The second half of my wedding story coming your way today, which also happens to be my first anniversary! (In case you missed it, here is Part 1 .)
Wedding Story: Part 2
I’m going to be honest, the idea of wedding dress shopping completely overwhelmed me. I had an idea of the type of dress I wanted, but I don’t know, is it what I want? Where does one even start?
Obviously I turned to Pinterest for help and started identifying designers that I liked. I decided I would go with Maggie Sottero and found a bridal shop that carried her dresses. Bonus! This shop is located minutes from AJ’s parents’ house. I figured this would be ideal when it came to fittings and actually picking up the dress. So one August afternoon my mom, future mother-in-law and future sister-in-law and I made our way to Three Grace’s Bridal in Lebanon, NJ. (My sister was unfortunately out of town this weekend, but we sent her pictures of each dress I tried on with the play-by-play!)
I probably tried on around 10 dresses. I had to stop at that point because I was getting too overwhelmed. I also knew that I didn’t want to do this again, so I was set on choosing a dress that day. My final 4 dresses were Casablanca, not Maggie Sottero. So funny coming in with one designer in mind and narrowing it down to someone completely different!
But guess what? I went with the first dress I tried on – Casablanca 1975 in ivory with a champagne underlay. I made some alterations to the style, of course, but I just knew it was the one. I wanted a form fitting lace dress and this was my ideal dress. I am especially obsessed with the back, and still a little sad that I don’t get to wear it again.
Shoes are my thing. I’ve always been a shoe girl, I love that they can just add a pop to any outfit. So I knew I would be particular about my shoes. I decided I wanted a light pink pump and was set on these from Badgley Mischka. I wore them with tube socks around my apartment in the months leading up to the wedding to break them in, and was glad that the heel wasn’t overly high. (I did also switch to pink flats by the end of the night!)
I didn’t have a color scheme, per se. I wanted everything to just be classic and clean. The guys wore black suits, the girls wore black dresses, I had light pink shoes, so I thought light pink, white, and green flowers would be the perfect complement. My bouquet consisted of white peonies, white ranunculus, white lisianthus, and light pink roses.
I wrapped my grandmother’s handkerchief around the base as my “Something Borrowed/Old”.
A church wedding was important to us, but since we were getting married in Jersey City, we unfortunately had to choose a church that we didn’t regularly attend. We did some research and thought St. Aloysius was just beautiful so we decided to check it out one Sunday and make an appointment with the priest to inquire about getting married there. Fortunately it all worked out and we were able to have a church Deacon friend of AJ’s family marry us, along with this church’s priest.
People ask if AJ and I did a “First Look” or if we waited to see each other until I walked down the aisle, and we waited for the aisle. I think both ways are incredibly special, but seriously the one thing I was most excited for was that walk down the church aisle to see this face waiting for me at the front!
Confession. We only looked at one venue.
We both loved the idea of a city wedding, and as soon as we went to Liberty House, we were sold. Located in Jersey City along the Hudson River, Liberty House boasts incredible views as it overlooks downtown Manhattan – the city where we met and fell in love. ❤
We were so impressed by all things Liberty House. When planning a wedding everyone chooses what they want to splurge on and where they want to stick to their budget. Our venue was a splurge, but we wouldn’t have chosen anywhere else. The food was incredible, the drinks kept flowing, and the staff was so attentive and helpful to help make our day perfect.
Our friends and family were dancing machines and the dance floor was filled the entire night…which was exactly what we wanted!
During dinner, we selected classic tunes such as Frank Sinatra and Billy Joel. Dancing music was a mix of Top 40, Oldies, and just fun classics. It was the most fun ever. But just like everyone says, the night was such a blur, I wish I could go back in time to re-remember every detail!
So our cake was kind of a splurge too. (What isn’t a splurge when it comes to wedding planning!?) It was a Carlo’s Bakery cake, for those of you familiar with the show Cake Boss, you know what I’m talking about. The cake itself was included in the Liberty House package, and was a very traditional 4-tiered cake. (Each tier was a different flavor, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what those flavors were…I have it written down somewhere I can’t find.)
The extra “flare” came in when we were at our tasting. AJ decided we needed a custom topper. We chose a bride and groom fish because in honor of AJ’s hobby of keeping fish tanks around – we actually have 3 fish tanks (1 larger and 2 smaller) in our apartment, and that’s kind of his thing. Everyone knows this about him, so we both thought it would be a really funny nod to his unique hobby.
And no, we’re not eating our wedding cake on our anniversary. The top tier is in my parent’s freezer, and we are in New Orleans, so…maybe later this year!
Oh, and the song we played while cutting the cake was and oldie but goodie…Sugar, Sugar by the Archies.
I can’t conclude this recap without mentioning THE BLIZZARD. When we selected March 20 as our wedding date, we were a little concerned about the weather. March can be a fickle month, but since we were nearing the end of it, we figured everything would be okay. Ha. Ha.
The week of the wedding, I saw snow was in the forecast for Friday, but what could I do? I made a conscious decision not to stress over it. This meant, I wasn’t going to think about it and wouldn’t let anyone talk to me about it. Early in the week I rationalized that the weather is constantly changing, so it likely won’t even snow and if it does, it will probably be a few snow showers, maybe an inch. Not a big deal. Again…Ha. Ha.
As the big day approached, I noticed that the pesky snow forecast isn’t going away. In fact, it was looking a little more intense. What is a girl to do?! The show must go on. March 19 was beautiful, with gorgeous sunny skies. March 21 was another picture perfect day. March 20 brought 7″ of snow. Yup.
Fortunately (and miraculously), most everyone made it to the wedding. We didn’t get all of the photos we wanted of the city skyline, just because my vision didn’t include half a foot of snow and fog, but the ones we did get were beautiful. (A special shout out to our photographer for capturing all our special moments!)
The view of Manhattan (that we were paying for and couldn’t see when everyone arrived at the venue!) started to clear up over dinner and to be honest, the snow did make a pretty back drop, and it’s a pretty funny story. Hey, they say if it rains on your wedding day, it’s good luck right? So a half a foot of snow must mean AJ and I are golden 😉
As I mentioned, we’re in New Orleans for our anniversary weekend, but I did get AJ a little gift that I’ll give to him when we get home. (Well actually probably in another week or two…it’s not quite ready yet!) Stay tuned to find out what it is :). Hint – I’m all about anniversary themes!
Also, if you made it through these incredibly wordy posts, props to you and thanks for letting me relive my story! 🙂