Hi friends, welcome back! Today I’m sharing all about our wedding weekend! I shared a glimpse of our special day a while back, but I wanted to write the full story behind the pictures and smiles for myself, you all, and everyone who couldn’t be there to celebrate with us. I initially thought this would be two shorter posts, but once my fingers started typing, they couldn’t be stopped. It’s a bit wordy but there is a happy ending and lots of beautiful pictures. I can’t wait to one day share this with our future kids and grandkids 🙂
As you may recall, Jon and I got engaged in December 2018 and planned our wedding for June 6, 2020 in Michigan. This seemed perfect because we could enjoy a long engagement, and wedding planning stressed me out.
Over Easter weekend in April 2019, we picked the venue, photographer, videographer, florist, and DJ. In July we headed back to Michigan and I said YES to my dream wedding dress. I spent months planning the most perfect honeymoon in Italy, and I couldn’t wait to be drinking coffee and Aperitivo’s in the Amalfi Coast.
Little did we know a global pandemic would upend life as we knew it… I remember being optimistic at the start thinking life would be back to normal in June, but reality set in, and we decided in April 2020 to move our wedding to May 22, 2021. Jon and I were one of the first couples we knew to change their summer date, so we were so lucky to have all our vendors accommodate the change. We said that no matter what life is like come May 22nd, we were getting married! We didn’t really entertain the idea of having a small ceremony and then having a party in a year, we wanted the chance to have the dream wedding we had been planning (ok my mom had been planning) for so long. I’d dreamed of walking down the aisle outside, on a beautiful day, in front of our family and friends, and to my dream person for so long that I couldn’t risk not having that moment. I know couples that did it and it was so special, but Jon and I were willing to wait for a chance to get married on our fairy tale day. We had a long engagement already, so we figured what’s another year of waiting.
The hardest part about moving the wedding another year was waking up on June 6th knowing this was supposed to be our wedding day. I couldn’t help but think of what we should be doing throughout the day. I should’ve been at the salon getting my hair and makeup done, I should’ve been surrounded by our moms and bridesmaids putting my dress on, I should’ve been walking down the aisle on a beautiful day with my dad, and Jon and I should’ve been married and having our first dance.
Instead, we woke up in NYC to a pandemic filled reality finding it hard to deal with the sadness. Our friends and family reached out to us to let us know they were thinking of us and encouraging us to think of how special May will be. To get out of the apartment, Jon and I walked to Milk and Cream Cereal Bar in Chinatown to have some of our favorite ice cream. You can’t be sad eating ice cream, right? We also watched a lot of Schitt’s Creek as a happy distraction and ate some Uno’s Pizza and delicious cake our parents sent to cheer us up. The thing I remember most from the day was dancing to our wedding song in the kitchen as tears flowed like a river. We got through the day together and we knew it would make May 22nd even sweeter and more special.
Here’s where the story starts to turn around 🙂 One of our pre-covid worries about the wedding was having an impersonal ceremony, and Jon and I didn’t have someone that knew us well officiating the ceremony. However sometime in the fall, we learned that Stu, a family friend and hometown neighbor invited to the wedding, was an ordained minister. We reached out to him and he said he’d be honored to officiate our ceremony. We zoomed with him about every other week for six months, and felt so lucky for the time we spent with him. We knew the ceremony would be everything we dreamed of and more.
In January I became more optimistic about the wedding when people started getting vaccinated. I didn’t think Jon and I would be able to get the shots in time for the wedding, but I felt better knowing the immunocompromised and older guests would be able to have theirs. Luckily, Jon and I were able to get fully vaccinated before the wedding. We felt so relieved that everyone had access to the vaccine before the wedding. The last thing we wanted was to show up on the news as the source of a covid outbreak, that would’ve been heartbreaking and tainted our wedding memories.
In April I had a few virtual bridal showers and felt so loved by our friends and family! Before the showers our apartment started to look like a Crate and Barrel warehouse 😉
Picking a honeymoon destination proved very difficult! We knew we’d choose a domestic location, but we weren’t sure how comfortable we would be flying, so we waited. I looked at a map completely bewildered as to where to go. I thought about Colorado, Yellowstone, Glacier National Park, and Park City, but I worried about the weather and mud season. We eventually decided on Half Moon Bay, Lake Tahoe, and Yosemite and I went full speed ahead on planning. We looked forward to lots of hiking and fresh air surrounded by beautiful scenery.
Originally, we had about 220 people on the guest list, but we knew restrictions wouldn’t allow that many people so we’d have to cut the list. We eventually got the list down to about 110 and hoped for the best. Our parents ended up reaching out to most people because we didn’t know who would feel comfortable coming and we didn’t want to hurt any feelings. Everyone we couldn’t invite was incredibly gracious and understanding and wished Jon and I all the best.
The Saturday before our wedding, Jon and I flew to Michigan excited to get married! It didn’t feel real that it would actually be happening. The wedding was always a year or months away, and now I could count on my fingers the number of days away. The week of the wedding Jon and I visited the venue, had our final calls with the vendors, picked up our marriage license, I had my final dress fitting, and we anxiously awaited the big day!
The banquet hall we picked could easily fit 400 people, but as of the weekend before the wedding, Michigan covid restrictions only allowed 25 people to eat dinner in there. However, our venue was also a golf course with completely different restrictions, so 50 people were allowed to eat dinner in the club house and another 50 could eat on the patio outside, getting us to our 110-ish guest list. We were allowed to have the cake cutting, speeches, first dances etc. in the banquet hall, but we could not have everyone eat dinner in there. Very impractical for everyone involved, but rules are rules, and we figured the dinner portion is only an hour so it wouldn’t be a huge deal.
Then a miracle occurred! The Thursday before the wedding, the Michigan Governor announced that restrictions would be lifting in the state. We couldn’t believe our good luck! We had just finished getting the table placement cards ready to have the indoor/outdoor seating when the venue called. They were removing their indoor restrictions so we could all eat dinner inside the banquet hall together as originally planned. This was best case scenario, we could have our dream wedding, but with a smaller guest list. Everything felt like it miraculously came together just in time, and we were so excited to finally have our dream day!
So with all that backstory… let the festivities begin!!
Friday morning, I woke up SO EXCITED! My day started off heading to the nail salon for my wedding manicure and pedicure. The salon opened up early for us so we could have the place to ourselves, and walking in and seeing my bridesmaids put a huge smile on my face that you will see never went away. I enjoyed my Starbucks sweet cream vanilla cold brew while getting a much-needed pedicure and catching up with everyone. This was my first time being around everyone and it just felt so normal! We were all so excited for the next two days of fun and celebrations!
After nails, we headed over to Jon’s mom’s best friend’s house for a Bridesmaids Brunch. This special brunch made me feel like a celebrity! I didn’t have any in-person bridal showers or a bachelorette party, so this and the nails definitely made up for it! We were greeted with some champagne when we arrived and toasted to my upcoming wedding! Afterwards we had a brunch fit for royalty! How fancy!
The catered brunch started with a strawberry spinach salad, followed by salmon, feta quiche, and pasta stuffed with spinach ricotta. For dessert we had delicious crème brulee.
Afterwards, I opened some gifts and then we had a little photoshoot.
Me and my bridesmaids.
My mom, sisters, and I.
Jon’s mom, sisters, and I.
After brunch, we rested and waited for the guys to finish their round of golf. Once they freshened up, we headed to the venue for the rehearsal and then to Shiro for dinner for some delicious sushi. I loved having all of our favorite people together!!
After the rehearsal dinner, Jon and I went our separate ways with an important task to complete…writing our vows! We both stayed up until about 1 am and texted each other almost simultaneously that we completed writing them. I had trouble falling asleep because of the excitement and anticipation of the following day, but next thing I knew my alarm went off and it was the day I waited two and a half years for.. MY WEDDING DAY!
Stay tuned for the big day!!