Marriage Monday: Wedding Day ABC's {Part One}

I'd seen a few of my blogger friends (Caitlin & Patty) take part in this - and I thought it would be a lot of fun to reflect back on such an awesome day!  I will definitely be breaking the wedding day ABC's down into two different posts.

I honestly don't remember how many people attended after all was said and done - but I do remember that there were quite a bit more people at the reception than there were at the ceremony!  Somewhere along the way, I remember wishing we had kept the guest list down to our most intimate friends & family so that it would be an overall more intimate, smaller, and more personal affair.  I am pretty sure it was between 200-300, but don't quote me because that sounds like a ton of people.  We even had a couple of wedding crashers!!!  Okay, so they were family of one of my bridesmaids (and were most welcomed!)... but that was a big funny thing that evening!
Our wedding crashers on the right

I had both a maid and matron of honor and both of them were my sisters, Ashley & Amanda!  I had four additional bridesmaids that consisted of my cousin, Breanne, and three of my best friends - Betsy, Katie, and Becca.  At that time, only ONE of my bridesmaids lived in the same area as me - the rest traveled from Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and North Carolina to come for the wedding weekend!

Friends of ours offered to make our cake and to be honest, I don't even remember the different flavors of cake we had!  (I know one of them was red velvet.)  The only bit of cake I tasted all night was the little piece that was shoved more in my face than in my mouth by my new husband!  I wish so badly that I had just relaxed enough to enjoy a piece of cake on our wedding night!!!  We also had a bit of a cake emergency... before the wedding party arrived, the cake fell over!  They did a darn good job at salvaging everything - and thankfully it fell over onto the table rather than the floor!!!  So here is both a before and after picture.  We got so many compliments on how yummy the cake was!

Before the accident the cake had 3 tiers

After the accident it had 2 tiers!  They did a great job of redecorating by placing the flowers all over!  Love it.
I found my dress at David's Bridal during one of those $99 dress sales!  I got my dress and the slip I needed underneath for under $150 (the dress alone was originally $650!!!)... amazing!  I had already gone to try on dresses with my bridesmaids once before, but the main purpose of that trip was to choose a bridesmaids dress and to have fun trying on different wedding gowns.  We walked away that day without choosing a dress for them or for me!
Some of the dresses we tried on that day!

I went back a couple weeks later with my mom during the dress sale, not feeling particularly hopeful that we'd find "the one" - and of course, we did!  Most of the dresses I tried on were discounted, but very few of them were actually $99.  I let my mom pick a couple for me to try on - she chose one from the rack and it didn't appear to be anything that I wanted, so I almost sent it back.  I tried it on anyway and couldn't believe how much I loved it!  So cliche, but I even cried!!!  The woman helping us kept asking if I could visualize myself walking down the aisle to my future husband in each dress and when I looked at myself in the mirror, I could literally picture just that!

 The bridesmaids dresses ended up being these black Target dresses - $30!
I used the picture of my sister, Ashley, in this dress because she never ended up wearing this dress the day of the wedding!!!!!!! She accidentally left her dress at home in Tennessee and had to go out and buy one nearly just like this one a few days before the ceremony!!! She didn't tell me about this until WAY WAY WAY later and I never noticed her dress was different the day of the wedding!!! So hilarious.
I can't find any pictures that really make it obvious that Ashley's dress was different... this is the best one for comparisons.  You can kinda see that Amanda's dress is more of a "V-Neck" and Ashley's is a scoop neck!  Anyways, makes for a funny story!

The day Tony proposed was one of the best days of my life.  To make a LONG story short, Tony surprised me for my birthday and told me to request several days off from work but he didn't give me any more information.  On my actual birthday (November 10, 2009), he told me where we were going:  Anna Maria Island, Florida to visit my grandmother and to see the beach!  I was ABSOLUTELY shocked.  He also told my cousin, Breanne, that he wouldn't be proposing on the trip and that he hoped I wouldn't get my hopes up, just to be disappointed.  (Sneaky sneaky!  He did this because he KNEW she would tell me this!  And she did.  And it worked!)  He told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me but that he couldn't afford the ring I deserved.  We headed down there and I went into it knowing he wasn't going to propose - so there was honestly no expectations for that on my end!  I had such a WONDERFUL time there with him and my grandmother for those few days!!!  On our last day in Florida, Tony suggested we go to the beach to enjoy the ocean one last time before flying home.  Great idea!  So we went, picked up shells, had an appetizer on the beach, and then headed for the car when Tony asked if we could sit down to soak it all in.  That's when he pulled out a poem he wrote "for your birthday" he said - and started reading.  And at the end of it he asked me to marry him!!!!  Amazing just doesn't even begin to describe it.

My favorite flowers are carnations!  I love them because they smell good and they are absolutely beautiful.  We went through a florist at Hyvee for our bouquets and the woman was just shocked I wanted to use carnations.  She tried to discourage me by telling me they were "filler flowers" and were commonly displayed at funerals.  Wonderful.  But I was set on having them, and only them and her opinion didn't really matter to me, anyways.  I wanted them to be simple - no greenery and no additional flowers for both the bridesmaids bouquets and my own.  However, our bouquets had greenery all over them and I wish I had noticed that the day of the wedding so that I could have taken the green stuff out of our bouquets!  But to be honest, flowers were the last thing on my mind on our wedding day!!!  And that's life for ya!
Now when I see their bouquets, all I can think of is CHRISTMAS!  Grrrrr....

Tony had two best men - his brother, Sean, and his best friend, Damen.  His groomsmen also included his friends Chris, Tyler, Peyton, & Nathan.  The majority of his groomsmen came from Tennessee and others came from Arkansas and Connecticut! 

For the longest time we had no clue what we were going to do for our honeymoon.  I had suggested Disney World a while back but dismissed it and thought Tony didn't want to do that.  A couple months before the wedding, we still hadn't made our minds up.  Tony suggested WDW and I was ECSTATIC!  I couldn't imagine spending our honeymoon anywhere else - it was the best, most magical trip of our lives!

We were so sad to head home!

We got the guys' tuxes through Ducky's Formal Wear - the biggest draw to Ducky's was that they offered free wedding invitations!  One less thing to worry about sounded FANTASTIC to me - so we went with them.  I looked through tons of binders to find the right invitation.  I wanted something aesthetically pleasing and simple and I totally fell in love with the ones we chose!
Clearly not our exact invites as we are not Claire & Lucas, but you get it!

Justice of Peace
The man who married us is also our pastor, Father Levitt.  Before he married us, he baptized Tony and after our wedding he baptized Presley!  Such a wonderful man.

After talking to a friend of mine, we decided not to do wedding favors for wedding guests.  The friend told me, "Honestly, no one expects you to give them a wedding favor!  Back when my husband and I got married, no one did anything like that.  And I end up throwing away 90% of the wedding favors I get on the way our of the reception anyways!"  She urged me to use the money elsewhere and that no one would miss it.  I am so glad she gave us that advice!!!  Tony & I were paying for our wedding and as many of you know, things add up very quickly.  That is one bit of advice I would absolutely pass on to friends.

One keepsakes I carried on my wedding day was a photo of my dad on my bouquet.

Ladies Night
I was lucky enough to have TWO bachelorette parties - one in Illinois with my work friends and one in Mississippi with the ladies of Tony's family!  I don't have any pictures from my Illinois party - but definitely have a ton from the night out with the in-laws!!!  I cannot wait for the next occasion to cut loose with them... they are one of THE MOST fun and enthusiastic people I am lucky enough to be related to, now!!!  We spent the majority of our night at Tunica Roadhouse Casino.  We drank, laughed, rode a mechanical bull, danced to the live band's music, ran into a bachelor party (who we affectionately referred to as the evening's entertainment), did a bit of gambling (didn't we?), ate in the early AM hours and had such a great time.

We had pretty traditional songs throughout the mass.  Though, I walked into the church to the tune of "Let it Be" by the Beatles and "Love Never Fails" by Brandon Health played when we lit the unity candle.  Our first dance was to "Love Song" by 311.

Stay tuned for part two!


  1. HAHAHAHAHAHA about Ashley's dress!!!!! I forgot about that!!! We had to speeeeeeeeed to Target here in Nashville the night before we went up to Illinois. It was such a mess! :)

  2. I love this!! So creative!! Your posts on Marriage Mondays is what I look forward to the most because you have so much to share, and they're great things too!

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Ashley! I take it as a great compliment - especially coming from you!!! I love filling out fun things like this and even more I love reading everyone elses!

  3. How creative!
    Should be fun to see all of the posts come together!

  4. Whoa, what a great steal for your dress and the bridesmaids! I love the picture of you and your hubby cake stuffing each other, too fun!!!

    1. Haha, thank you! We are actually shoving cake into our younger siblings faces ;) It was pretty awesome - they did not see it coming!!!

  5. I love that you did this too! That is AMAZING that you got your dress for $99! And your cake still looked beautiful despite the missing tier!


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