winter wedding wrap up
From the bride:
The wedding planning went smoothly. I attended Bridal Shows to get ideas about what vendors were in the area. That's how I came to know our photographer. I was a lucky bride, my groom wanted to help plan! He booked our honeymoon, the string quartet for the ceremony, and the band for the reception. We visited all our vendors together.
We decided that the pictures were one of the most important concepts because they would last a long time. We splurged on Mark Romine Photograpy, Normal, Illinois. Mark and his assistant Kaitlyn were very enthusiastic. They made everyone feel at ease while taking pictures. The package we chose included an engagement session, and credit towards the purchase of photos or a photo album. Mark even included little extras like magnets with one of our engagement and wedding pictures on them; and a tiny black photo book. Even better, for the first 10 days our engagement and wedding galleries were up, the photos were half price. Mark even went as far as to offer us a free 16x24 inch photo of our choice if 20 people commented on his blog about our wedding. And in case you're wondering, yes, we did get the free picture! And, we get the copyright to the pictures on our one year anniversary.
To save a little money, I designed our wedding invitations and had them printed locally for about $150. I bought the envelopes on a website selling bulk paper and envelopes. They sent me samples for a small cost.
Our venue was the Allerton Park Mansion in Monticello, Illinois. We knew that the ornate mansion would not need a lot of decorations, so all I did was make simple centerpieces out of blue decorative rocks, silver candles and clear candle holders. Allerton has it's own in-house catering, which was fantastic. We decided to forgo a full dinner and opted instead for appetizers that were filling.
Our band was Candy Foster and the Shades of Blue. Derek had seen them play at a friend's wedding and we decided to check them out. When the band began to play, we couldn't help but dance a little. That's when we knew they were the band for our wedding.
One of my favorite memories of the night (next to marrying Derek) was seeing him for the first time that day. My bridesmaids (I love you, guys!) and I had spent the morning at the salon having our hair, nails and make up done. We arrived at the mansion before pictures were supposed to start. After dressing and having photos taken of me finishing getting ready, the photographer took me downstairs to the Grand Gallery, where the ceremony and reception were going to be held, and had me stand in the aisle and wait for Derek. At that moment, I felt like I wanted to cry. I was getting married and the man I love was going to see me for the first time at any moment. When he tapped me on the shoulder, I turned around and hugged him. The moment was one of the happiest moments of my life.
A couple months out from the wedding, we toyed with the idea of writing our own vows. Derek suggested it and I said, "Actually, I already wrote a cheesy poem." And, from that cheesy poem, we eventually wrote our more serious vows. We wrote vows and revised them, expressing our idea of what we want our marriage to be. We chose not to memorize them, mostly because the pressures of standing up in front of everyone might cause us to forget what we were supposed to say.
We had one funny moment during our ceremony. Derek had just finished putting the ring on my finger and I was to his ring on next. When the time came, he raised his right and hand, instead of left, and I almost lost it (I did mention earlier that we laugh until we cry a lot), but I managed to repeat the ring vows and slide the ring on Derek's finger without laughing. The only way I managed not to laugh was to not look at Derek at that moment because I knew if I did, I would lose it.
Photography: Mark Romine Photography
Location/Caterafis: Allerton Park
Flowers: The Blossom Basket
Dress: Maggie Sottero
Band: Candy Foster and Shades of Blue