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Today is mine and Cijay’s 3 year wedding anniversary, so I thought this would be a great chance to take a look back on our wedding day! For everyone who didn’t have a chance to see what our wedding was like or for those of you who you just want to reminisce with me, I’m going to share all the details from that day, show you lots of photos, and even share our highlight video from the wedding!
Before we look back on our wedding day, let’s talk about how these past 3 years of marriage have been for us. A lot has happened in just three years, we have traveled the world together, we had our first baby, and we moved all the way from Las Vegas to Hawaii! Along with all of these amazing moments comes some struggles and I’m learning that it’s okay. That’s the beautiful thing about marriage, you grow and learn together and those struggles are the moments that can be the most impactful on your relationship because it’s what teaches you how to work together and in my opinion, brings you closer. Marriage isn’t about finding someone who can give you a perfect life, it’s so much more than that; marriage is about sharing the adventure of growing, learning, laughing, crying, and loving with someone. That’s what is beautiful to me, that you can find someone who mutually wants to be a part of every good and bad part of your life. These first three years of our marriage have been pretty exciting and I can’t wait to see what we have in store for the rest of our lives!
I have to start by sharing my experience of finding my perfect wedding dress! I have been obsessed with the show Say Yes to the Dress for years and two things that I knew from watching that show were, 1) I had to go to Kleinfeld’s to find my dress and 2) My dress had to be a Pnina Tornai. I know a lot of people look at spending money on a wedding dress as wasteful and trust me I can agree with that since it’s a dress that you will only wear for one day, but if you have the means to make that dream come true of feeling like a princess on the happiest day of your life then I say do it! Since I was determined to make this dream a reality, my mom and I headed off to New York City to say yes to the dress! My experience at Kleinfeld’s was seriously even better than I could have imagined. I went in with an exact dress in mind, I just knew this was the one, but to my surprise when I arrived, guess who was waiting for me to help pick out my wedding dress with me? PNINA TORNAI HERSELF!!! I thought I was dreaming! Not only did I have the designer herself there to help me, but she brought out a dress that was straight from the runway of her brand new collection, a dress that no one had tried on before. I took one look at it and it put my other dream dress to shame. It was perfect. I left that day with the most amazing feeling and experience to remember forever.
About 10 months later, my best friend and Maid of Honor, Tabitha, went back to Kleinfeld’s with me to get my final fitting done and finally pick up my dress!
NOW FOR THE WEDDING DAY!…We were married on 10/12/14 in Yountville, CA, which is right in Napa Valley. My family is originally from the Napa area and my parents were living there at the time, so that was why we decided to have our wedding in that location, plus it’s one of the most romantic and beautiful places! Yountville is a little town right in Napa County. It’s an area full of vineyards, shops, and restaurants with a quaint European feel. Our wedding venue was the first venue we looked at and we knew right away, that was it! Our venue was at the Villagio Inn & Spa. The property there is seriously stunning, they have there own private garden and courtyard area that was perfect for our ceremony and an old rustic wine barrel room that was the perfect setting for our reception.
Since the venue was so stunning and elegant, we wanted to keep our wedding formal with a touch of Gatsby glamour! I’ve always loved the Great Gatsby ever since I read it in high school, not only do I love the story but I LOVE the 1920’s, so it felt perfect to incorporate that into the wedding.
Our wedding ceremony was at 6:00pm, so since the sun would be setting once the ceremony was finished, we had to do all of our photos before the ceremony. At first I was a little upset because I was afraid of missing out on the special moment when my future husband would see me for the first time that day walking down the aisle towards him, but then our photographer convinced us to do ‘first look’ photos and let me just tell you, it was so worth it! Doing the photos before the ceremony actually ended up being so much better than I would have thought. It was nice to have all of the photos done first, that way we didn’t have to worry about ruining what we looked liked, especially with all of the crying (and there was lots of crying), once the ceremony started we could just focus on getting married and having a great time with our friends. The ‘first look’ photos ended up being one of my favorite parts of the day and it didn’t take away from that special moment of walking down the aisle towards my future husband, because we both still felt that teary eyed, butterflies in your stomach feeling and it was magical! So if you can, I definitely recommend doing ‘first look’ photos at your wedding!
We kept our wedding party small and simple. I had my two best friends Tabitha and Danielle from back home in Florida by my side, Cijay had his best friend Ryan and brother Erik standing with him, and our niece and nephew were the flower girl and ring bearer. It was the perfect wedding party and they all looked amazing!
It was so amazing having all of our families together in one place just for us on our wedding day. At the time we all lived in different states, so it was rare for everyone to have a chance to be in the same place, so it meant a lot to us.
Here are a few more photos from right before the ceremony. I have to say, I’m so impressed with Cijay because he normally hates being in photos and he did great, he was a stud!
We tried not to splurge too much on our wedding, keyword ‘tried’. One thing that I couldn’t resist splurging on was a string quartet for the ceremony and cocktail hour, it added the perfect touch of elegance and emotion to our wedding. The string quartet played Lana Del Rey’s ‘Young and Beautiful’ as my dad walked me down the aisle. It was seriously the most perfect moment, with that song playing, my dad standing by my side, watching all of our friends and family there to support us, and seeing my husband at the end of that aisle, I couldn’t have dreamt a better moment.
As soon as we walked down the aisle as husband and wife our incredible wedding planner didn’t skip a beat and had a glass of wine waiting for us at the end, ready to celebrate! We walked down the aisle and right into cocktail hour and it was perfect! It was a great time to greet everyone with big hugs and photos and getting the party started!
Chocolate Cigars 😉
Once our cocktail hour was over, we all walked over to our reception area, which was a quick walk to the other side of the building to a beautiful old rustic wine barrel room. The room its self was so beautiful, it didn’t need many decorations, but of course I had to add my little touches of glamour! Sticking with the theme of Gatsby glamour, our table clothes were black sequined, pearls and feathers draped from each table, and more touches of sparkle and delicate flowers were showcased around the room. We went with a buffet for our food, mostly because of pricing. I was skeptical at first about having a buffet because it didn’t feel as elegant to me, but it ended up fitting perfect with our wedding day and the food tasted amazing! For our cake, we only had a small tier cake made for Cijay and I to cut for ourselves and then we had a dessert bar for our guests that was done by Sift Cupcakes and included, cupcakes, cake pops, macaroons, and whoopie cookies. Not only was this option cheaper but I thought it was a way better idea for our guests than just a large cake. It provided plenty of options for our guests to try and it actually provided more dessert than just having a cake.
Before everyone ate, Cijay and I began our ‘first dance’. We danced to the song “I won’t give up” by Jason Mraz. As cheesy as it sounds, it really is an emotional moment during your first dance, it’s the moment I was dancing in the arms of the man that was now my husband and partner for life and I just felt so much love.
After our ‘first dance’ and dinner we went right into our father-daughter and mother-son dances. I also used this time to do a dress change. I wanted to have another dress that was a little more comfortable for the dancing and partying of the night and it was a chance to wear another dress that was completely different from my previous glamorous dress; this one was flowy, poofy, and it felt like a princess gown. For our dances, my dad and I danced to Tim McGraw’s “My Little Girl” and Cijay and his mom danced to Edwin McCain’s “Letter to My Mother “.
Next up was the speeches! The only people to give speeches were my maid of honor, Tabitha, and Cijay’s best man, Ryan. We wanted to keep the speeches section short and sweet, plus our families were too nervous to speak in front of everyone, haha. Tabitha and Ryan did not dissapoint with their speeches, they had the whole room crying and laughing along with them and it was perfect!
Now it was time to really let loose and party! We started off with Cijay and I’s cake cutting and went right into endless dancing, and finished with our garter and bouquet toss. In the midst of all the fun I remember stopping for a second to just take in that moment. Your wedding day moves by so fast and we often don’t take a second to really take it in. In that moment when I looked around I remember feeling so emotional, looking at all of our best friends and family that came from all over the country to be here just for us, seeing my new husband standing next to me with the biggest smile on his face, seeing how beautiful this day turned out and knowing everyone was having the time of their lives was the most overwhelmingly feeling of happiness.
Below is our wedding highlight video. We have a full length 30 min video as well, but this 5 min highlight video is a great recap of some of the best moments from that day! It showcases everything from when we were getting ready, our first look, our wedding vows, and all the way to dancing the night away! I hope you enjoy it!