My wedding was Aug 4th, and it was truly a wonderful day. For the most part things went as planned and both DH and I were thrilled with how things turned out.
We had an evening wedding (ceremony at 6pm), and I will say I was surprised that during the day before the ceremony there was a lot of down time for us. Our caterer set up all of our decorations, does all the tables, food prep, etc. so we were not responsible for any of that.
The morning of the wedding I still had not decided what I was doing with my hair, so my bridesmaid and SIL dragged me to a local hair salon, with the rest of my girls and MIL in tow. I decided on getting it all curled, which I had never done before, but it came out so beautifully for the wedding.
Around 4:30ish my girls and I started getting ready. Not all of them were there yet, but I wasn't worried, they knew that the ceremony was at 6. However around 5:30 I started getting worried when one of my bridesmaids still wasn't there. I texted her and turned out she got lost trying to get to the venue!! (the venue is on a 1 way street so if you miss it you have to go all the way around). She ended up getting there around 5:45, and did not have time to do her make-up, but I was just glad she made it on time.
Since neither DH or I are very religious, we had opted to do a self uniting wedding ceremony, which is an option in Pennsylvania. With a self uniting wedding (also referred to as a Quaker marriage), the couple legally marries each other with out needing someone who has been ordained to marry officicate. We did ask a friend of ours to serve as a Master of Ceremony just to help with the flow of the event though. Our MC started by explaining what a self uniting wedding was to our guests, then he gave a brief speech, and then DH and I both read our vows to each other. The whole thing took maybe 7 minutes. I found out after the ceremony that a lot of our friends arrived right as we were finishing the ceremony, so if you are not having a long ceremony you might want to encourage people to be punctual.
After the ceremony, DH and I were announced to people during the cocktail hour, and then we did pics. One special request we had made for our photographer was that since our wedding wasn't very large (around 70 guests), we wanted a pic with everyone it it. We were able to line people up on the stairs of the venue and quickly take a couple shots.
As it was getting closer to dinner service, we realized there were a couple issues that were not as we had assumed. We had talked to the caterer about supplying a small table for two for us to eat at (a Sweetheart table), yet they had forgotten to do that. Fortunately, a couple of our tables only had 6 people at them instead of 8, so DH and I just sat down at one table for a bit to eat our food. The other issue was that the caterer had said they had table numbers we could use so we did not need to buy any, but when it came time for dinner service we all realized there were no table numbers. The caterer quickly corrected this by asking everyone to check their table setting on the seating assignment, and then people were escorted to their tables.
Dinner was wonderful. We did a buffet with stations, which people seemed to really enjoy. We had about 40% vegetarian guests and several of them told me how thrilled they were with all the options we had for them. Since we got married in Pittsburgh, it is traditional to have a cookie table consisting of homemade cookies. My relatives had baked over 400 cookies for the desert table, which also doubled as our favor as we provided take away bages for people to take cookies home.
During dinner our best man gave a speech. FIL also gave a speech during cocktail hour which I found to be very good, maybe the only time I came very close to crying.
After dinner we did our first dance to "When you Say Nothing at All" by Allison Krauss, followed by the cake cutting. Afterwards, DH suprised me by singing a solo of L-O-V-E to me on the dance floor.
The evening just flew by. At one point I remember wondering why people were leaving early, and then realizing it was already 10pm! I was so happy and it was more than I could have even dreamed of!
This is a picture of one of the drawings that we used for the centerpieces. My MIL, and SIL's designed them and colored them.
Cutting the cake!
Picture of me during the ceremony
Me, DH, and MC during ceremony