First, a wedding.

Yes. I got married last week. 9/13/16 to be exact. Surprisingly it was a pretty smooth day. We didn’t stop the entire time we were in San Diego (from Saturday until the following Thursday morning), and were thoroughly exhausted by the time we got back home, but all in all it was pretty good. We effectively marooned ourselves when we moved out to Arizona so it was nice to see everyone again, some people for the first time in four years.

The event itself was small. I only had one bridesmaid and Steve had two groomsmen. I believe we ended up with a total of 32 attendees. A nice manageable number. I can’t fathom having to plan a wedding for a huge group of people. This little event exhausted me. Any more and I would have fallen asleep in my cake.

I also learned that you either elope or you plan a wedding. There really is no middle ground. Well, I guess there may be if people are willing to physically contribute to the event (cooking, decorations, coordinators, etc.). I think that’s really the only way to have an actual wedding and be super low cost about it. We more than doubled our original anticipated budget but thankfully we were engaged for two years and were able to pay for about 90% of it in cash. No way were either of us going to go into debt for a freakin’ party. I don’t know how people do it. Well, I do. But Christ. Put that money toward a house.

I was actually running ahead on the day of (I say I because Steve’s prep time was thirty seconds. He was so ahead of schedule that the photographer had to tell him to undress a little so he could get prepping photos). We got to the ceremony site twenty minutes ahead of schedule and the whole event was so calm and our photographers had so much downtime they actually told us it was the most laid back wedding they’d ever done. #missionaccomplished That’s all we wanted. We didn’t want anyone losing their minds over anything.

The only issue that ended up cropping up was the power went out to our little section of town for a couple hours. We were out in the resort doing portraits and we had to go back to the room real quick to get something before heading to the site and I noticed everything was off. Figuring we blew a fuse or something I called the front desk only to find out the entire resort was out. Not a problem since we were leaving the room anyway. And good timing. Missing hair and make-up by maybe 45 minutes. Driving to the ceremony site we see stoplights are out around the whole area, including where the reception will be. Fun! Only it wasn’t ever an issue we saw. No hitches in the ceremony and the reception went off without a hiccup. Score.

My dress was pure torture, mainly due to that damn corset. Photos took a little while after the ceremony but I think we got some good shots. When we were walking in one of the alleys behind the beach houses one guy came out and offered his fourth story rooftop for photos. Said he saw our ceremony and had just gotten into his house and we were welcome. Totally capitalized on that. Got pictures in Belmont Park too. Unfortunately because of the power outage they weren’t turning any of the rides back on but we still got pictures on them stationary. I’ll take it.

I lied about the single SNAFU. There was one more minor one and it was the only near-Bridezilla moment I had. We discussed when we were getting hair and make-up done that whether I changed or someone bustled my dress it would be done at my mother-in-law’s beach house, so all stuff should stay there. Someone forgot and, without anyone knowing, threw my alternate (and far more comfortable) dress and my oh-shit bag into a car and took it down to the reception area. So we get back to the house so I can change only to find out I have nothing to change into. Now I’m getting downright surly because I’m in legit pain and I want out of the sausage casing I called a dress NOW. 10 minutes of hunting down where my dress was and someone brining it up to the house, I’m changed about twenty or so minutes after we got to the house. Crisis averted. Mostly.

Other than that, the weather was perfect (although I still burned my shoulders and arms to a crisp. Nah, what would I need sunscreen for? I WON’T BURN.), the views were perfect, the food was fantastic (our coordinator actually put us through the buffet first and made sure we were seated and eating, loved that), and it really couldn’t have gone any better. It was small enough that everyone actually interacted with each other (and there was alcohol involved, always a plus). No one got sloppy drunk or caused any embarrassment. Clothes stayed on. Everyone got along, sang to our hand-made playlist (no DJ, screw that for 32 people, we used our iPad and iTunes and Amazon Music), and had a great time. #missionaccomplished again.

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Me and my dad walking down the never-ending aisle. The aisle didn’t technically start until about 20 feet from where I was supposed to stand but where it was set up and where I had to walk from was a solid football field length of pavement and sand. I’m okay with it, but I did keep stepping on the front of my dress and I had to keep making sure my dad had a solid grip on my arm to keep me from eating sand. It’s funny because the staging area where we pulled in, I was standing outside the car, just hanging around until it was time, and I randomly turned around to find a huge group of people just clustered at the end of the drive, cheering and clapping and just being all around fun. Total surprise and totally made me smile.

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The whole ceremony set-up from a distance. Open ocean behind us. No seagull shit. Lovely.

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That magic moment. Our song that I entered to, we exited by, and we danced to was Come to Me by the Goo Goo Dolls. Watch that video and not ugly cry. I dare you.

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Because I was being a goof and that was a gigantic bouquet. Also background. Love it. Squishing the sand between my toesies. Yes, I was barefoot.

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Our coordinator took this one when the professionals were doing their thing and I love it. The wide angle is the actual photo and I zoomed it in a bit. We got a bunch like this on the professional side. Score. And my dress? Never bustled it so it was dragged through all manner of ground goo from the resort to the beach, through the alleys and to the park. There is so much personality smeared across the bottom of the my dress right now you don’t even know. Pretty sure there are some twigs in there too.

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Our cake. Totally into the carnival theme. Can you tell??? I found the cake topper on Etsy and she did custom creations so I had that made for us. Nice and simple and oh so perfect. The cake itself is Victorian wedding cake. Super tasty. You can see a little bit of the view from the reception area behind the cake.

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Looks like everyone in this picture is on my side. Just so you can get an idea of the open view we had up there. This was at Cannonball, on top of Draft Bar on Mission Beach. Absolutely perfect. Waitstaff was incredible, totally attentive. I couldn’t have asked for anything better. And we had our own fire pit. Everyone loved that fire pit. Seriously, once food was done everyone stuck by it. Mainly because outside of it it was a bit chilly. There were heaters in the other sections but those flames were strong.

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Totally blurry picture of my face but this shows my second dress nicely. OMG IT WAS SO COMFORTABLE. Especially after the ball gown. It was chilly but I wore that without a sweater almost the entire time. I was in this dress for our sunset photos too. A bit chilly down by the water but I only grabbed a sweater maybe the last half hour we were there. Absolutely perfect.

I’m so glad we put this all together. It really was amazing. And I’m so glad I no longer have to think about it. I’ve never been so exhausted in my life.

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