I did my best to narrow down our wedding pictures to the best of the ones that most share the spirit of the day and the special details I spent countless hours working on. As it is, this is still going to be a long, picture-heavy post! (All but one of these photos was taken by our professional photographer. Please do not share these photos without a link back to the source.)
Photography: Kristen G., at Kristen Taylor and Co. Photography
Venue and Catering: Meadow Brook Hall
Hair and Makeup: Andrew Marke Salon
Flowers: Bellisario Florist
Cake: Sweet Dreams Bakery
Let me start by saying that I wanted an elegant wedding with a cozy feeling. I’m a unique person and I wanted our wedding day to be a mix of the traditional details I care about (and not those I don’t care about) and special unique details that express our personalities. I was also surprisingly pragmatic about what details were worth spending money on and how to achieve what I wanted without breaking the bank.
(No, I didn’t make my dress. I bought it on a super sale for just $99, which is pretty spectacular considering I only wore it for about 5 hours. It was rather an adventure to find my size and involved calling all over the country–my dress wound up being shipped to be from Utah, but it fit perfectly, with only a small hem and a slight alteration to the halter closure being necessary. Yay! A good curly haired friend was able to mark the alterations for me and then I did them myself. It was definitely a blessing to find a dress I liked that came under my hopeful $100 dress budget. A bride could so easily spend so much more! After the wedding it was whisked away to get cleaned and go to some other new home by one of my aunts, who I’m sure will make sure that some other bride is able to reuse it. Yes, I was surprised at myself for not feeling particularly attached to my dress, but the dress isn’t the important part to hold on to.)
Our guests count was about 35 people from around the country and the world. We were blessed to have most of them join us the weekend before the wedding to hang out and get to know each other, which was a blast, but terribly exhausting! It made for a wonderful feel, though, for the guests to know each other ahead of the wedding day.
We were married on a Monday, at a morning ceremony followed immediately by a brunch reception. It was an early morning, with hair and makeup appointments starting at 6:30am after a long weekend without quite enough sleep each night, but after getting some breakfast I felt ready to take on the day.
Luckily, it was sunny and beautiful with no clouds as far as I can remember. In fact, it was hot! We were all sweating during the ceremony and trying not to fidget as the sweat rolled down… we got the occasional breeze, which was lovely, but it was nice to get inside and sit down for some brunch!
The brunch reception was followed by a surprise tour of the venue, so that guests (and I plus the wedding party!) could learn about and appreciate the history of the venue. I picked it not only for its beauty, but also because of my love of history and beautiful historic places, and it was important for me to share that with the guests.
After some cake and toasts, it was time for us to make a grand exit to the airport to catch our honeymoon flight (amusingly, we took a car service to the airport, had some time before our plane left, and as we were nearing boarding were greeted by guests we had just left behind at the venue who were also arriving at the airport to catch flights, including my maid of honor!).
If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you might remember that Mr. Q and I were competitive ballroom dance partners for about eight years, so instead of walking to the car we danced our way down the path! At the end of the path our guests waited with small bottles of bubbles to send us on our way.
And of course, there were pictures of our very small bridal party: Mr. Q’s father was his best man (which was lovely, because Mr. Q’s grandfather had been his father’s best man at his wedding to Mr. Q’s mother) and my best friend of 25 years was my maid of honor. It was incredibly special to have both of them join us–they each travelled the farthest, from the Philippines and from France!
There were also gorgeous pictures of Mr. Q and I together as well as each of us alone, as you would expect from wedding pictures. Meadow Brook has three lovely gardens to choose from for a wedding ceremony: we picked the Pegasus Garden, which has the statue of pegasus in it, but there is also a rose garden and a lovely rock garden, where we were able to get pictures as well.
We purchased limited amounts of flowers to keep costs down. Corsages and boutonnieres for parents and grandparents, a boutonniere for the groom, and only two bouquets, one for me and one for my maid of honor. We repurposed the bouquets to decorate our head table so we could enjoy them and then we gifted them to my grandparents, who were local and able to enjoy the flowers hopefully long after we had flown off on our honeymoon. (Gosh, that bouquet was heavy! I didn’t realize it would weigh so much. But its was lovely. The colors fit perfectly with my wedding colors and I loved the mix of textures that our florist achieved with regular stock flower varieties.)
There were a few very small not-quite-perfect things on the day, but most things went smoothly and I have nothing of importance to complain about. It was a beautiful venue on a beautiful day that we were able to share with all the people who are most special to us and who had gone out of their way to make it to the wedding. What more could we have asked for?