Hi guys! I am jumping on for a quick blog post to share with you all one of the gifts I gave my bridesmaids on our wedding! I wanted to give my girls something useful that wouldn’t just be a “bridemaid” gift. I remembered back to a wedding I recently was in where the bridesmaids and I were trying to coordinate which clutches to bring on the wedding day, and it clicked. I would give my bridesmaid all a little clutches that matched their bridesmaid dresses!
I decided to fill their clutches with essentials for the day like mints, gum, tissues, hair ties, advil, nail files, and anything else I thought they would need! Let me tell you that my friends absolutely loved them, and still use their bags to this day! I wanted to share this idea with you all because I found it was a perfect gift for my bridesmaids that they seriously continue to use to this day!
Below I linked some of my current favorites from the brand I got my gifts from (Urban Expressions from Nordstrom Rack). They are all under $25 too!
Hi friends! As you all know, weddings are my passion. I run my own hand-lettering business, Details and Swirls, where I work directly in the wedding industry! My business stemmed from my passion of planning the details during our own wedding. Joey and I got married in September of 2018, and it was the most incredible day. You can read all about our wedding day here!
I am often asked specific questions about our wedding, so I opened up a Q&A on my instagram @detailsandswirls, to gather all of your questions! Some are specific to Newport weddings, while others are general, so I hope these help with whatever step you are at in your planning!
Q: Did you plan it or hire a planner to help? Or both?
A: We hired a planner! I really wanted to be involved in the planning, design, and every single detail of the wedding, so we did a month-of planning package with Ariana of AMC weddings! If you are nervous about hiring a planner because you do not want to lose creative control of your day, I can completely relate! I had this same fear, but let me tell you that is the complete opposite of Ari’s planning style. We worked together to bring my vision to life and she took care of all of the behind the scenes things that I didn’t need to deal with! And not to mention she was there the entire wedding day making sure everything ran smoothly. There are so many tiny tiny details, check-ins, and tasks that need to be taken care of before the wedding, and I definitely would have been very stressed before the day trying to get everything done if it wasn’t for her! If you are on the fence about a planner, HIRE ONE! It was the best decision we made!
Q: Did you pay for a MUA for your bridesmaids?
A: I did! At first I decided I was going to pay for either hair or makeup, but as planning went on, and I realized how much time and expenses my friends put in to make my time as a bride so special, I made the decision to cover both for them. I know everyone’s situation is so different, I do not think there is a standard answer for this!
Q: Did you have a theme in mind?
Yes, romantic! I wanted our day to encompass our love for each other in all of the details. I wanted it to feel personal, warm, romantic, and magical! Within this theme I found that vintage accents, neutral tones, and hints of blush and greenery best fit our vision!
Q: Where was your rehearsal dinner?
A: We had our rehearsal dinner at The Landing in Newport! They have a room upstairs with floor to ceiling windows and sliding doors! There is a small private deck area and all windows overlook the wharf. The view of the sunset is beautiful, and you can have all the doors and windows open for a true indoor-outdoor vibe! We found it was the perfect spot to host our family and friends before our wedding.
I have a full list of vendors here! I have nothing but absolutely wonderful things to say about each and every one of our vendors!
Q: Suggested list of decor? We’re doing backyard & want to make sure we have enough!
A: I have a list of all wedding details in my Master Guide to Wedding Details! There is actually a specific section called “outdoor extras”! In terms of general outdoor decor though, you can never go wrong with too many candles, lanterns, and signs of course!
Q: I would love a breakdown of your wedding makeup!
A: I will be posting an in-depth walkthrough to my IGTV very soon, along with a blog post here outlining all of the products I used!
Q: Did your guests celebrate the weekend or just the day?
A mix of both! We got married on a Sunday, so we had our rehearsal dinner and welcome drinks on Friday evening. I would say 30-50 of our guests were from out of town, so this was a nice time to connect with our friends and family who traveled in for us! On Saturday we had a “guys” and “girls” day. I went with my bridal party, mom, mother-in-law, and invited all other girls like aunts, and out of town family, to go get mani-pedis! We had a girls lunch, and then spent the afternoon opening up bridal party gifts. I did not want the gift opening to be rushed on wedding day, so I found this was perfect timing! The guys did a bar crawl around Newport, and the entire bridal party met up later Saturday evening for a big cookout!
Q: Where did you take your wedding photos?
A: We took our wedding photos at Castle Hill Inn (our venue)! If you are not familiar with Castle Hill, the grounds are stunning, and they have a mix of gardens (where we took our formals), as well as seaside cliffs (where we took our portraits). If you are looking for suggestions for places to take photos, Beavertail State Park is stunning and definitely gives off similar vibes to Castle Hill. Ochre Court is beautiful and elegant, very Newport! If you are looking for something a little more rustic, we actually took our engagement photos at a BEAUTIFUL spot in Narragansett! I am not sure if the field has a name, but it is off of Bridge Point Drive, I used to drive by it every day, and we knew we wanted to have our engagement pictures taken there! I will attach some photos so you all can see, it is a hidden gem!
All photos are Massart Photography
Thanks for all of your questions! I hope you all found this helpful! If you have any further questions, I will be answering them in the comments on this post!
Today marks exactly one year since our wedding day, and I am feeling SO nostalgic! When I think back to our wedding, I am flooded with warm and beautiful memories I cannot quite describe. For those of you who do not know, Joey and I started dating when we were in high school. We went to different colleges, and lived in different states after college right up until one month before our wedding. This wedding was the true start of our lives together. We dated for 8 and a half years and could not WAIT to live together, and finally start the life we had always dreamed about!
I framed a note I wrote to Joey in high school, it was one of my favorite design details of the day!
Portraits would not have been complete without a trip to the infamous Castle Hill Lighthouse!
I shed so many tears during this first dance, such a surreal moment!
As many of you may know, my dad fell ill and could not make it to our reception. You can read my story on all of those details here, so instead of parent dances, my 93-year-old grandpa stepped in, and we shared in a special dance.
We finished up the night with a surprise firework show under the stars!
Thank you to all of our family, friends, and amazing team of vendors, our wedding day was everything we had ever dreamed of and will remain in our memories as the most love-filled day we have ever experienced!
We had talked about it all year, how much we would cry, what songs the band would play, how we could get through our father daughter dance without sobbing, it was all we could talk about for months. We decided on butterfly kisses for our father daughter dance song. Since I was a little girl, we always knew we would dance to that song at my wedding. My dad would play it on the piano the months leading up to the wedding, and even at the first note I would start to tear up, thinking about how special that moment would be. My dad and I share a special bond over music, so not even one day after I got engaged, we knew exactly what band we would have play at the wedding. I grew up listening to this band every summer, and the thought of having them play at my wedding just meant everything to my dad and me. My dad spent weeks perfecting a mix of songs to play in between the band’s sets during the wedding reception. Every night the weeks leading up to the big day, we played the mix dancing around thinking about what an incredible time we were going to have at the wedding. So many emotions flooded these moments imagining how everything would play out on the wedding day, and we just could not contain our excitement.
So you can only imagine the feeling I felt on our wedding day when Joey and I returned from taking our portraits, ready to enter our cocktail hour, and receiving the news that my dad had become extremely sick after our ceremony, and would not make it to our cocktail hour or wedding reception. We were in shock, unable to process what was actually happening. Who was going to give a speech? Who was I going to do my dance with? What about the mix he gave the band to play, and all of the music we looked forward to for months upon months to dance to? He isn’t going to see us introduced for the first time, he isn’t going to see mine and Joey’s first dance, this could not be real. So many thoughts flooded my mind. After getting this news, Joey and I collected ourselves and went out to greet our guests, who at that time had no idea what was going on. The swing of emotions that followed is something I still struggle to describe. Stepping into cocktail hour arm and arm with my husband, I felt the greatest sense of joy and bliss I cannot even put into words, but as it often did throughout the day, this blissful happiness was immediately met by immense sadness knowing my dad was not there. Before heading into the reception, we talked through all of the changes we needed to make. My mom would be saying his speech, grandpa would escort my mom in for introductions, no parent dances, and so on. Once again I was met with this polarizing pull of emotions feeling such heartache, while simultaneously feeling pure joy as Joey and I walked into our reception for the first time as husband and wife. and shared our first dance.
I remember sitting down for dinner, looking around at our beautiful reception I had spent so long perfecting, and turning to my maid of honor and bridesmaid in tears explaining how guilty I felt for all of our beautiful décor, when the only thing that matters is the people surrounding us on our day. I was so lucky to be surrounded by my husband and such supportive friends and family to put a smile on my face and remind me our wedding day was about celebrating Joey and I. Later on in the evening, we had a surprise firework show and the second it started, I knew my dad had planned the entire thing. I was again met with the most polarizing pull of emotions feeling SO exhilarated and grateful for this unbelievable surprise, but also feeling the most pain knowing my dad secretly planned the entire show, and could not even be there to experience it with us.
If it were not for the help of my husband, family, best friends, cousins, and all of the other amazing people in our life, I am not sure if I would have emotionally made it through that night. I have never been surrounded by so much love and support, and all of those around us made sure we had the absolute time of our lives at our wedding. Now do not get me wrong, we had an INCREDIBLE wedding day. The pure happiness and euphoria I felt during that day I do not think will ever be matched in my entire life. Marrying Joey is something I looked forward to for eight years, so the feeling of actually living in that moment cannot be described. It was pure bliss. When we look back at our photos, the pain of the day slowly fades away, and we are left with the memories of the surreal feelings of happiness we felt throughout that whole day.
I vividly remember after receiving the news, telling my mom in tears “I want to just redo this whole thing, I wish we could have a redo”, as I processed the thought that this was it, my dad was missing this milestone in my life, it cannot be redone. Well, not so fast! We decided, why not have a redo? Why does this have to be a one and done type of thing? So, surrounded by our closest family and friends, three weeks ago, 8 months after our wedding, we had our redo. We went back to our original venue, our band came and played, my dad said his speech, we had our parent dances, I got to wear my wedding dress again (who else can say that?!), and we danced the night away! The only difference is that this time, there were no fancy decorations (except signs of course), no fancy food (can you say burgers and pizza?!), it poured outside, and guess what? We still had the BEST NIGHT, because we were surrounded by the ones we loved. Now our wedding did not turn out in the traditional way, but as a result we were able to celebrate twice, and do so surrounded by the love and support of our family and friends. So the moral of this story for all of you planning your wedding: Do NOT stress out about the small things. At the end of the day, the ONLY thing that matters is marrying your sweetheart, and celebrating your marriage surrounded by the ones you love. That is the most important detail.
Photography: Massart Photography Planning: AMC Weddings (HUGE shout out to Ariana for handling ALL of our wedding day challenges with ease, she was a calming presence throughout our entire day, and ensured our day ran smoothly even with the numerous changes we needed to make)