The hubby and I are celebrating 5 years of marriage today!! Absolutely crazy that we’re here. Life really does happen in the blink of an eye. To celebrate, enjoy my walk down memory lane of our wedding weekend! Yes, we made the whole event a weekend.
We were married at The Lodges At Gettysburg. Why Gettysburg you might ask? Well, the hubby and his family is from Central East PA (about an hour and 30 minutes from Gettysburg) and I have a large amount of family in Pennsylvania. So we knew if we had a Maryland wedding, a very large amount of our guest list would travel. Our thought, was if we made it a real “travel” wedding for all of our guests, we could make it a weekend adventure instead of just an evening. && that was EXACTLY what happened and it was absolutely amazing because of it! But why Gettysburg, we wanted a spot that was about the same amount of travel for everyone. My grandparents live in Gettysburg and I grew up going there. We realized that Gettysburg was about equal distance for everyone and it had a special connection as it was a spot that I grew up going too and a spot the hubby also really enjoyed visiting.
(Photo Credit: C&I Photographers)
Thanks for our awesome vendors for taking such good care of us and making our day amazing!
Venue| The Lodges at Gettysburg
Caterer | Carriage House Inn
Photographer & Photo Booth | C&I Photographers (all professional photos & Photo Booth photos below are credited to them)
Florist | Pretty Posies by Nichole
Cake | Once Upon A Crumb
Makeup Artist |Meaghan at Fleurt Beauty Company
Hair | Lisa Fields
Invitations | Kindly R.S.V.P
DJ | Great Scott Productions
Wedding Dress | Maggie Sottero from Columbia Bridal
Bridesmaid Dresses | Venus Bridal
Suits | Venus Bridal
Nails | The Gettysburg Day Spa
We headed up Friday morning…(look at those babies!)
We were lucky enough that there was not a wedding at the venue on Friday evening and so as a result, we were able to set up the decorations on Friday instead of having to do so the morning of the wedding.
My dad’s parents, live in an old 1800’s house about 10 minutes from The Lodges. Kim, the hubby’s mom is an amazing cook. So she cooked up enough food for about 50 people and my grandparents hosted the whole lot of us. It was a perfect start to the weekend.
I woke up Saturday morning and immediately the thought, “I’m getting married today” crossed my mind. I rolled over to see my sister laying next to me (our last sleepover), we laid there for a few minutes talking about the day ahead before getting going.
The Lodges accommodations aren’t typical hotel rooms. Instead you rent an upscale cabin. And while they also offer a bridal suite to get ready in, I choose to rent their biggest cabin for us girls to sleep in Friday night and then get ready in on Saturday. There was alot more space, we had a kitchen, and multiple bathrooms. More importantly it has the warm, cozy, fall, rustic feeling the rest of our day and venue created. There was hustle and bustle as 6 girls got their hair and makeup done, the s’more favors were assembled, and lunch was delivered. The morning seemed to creep by at such a slow pace, but I remember thinking to myself that I couldn’t wish it away. That I had to savor every last minute because before I knew it it would be over.
The morning was overcast, FREEZING and even sometimes drizzly. It didn’t provide much comfort for the two of us who wished to be married outside on this big huge beautiful hill overlooking the rolling countryside of Gettysburg. But a decision had to be made, so at noon, I spoke with my Groom on the phone about what we wanted to do. Considering the fact that when I stepped outside in sweatpants, tank top, button up shirt AND a sweater that I was freezing, I knew that I wouldn’t last the entire ceremony outside in a strapless dress. Nor did I want my bridesmaid or guests to be uncomfortable. I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves, to savor the moments, to be invested in the ceremony & not wishing it away and finished because they we’re so cold. So together we made the decision to move the ceremony indoors.
Around 2pm, Justin (our photographer) arrived!
The bracelet Kayleigh is wearing was my gift to all of my girls. It’s a handmade silver bracelet. My Mother-in-law’s career for the past 30 some years has been her own buisness, K. Ost Jewelry. A business where she makes and sells silver jewelry. Each girl’s bracelet has a pendant with their initial and then another leaf pendant that when flipped over has 11-1-14 etched into it. They’re charm bracelets, that they can then have Kim continue to add to, or leave it as is.
Of course, as you all know, the advantage to have two photographers…one with bride and one with groom! So Ian spent the morning with the hubby and his groomsman.
Then it was that time. Time to get into my dress. Things were getting real!!!
Once I was all dressed, dress laced, jewelry on, shoes on, my Dad and I had our first look! We both lost it.
The drizzling had stopped. The sky was still overcast and it was still FREEZING but we decided we could head outside for the first look with me and the hubby.
It is by far my favorite moment from the entire day. Our first look was amazing. It was more than I could have dreamed of and the hubby’s reaction blew my socks off! I loved every second of it. And I promise it did not in anyway take away from the moment of him seeing me walk down the aisle. It actually helped me relax and reduced my nerves a million times knowing that I had a few moments to just be with him.
So when we went dress shopping, I tried this dress on and just knew it was the dress. But it was missing something. So my consultant brought over a belt and that was it! I was in love…until we looked at the price tag. $500! Just for a piece of satin and some beads. I was slightly devastated. Until my incredibly crafty mother-in-law, said she’d try and make one for me. That’s exactly what she did! It was more than I could’ve imagined it.
This is the picture of me telling Nick about it and telling him his mom made it!
After our first look, the bridal party came in and we got all the bridal party portraits finished so that we didn’t have to take any of them after the ceremony and could get to our reception sooner.
Once we finished the bridal party portraits, we were whisked away into a back room while the rest of the guests arrived and found their seats. At this point, I couldn’t wait for the ceremony to start. I was too excited. While we were waiting, my MomMom, gave me a gift. It was my PopPop’s wedding band, PopPop passed away back in 2012 and the fact that he wasn’t there to be apart of the festivities and see his oldest granddaughter get married brought some difficult emotions – but to have MomMom give me his wedding band for me to wrap around my bouquet meant the world.
(You can kind of see the ring in this shot)
The music began and so did the procession.
My Dad performed the ceremony and it was absolutely perfect. No one else could have done a better job. A very special moment.
After the ceremony, we grabbed the family and headed outside for some family formals.
And some behind the scenes shots – I’m telling you it was absolutely freezing!
Then it was time for our portraits!
Once we were blue in the face, we decided it was time to head inside to the cocktail hour and warm up. It was so awesome to walk into cocktail hour and be hoot and hollered and cheered for, hugged and kissed, congratulated and loved on by our closest family and friends.
Our table numbers were pictures of us at that age. So below is table 2 – with a picture of each us at age 2.
The hubby and I are huge movie nerds! So what’s more perfect for the cocktail tables than some favorite movie quotes.
We were introduced as a wedding party and went right into the first dance.
It had a perfect little cap to it as the hubby decided to end the dance with a little dip. Seriously, I’m a lucky girl!
We sat down to some dinner – Carriage House Inn knows how to cook some dinner! So AMAZING! But it was started with a prayer by the hubby’s mom and ended with two of the sweetest, genuine and not to mention hilarious speeches by the best MOH (my sister) & Best Man (hubby’s best friend) out there!
We finished dinner first, and headed to say hi to as many people as we could.
We got half way around the room, when the Scott (the DJ) said, “Meghan, it’s that time for you to look around the room and find the first man you’ve ever loved and pull him out onto the dance floor for your dance with your Daddy.” Honestly, as soon as he said that, I immediately burst into tears, grabbed my Daddy and was a mess the whole time we were dancing.
We decided that most of the time when you go to a wedding as a guest, you enjoy watching the special dances for maybe all of a minute and then you’re over it. So after a minute or so, Scott invites everyone to join in the dance. As he said that, my brother grabbed Mom and came out to the dance floor. Ian had been at the Photo Booth about to take a picture in this insane outfit when he was pulled into the reception hall to watch Dad and I dance. So now we are forever blessed with this image and I am forever grateful to Justin & Ian for capturing it! Seriously how perfect is it!
As soon as Scott invited everyone out onto the dance floor, it filled up! I mean everyone was on the floor dancing and that’s exactly how it stayed all night!! It was a perfect evening!!!
We made sure to grab a quick shot with everyone in it!
At 9pm, the lights came on and the wedding was over. It was one of the most depressing moments ever. How can something you’ve been dreaming of since you were a little girl, planning for for a year and half be over in just a few short 12 hours. Fortunately for us, we were able to enjoy an after party down the hill at the bonfire! We got changed into some very warm, comfy clothes and walked down to join our family and friends! There was beer and s’mores – nothing more perfect.
After spending a few hours down at the pit, the hubby and I couldn’t last any longer. After such a long day, our heads had to hit the pillow. So we headed up to our cabin.
We woke up the next day at 7am! Starving!! I mean stomachs growling, starving! You see – even though the clock said 7am…November 2nd fell on Day light savings time. Which means, we fell back – so our bodies thought it was actually 8am. We hadn’t eaten since dinner the night before and in the midst of all that was going on, we didn’t eat as much as we normally would’ve. We were hungry! And to make things worst, the breakfast that we were hosting for all our guests, didn’t start until 10am! So, we had three hours to lay here and starve. Of course all the snacks were in the other cabins with the bridal party, and none of them we’re answering their phones. So we tried the hubby’s parents. Thank you Stramara’s for being early risers, they were up and ready to pick us up and hunt down some breakfast! So to McDonald’s it was! So you ask, what was our first breakfast as a married couple?! Oh you know, just some McDonalds haha. We got back to the room, nourished, packed our bags and it was time to head down to the breakfast. We had the chance to catch up with some more family and friends, eat some scrumptious breakfast and extend the weekend even more!
I look back on our wedding day with such a love and fondness. It exceeded my dreams and expectations in ways that I never knew possible.