While this is not a running related blog post, it is life related. A lot of people wanted me to share details and more importantly, photos, from our big day. We received our pictures from our amazing photographer, Clarisse Rae, about a week ago so now’s a good a time as any to share this. I still can’t believe it’s been 2 months since our wedding. Not much has changed for us aside from the fact that we no longer have the stress of a wedding hanging over us :).
Let me just say, we would’ve been fine going to a courthouse to get married and I have no idea why I put this pressure on myself to do a wedding like this, but hindsight is 20/20 am I right? Even though it was small with only 28 people total, you’re still planning the event and the tiny decisions have to be made regardless of how many people attend. So overwhelming. After Ricky and I got engaged, my little sister (who knew she would be getting engaged soon too) was dying to go dress shopping. I didn’t have a date set or anything but she convinced me it would be fun, so we did. I’d been eying these gorgeous dresses by Made With Love Bridal, an Australian company. I wasn’t sure I wanted to drop that much on a dress, but since this was “just for fun,” we went down to a local shop in Irvine that carried the label.
It was the third dress I tried on, and the last one I thought I would want based on my research on the dresses, but I kept coming back to it even after the 10th dress. It was beautiful and perfect. Wowza.
Onto the venue! Ricky really wanted us to get married in Mexico and let a resort do all the work for us, and while that sounds good in theory, you do still have to make decisions and I couldn’t imagine adding travel to our list of things to do around this time. Several years ago, we went to Howl for a community event of some sort with local vendors and a band. I loved the space and started following them on IG in the hopes I could make it to another event at some point. When we started looking for a space, most were just too large for our small wedding and minimums for us to hit were too high. I knew Howl did weddings and recalled that the place wasn’t too large like many of the other venues we found, so I hit them up. It turned into everything I imagined it would be with the vibe I wanted. You enter the space from a side alley where there are string lights and brick walls. When you get through the alley, to the right is the courtyard with slate gray walls (first picture, above) where the ceremony took place and to the left is a stairwell to get upstairs to the loft area where our reception would be.
The details. No one cares about the details (not even me), but you do care because otherwise you just have tables and chairs and a space. This was the hardest part for me because I knew it wouldn’t matter, but it did matter! Since we needed everything in smaller quantities, I went to Etsy for most of my things. Navy was the color I wanted, so I found a great calligraphist to do navy name cards with gold lettering. I found a shop in Latvia that made real wood name card holders and round wood centerpiece stands to make it look a bit rustic. I ordered dried flowers from another Etsy shop for our centerpieces, my bouquet and Ricky’s boutonniere. Our super talented friend John made our cake for us. We put together the pieces for the “altar” with dried Eucalyptus we bought at the flower mart and vases and ribbon we bought at Michael’s.
We didn’t have a bridal party. My friend Tess, who married us, and my mom came to stay with me the night before the wedding. I picked up my dress that morning with my mom (fit like a glove), and then Tess came over and we actually went to the venue to drop everything off. My amazing friend Keri helped put together succulents for the wedding favors and came with us to the venue to set things up. After setting things up for a couple hours, we went to get our nails done and chill. It was super low key. After my younger sister’s BIG wedding the weekend before, my mom felt like she should be doing something at every second, but all the work was done. It was so nice to relax.
Day of, we got coffee and hair and makeup started around 11 am. I NEVER wear makeup. Like never. I used to wear it all the time, but the last few years I’ve enjoyed going all natural and, honestly, I don’t have the time to do it. Makeup is expensive for weddings. You pay for a trial and then the actual day and ugh it was so much. I decided to forgo a trial and found Emily Lynn & Co. on IG. A lot of her brides had a beautiful natural look, so I just booked her for the day of. She did awesome!!! I was a little nervous it would be too much, but it was perfect and turned out really well in photos.
After we were done with hair and makeup, my mom helped me get into my dress and we had our NIGHTMARE moment. The clasp on the back of the dress at the top of the zipper was gone. Nowhere to be found. My mom spent a good 10 minutes trying to figure out where the F it went and we couldn’t find it. All I could do was hope it didn’t unzip in the middle of the evening. I feel like the dress didn’t feel as snug as it should’ve been, which was a tad disappointing. Luckily, it stayed up the whole night!
My dad and sister swung by to grab some last minute things for the venue that were still at my house, and then we called an Uber for my mom, Tess and I to get down to the wedding (yes, I took an Uber to my wedding!). Ricky and I were doing our first look about 45 minutes before the ceremony. It was pretty rad. Everything you think it will be except a little less romantic because your parents are looking on and you have a camera shooting at you. We got to spend some time together before everyone arrived which was so nice and took a lot of pressure off everything else. It was TIME.
We had no rehearsal. I rehearsed the ceremony with Tess the night before and my mom stood in for Ricky, but we didn’t do any formal rehearsal. You can imagine there were some awkward moments. I almost let my dad give me away and didn’t even give him a hug or kiss! We decided to write our own vows and, if you were following me on IG around this time, you know I was procrastinating. I wrote them the night before! Your wedding is the most intimate day of your life. It’s a strange thing because we had the most important people in our lives there, but it still felt very vulnerable to be up there in front of everyone reading these promises and love notes to Ricky. He cried while reading his vows, I didn’t, but it was special and awesome.
The biggest thing for me and our day was, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time doing photos or other obligatory things like toasts or the traditional stuff. After the ceremony, the bar was getting set up upstairs, and we used that as an opportunity to get photos with all our guests. Here’s some of my family and Ricky’s family.
After we used up about 45 minutes of time taking photos, we went upstairs to enjoy the cocktail hour and appetizers. We got to chat with everyone and say hi to all the guests and then it was time for dinner. We got a taco cart for dinner which was the BEST decision ever. The food was amazing and fresh and really went with the relaxed vibe we had going.
After food and drinks, we danced a bit. One traditional thing I wanted to do for my dad was the father/daughter dance. We also did our first dance together, and the mother/son dance. Ricky and I hate being the center of attention which is probably why so many parts of a wedding felt strange for us as the bride/groom.
And then we partied! We had an open bar and only about 13 of the 28 were drinking (say what?!), so we had lots left over that we took back to our hotel. We got a hotel down the street even though we only live 10 minutes away as a nice little splurge for us. A few of our friends hung around after the wedding ended and we went out downtown, which was a good idea when we left, but a bad idea once we got out because your girl had way to much to drink at the open bar! I was ready for bed haha!
Our wedding turned out to be everything I hoped for. Thank you all for your support and well wishes during this time. We are very happy!! Here’s a list of our vendors:
Photos: Clarisse Rae
Hair: Hair by LoMichelle
Makeup: Emily Lynn & Co.
Rentals: Modi Event Supply
Food: SoHo Tacos
Dress: Made with Love Bridal (and it’s for SALE!!!!). If you want this designer dress for a low price, I’m selling it (and the clasp will be on it!). Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Here’s a gallery with more pics from our amazing photographer!