Finally! The long-awaited wedding recap post! Full disclosure, this is gonna be long and rambling. I fully understand if you just click away and come back another day when I’m not so mushy and wordy. Almost all of the photos are courtesy of my Maid of Honor’s husband, Vinny.
After an epic bachelorette party on the town Friday night, I was a little fuzzy and tired the morning of the wedding. My soon-to-be Father in Law made pancakes and bacon for breakfast, and that plus some coffee did wonders for my disposition. After wolfing down some food, MOH Mandy and I headed into Burlington for hair and makeup.
First stop was getting my hair done at O’M Salon and Studio. I have known my hairdresser, Don, for 12+ years. We met doing community theater, and he’s been cutting my hair for years. In addition to being a fabulous hairdresser/stylist, Don is also a phenomenal artist, and many of his paintings hang in the salon. I have to be honest, I trust Don so much that we didn’t even do a trial run. GASP, I know, crazy, right? Who gets their wedding hair done without having a trial run first? Well, I do. And it came out great! I felt like a Southern Belle because my terminally flat hair had body for once!
Between appointments, Mandy and I grabbed maple lattes at Mirabelle’s, and they were heavenly. Just what I needed to keep me going. Next stop was makeup at Mirror Mirror. On the way into town, I’d realized that I’d forgotten to tweeze my eyebrows, so they fit me in for a quickie clean-up. My aesthetician, Shannon, was an absolute doll, and I think I’ll need to go back to have her do a full brow wax sometime soon.
Now here’s another funny sidenote: I had done a bridal makeup consultation several weeks prior and really liked Lydia, the girl who I met with. On the Wednesday before the wedding, I got a voicemail from her saying she’d had a family emergency and wouldn’t be doing my makeup on Saturday. She said I was welcome to come in for another consult with the girl who would be in on Saturday, and apologized. I never went in for another consultation, and therefore we were also flying blind for my makeup. I know, I know, I’m crazy! But honestly, I knew it would be fine. If the new girl had done a bad job, I would have asked her to correct it, no big deal. Anyway, Amber ended up doing a phenomenal job. She had Lydia’s notes, and she was very good about asking questions, explaining her process, and making sure I was happy.
Here’s where we almost had a catastrophe–I completely forgot that we were supposed to stop at Price Chopper to pick up my bouquet, and we were already about 1/3 of the way home when I remembered (keep in mind we live 30-40 minutes outside of town)! We had to turn around and double back, but at least it didn’t take too much extra time.
By the time we got home, my family had arrived and they were hanging out, getting to know Ben’s family. They’d all met previously, but only for very short periods of time. While we were gone, Ben had picked up the kegs (yes, plural–two 5 gallon pony kegs), and it was time to decorate the shop. Mandy and I had spent a couple of hours on Friday cutting out and assembling dozens of bunting flags to hang, and my mom brought white Christmas lights. There’s a whole series of blurry pictures of me freaking out and jumping up and down because it looked EXACTLY how I had imagined and I was super pumped. During this time, Ben and his sister Leah were building up the bonfire for later.
After all that, it was pretty much time to get ready. My mom pulled me aside and gave me some really special gifts. First, she asked me to wear her parents’ wedding bands during the ceremony so that they could be a part of it. Then, she gave me a bracelet that my great-grandfather designed for my great-aunt Phyllis. Phyllis then gave it to my mother, and she gave it to me. It’s doubly special because I got to wear something from both sides of her family on my wedding day. Then, Mandy gave me a two-fer gift to fulfill the “borrowed” and “blue” aspects of the old rhyme–the garter she wore for her own wedding, with a friendship bracelet that I had made for her when we were both little girls tied around it. I was pretty overwhelmed by both her and my mother’s gifts. And at the last minute, my sister Hilary gave me another garter she had bought because she wasn’t sure I had one, so I had two garters 🙂
My mom and Mandy helped me into my dress, and there were a few little sniffles from the peanut gallery. But at this point, I was super excited and kept dancing and hopping around with a stupid grin on my face. I was just SO EXCITED to get married and have a fun night. And then my dad saw me in my dress and got all teary, and it was one of those “Holy crap, this is really happening” moments. I asked both of my parents to “give me away” instead of just my father, because I hate that patriarchal, daughter-as-property crap.
Of course, it was cold and outside, but we had decided that it was very important to us to exchange our wedding vows outside, so we made everyone suffer, hehe. Our Justice of the Peace is a very loquacious guy. You’d think that when it’s 20 degrees and everyone’s wearing fancy clothes he’d keep it quick, but no, he had prepared remarks and he was going to say them, goshdarnit! This guy is a very old-timey Vermonter, he’s been around forever, very much a local fixture, and he married some friends of ours a few years ago, which is how we came to have him marry us. After his long-winded intro, we got down to business.
I had decided to sing my vows to Ben, because I knew a perfect song that would sum up my feelings, and I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate. I chose “Grow Old With You” from the Wedding Singer Musical, but I made one crucial edit to personalize it. There’s one line in the song that says “When we play checkers I’ll let you cheat,” and it needed to go because a) we don’t play checkers, and b) letting your spouse cheat just to keep them happy is lame. So I changed it to “When we play Settlers (of Catan, best game ever), I won’t let you cheat,” and that got a good chuckle from the crowd. Anyway, I started singing, and then looked into Ben’s eyes and almost lost my shit. I choked up, but managed to get through it. His vows were short and to the point: “I vow to keep doing what we’ve been doing: work hard, be honest, and have fun.” There was a long pause here because that was literally it. Ben to a T 🙂 Finally, it was the exchanging of the rings, and the kiss, and boom! Done! Married! Yaaaaay!
We retreated into the shop because it was nice and warm, and there were snacks! Chips, salsa, guacamole and various dips, crackers, oh and BOOZE! Champagne, wine, and our glorious kegs, Switchback, and Helles Lager. Next it was picture time. My MOH’s hubby, Vinny (from Jersey, no less!), had generously offered to take pictures free of charge, so we did some of the basic, expected poses. This is my favorite picture ever, from now on:
After that, the dads fired up the grills, and the party really started. We just had SO MUCH FUN singing and dancing around like idiots. At one point my MIL put my garter around her bun, and then just left it there for the rest of the night. Ben got silly and sang some Tom Jones, and my mom and MIL danced together. All night I just kept shouting “This is EXACTLY what I wanted! I’m so happy!” And I was, and I am. Before dinner I did a “costume change” because I didn’t want to get food all over my dress. I was totally channeling Elsa 🙂
Dinner was green salad, potato salad, steak tips, and grilled chicken. I ate so much food! And then cake, OMFG cake. My new sisters-in-law, Emily and Leah, each made a cake. Emily made a silver cake with lemon curd between the layers, and fresh raspberries on top. Leah made a flourless chocolate cake (Mandy has Celiac Disease) with raspberries in the shape of a heart. Both were so incredible.
After dinner it was bonfire time. We sat outside, drinking, talking, and singing for hours. Around 1 am, I’d had enough. Ben and I had decided to sleep on camp cots in the shop so my parents could sleep in our bed, and everyone else just sort of bedded down wherever there was room in the house; there were blanket lumps all over the house in the morning 🙂 While I didn’t sleep all that well (too much food and booze don’t generally lead to sound sleep), I woke up feeling super content. After a breakfast orchestrated by my dad, it was time to clean up and say goodbyes. I spent most of Sunday recovering from the festivities with lots of sweatpants wearing and video game playing, which was just what I needed.
I’ve heard from so many of my friends and family over the years that they wish they’d just eloped, or done a smaller ceremony, or hadn’t spent so much money, and I’m so happy that Ben and I just listened to our hearts and did what we wanted to do from the get-go. We were able to thoroughly enjoy ourselves instead of worrying about scripted activities like cake cutting and garter tossing, or having to play host and hostess all night.
So hooray! We’re married! And now you’ve read my long-winded and long-overdue wedding recap. Thanks for sticking it out to the bitter end 🙂
Married folks, what was your favorite part of your wedding?
Unmarried folks, do you have a “vision” for your wedding day?