reception

It’s here, it’s here…and wayyy overdue! I’ve finally finished blogging the final part of our wedding. Re-reading the details of this sweet day makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

We left off in Part III, where Eric and I + the best wedding party ever ventured into the peaceful field on our venue’s property for some of the dreamiest sunset photos in existence. (Want to catch up further back? I got you – Part I and Part II here.)

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You may remember I ended Part III with a little trivia regarding the 90s movie theme song we entered into the reception with, per the wedding party’s vote!

Hint was that a famous Chicago Bulls basketball player starred in the film…

Any guesses? Let’s dive into this party – find out below!

*****

We had of course spent too much time giggling and snapping photos in the field, so by the time we lined up outside the big wooden reception hall doors to be announced, our coordinators had to wrangle up our group of blissfully happy and silly friends.

I sometimes think the announcement of the wedding party, and everyone dancing in 2 by 2 can be awkward, but definitely not when your people are a pack of fun and weird humans.

Everyone paired up and coordinated their dance moves, the doors were propped open, and SPACE JAM boomed from the speakers. *cue excited cheers and childhood nostalgia*

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reception

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E and I may have decided to chest bump. We definitely did.

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I loved the way we had the reception house decorated. I wanted to weave in the blush and deep wine throughout, but keep an overall clean and natural feel by incorporating woods and metals throughout the space.

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reception

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We tried to incorporate unique spins on some of the classic wedding components too. Our guest book was actually a large black and white canvas of one of our engagement photos in downtown Austin. We had loved ones sign with a gold sharpie and this is probably our favorite piece of art hanging in our apartment!

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The seating chart was an old antique frame that we stapled chicken wire to (thanks sir at Home Depot for help us!). This is another cool piece we had shipped back to Chicago that we now have pictures displayed on.

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Our favors were heart shaped Mexican cinnamon sugar cookies. I grew up eating them in the Rio Grande Valley with my grandparents, so this was a really special little piece of south Texas for us. Koozies were also a solid last minute addition!

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We walked straight into our first dance to The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra. I’m not one who ever really thought about my wedding or planned it out growing up, but the one thing I did dream of for years was doing a first dance to this sweet song. Luckily, E is a Sinatra fan too, so it worked out nicely!

One of our favorite things to do is dance, so this was a really special moment to share together, singing along and laughing and twirling.

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Afterwards, my dad and I danced to I Loved Her First by Heartland, followed by E and his mama’s dance to You’ll Be in My Heart by Phil Collins. Gah, SO CUTE, right?!

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reception

Then it was tacoooo time. We had a fajita buffet with all the fixings for our dinner because Tex-Mex is life. I remember people telling us you don’t usually get to eat at your own wedding, but we made it a priority. It wasn’t a full meal, but we weren’t going to order those tasty tacos and not get some of the goods!

So future brides, you totally can and should eat yours too. ūüôā

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No one panic though, E and I literally ate a full tray of fajitas, rice, and beans at the end of the night that our incredible Memory Lane coordinators packed up for us. Honeymoon suite livin’ at it’s finest.

E and I cut our cakes next! I’ve learned that having a Groom’s cake is largely a southern tradition? Not until I started talking about ours, did I find myself explaining that back home it’s common to have a classic wedding cake, or the Bride’s cake, and a Groom’s cake that usually has a fun theme close to heart for the couple!

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reception

For those that know my husband, it should come at know surprise the Groom’s cake was inspired by his love for our alma mater, The University of Texas. It was delicious dark chocolate cake with layers of fresh strawberries. The Bride’s cake was a tasty French vanilla with vanilla mousse filling. A huge thanks to Classic Cakes by Lori for these beauties!

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A funny little thing most guests probably never knew was that we had an extra French vanilla sheet cake in the reception kitchen that never made it to the floor. So we’re actually super sorry if you didn’t get a piece of cake haha, the venue crew never realized it was there!

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The good news? My family ate cake for days after. We even got some after the honeymoon, and there is still some for us to eat for our first anniversary since we hadn’t planned on saving any.

Speeches by our Maid of Honor and Best Man were next. My sister teared up during what was the sweetest and funniest toast I’ll ever hear. Eric’s brother killed the speech game too! I loved hearing their stories (some details may have been fabricated, *cough cough*, lookin’ at you P!) and jokes.

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The best surprise ever was when the two of them legit broke out into rehearsed song and dance. You guys. It was AMAZING. They wrote they’re own lyrics for a mashup of rap and pop jams, ending with my favorite Crazy in Love by Queen B, to which we all strutted across the dance floor – a tribute to a story my sister shared in her speech from our childhood.

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My parents shared a few sweet words and then it was time to get this dance floor going, y’all! I mentioned E and I are dancers, and the same goes for our family and friends!

Our wedding vendors actually told us afterwards they were so amazed that once everyone started, it never stopped. That usually there’s a moment when it’s a bit slower, but that our guests were just going the whole night. DJ Brian rocked.

Haha I truly wouldn’t have expected anything less, our people made us proud!

I remember for awhile Eric and I kept getting pulled in different directions to talk to others or take photos, as expected and of course we were so appreciative that we could see everyone, but at one point I turned to him and said “Ok, after this one, we have to go to the dance floor! We should be dancing!”

He immediately took me there, confirming what I already knew – that my husband rocks. Marry someone who pulls you onto dance floors, people.

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At one point, Crazy in Love came on again and everyone chanted so I would strut again. So there I went, strutting around to Beyonce with all my favorite people. It was definitely one of my top life moments ever because duh.

A personal touch for the dance floor was playing Go Cubs Go! in honor of the World Series win we had just a few days before we got married, and the UT fight song of course!

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We did the classic bouquet and garter tosses, and perhaps my favorite reception touch – had an open air photo booth in the corner printing out classic strips! I was beyond happy we had one, I just couldn’t go without it and loved how much fun everyone had in there.

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With our amazing photographers, Kelsey and Talon of Feather & Twine!

The whole night was amazing. E and I were blissfully happy. It truly was the best day ever. All we could’ve ever hoped for and more!

Sadly, the dancing had to eventually end. We had the happiest, brightest exit with sparklers though! It was like our personal fireworks send off, and it made for some pretty gorgeous photos.

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Our venue housing us + our wedding party for the night meant the party continued. I was really thankful for this time together since we knew it would be awhile before we saw some of these friends again!

So in summary, tacos + dance floor + photo booth + E = truly the best celebration ever! The whole night was all we could’ve ever hoped for and more. I’ll cherish these photos and details forever.

I love you, E. // 11.06.16

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*****

The next morning, we were up and at ’em early for an 8:00 am flight to Jamaica! Our honeymoon is a whole other adventure I’ve already written about here and here. If you’re looking for a beach getaway, cannot recommend Couples Swept Away enough!

Wow, my first post in quite awhile. It’s been a packed summer and I’ve missed blogging, friends. Capturing memories and sharing stories with our words is one of life’s simplest, yet sweetest, things – don’t ya think?

Stay tuned for some fun posts I’m working on! Happy Monday!

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cocktail hour

Happy Monday, friends! Keeping it positive on the blog because the weather was very bleh this past weekend, and there’s more rain in the forecast.

That being said, I’m escaping to some prettier weather with today’s post! I’m so excited to finally be sharing Part III of Eric and I’s wedding – the dreamy sunset at cocktail hour, during which Feather & Twine¬†snapped some of our favorite photos from the whole day.

While it had rained a bit earlier, the sky cleared to an incredible outpouring of sunshine and rainbows¬†for the¬†ceremony (read more in Part I +¬†Part II)! I’m in awe every time I think back to how lucky we got and how amazing our team of family, friends, and vendors were in making it the most perfect event.

wedding part II

Read below for details on the fairytale that went on while our guests mingled at cocktail hour…I can’t wait for you to see!

*****

After the ceremony and our pre-first dance¬†sway (actual first dance?) to a fantastic¬†mariachi band – we ventured off to a big, beautiful field on our venue’s property to take pictures while guests enjoyed chips, queso, and drinks.

Side note – queso was a requirement for our wedding because it is our all-time favorite. Don’t you worry, I definitely made sure to eat some at the reception.

Ok back to the field. Such a gorgeous setting, right?!

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cocktail hour

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Props to our wedding party that trekked into the grass without any hesitation, even though an hour ago it was pouring. They’re the best humans. I’m not sure how E and I got so lucky to have these friends who are actually our family.

And in case you were wondering, the field wasn’t so messy after all! We had so much fun laughing, swinging flowers around, and trying to walk while still looking oh-so-graceful for our photographers, Kelsey and Talon, and videographer, David.

We’re beyond¬†thankful for those¬†friends too, and their incredible talent.

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cocktail hour

Ugh, these girls. They’re so inspiring, funny, brilliant, and stunning.

They all picked such fabulous dress styles. I landed on this deep wine shade fairly quickly because it fit fall perfectly, while bringing such elegance to the whole wedding.

There was never a set style though, I knew every one was different! I wanted my girls to feel beautiful and comfortable in whichever look they chose. I also just really loved the mismatched yet coordinated vibes of it all!

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cocktail hour

These dresses are¬†Nouvelle Amsale¬†designs. I highly recommend this line if you’re looking for beautiful pieces that won’t break the bank! They were also breathable and movable – perfect for a Texas wedding with lots of dancing.

We ordered them through Bella Bridesmaids in Austin – but with their locations all across the country, the shopping experience was a breeze. I love these dresses, and these ladies!

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cocktail hour

I can’t forget about these guys though. Beyond handsome, of course!

E and I were set on navy from the start. We struggled to find the perfect suit at a fair price for the groomsmen to rent, but then The Black Tux came to our rescue!

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cocktail hour

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cocktail hour

Trust me, I was skeptical at first with the whole online rental, arrives just a few days before the wedding scenario, but The Black Tux makes the whole process SO easy.

I mean, did I marry James Bond over here??

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During this time, I also made the transition from veil to flower crown. From the minute we began planning, I knew I wanted to wear one of these beauties at some point on our day.

Fresh flowers are my absolute favorite, so not only were the floral details around our wedding so precious , but this delicate, wax flower piece Wild Bunches created just for me had me feeling like I jumped straight out of a Disney story.

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I’ll be talking about it, and that magical bouquet for the rest of my life. Sorry not sorry.

Taking some intimate photos of just E and I after the whole bunch with our wedding party was really special. We love, love, loved our first look (maybe our fave part of the whole day!), but snapping some as Mr. & Mrs. with no one else around, as the sun settled into a dreamy dusk, was completely romantic.

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cocktail hour

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Our lovely Memory Lane coordinators, who ensured the whole day went off seamlessly, eventually had to usher us back towards the reception hall to keep the party going. We were out there having way too much fun!

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cocktail hour

The next few moments were filled with ridiculous laughs and coordinated dance moves as we prepared to be announced into the reception with our¬†wedding party, just outside the doors of the hall. So and so would be carried on so and so’s shoulders, those¬†two were going to pretend to play some 1:1 basketball, and E and I may have decided to shuffle then chest bump.

It was finally time to celebrate with our loved ones and we couldn’t wait!

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We definitely were ready¬†to party with family and friends, but let’s be real, we were also¬†ready¬†for some tacos, cake, and a good ol’ beer too!

These sunset photos are so near and dear to my heart. As I mentioned, we truly loved the whole wedding planning process, and these swoon-worthy moments remind me how all that hard work paid off.

Stay tuned for the final piece of the puzzle, Part IV: The Reception! Can you guess the 90s movie theme song we entered to after taking a poll from the wedding party??

Hint: A famous Chicago Bulls basketball player starred in the film.

Days By Day

the honeymoon

It is quite chilly up here in Chicago! Did you know that on Monday Chicago was colder than Mars?? Not okay.

That being said, I’m daydreaming of the Honeymoon we went on back in November to Jamaica, where everything was sunny and warm and perfect. It’s going to take a couple posts to share all these¬†adventures and¬†photos!

{Getting There}

Eric and I took off for our honeymoon bright and early the next morning after the wedding. Well, actually it was still dark it was so early, so nix the bright. We rocked these awesome (and original) Married AF shirts and koozies by The Daily Tay, and got lots of compliments.

the honeymoon

We had booked our trip through Southwest Vacations. Loveee Southwest Vacations, you guys! They make it so easy to have everything taken care all in one place.

{The Resort}

On the plane we could hardly contain ourselves. We knew we wanted to find an all-inclusive resort in the Caribbean, one where we could relax and soak up the sun, but one where we could still be adventurous! After lots of research, we landed on Couples Swept Away (CSA) for seven days in Negril, Jamaica.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

Let me say this place is a real life dream, in case my pure joy above does not convey that enough.

Not only are the facilities gorgeous, but the entire staff is beyond kind. I can definitely say that we left with new friends. CSA is not too big, not too small, and it’s impossible to not feel the romantic¬†vacation vibes.

This resort is located along a gorgeous strip of Seven Mile Beach and has two big pools, six restaurants, bars throughout, and a variety of nighttime entertainment. In addition to food and drink being included, your stay also includes a whole bunch of other water recreation and island activities Рglass-bottom boat tours, snorkeling, windsurfing, catamaran cruises, etc.

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I said it was a real life dream, right??

{The Room}

So beautiful and literally located steps away from the beach. At night you could hear the waves gently crash.¬†There was also a balcony that had us feeling so adult and fancy¬†when we’d sit out there.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

{The Eats}

Oh my goodness, so yummy! I know people hate on resort food sometimes, that is not the case at CSA. Eric’s favorite was probably the jerk chicken, while I fell in love with a fresh fish sandwich on the softest bread ever.

A light breakfast could be delivered to our room, or we could go to a couple restaurants for a sit down menu or buffet. Everyone knows breakfast is my fave, I was not disappointed.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

At one spot for dinner, there’s a pasta bar that served as an appetizer for a three course menu. Basically, like four dinners in one. It’s a miracle we didn’t come back twice our sizes.

We particularly liked one cafe for the afternoon munchies, Seagrapes. It was technically the vegetarian restaurant, but I guarantee a majority of the clientele was not just vegetarian. There was all sort of healthy eats to enjoy.

{Catamaran Cruise}

This was the first big activity we signed up for. The crew had Jamaican music going and Red Stripe flowing, the Jamaican beer everyone drank. They took us along the island for sightseeing and even stopped at a giant cave for us to go swimming.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

We caught all these pictures with the¬†GoPro we bought just before our wedding weekend! Eric and I had talked¬†about getting one, and then knew we couldn’t leave for all these water adventures without it. Highly recommend – ¬†we were able to get some awesome shots and were totally carefree about any concerns of it getting wet!

the honeymoon

{Snorkeling}

I had never been before! This was one of the biggest things on my to-do list. We signed up for a daytime snorkel and loved it. We got to see a giant barracuda, feed fish, hold starfish, see a sunken cannon and anchor…it was all so beautiful. I kept telling E it was like opening my old science¬†text books and seeing the coral reefs from the pages come to life.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

GoPro was clearly also a star for this outing.

We had such a fun time, we signed up to go again at night. Jumping off the boat that time around was definitely a little freakier, but very awesome. The reefs seem totally different, and we saw more creatures, like an octopus and sea turtle.

the honeymoon

the honeymoon

We loved snorkeling so much, we thought we’d take it one step further¬†and get scuba certified. More on that in Part II, along with other adventures!

That’s all for today, friends! I hope¬†no matter where you are – beach, mountains, or in between – you’re having a great Thursday, with holiday spirit in full swing!

Days By Day

last name

Ok, so my last name is still legally my maiden name, but we all know once it’s Facebook official, it’s the real deal.

A couple weeks ago I finally made the switch. I was, and without a doubt still am, happy to have Eric’s last name! That was never a question. I just didn’t think changing it would feel or look so strange.

When I logged into Facebook, I was grinning from ear to ear and squealing at how more real it was going to be. First though, I wanted to¬†ensure my maiden name wasn’t totally gone and still searchable.

After doing some research on how I could still keep it in my profile (sharing how below), I was ready for the big update.

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I, of course, could not remember my password, which delayed the whole thing. You also can’t change your name for 60 days if you mess up, so it says¬†double check for misspellings. Double check for me became check 100 times, because suddenly, I had no idea how to spell anything.

E confirmed everything looked right and I submitted my new last name.

After a moment, I went from squealing in my seat to watery eyes and sniffle central. I felt like a total weirdo. Why was I about to shed a tear all of a sudden out of no where?

I knew what was going on with the suddenly conflicting feelings. I had it a new last name and it like really hit me. One of the most defining aspects of myself an individual was no longer the same. Staring at my photo, and this new name next to it just felt overwhelming in the moment.

I quickly explained the surprise I was feeling since poor E was definitely a little confused. Next thing I knew, just looking at him had a giant smile on my face. We couldn’t help but laugh¬†away at the newness and hilarity of the whole situation.

I was completely at peace knowing this new last name symbolized the incredible husband I had and the little family we now make up. It made me appreciate my roots and family even more too.

last name

^ Paris in Summer of 2015 – the trip where we got engaged! It’s the best story ever – see here.

***It should be known that E is a real life gem and said I could hypen my last names if I wanted to be like Beyonce. This is why I married him. Hehe.

Oh, and if you’re looking to change your name on Facebook, but still want your maiden name (or any name for that matter) tied to your profile,¬†it’s easy! Just go to your About section > Details About You > Add Name.

Here’s to these¬†random and little moments that make us human and relatable, right? I couldn’t help but share because I know this little glimpse in time was real and raw, and that’s what being true to yourself is all about.

Time to go wrap some gifts, because I’m running behind as usual. How is Christmas already this week??

Days By Day

P.S. Thanks to our dear friends and photographers over at Feather & Twine for a couple of these wedding pic sneak peeks!