I know it's only been 12 hours since the end of my dear friend Dana's wedding reception, but I wanted to blog about it while it's still vivid in my memory.
Yesterday, August 7, 2010, I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in the wedding of a college friend. This was the first wedding I've been a part of since being engaged, so I knew I'd be paying close attention to how Dana did things and to the things that most guests's eyes look past, the details.
I want to start by saying this was one of the best wedding experiences I've ever had in my life. Throughout the last year, Dana has been the three C's that most brides never are - calm, cool, and collected. This was probably the number one reason this past weekend was a blast. From day one, Dana was such an easy bride to work with. She let us pick out our own dresses (within limits - black taffeta from J.Crew), only requested our presence at one shower, reveled in having a laid back bachelorette party, and let us do our hair however we pleased. This made my experience as a bridesmaid so enjoyable!
Now, to recap the day of the wedding and the details. We arrived at the salon at 9:00 A.M. Mind you, this is a salon none of us had been to before. Dana and her fabulous MOH and sister Tara had to re-schedule our appointments and location to this salon because of a somewhat disastrous bridal portrait hair experience. Word of advice, do not go to Salon del Sol on Parham road! For the most part, we were happy with our hair, minus a couple of re-do's that were done. Dana did have a mild moment of "oh sh!t" with her hair, but it was quickly overcome and turned out beautiful!
Afterward we headed to a local Mexican restaurant that I swear had the best margaritas I've ever had! In true fashion, Dana insisted that she pay for the lunch and even backed up her insistence with the fact that she had "documentation" of her wanting to pay in an e-mail previously sent to the bridesmaids. Too cute. We had a blast just relaxing, eating Mexican, and sipping margaritas. As a surprise, the wait staff brought out chocolate flan and sang "Happy Wedding Day" to the tune of "Happy Birthday". It was precious, and made her feel really special.
From lunch we headed to the venue, the Country Club of Petersburg, but not without a quick pitstop at Martin's for two bottles of champagne. We got dressed, did our makeup, and watched Dana in her preparation. We all cried when we saw the finished product. She was truly stunning!
After getting ready, Jeremy (Dana's new husband) and Dana did a "first look". I wish I had pictures to show you off this. Before going to see Jeremy, Dana was slightly on edge. When she came back, I could simply see a calm in her facial expression and the way she was carrying herself. She told me that she completely recommends it to anyone, rather than waiting to see your husband at the end of the aisle. They were able to sneak away and spend a few moments together without anyone else.
Soon after the first look it was time for us to get ready to start the ceremony. We lined up, walked down the aisle, and at this point I was fine, no tears. The minute the MOH walked down the aisle with tears streaming down her face, I couldn't contain it. Thank goodness for the tissues in my pocket! And then Dana was walked down the aisle by both of her parents, one on each arm. And again, the waterworks. The ceremony was the perfect length, and was extremely touching. The best part, when Dana was saying her vows and you could hear the emotion in her voice and the tears coming through her words. Simply beautiful!
It was time for the reception! The main ballroom was gorgeous, with black chair covers and pink chair ties surrounding tables with white linens and gorgeous flower arrangements of pinks, greens, peaches, and oranges. They had a band, which was great! The food was outstanding, heavy hors-d'oeuvres in stations. Most notably the dips, stuffed mushrooms, pasta station, and caprese skewers were amazing! The stations also allowed for good movement throughout the venue, and there always seemed to be something unique going on in each room. We took advantage of the outdoor patio, sitting around tables, reminiscing about college and catching up with old friends. The dance floor was continuously going with the tunes of the band blaring. One of my fondest memories of the evening was on the dance floor when the groom sang "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" to the bride. The crowd was wild!
At the end of the night, we sent the couple off with a sparkler exit at the entrance of the of the country club. It was a beautiful exit! But guess what? It was staged, they faked us out! They came back in for I'd like to refer to as a wedding encore. More dancing and mingling occured, while mini cheeseburger sliders and hotdogs were passed around. So much fun!
A note to the bride and groom: Dana and Jeremy, thank you for allowing me to be a part of your wedding festivities. It was an honor, and I am so thrilled for the both of you. The love you two have for one another is so blatant, and I hope it stays that way for the rest of your lives. Best wishes to you both!