Our wedding day was just over a month ago. July 9, 2016 came and went more quickly than I ever could have imagined, and I can’t say anything but a huge THANK YOU to everyone for making our day more special and filled with love than I ever could have dreamed. And, thankfully, I have our wedding day pictures (by the lovely Jamee and her wonderful team at Jamee Photography) to help us remember the full day.
Since this blog is also my diary, I’ve included details in chronological order. Be sure to check my post on our wedding week events to see what led up to this day and I’ll be doing a Q&A post in two weeks to answer some of your questions. Be sure to send me any questions you have to have them included!
I had such a hard time sleeping the night before my wedding and probably got up to four hours of sleep. But the second the doorbell rang for our hair and makeup team to set up, I was up and cruising around non-stop! (Although, I did take a short nap in the middle of the morning. THANK YOU to my bridesmaids for letting that happen!!)
Bridesmaids, Moms, Sister-in-Law, Junior Bridesmaids, and Flower Girls! All in gear that I had gifted them from swoozies.
I had breakfast and mimosas in fun cups prepared for the girls, and the hotel also sent orange juice and champagne for us to celebrate the event. (Thanks to my bridesmaids, again, for helping me set up breakfast! Can you tell that I had the best wedding squad out there!)
Getting ready for my wedding day, I couldn’t imagine spending time with a better group of people. I was crying literally all day – happy tears, but the second even lunch was delivered, I started balling because it was my wedding day lunch. The girls somehow kept me calm and relaxed, they all looked beyond stunning, and everyone had a great time. They somehow even put smiles on their faces with me making them start to show up at 8am after our cocktail hour the night before – special props to the early risers Katie, Linds, Ash V, and Alana!
Ray and I are not usually ones to shy away from pressure. But, for whatever reason, we were both incredibly nervous for our first look.
We decided to do a first look for a few reasons. One, to calm me down because I’m a crazy person that cries at everything (did you see Usain Bolt won again, btw?!) Two, because from a timing perspective, it made sense. And three, because after researching the tradition of not seeing each other before the wedding, I found out that it had to do with arranged marriages and they didn’t want the husband to see the wife and literally make a run for it. Not saying it’s not incredibly special and perfect for some – but a first look was perfect for us.
Our first look occurred right outside of our hotel, which was extra convenient for me. I walked up to tap Ray on the shoulder while his back was turned. Afterwards, we were able to spend about five minutes alone connecting and talking about how special this day already was to us.
It was the perfect moment for us to share leading into our ceremony.
Our ceremony was on the top of Vail Mountain, overlooking the mountain peak that we had climbed alongside our officient on Monday of our wedding week. We picked this spot because the mountains are where Ray and I both feel most at peace and closest to God, which was even highlighted on our thank you note on our menus.
After seeing several venues, this spot just felt right to us. We looked at a few more venues, but we knew that this is where we needed to be on our wedding day.
Our music was an acoustic guitarist that all of our guests mentioned they loved because we had him singing fun, unique versions of singles as people entered. Our entrance song for Ray and our bridesmaids/groomsmen, junior bridesmaids/junior groomsmen, and flower girls/ring bearers (walking together) was “1000 Years” by Christina Perri and the song that I walked down the aisle to (along with both of my parents) was “First Day of My Life” by Bright Eyes.
Our officiant, Nathan, could not have been any more perfect for our day. He made us all laugh and cry, and every moment meant the world to us by having him there. We stayed with traditional vows, because I adore that those words have been said and have meant so much to couples around the globe for hundreds of years. But, other than our vows, every word in our message was written and shared by Nathan. (THANK YOU, Nathan, for being an amazing friend to both of us!)
Both of my brothers and my sister-in-law did readings that they selected on their own. My brother Chris chose meaningful song lyrics and my brother Greg /sister-in-law Maggie selected a beautiful poem to share.
Our ~30 minute ceremony was incredibly personal to both Ray and I. Every moment and every word that was said was heard by us and we both felt a deep amount of love surrounding us. I could not have imagined a more perfect ceremony to begin our marriage together.
Our cocktail hour was where a lot of the more carefree fun began. Everyone was able to relax a bit, we had our fun cocktail napkins to lighten the mood, and we were able to eat some of the delicious food.
While Ray and I decided to stop by every table to say hello during the Reception, our few minutes at the cocktail hour were the moments where we were able to relax a bit and enjoy the company of our friends and family.
A super A+ to our vendors, because our wonderful videographer and wedding planners remembered our favorite drinks and had them ready to go for us the second we got back from taking pictures nearby. Vodka soda lime for the win!
Reception – Dinner
Just like almost every couple says, I felt like we had two seconds to eat. We said hello to every table, as I wanted to make sure that each guest knew how much we appreciated them traveling to see us. But, because of that, our appetizers were the primary meal of the evening. Our guests had the option of a beef tenderloin, Colorado lamb chops, or salmon. All were absolutely spectacular – including the few bites I was able to enjoy!
Our speeches made up for our lack of food! Our blessing was given my my cousin, Alana, and we had speeches shared by my father, my MOHs (Brittany and Ashley), and Ray’s Best Men (Kevin and Bill.) Each was short and sweet and so kind.
We also had a DELICIOUS cake of three flavors. Nutella, Carrot Cake, and Red Velvet (carrot was my favorite.) When we went to cut the cake, Ray decided that he wanted to try to slice through multiple layers… meaning that the knife got stuck and almost brought the entire cake down. But hey, the humor is what makes it fun!
Our first dance was “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which is actually the song that Liverpool fans sing prior to every game. We were talking about songs that could potentially be our first dance early on a Saturday morning, and I was saying that I wanted something that meant something to us, rather than a song that just happens to be popular right now. When this song was sung by the crowd just prior to the Liverpool game that was on television (just like every Saturday), I finally listened to the lyrics and realized how sweet they truly are – so we picked it for our first dance!
Our father/daughter dance song was a combination of “The Way You Look Tonight” and “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” (our same acoustic guitarist created a medley) and the mother/son dance was “My Wish for You” by Rascal Flatts. My father and I had taken dance lessons as his father’s day gift and it was so much fun to display our newly learned skills on the dance floor.
Reception – Dance Floor
After a quick speech saying “thank you,” Ray and I were able to reveal our dance floor in an adjacent space. Our DJ played only fast music (I get awkward during slow songs) and we kept the party going all night.
One of my favorite moments was when our videographer jumped in to the middle of a massive crowd on the dance floor during a favorite M83 song. This is just one example of how awesome our vendors were (and are) throughout the entire wedding process.
…I could not have imagined a more perfect day celebrating our marriage. I cannot believe that it’s over, but every moment went just the way it was supposed to. Things went “wrong” (ex. we forgot to sign our marriage license until mid-way through the dancing with glowing sunglasses being worn… oh well. :)) Our big plan was to make the day a massive party to celebrate the start of our marriage alongside friends and family. And that’s exactly the way it was.
Love you, Ray. THANK YOU, again, to our friends and family for joining our wonderful celebration. THANK YOU, also, to our amazing vendors that didn’t miss a beat. YOU ALL ROCK!
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
What makes wedding stand out in your mind?
Send any questions my way that you might have related to our wedding and I’ll answer them two weeks from today!
Create a great life!