Our Wedding Day
May 11, 2019 will forever be one of my favorite days. I am so excited to share our wedding day and try to provide as many tips for future brides as possible! First is a huge shout-out to our photographers, T2 Photography who captured the day beautifully!
Venue: We got married at Moore's Mill Country Club in Auburn, AL. Matt and I both attended Auburn, it's where we got engaged, the place where most of our friends have in common, it's just too special to us to have picked anywhere else. I also knew that I personally wanted a venue where everything could be in one place instead of having to drive to multiple locations. As you can see in this picture, the day had super overcast moments. We actually had 100% chance of rain our entire wedding weekend and I was devastated. I wish I could say that I was handling it well, but truthfully, I was so sad about the rain. But, in a true gift from God, we ended up having perfect weather - it rained the Thursday night when we got into town and then didn't rain again until Saturday night 5 minutes after we left the reception. Pretty incredible huh?
Dress: Bellas Bridal Birmingham
Hair: Heather Montz
Make-Up: Paige Ward with the Glow App
Getting Ready Robe: Flora Nikrooz via Amazon
Bridesmaids Getting Ready Sets: Piyama
Top Tips for the Getting Ready Time
Play music - having some sort of speaker and playlist that keeps the energy makes such a difference in how your wedding day starts! The hair and make-up portion of the day can be long so having ways to keep it fun is a huge plus!
Speaking of fun ideas, we brought a polaroid camera to take getting ready pictures with and those are some of my favorite keepsakes from the entire wedding day.
Food & Drinks - As a reminder, these mornings are long so plan to have food/drinks in your getting ready space.
Lastly, pull all of your details together for your photographer. Having all of your details already grouped together will allow for maximum time for detail and getting ready pictures.
Paper Suite: Anna Walters Calligraphy
Ribbon: Gracefully Made Art
Funny Story Time: My parents live in Tuscaloosa, AL, so that's where all of my wedding stuff was prior to the actual weekend. I planned on having two sets of earrings - one for the day/ceremony and then changing into a different pair for the reception. But, the morning of the wedding as we were grabbing everything to carry over to the venue, we couldn't find the earrings anywhere. Long story short - a dear family friend who was about to leave Tuscaloosa to head to Auburn had to go break into my parent's house through their back window and find the earrings that had fallen off the stack of wedding stuff. He dove the earrings to Auburn and they arrived just in time for me to put them on in my getting ready pictures, but that's why the reception earrings are the ones in the detail picture above.
I also wanted to share a picture of the garters I wore in case this tip is helpful to any future brides. My mom's side of the family has had a garter that's been passed down for years. Unfortunately, because the material had gotten so old, there was no way I was going to be able to wear the actual piece, but we wanted to include it somehow. So, we bought a new garter and then my mom sewed the blue piece from the old garter onto the new one. That way, I had a piece from the family heirloom but also had something I could reasonable wear. It may not be a garter for your family, but there's lots of other things that could be combined like this if you have items being passed down.
Vow Books: Kelsey Malie Calligraphy via Etsy (I'll talk more about writing our vows in the ceremony section)
Not pictured hotel boxes: Wanted to share what we put in our hotel boxes in case anyone is needing ideas!
Map/Welcome Note done by Anna Walters Calligraphy, Dr. Pepper (a must from me), Sour Patch Kids and Reeses (mine and Matt's favorite candy), cheese straws (an item from Memphis), a decorative AU cookie, Old Dominick Vodka mini, and two of our koozies.
Tuxes: The Black Tux
I love these two pictures - Matt with his Best Man and me with my Maid of Honor. My maid of honor got a flower piece for her hair to have something slightly different than my other bridesmaids. It was a simple differentiation that I loved!
And a few favorites of getting ready with my mom. She did so much to give me my dream wedding day and I'll forever be grateful for that. These pictures are so special to me.
Bridesmaid Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids
I did first looks with both my bridesmaids and my dad/brother. Very much worth doing that for both groups.
I love this picture right before our first look - notice my parents in the top left window watching. Also note my very beautiful, long earrings that I am SO thankful made it haha.
We exchanged gifts right after our first look. We had considered opening them separately during the getting ready portion, but I really wanted to see his reaction to my gifts.
Ariel's Gifts to Matt: Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year & a notebook full of letter I had been writing while we were dating/engaged
Matt's Gifts to Ariel: A live painter at the reception (I had been wanting a live painter but couldn't make it work in the budget so he surprised me with one as my gift!!! I was so happy) & a second wedding band because I really wanted a ring stack.
Florist: Frou Frou
Also pointing out Matt's bowtie in this picture. He wanted to do something slightly different than his groomsmen so he and Bo (our dog) wore matching bowties on the wedding day.
The picture on the right is how I honored my grandfather, having a small piece of one of his shirt's sewn into the bottom of my dress.
We were able to do all bridal portrait and family pictures prior to the ceremony which I loved!
These are my beautiful cousins who did an incredible job handing out the programs.
We decided to have Bo included in our day in the form of being the greeter at the wedding.
Dog tip: I highly recommend hiring someone who isn't a part of your wedding day to be in charge of any pets included at the wedding. It makes things so much easier instead of having someone responsible for other wedding tasks having to balance both.
Wedding Coordinator: Stacie with Magnolia Weddings - could not have done the day without her!
I also just love this picture of our families lined up to walk in.
All About the Ceremony:
My dad is a pastor, and he married us, but I still wanted him to walk me down the aisle. Thankfully, my uncle, Gene, is also a pastor. We had Gene start the ceremony and do the first portion of the ceremony, then he and my dad switched spots. I loved having them both included.
Order of the programs: I get a lot of questions from other brides during planning on what order we did things/what we called certain portions of the ceremony, so I am including our ceremony order below in case that is helpful for someone else!
Seating of Grandparents
Seating of Mothers
Entrance of the Bride
Welcome and Prayer
Declaration of Intent
Giving of the Bride
Exchange of Vows
Exchange of Rings
Pronouncement of Marriage
Introduction of Couple
Writing our vows was one of my top favorite things from the whole day. It may be number 1 but it's hard for me to narrow down that closely. We told each other our word count to make sure we were around the same length but other than that, our vows were a surprise to each other during the ceremony. I highly recommend doing something that personalizes your ceremony. I know writing vows (and that sort of public speaking) isn't for everyone, but I loved how much it personalized our ceremony. And if you're like us, wanting a bit of the traditional vows still, we both ended our personalized vows with the traditional by saying..."So today, I take you Matt, to have and to hold..."
Exit - We did a petal toss to leave the ceremony and it was so fun. We ordered the pouches from Etsy and had my dad instruct everyone to stand and get ready to toss them at the end to make sure we didn't walk too fast before people knew to throw them.
Live Painter: Joy Varnell
Koozies: Totally Promotional, tray is from Amazon
Our first dance: That Girl, Justin Timberlake
Father/Daughter: Cinderella, Steven Curtis Chapman
Mother/Son: Days Like This, Van Morrison
Cakes: Tania Cobine, Sweet as Cakes
Wall: Built by my dad, sign from Echo Neon
This was definitely my must-have, splurge item that I am still obsessed with. It was so worth it!
Show change for the reception - would highly recommend.
Loved that our photographers captured these identical pictures of our parents sitting and watching the reception throughout the night.
Late Night Snack: A nod to Momma G's nachos
The painting further along in the night; our drink menu
The Band: The Answer
We also had one of Matt's Old Dominick Whiskey Barrels for everyone to sign at the reception
And a sparkler exit to end the night!
Videography: HI Productions - You can watch our wedding day video here.
It was such an incredible day! If you have any other questions about how we did something, what we decided, where we ordered something, send me an email and I'll be happy to help!