Happy 1st Wedding Anniversary, Dana and Mike!
My sister and her husband are celebrating their first year of marriage today and I honestly wish we could do the whole celebration again. I’ll admit I am biased (it was my sisters wedding after all!), but their wedding was absolutely perfect and Dana looked gorgeous! They celebrated at our family’s vacation town (where we won family of the year in 1994) and it was luckily a warm, sunny fall weekend in October. Some of our friends and family even jumped in the ocean! I sent some questions to Dana to help tell the story of the day:
SK: What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you?
We picked Ocean City, NJ because, aside from it being halfway between Mike’s hometown in Connecticut and my hometown in Maryland, we both have family there. My family has been vacationing in OC, NJ to spend time with my best friends family since I was born and recently Mike’s aunt moved to the area to live with her boyfriend who knows my best friend’s family! Small world!
We picked our ceremony and reception venue because we did not want a traditional wedding. We wanted to have a casual, fun, and relaxed wedding that allowed us to spend more than the wedding day with our guests. The wedding house was big enough for our immediate family and some friends to stay at Thursday through Sunday. We were able to have a BBQ, go deep sea fishing, relax and have the wedding events all at the wedding house. My best friend married us on the beach surrounded by yellow wild flowers and we had the reception in the beach house’s yard.
Realizing that weddings are expensive!! And making the guest list. We wanted a smaller intimate wedding and had a small venue site, so we could not invite all of our friends or family. That was hard, but I think most people understood. We had a big engagement party at a local Irish Pub where we were able to include more of our friends.
Mike has gorgeous blue eyes so that was our wedding color! My mom made the reception table vases with shades of blue and yellow to go with the beach setting. We were happily surprised to have beautiful yellow wild flowers covering the sand dunes that tied in with our wedding color theme!
We did a first look. It was nice to spend time together before the ceremony began and we had tons of fun taking pictures with our bridal party. It also allowed us to have more time with our guests and not feel rushed after the ceremony. It goes by fast!
SK: I loved when Charlie sang the theme song from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air as we danced down the beach! Those are some of my favorite pictures from the day. I wish we had a video of Lora, the photographer, running around getting those photos!
I loved how personal every aspect of the wedding was. My best friend married Mike and I. My sister coordinated the entire wedding and made fun wedding cups and itineraries for the wedding weekend. The centerpieces were made by my mom and my Aunt Sherri created the flower arrangements. The ribs and chicken wings were made by my best friends dad, the donut ‘cake’ was from our favorite beach spot and the rest of the food was from Yianni who owns one of our favorite restaurants in OC, NJ. Our bartender, Tim Mooney, is a longtime friend from high school. Our wedding aprons were made by a college friend and the embroidery and garter were made from my best friends mom. My friend Jake was the real estate agent who found us the fantastic wedding house that all of our immediate family could stay at all weekend and he coordinated with our awesome tent guy. My dad made wedding signs. Mike carved us wedding pumpkins. We had family and friends who live in the area who opened up their homes for wedding guests to stay at – thank you Jim & Jen, Aunt Patti & Uncle Craig and Kerry & Herb. My fantastic in-laws threw us an amazing rehearsal dinner with our favorite beach food. My best friend’s dad’s band, the Bubba Mac Blues Band, played at the rehearsal dinner and my friend’s husband took fantastic rehearsal dinner photos. We went deep sea fishing and my Aunt gave me a pre-wedding massage. And our photographer Lora Reehling captured the entire day beautifully and it felt like she was part of the family.
Make sure that you are planning the type of wedding that you and your husband want. Stay true to your wishes as a couple, even when other people share their opinions. There are a million different ways to have the perfect wedding.
Mike and I are looking forward to spending more time as a couple, going on weekend adventures and traveling. I am learning to play golf and maybe one day Mike will take a yoga or dance class with me!
Congratulations, Dana & Mike! I am so happy for you!!
Rehearsal Dinner Catering: Manco & Manco Pizza and Primo Hoagies // Rehearsal Dinner Band: Bubba Mac Blues Band // Photography: Lora Reehling Photography // Wedding Dinner Catering: Yianni’s and Herb & Mac – Bubba Mac Shack // Wedding “Cake”: Brown’s // Hair and Makeup: Bon Cheveux Salon