Wedding Recap Part 1! I’m breaking down first few parts of our wedding – the planning, our big welcome party, and getting ready!
Part 1 of wedding recap!!! Yay!! We’ve been married almost 3 months now and y’all have been asking me for a wedding recap. I’ve been meaning to write one, I honestly just haven’t had a lot of time to sit down and write it all down. I am going to break it down into two posts since it would be hard to recap everything at once (and would make for a really long post). And there are just so many amazing pictures to share! So today we are diving into some parts of the planning, our awesome welcome party, and getting ready before the ceremony.
Where do I even start with this. If you were following along on Instagram, you know that wedding planning was not my favorite (aka least favorite thing ever). I honestly didn’t care about most things. I wanted to have good food, good cake, and throw a fun party. Oh and I was particular about my dress. But everything else I could care less about. You know when women say they have had a vision of their dream wedding from a child? Well I never really had that. So you can imagine when you are bombarded with a thousand different questions about the littlest details, it got very overwhelming.
We also needed to hustle, which didn’t help. Michael and I got engaged in August 2017 so you would think we had plenty of time to plan (we got married in November 2018). We actually didn’t start planning until February of 2018. My parents came down to visit and my mom was pretty much like, if you guys want to get married this year, you need to get your a** in gear. The only thing we had done was made a potential guest list. So while they visited for a few weeks, we visited a bunch of different venues. I narrowed it down to 3 that I liked.
I actually didn’t pick one until end of March when my sister came down and visited and saw them with me again. As you can see, I’m slow to decide. So that gave us 7 and a half months to plan everything. We decided on South Congress Hotel and they do pretty much everything for you – food, tables, linens, servers, and all the other things that I can’t think of. That was one of the reasons why we went with them (besides the fact that the space is absolutely beautiful), so I wouldn’t have to worry about those details.
I didn’t go dress shopping until mid June when my family came down to visit again. Little did I know that is a long process in itself too – from finding a dress, sending your sizes off to the designer, and then getting it altered. After some frustration in not finding what I really wanted, we finally found some luck at Serendipity Bridal (the third place we visited over the span of 3 days)! And it was an ‘off the rack sale’, so I just took the dress right off the rack and didn’t have to worry about sending my measurements to the designer! Shout out to my friend Maria who me told about the sale!!
In the middle of the summer we found a band (highly recommend), a photographer (again, highly recommend), and a few other things. My friend from my childhood did my flowers, which were so amazing. I literally told her the colors I liked, showed her a few pictures, and then told her some flowers I like and she CRUSHED IT. She helped pull together the whole vibe of the wedding I was going for too. She isn’t local to Austin, but if you live outside Philadelphia or near there, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
I finally found someone to alter my dress thanks to my friend Jess. That was a whole ordeal in itself too. I think I started calling around in August and people were booked until 2019. I had no idea it would be that crazy.
We then had to plan a rehearsal dinner and were throwing a party the day after (more on that later). Oh and all the groomsmen and bridesmaids things. And probably a million things I am forgetting. Note – the food and cake part I did not mind planning at all haha.
Anyways, long story short, I did not like planning our wedding. I’m leaving out all the nitty gritty because honestly I think I just blocked it out of my head.
I cried more times than I can remember I’ve cried over the past 10 years. There were so many decisions to be made and Michael and I are very laid back. We wanted a nice wedding, but didn’t care about all of the details. And then you have everyone’s opinion that you have to keep in mind and what not. I was also really trying to grow my business and had a really good year last year. Not that my wedding wasn’t more important than my work, but the end goal was just for us to be married and start our life together, not that so and so shouldn’t sit next to so and so and what not.
To my parents and sister – I’m sorry for all the times I freaked out and broke down. Yelled, cried, and cursed. Said I didn’t care about anything and we didn’t want any of this. As much as said I didn’t care, deep down you knew I did. And you gave us the best freaking wedding we could ever imagine. I cannot thank you enough for everything you have done for me throughout my life, including this.
Also to Michael’s family for bearing with me. I feel like you guys wanted to be included more and know about all the updates, but honestly this whole process was not fun for me. Michael and I just tried to do the best we could with balancing everything and still keeping sane. I dreaded when people asked how wedding planning was going. I didn’t want to talk about it. I barely updated anyone as we went through the process, besides my parents (and they even had to pull my teeth to get me to do certain things). So I hope you understand and can see where we stood on the process.
The welcome party!! One of my favorite parts of our wedding weekend!! We took FOREVER to decide on doing a rehearsal or not. Honestly, I think we picked what we were actually doing a month to 6 weeks before the wedding. We wanted to keep it low key and not spend a crap ton of money. But since we are both from back east, a lot of guests were flying in and we knew they would probably be there on Thursday afternoon or evening.
We decided to just throw one big party and open it up to everyone. I’m so glad we did because it was so fun!! We rented out Blue Owl Brewery and had East Side Kings come with a food truck to provide some delicious eats. We did a short walk through at South Congress Hotel with the wedding party, grabbed a drink at the bar, and then headed over to the brewery. We reserved the back area and had a bunch of tables set up for people to eat. We also had a few tables in the front area, which is where everyone hung out if they weren’t eating.
When each person arrived, they would get a cup (that they could keep) and a piece of paper explaining about the beer. I think each person was allowed 5 pours? They definitely weren’t keeping track though so some people had more than others. We also brought in some wine for people that didn’t drink beer. Blue Owl is a sour beer brewery which was fun to show people some new beers. Also, everyone raved about the food! We’ve had East Side Kings a few times and know we love it, but didn’t know about everyone else. We stuck with our gut though because that is what WE wanted (same with the whole sour brewery place). Even Michael’s family loved the food and they aren’t the most adventurous eaters.
Everyone loved the party and had so much fun. It was perfectly us too – a low key and casual celebration (we told people to wear jeans!) with good drinks and delicious food.
BONUS – we could bring Cashew!! He hung out with us all night which was nice 😀
Another bonus of having a welcome party is I think about 80% of our guests came and celebrated with us. This made it so nice to be able to say hi and talk to everyone before the wedding (we didn’t have a big wedding). I didn’t feel the pressure of having to walk around and say hi to everyone at the actual wedding reception, which made it 10x more enjoyable for us. It is kind of weird to say, but it also got me really pumped for the wedding. I was obviously excited, but it didn’t really feel like it was actually happening. It was amazing to be together with all our friends and family the night before, celebrating our love and really got me excited for the next day.
I only took two pictures from the night – one of my food (duh) that my sister snagged for me and one of Michael and I at the end of the night (when we was somewhat intoxicated ha). I was busy mingling and talking to everyone, which was a sign of an enjoyable night. Luckily a few of my friends snagged some pictures that I could share.
The night ended with us back at the hotel trying to help my florist put up this huge ceiling hanging full of greens. When I said I wanted it, I didn’t really think about what went into making it. My florist absolutely knocked it out of the park, along with everything else she did.
I had to recruit a handful of people (most of them were intoxicated ha) to get it hung as it involved some heavy lifting and high ladders, but we got the job done. I can’t wait to show y’all pictures in the next recap!
The big day! Man, I was tired waking up. After trying to help with the ceiling hanging, I don’t think I fell asleep until 1am? My sister and I stayed at SCH, which made it nice not to have to go anywhere the next day. I woke up and did a quick workout at the hotel, with it being interrupted about 5 times ha. Michael called me a few times about getting everything set up with Cashew (someone was coming to watch him, but they were going to bring him down so we could get a few pictures). Then my dad called me a couple times. And I was going back and forth with my sister as she was running some last minute errands and grabbed us breakfast before everyone started to come over.
To be 100% honest, I kind of felt indifferent about getting ready with everyone. I originally just wanted my sister to be in the wedding party to keep it low key and less stress for me, but Michael had like 5 guys he wanted and I didn’t want to have an odd amount of people in the wedding party (I’m OCD sometimes). Anyways, I am so happy I went with having my close friends with me as the bridesmaids. It was so fun getting ready with them, jamming to music, drinking champagne, eating some food, and just reminiscing on old times.
To keep the bridesmaids thing easiest for me, I gave the girls a certain color and just let them pick they own dresses and shoes. I was wearing flats so most of them just went with shoes they already had. I’m so glad I did this as I loved how it came out in pictures with everyone having different dresses, but playing off the same color scheme.
I had my hair and makeup done by Nina Fitzgerald, which I absolutely loved. I’m not big into makeup and don’t wear much each day and she make me feel so beautiful while keeping to my natural look. We got ready for a few hours and then it was time for our first look!
I did have a few difficulties with my dress – the tape around my boobs was not sticking and got me a little (okay, really) frazzled, but luckily my sister was there to calm me down. I honestly should have wore my dress around the house before the actual wedding to get a feel for it, but it was too late at that point. I was messing with it all night which I kind of regret not figuring out beforehand. But I freaking loved that dress and it was perfectly me. Something to think about if you are planning to get married!
Since SCH hotel didn’t offer anywhere for the guys to get ready, and we weren’t going to pay for another room, they just used an AirBnB that a bunch of our friends were staying in right down the street. I absolutely love the pictures of all of them and the dads!
We snagged a few pictures and then it was time for me to have a special moment with my dad and then to see Michael!
That is it for now, but I’ll be back in a couple weeks to share the actual wedding!!
Photographer: Amber Vickery
Wedding Venue: South Congress Hotel
Day of Coordinator: Joyful Details
Flowers: Flowers by Jena Paige
Wedding Dress: Tara Keely from Serendipity Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Nina Fitzgerald
Wedding Band: The Royal Dukes