Q: Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or color palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
A: I had always dreamed of a winter wedding. Before we even got engaged, my (now) husband and I were talking about this dream of mine so, for fun, we started scrolling through the 2019/2020 calendar to see what dates we might have to choose from. It didn’t take long before we realized 2020 was a leap year and that leap day happened to fall on a Saturday. Mark quickly said “Let’s get married on leap day, then we’ll only have to celebrate every four years!” I agreed, with the only stipulation being that he actually had to propose to me! We got engaged the beginning of March 2019 leaving us just under a year to plan for our dream day. Our wedding day inspiration was to keep things as simple, modern, and chic as possible. We sought out vendors who are well known for their work in the wedding industry and let them run the show, leaving us with no worries on our big day. Our color theme consisted of dark, bold, winter colors (navy blue and olive green), accented with ivory, greenery, dark walnut stained wood, and beautiful, natural candle light.
Q: Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?
A: Our decorations were pretty minimal. The best part about our venue, which is the main reason we selected The Atrium, is that the industrial vibe it offered was so simplistically beautiful on its own that it really didn’t need much, if any, decorating. The chiavari chairs provided by The Atrium dressed up the ceremony and reception in a way that we only had to decide on a ceremony backdrop and table centerpieces. Our florist left us in awe with an amazing floral ring ceremony backdrop which was then taken apart and used as part of the table centerpieces. Together, the floral centerpieces, candles, and dark walnut stained wooden table numbers (about the only DIY décor used) resulted in beautiful, simple, chic table centerpieces. The bridesmaid’s floral bouquets were used as centerpieces along the stunning, wooden head table centered under The Atrium’s magnificent chandelier. Leftover greenery from the ceremony backdrop was dispersed throughout the head table along with tea light candles.
Q: What were the florals like in your wedding? Did you use flowers in any of your design elements like the bridal bouquets, centerpieces or ceremony backdrop? Did they play an important part in the overall style of your wedding?
A: Our florals were FLAWLESS. Bayside Floral Design went above and beyond our expectations. Rewind to our first sit down meeting with Phil, the owner, where Mark and I were pretty much useless as neither of us know much, if anything, about flowers. I had pinned a couple photos on Pinterest of the simple floral vibe I was going for and Phil took those photos and made it into a reality, plus so much more. Given the minimal decorations, our florals were a huge component of our wedding day décor. To keep things simple, we focused on white roses, baby’s breath, and various greenery including eucalyptus and dusty miller for the majority of our floral selection. Bridesmaids bouquets were full of white roses, dusty miller, and eucalyptus and the bridal bouquet was a larger version of the bridesmaids but also included two succulents, which are now planted in our home and a constant reminder of our amazing wedding day! The boutonnieres were quite simple – a couple white roses with some greenery; my husband’s boutonniere was placed in a shell casing from his Grandfather’s military honors funeral. One of my favorite floral pieces, however, was the floral collar that Phil made for our golden retriever, Cali. He admitted he had never done this before but was so excited to take on the challenge, which he significantly exceeded at! Cali’s collar, complete with white roses, baby’s breath, and a little bit of greens was the first thing that actually brought me to tears on our wedding day! It was absolutely stunning. The floral, 3-ring ceremony backdrop was composed of various greenery and baby’s breath. During the room flip, Phil deconstructed the backdrop and divvied it up to be used as part of the table centerpieces. Leftover garland was spread throughout the head table which beautifully accented the bridesmaid’s bouquets.
Q: Did you personalize the day in any way (food trucks, guest entertainment etc.)? What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
A: Our ceremony was personalized in a couple different ways, making this one of the most memorable parts of our wedding day! Being the dog lovers that we are, we wanted to make sure our two dogs, Cali and Ollie, were part of our big day. The dogs spent time with us for photos and then stayed for the ceremony after they made a special appearance following the bridal party in the ceremony processional. Our featured ceremony reading “How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali fit our personalities and ceremony vibe so perfectly. We also did a wine box ceremony after reading our vows; this consisted of placing a bottle of wine and our vows inside a wooden keepsake box then nailing it shut with the intention to open the box, re-read our vows, and drink the wine on our first (so, technically fourth) anniversary.
Q: Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look? Describe the looks in detail.
A: To go along with our theme, I sought out to find a simple and elegant wedding dress. I really wanted a long sleeve wedding dress, given the winter wedding, but quickly realized these are hard to come by and, thanks to my Miss Ruby stylist, was informed that a long sleeve dress may be a bit restricting on the dance floor. I was introduced to Robert Bullock’s strapless, satin, sweetheart gown and thought “No way am I wearing strapless!” but then, I learned what a bolero was and boy was this a game changer! I ended up saying yes to the classy, strapless dress and a beautiful ¾ sleeve lace bolero; this allowed me to have the sleeved wedding dress that I dreamed of for the ceremony and then a non-restricting, strapless dress for the reception – it was absolutely perfect! To accessorize the strapless dress, I wore a pearl necklace that I purchased over two years ago (and saved specifically for my wedding day) from a Pearl Factory when I was in China. I had ironically just purchased a pair of Cole Haan satin blue heels which I wore for the first time to my appointment at Miss Ruby Bridal Boutique and ended up saving them to wear as my “something blue!” The bridesmaids wore an olive colored Vera Wang one shoulder dress with a satin sash which looked stunning next to my satin wedding gown. Mark and his groomsmen got custom made navy blue suits which were simply accessorized with champagne colored bowties (a tie for Mark) and navy blue suspenders – they all looked so sharp!
Q: How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
A: We swiped right! We got to know each other through Tinder, but then one of our mutual friends, who happened to actually be my closest cousin, had an ugly sweater Christmas party which Mark and I were both invited to. I walked in and saw Mark in his handsome, candy cane turtleneck and the rest was history! Given that we already had our wedding date picked out, Mark knew sooner or later he’d have to propose. I spent most of February and March of 2019 in Belize completing a six week pharmacy school rotation. Mark and his family came to Belize after my fourth week of rotation and we spent an extended weekend together. I had a lot of items on my Belize bucket list and getting engaged wasn’t one of them, but it sure made for an even better trip! We can’t wait to go back to Belize for our honeymoon this summer!
Q: What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
A: This is a hard question – we looked forward to every single part of our wedding day and thinking back now, it’s still so hard to pick a “favorite moment.” Personally, my most anticipated moment was bustling my dress as this is also when I took off my bolero for my “second dress” look. I caught so many people off guard, including my husband, who asked if I had purchased two wedding dresses for our big day!
Q: Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
A: In terms of wedding planning, we strongly encourage all couples to make decisions based on their own wants and vision for their wedding day – after all, it is your day! We can also vouch to the concept of paying a little extra for high quality services – for example, we could’ve done our invites ourselves, however I would’ve spent DAYS looking through templates, futzing with wording, formatting, etc.; instead, we went through Paperwhites who delivered high quality, timely stationary that aligned perfectly with our colors and theme. Also, if your venue has preferred vendors, try to work with them – there’s a reason they are preferred! We have one final, fun piece of advice that we got from another couple and want to pass along to others since we loved it so much! Prior to your wedding day, go on a date and pick out a special wedding day perfume and cologne together. Save this to wear for the first time on your wedding day and then reserve it for special occasions following your big day; whenever you wear your “wedding day scent” you will feel like you are reliving your best day ever over and over again!
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A city living fur momma who has turned a love for photography into a dream career. Now I am providing my couples with beautiful memories that they will cherish for a lifetime!
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