Photography: Crystal Amber Photography
Mike and I had the most incredible wedding on June 24, 2017. We waiting a LONG time to tie the knot (almost 9 years together, and a 2 year engagement), but that made it all the more special. I figured it is about time I share some pics and details from our wedding.
I want to share a few details before I get to the photos overload.
Our wedding was in Port Aransas, TX, which is a seven hour drive! That being said, we made our wedding an entire weekend so that we could enjoy our time…but only 2 nights still was not enough. Mike’s mom generously rented two 3-bedroom condos at Beachgate. One for the bridesmaids and another for the groomsmen…and what made that even better was that they were right onto of each other, meaning access to each other was easy! A few of our bridesmaids and groomsmen are married to each other, so obviously the couples wanted to spend time together. The only difficult part about that was hiding from Mike when I was in my wedding dress!
My dad rented a beach house just down the street from my family. We were able to use that beach house as a space for our rehearsal dinner, which was just delivery pizza (’cause we are fancy).
Now for some wedding deets!
I am so very fortunate to have amazing friends to be by my side at my wedding as well as while getting ready. One of those friends, Janet, offered to do my hair and make up, and of course I accepted! She did an amazing job! The heat and wind may have made my curls fall, but other than that all was well.
I also shared the process behind my custom made wedding gown on my Bridal blog post which you can checkout here. It was very special to have the creator of my gown (who is also our best man’s mom) be at the wedding. She got to help me into the gown, watch as I got bridals done and then see the dress in action down the aisle. You can see the amazing Jennifer below helping me put on my dress. The gown was actually put on twice, as I had some bridals done on the beach around 2. Our ceremony was at 7, so I did not want to mess up my dress and sit around in it for hours. Plus I was sweating after those bridals and wanted to air out my dress before Mike saw me in it!
I also must share some details about my bouquet. The main flower in the center is a Queen Protea, and I am obsessed! My wedding planner (I would share her details, but we were her last wedding) recommended this type of flower as a statement center for the bouquet. I was a bit unsure at first, but I LOVE being fashion forward, and this flower helped with that. These flowers (there were a couple for the reception decor as well) were flown in…who knows where from. I am so glad I took my planner’s word for it. The funny thing is that I have never been a huge wedding person, but about a month before the wedding I suddenly had the urge to have a full bouquet to go along with my gown. I really think the florals added just the right amount of color!
I have to say, some of my favorite photos in this section are the ones of the men getting ready. I love how goofy they are. Mike and his guys always know how to have a good time…plus the dogs were with them, adding extra cuteness!
First Look With My Dad
Doing a first look with your soon-to- be husband seems to be trending big time these days. Although I love the photos that come out of that, I REFUSED to have Mike see me in my dress before walking down the aisle. We are not huge on following traditions, but that is one that I have dreamed of since I was little. No photo shoot was going to take that moment away…and that first look at the aisle was perfection!
Instead, I decided to have a first look with my dad which was such an amazing experience. It was so nice to have that quiet time with my dad on the balcony before all the craziness began. Funny story about my first look: When my photographer told me to start walking out the door, I nervously stabbed my finger with the pin from the boutonniere. Halfway out the door I screamed and ran back inside. It was pretty funny, and luckily no blood at all. After fixing myself up for a second, I went back out and enjoyed the time with my dad. I think it’s safe to say my dad liked the dress! He also kept pretending I was stabbing him while pinning the darn starfish on his shirt.
I am in love with our barefoot ceremony. It turned out more perfect that I even imagined. Our wedding planners did such an amazing job.
We were on a budget, therefore did not rent out a private beach. Because of this, there were people all around us, however I barely even noticed. I am kind of quirky anyway, so seeing all the tents and people still enjoying there beach day (by watching us) kind of made me smile. It was just another fun summer day. You cannot see any people from the front, only on the sides, which our photographer was good at not capturing.
The arch and chairs (and bonfire set-up for later) was brought out by a giant U-Haul which you can see in many of the pics below. I’m sure it’s hard to crop out a giant vehicle like that, but regardless I still love the pictures. I think it is kind of hilarious (and so us) that a U-Haul with a giant camel is in our photos. Those pics always give me a good laugh. Plus, that U-Haul was very handy to keep me hidden from Mike until the processional came on.
To be honest, I barely remember the ceremony. We wanted it pretty short, as neither of us are religious. Short and sweet, and then to the party for this family! I do remember that I forgot which finger to put Mike’s ring on! Hah!
The highlight was most definitely our recessional with the dogs and everyone throwing confetti on us. Such a fun time!
Reception & Beach Bonfire
We were originally going to have the entire reception and bonfire on the beach, however the weather was a bit unpredictable. We stayed on the safe side by using the big meeting room at our hotel for dinner, cake and speeches then heading out to the beach for our bonfire as the after party. This set up worked perfectly! The wedding guests (and party) got to enjoy a delicious meal in the air conditioning and not worry about sand all over the food. Also, Mike and I originally could not have a tiered cake (as that would melt on the beach). With the last minute changes came a last minute, beautiful three tiered cake. Just what i’ve always wanted! We also had lots of little mason jar cakes for guests to take home. If the reception had been outside, Mike and I would have just had a little cake for us and then more mason jar cakes. We are glad we were able to enjoy both.
The meal was SO delicious, and surprisingly Mike and I got to eat! Our wedding planner was pretty good at making sure guests let us eat before we socialized. For dinner, the caterer made Caribbean jerk chicken with a ton of yummy sides. It was funny how quite the room was while everyone was eating.
After dinner, Mike and I made the rounds then went to the front for cake cutting, speeches and wedding toasts.
We loved being in a room filled with 50 loved ones. I also must add, we were barefoot during this entire time as well! (I wish I took a pic of our feet at the end of the night…they were black!)
One of my favorite details below is our alternative guestbook by Peachwik. Mike and I LOVE the movie Tangled (our first dance was to I See the Light). We knew our guestbook was the one for us the moment we saw it online. The floating lanterns helped us add details from our favorite movie to the reception. We wanted to send off floating lanterns as a send off, but the burn band did not allow us to do that.
After cake everyone headed back out to the beach for our bonfire. The planners had set up 3 separate bonfires all surrounded by comfy Adirondack chairs and tiki torches. Mike and I did not splurge for a DJ, but instead used our planner’s blue tooth speaker and my iPhone. I loved being in control of the music and passing around the phone so that people could put in there requests.
We all had a great time dancing and drinking our Mai Tai’s and Long Island’s. We had our first dances and then partied the rest of the night away. A storm could be seen off in the distance around midnight, and it was gorgeous to watch. I also loved that my girls and I could run to the waves and dip our feet in whenever we wanted. It was SO casual! But of course I stayed in my gown! Because of that, it was DISGUSTING at the end. Luckily I found a great dry cleaner to bring my gown back to it’s original beauty.
The most special part of the bonfire was near the end right before our photographer left. She pulled us to a quiet area next to a couple of tiki torches to have a final dance by ourselves. We danced to our original song (from the beginning of our relationship) I’m Your’s by Jason Mraz.
The bonfire slowly dwindled down with our guests leaving as they felt ready. By the very end our planners had put away most of the chairs and blown out 2 of the 3 bonfires. Just 10 of us were left dancing around the bonfire until we finally decided to retire back to the hotel around midnight. It was perfection.