyclopedias at a thrift store, and I knew as soon as I saw them that they would make excellent table numbers. David spray-painted them pink, and we stamped the table numbers on the front. We also stamped “More Than Everything” along each spine. I wanted centerpieces people could take home and actually use, so I was very pleased when I found these ceramic planters that look like old wooden buckets. We filled them with baby’s breath to keep it simple. I loved the look of the burlap squares on the silky tablecloth. We finished it off with different blocks at each table, also for the guests to take home.
And of course, to honor David’s love of books (comic, that is), he found these awesome boutonnieres on Etsy and we had to have them!
Our DJ was a family friend, and we were so glad to have him emcee the wedding and bring another personal touch to our wedding day. At first we didn’t want to ask – we wanted him to enjoy the night rather than spend the time working, but he was happy to help. It really put me at ease knowing our party was in great hands; we gave him a few must-plays, a few do-not-plays, but otherwise gave him free range knowing what we like. We also had him set up his photo booth which served as both a favor for the guests and our guestbook. My bridesmaids and I had a small production line going the night before the wedding to create little packets for the guests to keep their copies in, hoping it would make it easier for them to keep their strips from getting lost or wrinkled.
We also had a candy buffet and a cigar bar as favors. David’s mom and her friends did an amazing job putting these together, and really captured the essence of the wedding. The candy buffet was filled with our favorites, including bourbon lollipops. The cigar bar featured old photos of David’s grandfather in Cuba and a vintage map of the island.
Our rings are also full of family history. The center diamond on my engagement ring is from the ring my grandfather used to propose to my grandmother. It holds a special place in my heart because of this, but also because I can’t believe my grandmother was able to keep the secret that David had asked to take it! David brought the diamond to his family jeweler to create my beautiful ring. He is an old friend of David’s grandparents, and also provided David’s parents with their wedding rings. We were able to visit him in New York City to choose our wedding rings, too. I am reminded of family, love, and hope for what the future has in store for us every time the sparkles catch my eye.
We are blessed to have so much love in our life, and so many people to enjoy it with.