This past Sunday night I finally gave in to Mr. Dalmatian’s pleas to bust into the top tier of cake in our freezer because…it was our one year anniversary! The past twelve months have absolutely flown by (I know that is what everyone says, but I can’t help it—it’s true!).
As the calendar pages have flipped, we have moved houses twice (we moved to one Chicago suburb right after our honeymoon and just moved to another suburb a few weeks ago). We have started new jobs and new business ventures. We have traveled to Mexico, Hawaii, and Wisconsin. And we have loved facing each of these adventures as husband and wife!
I can’t believe the time has come for me to write this post. I’ve thought a lot about what I want to say, but the joyful memories of our wedding day and the gratitude I have for the support and friendship Weddingbee has brought me are hard things to capture and put into sentences. So for the former I will turn to the old “a picture is worth a thousand words” motto and share with you this montage I made of our wedding story.
For the latter, all I can say is thank you. Thank you to every single member of Weddingbee who makes this site what it is. You have shaped my understanding of the meaning of a wedding, of a bride and, most importantly, of a community.
I feel blessed to look back on my wedding day and be genuinely happy, proud, and thankful. I feel blessed to look forward to my future and feel excited, hopeful, and once again genuinely happy. These feelings are what I wish upon every member of the hive.
You may recall that way back when we had planned a sparkler exit. Our venue offered a choice between sparklers, bubbles, and flower petals, and Mr. D and I were on the same page with our order of preference (the order in which I wrote them). Well, you may also recall me mentioning that our wedding day was filled with scattered storms. Rain + sparklers = not so much. BUT the coordinators at our venue were excellent about ensuring that we had everything we wanted—as proven by the fact that we squeezed in our outdoor ceremony in between the rain clouds. Enter the half-bubbles, half-sparkler exit.
Because our reception was on the covered but wall-less patio, the guests were able to line up cohesively half under the ceiling and half outside. So they were given the option of staying dry and blowing bubbles, or being truly hardcore and getting a little damp (luckily the rainfall was light at this point) while waving a sparkler.
Sorry for the brief hiatus over the holidays, but I am back to share the last few posts about our big day!
There is one tradition, or cluster of traditions I suppose, that I have not addressed. The tosses! As in, of the bouquet and the garter of course. Mr. Dalmatian and I agreed from the beginning that we would only be including one of these in our wedding day. The toss that got the axe was the garter toss. There is just something about them I find awkward and uncomfortable (call me crazy but I did not have an overwhelming desire for Mr. D to stick his head or hands up my dress in front of my extended family). Again, this is not to say that they can never be fun or funny, it was just simply not for us. The bouquet toss on the other hand I do think is quite fun!
I have already shared how much I adored my beautiful bouquet. Luckily, when the time came for the bouquet toss, I was equipped with a smaller tossing bouquet so I did not have to part ways with my lovely blooms.
When our DJ asked for out list of “must play” songs, my response was probably a little more than he bargained for. I will openly admit that I was the overbearing bride who attached a multi-page Word document to my reply email, and I’m not sorry I did! I knew that the music selection would play a huge role in establishing the tone of the reception, and I was going to do everything in my power to ensure we ended up with photos like these:
Having the major sweet tooth that I have, I knew that we would be jumping on the trend of having a dessert option at our wedding in addition to our cake. After a significant amount of research (I think at one point “wedding frozen yogurt bar” was my most popular google search), we landed on mini gourmet ice cream sandwiches. As if I wasn’t happy enough when I saw the adorable cart that the Sugar Wagon offers, I was completely sold after we had our tasting with them. I nearly melted when I tried the gingersnap cookie with lemon ice cream. That immediately made the menu. We also went with chocolate chip with salted caramel ice cream (their staple) and brownie with peanut butter ice cream for my chocolate and peanut butter loving hubby.
Needless to say, I was very excited when the sugar wagon pulled into our reception.
I can truly say that many of my dreams came true on our wedding day. From marrying a man that I love with my whole heart down to the cake, it was perfect. Since you have heard plenty about Mr. Dalmatian, let’s talk a little more about the cake! You may recall that after sifting through A LOT of cake-spiration I landed on my dream design of a pink ombre cake.
Well, Patty Cakes did an unbelievable job bringing this inspiration to life. Words cannot describe this dessert masterpiece so I will now turn to pictures.
One of the many things that I adored about our venue was the fact that it had a room solely for displaying the wedding cake—chandelier and all! Now let’s get a little closer…
As I scrolled the folder on my desktop that contains the photos from our reception, I was amused to find that the further down in the folder I got, the more out of hand the photos became. They slowly moved from beautiful smiles and structured poses to fist-pumping, lyric-belting madness. Before we sink too far into the craziness, let me share a few of the classier pics from our reception. From a shot of the beautiful Mama Dalmatian:
To the Vanderbilt Crew representing:
Before we could pump up the jams and get the party started, there were a few dances that we had to get out of the way. The reason I put it like that is that the men involved in these dances were not exactly super excited about partaking. Don’t get me wrong, both Mr. Dalmatian and my dad were complete gentlemen and did wonderful jobs moving me about the dance floor, but neither is a fan of the art of dancing, especially when it is just them in front of a large crowd of onlookers. But despite their possible lack of enthusiasm, they stepped up to the plate and played their roles as groom and father of the bride quite handsomely. First up, our first dance as husband and wife.
After much contemplating, we selected Brad Paisley’s “Then” for our first-dance song. I know this has become a popular choice, but with good reason! I love how the lyrics capture the past, present, and future of a relationship, and as I have mentioned I am a huge sucker for Brad Paisley (props to anyone who noticed the Brad Paisley connection in the title of this post).
As we made our way from the barn to the patio to start the reception, guests weaved their way through the historic home to choose their dinner from our buffet. Meanwhile, we were ushered around to the front of the house until our official introduction as husband and wife.
At this point, Mom and Dad Dalmatian took the mic to share a few words and welcome everyone to the party.
We already walked through some of the ceremony details and decor, but there was even more once we moved from cocktail hour in the barn to the reception on the (covered—thank goodness!) patio. Let’s start with the tables.
Between the runners, the doilies, the table numbers and their holders, I poured a lot of time during our engagement collecting and sewing and gluing the components that went into these tablescapes. So was it worth it? Absolutely! First of all, I actually ENJOYED these DIY projects. I loved having an excuse to pick through antique stores and leave my sewing machine plugged in. Second of all, not to toot my own horn, but look at how pretty our tables were when everything came together!
You know how they say there is a silver lining to every cloud? Well, there were definitely plenty of rain clouds moving through on our wedding day, but one particularly awesome silver lining was that our cocktail hour was upgraded from the yard to the barn (without the fee that would have accompanied this upgrade if it were not due to weather). Once we finished up our couple pics, I could not wait to join our guests in the much-adored barn.
|Gotta love a place that happens to have a tandem bike leaning against the wall!|
Once we finished snapping some pictures in front of the historic home, and while our guests continued to enjoy cocktail hour in the barn, we decided to take advantage of the rest of the property for a few more pictures of Mr. Dalmatian and me. First we wandered around the side of the house,
and then back into the field,
Once the ceremony was complete and we were officially married (yay!) the guests headed to the barn to get cocktail hour rolling, while Mr. Dalmatian and I took a private moment in the groom’s cottage to reflect on the fact that WE JUST GOT MARRIED! After reflecting and quickly eating the plate of appetizers that was waiting for us, it was time to bustle my dress. This turned out to be a slightly more challenging task than anticipated. I guess that’s the price I pay for a full skirt of many, many layers of tulle and pick-ups.
It took Mr. Dalmatian, MOH K, MOH A, and our Cedarwood coordinator to get things organized under there! Once I was bustled, I sent my lovely MOHs to join the cocktail hour party, and my new hubby and I went to take some photos as husband and wife.
We headed to the front yard first, where we did not let the fact that the swing was merely inches off the ground stop us from using it for a photo opportunity.
When Mr. Dalmatian and I started planning our ceremony, Mr. Dalmatian had one request: keep it short and sweet. So we spent A LOT of time looking for the perfect readings to express what we wanted to express, and compiling the perfect vows to say exactly what we wanted to say, but in doing so we made strict edits to be sure it remained short and sweet. So, without further ado, here is the Dalmatian ceremony: