Day three! Hooray! Reliving all of this is so much fun.
I hope you’re somewhat entertained by it too. 🙂
Pulling off a wedding in seven weeks is not for the faint of heart, but with a lot of help from my family and friends, we not only pulled off our wedding, but we pulled off the wedding of my dreams! No kidding! It couldn’t have been any better if I’d planned it like that my whole life. If you’re looking at planning a wedding quickly, I’m here to tell you that it’s totally possible!
So let’s talk about the sheer madness that was THE CRAZIEST 47 DAYS OF MY LIFE.
If you want to read about why (in the world!) we pushed up our wedding from June 2nd, 2012 to January 15th, 2011, read this post and this post. They’ll give you a good idea of why we voluntarily signed up for this level of chaos.
Our venue needed to have a number of qualities:
- enough bedrooms for my parents, bridesmaids, and me to sleep comfortably (4+ bedrooms)
- direct access to beach property that permitted us to get married on
- enough room (a large open concept) for 100 people to fit comfortably inside for the reception
- actually legally allow 100 people to party inside at one time
My mom was quickly put in charge of finding the beach house, and she did not disappoint. We rented out a house called Pink Sands in Seacrest Beach, FL (on HWY 30a), and it was absolutely, positively perfect. Finding a large enough house wasn’t the problem; finding a house that would allow this kind of party was. Thankfully the landlord okayed our wedding and we were good to go!
With this kind of time crunch, the only flowers I cared about were the ones that would be on our arbor on the beach. I made a list of the arrangements we needed, sent the list and a price request to three companies, and went with the company with the cheapest price. I wanted pink and white flowers and basically told the florist to have a field day and to put together whatever she wanted; I didn’t have the time or energy to worry about those minute details. When she showed up on our wedding day with the arrangements, I wanted to just squeeze her! Her arrangements were stunning and exactly what I envisioned.
This was easy! We found a DJ that was the right price, met with him to discuss how we wanted the reception to flow, and let him take the wheel. HE. WAS. AWESOME. I heard that he played for an extra hour after we left the reception because everybody was having so much dang fun.
I didn’t even know where to start to find ceremony music, so I ended up calling a local high school to see if any of their band students wanted to play something (weird I know but I just had no clue and funds were getting sliiiiim). They hooked me up with a local professional violinist, and she did a magnificent job.
My sorority big sister Amanda lives in Destin, and one of her good friends did wedding coordinating on the side. Amanda hooked us up with her, and she did an amazing job! She helped keep me calm and get our ceremony off without a hitch! Our DJ coordinated the flow of our reception.
Standard wedding invitation etiquette went out the window! No time, but who cares?! Not us! A day after we pushed up the wedding I went to Michael’s, bought a ton of generic invitations, took them to a print shop to be printed, and put them in the mail. There really was no time to dwell on details like double-stuffed invitations and fancy calligraphy. I addressed every invitation myself, and I thought they looked pretty darn great considering our time frame!
My dad absolutely insisted that the food and drinks be awesome; he down-right refused for our guests to all drive and fly from all over the country (last minute) and be served a so-so meal. We had appetizers served during the one-hour cocktail hour (immediately following the ceremony while Jamie and I took pictures) and then had a full buffet-style dinner afterwards. I swear I still have people telling me about how much they loved that dinner.
My parents bought all the wine, beer, and soft drinks, and they paid for one extra person from the catering company to be the bartender.
Finding a baker was weirdly challenging, but we found a lady who charged us an arm and a leg for a cake that wasn’t even that great. It worked though!
We had eight bridesmaids and eight groomsmen, and we had our bridal party members in mind immediately after getting engaged. We both always knew who we wanted to stand by our sides, and the number eight just happened to align. I wanted to ask all of my girls to be my bridesmaids in cute/sentimental little ways, but by the time we pushed up the wedding I’d only asked four! I unfortunately had to ask the other four over the phone, but they squealed with me and didn’t mind a bit that I was asking them such a special question in such an informal way. Jamie also asked all of his guys over the phone.
The girls flew in from all over the country and stayed with my family in the beach house. Having one big sleepover for a few days before the wedding was THE BEST IDEA EVER. Such a blast. These women are so, so special to me!
The guys also came from all over and stayed with my husband’s family at the beach house they rented. From what I’ve heard, things got a little rowdy over there!
Dresses – We had no time to order dresses from an actual bridal shop, so my friend Ashley and I stayed up all night (literally) trying to find a dress online that would work. I didn’t love the bridesmaids dresses, but they worked for sure. My girls were such troopers, and since they’re all stunning anyway nobody even cared about the dresses. 🙂
Guys’ attire – We asked the guys to wear khakis, brown shoes, and a white dress shirt. My (savior) sister thankfully found eight ties three days before the wedding that matched the bridesmaids dresses.
Hair & Makeup
I did my hair and makeup trial two days before the wedding, and then on the wedding day morning my mom, sister, aunt, MIL, and I all got fancied up at the local salon. My bridesmaids all did their own hair and makeup.
Psshhh… ain’t nobody got time to plan a bridal luncheon when you’re throwing things together right and left! Instead my girls and I enjoyed a delicious breakfast in our pajamas at our beach house the morning before the wedding prepared by my mom and aunt. It was great. Check!
My sister threw together a fab bachelorette party the weekend before the wedding. It was a party! Jamie did a mini-bachelor party with his groomsmen the night before the wedding after the rehearsal dinner.
Wedding Dress & Shoes
The dress was an issue. I’d already found and ordered my Justin Alexander dress a few months before, but it wasn’t scheduled to arrive in the store until March. Thankfully The Something Blue bridal shop agreed to sell me their store model (that was in perfect condition). It was many sizes too big and too long, so the alteration costs were hefty.
As far as shoes go, I found a cute pair of dressy white flip flops to wear but ended up kicking them off five minutes before I walked down the “aisle” and went barefoot the entire wedding. It was fabulous.
I grew up with the most amazing and influentional youth paster on the face of the planet, so asking Ted to marry us was a no-brainer. He managed to squeeze in two sessions of premarital counseling with us and helped us design the ceremony of our dreams. It was so beautiful and exactly what we envisioned. I’m sure Ted has no idea how much his family’s sacrifice to come all the way to the beach on such short notice meant to us. It’s immeasurable really.
Ted’s wonderful, beautiful, incredible wife Jill is a professional photographer with A Thousand Words Photography (based out of Madison, Alabama), so picking her to be our photographer was an easy choice.
We had to get a Florida license, so three weeks before the wedding Jamie and I drove down to Destin during Christmas break to apply for it. We also taste-tested the dinner and cake during this trip.
Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner
Our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner were really, really special. We held our rehearsal on the beach the Friday afternoon before, and then Ted led our families and our bridal party in an open-style prayer time. It was incredible. I don’t think there was a dry eye on the beach when Ted finally said “amen”.
After the rehearsal everyone headed up the stairs to hang in the house while Jamie and I did a little photoshoot with Jill.
My in-laws threw us the most incredible rehearsal dinner in the entire world. They rented a gorgeous room for 40 people at Cafe 30A, and it was elegant, emotional, and fun. We ate a three course meal, listened to/gave a few speeches, handed out our bridal party gifts, and did an awful lot of hugging.
After the wedding reception, we had a 36 hour mini-honeymoon in Destin.
I put Jamie on a plane back to Arizona that following Monday, and it was excruciating to say goodbye to my brand new husband. We went on our real honeymoon/post-deployment trip to Costa Rica 17 months later, and it was well worth the wait!
Random tidbits about the wedding planning that don’t really fit into a category above:
- My father-in-law was deployed in Kuwait when we set the date, and he had a matter of days to get approved for his two-week R&R home to the states.
- I planned all of this during my first year of teaching while trying to wrap up my first semester, administer mid-term exams, and finalizing semester grades all for the first time.
- My sister was in the middle of her own wedding planning, so we were technically planning two weddings at once. She was such a trooper.
- Jamie had to fly a red-eye to Florida from Arizona to get to the rehearsal on time.
- My parent’s house in Alabama got 10 inches of snow five days before the wedding, canceling school and shutting down the town for eight days. In order to get to my own wedding I had to shovel our hilly driveway for the first time in my life. Alabama girls do not know how to handle snow. It was kind of a nightmare.
- Wedding planning and meltdowns go hand in hand, but thankfully our family only had one big night of tension. I consider that a win!
After putting all of this together for this post, all I want to do is just rewind four years and do the whole weekend all over again. Every single moment.
Thanks for the link up, Showered With Design!