“For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.”
“For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne.
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.”
(Continued from our engagement story posted here.)
Our wedding day was perfect.
But before I get to that- It was December 19, 2007 when Brian Adams (our good friend, photographer, mentor, and future wedding officiant) and I were chatting on Google Talk. I don’t remember what time of day it was, but if memory serves me right, Orlando was in the 70’s and I hadn’t been around snow in years. Brian was visiting his mom in Connecticut for Christmas and told me it had just snowed, and I got the craziest idea- Or, maybe Brian suggested it? I honestly don’t remember! But somehow our casual conversation turned from “Hello! Merry Christmas!” to “So you would be totally ok marrying us in the snow next weekend?” in maybe 15 minutes flat.
Basically, it takes us 30 minutes to pick a restaurant for dinner, but 15 minutes to pick a wedding date, state, and location. :)
My favorite day of the year has always been Christmas Eve. *Cue dramatic violin music* On Christmas Day, someone was always crying or fighting or left out (yes, I have middle child syndrome, ok?!), but not on Christmas Eve! Everyone was so happy and excited and on their best behavior. I love that the day purely consisted of spending time together and looking at holiday lights and waiting until the end of the evening to open that one present we scouted out all month. Christmas, on the other hand, could go either way. Soooooo, if we were to get married on my favorite day of the year, we had 5 days to figure something out! Nate was totally on board and before I knew it, plane tickets were bought for December 23rd.
The next three days were crazy- First, we told our Moms the plan and asked them to keep it a secret. Nate made sure the logistics were settled- Like, you know, making sure we can get a same-day marriage liscence in Connecticut and more importantly, that the office would be open on Christmas Eve! We went to the mall and spent a whole $75 on Nathanial’s wedding band, and Mom gave me one of her rings to use.
Brian suggested we have the ceremony in a state park near his Mom’s place that would involve a little bit of a hike in some snow, which meant my wedding gown was a no-go. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you know about my Lorie (you can read about her wedding in Africa here!) However badly I felt about our parents not seeing us get married, I felt a hundred times worse not having my best friend there. I thought she’d be furious, but she couldn’t have been more supportive! Lorie helped me track down my wedding ensemble- I wore a simple cream colored sweater and pants. The evening before Nate and I flew out, Lorie and I scoured a very crowded mall for a wedding-appropriate coat. We couldn’t find anything, and then at the last minute (literally- the manager had started pulling down the security gate to close the store), we rushed into White House Black Market and found my perfect wedding coat. Dad had sent me $200 for Christmas, and I think my coat came to $200.11. Their credit card machine was down, but the manager even waived the $0.11 that neither of us had on hand!
Mom drove us to the airport and after a teary goodbye, we were off to get married! Landed in New York, took a train to Hamden, and spent the last 30 minutes of daylight driving around with Brian to find a specific wedding location. We were driving around the edge of a park when I saw the cutest little bridge in the distance and said, “That’s it!” Brian laughed because that was the exact spot he was going to suggest. :)
Then it was our wedding day! We woke up together and had breakfast and mimosas with Brian’s family. I did my own hair and makeup and we had a little impromptu first look in the hallway; it was my favorite because it wasn’t planned at all! Brian happened to be in the hallway with his camera. :)
We got our marriage license and drove to Sleeping Giant State Park. Nathanial had never looked so handsome. <3
I was acceptable. :)
The biggest item on my list I never had time to do? Find my wedding shoes! These were my “something borrowed” from Lorie, which she since let me keep and now they’re the most special things I own. <3
We walked out to our little snowy bridge, Brian set up a tripod, and we started our ceremony. I asked my Mom to “give me away” over the phone. She was so sweet- I didn’t know until after our ceremony that in the midst of saying her speech, she was so focused and emotional that she accidentally locked herself out of the house! :)
We had the most fun ceremony ever- I cannot recommend enough having someone you love (and who loves you!) officiate your wedding. :) We had nothing scripted, but Brian had letters from a couple friends and family members to read. Between the three of us we’d seen just a few weddings, so we kinda knew the jist- Vows, rings, kiss, etc.
Brian stepped back and let us privately exchange our vows. <3
My favorite photo of us, ever. Brian, I can never thank you enough.
Final (and much less interesting) chapter coming soon. <3
We’d been together for two years when on Christmas morning, Nate got on one knee and asked me to be his wife. We were BABIES! I mean, look at us! <3
And look at MY HUCK! :)
While I might not remember every sweet thing Nathanial said in his proposal, I’ll never forget how shaky his voice was when he asked me to be his wife. Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas is Coming” was playing in the background, Huck at our feet, and the Christmas tree lights made my ring extra sparkly. :) In a time when proposals have become such a production, it was extra special that Nate knew exactly what I needed- something sweet, genuine, and most importantly, private. (*Cough*FORESHADOWING*Cough.*)
We spent our engagement day seeing family to share the news, calling friends, and staring at the most beautiful engagement ring. We were sitting on the couch when Nate first asked the question- Reality and budgets aside, what kind of wedding would we want? We never went ring shopping and I wasn’t prodding him to get on one knee- The proposal had caught me completely by surprise, so I certainly hadn’t dreamt of our wedding. Being his wife, of course, but a bride? Never.
Only a few hours engaged and we both decided if we could have it our way, we’d elope. We knew that wasn’t gonna happen with our families, especially because we were the first kid on each side to get married. We immediately joked that the perfect scenerio would be a private ceremony on an island or something with our families on a boat watching from afar- We could have the private ceremony we both wanted, but they could also sort of still be there. The next year brought a plethora of off-the-wall wedding plans, from throwing a surprise wedding to a Christmas in July themed country club wedding. (Because nothing says Christmas like your guests sweating at an outdoor July Floridian ceremony while sipping hot cocoa!)
After a year or so of being engaged and flip flopping around what we wanted to do, we finally mailed adorable save-the-date cds with our favorite songs and a loose plan for our guests: We were going to marry in the morning but we’d love to celebrate with them at our evening reception. My wedding dress was purchased, Casa Feliz booked for the party. December 16th was good to go, all we needed to book was our ceremony venue!
We finally decided on having our private ceremony at The Tampa Theatre, a theatre built in 1926 for silent movies. This place is gorgeous, and my only elopement regret was not being able to use this stunning venue.
Then the not fun part happened: Life. Family drama, my parents’ messy divorce, more family drama, and an increasingly large reception bill we were mostly footing ourselves- A party we were throwing just to make everyone else happy. But it seemed the more we tried making everyone else happy, the more push back we got. No one was happy, especially us. I was crying myself to sleep all the time. Friends asking about how wedding plans were coming along made me physically nauseous.
We kept finding ourselves saying things like, “If we could do it all over again…” and, “I wish we’d just eloped.” I was only a few months out from our wedding day and dreading every second of it. It wasn’t until Nate and I were up late working on our wedding invitations that I completely lost it- It took a 2am breakdown for us to realize this isn’t working. This isn’t us. Something had to change.
And so, instead of sending out wedding invitations, we sent out handwritten “Sorry- We’re actually eloping” notes. I think I said it best in a note to my aunt, “You know when you’re on the freeway and there’s a bad accident up ahead and you take the first exit to avoid the mess? That accident is our wedding and we’re eloping to avoid the mess.” Most everyone we told was incredibly supportive and understanding. My mom knew how upset I was and completely saw it coming, others, not so much. I had to come to peace with the fact that no matter what we did, someone was going to be hurt. But we could take control of the situation and make *ourselves* happy. You know, because it’s our wedding and all that I cared about was becoming Nathanial’s wife.
We decided to take the holidays easy and elope on Leap Day, which was our 4 year dating anniversary. We’d have Brian Adams, our best friend and wedding photographer, marry us as well. That was all fine and dandy until December 19th, when Brian was visiting his Mom in Connecticut for the holidays. When he told me it had just snowed, I got the craziest idea… :)
Wedding day story tomorrow, kids! <3
The Huck Finn blog love continues this week with his little boot kicks. Swoooooooon! <3
We received Amanda’s first inquiry on September 6th at 10:40pm, which Amanda later told us was approximately 15 minutes after browsing the DISboards. Another bride had mentioned she was hoping to get married in early December 2015. Amanda knew she needed to lock us in for her wedding date and wrote without first telling Jeff- (Thank you random Disney bride!)
They’re both cast members (Jeff even works in my old work home!), are self-proclaimed Disney nerds, love Disneyland more than the Magic Kingdom, and are hoping for a winter wedding theme. So basically we had absolutely nothing to talk about and the session was totally awkward and I didn’t leave kicking myself for not inviting them to Epcot for dinner with us after! ;)
Amanda and Jeff, thank you so much for being so wonderful and easy to photograph. I genuinely look forward to your wedding but hope to see you again before then! :)
I love finding secret spots at resorts! :)
This time next year, these guys will be married right here! <3
The epitome of Christmas in Orlando- Short sleeves and poinsettias, and Santa hats on a beach! :)
Amanda and Jeff, happy pre-anniversary month and we can’t wait to see you next year! :)