Wedding Recap Part 2: Ceremony and Reception

If you missed part 1 check it out here!

When we left off I was getting ready to walk down the aisle....

all photos (c) Jack Looney Photography

Ceremony

All that was running through my head at this point was “don’t pass out, take a deep breath, practice your yoga breathing or you’re going to hyper-ventilate”. Soon, the musician switched to my processional song, “little wing” by jimi Hendrix, and my heart stopped. We walked down the aisle and I started to tear up.

I also noticed that I was walking super fast and tried to slow down but it was difficult since all I wanted to do was be with Brad. I’ve heard other people talk about tunnel vision at this moment and didn’t believe it, but I truly had tunnel vision. I got up the aisle, handed my MOH my bouquet and took Brad’s hands. My stepdad/officiant gave a short speech welcoming everyone and thanking them for coming. Next, my cousin/junior attendant read a poem we selected which was “Love” by Roy Croft. She read beautifully and everyone seemed to be moved by the poem. I started listening as she read and then had to stop because I could feel that I was about to lose it.

After her reading, my stepdad had us read our vows, which were the poem “I Promise” by Dorothy Calgran. Brad read first and I could see tears in his eyes and the paper he was reading from was shaking. I started tearing up pretty heavily and when it was my turn, I read the first line and started to pretty much bawl. I took a minute to compose myself and continued reading through my tears. We then exchanged rings and my stepdad pronounced husband and wife.

He got less than half way through the phrase “you may kiss the bride” when I went in for a kiss from Brad. Clearly, patience is not my strong suit. We then walked back up the aisle to “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash – I was so excited and happy. The ceremony turned out exactly how we had wanted it – it was super quick and highly personal.

It really did go by in a flash and when I think about it now, I can hardly remember the décor or any small details outside of Brad’s face and our vows .In the end, I loved having the ceremony indoors because the atmosphere was so intimate and cozy. We felt really connected to all of our guests and it made everything that much more personal.

Cocktail Hour

After the ceremony, the venue quickly turned around the tasting room for cocktail hour while Brad and I snuck away to the reception area to catch our breath. They turned it around in 5 minutes (seriously, I don’t know how they do it!) and once everyone was settled, we headed into the cocktail hour to mingle and greet everyone.

We had passed hors d’oeuvres for our guests which everyone really seemed to enjoy. While guests munched and drank we made our way around the room greeting and thanking everyone for coming. The hour was just enough time to say hi to everyone without being rushed. I’m so glad we decided to do pictures before the ceremony and I really enjoyed getting a chance to see and talk to all of our guests.

Reception

After cocktail hour, guests found their tables and sat down. The décor in our reception room was truly stunning. Our florist really outdid herself and nearly everyone commented on how beautiful everything was. She took our vision and ran with it and exceeded our exceptions. I was completely awestruck to see all of the vision and work that I had done over the past year come to life in such a beautiful way.

Our band announced us and we had our first dance to “At Last” by Etta James. I thought I would be more nervous about this portion of the reception but I honestly didn’t notice anyone in the room but Brad. We got misty eyed, laughed, and reflected on how awesome the day had been while we danced.

After our first dance, we sat down and had our first course. Then our best man and maid of honor gave some amazing speeches and our second course was served.

Next, Brad danced with his mom and stepmom to “Simple Man” by Lynard Skynard. I loved watching Brad dance with his moms – it was one of the most adorable things I think I have ever seen.

After that, my dad gave a short speech and we danced to “Let it Be Me” by Ray LaMontagne – we were both teary the entire time.

Next, I danced with my stepdad to “Thank You” by Led Zeppelin and more tears ensued. Dancing with my dads was so special and I know I will remember that moment for many years to come.

Soon, it was time to cut the delicious gluten-free cake.

The cake was amazingly beautiful, super delicious, and our unique cake topper was definitely a hit with everyone. (it was gluten-free spice cake with blackberry filling and orange cream cheese frosting)

After this, everyone began dancing. Everyone had such an amazing time and there were hardly any people who weren’t on the dance floor! We took a few breaks to go play in the photobooth with our friends, which was absolutely hilarious.

During this time, it had started to snow outside! We had seen some snow dusting the mountains while we were taking our pictures but had no idea that it would snow at the venue and that the snow would stick. It was so beautiful and wonderful and our photographer got some great shots of us in the snow. I don’t know how we got lucky enough to be married on the peak day of fall (literally – the day prior, not all of the leaves had turned and the day after, most of the leaves had fallen) and have snow on our wedding night, but it couldn’t have been better.

We danced until the venue closed down and we were having such an awesome time that we completely forgot to do the bouquet and garter toss! We didn’t miss these much since they aren’t our favorite traditions and didn’t even realize it until a few hours later.

We went back to our hotel to relax and attempt to get some sleep. Brad and I were exhausted but giddy from all of the excitement of the day. We decided to drink champagne and watch the snow from our hotel balcony. These few hours were some of my favorite. It was so wonderful to decompress and reflect on the amazing day that had just ensued. We just kept saying “we’re married!” and talking about how wonderful the day was. We didn’t want it to end and wished it could last forever. The whole day felt surreal in the best possible way and was truly a perfect, amazing day.

Some Details:

Ceremony Reading: "Love" by Roy Croft

Ceremony Vows: "I Promise" by Dorothy Calgran

Bridal Processional: "Little Wing" by Jimi Hendrix

Recessional: "Ring of Fire" by Johnny Cash

First Dance: "At Last" by Etta James

Father/Daughter Dance 1: "Let It Be Me" by Ray LaMontagne

Father/Daughter Dance 2: "Thank You" by Led Zepplin

Mother/Son Dance: "Simple Man" by Lynard Skynard