A Celebration

Chris had to work this weekend, so we split our anniversary celebration over the past two evenings.

Saturday night, we made filet mignon, crab cakes, scalloped potatoes and caesar salad.  I paired it with a 2004 Robert Mondavi Cabernet, while Chris stuck to his Miller Lite.

After dinner, we exchanged gifts of paper per tradition.  From me to him, the lyrics of “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters (one of our favorite bands and a song we played the acoustic version of during the seating of guests at our wedding), and one of our favorite lyrics from Mumford and Sons song, “Awake my Soul,” (also played at our wedding).  From him to me, a beautiful print of our dating anniversary, the date he proposed and our wedding date.  Loved it all.

 

I even wrapped Chris’ card in paper, which happened to be a copy of our ceremony, including our vows.

 

Tonight, when Chris got home, he one more paper surprise for me:  A newspaper with today’s date.  :)  We had our photographer take a picture of our rings on our wedding day, and Chris decided he wants to do that every year, so, we did.   Love it when he thinks like that!

And thennnnnnnnnnnn…..what we’ve been waiting for all year!!  Our anniversary cake!!

My mom actually surprised us by driving up near Baltimore to pick up the cake a few weeks ago.  The bakery we used was really small and they don’t ship cakes, so we were expecting not to have our anniversary cake (the baker doesn’t believe in freezing cakes, so she makes a complimentary cake at the one-year mark).  But, when we were in VA a few weeks ago, she had planned a trip to pick up the cake and surprise us, so we were ecstatic.  We froze it when we got back to NC, but when I thawed it yesterday, it held up great and was super tasty.

We’ve had a low key weekend, but it was awesome, and I’m thankful for this year, and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings us.

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Behind the Scenes

Now that the wedding is done, I thought it’d be fun to share some of our behind the scenes stuff.

Invites.

Assembly boxes.

Done!

Crafting day.

Love tags.

Favors.

Cake tasting.

I Spy!

Table number crafting! Thanks for your lovely handwriting, Lindsay!

Dress shopping.

More dress shopping.

The seating map that wasn't.

The seating chart that was.

1/8th of our welcome bag surprise.

Kirsten + Chris at dance practice.

I wish I had taken more pictures as we shopped for stuff so I could have documented some more, but this will just have to suffice.  :)

Wedding Recap

I know, I know, we’re on our honeymoon and I shouldn’t be blogging, but we have some morning rain showers, are full from breakfast and I have a napping husband (!!!!!), so I wanted to blog before I forgot every detail of our amazing day while we still have internet.

First of all, it was, as they say, the best day of our lives.  Nothing went horribly wrong (other than being colder than we expected, but we can’t control that) and I think everyone had a really good time.

The weekend kicked off with our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner which was great fun.  It was great for everyone to see the venue for the first time and dinner was delicious.  We were so excited to give out gifts to our bridal party (custom valets for the guys, coach wrislets and jewelry for the girls) and parents (custom “established” signs).  I think we were a hit.  :)

Pre-rehearsal with the girls all together!

My hero, Lindsay, chasing away the birds. :)

Guys minus two.

Parents + gifts.

Lindsay is excited!

Jamie and jewelry.

Kevinnnnnnnnnn

Pretty Cyndi

Tracy Strawberry

:)

Me and littles. :)

After the rehearsal dinner, Chris and I said our goodnights in the tradition of not seeing each other until the actual wedding.  It was such an odd feeling, but exciting at the same time.  I thought for sure I wouldn’t be able to sleep, but surprisingly, I passed out at 11 and didn’t wake up til 5 which I thought was pretty good.

I met the girls for breakfast and then we got started with manicures, pedicures, makeup and hair.  We had mimosas, brought in lunch and had the whole place to ourselves which was awesome.  Once we got to the salon, time started to seriously fly, and the next thing I knew, we were running late and it was time to head back to the hotel to get dresses on and get going.  Crazy!!

Ready to go and waiting for the limo!

We arrived at the venue about 5 minutes before the ceremony was about to begin, but I had to get our photographer and a couple of the bridesmaids to grab Chris for a special picture. (more about that later when I actually have the picture).  Once we were finished with that, I said “lets get this show on the road”, and off we went.

Everything happened so fast.  I watched my favorite girls walk down the aisle, and peeked at Chris from behind some bushes.  Then the music changed and I took my dads arm and we walked.  It was so surreal and so gorgeous.  I loved looking out and seeing so many people we love and adore all in one place, it was so magical.

The ceremony was beautiful and everything I think we could have ever imagined.  I’ll never forget standing there and exchanging vows with Chris…it was amazing.

Guys.

GIrls.

Once we were done with pictures after the ceremony, we made our grand entrance into the reception and immediately went into our first dance.  While the girls were bustling my dress before the dance, I started to get really, really nervous.  What nobody knew (with the exception of about 4 people) is that we had been working on a surprise first dance that our friend Kirsten choreographed for us.  I’m not a natural dancer and I don’t love being the center of attention, so I was especially nervous.  But, we pulled it off and it was a hit.  You can watch the video here.

The reception was awesome and when it was over, we jumped into a waiting town car and were whisked away to the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City.  I highly recommend leaving the venue immediately after getting married – there was something about it being just us and going somewhere by ourselves and not having to worry about anything.

Our flight for our honeymoon was bright and early at 7am on Saturday, which meant a 4:15am wakeup call, but, it was worth it because now we’re here:

Life is beautiful.

Open Love Letter – Wedding Edition

Dear Chris,

Today, we’ll be married.  We’ll be husband and Wife, til death do us part. 

I am so grateful for the love that we have, Chris.  You support me, you make me laugh, you’re my partner in everything, and you love me unconditionally for all that I am, and it’s the best feeling in the world.  Being with you, I know everything will be okay as we navigate through life as a team.

Today, I don’t care if it rains or if it’s cold.  I don’t care if the flowers aren’t perfect or if the centerpieces aren’t just right.  All that matters is you and me on this day – everything else is just secondary.  I can’t wait to walk down the aisle and see you.  To hold your hand, look into your eyes and exchange our vows.  Then, we’ll party up with the people we love the most in the entire world and it will be incredible.

I love you so much and I can’t wait to be your wife in just a few hours. 

Forever,

Natalie