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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

{Not So} Single Girl Weddings in Review: #ShedWed2013

A Look Back at #ShedWed2013

Just over a year ago, my now bridesmaid, Andrea (affectionately nicknamed 'Shed' for her maiden name), got married in a beautiful, formal hotel wedding in Rockville, Maryland just outside of Washington, DC where we went to college. I actually attended this wedding not as a Bridesmaid, but as her Day of Wedding Coordinator to pull together a ~200 person affair complete with rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and post wedding brunch. This is one of the larger weddings I've attended so I was more than excited to dig into my coordinating role.

Andrea & Her Prince Eric

The story behind Andrea and I's friendship is an interesting story. We met in the spring of 2007 when I joined Phi Mu sorority where Shed was already a member. While we enjoyed each other's company in college, we were certain not very close friends. It really wasn't until 2012 when I was living in Phoenix and Shed had become an LA resident that we began to chat frequently on Facebook, growing increasingly closer as she planned her wedding. Shed is all the things I love: hilarious, fellow blogger, quirky, a glitter fanatic and incredibly artsy. We've attended a number of wedding events together, including her amazeballs bachelorette party in Hollywood. Today, I can't imagine a better person to be standing by my side on my wedding day.

Let's recreate this moment again soon.
If you recall, Andrea has a minor obsession with the Little Mermaid which acted as her color inspiration for her wedding brand. Take a look at her inspiration here. However, planning an East Coast wedding from the West coast is not easy task. Combine Andrea's quirky sensibilities with her plan for a formal wedding, and you get an outcome that is exactly that.

I want to share some of my favorite photos from the wedding with a few personal comments about my experience at #ShedWed2013.

One of my absolutely favorite parts of Andrea's wedding was her wedding parties attire. I would never even think to put aqua blue with red, but she pulled it off. The entire bridal party is outfitted from David's Bridal in vibrant Malibu and Candy Apple. The flowers were simple and gorgeous fall season bouquets. I love that Andrea used a match Malibu sash on her wedding gown which really tied her ensemble together for me.

Andrea's dress has amazing sparkle for being fully lace. It had delicate beading which was so gorgeous, yet sophisticated. This is one of the best dresses I've seen from David's Bridal for sure. The quality is much higher and the detailing much more intricate that the usual aline styles that are shown. Her veil accented her gorgeous hair without being overwhelming. #shewokeuplikethis

 The groomsmen wore dark gray with the same color accents. It doesn't look prom like, which is how I usually feel about suits with light colored parts. I also appreciate the off beat groomswoman who still manages to "be one of the guys" instead of just becoming a bridesmaid on the wrong side of the aisle.

 In having a traditional and formal hotel wedding, the ceremony space was pretty classic. I appreciate that there was simple and modern decor, not too much and not too little. The Chiavari chairs are literally one of my favorite parts of weddings. They are just so damn elegant. I also really liked the use of pipe and drape with uplighting to highlight the Chuppah. Once again, not too much and not too little. This is especially important in a hotel ballroom where there is often colored and patterned carpeting and walls, as seen in the photo above. Shed chose to work with the gold and blue colors rather than try to hide it.

One really amazing thing that Shed chose to have was one of our sorority sisters, Jenna (also one of my best friends), to be the officiant at her wedding. They designed a romantic, sweet and fun ceremony that highlighted some of my favorite parts about Eric and Andrea as a couple. Jenna is a great public speaker with a knack for ceremonies, as she conducted many sorority rituals as chapter president in college. Jenna was excellent; however I would absolutely encourage any bride to choose a wedding officiant carefully. Not everyone is witty, professional and well versed as Jenna. Some people get nervous. Some states do not allow for a friend or family member to legally marry you. Just be steadfast in your officiant research, because the ceremony will set the tone of the reception.

Day of Coordinator, Bride & Officiant

 After the ceremony, all of the guests headed out into the foyer of the ballroom for cocktail hour while the ballroom was expanded and transformed into the reception space. This is common for hotel weddings.

I have basically no photos of cocktail hour because I was drinking these amazing signature drinks that were aqua blue and full of liquor. Andrea spared no expense on the cocktail hour. There were multiple full liquor bars, food stations with pasta and meat being served by chefs and passed hors d'oeuvres as well. The only problem was that the foyer was not exactly large enough for all the guests. I'm going to guess this was a logistical error on the side of the hotel because there is no way you could predict (as an individual) that the space would fill so rapidly and force people close together. Because of so many people, it was literally like Black Friday shopping. Alternating waiting in line for drinks and snatching food off of trays that came by. I will say that all of the food was well plated, warm and delicious and the drinks were poured nice and strong the way I like them.

Before long, the ballroom was completely transformed and the DJ was warming up as the bridal party entered. I thought the room looked elegant and simple, much like the ceremony space. The centerpieces were tall with red flowers and definitely did not get in the way of conversation at the table. Jenna (the officiant) and I hit the bar immediately and befriended the bartender who poured us more signature drinks

Andrea served a 4 course plated meal. The food was delicious and served hot, which is quite a feat for serving dinner to ~200 people in a ballroom. The staff was attentive and efficient. No complaints there. Before long, Andrea and Eric were ready to cut the cake and get the party started.

Andrea's cake sticks to not only her theme but also her elegant and classic style. It was also delicious tasting although I do admit I don't recall the flavor due to probably way, way too many signature cocktails.

Her cake topper was the Little Mermaid and Prince Eric dancing and was absolutely the perfect personal touch for these two. God, that cake is so cute. You can see me on the left side of the photo salivating practically.

The party got pumping after cake cutting. I caught the bouquet and literally I am (almost with the exception of one of our sorority sisters who got married like over the summer) the next one to get married! Damn, how many bouquets did I have to catch before finally saying that came true? #tallgirlproblems

Very proud of my catch.
One of the very best part of Andrea's wedding was how many of our sorority sisters were there to celebrate her day. Its really true when they tell you being in a sorority is not just four years. I wouldn't ever have believed I'd be a sorority, better yet a 27 year old sorority girl. It was incredibly special to see how our bond has withstood the test of time after college.

Sisters are the chains that allow me to be freeeeeeee....Sisters are the mirrors that let me see meeeeeeee....

That mushy stuff aside, I thought Andrea & Eric's wedding had all of the most important aspects of a wedding: good food, touching ceremony, lots of alcohol. It was such a fun day from start to finish and I'm so thankful to have been a party of it. The personal touches of  "the Little Mermaid" were a great twist on a tradition hotel wedding with all of the frills of formality that I love in any wedding.

Big shout out to Shed for letting me do this wedding recap like a bazillion years later. Love you gurl.


1 comment:

  1. It was such an intimate moment and you could really feel the love and energy in the vow renewal location. Our ceremony was the most beautiful and romantic ceremony I could have ever expected (and all our guests made sure to tell us they felt the same way once it was over!).