Some may say that this post is beyond long overdue. After all, we got married last year in September, so what must have taken me so long?
But those who know me might say that’s just me being me :)… I may be a lifestyle blogger but I’m a private person without a rush to let anyone in on my goings-on.
Nevertheless, our Wedding was one of the best days of my life, and I figured some of you fellow romantics out there might like to see a good story about a couple in love and a group of people celebrating their union.
Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a post that reminds them of how blogging used to be–you know, back when we used to be more personal and raw? This is the first in a short series that’ll discuss some of what I’ve had going on in the year since we got married, including trips plus a puppy! So stick around for all that fun :).
Without further ado, here’s our Wedding Day Story–or at least an abbreviated version of it.
Our photographer, Claire Marika, is a dream to work with. I first met her almost two years before our Big Day on a Bridal Fair, and I knew then I’d want her to document all our milestones. Sure enough, she’s done our Engagements, Wedding pictures, and most recently, our First Anniversary shoot with our puppy. I can’t wait to continue working with her throughout the years!
Our videographer, Don of Hobble Creek Media, is very talented and he made such an awesome and beautiful video that we’ll treasure forever. He offers more value than most videographers: Something I wasn’t going to compromise on was I needed ambient sounds and voices, but at a price that wouldn’t break my parents’ budget. I didn’t want a mere music video because I think those are cheap, and Don knew that we also didn’t want footage of just us posing. The end result was a precious story of our Big Day and it left us speechless.
It was a crisp, late-Summer Saturday morning.
(My plan for a long time [we were engaged for almost two years] had been to get married on the third anniversary of our first date, which would fall on a Wednesday. I didn’t have any qualms about it being on a weekday, but when we went to book the Grand America for our Reception, lo’ and behold’ they were going to have an event all that week, so the only available dates would be the Saturday before and the Saturday after that event. We picked the former.)
The week before the Wedding hadn’t been looking all the great, weather-wise. In fact, I believe it rained some days, and on others it was constantly either super cold but sunny or simply gray.
The Big Day started out kind of cloudy but I remember feeling at peace with it; I wanted to marry Chris so badly, that nothing would stop us. Rain or shine, I also knew our photographer and videographer would make the best of it, so there wasn’t any reason why I should lament the weather.
I was both calm that day but also had a few butterflies in my stomach. Since I was living at my parents’, I was most excited about starting a life together with my husband in just a few hours! I knew it’d be such a good transition.
I woke up at my usual time for a Saturday and got ready for breakfast, but I don’t think I was able to eat much. I watched TV with my parents, and then my mom and I got to work on my hair and makeup. Specifically, I did my own hair while she did my makeup following a neat tutorial she found online.
(This was after weeks of looking for local stylists to do my hair and makeup that day. The few that I tried out didn’t achieve what I was looking for, so I decided to trust my mom and myself to do a much better job. After all, my mom had always done my makeup for big, formal events–incl. my dance performances when I was little–so there really wasn’t anyone better. She can do it all.)
It was at this time that Chris was also getting ready, but at our Church in Salt Lake City, which is a few minutes away from my parents’ home.
Funny story: Chris had forgotten his tie at home and he texted me to tell me while I was getting ready. Instead of getting mad or worried, I cracked up and cried happy tears because the SAME THING had happened to my dad on his and my mom’s Wedding Day! Talk about a good omen :). My uncle ended up lending my dad the tie he was wearing that day, and now my dad loaned Chris one of his, coming full circle. Chris later admitted to me that he was worried about my reaction would be since it was so last-minute, and I told him that I actually loved that it happened.
This was sort of like my “childhood” church even though we started attending services there when we moved to the U.S. when I was a preteen. It has special meaning. Next to the Church is our Priest’s home, and it was there that we did our Pre-Cana, or pre-marital classes and counseling that the Church requires. Lessons from this were so inspirational that I still find myself recalling them after being married for over one year.
Both Claire and Don went there to get some shots and footage of Chris while we finished getting my hair and makeup done.
His dad passed away three months before the Wedding so this watch took on even more meaning that day.
After getting a few shots of him at the Church, Claire and Don returned to my parents’ house to get a few last shots and footage of me with my dress, etc. on.
These are the veil and bolero jacket my mom made from scratch for the Ceremony. Here she is giving me a blessing with my dad.
My dad and I rode in a beautiful vintage car from my parents’s house to the Church. That drive was really something–it marked my last car ride as a “single” woman, the last time I’d be leaving their home before becoming married.
The guy on the left is named Sam; he owns the vintage car company. He’s super nice!
After arriving my dad walked me to the Church, where my fiancé was waiting ready for a shot I knew I wanted to get for years; it involved us holding hands next to a door, but never looking at one other. It was like a First Look, but with a touch instead of a look, because I’m not a fan of First Looks in general.
I originally got the idea after seeing Erin Bates (of Growing Up Bates) and her then-fiancé Chad do a version of it before their own Wedding. I thought it was so sweet!
I love how happy and at peace Chris looks here.
After the picture, he went back to the front of the Church to wait for me. I then walked in with both my parents–my mom on one side and my dad on the other. Having them both walk me down the aisle is something I also really wanted to do. They’re both extremely important people in my life.
Why a Catholic Ceremony?
Our Priest, Father JJ, is such a gem. We haven’t seen him in a while but I loved how he treated us like his children, like he sincerely wanted the absolute best for us.
Say what you want about the Catholic Church. It’s priests like these that help give the Church a good name.
I knew very early on I wanted to get married in the Church not just because it’s a part of who I am and I attended Catholic school until I started College, but also because as a Utahn, I didn’t want to be part of the secular world. Call me old-fashioned, but for some reason if two people are Catholic and they get married outside of the Church, I can picture God saying, “Really? That’s all you took from how good I’ve been to you?” Granted, God isn’t selfish or narcissistic, but I still didn’t want to disappoint him. I’d somehow always think of my wedding as “less than” if I didn’t make the commitment and sacrifice of getting married in a Church, where I had gone through all the sacraments before marriage.
By “the secular world,” I’m referring to the seemingly countless couples of Utah-based Catholics (some of whom I went to Catholic School with!) who do get married elsewhere, like atop a mountain or at a park. There isn’t anything wrong in them doing it, but it wouldn’t feel right for me, and I’m so happy I went the Church route.
Getting married in the Catholic Church was also key for me because during our Ceremonies no one pronounces US husband and wife; WE ourselves do that, meaning, we say, “I now take you as my husband/wife,” which is also known as the free exchange of consent, in which the couple binds themselves together and God is acting through them. The Priest is just a witness, and that Oath alone makes us married–no other third party does.
… Back to the pictures …
After we repeated our Vows, Father JJ blessed our rings and we put them on each other’s fingers.
We chose to have our loved ones help us celebrate the Ceremony in various ways. For example, his friend was our usher and helped people get seated. My parents, his uncle, and his aunt did the readings, while his brother brought us our rings. My first mentor, along with his brother again, also brought the gifts (of bread and wine) to the Altar. It was a beautiful tight-knit affair.
And we’re married!
The Reception took place at The Grand America in downtown SLC. It’s a huge and gorgeous hotel that holds special meaning to our family as it’s hosted several other important celebrations and milestones of ours.
Our guest book was a globe! Guests were invited to sign our “Guest Globe” and we loved all their well wishes.
We didn’t pass hors d’oeuvres because we wanted our guests to enjoy their dinner! After all, they had two choices of entrées, so we didn’t want them to fill up beforehand. It was important to us that they were well fed and remembered this wedding as one where we truly valued their presence.
After we arrived post-pictures, we went around the room and the balcony and greeted our guests, then mingled some more.
Dinner came not long after that and it was very good! Then my mom gave a beautiful speech, and later it was time for dessert before our first dances.
For our “Wedding Cake” we picked cheesecake because we’re not big fans of typical cake, unless it’s carrot cake, which we didn’t imagine many of our guests would eat, hehe.
Before we decide on cheesecake, we had gone on cake tasting excursions along the Valley to see if there really was a cake that’d be worth having, but nope, we could NOT find one good cake anywhere. It didn’t take us long afterwards to decide to let the Grand America do its thing and make us a fantastic cheesecake, somewhat modeled after a picture I gave them, but still very much unique for us.
Our Reception was so chill and just how we wanted it. It was a day where we were surrounded by those we love and who love us, and we wouldn’t have picked any other way.
Did we do a Registry?
Nope! We just didn’t want to make a list of things for others to get us. We see registries as tacky, to be honest.
We understood some of our guests may have wanted to give us something anyways besides their presence so we gave them a short list of some our favorite stores (while also mentioning they could go wherever) and asked them to get inspired and get whatever they thought we’d love as we embark on an adventure that we couldn’t wait to begin. We gave them no requirements, no minimums, and NO rules. They were very generous with us.
What about favors?
We didn’t do those either, because what’s better than a free great meal/date night in a beautiful setting :)? Instead of favors, my family made a donation to Nuzzles & Co., which has been very important in our lives.
After all was said and done and more and more guests began departing, my family and I began picking up all the decorations we had bought for the room (things like the picture frames and candle holders, etc.) while his brother and friends were busy preparing a surprise we weren’t expecting :P.
We left before everything was packed (we were tired!) and came to find this:
Ahhhh, fun times! It didn’t take long for us to dismantle the outside, but inside there were balloons and other “gifts” that we spent a while cleaning up afterwards.
Later that night we went home to relax and get ready for our Honeymoon to Hawaii the next day! (Yes, I’ll be posting on it later as well.)
– – –
Our Wedding Day marked the start of something special. Even now, over a year after it occurred, I’m still in disbelief that I’m married to someone so great. He’s my boyfriend and I’m his girlfriend, and it’s a joy to get to do life with him.
What’s your favorite memory from your Wedding Day?