Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of our wedding day! Mark and I got married in our favorite place, with our immediate family and bridal party. And then, we came home and celebrated with ALL of our loved ones!
As so many couples are forced to change their wedding plans to intimate/micro weddings and elopements due to COVID, I wanted to share what we chose for our wedding- and how this re-route of plans can be a blessing in disguise! (Obviously some of our plans wouldn’t make as much sense with social-distancing/quarantine/etc. today… but please keep in mind, I’m just sharing our story pre-COVID)
Going to weddings all the time, I knew how quickly a wedding day goes by- it’s hard to feel like you have adequate time with each and every person there while trying to soak in the day with your new spouse, and still having time to dance your booty off. So, we split it into two…
One day that could be truly about us getting married! Where we could have all the time in the world to focus on a more intimate group and create memories with those closest to us. The second day- our reception, could be a celebration of our marriage and would allow all of our favorite people to gather in one place for a real party!
So let’s start with our actual wedding day-
It would’ve been difficult to have everyone we know come out to California, so a smaller group was more manageable for our guests, and us. We rented two AirBnBs next door to each other, to maximize the time we had together and have a nice place to gather. The more intimate setting allowed us to connect and create memories with each and every one of our guests and still have the incredible backdrop of Yosemite without worrying about too many logistics. We felt that the smaller group on our wedding day allowed us (and our guests) a more intimate and personalized experience. Exploring National Parks is one of our favorite things to do, so having your parents, siblings and bffs experience you in your element- that was so so special!
Also, with a lot of wedding planning, you pay per-person, so a smaller guest list allowed us to splurge on what mattered most to us, and cut costs on things we didn’t care as much about (always advice I give any couple planning!) We had a chef come out for the day to create a beautiful brunch, and later a dinner spread as well as our wedding cake! There were small touches like name cards with personalized notes from Mark and I- something you would have a hard time doing with 150+ guests. A lot of my flowers were dried flowers, so I re-used them for our reception as well!! (If anyone is looking for a way to minimize costs for two celebrations… There are actually a lot of decorations you can use for both!)
Now for the reception-
I am so grateful that we were able to invite all the people we hold near and dear to our hearts! Looking out and seeing all our loved ones beaming back at us is one of my favorite moments ever ever. This alone made the entire night for me!
We talked about re-enacting our ceremony or renewing our vows for this event, but instead decided on presenting a wedding video for everyone at our reception! This allowed our guests to really experience our big day… and our videographer definiely delivered!!! – call Kammer Films asap! The rest of the evening was spent dancing and celebrating as any wedding day would- we didn’t have a DJ or dance floor in California so this was our time to parrrrty!
Another major plus… having the opportunity for family portraits with those that couldn’t make it to California, and all the other candids that were caught with our loved ones! We definitely still felt the stress of trying to make sure we got around to all of our guests, but it was lighter knowing we had a few less things on our plates that day.
The final pro of having two weddings- I got to be a little more indecisive. I was able to create two different environments and didn’t feel as pressured to make the one ‘right’ choice. I had two different vibes, color palettes, dresses, hairstyles/makeup, etc. For someone as indecisive as me, this was a big relief!!!
I really think having two wedding days gave us the best of both worlds! So if you are facing the challenges of re-imaginging your day(s), don’t be discouraged! Both days have such a special place in our hearts and we definitely wouldn’t have done it any other way!
p.s. feel free to comment below if you have any questions about either day or the planning of both!
photos: Jordan Voth
video: Kammer Films
rentals + flowers: Stockroom Picks
hair and make up: MakeUp By Amanda Marie
photos: Chantel Marie
venue + coordinating: Kester Homestead
additional rentals: Pretty Little Vintage Co
hair: Hair By Hartt John Paul Salon
make up: Meg Pierce at The Hamill House
dj: Visa Versa