The time has come for the official wedding post. It’s been over a month since the big day and I’m still pinching myself a bit. I got to marry my fella, and share the moment with some of my absolute nearest and dearest.
Our big day wasn’t exactly big. We wanted to keep things very small, simple, and fun.
One of my very best friends in the entire world, Aliah, (my Sister from another Mister) got ordained online so she could perform the ceremony. I did not want to select a complete stranger to officiate such a special moment in our lives. We kept the ceremony very short and sweet with about 15 of our closest friends and family members just standing around us.
We didn’t have a bridal party. We just wanted to keep things simple and casual with our nearest and dearest there to share the moment.
Aliah not only performed the ceremony (and helped with loads of things the week leading up to the wedding), but she also did my hair and makeup.
Believe it or not, I ordered my dress online. It was a scary prospect, but it worked out okay in the end. I had a talented pal make some alterations. It was a bit snug in some areas, but when we wear a 26/28, and are 5’2″, bridal wear is an extra tricky thing. My dress was a tea length, off white lace and tulle number.
I wore green shoes from ModCloth (no longer available, but you can easily find a similar pair).
I made my bouquet a few hours before the wedding with flowers from the grocery store. I couldn’t see spending over $100 on something that would dry up and not last long. My Mom embroidered our initials and wedding date on an antique hankie (that my cousin had sent me), and I added a few additional personal touches. My Dad is no longer with us, but I wanted to figure out a way to carry him with me on my wedding day. After my Dad’s passing, my brother was given my Dad’s wedding band, which was entirely too big for my brother. He had it re-sized, and thoughtfully had the extra gold melted down and made into an earring for me. I also have my Mom’s engagement ring from my Dad, so I attached her ring and the earring to the hankie around my bouquet.
The ceremony and reception were both held in the same location, The Lilstreet Loft in Chicago. We arrived a bit after 6:00, and quickly set up the back drop for the ceremony (a portable clothing rack with some fun white feathery fabric draped over it). After the ceremony, everyone helped get everything else set up for the reception, which started at 7:30.
For the reception, I changed into a more comfortable dress (my wedding dress was very heavy, and didn’t allow enough room to bust moves on the dance floor). My reception dress was a peach number from Sealed With A Kiss.
We served lots of yummy finger foods, most of which were platters from Whole Foods, and the spread was a hit. Roasted veggies, various cheeses, dips, bread, crackers, spreads, cream puffs, etc.
I decided to offer two signature cocktails at the bar along with a red and white wine and two kinds of beer. I wanted folks to have options without having to go overboard. Booze is easily the most expensive part of a wedding. I wanted the signature cocktails to be a bit retro, so we offered fig manhattans and bee’s knees. Both were popular and got good reviews from the crowd. We altered the recipes a bit from the original. We also had juice boxes for the kiddos, and iced tea and lemonade.
Our wedding cake was from my very favorite cupcake shop in all of Chicago- Swirlz Cupcakes. It was such a delight working with them. It was a white cake with fresh strawberries and vanilla buttercream. Yum!
For our “guest book,” we had folks sign plates. We got three plates from various shops, and bought two ceramics markers from Amazon. This way you can hang them or put them on display somehow or even use them.
Our color scheme was peach, mint, and gold. We mostly decorated with paper fans, moss, and succulent plants in mini mason jars. We had antique hankies in the center of every table, and also had some green mason jars with some baby’s breath. We had tea light candles around as well for some added ambiance. Our ceremony backdrop morphed into a photo backdrop, and we had a table with paper photo props for folks to have fun with.
We also had a temporary tattoo station for people to enjoy. I loaded lots of oldies onto an iPod mini, and we hooked that up to the sound system for our dancing music. It was all about visiting with people and just having a good time. People wore jeans and whatever they wanted. It was exactly how I had hoped it would be. There were about 65 people at the reception- just a big party!
I’m so thrilled and lucky to have married such an amazing man. And the fact that I was able to have all of my other favorite people in the room to share it with, made it all the sweeter. I am so thankful for everyone’s love, support, and hard work. Here’s to all of the adventures life has in store in the years to come!