- 2 weeks ago
- Wedding: May 2017
I don’t know how I’m going to write the recap if I get into all the details about how it felt, so I’m going to try to be brief with loads of pictures.
Quick background first for those interested, if you don’t care to read: scroll down for the photos.
We met late July 2008. I was in undergrad, he was finishing his Ph.D. We moved in after two years of dating long distance. Then moved around three more times, to current place where (then BF) became a professor. His dad was diagnosed with stage 2 esophageal cancer in March 2016. We got engaged two days after our 8 year anniversary. By December I had the whole wedding planned for July 29th (what will be our nine year anniversary). I was in grad school and a teaching credential program so I planned it over summer and winter break. But then at the end of March, only four months away from the wedding invitations PROOF ONLY sent to order, my (then) FI’s father’s cancer was declared terminal after 3 fail clinical trials. He was not doing well at all.
I was willing to do anything in any way to help make sure my father in law could attend the wedding. Ultimately, I left if up to my fiancé. He wanted to move the entire wedding up, not do something small instead, but do it all sooner if we could. So, we decided to move the wedding up to any Saturday night as soon as we could that would still allow our 155 invited by STD guests to get their invitation in time to buy plane tickets and fly out to our domestic destination wedding, which was May 27th. We checked in with the venue first, and when they had the date available it seemed like a sign. We called VIP’s and checked that the date worked with them and when it did, I sent emails IMMEDIATELY to all the vendors individually telling them about the situation of the prognosis.
All but one of the vendors (the officiant) were able to make the switch and honor the date change. Granted, I had warned them about it being a potential when I met with them in October and signed contracts. I knew FIL’s cancer was not a good one and that there was a chance we would have to postpone or push-up. I only lost the $250 deposit from the officiant that had another wedding earlier that day and my FI didn’t want to risk her being late or hitting traffic, so I had to find someone new. I searched high and low for a month for an officiant in our budget available on a less than two month’s notice and finally in the middle of April I found her. The new officiant I found may be the best part of the entire wedding, honestly.
Then, 5 weeks before the wedding, he died.
We got married and it was a very sweet day, filled with the most hugs, and love anyone had seen. I have never been filled with more joy and happiness than on our wedding day. But we ALL felt the absence of my husband’s father. He hand-picked every bottle of wine we drank that night. And I know if he had been able, he would have filled himself to the brim with our delicious buffet dinner and pie for dessert, he would have spoken for 15 minutes during his speech (I’d kill to know what he would have said), he would have drank more wine and vodka than any of us, and he would have danced holes in his shoes. The favors for the night were shot glasses that said l’chaim on one side and had the Hebrew symbol for life on the other. This symbolized so much for us on this day.
Okay, on to the pictures!
Venue and my dress:
My second hand Badgley Mischka shoes that I wore for the ceremony (paid $60 for them, both the bride before me and I wore them for 30 minutes tops) and my rings: Ering designed by DH, Wring designed by me and David Klass:
My hair with the headpiece I found on Etsy that was created in my DH’s hometown:
My flowers in the bathtub of the venue:
My bridesmaid’s flowers:
Flower girl’s headpieces (these I bought off Etsy):
My groom 🙂 and his boutonniere:
All the girls but me ready in the bathroom with gorgeous lighting in the venue and looking out the window at the outdoor courtyard being set up!
The chuppah being set up by this adorable couple, a mixture between real baby eucalyptus and olive branches with some silk flowers my mom purchased month prior:
The silk flowers that no one knew were fake (they saved me $$$):
All setup and ready for the ceremony, the lanterns doubled as aisle decorations and later they were the centerpiece:
The officiant brought wine for the kiddish, the kiddish cup, and then I bought the glass from Israel on Etsy. I will be sending it back to the guy and he will make it into the mezuzah on our home.
My co-MOH’s helped me get dressed:
The last button being buttoned:
Me fully dressed in hair and make-up with the flower girls:
Walking down the stairs to meet my groom for the first look:
Looking back up, nervous and excited as hell:
Me looking out to see if I can see my groom already and the photog did some artistic editing:
Sneaking up not so sneakily in my high heels clip clopping on the brick. My sweet guy says “I wonder who that could be” haha. Love his humor in awkwardness.
After the first look, we did bridal party photos. The guys were asked to get their own dark gray suit of their choosing, and my FIL and DH picked out the lavender shirts and purple ties. FI picked up the pocket squares the day before the wedding. DH wore a light grey suit he ended up renting from Macy’s.
Bridesmaids were asked to get a purple dress of their choosing within a color pallet floor length. I’m the only one with airbrush make-up, 5/7 got our hair done, bet you can’t guess which two did their own.
Walking back to the venue to sign the ketubah:
The adorable ring bearer, DH’s nephew, his hero is Ringo Star and he already had that suit jacket. His mom (my SSIL) found the ring box the day before the wedding because I totally blanked on needing a box for the rings. Was I was going to have him put them in his pockets?
We got an awesome MC/DJ/Musician that played an instrument native to my DH’s homeland during the 30 minutes prior to the ceremony when people were allowed to enter the venue and glasses of champagne were being passed around. He also played an instrumental version of Somebody to Love by Queen for the bridal party to walk down the aisle and he played an instrumental version of Elvis’s Can’t Help Falling in Love:
Me seeing the ring bearer with his perfect suit and perfect box. I was so in love with his little outfit, I had no idea what he was going to wear, but he’s a fashionable 6-year-old:
DH walking down the aisle with his mom, (not the widow of FIL, they actually divorced years ago) she didn’t find her dress until a week before, she looks f*cking fabulous.
Me, looking at my pops about to go get married!
I feel amazingly beautiful in this photo and all my BMs want a framed copy. Seriously I have never felt more beautiful than I did on my wedding day.
The kiss, the hug after the kiss, and the super excited walk down the aisle:
Bridal party picture all together, I forgot to have this one taken before the ceremony, and I never did get the one like this with the flower girls and ring bearer all together.
Just a gorgeous picture of the entrance to the courtyard that the guests came into for the wedding. They walked out after the ceremony and the caterers did a flip of the venue to the reception, it took less than 5 minutes and guests walked back in for the cocktail hour. So well executed.
The centerpieces that my mother and I designed. Saved $$$ by using dried lavender I was able to purchase ages ago and a clipping from the Jade succulent outside our new home that we moved into 8 days prior to the wedding, with the hand picked wine from the FIL and the l’chiam shot glass wedding favors:
And my DOC went and lit the centerpieces all up when it started getting dark, there were three real candles to light as well as the fake candle in the lantern with the fairy lights, I DIYed the table numbers:
The individual local cherry pies on the amazing stand the baker let me borrow for free:
After dinner sunset portraits, part of the appeal to the venue was that it was a one minute walk down to the beach and wharf which meant we were able to have our portraits taken on the beach in the golden hour, a dream I’ve had since I fell in love with the ocean as a child.
The sidewalk to the right of me is made out of whale vertebrae, which as a marine biology teacher I find fascinatingly disturbing.
Where the sidewalk ends, and our life together begins…
Words cannot express the depth of my gratitude for finding the WeddingBee community. I don’t know how I would have stayed sane through this planning process without you all given everything else we were dealing with at that time. Thank you from the middle of my heart (that’s where it’s the meatiest).