all photos by Christina Ward Photography
The only way I can describe our wedding day is to say, it was just so, so lovely. All the details that I had spent time worrying about in the months leading up to it—will the DJ show up?, will vendors have questions for me while I’m off-site getting ready?, will I do that awful smile I do in all the photos?—turned out to be a non-issue (probably with the exception of the smile—of course I did the smile). Everything went off without a hitch. And while in retrospect it did go by in a blink—especially the reception—I still felt like I took it all in, like I was present enough to hear (cry through) my best friend’s toast, happy enough to not care how badly I dance, and aware enough to kiss and hug Daniel a million times.
I have been thinking about how to share our wedding day with you for too long. I don’t know the best way to format it, so I’ve decided to take you through everything I can think of, piece by piece. If I left anything out that you’re curious about, please feel free to ask in the comments and I will answer!
The beginning stages of planning a wedding were so exciting but incredibly daunting. It was so much fun to daydream about all the possibilities. I would thumb through magazines and look at Pinterest for hours. There were beautiful big weddings, sweet small weddings, elegant weddings, charming DIY weddings, indoor venues, outdoor venues, cool eclectic colors, simple yet stunning traditional colors…The first week of planning was spent mostly marveling at other people’s beautiful ideas. I realized quickly that with enough time, money, and effort you can make any idea picture-book perfect, so I had to pin down what I actually wanted and then work from there.
The first big decision was the size of the wedding. Neither of us wanted a huge event where everyone we ever met was invited, so we were deciding between a very intimate affair with just our immediate family and closest friends (about 20 people total) or a medium-sized event with about 75 guests (mostly family with a few friends). The logistics and cost were the main pros of the smaller event, but we decided that we had enough important people in our life we wanted to celebrate with to decide on the 75-person wedding. There was even a part of me that wanted to elope, just the two of us, but I feared I’d regret not getting to experience that walk down the aisle that a lot of us grow up dreaming about.
We knew we wanted to get married in Massachusetts, where we’re both from, but at the time of planning, we were still living in New Jersey. So our venue search took place entirely online. We loved the idea of a more rural old New England wedding in the fall, so Daniel’s father and step-mom suggested we look at The Wayside Inn, an historic 18th century inn located in Sudbury, MA. We looked at pictures and truly loved the aesthetic. It’s quintessential New England, with so much charm and character, and gorgeous green fields and gardens. I particularly loved the Martha Mary Chapel as a ceremony venue. I sent my mom and step-dad to scout it out and try the food. After we heard back with how much they loved it, we decided the book it, despite never seeing it in person. We chose September 23rd, which seemed like the perfect time of year for a New England wedding.
In March of 2017 we moved back to Massachusetts permanently with the hopes of buying a house. We put wedding planning on the back burner for awhile when we found a house we both loved and spent most of the spring working on that. It was at this point that I realized I didn’t care about the wedding as much as I thought I would. I think I loved the idea of having a project but the new house gave me so much to do that part of me was fulfilled. And now the wedding planning seemed more stressful than fun. I wanted to be married, but I no longer cared about the wedding itself. We had already put in a large deposit at the Wayside Inn, but we still considered walking away and just eloping. After a lot of thought, we decided to move forward with the wedding because of the money we already spent and because we knew we’d love the memory and it would make our family happy.
When it came to invitations, I was looking for an elegant floral/botanical design. After spending hours looking at what felt like thousands of invitations, my brain started to melt. Luckily, right when I was about to throw my computer out the window, I came across Citrus Press Co. and found an invitation I absolutely loved.
I waited forever and a day to go dress shopping with my mom and the sad but true reason for that is, I kept wishfully thinking I would lose 10 more pounds. I had spent the summer working out, eating healthy, and although I was proud of the progress I’d made, I didn’t exactly head into dress shopping with the body I thought I would. But when I buckled down and just WENT to Vows in Watertown, the experience wasn’t nearly as hard as I’d expected. I tried on a dozen or so gowns, narrowed those down to two, and ultimately left the store with a dress I absolutely loved. It felt timeless and romantic, with lace and sheer long sleeves, and the best part—it fit like a glove (however, I did end up losing a few more pounds by September, so I paid $300 for alterations two weeks before the wedding. Yikes). The only really disappointing aspect was that the lace tore in the back midway through the reception. It wasn’t a case of it being too tight either—in fact, I’d gotten the dress taken in a week before the wedding—and the rip wasn’t even near a seam. It seems that the lace just was too fragile, and maybe it got snagged by a watch or bracelet mid-hug, or caught by the bag of my chair. It was upsetting that I paid so much for the dress and it didn’t hold up, but by the time I noticed, I’d had between two and four glasses of champagne (they kept refilling!) and barely cared.
My bridesmaids wore White by Vera Wang floor-length, V-neck dresses from David’s Bridal in the color Mercury.
Hair and Makeup
For me, choosing hair and makeup was one of the more stressful parts of wedding planning and that’s entirely because I am flat-out neurotic when it comes to anything beauty-related. I had maybe half a dozen trials during the summer and though I was happy with a few, in the end I knew I could only surrender my hair to someone else. I had to do my own makeup.
Still, I wanted to offer my bridesmaids and mom the option of a glam squad. So I enlisted the help of I Do Hair and Makeup to style their hair, and Trinity Kizer to make them up. All of my gals were gorgeous.
The one thing I did not procrastinate to plan was photography and I’m so relieved about that, because we were able to snatch up the amazing Christina Ward before she was booked full with fall weddings. I cared about the quality of our photos more than just about anything else wedding-related, and spent hours online searching for someone whose style I loved. Christina’s portfolio was bright, timeless, and gorgeous.
She was so accommodating and easy to work with, made Daniel and I feel completely comfortable, and we seriously love how the pictures came out.
Since neither of us are religious, we wanted someone close to us to officiate our big day. I thought of our mutual friend, Justin, who we’ve been friends with for 14 years (we all met on our first day of college!). He’s funny, charming, a natural performer, and we knew would do a fantastic job. Daniel and I wrote some notes about what we love most about one another, along with a short script, and Justin took over from there. He was amazing. We kept the ceremony short and simple, which I think is the way to go.
For the processional, our parents and bridesmaids walked down the aisle to Vitamin String Quartet’s version of Regina Spektor’s “Us.”
My wonderful brother walked me down the aisle, and it was the most special part of the day for me, to the tune of Des’ree’s “Kissing You” by Stringspace.
And for the recessional, we played “Maybe I’m Amazed” by Paul McCartney and Wings. We made sure to start the song right at the 1:16 mark of this version.
Flowers and Decor
We worked with Allison at the Frugal Flower in Sudbury after the Wayside Inn wedding coordinator recommended her. She was incredible. I had an idea of what I wanted when we met with her and she suggested different options based on our preferences and budget. Allison decorated the chapel and reception area and was such a dream to work with, accommodating all of our requests at a very reasonable price.
Thankfully, I have a mom with the most stunning sense of style. Decorating is her passion and I knew she would enjoy picking stuff out and figuring out the best way to set it up, so she took the lead.
I also need to mention that my mom was without a doubt the MOST BEAUTIFUL thing at my wedding. I can’t take how gorgeous she looked.
We booked a DJ just a few weeks before the wedding. At first were unsure if we wanted to have traditional dancing because neither of us are big dancers and we didn’t know how many of our guests were either. But we decided it was probably necessary, so we booked a DJ, Frank Pietroski, using Thumbtack. Frank is an old school radio announcer and did such a great job. He played music for our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception.
We gave him a list of songs we definitely wanted to hear and a few we wouldn’t and let him handle the rest. He kept the reception lively and joyful, and we were shocked at how many people danced the whole time.
We decided to do a buffet because a.) it offered the biggest and best array of food, and b.) Daniel and I love buffets. During cocktail hour, we had passed hors d’oeuvres (petite beef wellington, scallops wrapped in bacon, phyllo-wrapped asparagus, cheese and charcuterie…), then sat down for two plated courses (crab cakes and salad), followed by a huge spread of prime rib, roasted turkey with stuffing, crab-stuffed filet of sole with lobster sauce, roasted potatoes, vegetables, and mac and cheese. We were really happy with the food. It was homey New England comfort food, which is exactly what we were hoping for. For dessert, we had two cakes because, well, we live for cake—a double chocolate one, made by the Wayside Inn, and a white cake with white frosting, from my favorite bakery: White’s.
We took most of our pictures before the ceremony but because I was running late (surprise!) we did some more pictures during the cocktail hour. We were introduced when we walked in and did our first dance to Leon Bridges’ “Home.” Daniel heard the song a couple of years ago and thought I’d like it so he suggested using it as our wedding song. We loved the old school sound and wanted to avoid something too overused so it was perfect. My maid of honor Kate gave the MOST beautiful speech (I laughed! I cried!) and then we ate dinner, talked to all of our friends and family , and did some dancing. Before we knew it the night was over.
After so much energy, stress, money, and time was spent focused on this one day, the next morning we felt relieved it was over and happy that it happened. All of it was so worthwhile and now I’m glad we have all the memories from our first day as husband and wife :)
Oh my gosh, what a beautiful wedding! You looked absolutely stunning! And your mom….just wow. Can you tell I have no words? ;)
What an absolutely Beautiful wedding! You looked absolutely stunning! Your photos are absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
I’m not crying after reading about your wedding day…you’re crying! For real, i’m tearing up over here reading about the beautiful meaning and pictures of your special day. All the congratulations in the world!
YOUR MOM. i almost didn’t recognize her! so happy for you. been following for about seven years and you look so happy. just lovely. xxo
Congrats on your wedding, and super congrats on it being over now haha. My husband and I got married the weekend after you and Daniel, and all I can say is I empathize with all this so much. It’s crazy and amazing and so wonderful, while also daunting and stressful and completely overwhelming. It’s so so worth it when all is said and done, but also I am so relieved to never have to plan a wedding again! Your pictures came out beautiful, and I’m so glad the day went off without a hitch! Enjoy married life and your new home!!
What a gorgeous day!! Thank you so much for sharing such a beautiful wedding and all the thought that went into it. You and your groom looked just perfect and I love your dress. Your mom…just wow! I watched her weight loss journey when you went through it on your blog a few years back and I am just in awe of how much hard work she has done to keep it going and she looks absolutely amazing! Enjoy being a newlywed – it’s a fabulous time!!
SO beautiful! Love how laid back you were with planning. I feel like people get so tied up in the small details and forget the true reason for the day!
Love you friend and remember spending that time in Portland after your engagement where you were thinking you’d elope. I’m so glad you didn’t. Your wedding seems like it was the perfect dream of simple & elegant and so you. But the emphasis was clearly on the love you and Daniel share.
And your mom? Wow!! She looks amazing. As do you, my friend. You look so happy!!!
Ack! How beautiful! I want to see the cakes!!
Truly the most beautiful day for the two most beautiful souls. Love you so much! xo
What a beautiful wedding. You looked gorgeous as did your mom!!!! She is stunning. She looks marvelous! Your dress and you looked breathtaking. Glad it was perfect!
You were a truly stunning bride and your wedding photos are so beautiful. Your mom looks AMAZING! I did a double take when I got to that photo.
Love all your pictures! Your dress, the bridesmaids dresses, your hair and makeup, the flowers…..everything was BEAUTIFUL!! And the food sounded AMAZING! And your mother looked absolutely gorgeous!! It looks like she has been successful with her weight loss as well!!! Congrats again!
PS: Loved all your honeymoon pics on IG as well ;)
SO beautiful!! Congratulations and thanks for sharing!!
Beautiful! All of this. And oh my goodness that version of Kissing You…
Love your hair and makeup! Thank you for sharing.
Congratulations again! So happy for both of you. So agree that your mother is stunning. I wondered how she was doing after the weight loss series on your blog. Please stay as happy as you are now. Wonderful blog presentation too!
Totally gorgeous- all of it! Congratulations!
I just LOVE this, the format is perfect and so you!
Curious- I had read all your posts about putting your mom on a diet; is that her in your pictures? I know you SAY it’s your mom-but I am blown away by how incredible she looks!
Congratulations on a gorgeous day! I live 1/2 mile from The Wayside Inn, and we love to drive by on weekends to see if there are any weddings going on!
Have followed you for years, read your book, remembered your mother in all those blog posts (she looked wonderful!) and am originally from New England so I was SO happy that you let us see your wedding photos. Beautiful day, stunning bride (makeup perfect btw), beautiful mom, beautiful venue, handsome husband, a long time coming for you too and it’s great to see you both so happy. Thanks again so much for sharing this personal day with all of us! Congratulations!
Oh, but I also want to see the cakes!!
Beautiful wedding and bride! That’s for sharing your special day.
Simply beautiful and Elegant. Blessings to you and daniel. May you have a long, happy marriage and children.
I cried, because I feel as if I know you through your book, and blog. Have a long happy life.
All of it looks just marvellous Andie, especially you and your mother! I remember the posts about you helping your mother on her well being journey and by golly it’s paid off as she looks amazing! Also, need. to. see. cake.
The very best wishes to you and your new husband for a beautiful life together.
gorgeous! so happy for you guys. 2 thoughts — your mom is STUNNING (i also recognize her from your old posts but WOW — she barely looks like the same person!!) and also, you should share a neurotic beauty post because your makeup was gorgeous!!
congrats again sweet andie (and daniel)!
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Congratulations, and thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful day with us.
I’m so happy for you both. Of course you look stunning but what is warming my heart most is how obviously joyful DanIel looks in those first photos. I’ve never seen a man look so radiant (for lack of a better word). My bestie’s grandpa once told us that the very most important decision you make is who you marry. You both nailed it-really! Much love to you guys. Megan
When I first saw the picture of your mom, I kept staring at it. I was wondering is this actually the same woman who was losing the weight a few years ago? She looks fantastic and I kept taking double-takes of her. So glad to finally see the pictures of your wedding. The whole thing was beautiful and another one here that wants to see the cakes. I used to decorate them, and always interested. Now when do we get to see the honeymoon pictures?
Congratulations to you and Daniel! Lovely photos!
A beautiful post from a beautiful day.
Blessings for a lifetime of happiness and love. You looked so beautiful and happy!
You are the most beautiful, but yeah your mom is stunning! What a gorgeous day. Thank you for sharing!
Congratulations Andie! You are a beautiful person – both inside and out! Thank you for sharing your special moments with us. I am grateful to you for your openness and the kind words of inspiration you have shared on your blog and in your book. I wish you and Daniel many years of joy. :)
Thank you for sharing your photos with us. I was hoping you would want to. You and Daniel make a lovely couple. Your mom and your bridesmaids look gorgeous and your stepdad so handsome. Memories to cherish in all the years ahead as you add more memories.
Best wishes always
Beautiful Wedding !! Beautiful Bride & Handsome Groom !!
So beautiful! I loved reading all the details, and you looked gorgeous! You have got to post some make-up tutorials, tips, tricks, etc!! Even just for an everyday face! ;) Also, your mom is really pretty!
“Beautiful!!!” I loved the way you detailed the entire day. You looked stunning. Your mother looked gorgeous in that dress. Wish you both all joy and love.
Beautiful stunning gorgeous bride and handsome groom!! Everyone in the bridal party looked amazing! I am also from Massachusetts and love the wayside inn! Thanks for sharing all the details love following you. Happy Holidays!
You looked absolutely gorgeous and your mom stunning. May God grant you and Daniel many years. Beautiful wedding and photos.
Your wedding was beautiful in every aspect and you looked absolutely stunning! Your dress was gorgeous and your Mom’s was as well. My daughter bought me your cookbook, Eating in the Middle, and I just read it from cover to cover. I have already bookmarked at least a dozen recipes to try. Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey!
Merry Christmas, Andie!
I want to thank you for sharing your oh-so-beautiful wedding with us. As crazy as it sounds, you mean a lot to me, and it’s really an honor to be included in such a special time of your life. (I felt the same with the photos you shared on Instagram while in Hawaii!)
As someone whose dad also died far too young and much too tragically, I have also been holding you super close to my heart this year, knowing your engagement and wedding have likely stirred up all kinds of emotions for you with your dad. The grief never ends, does it.
There’s one other thing I’ve been wanting to tell you: how happy I was when I read your Better Intentions post! I look forward to spending more time with your thoughtful writing in the new year. If you’re looking for post ideas (?!), I would love to hear your thoughts about losing weight for the wedding (and what practical and emotional stuff came with that for you this time around). And, of course, a honeymoon/Hawaii post as well as a tour of your lovely new home would be wonderful!
Oh, and we may also need an update on your sweet mama, because HOLY MOLY did she look aMAZing at your wedding!
Lots of warm wishes to you and Daniel,
Wow you looked amazing. I am so happy for you guys. Enjoy this very special time.
And your mom…I did not recognize her! Absolutely beautiful. Would she be up for an update on your blog??? PLEASE :)
Congratulations!!! So happy!
Simply stunning! Isn’t it funny how we always think we need to lose weight before we walk down the aisle? I remember feeling that same way, and then thinking, “If I lost weight, it wouldn’t really be ME at my wedding.” So I didn’t – and I looked and felt wonderful in my beautiful dress standing next to my new husband! Exactly how you look in all of these pictures. You look PERFECT! Your dress is incredible, your makeup is gorgeous, and you look like YOU! Of course, nothing beats the smile on your face when you look at your husband . . . priceless! Congratulations and best wishes to you both!
So happy! Congratulations!!!
Andi, I “discovered” you from your wonderful book, “It Was Me All Along.” I’ve been enjoying following you since then … wedding and now, baby James. He’s an adorable little peach! Just re-read your blog post on your wedding. Tell me about the make-up you used that day … false eyelashes? I want to try them, but the prospect is daunting … they look so hard to manage … so fiddly. Also, I’m a big fan of bridal bouquets and yours is one of the most beautiful I’ve seen. Take good care.
Have you made a makeup blog yet? I would KILL to know how you do your makeup – especially eye makeup!
I picked up “It was me all along” and stayed up late that same night finishing it. I could hardly sleep that night though, wishing you had ended up with Daniel. Felt silly bc I don’t usually care about celebs or authors’ personal lives, but I felt like I knew you.
Whew. Now I found your blog, searched “husband,” saw your wedding pictures, and am thrilled to see you’re doing well, enjoying your family, and looking forward to another child. Congratulations on all of it, and all the best to you.