Wedding Series Part 5 - Our wedding day!
Hi Friends! Today I'm back with the final post in my wedding series - our actual wedding day! Check out my posts on planning pt. 1, planning pt. 2, finding my wedding dress, and our wedding rehearsal dinner if you're interested in any of the steps that brought us to the big day!
I wanted to pick up right where I left off - getting ready in the morning before our wedding. Let's get into it!
One of the weirdest parts of our wedding day was not talking to Dan the morning of such an important day. I'm so used to seeing and talking to him 24/7, so it was just STRANGE to not have him there when I woke up in the morning! I woke up around 6:30AM (so relieved that I was able to fall back asleep, after initially waking up at 3AM!), and I cleaned up quickly around the hotel suite, double checked that everything was laid out for my bridesmaids and parents, and made sure my dress was hung up and ready to go.
One of my dearest memories of our wedding day was getting ready in the hotel suite with all of my close friends. I loved that we had a quieter setting (compared to a salon) and could hang in our PJ's - I felt like this helped me to calm down, although my adrenaline was definitely STILL pumping. My lovely bridesmaids brought bagels to the room and Dan's dad made sure we had champagne for the morning :). We chatted and got organized, Marisa and her lovely assistant Rhonda worked their hair and makeup magic, and before I knew it, it was my turn (I was the last to go!).
I was actually pretty nervous about my makeup because during my trial she had used a cream foundation (which I decided was too heavy for me), and I had never seen what airbrush would look like on my skin. I ended up deciding to go for the airbursh, and I'm so glad I trusted Marisa on this one. She pulled everything together flawlessly, and I still felt like myself (just a more made-up version than usual!). Next thing I knew, my hair and makeup were done (and seriously amazing!) and it was time to put on my dress. I decided to get dressed with my mom and grandma, and it was such a special moment for me to share with two of the most important ladies in my life! In the couple weeks before the wedding, I had also reached out to Lindsay Gilmore Illustrations to do a framed picture of the house I grew up in, so I could give that to my mom and dad. That was a really special moment, especially when I realized that I had COMPLETELY forgotten to write a note in the card addressed to my mom, and it was blank :). Wedding brain! We had a good laugh about that one <3.
I had my grandpa and dad swing by the suite so that I could see them prior to walking down the aisle as well. I gathered my things, and we took some bridesmaids pictures in the suite and also in the lobby of the hotel. And the next thing I knew - we were off to the church! We rented a school bus for anyone who needed it, which I really appreciated so that I didn't have to drag my dress anywhere.
I didn't really expect this, but I was SO nervous by the time we got to the church. I generally don't enjoy a lot of attention focused on ME...but hey, you only get married once! My bridesmaids and I waited downstairs in a quiet room under the church while all of our guests got settled. My heart was POUNDING! And next thing I knew - my dad and I were ready to walk down the aisle! It was definitely a blur, but I made a conscious effort to try and look around and soak in all the love in the church as we walked. What an amazing feeling! I'll truly never forget that feeling of love around me.
Because we had a super in-depth rehearsal at the church the night before I felt comfortable and so excited to finally make this wonderful man my husband (even though we still forgot certain parts!). The ceremony was short and sweet but SO meaningful for us and our families. I'll always remember Pastor Evans' kind words and his huge heart - he is such a genuine and inspiring man.
The next thing I knew, the rings were on, and it was official! Yay! We walked out of the church as husband and wife, and then it was time for pictures around downtown Pittsburgh. It was a beautiful day.
Levana did a great job quickly shuffling us around Pittsburgh to get some really unique and beautiful shots that I will always treasure dearly. One of my hopes for photos was that we could be "in and out" relatively quickly to hopefully make it to a portion of our happy hour. Which we did! Once we wrapped up our pictures downtown, we hopped on the school bus and headed down to the Pennsylvanian for the tail end of our cocktail hour!
Cocktail hour: We snuck into the tail end of our cocktail hour, and I was so excited to see everyone that I almost forgot to eat anything! The time passed by in the blink of an eye - catching up with family and friends, and giving so many hugs. I couldn't believe it was time to start the reception.
Our reception ALSO flew by in the blink of an eye, even though it was probably around 3 or 4 hours! One of the funny parts for me was our entrance - we were announced...and then the WHOLE SONG CONTINUED! Dan and I didn't know what to do (we assumed it would cut after a couple seconds), so we did an impromptu dance :). The toasts were amazing (definitely teared up), our buffet dinner was delicious, and then it was time for dances!
One of my most treasured moments from the evening was being able to dance with both my dad and my grandpa (two of the most important guys who made me who I am today!) We cut the cake, I did the flower toss, and then I just danced my heart out the rest of the night. It couldn't have been better. Suffice it to say that I could write a novel about the evening, but to keep it short and sweet - I just feel this immense sense of joy when I look back on our wedding night!
One of the SCARIEST moments of the evening was the hora. I almost tipped out of the chair :) see photo for evidence of scariness.
After-party: Before we knew it, people were wrapping up and heading back to the hotel after the wedding. We also had an afterparty (for anyone who still had energy left!) at a local Pittsburgh Mexican place called Condado Tacos. It was fun to keep the celebration going, but I ended up calling it quits around 1:30AM. It was a long day - the best day ever.
I loved that we didn't have to worry about saying goodbyes the night of our wedding, because Dan's parents planned the most beautiful breakfast for the next morning. There was even a bagel wall. I KNOW. We so enjoyed socializing and recapping the night before, and giving many more hugs before we had to start packing up from the hotel and heading home to pack for our honeymoon.
We honestly had the most amazing day of our lives on our wedding day. I feel so blessed to have experienced it with so many beautiful and amazing people in our lives, and I'll always look back on this day so joyously.
Happy Friday, friends!