On October 14th, 2016 I actually got married. I never saw that day in my mind, which is a very strange thing to say as a wedding and event coordinator. All day I work with brides, and scour wedding blogs for fun new tricks and inspiration.
When my fiance, Drew, and I decided to get married (side note: it was THE most casual hilarious proposal ever), it was hard to get comfortable with the idea of a white dress and lots of people.
So we did it small, with a wedding guest list of only 24 folks, and while it was nontraditional, it was absolutely 100% us.
How did you choose locations for your wedding?
The locations we chose for both the ceremony and reception were a no-brainer, and with a super small guest list, it made it easy to have them at two different locations.
For the ceremony we chose The Lamberton Conservatory, an absolutely gorgeous and lush botanical greenhouse. Granted, it was really hot in there, so we kept the ceremony short and to the point.
For our reception we chose our favorite cocktail bar, The Revelry. Drew used to work there, and we frequented the place often. We needed a space that everyone would feel comfortable at, and we’re a bar kind of crowd! (Drew works in the industry) It was sort of like getting married at our own house.
Anything special or personal about the ceremony?
We had my sister, a very talented musician and singer, play ukulele while we walked down the aisle. It gave everyone the chills, and I saw most of the guests quietly singing along. It was really very endearing.
Having a small guest list for the ceremony was fantastic. It was so nice to be able to look out while walking down, and after it was over, and make individual eye-contact and smiles with everyone in the room.
Best advice you received as a bride?
Honestly, “it’ll all be over soon”. I loved our wedding day, every stinking moment of it. The best part was waking up the next day, lying in bed with my new husband, mimosas in hand, and reading all of our beautiful cards, and hashing out stories from the day before. It’s a whirlwind, and the memories are perfect.
Your ceremony in three words?
laughter, togetherness, simple
Favorite thing about the ceremony?
My favorite thing had to be walking down the aisle with my dad. I expected him to be nervous, or sad, but he was smiling, and so proud to be walking with me. He gave Drew and huge hug, and was so calm. It made my day.
Who officiated your ceremony?
We had a friend officiate our ceremony. He mentioned one day how he would love to do it, and we agreed! He actually got officiated twice, from two different programs just to make sure it was all legal and taken care of. He did a beautiful job, and we were lucky to have him around that day.
What were your vows like?
We actually chose not to do vows. We both knew we didn’t like being up in front of people at all, and were already nervous as we could be. Our officiant was amazing at not making it feel like we had left anything out. So, he did all the talking, and we said the I Do’s. Strange as it may sound, it was just perfect for us. We couldn’t wait to get out of the spotlight.
Anything else you want to share about the ceremony?
Well, there was a duck (there were a bunch of turtles, ducks, little quails, all over the conservatory just running free), and he was in the middle of the aisle while my dad was walking me down. We had to stop and patiently wait for the duck to waddle on his way so we could finish the ceremony.
I strongly recommend doing a first look before the ceremony. It made everything so calm and more enjoyable. It also allowed me time to get all the tears out before walking down the aisle.
Advice for other couples currently planning a wedding?
From a wedding planning standpoint, trust your vendors and bridal parties. My maid of honor knocked it out of the park, and left me with very little to worry about on the big day. In all honesty, things move in the blink of an eye, I know everyone says that but it’s SO true. It’s all over before you know it. Choose someone you trust, and who knows you well.
As someone who plans for a living, giving over control was really hard, but she had my back every step and I couldn’t have done it without her!
How would you describe your reception?
Causal, fun, moody
What inspired you when planning the reception?
We picked our reception location because we were so comfortable there. It was a bar area, and we had the gorgeous private dining space upstairs to set for dinner. Most of our guests didn’t know each other, and with such a small group we wanted somewhere that people could feel comfortable as individuals. I loved that after dinner, we went down to the bar area, and as it was a Friday night, it was a full party atmosphere. It was stress free.
Budget tips for other brides?
Yes, don’t blow it on the small stuff. There are a million things your guests will walk right by, and trying to get a Pintrest-perfect day on a small budget often ends up not looking as planned. Try and choose a venue that speaks for itself, to limit your decor spend.
I chose table toppers and other decor that I actually wanted to keep and use in my own home afterwards! That helps a lot. I used mirrors to write cute phrases for, and other things I picked up that can easily transition into my own home. So, nothing went to waste.
What type of cake/dessert did you serve?
My mom used to make wedding cakes, and it was natural that I asked her to make ours. We wanted a full “funfetti” cake, (you know, because it’s a party) but decided on a funfetti top layer to save for ourselves, and red velvet for the main layer.
Favorite little moments?
We took some of our wedding photos at Mount Hope Cemetery. It’s not for the morbid aspect, but because it’s an absolutely gorgeous and moody historic location. Drew and I had to keep apologizing to our photographer because we could not stop laughing and having fun. We’re just always really goofy.
Once we were back at Revelry, it was the speeches from the maid of honor and the best man that really got us. She’d been my best friend for most of my life, and she continually brought me to tears all day.
Our families had never met before the wedding, as Drew’s family lives out of town. Seeing them altogether that day was a constant point of amazement and joy. It was as if they had all known each other for years.
The treatment we received from the reception staff was beyond amazing, they made every moment so fun and special. At one point one of the bartenders poured shots for the ENTIRE bar, and stood up on the bar to give us a toast. It was a really overwhelming feeling, and so so cool.
I couldn’t have done it without my amazing girls behind me, and Drew keeping me laughing every step of the way.
I’m truly blessed and lucky to call this man mine.