As promised, I am back to give you a final update on the most perfect day I have ever had! Our outdoor night-time wedding ceremony was truly magical. In this post, I will give you a high-level overview of our day, including the unique details we loved, complete with the *amazing* photos captured by our fabulous photographers, Ivory Door Studio!!
My day started at about 9am. I had a small fright because my dad was going to pick up the cupcakes and I could not find them! I called all three Publix locations near me, and finally… for some reason, they had them under the wrong name. Don't really know how they mixed up Jaqui Mallett with Nancy Morris? Who knows? 🤷🏽♀️
We got our cupcakes and wedding cake from Publix
Side note: We got the cupcakes from Publix with cream cheese icing for a whopping 70 dollars including our “cut cake.” I added the cute little sprinkles to make them a little fancier. Everyone was raving about how delicious they were!
Anyways, after that – we started to get ready in the cute bridal suite. It was so fun sipping Sangria with all my favorite gals. I am telling you, it felt like twenty minutes went by and it was time to put my dress on!
The designer of my dress is Casablanca. I believe this dress is a 2014 edition, and I got it in March of 2015 on a sample sale for $550. I love the buttons running all the way down the dress! It only needed minor alterations, and I put in my own bustle. If you have any sewing experience – this is a pretty easy way to save a few hundred bucks. It took me the better half of a day to do, but it turned out beautiful! (Psst.. there are those beautiful bridesmaid dresses that I told you guys about in a previous post!! They turned out great!)
To give my 10 gals more time to get ready, Jason and I chose to have our “first look” before anything else. I wasn't nervous at all, until I got in the car to ride down the driveway to him. Once I was able to touch him, though, all my nerves went away.
I am SO happy that we did a first look.
Having a first look enabled Jason and I to spend the majority of our wedding day together. There was no need to worry about him being out of sight while the bridesmaids and I took photos, or rushing off right after the ceremony to take bride and groom photos. Not to mention, we needed some day-time photos because our ceremony was at night. We have both said multiple times, if we could do it again, we would do it the exact same! Plus, the outdoor night-time ceremony was just plain magical… just wait till you see the pics of that! We have SO many photos, but I included a few of our favorites for you guys to see!
[Whew-wee! Isn't he a looker, ladies! I am one lucky gal ]
We loved our wedding party look
After we had our moment, our amazing bridal party came to join us. I may be biased, but the navy tuxedos, with the “portabella” vests and bow ties, and camel shoes look great paired with my beautiful bridesmaids.
We served our wedding meal to our guests before the night-time ceremony!
Now – about this time, the guests are starting to arrive. We decided to serve dinner before the ceremony (I know – weird right?). Hear me out, though: we didn't want to starve people until 8:30 or, even more importantly, cut into our fun time after the ceremony. I mean… who really cares about the whole eating part anyways? [Just kidding – I really care about eating!]
We had a private dinner at our sweetheart table before saying “I do!”
The best part about having the dinner before the outdoor night-time ceremony? J and I had a private dinner set up for just the two of us. And guess what? We actually got to enjoy our dinner! I always hear about how many couples don't even get to eat at their own wedding and we were not going to let that happen to us. It was really nice to be able to unwind with my groom in those last few minutes before our marriage. Don't worry– guests never saw me !
The private dinner setting was unbelievably calming – I highly recommend this to ANY bride.
Take advantage of “golden hour” for photos
Shortly after, it was time to take a few last minute “golden hour” photos while our guests were enjoying their dinner.
The lighting was so perfect in this field!
Before the ceremony, I spent some time recording my thoughts and feelings in a journal
I had about a half-hour of downtime before it was time to make my way to the ceremony site. Instead of letting myself get anxious, I took that time to do a little journaling. I wanted to be able to look back and remember how I was feeling at that exact moment. I am not typically someone who writes in a journal, but that time of self-reflection was really great and I am glad I did that instead of letting myself become a ball of nerves!
We had an outdoor night-time wedding ceremony lit by twinkle lights!
Alas, it was time! You may remember a previous post where I described my vision of my ceremony. You can check it out here to see how the finished product compared!
Personally – I think we NAILED it!
We had a confetti exit during our wedding ceremony recessional!
Oh – did I tell you guys that we chose to do a confetti exit? Look how fun!
… and this is where I tell you that we lived happily ever after .
Seriously though, marriage is awesome!!
Here are a few other details that don't necessarily fit in the story elsewhere..
This gorgeous shot of our rings on top of my “something borrowed.” It is a vintage clutch. Oooh the sparkle. I chose not to get a wedding band, why on earth would I want to put anything next to that beauty! However, I did get two beautiful Pandora rings as a wedding gift from J.
I really wanted a “cascading” bouquet. Well, I am no florist… but I found this amazing green greatness called Amaranthus. It cascades naturally, so I was able to achieve the look I wanted without too much stress Bonus: it was super affordable!
I scored these babies off of Amazon for $17. They were surprisingly comfortable and added a nice touch of bling to my otherwise fairly simple ensemble!
My amazingly talented sister put together all of our centerpieces. They turned out simply beautiful!
This last bit is very special to us. Instead of providing our guests with traditional party favors, we made a donation to The Alzheimer's Association. My grandma, great-grandma, and J's grandpa all suffered from this terrible disease. We put a photograph of each of them next to the guest book and a small frame explaining the donation. This was our way of involving the guests we know would have been there if Heaven wasn't so far away.
My final post-wedding thoughts
For my final farewell, I would like to leave you with this. Remember what a wedding truly represents. It's not about having the most lavish everything, but rather the lifelong commitment you are making to your significant other.
When you try to keep up with the Jones', the true meaning can get lost in the fast-flying dollars and stressful planning.
Take your time to enjoy it all, and remember that you can have the wedding of your dreams for less than a new compact car.
Do your research, think things through, and you will be successful! I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting my experience planning my magical outdoor night-time ceremony with you all!
Wedding/Reception Venue: Farrar Hill Farms – Manchester, TN
Photography: Ivory Door Studio
Hair: Sarah Hibbs Williams – Off Mane Street Salon
Makeup: Holland Allen
Wedding Gown: Casablanca
Tuxedo Rental: Jos A. Bank
Bridesmaid Dresses: Rosewe.com
Floral: Import Flowers Wholesale – Nashville, TN