Pictures from our late summer wedding
I haven't done much serious work or posted on Steemit in two weeks because I've been so busy planning my wedding and reception. My husband (it feels so weird to say husband!) Matt and I were married on Saturday, 3 September, in Tennessee.
my engagement ring and band
I met Matt (aka @complexring) in Colorado in 2013 while we were both pursuing graduate studies in math. Dating and falling in love were not on my mind at the time and I wasn't expecting this to happen. We first spoke at a SIAM conference where I was volunteering at the registration desk and he needed to sign in. The next mathematician who came to the desk to check in was a woman with kids, and Matt somehow got involved in an animated conversation with the kids about vegetarianism.
After going out with a group of graduate students a few times, Matt and I finally went on our first actual date at a Thai restaurant.
We discussed marriage while I was visiting Matt's family for the 2014 holidays. I "officially" asked Matt in May of 2015 at the Great Wall of China, and then he bought me a ring!
The wedding party met at the church to rehearse the ceremony with the priest on Friday night, then had dinner in one of the church halls.
Wedding tip #1: Ask family and friends to help with things instead of hiring professionals.
One thing you can do to save money on a wedding is cater the rehearsal dinner yourself or have someone close to you do it. Matt's father actually is a caterer and he was kind enough to prepare our rehearsal dinner for free, which saved us time and money.
me with one of my bridesmaids on Friday night
Wedding tip #2: The stress is real for brides.
People seemed to be exaggerating about how stressed out I would be before and during the wedding. I thought "I know how to live in the present and don't need everything to be perfect, so why would I freak out?"
I was completely wrong. Beginning Friday afternoon, I started experiencing full-blown panic about getting everything done in time! I even got a stress-induced nosebleed, which I didn't know was possible. If you're planning your own wedding, I highly recommend getting enough sleep on the nights leading up to the event and being aware of the potential for stress.
On Saturday morning, I had my hair done in a crown braid with fresh flowers and had my talented sisters do my makeup (see Tip #1).
with one of my sisters at the salon
We enjoyed mimosas and croissants at the salon, then drove to the church to dress and take pictures before the wedding. I was fine with family members taking the photos (again, see Tip #1) as long as they didn't feel like it was too much pressure. The photos turned out beautifully!
pre-wedding photo session
Matt and I chose the venue to ensure that our families were happy and the wedding was aesthetically pleasing. I wanted to mention something spiritual and not focus on law and the state, but otherwise didn't care about the format.
making our vows
We hired a harpist for the parts of the music we could decide on: the entrance, Communion and Offertory, and recessional. She was reasonably priced and did an excellent job, and the acoustics in the church were perfect!
Ellen, the harpist
We had time for another photo session after the ceremony, so we took more family pictures with the priest and some artsy ones outside on the church grounds.
me, Matt, and the girls
the entire wedding party
We held a reception right after the wedding outside on our property. There were about 85 guests. As long as the weather cooperated, I preferred renting a white tent and being outdoors to renting a hall. It was a gorgeous day, sunny with no rain and slightly chillier than usual!
I had a lot of help from my family with making and setting up the decorations and setting up the tables. Without them, things would not have gotten done, or we would've had to spend a lot more money.
My father brought some home brewed beer, which was very popular among our guests, and my mother and I provided wine. Everything else was professionally catered. We had a string quartet during hors d'oeuvres and dinner, then played music through my father's speakers with a generator for the rest of the time.
the string quartet
Wedding tip #3: Don't skimp on things you really care about.
I desperately wanted good food, classical music, and some kind of outdoor party, and I'm glad I arranged to have those things. The reception was everything I'd hoped for and the guests gave a lot of compliments.
my mother set up a photo booth with costumes
Wedding tip #4: It's better not to get wasted during your own reception.
Maybe this is an obvious one but I feel like it's worth mentioning. I'm glad Matt and I didn't get shitfaced or otherwise incapacitated during the party. Through moderation, we were able to act like a host and hostess and still have fun, and at the end of the night we left for a romantic getaway close to the Smoky Mountains. We didn't have to arrange for anyone to drive us there.
"Just Married" decals