If you haven’t yet, check out the first part of our wedding story that includes details about my wedding anxieties (fun!), the rehearsal dinner, first look, interesting touches in our ceremony, and more.
We served tacos, chips, salsa, queso, and a side salad, for those who might think Tex-Mex doesn’t cover every portion of the food pyramid, at our reception. Royal Fig Catering provided our meal, and they absolutely killed it. Everything was exceptional. (This review is based mainly on our pre-wedding tasting appointment, since I was on such an adrenaline high during the reception that I hardly remember eating.)
Our first dance was to “Touching Heaven” by Johnnyswim. Fun fact! I reached out to Johnnyswim’s manager to see if they would be available and willing to play at our wedding. Turns out they charge about $40K to play private events, and also get asked to play weddings all. the. time. That was a no-go.
So, instead, our band, The Royal Dukes, performed the song with my brother, Adam, on the keyboard. This was a super special moment because my brother is insanely talented with music, and I just love that he was a part of the day in this unique way.
Our cake was made by Sweet Treets Bakery—two layers were pumpkin spice with cream cheese frosting because DUH, the other two were vanilla almond. We also went with a lavender toss exit instead of sparklers, just for a touch of something different.
Things I’d Do Differently
While the day was pretty seamless overall, and I know I should say it was absolutely perfect, it wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t share the few small things I’d do differently. And the things that did matter most—our vows, spending time with our loved ones, etc.—were unbelievably incredible. Here are the things I’d change if I could go back.
Guest amount: Don’t get me wrong, we love and cherish every single person at our wedding, and we are entirely grateful for all of the support. Yet, even with a large rehearsal dinner, there still didn’t seem to be enough time to celebrate and talk with everyone. In fact, I’m pretty sure there are a handful of people I didn’t even get the chance to say hello to. While 140 guests seems like a good amount—not too big or small—it was still a lot for us, and I wish I’d had more time to visit with everyone.
Pasties: (Hey, uh, male family members? You might want to skip this one.) LET ME TELL YOU. If you are trying a new anything on the day of your wedding, beware. Especially if that new thing is an extra-strength adhesive that acts as a sort of tape-bra when you have severely sensitive skin. Let’s just say that when I removed my pasties at the end of the night, much of my skin was removed with them. Yep. Luckily, I’m a pretty good sport, and other than a couple days of discomfort as the wounds healed, John and I got a few good laughs out of it. And we affectionately called that area my “zomboobies” as it healed. Yes, we’re mature.
First dance singer: Okay, so our band was incredible, and they even foretold us to use our first dance song’s original track if we were worried their rendition wouldn’t match our expectations. The problem was just that I think the song was out of the singer’s range. No disrespect to him at all—it’s a pretty tough song to sing—but I realized later in the night how wonderful of a voice my brother’s girlfriend has when they got on stage to play a song together. Since Adam played the piano for our first dance, I wish I’d known his girlfriend was so talented and I would’ve asked her to sing it. Or I should’ve just shelled out the $40K for Johnnyswim themselves. Hindsight…
More pictures before the ceremony: This is something small, but after the ceremony, we were a bit tight on time to finish pictures and ended up missing the entire cocktail hour with our guests. Something I loved so much about our venue was the patio with a fire pit, and the weather that day was so beautiful that I wish we could have spent time out there with everyone at the cocktail hour.
My Favorite Parts of the Day
I can’t end on negatives, so I want to quickly commemorate some of my favorite parts of the day. John and I both agreed that the first look was the most emotional and exciting moment. We were tearful messes, but I felt assured from the tips of my hairs to the ends of my toes that this man is my forever person, and that is the most wonderful feeling.
I also loved dancing with our friends and family at the reception. Our band seemed to favor Bruno Mars songs, which I wasn’t mad at. It got everyone on the floor (including my grandpa in his wheelchair!). I LOVE to dance, and having all the people I love dancing with me to bumpin’ cover songs was amazing.
My mom’s welcome speech, my sister’s toast, and John’s brother’s toast were all INCREDIBLE in their own way. I was audibly laughing throughout all of them, and each one of them threw shade at John’s aggressively competitive card playing. I’m so glad we hired a videographer last minute to capture and remember these forever.
Our vows were a fun and lighthearted moment of the ceremony. While they included the traditional lines of taking one another in sickness and health, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the completely true and semi-embarrassing custom add-ins that my aunt worked in for us.
I also loved that much of the ceremony was not only about our present relationship, but about creating a lasting, forward-thinking kind of love. About fully accepting and cherishing and respecting each other now, in a year, and in 20 years. While I definitely embraced more traditional aspects of a wedding than I ever imagined I would, I still fully subscribe to the idea that the wedding is just the kick-off to the incredible life to come.
Venue: The Addison Grove
Planner: Stephanie with Frills Consulting
Photographer: Gloria Goode Photography
Videographer: Lifehouse Films
Hair and Makeup Artists: Blush ‘n Bangs
Programs and Signage: Etsy, Kismet Print Co.
Caterer: Royal Fig Catering
Baker: Sweet Treets Bakery
Florist: Westbank Flowers
Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Music: The Better Halves
Reception Music: The Royal Dukes
Bride’s Gown: Willowby by Watters
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lulus
Groom’s and Groomsmen’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse