Friday morning we made the drive from Charlotte to Asheville to set up the venue, have our rehearsal dinner, and, well, just have FUN!
First, my bridesladies and I stopped at Spa Theology downtown to get our toes done, and it was WONDERFUL! Did I take any pictures? Of course not. I was way too excited that we were in Asheville for my wedding and totally forgot about pictures. (Side note: Please tell someone to remind you of these stupid little things, set an alarm on your phone, or something. Don’t be a dumb dumb like I was.) Luckily for me, Google always has my back, so here are some generic pictures of the beauty that is Spa Theology.
This post is going to be a little long and wordy, but I definitely did not want to skip the amazing things people said about us on our wedding day. It meant a lot to me that Mama Plane, MOH Morticia, and BM Chopper took the time to each write amazing speeches in our honor, and I’m happy to be sharing them with you today. So without further ado, Mama Plane, take it away!
“Ladies and gentlemen, as the mother of the bride, it is my privilege to give the first speech. I would like to start by saying, on behalf of Ken, myself, and Troy’s parents, welcome to all the relatives and friends who have joined us to celebrate Maria and Troy’s wedding. I know that many of you have traveled long distances to be here. Thank you all for coming to help celebrate this very special day.
“Today, I must be the proudest mom on earth. Maria, you have grown to be a beautiful and outstanding young woman and, I must say, a stunning bride today.
“Troy, I would like to welcome you into the family, even though you have been a part of it for some time now. This just makes it official.
The first time I’d ever heard of a trash-the-dress session I thought to myself, “That’s pretty weird. I’d never do something like that.” This was one of the many somethings that I said I would never do before I got engaged: I would never fold a ton of origami cranes for my wedding. I would never care about chairs. I would never trash my dress. Well, you can probably tell I ended up doing all of those things that I’d said I would never do and loved it!
Making the decision to trash my dress was spur of the moment. It was the morning after the wedding, and Mr. G and I were packing up to go to Italy. I’d been putting off thinking about what to do with my dress after the wedding because I knew it would be a hassle. Should I get it cleaned in America and have it shipped back to Japan? Should I be passive-aggressive and “accidentally” leave it at my mother’s house so she could just take care of it for me? I had no idea what to do until I took a look at the dress.
I can say confidently that our budget has been the biggest consideration in every one of our wedding-planning decisions. I wouldn’t say that we would have a totally different wedding if money were no object, but I would definitely invite more than 90 guests and splurge on a few things we’ve decided to go without. It turns out our $15,000 budget is a ridiculously low number for an urban city wedding, but it’s a huge amount of cash to us.
Image via Extraordinary Days Events
(I want to preface this post by saying I am not the poster child for building a wedding budget. I think we’re doing everything “wrong” according to conventional wisdom. But Mr. Rooster and I are both really great with money, so our approach to budgeting is definitely a little less organized than most. But whatever. Here it is.)
Where’s the Money Coming From?
After hiding for about half an hour, we walked quickly through the back side of the venue. There, we took an elevator which led us to the second floor. I took advantage of the opportunity and snapped a super blurry shot of our view:
And then the music started playing. We chose City of Blinding Lights by U2 to make our grand entrance. Well, Mr. WV picked it, but I must admit now I get the chills whenever I listen to it.
The doors were opened. Check out the tile work on the stairs. So pretty.
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Now that I’ve shown you the good photos, told you what we screwed up, and gave you my recommendations for a great session, I’ll show you the photos that we WON’T be using.
All photos by Tressa McCune Photography.
Alternately, why I’m thrilled that we found out what works and what doesn’t work.
What works: looking at each other, laughing to relax each other, and listening to Tressa’s advice for places to shoot.
What doesn’t work: serious poses (we look ridiculous), taking ourselves too seriously (we’re just not models!), and wanting specific poses or specific locations.
I really wanted this picture on the balcony over the Panther fountain. Tressa told me it was too dark, but agreed to take it anyway. It was a waste of time and I should’ve just given up when Tressa said it would be dark.
Early on Billie and I decided we would write our own vows. As the wedding approaches this seems to be a question we get asked a lot, followed closely by “You’re going to memorize them, right?” Well, folks, the answer is no, we are not going to memorize them. For personal reasons we will both be reading our vows. That being said, I don’t want us up there reading from a ripped sheet of paper or an index card. Well, I was procrastinating on Pinterest one night, and I found this pin.
Seems someone else read their vows too, and look how cute that is! And it seems easy enough to make, so I added vow cards to my DIY list. After some further Pinterest hunting for inspiration, I stumbled across this gem…
elloCallie shares a photo of her DIY bouquets from her wedding day.
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With dinner done, cupcakes eaten and speeches spoke, it was time to really get the party started. Truth be told, once everyone was done eating dinner, the dance floor was immediately packed. One of the only really important things to me during the wedding planning process was that I wanted our guests to have fun—and dance like fools. Check and check.
And wobbled some more.
serious wobble faces on, people
There was some pointing and a lot of sweating.
…and some baby holding.
There were lots of people dancing with their arms.
…and man hugs on the dance floor. No shame.
Shout out to myself gettin’ down in the background.
But we never stopped believing.
Because what’s a wedding without Journey?
As mentioned frequently before, Cam was in a fraternity in college. He truly has remained incredibly close with his brothers, and in the past few years we’ve attended more fraternity weddings than I can count. In my next post, I’ll describe all the fraternity stuff that went down, but I had to show these pictures off. At some point, we decided to start playing “Now That We Found Love” by Heavy D & the Boyz. I’m not sure when or why, but I’m glad it stuck.
That song has been played at weddings in movies since, well, it came out, and the dance is always the same.
We formed two lines, and couples danced their way between.
More on the Most Interesting Man in the World Later…He’s one of my dad’s prized possessions and made an excellent last minute addition to the guest list.
Even MIL Camera and Flower Girl M Got in on the fun.
Best. Dance Party. Ever.
Previously on Picture Perfect:
- I beg you to take mental pictures so you don’t forget everything like I did.
- We hit the road for Charleston but not after putting out our new initial doormat!
- We eat seafood on the waterfront, and party in the USA on top of a hotel.
- We get our nails did and play with a bidet.
- Cam surprises me with the most romantic thing of all time.
- Our rehearsal dinner is a hit-complete with a custom groom’s cake for Cam!
- My wedding eve is much different from what I originally planned.
- My long awaited Starbucks run didn’t go quite as planned.
- I get my hair did and I love it.
- Our friends had a pool party and we weren’t invited.
- I have a wave of emotion hit me while the girls get dressed.
- Mama Camera’s handmade veil gets fastened to my head.
- Mama Camera sews my somethings into my dress.
- I put on the most important dress I’ll ever wear.
- We take girly photos.
- Cam has some manly time.
- We have a first un-look.
- Despite both being forgetful, we exchange gifts.
- I have a super sweet moment with my mom, while Cam shows off his socks.
- The procession begins.
- The most important walk of my life
- We FINALLY GET MARRIED.
- We take lots of photos.
- My outdoor lounge is a success
- Cocktail Hour!
- We get the party started
- Our first dance is a crowd pleaser
- We dance with our parents and try to get red wine out of a white wedding dress
- Let’s eat
- We take kissy pictures by the water
- We love cake, madly
- Seven people take the microphone for speeches