Carly: Nick was and is the greatest surprise of my life. We met at a bar because mutual friends invited us to the same get together, we sat beside each other all night -- not really sure if we liked each other, until he asked me out for a late night cheeseburger -- post bar. We stayed out till 4am, driving around, going to gazebos to look at the stars, him twirling me around to Michael Buble, and singing -- it was like a damn movie. The first song I ever sang to him actually happened to be the Veggie Tales Cheeseburger song (in the voice of Mr. Lunt -- look it up, it's worth a laugh). I have no clue why he asked me on a second date after that but I sure am glad he did.
He is the most compassionate, selfless, and SUAVE person I know. I think the story of how I knew I was in love with him is pretty telling of his character. When we first started dating, he had a nice thick winter coat in the back of his car hanging up from the dry cleaner. It stayed there for weeks, I didn't understand why he didn't take it inside or use it (it was winter, and COLD). He got a new car a month after my discovery (still winter), and the coat went right to the back seat.. so I finally asked why he had that coat still in the back of his car. His response moved me to tears. He very nonchalantly explained that: "there is a homeless man I always see on Tate St near my house, I've been meaning to give him this coat but I haven't seen him in awhile, so it's going to stay there until I do." That's all he said, then went right back to what he was saying before. I knew right then, that he was a truly special person. About two weeks after that conversation, the coat finally disappeared from his backseat. I never brought it up again, but I knew that meant it finally went to its new home. His compassion for others is something that still leaves me in awe of him, even now.
He proposed to me on a rooftop pool overlooking the skyline of my favorite NC city (Winston-Salem) after a day disguised as a "couples photoshoot." He originally wanted to propose in a field of sunflowers (my favorite flowers), but the week he wanted to propose... they all died due to the NC heat in July. So he had to make a backup plan since the photographer was booked. It ended up going swimmingly (haha rooftop pool jokes). Then he crammed all of our friends in his home for a surprise engagement party. It was magical.
Nick is a closet nerd hiding behind a three piece suit, while I'm just a nerd with a wardrobe like Ms. Frizzle. We're opposites, but it really works! Our weekends are spent as a Paladin and a Rogue going on adventures in Dungeons and Dragons, or taking nice walks through our neighborhood. We enjoy good whiskey, making fun of each other, and our family of fur babies (two rabbits -- Emerson & Arwen, and our blue point Siamese -- Sammi, who sometimes gets nicknamed as our Alien).
Oh man... our wedding. We have very different personalities and tastes, so we started there. We wanted to find a way to meld them. So I chose the ceremony inspiration, and he chose the reception. He's very glitz and glam, while I'm very earthy and outwardly nerdy. I chose a "Lord of the Rings" (my all time favorite book and movie series) inspiration for the ceremony, and he chose a "The Great Gatsby" inspiration for the reception. We wanted to meld my Elven princess feel with his Jay Gatsby suave.
A huge priority for the both of us was to produce as little waste as possible. We're both environmentally conscious, and we wanted that mindset to extend to our wedding. We decided to rent most everything (vintage gold rimmed china, center pieces, and other decor). We also wanted to utilize as many local vendors as possible. We made DIY fairy forest lanterns for the ceremony site, mirror signs we could re-use, re-purposed a vintage door as a seating chart (a key to your seat, with skeleton key beer bottle openers with table number tags), used a theatre schools backdrop for our "Love Couch," had a florist friend repurpose already used flowers for florals, DIYed book page boutonnières out of recycled copies of LOTR and The Great Gatsby. We had so many family members willing to donate reusable decor items, that we didn't rack up a huge carbon footprint for the wedding, which was a WEDDING WIN!
I made my now husband embark on a very Leslie Knope scavenger hunt in order for him to find his wedding present, and for me.. all day, randomly gifts would appear.
We did a blindfolded first "look" where we could still have a few private moments to ourself. Our wedding party walked us to each other blindfolded, let us have a few moments like that, then we turned back to back to read private vows to each other, with our wedding party far enough away to where they wouldn't hear.
The ceremony was officiated by a professional Santa, although he didn't come dressed as Santa. That's just a side hustle of his.
All of our ceremony music came from Lord of the Rings. Both my grandfather and step-father walked me to the beginning of the aisle, where they departed to their seats, and I walked down the aisle alone.
The reception, we did a beer cheers together instead of a cake cutting, and it was very us. We had enchiladas on fine china, and it still cracks us up.
I am sure there is plenty more, but my brain is losing its ability to remember it all! It was a perfect day.
EVERYTHING. 100%. The year and a half of stress and planning was definitely worth it.
There was nothing that we paid for that we felt was not worth it, because we really utilized the FIB.
Cake, a real seating chart, a religious officiant, people's expectations/opinions other than our own, paper RSVPs, chair covers, uplighting, the "give away" portion of the ceremony, GIFTS - we didn't do parent gifts, "fancy" food, a normal guestbook (we did a canvas of a hobbit hole), a getaway car, formal speeches, LINE DANCES (we hate all of them and we made it clear to our DJ they were not allowed).
Be true to who you are as people. Don't be afraid to have the nerdiest wedding on planet if that is what you want. Your wedding is what you make it, and only you can decide what "feels" right to you!
HIRE A WEDDING COORDINATOR. We almost put it in the FIB but we are so glad we didn't. We had 0 worries because our coordinator KICKED ASS.
Also, unless your FIL, FMIL, mom, dad, etc are paying for it, their opinions on your preferences aren't worth your stress.
Wedding Director/Venue: Melanie Newton of Carolina Country Weddings
Coordinator: Belinda Locke
China Rentals: Evermore
DJ: Marcus @ Coastal DJ & Video
Videography: Zack Fox & Chris Scarlette of Scarlette Fox Films
Catering: An Event to Remember
Floral Design: John Paulin at the Grassy Knoll
Bartenders: Bartenders Plus CLT
Officiant: Jac Grimes of All Faiths Officiants
Paper Florals: Anthology on Main