Category Archives: wedding recaps

The Ceremony


All music performed by the Greenspring Duo.

Wedding Party Processional: Canon

Bridal Processional: Ave Maria


Welcome, everyone, to the wedding of Melissa and Trey. You were invited here today because you are the people who mean the most to them, and as they take their next step forward into life – a life together, they wish to share it with you. A decision to get married is not an easy one to make. Getting married is like standing on a rooftop yelling your love for each other…with 100 of your closest friends and family members watching. For Melissa and Trey, this decision was the right one and the easy one. And, for them, your presence here shows your love and support for them as they begin the next chapter in their loving, daring adventure. They are honored to have you here.

As a friend of Melissa & Trey, I am honored to stand here to officiate over this ceremony. They have truly made this day their own, including writing their own ceremony and vows and infusing this day with their own personalities and spirit.

It would not be the marriage of these two kind, sweet and caring people, if we did not take a moment and recognize others who wish to have that right. As we stand here celebrating their marriage, Melissa and Trey would also like to celebrate the handful of states and nations who recognize marriage equality, and their hopes that other states, including our own will soon join that growing group. Melissa and Trey believe that passing such laws, move us one step closer to fulfilling our nation’s promise to provide liberty and justice for all.

And now, we’re going to ask Melissa’s sister Nicole to come up for a reading picked out by Melissa and Trey for this special day.

Reading: A Lovely Love Story by Edward Monkton
The fierce Dinosaur was trapped inside his cage of ice. Although it was cold he was happy in there. It was, after all, his cage.
Then along came the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
The Lovely Other Dinosaur melted the Dinosaur’s cage with kind words and loving thoughts.
I like this Dinosaur thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
Although he is fierce he is also tender and he is funny.
He is also quite clever though I will not tell him this for now.
I like this Lovely Other Dinosaur, thought the Dinosaur. She is beautiful and she is different and she smells so nice.She is also a free spirit which is a quality I much admire in a dinosaur.
But he can be so distant and so peculiar at times, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur.
He is also overly fond of things.
Are all Dinosaurs so overly fond of things?
But her mind skips from here to there so quickly thought the Dinosaur. She is also uncommonly keen on shopping.
Are all Lovely Other Dinosaurs so uncommonly keen on shopping?
I will forgive his peculiarity and his concern for things, thought the Lovely Other Dinosaur. For they are part of what makes him a richly charactered individual.

I will forgive her skipping mind and her fondness for shopping, thought the Dinosaur. For she fills our life with beautiful thoughts and wonderful surprises. Besides, I am not unkeen on shopping either.
Now the Dinosaur and the Lovely Other Dinosaur are old.
Look at them.
Together they stand on the hill telling each other stories and feeling the warmth of the sun on their backs.
And that, my friends, is how it is with love.
Let us all be Dinosaurs and Lovely Other Dinosaurs together.
For the sun is warm.
And the world is a beautiful place.

Declaration of Intent/Vows
Melissa and Trey, these vows that you are about to make is a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed together- well, I meant it, every word.”Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, dancing partner, shoulder and so much more.

Now you will say a few words that take you across this threshold of life, and take on new titles to show your commitment. For after these vows, you will say to the world, this man is my husband, this woman is my wife.Do you, Trey, take Melissa to be your lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer, for as long as you both shall live?
Trey: I do.

Do you, Melissa, take Trey to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, in good times and woe, for richer or poorer, for as long as you both shall live?
Melissa: I do.

Now please share the vows that you have prepared for each other.

Melissa’s Vows to Trey

Trey, I wasn’t looking for you when we first met. But as always, life surprises us and never gives us more than we are truly ready for.  And so, love eased its way into my life and the two of us fell comfortably into step together.  Since that moment my affection for you has grown.  You have shown me how awesome it is to know that someone’s got your back. You’ve made me laugh every day.  And as much as I am bursting with love right in this moment, I know that over our lifetime together, my love for you will only grow stronger.  Today, Trey, is the day I will end up loving you the least.  I can’t wait to share this adventure with you, and I will be proud everyday to call you my husband.
Trey’s Vows to Melissa
Melissa, you make me happy.
Anything else that I could say comes from this simple, core truth.
I can’t describe how much joy you have brought into my life, and how much every day is better than the last.
I know life isn’t always easy, but I will always keep in mind how much you love me, and I you.
And as we start our life together, I promise to always look toward the future with a sense of hope equal to the amount of joy I feel right now.

Ring Exchange
Melissa and Trey, please take a good look at your partner’s hands, so you may see the gift that they are to you. These are the hands of your best friend: young, strong and vibrant with love, holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise your complete love for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future, as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams. These are the hands that when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours.May they always be held by one another. 

May we have the rings?

Melissa, please place the ring on Trey’s finger and repeat after me:
Trey, this ring is a symbol of the strength and beauty of our love. May it belong to your hand as my heart belongs to you.Trey, please place the ring on Melissa’s finger and repeat after me:

Melissa, this ring is a symbol of the strength and beauty of our love. May it belong to your hand as my heart belongs to you.Announcement

Having witnessed the vows and the rings you have exchanged, it is my great joy and most sincere honour to now pronounce you husband and wife! You may now kiss each other.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my privilege to present to you for the very first time as a married couple, Melissa and Trey.
Recessional: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
All photographs courtesy of Greg Sileo Photography.

at the venue, waiting for things to get started


We climbed out of the limo.  It was a somewhat brisk but nice morning, and the sun was peaking further and further out from behind a few small, scattered clouds as the minutes ticked by.

I had wondered if arriving at 9 am for an 11 am ceremony would mean I’d be sitting around, bored and anxiously watching the clock, but we had just enough to keep all of us preoccupied.

At 9 am, when my bridesmaids and myself arrived, the photographer was waiting for us, as was the florist.  I got to see and smell my beautiful bouquet for the first time.  I still think about our flowers and I smile.  They turned out so, so lovely.

Once the ladies got situated with their bouquets, we spent about 10-15 minutes with the photographer taking various formal portrait shots of the group, and me with the individual bridesmaids.

Then the photographer grabbed me for about 10 minutes and took some shots of just me.  I remember yelling across the gardens for my sister K. to check my phone to see if Trey’s brother had called (we weren’t going to see each other before the ceremony so I needed to head indoors as soon as Trey, his brother and parents were near.) The photographer was incredibly flexible and patient, and took some great photos during a short period of time.

Soon we had official word that Trey and his family were about 5 minutes away, so I headed back inside.  While these handsome fellas had their pictures taken…

… I alternated between hanging out in the bridal suite

observing the final touches to the reception area

and greeting family members and friends who snuck back to say hi to me before things got started

Meanwhile, guests were gathering outside and 11 am was fast approaching…

Next up: The Ceremony 

All photographs (except for the obvious self-portrait) courtesy of Greg Sileo Photography.

the limo ride


A couple months before the wedding, my mom surprised me by deciding to spring for a limo to take me and my 5 bridesmaids to the venue on the morning of the wedding.

At around 8:30 am on the morning of October 22nd, we all piled in and made the approximately 25 minute drive from my parents’ home out to the venue.  While in transit, we popped a bottle of champagne and passed it around.  I remember feeling extremely calm, but things were definitely feeling real.  I was on my way to my wedding and surrounded by women I loved.

My sisters, in the back of the limo, turned on some music and my youngest sister found the local hip-hop radio station.  The following scene ensued:

I laughed until we pulled up in front of the Carriage House, and we all climbed out of the limo with loud rap music still blaring from within.

*To Be Continued*

Goodbye, anonymity

I just had to share this with everyone, even if it does destroy the little bit of anonymity I’ve tried to maintain online:

Our Wedding, featured in the Washington Post

wedding day beauty & style

(Related: Getting Ready)

Since I know that there are people out there like me who like beauty products, make-up, style, etc. I thought I would post about what I used/wore on the day of the wedding.  Here goes!

Make-Up/Face Products

I knew from the beginning of wedding planning that I would do my own make-up, and I knew that I wanted a natural look.  Here’s what I used:

  1. Cleanser: Philosophy Purity Made Simple
  2. Moisturizer: Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Hydrating Night Creme
  3. Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer
  4. Concealer: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Concealer
  5. Foundation: Make Up For Ever HD Invisible Cover Foundation
  6. Blush: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Blush
  7. Lipstick: Cover Girl Outlast All Day Lipcolor in Moonlit Mauve
  8. Mascara: Clinique High Lengths Mascara
  9. Eyeshadow: e.l.f. Essentials Brightening Eye Color in Silver Lining
  10. Finishing Powder: e.l.f. Mineral Booster Sheer Powder


  1. Dress: Oleg Cassini for David’s Bridal
  2. Shoes: Michelangelo LOVE Dyeable Wedge Sandals (Dyed Purple)
  3. Jewelry: Crystal and Pearl Floral Necklace and Earring Set
  4. Hair Flower: TruLu Couture, courtesy of a Love Your Way blog giveaway!

So, here’s how all of the above turned out!

Wedding Recap: Getting Ready


wedding morning calm

I woke up at 6 am on the morning of my wedding feeling much calmer than I thought I would.  I showered in the upstairs bathroom of the house I grew up in, threw on some pajama pants and a tank top, then headed downstairs.  The house was quiet for a few moments.  My dad browsed some news sites on his computer.  My mom arrived back from a grocery trip with croissants and orange juice.  I mixed up a pitcher of mimosas.

At 7 am, my bridesmaids began to arrive.  Followed by my hair stylist.  From that moment on, I felt like I was in the eye of a hurricane.  I was calm, watching the chaos of 5 women, plus my mother, then my aunt, rush around getting dressed, doing their make-up and hair, eating breakfast.  I sat in the center of all of this while Katie (hairstylist) curled and sprayed and combed my hair.


It was a really surreal experience.  In my head I got that this was my wedding day.  That this would be my wedding hairstyle.  That this was finally, really happening.  It felt beyond strange… and yet I was completely calm.

This time also went by extremely quickly.  My hair was done and then everything seemed to speed up a bit more.

putting on a wedding dress is a process

I went into the bathroom and did my make-up, then stepped into my dress just around 8:00 am.  The limo pulled up in front of my parents’ home at 8:10 am.  I climbed in around 8:30 am, my bridesmaids followed me into the limo,  and we were off to the venue!

ready to get this show on the road

this might be the funniest picture ever taken

 *To be continued…*

Wedding Recap: Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner

*This is me kicking off the official wedding recaps before too much time passes and I forget everything. Keep in mind, more than a month has gone by (already!) so some of the details may not be as fresh.*

The day before the wedding arrived.  I’m struggling to describe what that feels like.  Let’s just say I was a ball of nervous energy on a hair-trigger.  I got into a fight with one of my sisters after our mani/pedis.  We apologized that evening at the rehearsal.

Standing around in the cold, waiting for the wedding party to arrive at our ceremony site was a bit of an exercise in patience.  We were up against a setting sun and some folks were battling Friday night traffic.  But it worked out.

We rehearsed the ceremony twice.  The first time was clumsy and awkward- the second time, things clicked into place much better and we were good to go!

We headed back downtown for the rehearsal dinner.  Highlights from the dinner:

  • Awesome Crab Dip
  • Sneaking out onto the restaurant’s private deck to share a dance with Trey
  • Surprising our parents and members of the wedding party with thoughtful gifts
  • Driving back to my parents’ home with my Dad in my passenger seat, and just chatting with him

I arrived at my parents’ home after the dinner, quickly got ready for bed, and tried to get at least a few hours of decent sleep before waking up at 6 am the next morning…

*To be continued…*

(P.S. for any local folks out there looking for a good place to eat, our rehearsal dinner was held at the Hull Street Blues Cafe.)