A lot of people say that their weddings were a blur. I don’t feel that way at all. I remember a lot of moments and images, and at the time I felt like I was able to truly experience everything. I was part of it, not watching it from the emotional sidelines. But I did get the feeling of being stunned by everything–by the day we were waiting for to finally be here; by actually getting married to my favorite person in the world; by seeing everything we’d planned for over a year come to life; by being surrounded by all our friends and family.
I managed to knock my headpiece off getting into the limo after the ceremony, so back at Farmington my maid of honor went into hairpiece replacement action. Did I mention she’s a wizard? Megan of Shindig was also on hand to greet us, give us drinks and make sure we had something to eat. (I hear stories of brides and grooms who didn’t get to eat anything at their weddings, which I think is totally crazy. You need to eat!) After some more pictures and bustling, we could join cocktail hour.
We’d sent out book-esque invitations, so guests were probably expecting a literary-themed wedding. When guests arrived at Farmington, doors leading into the reception were flanked by candles and piles of books. The layout at Farmington is pretty perfect for a library wedding, actually: guests passed through a few rooms (one of which is Farmington’s library) before heading into cocktail hour. Along with flowers and candles, little pieces of decor, like old reading glasses and globes, were placed throughout. Escort cards were placed in an old card catalog–one of my favorite pieces.
When we were planning cocktail hour, my parents were firm on one thing: no one should have to wait for a drink. We were very covered in terms of bar staff, and also added a few fun twists of our own. The bar was styled to be a library check-out desk, complete with the most amazing book wall (hardcover book bindings attached to wood backings), bar signs, and a notebook for people to write down their favorite books. While doing wedding research, I also came across the idea of a bourbon bar. My dad’s drink is bourbon, so Meghan suggested we actually do this. It ended up being a huge hit with our guests.
Getting to see the ballroom (the official reception area) was such a thrill. We planned to do a receiving line, but Meghan snuck Walt and I into the ballroom a few minutes beforehand so we could take it all in. It was everything we’d been talking about and working on for months come to life. Books and flours and pieces of decor made centerpieces. Chargers were made from the pages of old books. The head tables were long wooden farm tables with a few library lamps (my favorite!) on each. Describing it all doesn’t do it justice, so the please check out the photos.
The evening flowed really well, thanks to the wonderful people of Shindig and Farmington. Again, I don’t feel like the day was a blur at all. We had time to talk to people, to dance, to eat, and to step back and say “We got married!” It was honestly the best day of our lives. That sounds like such a cliche, but it’s the only way I can think of to capture all the love we felt.
A few favorite moments from the reception:
- Hearing wonderful toasts from the best man, the maid of honor, and my dad (who swore he didn’t want to give any kind of toast so as not to interfere with the party).
- Getting “stolen” away from twilight pictures.
- Looking at the dance floor and seeing friends and family all mingling together.
- Getting to dance to “My Girl” with my dad and “Jump (for my Love)” with my mom.
- Getting to dance to “This Will Be Our Year” by the Zombies (our official first dance song) and “First Day of My Life” (when everyone else was distracted by the cookie table) with Walt.
- Seeing a page from my manuscript on the amazing cookie table tablecloth. (The tears!)
- Surprise personalized touches, like references to our favorite books on the cake and on our chargers.
- Having friends come over to say farewell; then Derek changes up the music and friends start dancing, staying for another hour.
- Getting to run through sparklers and drive off feeling so happy in the entire day.
It’s hard to describe all the emotions associated with the day, but I think Sarah’s photography tells the story extremely well. If you want to see even more pictures, check out her post here with lots of wonderful shots. Also check out the sneak peak from the Shindig blog, which features some fantastic detail shots of all the awesome decor. Every time I look at our pictures, I feel a rush of all the various emotions from that day all over again.