Wow, what a whirlwind the past month or so has been. Everything has been moving so far, that it’s taken me a while just to wrap my head around everything.
So today’s blog is just going to focus on the wedding! I’m SO excited to finally share these photos with ya’ll. I’ve had the gallery from Hope for longer than I’d like to admit, and things have finally calmed down enough and I have showed them to our families, so I feel like I can show you too!
Not to mention, it’s been exactly ONE MONTH since our wedding, and this is my way of celebrating one month of wedded bliss…or something like that hahaha. I’ll be real- between a very…interesting (trying to stay positive here) honeymoon and Joe still being on crutches, we haven’t had the easiest first month of marriage. However, I’m married to my best friend and we’ve been through worse, so this is just another chapter in our book.
Back to the wedding.
You know all of those girls who plan their weddings and then want to be wedding planners afterwards so they can do it again and again and again?
I am NOT one of those girls. I never want to plan another wedding (or an event to that caliber) again (and obviously, I won’t have to haha!). As most past bride’s know, it doesn’t matter how hard you plan or how much you organize, theory and thought isn’t the same as what happens on the actual day. Rather than going through all of the details that went wrong or focusing on the bad, I’m at a much better place where I’m able to look back and enjoy the positives. Enjoy the moments with my family and friends that I will cherish forever.
Obviously, I learned a lot during this entire process, and that’s a conversation for another time, but here are some of my best and worst decisions.
I’ll start with the worst. It’s no secret that Joe and I have lived together for a long time. Actually, the entire time we’ve been dating because we were roommates already when we started dating, and then he had his amputation, and it just made sense. Anyways, I thought that it might be nice for me to go stay with my parents the week before the wedding to…I don’t know, make the wedding night and honeymoon more special? Get some separation before the wedding? Quite honestly, I don’t know what I was thinking because it was a TERRIBLE IDEA. Seriously. It made me so much more anxious and stressed out not being able to see Joe regularly. And same for him! We hated it! So much so, that Joe ended up coming to stay at my parents with me for a few nights that week because it was so terrible. The thing is: wedding planning is hard. To me, it was not fun. And the stress it was causing me while also not being able to sleep in my own bed and be in somewhat of my own routine, it made me even more stressed out. Do anything you can to make yourself the least stressed possible.
The best decision of this whole wedding thing we made, other than getting married to begin with, was to get married before the actual day. Joe and I technically got married at the Fredericksburg City Hall on the Tuesday before the wedding. According to the law of the Commonwealth of Virginia, an officiant has to go through an expensive process to become an officiant, and to avoid that but to still have one of our favorite people ever officiate our wedding, we decided to get married ahead of time.
So the Tuesday before the wedding, I married Joe in my favorite blue jean romper at City Hall by Santa Clause (I’m not even kidding, but that’s another story). It was just the two of us, goofing off and being together. So why was this our best decision ever? Because after that, nothing else mattered! We were already married and that’s all we wanted out of this whole thing. It made me much more calm on the day of, I didn’t focus on all of the little things going on around me, and I was able to enjoy the day with the people I care about most in the world.
Joe and I did a first look as well, which for me was also another amazing decision. If you’re not sure about doing a first look or not, not sure if it takes away from walking down the aisle, or lessens the ceremony, here’s what I’ll tell you: it took all of nerves away. All day I had been pretty anxious, a relaxed anxious, but what bride isn’t anxious?! As soon as I saw Joe and we were together, nothing else mattered. Once we got the first look over with, we were able to hang out the rest of the afternoon, goof off and just be us! It was amazing. We got to talk all about our days getting ready, and catch up and talk about how nervous we had been and how nervous we weren’t anymore. It was just us being….us. A chance we wouldn’t have had if we hadn’t done the first look. And when I walked down that aisle, it didn’t make a difference at all. I was still just as excited and still had the biggest grin on my face and shed a few tears, and so did Joe, and the moment was incredible.
Well, I’ve already written a novel, and thank you if you’re still here reading. Obviously, these are only highlights for our crazy, amazing, memorable wedding, and maybe one day I’ll share more of some o the behind the scenes, but for now, I’m just enjoying these gorgeous photos of my handsome groom, the best bridal party, and the most amazing friends and family a girl could ask for.
Invitations/Signage/Details | TWILA & CO.
Florals/Decor/Lighting | Christina Moore of BELLA GIORNATA EVENTS
Hair + Makeup | HELLO DARLING BEAUTY
Planner | Emily Ritchey, SCARLETT GRAY EVENTS
Rentals | VINTAGE IS FOR LOVERS
Bride’s Gown Retailer | AVA LAURENNE
Bride’s Gown Designed by Jeri Hetrick & Johnna Hetrick with Shannon Thorpe of Mackenzie Clare
Shoes | Custom Designed by Johnna with ELLIE WREN SHOES
Ceremony Musicians | Sam & Rachel Wagner
Cake | SORBY SWEETS
Videographer | NUGEN MEDIA, NIC DONOVAN
Transportation | TROLLEY TOURS OF FREDERICKSBURG