You might have thought I was done posting about our wedding, seeing as it has been (almost)9 months. But I saw this awesome post on Caitlin's blog a while back and knew I wanted to do it before our first anniversary. So, I've broken it up into 3 parts which will all be posted in the last few months of our first year of marriage. If I never make our wedding album, at least I'll have lots of blog posts full of pictures! Maybe I should just print them all out....
I was nervous about attendance from the get go. Steven has a fairly large family and, though of course I wanted everyone to be there, I was worried about having a gigantic number of people. I'd always dreamed of something a bit small. So we invited all family and then just very close friends, versus inviting a lot of coworkers or people who straddle that acquaintance/friend border. It ended up working out perfectly because there was another wedding in his family that day so some came to ours and some went to theirs. We had just under 100 people and it was the perfect amount!
Some of our guests in the beautiful Cathedral.
My mom heading the train at the reception.
Guests breaking it down!
My matron of honor was my sister, Rachel. I knew I wanted her by my side because she is my sister and always will be, above any friend I'll ever have. Next was Jennifer, who I became friends with in 9th grade and we were inseparable throughout high school (and are still close now, but we just don't see each other much). Then was Jillian who I went to middle school and high school with, but we actually didn't care for each other much then! We became friends in college when we lived in the same dorm. And then was Jessica who I met while in grad school because I crashed her bday dinner when Jillian asked me if I wanted to go, and it was history from there! I loved, loved, loved my group of girls and they were spectacular about staying with me during my jitters the day before and day of! I had sort of thought my bridesmaids would be just for show, because they all live in different states so they couldn't help me much with the day to day aspects, but they were amazing emotional support to me through phone calls and then their physical presence the day before the wedding and the wedding day.
The girls putting my NC State garter on me :).
I remember being thinking, "Just get me in the car!". For some reason, being outside made me jittery.. I wanted to be at the church!
My very favorite picture of me and the girls <3!
I kid you not, cake was one of the first things we discussed when we got engaged. I don't play around with cake! Embarassingly, I think we interviewed the most vendors for this than anything else! Not that cake tasting was a tough job, or anything... we ended up going with a married couple with the last name Baker (how could we not!?). Their price was amazing, the pictures of their work were stunning, and their cake was to die for delicious. They recommended 4 tiers, because at the time we were expecting more people. And you know how people sometimes shy away from wedding cake because it has a bad rap? Not ours! There wasn't *that* much left over! Maybe half of a layer plus our top layer. We ate some on the wedding night and ate some when we got back from the honeymoon. We have been talking about our top layer since then... and may have already eaten half of it. Everytime we see pictures of our cake in our wedding video, I get a teensy bit emotional about how pretty and perfect it was. I actually said multiple times at the reception that I didn't want to cut it!
3 Flavors: Chocolate with caramel filling, white cake with chocolate ganache filling, and cream cheese poundcake with cream cheese filling; we never got to try the chocolate out of our cake, but the other two were TO DIE FOR.
I plan on having a collection of Willow Tree figurines for various life events... love them!
Steven said the other day that cutting a slice out was hard. I didn't remember it being difficult but we look pretty focused here!
We ordered freeze dried petals to put on the tables. They didn't exactly match (they looked a bit different online), but actually looked really pretty on the tables. It's probably a good thing that they were slightly off, because I can go overboard with matchy-matchiness.
I was so nervous about shopping for a dress. I knew I didn't want something strapless (for the tons of skin look and because I would be pulling it up all night) and that would limit my options. Plus, I knew it would have to be a specific fit and style to flatter my shape, but I wasn't sure what that would be. I only wanted my mom to go with me for a few reasons. First of all, I didn't want lots of opinions. I didn't want to feel pressured into something because the group opinion was that it was best. I wanted to get something because I felt beautiful in it. I knew my mom would give me her opinion gently and also support whatever I wanted to do. Plus, I wanted it to be a surprise to everyone but my mom (I ended up showing it to my sister and to one friend who was very sad about not being able to attend my wedding due to being out of the country). So I went in to David's Bridal with a basic budget in mind and a list of 5 dresses I wanted to try on. There was one dress in particular I really liked, but I told the lady not to bring it to me first, because I was afraid I would think it was 'the one' just because it was the first wedding dress I ever tried on. That was a good thing, since I almost thought the first one that I tried on (strapless!) was 'the one' for that exact reason. I got a bit emotional seeing myself in a dress, and it was a simple soft white dress with a flower thingy at the smallest part of my waist. The lady put a headband on me while I was in the dress and I was like, ok I don't think this dress is the one but I am definitely getting that headband! So, then I had to make sure whatever dress I got went with my accessory lol! The lady ended up bringing me the one I liked best at the end, which was cute of her. The other 3 I tried on were huge flops! They were not flattering or just not at all what I wanted to wear on my wedding day. So I was very nervous when she brought me my fifth and final choice! She put it on me and I tried not to look down at myself while she was buttoning me up. I wanted to see it for the first time in the mirror. She backed me out of the room and put me in front of the mirror.... where I promptly dissolved into huge tears, making all the brides, workers, and families around me stop and staire lol. Luckily there weren't that many people there! I knew instantly that it was the dress and everyone else did too! I kept it on for about 30 minutes... I just did not want to take it off! The veil was kind of funny because I wanted one of those super traditional Catholicy veils, but I felt like it really detracted from the dress. So then I got stressed and just sort of told my mom and the lady to pick one that went with the dress, since it was ivory. They picked one, put it on me, and I was like sure! They did good because, on my wedding day, my veil made me feel so elegant and bridal!
I've written about our engagement before, so this is the short version. In May 2010, I was at a conference in Asheville NC for work. I won the door prize, which was two nights at the hotel we were at. So, we decided to go in January for a combined one year of dating and Valentine's trip. Steven apparently decided over Christmas that he wanted to ask me to marry him on that trip. He asked permission from my parents while they were visiting one weekend in January, while I was in the bathroom! I came out and had no clue. We drove straight to The Biltmore House that Friday, the 21st, because they closed at 4 and it was just after lunch time. When we got there, we parked and walked up to the house. Steven knew he was going to propose, but had never been there so wasn't totally sure when he would do it. He had the ring box in his pocket, and a glasses case in case I bumped into him and wanted to know what was in there! When you walk up to the house, you start at the far end, so I made us stop and take pictures about every 10 feet through the front yard until we got up to the house. Steven was sure I would request a picture right at the front, and decided to ask me then. Except I was really cold and said I just wanted to go in, that I was done with pictures. Haha, poor guy! So I was walking up to the door and he was a step behind me. I heard him say, "Wait" and he tugged my jacket sleeve. I turned around to find him on one knee, struggling to get something out of his jacket ;). I knew and my heart start beating. He asked simply and beautifully, "Stacy, will you marry me?" with the ring box open. I pulled him up for a hug and kiss, and was crying. He put the ring on me and we stood there hugging and talking for a few minutes. An older couple came up to us and offered to take our picture, congratulating us on what they had just seen. It was funny because all of a sudden I realized there were people scattered about the front of the house, and I didn't even know another soul existed besides us!
This is the picture the couple took for us. How appropriate that he proposed to me in front of a member of the cat family ;)!
I trusted my florist from the get go once I saw her pictures and her office. Everything was breathtaking! I told her that I wanted my bouquet to be purple and white, no lavendar, and that I wanted the girls' bouquets to be all purple, and I liked a more rounded shape (versus sprigs sticking out here and there). Beyond that, I didn't give her much direction. I requested that she stay on budget (she came in under!) and use whatever she could in season/local. She did not disappoint in the least! A bonus was that the church decided to leave the Easter lilies up because they still looked good. So we had our flowers, the alter flowers, AND tons of Easter lilies. I looove spring and flowers, so it was absolutely perfect!
I know this is a picture of the boutonniere, but the close up of the tie reminded me of how dreamy Steven looked in his ivory vest and striped tie!
Easter lilies and altar arrangements.
Close up of my bouquet (and our super cute custom painted champagne glasses!)... I love the variety of flowers she used!
Far away shot of our flowers
The bmaid bouquets.
Steven's best man was his best friend since preschool, Rob. Next was Devin, his best friend since probably middle or high school. He went to college and roomed with both of them. Then was Jeff who he has met since he began his professional job, so they've known each other a few years through that. And last was Alex, who he also went to high school and college with.
Handsome guys outside of the Cathedral
We could not have had any better weather than we did... it was mild and sunny all day!
And the dashing groom, for good measure :).
Stay tuned for part II and III!