Today makes our five year anniversary, I wasn’t blogging at the time when we got married so I am going to take this milestone and blog about the weekend of our dreams and the little things I’ve learned over the last five years of marriage.
I am going to try to remember as many little details as possible about the big day, I never imagined we would have the wedding of my dreams but we pulled it off with an extremely small budget!
We got engaged in November 2013 and married June 21, 2014. It was a pretty short engagement but we had previously been together 6 years before this and my best friend was leaving for deployment that July for two years and there was no way she wasn’t going to be a part of this. I searched everywhere for a venue in New Orleans that had availability first and then from there went with price.
My parents were married at the infamous St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans, LA and then walked down to the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street for their reception. I contacted the Royal Sonesta to see if it was possible to get married there and their price range was a ways out of our budget. After talking with them and bringing up my parents we finally came to the resolution of a small courtyard wedding, in budget!
Here is a side by side of my parents and their wedding party standing in almost the same spot as us in the courtyard, only a 36 year difference!
Leading up to the weekend I created all the little details, shopped small for all my décor and florals. Both Frank and I come from a long line of long lasting marriages so I got wedding photos of our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins and printed them out and displayed them at the wedding. For favors since our bulldog Ledger was not going to be able to make it I decided to make little pillows with thank you tags of him. Thankfully I had the best group of ladies come and help me make these pillows, that were a huge hit I think that everyone was so happy to take a little Ledger home. It definitely felt unique to us to be able to do that.
All my closest friends flew and drove in except for one only because she was ready to pop! I think I actually still have her bridesmaids gift boxed up with our wedding stuff, I should probably send that to her, sorry E! We only had like 50-60 guests, maybe even less. I told myself I should write down everyone who came just to be able to remember years from now.
The room at the Royal Sonesta was a dream come true. All the girls stayed with me the night before and we woke up early and drove to Sephora to get makeup done, free with $50 purchase of course! We drove back to the hotel set up the courtyard and got dressed. Ultimately I didn’t think that all of that would take so long but it did. Guests started trickling in and came to help us set up the courtyard, which was so funny. I think most everyone was actually staying at the Royal Sonesta so we were bound to run into each other. After set up all the girls and my sisters came up to the room to get dressed and ready while Frank and I had our first look before the wedding. We definitely chose to have that little moment to ourselves (and the lovely Starling and Sage) because we knew we wouldn’t really get it until after everything.
I was just telling Stephanie, of Starling and Sage, last night that I don’t think I would ever feel as beautiful as I do in these photos they took. They were such a dream to have as our photographers but also they have been long time friends so it was perfect.
We had everything set up and did first looks, talked with family and friends and it was time to line up for the wedding. It was an intimate wedding setting around the fountain in the courtyard. Here comes probably my most fond memory of the weekend which I know would probably make most brides vomit but to me it was just like well it is what it is.
Right as we were all lined up to walk out, our family walked down the aisle, my sisters walked down with my nephews, next Carla, then it was just Caitlin and myself and my Dad. Caitlin had just stepped out to walk and my Dad took a step back to look at me one last time, such a sweet and tender moment but as he was stepping back I was stepping forward and RIIIPPPPPPPPP, he had stepped on my train and took my dress with it. A gaping 5 inch hole right over my butt. My poor dad, his face, I’ll never forget that face he looked like the world had ended and apologized. I could hear the wedding planner yelling like you need to go, and she was a total stickler and I just looked at her and said we need pins, I ran to the front desk asked for some pins, my dad offered to give up the one from his corsage on his jacket, the wedding planner was like no and grabbed some pins and literally as we were walking out she was tying up my dress and boom I walked out.
I wasn’t even worried or mad, its like how can you be over something so trivial, I was about to marry the man of my dreams and I had my dad right there with me. There was nothing stopping me from feeling everything I felt, even a ripped dress. The wedding planner did such a good job tying me up I don’t think anyone ever noticed. It was behind me so I couldn’t see it so it was only forward moving for me! A story for the books people! If only I had gotten a photo of it!
As soon as we said I do and kissed, it thundered! Which wasn't planned clearly, this was Caitlins face as soon as it happened:
After the ceremony we were given 20 minutes to ourselves in a little room to just reflect on it. I thought it was by far the sweetest most intimate probably best part of the wedding. They brought in all the food we were serving and popped champagne for us. Then the planner came and tussled up my dress and made the knot look more intentional. That 20 minutes was a breathe of fresh air, just us.
Off to the reception, we had our first dance to Beachwood Sparks – By Your Side which Frank picked out. He didn’t have any jobs to do for the wedding except cake tasting and choosing our first song to dance to. If you asked him he thinks it was the hardest part of the whole thing… mmhmmm.
My dad and I had the father, daughter dance and I cried and he cried and it was tender and perfect, his little girl. I won’t get into the relationship I have with my father but it is like we are best friends and for life. I chose Nancy Sinatra – It’s for My Dad to dance to. Its seriously the cutest song ever. I knew I didn’t want anything cliché and that song just felt perfect and right, and if you read the lyrics I bet they make you smile! Frank and his beautiful mother danced to Over the Rainbow and I am pretty sure everyone cried for that one. Then it was dancing and Bourbon Street for the next 3 hours.
The Royal Sonesta is right on Bourbon Street so it was a legit party from start to finish. I think everyone stayed out all night. We had a completely open bar for the wedding, I knew for a fact that my budget had to include an open bar in true New Orleans spirit. The DJ was amazing and we kept the tracks all 80s and 90s and some New Orleans hip hop.
It was the most lovely weekend full of all our family and closest friends. It was warm and informal and perfect. Franks parents who are not with us anymore raved about it. They took all of us out to eat the night before at the Bourbon House. It was truly the most amazing way to start our lives together. We think about that weekend so much.
In honor of our five year anniversary I thought I would include the five things I learned from marriage, and they aren’t your typical don’t go to bed angry mess these are really truly things I have learned.
There is never enough money and time for anything, work with what you have and make the time. I have the hardest time with the making time, especially now that we have a child but there are a lot of sushi at home after Kett goes to bed type nights and me not getting the sleep I want but those are the memories I want to have and I know how important they are for our relationship, even if I get so annoyed with the lack of sleep.
Space is real, you need it, I need it, he needs it, everyone needs it. I now know why people have man caves and she sheds, its like you just need that little space that’s your own. Or at least we do! Thankfully when were in the process of buying a house an office was necessary for me to go ahead with it. Finding this house was a dream come true! A separated office that doubles as a MIL suite and a built in greenhouse on the other side, I mean made for me?!
The bond Frank and I have are just like every other humans, it has its ups and downs but I wouldn’t want it to be with anyone else. So definitely find a partner that keeps you on your toes and pushes you to be your best every day. Who wants more for you than what you had and especially wants more for the kids then what you both have. Its so important to have those values in place.
Exercising I think plays a major role for us, we aren’t the go to the gym every night kind of people and really since Kett we are more of the going to the gym never type of people. But we are the kind of people who go on a walk EVERY DAY! I mean some days we don’t walk but we try to. Now with Kett there are some days Frank will take him and I stay to finish up work but we both try to walk everyday. Its important for our health. It gives us 30 minutes every night after dinner with no screen time, just us chatting. Even when we are mad at each other we go for a walk, usually that’s me huffing and puffing the whole time… I am sure that happens in every marriage, I mean come on! But just staying active even with that little walk is refreshing.
I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is definitely marry someone who cooks! Because this momma loves to cook but Frank LOOVES to cook, and it really makes a huge difference that he has taken on most of the cooking now. I think that if you can’t marry someone that cooks definitely marry someone who doesn’t mind going to pick up Qdoba when you’re both just worn out from the day!
Were those five things cheesy? Who knows? Marriage and starting a family is so hard. Like I said before I feel fortunate that we both come from families with strong solid marriages on both. I don’t think many partners both have parents that are still together. Franks parents were together 51 years and my parents are currently on their 42nd. Both very strong role models in relationship building, I feel fortunate that I got to watch Franks parents for the last 10 years they were with us. I learned so much, adding to everything my own parents taught us. I think most of it comes down to fighting for each other, if you want to of course!
Happy Anniversary to us, it is definitely a sushi after Kett goes to bed type date night tonight, that’s as fancy as we get over here with no babysitters or family near!