We're married!!! We tied the knot on July 29th in front of our immediate families in our backyard. Our friend Colin married us; we wrote our own vows and chose a couple of favorite readings. After we were pronounced husband and wife, we played “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges and popped champagne. Then, a little while later, all of our friends came over for a garden party to eat (Marty’s Meats food truck and homemade pies baked by our talented friends and fam), drink (everything, but namely Mexican Car Crashes), and be merry until the wee hours of the morning. Best day of my life, hands down.
Pictured: some of the "garden party" decor the morning after. I did all the flowers and the botanical floral wall in the backdrop from the first picture above.
Jon and I separately answered some questions about our day and the months leading up to it, and offered a little advice to anyone else getting ready to tie the knot. Thanks for reading and for all the well wishes from near and far :)
What did you wear, head to toe?
Jon: I wore J.Crew’s Ludlow suit in Italian wool-linen in echo blue, a crisp white tailored shirt, an Express liberty floral tie, and Vince Camuto loafers.
What was your favorite single element about the day?
Jon: My favorite element was actually the setting. I felt like having the wedding at our home created such a welcoming, comfortable and familiar environment for the majority of our guests. Those who hadn’t been over yet had the opportunity to check out the place. Sarah and I love to entertain, and having that be part of our day felt natural and just felt right. P.S. thank you, Mother Nature, for cooperating!
Sarah: I loved the fact that it was in our own backyard. This added such an element of intimacy, comfort, and relaxation for both us and our guests. There was no pressure to report to anyone or follow any sort of timeline or set of rules. It felt like entertaining and opening our home to our people (one of our favorite things to do) without any of the work that’s typically associated with entertaining. I had designed a very intentional 7 hour long party playlist that actually ended well before the party did (I still consider that a major win), so then we just turned it over to the crowd to pick songs, which was really fun and, again, relaxed. I love that the memories are truly ours and will live in our home and our backyard forever.
What was the most stressful part of the process leading up to it?
Jon: As some of you know, we were in the middle of transforming our house from a construction site into a home, and ultimately, for this day, into an event space. It was stressful at times just coming to grips with the workload, and making sure we were on pace to hit our deadline. Luckily for us, our family helped so much in the waning hours of our preparation that we were able to get everything done on time.
Sarah: Getting our house and yard “in order.” Although none of our guests would have cared if our house was still mid-renovation, we cared. And so every project that we’d put off or had left unfinished suddenly hung over our heads like a ticking time bomb. It was a lot of work in not a lot of time, but we pulled it off with a lot of helping hands. Now we’re so thankful that we had a deadline to light the fire under us.
What was the most stressful part of the day?
Sarah: None of it felt stressful, which says a lot coming from me, I think. At first I found myself worrying about if each person was having fun or if people who didn't know each other were getting acquainted, and then I quickly realized that the best part about a party with everyone you love is that everyone wants to love each other, too. Introductions and mingling happen on their own (and alcohol and yard games help :). And once the party got going, it became very clear that everyone was having a blast.
Jon: I truly didn’t experience any stress on the day of the wedding. Not once, actually. Instead, I felt pretty serene all day. Maybe it was because of the magnitude of what was going on, or the fact that all our family and friends were there, or that our house projects were really done and ready to be enjoyed, or just that we had finally reached the point of actually being married (!), or some combination of all of those things, but I felt really great about everything that day.
What was your favorite moment of the day?
Jon: Duh. Have you ever had a moment in your life where you’re almost able to stand outside of yourself and recognize the magnitude of the moment you’re in? Standing there, with my family looking on, with Leon Bridges playing in the background, I had a moment like that. I’ll never forget watching Sarah walk out of our house, with her brothers on her arms, smiling so big. I loved how surreal that felt and how it intertwined with reality when she got to me and we hugged. That was pretty memorable.
Sarah: I loved standing next to Jon during our ceremony. What people say is true; the ceremony is a whirlwind where you sort of black out the details. But I’ll never forget how nervous I was in the moments beforehand, how surreal it felt to squeeze each other’s hands and to hear each other’s vows for the first time. Like I said, the details are hazy, but the feelings I felt are still crystal clear. Oh, I also loved playing flip cup on the longest table I’ve ever seen with all my favorite humans lined up.
What would you have done differently?
Jon: That's a tough one. I actually don’t know that I would have done anything differently. I had a plan to set out a Go Pro or two for people to grab and use for candid videos. I forgot to do that, and I wish we'd done it. We do at least have our ceremony on film!
Sarah: I know this is a punchable answer, but can I say nothing? However, I can now tell you 1000 things I would have done differently had we gone through with the first wedding that we planned three years ago. This time around, we did things perfectly, and I’d do it over and over and over again. We’re already talking about throwing a garden party for every anniversary to come.
What advice would you offer people a week out from their wedding?
Sarah: It’s all going to happen perfectly, no matter what last minute details you do or don’t do. Trust in the fact that it’s all going to go down just right, regardless. Enjoy the stressed/excited/nervous/elated anticipation you feel as the day approaches--you’ll wish to feel that way a thousand times over again once the day is done.
Jon: Slow down. I think this is where some people probably benefit from a wedding planner. I think Sarah would agree that we barely had any fulfilling time together in the couple of weeks leading up to our wedding day because of all we had to do. Luckily the couple of days before we were able to take it easy together. I think that the days leading up to the wedding should just be about digesting the magnitude and excitement of what you’re about to embark on as a couple.
What advice would you offer people just beginning the planning process?
Jon: Remember what matters to you, to your significant other, and to both of you as a unit. Try not to take yourself or the event so seriously that the true meaning of it escapes you. Some people, I imagine, are very good at being able to understand and enjoy the levity of an experience with lots of outside factors and responsibilities and influences, but I tend to not be one of those people. It was important to Sarah and I that our ceremony put us in a good place to really be in the moment and enjoy it.
Sarah: Think outside the box. All I can say is that in an unconventional way, we were able to experience all of the wonderful elements of a wedding ceremony and reception, and none of the less wonderful parts. We were able to spend money where we wanted to, and save in areas that we care less about, simply because our day didn’t fall under the typical wedding category and instead was a glorified party with a more intimate ceremony to start. Just be open minded, and think outside the box. Focus on what’s important to you, and make that happen, first and foremost. Also, invite people who you really, really want to see on your wedding day, and who really, really want to be there.
What advice would you offer people the day of their wedding?
Jon: Slow down, again. Parts of this day were a blur, but how could it not be? Sarah and I spent much of our day entertaining our guests, giving house tours, flipping cups :) and catching each other’s eyes from across the lawn. Even though I so enjoyed how the whole thing went, I think it would have been good to take a step back and breathe it in together.
Sarah: Truly enjoy every single minute of it, because it flies by. Allow yourself the most time to actually be part of the party. It’s your celebration, so you should be the ones letting loose and celebrating and truly taking it all in, ideally together, which is harder than you think on your wedding day.
Any random or odd piece of advice you’d offer?
Sarah: Take some time off before your wedding. We are taking our honeymoon at the end of the month, and so we both actually went back to work the Monday following our wedding. And I’m glad! Because instead, we opted to take a few days off leading up to the wedding, and it was so much more fun to be free in those days of anticipation and spend time “pre-celebration celebrating” with friends and family. Celebrating in anticipation is so much more fun than celebrating afterward, in my opinion. Oh, and one more thing! Let people who want to help you help you. I'm not a naturally good sharer of duties and tasks, but it was so fulfilling to let go of some of the reigns and allow things to be a group effort. It makes people feel involved, loved, and important.
Jon: I’d consider having some set aside times or additional events for just you and your closest people surrounding the wedding. We had a cocktail hour(s) the night before our wedding, as well as a more intimate brunch the following day, and it was so nice to spend more quality time together in addition to the actual wedding when you definitely feel more pressure to entertain and mingle with everyone. More events also makes the whole celebration last longer, too!
Thanks for reading :)