We got married on July 23rd this year in front of 26 people in a small hotel room in Chicago. We wanted the ceremony to be short and intimate and we definitely achieved both, with a bit of humor thrown in. (Our judge forgot we had our own vows and was about to pronounce us man and wife before C interrupted him with "Hey man, we have vows." Too great.)
Our amazing friend Joanna sang our processional and recessional a capella. This was an amazing gift, as we were really struggling on what to do for music/sound during this short ceremony. (Processional: "I am Blessed," Nina Simone; Recessional: "Forever in My Life," Prince)
Check out my hot bridesmaids; they chose their own dresses. I told them it could be any length or style as long as it was navy. I think they all looked absolutely wonderful in dresses that all fit their body type and that they can wear again. My best friend Ilya carried our rings on my grandmother's ring pillow instead of carrying flowers.
Afterward, we went to a private dining room in a restaurant and fed our guests. While people danced as they felt the urge, we had board games out for most of the entertainment. Toward the end of the night, my friend Noel came up to and said "I feel like I am in your living room." That is the best thing anyone could have said; it was exactly what we were going for.
We just wanted our wedding to be a collection of family and a few close friends enjoying each other's company. I am so glad we had the "reception" at a restaurant. All we had to do was meet their food minimum; no venue rental, no silverware fees, it was great. What is even better, the food was amazing because that is their job.*
Us at the wedding party the weekend after our ceremony.
Photo by Isabel Gonzalez
Because our guest list was so small for our ceremony & dinner, we had a party the following Saturday at Uncommon Ground for those that weren't at the ceremony. Our friend DJed for us, our other friend took photos for us, and yet other friends drove us and helped set up the decorations. It was so nice to have our friends get together to help us host a party.
It was a lovely time, and our friends and family enjoyed themselves at both of the small parties we threw. It is funny, because even with the guest list being under 30 people for both festivities, we still felt like we didn't have enough time with the people who were there. We did have enough time with each other though, which is something I heard can be a bit of a challenge on your wedding day. (Ironic, but I could see it happening if you do the traditional, visit the tables thing, which we avoided.). Every step of the way C was right by my side and I am very happy to have him there for ever after.
On Monday I'll have one last post about the wedding regarding the decor and other details, as well as how we saved money by reusing items or buying items we can use later (like for the holidays!). See you then.
*Some advice on the restaurant aspect: If you have an open bar or any aspect of the menu that is not a set-in-stone price, make sure to tell the events person that as soon as the bill hits $X, cut off that item. Or to warn you before the bill hits whatever your budget is. You don't want a surprise when you go to sign your bill.