A.Magill.Since.May
Master May 2018

Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control)

A.Magill.Since.May, on June 10, 2018 at 6:19 PM Posted in Married Life 0 54
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This is going to be very long because my photographer sent me a highlight reel of her favorites and I love them all and don't have the self-control to choose only a few so I'm hurrying up to do my BAM post before she sends me the full gallery and my problem is amplified lol. Advice and stories will be sprinkled throughout.

So Background Details:

We got married 5/19 in Tallahassee, FL.

Total Headcount: 45

Venue: Saint John's Episcopal Church (priest and organist included)

Photographer: Brittany Morgan

Florist: Hilly Fields Florist and Gifts

Caterer: Fran Doxsee LLC

Bar Service: Top Shelf Events

DJ: Fire Entertainment

Bridesmaid Dresses: Azazie

Tux Rentals: Men's Warehouse

My dress was my MIL's. I had it altered by Debbie Cortese Bridal Alterations and cleaned and pressed (and now being preserved) through Bobbie Williams (Prepare THE Dress) I strongly recommend both to anyone in the Tallahassee area.

Hair and Makeup were semi-DIY. My best friend/ MOH did my makeup and my sister/BM did my hair. I know DIY makeup and "friendors" are both highly discouraged here. Normally I agree. My budget came down to providing a proper bar or having a proper HMUA and I made the right call. My girls volunteered to help because they love me and they are skilled in ways I am not. We did two trial runs of each to make sure everything was going to work out.

Advice #1: If the budget is tight, Cut corners where it won't hurt your guests' experience. I went for an afternoon wedding with a shorter lunch reception (1pm-5pm) to make sure I was able to provide for my guests' experience the whole time. We had a lunch buffet (still had two meat options and a silent vegetarian option), We had open beer, cider, and wine instead of a full bar, we only had five hours of photography, we limited flowers, and as mentioned above we skipped professional hair and makeup. Our wedding was still amazing and nearly all of the guests told me so. Some of them mentioned it was much better than expected (they are used to cash bars on one side of the family, and dry weddings on the other lol)

Advice #2: Don't be afraid that a small wedding means a boring wedding. I mention this now because this was my greatest fear. That the church would look empty and the reception would look empty and there wouldn't be enough people to really have a party and everyone would get bored and leave. This is NOT a problem. If you invite your nearest and dearest, your ceremony will be beautiful and meaningful with them there. If you know your crowd and provide them with good music, good food, and some drinks, the reception will be a party!

Advice #3: Hire a photographer you click with, then trust them. You will spend more time with the photographer during your wedding than basically anyone else. If you find a photographer with gorgeous work but you don't like them when you meet, don't go for it. You need someone who you like both their work and their personality. Then trust them!! My photographer helped us navigate a very tight timeline and took phenomenal photos (in my opinion at least, scroll down and judge for yourself). She took so many creative shots and arrangements we never could have figured out on our own. Trusting her and listening to her helped our day smoothly and our pictures turn out well.

Invite and hanging dressAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 1Details and InviteAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 2Flowers and JewelryAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 3The bouquetsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 4Dress Bodice close upAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 5

We actually did our hair and makeup before getting to the church and before starting photography because of our limited photography time, but we did do some adorable getting ready shots!

Robe and PetticoatsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 6

Getting Ready SillinessAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 7

Finishing getting ready with mom and the girlsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 8Mom zipping the dress, my girls fixing my petticoatsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 9

Finishing touches with the earringsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 10MOH fixing my veilAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 11

Next I did a brief first look with my father. It was a really special moment for us and I'm so glad my photographer remembered me asking for it during our first consultation (by the time the wedding came around it had totally slipped my mind.

Surprising my Dad with a first lookAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 12

First look with Dad. I almost cried when he teared upAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 13

First Look with DadAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 14

We only had our one photographer, and I honestly cannot tell you how she managed to get all of these getting ready shots done. It's like she was in two places at once! Here's my groom Smiley heart

My handsome husband Smiley heartAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 15

MOG pinning the bout before the first lookAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 16

Advice #4: I'm going to pause here and STRONGLY recommend considering a first look! It made perfect sense for us time wise and was so incredibly special to have this private moment. I promise it does not ruin walking down the aisle. It gives you a chance to hug and see each other up close when you don't have tons of eyes on you and a ceremony to be getting on with!

Waiting for the First LookAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 17

The First LookAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 18

The first look: seriously his smile when he turned around made me meltAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 19

Pre-Ceremony Portraits in the churchAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 20Pre-Ceremony Couples PortraitsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 21Shout out to my MOH for fanning my veilAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 22

Wedding party portrait in the churchAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 23

Advice #5: Ask only exactly who you want to be in your wedding party, everyone else will get over it. As is obvious in this picture, our wedding party is both uneven and has ladies on the groom's side. This is the perfect bunch of people to stand with us and I am so glad we decided traditional opinions about genders and matching sides did not matter a bit.

Me and my bridesmaidsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 24Us againAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 25

Groom and GroomspeopleAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 26

Wedding party portraitAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 27Whole Wedding party portraitsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 28

Last Pre-Ceremony PortraitsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 29

Moving on to the ceremony! We got married in a church that put a lot of restrictions on where the photographer could be. She had to stay in the back of the church or in the balcony. She got around that for the bridal entrance aisle picture below by taking a staged one. I assume there will be more pictures of the processional before my entrance in our full gallery when we get that back in the next few weeks.

Bride's EntranceAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 30

Bride's procesional (staged photo left)Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 31

Advice #6: Talk to your officiant and make your ceremony your own. This bit of advice is most relevant for me with the below photo. We were married in the Episcopal Church and had to use the established wedding liturgy from a 40 year old Prayer Book, so we were limited in the "make your ceremony fit you" department but we still did it. We didn't just follow the standard goings we read the liturgy and looked at all of our options. The book gave us the option of doing an egalitarian presentation: "Who presents these two to be married?" with the answer as "I do" from all four parents, instead of the normal presentation of the Bride. We were the first couple our priest has ever married that looked it up and decided to do it. I strongly advice everyone, no matter how traditional you are, to think about what aspects might be really important to you and see what can be accommodated.

Presentation of Bride and GroomAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 32

The ceremony with the wedding partyAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 33

Stepping up to the AlterAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 34

Advice #7: If your dress is big and your train is long, it'll have to be adjusted around every time you walk until you bustle it. Even mid-ceremony. If this will annoy or embarrass you, consider a less obtrusive dress style option.

The Vows and LaughterAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 35

The Kiss!Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 36

The RecessionalAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 37

Post-Ceremony Signing the LicenseAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 38

A Private Moment before Family Portraits After the CeremonyAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 39

I am not going to post any family portraits because this post is going to be monstrously long as it is. I do have some advice though: Advice #8: Make sure every individual who needs to be somewhere for pictures knows ahead of time. Maybe this is another "know your crowd" moment, but I had trusted that telling the parents/leaders of each family group where they needed to be was sufficient because people would communicate. This was not the case and we ended up waiting around as people had to go find others and bring them back.

Post Ceremony Photos in the Church's front gardenAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 40Fountain PortraitsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 41One of my favorite portraits before I got bustledAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 42

On the way to the parish hall for the reception entranceAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 43PortraitsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 44My favorites Smiley heartAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 45

I could finally move!Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 46

On to the Reception!!!!

Advice #9: If decor isn't your passion, don't sweat it. Simple is beautiful too. I am not huge on decorating and I was so nervous leading up to my wedding that my stylistic choices would look sad or plain on the day of the wedding. Many kind souls here talked me down one day shortly before that I didn't need to buy a bunch more stuff and that it would be fine. They were right. Everything was perfectly suited to me, and the guests really don't care.

Reception decor, my in-law's toasting glassesAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 47Table centerpieces and my spray-painted sweetheart table blockAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 48Our cake, and the incredible ring photo with the cake topperAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 49

Advice #10: Make the reception timeline and events suit your day, don't try to force yourself into whatever the "normal" or "traditional" set up is. We decided not to do the bouquet or garter toss because, well, we didn't want to. Then we rearranged the reception events to suit us and the time we had left with the photographer. We did Entrance, immediately followed by first dance, then welcome speech and meal. An hour into the meal we did the toasts, then the cake cutting immediately followed by the joint parents' dance, then we opened the dance floor for the remainder of the reception. It wasn't the standard set up but it worked beautifully for us. It didn't confuse the guests or make anyone leave early. Do it your way, everything will go great.

Entrance and First DanceAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 50

First DanceAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 51

Advice #11: Some things may go wrong. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone, be ready to laugh it off. About 45 seconds into our first dance the song cut off and then started over. Everyone notice and was looking around confused. My husband and I made the decision to just call it quits early rather than keep dancing with the hopes the four minute song had no repeat issues. We made this choice partially because it was already made awkward but mostly because we aren't great dancers anyway and were happy to have the dance behind us. We moved on with jokes and a laugh, one of the DJ apologetically explained the error and we told him it was no big deal and we were happy to keep the reception going. It was the tiniest blip in our day, but would have been a real issue if we let it upset us.

Laughing together, waiting for the welcome speech and the buffet to be ready.Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 52

SpeechesAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 53

Our reactions during speechesAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 54

Figuring out that cake cutting is not one of my talentsAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 55

Feeding each other cake nicelyAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 56

Me and my dad during the joint parents' danceAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 57My groom and MILAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 58

The Official Group Shot!Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 59

Party Time!Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 60Silliness during the party Afternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 61

I applaud you if you've made it all the way to the end of my unnecessarily long BAM. I am so thankful for Wedding Wire. I've received so much wonderful advice and felt such a sense of community. I hope all of you future brides and grooms enjoyed my BAM as much I've enjoyed seeing them over the past year! Congratulations and good luck with planning!

54 Comments

  • Kayla
    Expert January 2019
    Kayla ·
    • Flag
    Congratulations! Your wedding was so beautiful and you can see so much sweetness and love between you two! Thank you for the advice!
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag

    Never would have thought of pre-ceremony photos in the church. Yours are beautiful and touching!!! That church is one of the most beautiful churches I've seen. Love that you did first-look photos with your dad too. Your photographer did an amazing job. Every photo of the two of you is fantastic (she did have stellar models to work with)! She captured the colors and angles and guests so well. I'm in love with your photos--so full of beauty and sweet romance. Smiley heart

    I love small weddings because they can be fun and personal. Great testament for afternoon weddings being as much fun as a huge evening party. Congrats and best wishes!

    • Reply
  • Amanda
    Expert June 2018
    Amanda ·
    • Flag
    This is stunning. It looks like a beautiful day.
    • Reply
  • A.Magill.Since.May
    Master May 2018
    A.Magill.Since.May ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you!! The actual wedding was amazing, and then two thirds of our guests all went back to the same hotel right across the street and the party kept going! Our families were still up celebrating together when we retired around 11pm!
    • Reply
  • amandaaok
    VIP June 2018
    amandaaok ·
    • Flag
    Omg such fabulous photos your photographer was CLEARLY beyond excellent and your venue was STUNNING!!! CONGRATS!
    • Reply
  • Emilie
    Super April 2019
    Emilie ·
    • Flag
    Congrats! Everything looked beautiful! And I read every word and loved the advice!
    • Reply
  • Amarriedmann
    Expert June 2019
    Amarriedmann ·
    • Flag
    What a beautiful day! Everything really does come across as love-filled and meaningful. Really great advice and the pictures are so very lovely! I like how you sprinkled it throughout. Congrats to the both of you!🎉🎉

    And thanks for one one of the best BAMs EVERRRRRRR!
    • Reply
  • Leah
    Dedicated April 2019
    Leah ·
    • Flag
    Your wedding looks like so much fun! You look amazing and your pictures are all beautiful! Congratulations!!!
    • Reply
  • Pirate & 60s Bride
    Champion March 2017
    Pirate & 60s Bride ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment

    You can see how much fun everyone had! Woo hoo to the party continuing at the hotel (yet it seemed to happen naturally which is even better). What a beautiful young & sweet couple. Much love to you both.

    • Reply
  • Btbride
    Super August 2019
    Btbride ·
    • Flag

    Your joy just radiates through these photos! So beautiful. Congratulations!!

    • Reply
  • A.Magill.Since.May
    Master May 2018
    A.Magill.Since.May ·
    • Flag
    Oh! Another point of advice!
    If you can, have whoever will be bustling your dress come with you to your last alterations appointment and practice!! My seamstress very quickly demonstrated it, but at the wedding we couldn't figure it out. My photographer, an absolute godsent, got it bustled for us but when it came loose during the afterparty we never got it back looking right.
    • Reply
  • A.Magill.Since.May
    Master May 2018
    A.Magill.Since.May ·
    • Flag

    I CANNOT believe I forgot this photo! All of our wedding party, save the Best Man, changed into new Converse for the Reception!

    Matching Reception ShoesAfternoon Church Wedding Pro bam (very long... i have no self control) 62


    • Reply
  • Sara P.
    VIP October 2018
    Sara P. ·
    • Flag
    These are beautiful pictures! I read all the way to the end bc I liked your pictures and your advice. And your dress! It's gorgeous too! Congratulations!
    • Reply
  • Sara P.
    VIP October 2018
    Sara P. ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    I love the champagne gold color for their dresses!
    • Reply
  • AbouttobeaBANKS
    Devoted July 2018
    AbouttobeaBANKS ·
    • Flag
    Best bam ! Loved this and enjoyed reading and seeing the photos. CONGRATSSSSS
    • Reply
  • Lisa
    Devoted October 2018
    Lisa ·
    • Flag
    Congratulations! Your wedding looks so beautiful and your pictures were amazing! You guys look like you had such a fun day! Thanks for all the advice too, cheers!
    • Reply
  • S
    Devoted November 2018
    shante ·
    • Flag
    Congratulations! I enhoyed reading and looking at everything. Felt like i was there lol. Everything looked beautiful and thanks for all the advise.
    • Reply
  • A.Magill.Since.May
    Master May 2018
    A.Magill.Since.May ·
    • Flag
    View Quoted Comment
    Thank you! We got them from Azazie. Azazie will let you order fabric samples very cheap so you can make sure you like the color before you have anyone order dresses.
    • Reply
  • Cristina
    Devoted October 2018
    Cristina ·
    • Flag
    Congratulations!! Your photos are beautiful!
    • Reply
  • Mrs. Mecking
    Expert August 2018
    Mrs. Mecking ·
    • Flag
    Congratulations!!! Thank you for sharing the pictures and advice. It looks that you had a wonderful day!
    • Reply

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