Oh hi! Remember when I promised part two of our wedding recap? Well life (and a lot of Thanksgiving food) happened.
Refresh on part one here, and let’s pick up where we left off!
I was so lucky to be able to spend the week before the wedding up in the mountains near the venue. Not only was it key for those last-minute errands we needed to do with vendors, but it also made me feel a lot more at ease having the week to prepare close by and do my best to relax.
My sister, (+ our pup Romeo!), and my college roomie made our way from Charlotte to spend a few days with my parents, Grams, and Aunt Mimi before the masses started rolling in. The weather all week was insanely beautiful. The leaves started to turn earlier than normal because of a cold front that moved in the week before, so the colors were gorgeous and the temps were even more perfect.
I was pretty crazy (stressed) the weeks leading up to the wedding because I really wanted to get everything done that could be done so we could really enjoy the time together. I was the last of my siblings to get married, so I wanted my fam to be able to soak that up without being put to work too much. My mom basically forced me to save a couple of projects for us to do (we had an assembly line of putting the welcome bags together!), but for the most part we were able to spend time around our favorite towns up there, play games, enjoy the landscape and each others company.
Why get married in the mountains if you can’t enjoy it, right?
I’ll admit I had a lot of trouble sleeping that last week. I think the anticipation of everything, the anxiety of making sure everyone could make it there, last-minute changes, and hello! just the fact that I was getting married! kept me awake. Ironically the best sleep I got was the night before the wedding; I literally slept straight through the night until 7 am like a baby. I think I kinda knew by that point what’s done is done so you might as well try to sleep.
By Thursday morning, my groom had arrived (well, he arrived Wednesday), our families were in, friends started to roll in, and the party could officially get started. I was so incredibly excited by that point that the nerves I was once feeling started to trickle away.
Down we went to Overlook Barn, and it was the first time we were able to reveal the venue to some of the family and friends which made everything feel more real. Erick and I had decided a long time ago that we wanted to make our ceremony personal and meaningful for us both, and came up with the idea of asking one of our very best friends Lynn to marry us. We literally asked her via Facetime “will you marry us?” She laughed and thought we were making a joke. Then freaked out a little bit, then we cried, but she was totally up to the challenge. We also knew she’d do a great job at overseeing that things would run smoothly with the coordinator, etc.
Since we also have a lot of family and close friends, we also knew we wanted to keep our “bridal party” small; I had my sister Christine and my forever life partner Cassidy stand up next to me, and Erick had his best childhood friend and college friend as his main men. We knew we wanted to include all our siblings and friends in other aspects – and I had all my best gal pals get ready with me the morning of the wedding and Erick chose to play basketball (aye!) with all his dudes.
Ceremony rehearsal was a quick breeze and we headed to the house Erick’s mom rented where she hosted the most beautiful and intimate rehearsal dinner for our families and bridal party. She took a vision we’ve always had (one gorgeous long, amazing, table for everyone to sit at) and recreated it so magically. It was absolutely stunning. And the food was amazing!
As luck (that’s what we’ll call it now) would have it, right as we sat down for dinner – it started raining. It’s not uncommon at all in the mountains for a little afternoon rain every day, but of course ALL week we were up there it never rained once. Not once! Until the rehearsal dinner. Of course! Our crew was amazing, they were troopers, everyone feasted, drank, laughed when it rained a littleeeeee hard, and basically said yolo that the were getting rained on. And it’s why we wouldn’t have had it any other way, because no one freaked out or complained, and we love them for it.
Immediately once we were all finished eating, the clouds literally parted and a rainbow appeared. We stood around the firepit and a few people gave speeches. It was intimate, and raw, and honestly beautiful. It’s the only word I can think of that describes the setting so perfectly.
We all trekked across the street for the welcome party, people put on comfy (dry!) clothes, and we got to spend time with a lot of our guests who were already there. It was SO nice to have the welcome party/Saturday picnic because I felt like we were truly able to make time for everyone. My wonderful brother & sis-in-law, and gal pals took charge of making apps/setting everything up for the welcome party. Again, grateful. So grateful!
I knew I needed to at least try to get a good night’s sleep, so we kicked everyone out by 9:30/10 and I was asleep by 10:30. How crazy it was that I slept straight through the night given my track record with sleep.
Us ladies got ready in the bridal suite at Overlook Barn, which was nice to be at the venue already for multiple reasons! We got our hair and makeup done, snacked on some grub, listened to tunes, tried to figure out snapchat filters, and the day was so nice. It was good to be there too when all the decorations and such were getting set up in case they had questions (aka in case I wanted something in a certain spot).
Our ceremony wasn’t until 5 pm, and the photographer came to start shooting around 1:30, so we had a decent amount of time to get ready without feeling rushed. I cannot say enough good things about the hair and makeup teams I found – they executed the look I wanted so perfectly and did an amazing job with everyone else who got their stuff done!
I’ll take a moment right now to talk about something that was hard for me to talk about before the wedding. My oldest brother and his wife live out in California and found out earlier this year that they were expecting their first baby!! The due date was about a weekish before the wedding, and while I knew they would literally do anything to try to be with us, I also knew in the back of my mind that it was going to be REALLY tough. Jeff thought he would try to make it, but the thought of asking him to leave his leading ladies a week later and fly cross-country just seemed insanely crazy and selfish. It was hard on us all.
With that said, I start crying now thinking about how special they made our day feel, even miles apart. My younger brother and Cassidy’s husband were on Facetime duty with them all weekend so they “could be there.” And they were there all week and weekend! They sent the most gorgeous flowers to the bridal suite the morning of the wedding. Jeff dressed up in a shirt and tie (and even shaved his precious beard) for the wedding, and surprised us when he recorded his section of the reading that I had my brothers do during the ceremony, and Patrick held the phone up to the microphone so he could read it. Their presence was felt immensely all weekend and I know we will get to celebrate both our September moments together so soon.
OK, now that I’m crying!
I had my mom and sisters help get me into my dress, my dad came in to see me all dolled up (and totally wasn’t emotional at all about it, jk), and then I got to have a special moment when I did the big reveal to my girlfriends. Then I went to see my groom!
Erick and I did a first look for a few reasons. With the ceremony being later in the day, we both knew we would feel so anxious if we literally had to wait all day to see each other for the first time. We also wanted that first moment to be just us (and the drone flying over us). Lastly, I wanted everyone else to enjoy cocktail hour and didn’t want to be taking all our pictures during that time. So we knocked out the majority of pics with the bridal party and families before the ceremony started!
We had transportation for all the guests starting to make drop offs around 4:30, so we knew we wanted to be back in the bridal suites when everyone started to arrive. And about 15 minutes before the ceremony was about to start…luck had it again. You guessed it, RAIN. This time, I didn’t laugh it off so easily. This happened on my sister’s wedding day as well, and unfortunately it was too bad that we had to move the ceremony inside (which ended up beautifully, but still – it’s hard when you have a vision). While I thought I would be ok with doing the ceremony inside, I also was really upset because the view, THIS VIEW!, was the reason we dragged everyone down to the mountains in the first place.
The crew at Overlook Barn + our coordinator/caterers were absolutely amazing (with everything really,) but especially during this time frame. Everyone remained calm, and more importantly honest, with what the situation was. I was handed a drink and told to just sit and try to breathe, because they thought the rain would pass by quickly. I totally don’t do well in these situations, but between a quick meeting with Erick, a hug from my mom and dad, a curse word (or several) exchanged with my sister and friends, I tried to keep calm.
Cassidy got a text from her mom at one point, and all the guests were hanging out (thankfully, dry) under one of the other barns and she said everyone was totally fine. While we didn’t want to wait too long and delay everything, I’m so glad we stuck it out for the 15 minutes we did. For us, but more for all our family and friends that came. Because the y were awesome and supportive and it reassured us that we made the right decision. The rain stopped, the crew went into overtime to dry off all the seats, the music started and we ROLLED. Just in case there were any other spotty storms coming.
If I could post a transcript of the ceremony and readings here, I really would. It was everything we imagined. Personal, honest, loving, intimate. While we chose to say traditional vows, we wrote letters to one another with personal vows in them and it was such a nice touch. Lynn killed it as our minister. We felt the love radiating from our readings and everyone there (and not there!) witnessing our moment. It was perfect in our eyes.
The cocktail hour got cut a little short because of the delayed ceremony start, but still enough for everyone to get a couple of cocktails in before dinner 🙂 The rest of the night felt like it flew by but also was going in super slow motion if that makes any sense. We were able to sit and enjoy our meal, and ran to the kick ass dessert table before everyone else made it. (And lord, for all that dessert we had – it was gone within MINUTES.)
My dad, sister, and Erick’s best man Andy all gave amazing speeches. Highlighting all our best and worst moments of course. We danced, we struck poses in the photo booth, we danced more, we had a huge train going around the barn at one point to our family song. We swayed to That’s Amore, and belted out Wagon Wheel.
We heard from a lot of people that any chance we could, to take a step back together, and just witness everything and everyone. So we did that, a lot actually. It was crazy and amazing to see all these people! All our friends and family in one room! Celebrating our love!
Before we knew it, the reception was over. Whyyyy?! But the party couldn’t stop there (duh). So we all went to one of the houses for the after party. My aunt is notorious for ordering a ton of pizza for everyone after weddings, and she didn’t fail us even up in this tiny mountain town! I’m pretty sure gave that pizza place more business in that weekend then they had all year.
I think one of the best parts about the entire weekend was waking up Saturday morning and knowing we had another day to spend with everyone. Normally, I get the post-wedding Sunday blues when we’re not quite ready for it to be over, but we didn’t have to this time. It honestly seems like everyone was able to enjoy their day and took advantage of hiking, exploring the cute towns nearby, and just relaxing – which was everything we wanted for them! In the afternoon we brought in Lil Mojo food truck out of Asheville, set up a volleyball net, cornhole and some other games, and kept the fun going. It of course rained AGAIN at 5 pm, but by this point we all knew it was coming.
With everyone living all over, it’s not every weekend we get to spend with all our friends together. So we kept the party going through the night, ordered even more pizza, played games, and had the best time laughing together.
With the exception of a few key people missing out, it was the wedding we envisioned from the very beginning. We not only wanted to enjoy it, but we wanted everyone to have the best time they could too.
In case we didn’t say it enough that weekend, we are so beyond lucky. We’re grateful. We felt, and continue to feel, all the love, and it’s because of our families and friends. I’d do it all over again if it meant I got to feel all those feelings again and again.
(Note: all photos in this post are captured by our amazingly talented Taylor Parker Photography.)
Vendors: Venue – Overlook Barn; Catering/Day of Coordinator – Gadabouts Catering; Photographer – Taylor Parker Photography; Dessert – Ugga Mugga Bakery; Florist – Shady Grove Gardens; Dress – J Major’s Bridal; Hair – Shear Shakti; Makeup – Sharla Bance; Photo Booth – Boone Photo Booth; DJ – DJ SevenOne; Transportation – Air Haven Limo; Saturday Food Truck – Lil Mojo