When I think back to our wedding day (which was almost two months ago already – woah!), I can’t help but think about how simple and non-stressful it was. There was only one time during the entire day I felt any kind of stress at all, and that was just before I was about to leave my room and walk down the isle. I think this had some to do with running behind while we were getting ready, but more to do with the “oh, shit, I’m about to get married” nerves that came over me.
I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect and suitable day for Phil and I. Today I’m going to share our wedding story with you. It’s a long post, but I hope those of you who are also wanting an intimate wedding will find this to be helpful, and that it will provide you with the reassurance you need in your decision to keep it simple.
We got married on a Thursday afternoon. Our venue was a B&B, so we stayed the Wednesday before the wedding. Thursday morning we woke up and went downstairs to the sunroom for breakfast. The sunroom was quiet and relaxing – the perfect place for us to start our day. It was during this time we were able to talk about the events to come that day and how we were feeling about everything. We both admitted to feeling a little nervous, but very excited! Looking back, I’m so thankful for that time together. We were able to set our intentions for the day and spend some time alone before the agenda took over and everyone arrived.
After breakfast, we went back to our room and hung out until my friend and makeup artist arrived. Shortly after, my mom also arrived carrying orange juice for mimosas! Phil was also getting dressed, helping set up for the ceremony, spending some time alone, and greeting our guests as they arrived.
Charlotte got a jump start on my makeup and was finished by the time my hair stylist, Heather, arrived. I hopped over to Heather’s chair and she started on my hair, while Charlotte did mom’s makeup. I highly recommend your makeup artist arrives first to the venue and has your makeup finished by the time your hair stylist arrives. If they are arriving at the same time, just be sure your makeup gets done first. This gives your makeup artist the ability to blend everything into your hairline really well without messing up your hair.
Once my hair and makeup were finished, I started putting on my jewelry, undergarments, and shoes while Heather finished up my mom’s hair. Mom put on her dress as soon as her hair was finished and then started lacing up the back of mine – this took about 15 minutes. If you have a dress that takes a while to put on, be sure you keep that in mind when planning your schedule for the day. And be sure to practice with the person who will be helping you to ensure you don’t look like a hot mess because they don’t know how to close that baby up!
I loved having my mom there, especially since I didn’t have bridesmaids or any of my friends there (except Charlotte). It was such a sweet time and we struggled to keep those tears in check (currently crying as I type this, good grief).
After we were dressed, the wedding coordinator sent up my bouquet and the minister who married us came upstairs to speak with me. He wanted to see how I was feeling and reminded me to follow his lead during the ceremony and not to worry about what was coming next – to be fully in the moment. I will forever be grateful that he took the time to come speak with me just before the ceremony because it was at this point I felt like a huge bundle of nerves.
After our short talk we started making our way downstairs for the ceremony. My mom helped me get down the stairs and my dad met me at the bottom to walk me down the isle.
And then the ceremony happened. From the time we started talking through the ceremony with our officiant during the planning process, we knew we wanted it to be short and to the point, but also sentimental. Our officiant did an amazing job creating that for us! We had a simple and fairly traditional Christian ceremony. We took vows, exchanged rings, said ‘I do’, and boom, we were married. I walked down the isle to Moon River by Henry Mancini, made popular by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Phil’s brother played the guitar and sang the song.
After the ceremony, we went inside and introduced our families, had a toast, and ate cake. You might be surprised, but our wedding day was the first time our families had ever met in the five years we dated (besides my mom meeting one of Phil’s brothers a couple of times). We are both very close with our families, but with them living three hours a part from one another, there was just never really an opportunity for them to link up. With that being said, we went around the room and introduced everyone to each other. After that, we opened the floor up to anyone who wanted to say something. A few members from each side of the family spoke and it was a sweet and intimate time for all of us to spend together and get to know one another.
After we cut the cake and did a few toasts, Phil and I headed outside and started having our photos taken while our families mingled and took turns getting their pictures taken with us.
Once the photos were done, I changed into a more comfortable dress and we headed to a local brewery to continue celebrating with everyone. There were food trucks there, so our families got some food and we all sat together and talked. We stayed there for a couple of hours before Phil and I had to leave to make it to our dinner reservation. We decided to have dinner be just the two of us and I’m so glad we did! We ate by candlelight at the Sunset Terrance restaurant located in The Omni Grove Park Inn. The setting was romantic, the food was amazing, and we were able to reflect and talk about the day. This restaurant is very expensive, but we were okay splurging since it was our wedding day!
After dinner, we headed to a piano bar in downtown Asheville. This might have been my most memorable and favorite part of the night because of what took place shortly after we got there. When we walked in, we saw a guy on stage playing the piano and another couple sitting in the audience. And that was it. No one else was there except for the bartenders. At first we were like, ugggh, should we go somewhere else? We decided to sit down and at least have a drink. The piano player finished up the song he was playing, looked directly at us and asked if we had any requests.
Side note: a first dance is one of the things I knew I would be giving up by not having a big reception, and that was a real disappointment for me. Phil tried to help by telling me that we could dance together any time I wanted (blah, blah, blah), but I really wanted that first dance as a married couple. Later on in the planning process I had finally come to terms with the fact that we just wouldn’t have that moment, but it was worth sacrificing in order to have the wedding we truly wanted. I’m telling you all of this because it will help you understand why what happened next is so special to me.
So the piano player looked at us and asked if we had any requests. Phil looked at me and grinned, and then looked back at the piano player and asked him if he could play ‘Forever Yours’ by Journey, which is “our song”. He proceeded to explain that we had just gotten married a few hours earlier and hadn’t gotten a first dance. The piano player happily agreed to our request and the man sitting at the other table got up and asked if we’d like for him to take photos and record the dance. He did, and below is a photo of that moment. It’s a little dark, but it’s a photo I’ll cherish forever. Sigggghhh, right? Y’all, it still gives me goose bumps when I think about how beautifully that worked out for us.
The crowd picked up and we hung around the bar a little longer before heading back to our B&B. The next day, we had breakfast delivered to our room before packing up and heading home to get ready for our honeymoon.
I know everyone says this, but our wedding day was truly the most perfect and special day of my entire life – from beginning to end. I loved how simple and stress-free it was, but romantic and intimate at the same time. I will never forget that day.
Professional photos by Meghan Rolfe Photography. All rights reserved.