Updated: Jan 1
As mentioned in our 2019 recap, we had a lot to look forward to this year! Although it looked a little different than expected, 2020 has been a transformative year! Not only have we learned new tips for our brides (check it out here), we also finally got married! We are so excited to share it with you all!
Our Love Story
We met in August 2015, when I had just returned from a summer abroad. I needed a job to finish out my last semester of school. I got a job as a cart girl at the golf course where Spencer had been working for the past 4 years. He immediately knew he wanted to talk to me and I thought he was cute - but I thought he was someone else! After some heavy flirting during a shift together, one of our coworkers cornered me into giving him my number - and it was history after that! Our first date was August 30, 2015 and we married exactly 5 years later on August 30, 2020.
2015: I graduated College and we moved to Virginia Beach (Dec 2015)
2016: Adopted Puppy Palmer (April 2016)
2017: Moved to Miami Beach (April 2017)
2018: Moved to Raleigh, NC (Jan 2018)
2019: I graduated with my Masters Degree (May 2019)
First "I love yous" were exchanged November 18, 2017 (at one of our very good friend's wedding) and we got engaged November 23, 2018 (during Christmas photos).
Best Parts of Wedding Day
The whole weekend was just amazing and so much fun! We created a whole pseudo-destination weekend complete with welcome reception and day after hotel lobby send off. It was so fun being surrounded by family and friends for a few days instead of just a couple hours. My favorite part of the actual wedding day, is hard to say! There are so many things and I felt like it went so quick! The first look was definitely a highlight!
The anticipation of seeing my soon to be husband definitely built up, and even though I was cool as a cucumber throughout the whole weekend (honestly I shocked everyone, including myself, with how calm I was), the few minutes walking up the stairs to the rooftop to surprise my almost hubby was so fun!
But, I had that moment twice! Spencer thought he was off the hook after the first look and he calmed down afterwards, just knowing what I was wearing - but I had a surprise for everyone! My first look dress (and reception dress) was not the same as my ceremony dress!
I hadn't told anyone but my mom and so that was a fun reveal for my bridesmaids plus it completely blindsided Spencer and it created a second magical moment in the day!
I also absolutely loved our ceremony! Our friend was our officiant and we worked with him to plan it around us! All our guests said they had never been so invested in listening to a ceremony because of how unique and personalized ours was! We had friends and family give us advice and stories and we wrote our own vows. I wish I could have been a fly on the tree to listen as an outsider, they made that much hype about it.
Unofficial last dance: Literally the most amazing moment of the night! Our amazing DJ (we actually
worked together on the first ever solo wedding I did!) got everyone on the dance floor with "Friends in Low Places" which our bridal party started "singing" during the cocktail hour photos, and then went straight into the song we wanted to be the last song of the night - Never Stop Wedding Version by SafetySuit. So all our guests were circled around us as we were engulfed in love and soaking up every last minute of our day!
Catering: Fishin Pig
As we neared closer to August and COVID was fluctuating yet persevering, I decided to completely change our floorplan to be as socially distanced as possible. We changed from tables of 8 to tables of 2 and opted for a plated dinner as opposed to our original buffet style. We planned to add 2 additional tents to the end of the pavilion but with COVID and travel restrictions, our guest count dwindled from 140 to 85 and we were able to fit everyone under the pavilion, at their own household table and it made the evening so intimate - we ended up loving it more than our original floorplan! Fishin' Pig and both our rental companies were a dream to work with! Our guests loved the final floorplan and it encouraged guests to get up and walk around instead of just sitting and talking with their table, so our plans of an interactive wedding day came to life with our out of the box last minute change. With these major changes, alongside bottles of hand sanitizer at major touchpoints and hand sanitizer favors, we were so happy that 0 cases were reported due to our wedding!
Decor & Design - Bri By Design
Floral - Bri By Design
Coordinator - NextAgeEvents LLC
Custom Rings: Jason The Jeweler
Photography - Kristen Camielle Photography
One of my besties is a wedding photographer and I am absolutely obsessed with her photography style - but she couldn't very well photograph our wedding and be in it - so I was took on the task of finding a photographer with similar aesthetic who also was super fun to work with - enter Kristen!
Videography - Iron & Ivy Films
To really capture the magic of your day, I highly suggest hiring a videographer! Watching this was seriously so so magically! Plus you have all the special moments on film, to relieve over and over again - if you find an awesome videographer who includes raw footage in their packages like Brandi. You'll be surprised at how much you forget because of how fast the day goes!
I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at what our timeline looked like. We had a 6pm ceremony and the light was amazing over the water. We then skipped a long cocktail hour and jumped right into dances. I highly suggest formatting your traditional elements as close together as possible and at the beginning of the reception. We just wanted to enjoy everything after dinner and not have to worry about timeline like we needed to all day, which is exactly how it panned out and we just got to have fun and enjoy each other!
9:00am - HMU Arrives to bridal suite
12:00pm - Lunch Arrives: bridal & groom suite
1:30pm - photographer & videographer arrive
2:15pm - Bride gets dressed with Mom
2:30pm - Bride & Dad First Look
2:45pm - First look with bridal party & Groom
3:00pm - Portraits
4:00pm - Shuttle to venue
4:30pm - Portraits
5:30pm - Bride Dress Change
6:00pm - Ceremony
6:30pm - Cocktails
7:00pm - Bride Dress Change
7:15pm - Grand Entrance, First Dance, Welcome Speech
7:30pm - Dinner Served
8:15pm - Toasts & Parent dances
8:30pm - Let's Party!
8:45pm - Ice Cream service starts
11:30pm - last dance
Wedding Day Follow up
The morning after our wedding we had a guest sendoff in the lobby of our hotel. We were supposed to have a breakfast but unfortunately due to COVID we had to change things up a bit. It ended up being a good thing because the rain came in hot and heavy so teardown of the decor took way longer than expected.
If you have extensive setup or tear down or you are doing a lot of DIY, make sure your venue offers WEEKEND flexibility - we paid Saturday pricing instead of the discounted Sunday so we could have all day Saturday to setup.
Print a timeline and frame it to put in each the bridal and groom suite - that way each side of the bridal party is not asking what time this and what time that - giving the couple equal time to relax but everyone is still on time!
Be in the moment the entire day! It goes so quickly and being focused on my husband all day made it perfect!
Put your phone down for the entire day! Leave it in the hotel room, don't even bring it to the venue. This was the absolute best part of our day - all the people we wanted to talk to were at the wedding anyway and we had a photographer - anything we didn't have captured professionally (like our last dance) was filmed by friends and they sent media to us immediately!
Don't stress - As mentioned earlier, both of our families and bridal party were shocked with how calm I was the entire week leading up to the wedding and the entire wedding weekend (& how anxious Spencer was - wanting everything to be perfect for me). There was literally nothing I could have done at that point so there is no need to stress about anything - and I had an amazing coordinator who I knew was taking care of everything on the day - so literally nothing to stress about. So my biggest advice is - enjoy the process, enjoy the day, don't stress about the little things, and if you think you are going to - hire a planner!