It is true that the final month's preparations for the wedding are stressful, but often times people don't tell you that the To-do list continues after the wedding as well. Thank-you's, name changes, bank account and tax changes, even just laundry and unpacking from the honeymoon. We still have piles of wedding decor laying around that I need to figure out what to do with (more selling, probably!), and gifts are still piled up in the living room. I've been sorting through tons of pictures and am getting prints made of wedding and honeymoon photos. And my brain is going a mile a minute with things I need to get done soon, like request copies of the marriage license and get my dress preserved! So, back to normal? Not really!
Amidst all the stress and chaos though, the bottom line is that after 7 years, we are finally married. And the wedding ended up being a huge success, though a LOT of work went into it!
Today I'm sharing some photos that friends and relatives took of our Big Day, though I technically don't have any professional photos yet from the wedding and probably won't have those for another month or so. We did get a "sneak peak" on social media of a couple of the photos, which turned out AMAZING. But since I don't have those in my possession yet, I am going to wait to share them here. I will link to the photos soon, however, once more are revealed - and I cannot wait to see the rest!
So, without further ado, here are a few photos from our wedding day, and some details to go along with them!
Both the ceremony and reception took place at the same location, Quarters 1 in Rock Island, Illinois. It's located on a military base, and the building is one of the most historic buildings in the area. It's a mansion that used to house all of the Generals on the island until 2006. The upkeep got too extensive, so it became a place that was used more for events and tours. They actually say that the building is haunted, and do ghost tours regularly here. The place is huge, and a lot of the guests had a good time wandering around inside.
We fell in love with the location, partly because: 1. It was right on the water, 2. It felt secluded, and 3. The mansion is so stunning and elegant inside. We also felt like we had plenty of leeway to do whatever we wanted with the space.
Both the ceremony and reception were outside on the lawn. We were a little nervous having it outside because of the unpredictable Illinois weather. Luckily though, the whole weekend was sunny and gorgeous. It was a little on the hot side, but it was tolerable.
The reception was under a tent, which we rented, and we built a backdrop for the ceremony, along with a "doorway" from repurposed old doors.
I love these shots that my mom's friend Diane got of the ceremony. She has a fancy camera, and took so many great photos! It was really cool to see our vision of the doors and walking through them come to life.
I walked down to an instrumental acoustic version of "Crash into Me" by Dave Matthews Band. Here is the exact song if you want to listen. We both love Dave Matthews, and we couldn't stop listening to this version while we were picking out songs for the ceremony. I had it stuck in my head for probably 2 or 3 weeks before the wedding!
Above is a behind-the-scenes shot of our photos being taken before the ceremony. We were running a bit behind, and it was hard to gather everyone up as we took family portraits, but luckily the ceremony still started right on schedule!
It was one of the best feelings walking down the aisle as husband and wife, finally! Not to mention such a huge relief knowing that the "hard part" was over, and we could now just focus on having a good time with friends and family.
The guests blew bubbles as we walked to our car...
And this was our getaway car in between the ceremony and reception hour. I loved it! It was just $200 to rent, and worth every penny. So classy. I wish we had time to take more photos in front of it, but again we were a little pressed for time.
While the guests enjoyed a cocktail hour inside the mansion, we (and some of the wedding party) snuck off and took a little boat ride on the Mississippi. Unfortunately, that's what brought us a little behind schedule again, but we were able to get back in time so the guests could finally eat. A big thank you to Trent's coworker Mike for being our captain! It was such a nice, relaxing ride after all of the stress of the day.
The reception was a blast, and I'm so glad we were able to get things moving nice and quickly after we returned from the boat ride. Our DJ was amazing, and the music was perfect the whole night.
I was nervous to see how all of my centerpieces and decor would come together (and spent the majority of the day before the wedding putting it all together myself!). Fortunately, I got a lot of compliments on how beautiful everything was, and I loved how all of my colorful flowers looked. The florist also did an awesome job helping me get all of the flowers that I needed to complete the centerpieces (plus, my bouquet was awesome, I absolutely loved it!)
I heard from so many people that they had a great time, and they loved the location so that made me feel really good, and glad we chose this place. Even though it was a lot of work to do so much of it ourselves, the beauty of the river and the sunset made it totally worth it. (And there was even fireworks that night on the other side of the river, which made it that much cooler.)
In the end, I had a little comfort in knowing that the guests couldn't see all of the stress and problems that went on before the wedding; they only saw the awesome outcome and beauty of the setting, and hopefully had a great time. It was a crazy weekend indeed, but ended up being a perfect day.
And a final thanks goes out to my parents for all of their help in making our day so amazing! We couldn't have done it without you, and best of all, we are now completely done with weddings in our family. Now, you can focus on retirement. :)
I know I couldn't include so many other memorable details on here, but I will be sure to share the professional photos once they are done (which I cannot wait for!). And stay tuned for all of the highlights of our honeymoon in Jamaica. It was absolutely amazing!
Once we get through all of the chaos that comes with being newly married, I am sure we will continue to make many wonderful memories as time goes on. During the 7 years that we've been together, we've traveled, gone to countless concerts, and have seen so many amazing things together. We've created a home and a life that we're still working at and trying to figure out along the way. Even though the house gets messy and we get a little behind with all the busy things life throws at us (ahem, right now), I know we'll take some time to enjoy it, and can look back at the time when we were just newlyweds. :)