What do you get when you combine:
A dear friend's wedding on your birthday + night ceremony at Irwin Gardens + Dinosaur head first look + Best Bitches instead of Bridesmaids + a barefoot bride + free range of the inn for photos ?
PURE MAGIC & SHENANIGANS, THAT'S WHAT YOU GET.
There isn't enough space on this website or room in your brain for me to explian about how much I adored this wedding. And yes you read the first part right. The bride, after who knows how long of getting her hair and makeup done, was so excited to plop on a dinosaur head to greet her groom. He waited patiently underneath the large arch in front of the library (which looks like dinosaur bones, admit it). We had another dinosaur head on deck for him to take photos in after. The groom essentially got two first look's. After the initial surprise of the dino head, which left him laughing hysterically, he got to see his stunning bride-to-be whose hair I swear did not move an inch when she took it off.
When meeting before the wedding to plan, we decided that we wanted the majority of our time to be spent taking photos around the inn. On my first full tour, I fell in love with the attic. There was a few hanging bulbs to light the room, some old pieces of furniture and books. I can't describe it well, but there was just an intimate and quiet feeling in this space. I know it sounds silly; there's a beautiful, historic inn and I wanted to hang out in the creepy attic. But Bre saw it too, whatever it was, and was right along with me. To the top of our list it went.
We made our way around to the other rooms that we loved, and spent a good amount of time in the gardens too. We took the standard bridal party photos. Except they were anything but standard. The bride had her brother's as her "Best Bitches", forget bridesmaids. And the groom had his sister and daughter to stand by his side. The photos were fun and full of love (and the middle finger which I decided not to take personally).
If fairies and gnomes exist, they live in those gardens. It was easier to believe that as daylight faded. The twinkle lights came on, the candles lit, and the intimate ceremony began. You could still hear the calming sound of the fountains in the background and a crisp October breeze rustling your hair.
After the ceremony ended, a light drizzle began, live music played and lots of dancing ensued. The dinosaur heads made a reappearance, as they should.
As I walked to my car at the end of the night, holding a to go plate with a giant piece of cake on it (the best kind of birthday present), I still felt that magic in the air. It made me reflect on what weddings really are.
Weddings themselves are a tradition, but the way we celebrate them doesn't have to be traditional. If I could offer one piece of advice to couples planning their wedding, it would be this; Do not feel that you have to use the blueprint of anyone else's wedding. Do it your way. Make your own traditions that reflect your love and your life. Look at each aspect of your wedding and evaluate what it's meaning is to you. If it doesn't have a meaning or doesn't fill you with joy, ditch it!
But for the record, I do recommend the dinosaur heads.
Venue: Irwin Garden's
Wedding Planner: Brittany Snowden - Events by Ivory & Lace
Florist: Pomp & Bloom
Music: Carmen Hammond
Cakes & Cupcakes: Icing on the Cake
Officiant: Eli Johnson