July 15, 2017 //
Morristown NJ //
The Madison Hotel
Since the Madison Hotel is such a historic and elegant venue, since we love nature, and since the Arboretum is such a special spot for us, our wedding style was an elegant garden themed wedding. We decided our main colors were navy and gold, to match the setting of the Madison Hotel ballroom.
For flowers, we used succulents, garden roses, and greenery to reflect the gorgeous qualities of the conservatory where our ceremony was, as well as have a unique twist on flowers. I had a heart shaped piece of fabric from my grandmother’s handkerchief sewn inside of my dress, since my grandmother was ill and could not attend the wedding. I placed a charm of a picture of my grandfather around my bouquet to honor his memory. The bridesmaids wore navy beaded dresses, which was the original inspiration for the navy accent in our wedding colors. I am a science teacher but one of my hobbies is art, and so I hand designed a logo for our wedding which I utilized on our letter-pressed invitations and our favors, which were pint glasses for each guest.
Before the ceremony, we exchanged gifts and also exchanged letters that we hand-wrote to each other. The letter that Tom wrote me made me cry and it was so special! I gave Tom a journal that I filled out called “my favorite moment of the day” which one of my bridesmaids had given me when we got engaged– I had filled it out every day since we got engaged leading up to the wedding. We also had our first look outside the front of the hotel with our friends and family watching, and it was such a special moment!
My favorite moment was our first dance! My husband and I were not particularly skilled dancers, so we took lessons a few months leading up to the wedding. We learned a choreographed routine to our first dance song, which was “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne. We had messed up our dance at our practice performance at our last class, so for a week before the wedding we practiced in our kitchen every night and we practiced again on the ballroom dance floor a few days before the wedding. We absolutely NAILED our first dance the night of the wedding, and you can just see the pure excitement in our faces in the photos after we finished our dance. I am so proud of us for learning a new skill together, and we had fun doing it! We still dance parts of our routine together in the kitchen!
Writing our own vows was the most special part of our wedding. Tom and I wrote our vows together, and I am SO glad we did and that we personalized for each other. Also, a surprising detail that has now become a tradition in our family happened! Tom’s dad’s best friend from home brought an antique umbrella to our wedding– Tom’s parents had used it on their wedding day and had taken a photo with it. So at the last minute, we took a photo with the umbrella. He mailed us the umbrella so now we have it at our house on display, and we will pass it on to our children for their wedding day!
My aunt (who is also my godmother) was supposed to do a reading during our ceremony, but she and my cousin had been at her college orientation and the flight got cancelled due to a storm. They drove 11 hours from North Carolina in a rental car to make it to our wedding. My aunt and cousin arrived at 8PM and when asked if they could stay in their travel clothes because they were going to miss the entire wedding if they changed, I said ABSOLUTELY!! I was floored that she drove all those hours just to be there for us. This is a memory we will never forget!