Posts tagged wedding ceremony
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


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.


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

Wedding Recap Part 1: Getting Ready, First Look, and Pre-Ceremony

I'm taking this week off of recipe blogging to focus my efforts on helping prepare two Thanksgiving dinners! If you need some gluten-free Thanksgiving recipe inspiration check out this crostata, these biscuits, and this heavenly mousse dessert. Check out this post for some Thanksgiving survival tips and list of other gluten-free holiday friendly recipes. I hope everyone has a wonderful week and a fun filled Thanksgiving! And recaps!! In case I haven't mentioned it a few thousands times already, I got hitched on Oct. 28! I've been itching to do a full recap post of the big day but was waiting until we had our photos in hand. Now that our photos are here, I can't stop looking at them! I love looking back on that day and reliving every laughter and joy filled moment. I'm dividing the recaps up into several separate posts simply so I don't crash everyone's computers with all the photos. This post is going to be a long one, so grab some coffee and settle in!

*all photos (c) Jack Looney Photography

Getting Ready

My bridesmaids came to my hotel room to get hair and makeup done and hang out during the day before the ceremony. My mom got us some snacks and champagne (always good) and we had a great time getting pretty and chatting. The time seemed to fly by and before I knew it, my hair and makeup were done, my veil was on, and I was walking with Brad to meet our limo. We chose to see each other most of the day and we rode over to the venue together in a vintage limo. We decided to do this instead of ride back in it because we knew we would have a lot to bring back that night and really wanted to savor each moment of the limo ride. Seeing Brad for most of the day and riding over with him was one of the best decisions I made. It really helped me stay calm and also got me increasingly excited about the ceremony and reception. Seeing each other didn’t take away from anything during the ceremony and I would do it the same way again.

After arriving, the ladies did some final touches in the bridal suite at our venue while the guys hung out and had some fun.

My mom zipped me into my dress and my bridesmaids helped me put the final touches on my attire.

I'm so glad we had some time to just drink champagne, munch on snacks, and laugh together.

I was already getting emotional and having everyone around me made me so excited and kept me calm. I don't think I stopped smiling or laughing the entire time.

First Look

The weather wasn’t looking good - it was cloudy, very very cold, and was forecasting rain so there was a possibility that our ceremony location would be moved from outside to inside. As I was going to take pictures with the photographer and do the first look, our coordinator gave me the forecast (rain pretty much guaranteed) and told me that we needed to make the decision – inside or out. I didn’t hesitate and decided to move the ceremony inside. For some reason, I thought that moving the ceremony would be bigger deal to me but it wasn’t. It was an easy decision that was made easier by the fact that I knew all of our vendors would make magic happen. After calling it, our photographer drove me up to meet Brad.

He was standing on the hillside with the second shooter, his back towards me. I started walking towards him and thought my heart might beat out of my chest. Initially, I was going to walk all the way to him but froze when I got a few feet behind him – I was so nervous, I thought I would collapse if I took another step. Instead, I said “hey you” and he turned around and walked towards me with his eyes all misty. I started to cry and was smiling so big my face hurt and we hugged and kissed amongst the gorgeous hillside backdrop.

He told me I was beautiful and we walked together to our vintage limo for some more pictures. At this point, I felt so ready and giddy with happiness.

We snapped some more pictures and then drove to the vines and took more photos.

At that point, we were freezing so our photographer had us jump in our limo and quickly got us back inside to warm up.


After we got back from taking pictures, we took formal family and bridal party portraits since it was beginning to rain. We spent very little time on these since we aren’t fond of super formal portraits but wanted to have pictures with our 4 families and all of our bridal party. After we finished, we went inside and my bridesmaids had me sit down, eat a larabar from my emergency kit (thanks Kelly!!!), and gave me some wine.

They could tell I was getting nervous and made sure I had everything I needed and calmed me down. Brad was in another room with his groomsmen and he was also getting extremely nervous. It felt like mere seconds passed and our coordinator had us line up and escorted us to the procession area. At this point, my nerves really kicked in. My dad and stepdad joked with me to calm me down and before I knew it, it was just me and my dad and stepdad standing arm in arm waiting to walk down the aisle.

Some Details:

Photographer: Jack Looney photography (I cannot say enough about Jack - he is professional, kind, and amazingly talented. He is such a great person to work with and really went above and beyond)

Florist: Amy Webb of Blue Ridge Floral (Amy is one of the nicest people I've met and she really outdid herself with our event. She completely captured our vision and ran with it to a place that was beyond our dreams.)

Cake: Melinda of Bake Love Bakery (Melinda is one the sweetest people I know and her talent is truly amazing. Our cake was a huge collaborative effort between us, her, and my stepdad and she translated the vision to something deliciously spectacular)

Band: John Conley Band (John and his band are AWESOME. So many people commented on how great the band was that night!)

Venue & Catering: Veritas Vineyards (There are no words to express how wonderful everyone at Veritas has been. Jill, our coordinator and Chloe, our previous coordinator were lifesavers and were instrumental in making our day absolutely perfect.)

Vintage Limo: Albemarle Limo (Can I just say that I want that car?!)

Hair & Makeup:  Katie Blue Salon Richmond, VA. Hair by Missi Manning and Meaghan Hobson; makeup by Meaghan Hobson