Here we are, somehow in the beginning of July already, halfway through 2021. My wedding day has come and gone, and with it all the planning and preparing that took up most of my creative energy for the first half of the year. Admittedly I’m feeling the absence of such a major project; don’t get me wrong, I’m glad that it’s done (especially since it went so well — more on that soon), but it’s been hard to settle into a real routine since then! Not that I’ve had much of a set routine in the last year, with the pandemic and the job change and such. I think the second half of 2021 will be spent working out my “new normal,” both in my daily life and in my art.
But on to the big news: the wedding. Overall, it was an excellent success. The week leading up to the ceremony, friends and family trickled into town from all over the country to help with the preparation. They made signs and decorated the arbor and put together gift bags and went out for last-minute supplies and picked up food and drink, and generally offered all kinds of support. Friday night I think we were up to 12 people at our house; Jake made dinner for all of them (our friend Jon made the best salad ever to accompany) and then we all had some time to just hang out on our front porch that evening. It was so much fun to have everyone there, mingling.
We basically had Allerton (our venue) for the weekend, so on Saturday afternoon we hauled everything over to the mansion and put up all the decorations. Then the bridesmaids and I made our bridal bouquets, with all the flowers we picked up that morning (still much cheaper than having a florist, plus it was fun to see everyone’s personalities displayed in their different bouquets). We had our rehearsal onsite and then went out for dinner as a group after. Most of us stayed at the mansion that night, including Jake and me. (We may have worked on our vows that night before bed — just finishing touches, though!)
Sunday morning was fairly stress-free; a few of the flowers in our bouquets had wilted (thankfully my sister was able to fix them up) and I realized that I’d forgotten extra flowers for our cake artist to decorate with (my friend Katie got us some fresh flowers when she picked up the boutonnieres). Our hairstylist came to us, and all my Ladies and I spent the morning and early afternoon having our hair done and getting ready in my room (which was plenty big enough for all of us). That part actually took longer than I planned for — I should definitely have started my makeup sooner — and we ended up having to do some of the pre-ceremony photos inside instead of out in the gardens. I honestly didn’t mind too much; our photographer was adaptable and lovely and we got lots of good pictures before, during, and after the ceremony.
The ceremony itself went perfectly. Jake’s brother played the role of DJ and the bridal party got their cues exactly right. My dad walked me down the aisle and honestly once I was at the altar the only things I really paid attention to were Jake and our officiant, and that all went perfectly too, as far as I could tell. Then it was done and we were walking out to sign our marriage license and to take even more photos. (It did feel like we spent a lot of time taking photos.) We had dinner after that and a few of our friends gave some heartfelt and lovely speeches before my grandpa said a prayer for us. After we ate, we had our first dance (which was sweet, but honestly is a little awkward with everyone watching!) and cut our cake. (It was carrot cake, and it was delicious.)
Thankfully with some of the changes in the CDC guidelines and resulting changes in Allerton’s rules, we didn’t have to wear our masks at all, which was wonderful. A few of us also got some late-night dancing in before packing it up around 11 to go on a night-time walk through the park.
All in all, a great success and such a fun weekend overall. I was honestly a little sad when everyone went home the next day, even though we were off to NYC for our honeymoon. I especially felt everyone’s absence when we got back to an empty house! It’s hard to be so far away from all our family and close friends sometimes, but it meant so much to have them all there for us to celebrate.