The details. No one’s really leaning in close on a crowded train to whisper about “big picture” stuff. We just want the juicy details. So join me in this totally fetishizing journey through the Black Cats’ many, many detail shots.
An amazing thing happened on the night before our wedding: I slept! OK, it was mostly because I’d slept a mere three hours on Wednesday night, but I wasn’t complaining. Despite my fears of insomnia, something I always get the first night in a hotel, on Thursday night I slept for a solid eight hours.
The morning of the wedding, I awoke refreshed and unbelievably happy. I’d splurged on a bath bomb from Lush and took a long, leisurely bath before meeting up with my mom and MOH R for breakfast in the hotel café.
The ladies of my wedding party—MOHs A and R, BM S, FGs J and N, and my wonderful mom—came to my suite around 11:00 AM for mimosas (juice for the kids) and beautifying. (My brothers, the “bridesbros,” delivered our lunch from Panera, but otherwise were happy to stay away from talk of undergarments, the Kardashians, and how one pees in a wedding gown.)
We can make it if we try Just the two of us Just the two of us building castles in the sky Just the two of us, you and I
Sorry, that song has been stuck in my head since I started writing this post!
All photos by Amber Bridges Studios: I combined both the pre- and post-ceremony photos of the two of us into one post.
All right, so after our first look and a few quick shots with the bridal party, Mr. S and I took some photos together. This way we would have more time after the ceremony to mingle with everyone and enjoy ourselves!
Many moons ago, during one of my marine biology courses, I heard the professor refer to the group of glowing jellyfish on the screen as a “smack.” Since then, Mr. S and I lovingly referred to our group (especially when we were a large herd traveling to the rehearsal dinner) as our smack of jellies.
After the ceremony and recessional, it was time for some photos with the family while the cocktail party got started. Cabanas la Luna was amazing and brought down some margaritas and guacamole for us to snack on while we took a few snapshots. Both the wedding party and family photos were pretty quick, and our guests were back to enjoying the cocktails in no time!
We finished writing the nitty-gritty details of our ceremony at the airport in Chicago on our way to Mexico. I loved this part of wedding planning because it was a chance to put our relationship and love for one another into words. Mr. S and I wanted to write our ceremony ourselves by incorporating different bits and sayings that truly reflected each of us as individuals as well as a couple. We added love, nature, and spiritual components that attempt to truly portray the two of us.
Like some bees before me, and some of my favorites I read while planning our wedding (Mrs. Narwhal & Mrs. Clownfish), I am going to plop the entire ceremony into one post. It’s long. I’m sorry—it took me a while to write it all up and to decide just how much detail to include. (The revision list for this post is ridiculous.) With help from the bees, I ultimately decided that a general ceremony layout post and some excerpts from our actual wedding ceremony might be helpful to people writing their own. It was difficult for me to figure out the flow of our ceremony, but endless Googling and reading multiple examples was helpful. You can scoot out early, but I wish I could portray the feelings of that day through my keyboard. Of course, it will never feel like it did that day (especially for people who don’t even know us), but know that I am attempting to portray an explosion of happiness and love that is just impossible to put into words. For me, just reading it again makes me all goose-bumpy. And you will feel the same way about your wedding ceremony.
A few weeks before the wedding day, Mr. S and I were talking about the beach setup for our ceremony, and I told him I thought it would be amazing to be encircled by our guests. Since our guest list was so small, it would be best if everyone had a front row seat, and I thought the circle would really create an intimate feel. I had seen a few pictures of wedding ceremonies set up with arching rows of chairs and thought it looked amazing. Mr. S loved the idea! Our wedding planner’s assistant did a great job arranging the chairs and archway for the ceremony; I thought it looked beautiful, and the ocean backdrop didn’t hurt either!
As I was selecting photos for this post, I got a little lost in the memories. The champagne my brother sent to my mom and me. The moments before the wedding when Ashley and I tied a charm to my bouquet and added the infamous bees to the arrangement.
I remember feeling really Zen—in a countable number of minutes I’d walk toward Brad and commit to be his partner in life and love. I was happy—a blissful sort of happy that is so hard to describe in words. As you read through this post, you’ll hear about how my emotions fluctuated, but this little Zen feeling I had never left. Becoming THE BRIDE was a very big reflection for me, and in those real moments I found myself being very human and very content.
I was surprised at how quickly hair and makeup went—we had plenty of time to eat, reflect, and chat before we had to get dressed.
Danielle and I posed together one last time in our goofy bridal shirts, styled our dresses for their photo-ops, and then got dressed.
All photos courtesy of Gin and Sake Productions
Danielle’s waterfall twist in her hair was so adorable!
The “first look” is probably more common than not nowadays, but I didn’t even know it was a thing until my sister’s wedding two summers ago. At first I was dead set on not seeing Mr. S until I was walking toward him down the aisle beach. We made the last-minute decision (at the rehearsal) that we wanted to do a first look. Now that the whirlwind of our wedding day has passed, I’m 1000% sure the first look was the right choice for us. I HATE speaking in front of people, and although a group of your nearest and dearest is much different from say an auditorium filled with people critiquing you, it’s still a bit nerve-racking. Like I said previously, Mr. S and I are both calm under pressure and didn’t give a second thought to being nervous on our wedding day—boy were we wrong! I think the amount of excitement and butterflies you’ll feel on your wedding day are just unpredictable.
That being said, having time with Mr. S before the ceremony made all of those butterflies fly away. Seeing him standing on the beach looking at the ocean, I felt this wave of calm wash over me—sorry, such a terrible pun, but for real! I might be #teamfirstlook for this reason alone. I also may have passed out reading my vows if we didn’t have this mini-moment to ourselves right beforehand.
I had a gut feeling that I was losing the race against the clock. I asked the time, and I was surprised freaked out that I was over a half hour late to meet my groom. I quickly and almost literally jumped into my wedding dress. Good thing it was easy to put on and didn’t require and intense squeezing or weaving!