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Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered)


I’m so happy to get to share Rachel’s (aka DDay) wedding today. Rachel has been a super active commenter on APW for… a long time now, and a few months ago, as I was in the middle of the site re-launch madness, she popped up in the comments to say she was getting married in four days. And I got so excited! And thank goodness she sent me her wedding, because if she hadn’t, I’d *still* be worrying about how it went. But this is how it went: JOYFUL! (Are you surprised?) Her post is so wise, and talks about something we’ve been talking a lot about lately – celebrating baby families. And, just for the record – my favorite photo of the day – the one of them looking totally blissed out with champagne? That was taken right before their yichud. Rachel said she stole the idea from our wedding. They found, just like we found, that those few moments alone, right after the emotion of the ceremony, realizing that you’re married now… those were some of the best moments of a wonderful day.

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

And, as if that’s not enough, Rachel is following in the Team Practical tradition ( you guys are the best…. ) of giving away her wedding dress. If you’d like her to gift it to you, leave a message in your comment as to why. The usual rules apply – Rachel picks who the dress goes to (with some lobbying from me, I fully admit), the recipient pays for shipping, and sends a picture to Rachel of them rocking the dress. And…. hopefully comes back as a wedding graduate. And with that, I give you Rachel:

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

We got married at a place called Old Town Hall, in Fairfax, VA (Northern Virginia suburb), on the first day of spring. We had sat down early on and set our priorities, and talked about what was important and not important.. We both wanted a basically traditional wedding (with a few tweaks) in a place that felt like “us,” and at the time we thought that meant our neighborhood, but we found out it meant a historic building that functions as a library, art gallery, and community event space, that happens to be right across the street from a little hole-in-the-wall bar (that bar became key to our enjoyment the afternoon of the rehearsal and again the next day, when we found ourselves ahead of schedule). If there’s a running list anywhere of Team-Practical-Approved venues, this one needs to go on that list. It’s basically made for us (and the staff! aahh!).

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding
We ended up being extra lucky in many ways.

  • My mom is an artist and recently got into floral design, so she and one of my sisters put together all our bouquets/bouts/corsages
  • Her artistic talents actually came in handy all over the place
  • My oldest sister basically begged for the chance to try baking us a 3-tier cake (and it turned out gorgeous and AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS).
  • And then Zach’s parents offered to help pay, but had zero interest in any of the decision making (in addition to planning and paying for our awesomely chill rehearsal dinner).

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

It wasn’t all luck and roses of course! Zach started grad school mid-engagement, so naturally money became a source of stress during that transition, but we figured it out, re-worked our daily-life budget, and carried on. There were other things that were hard, like the guest list conundrum, which I’m pretty sure is universally, unavoidably a huge painful headache. That worked itself out in the end, and I think it always does, if that makes anyone feel better!

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

I also dealt with some guilt, planning our wedding when my maid of honor’s marriage rights were promised and then quickly taken away. I spent some time beating myself up for not being strong enough to suggest that we not marry in protest, or make some gesture in support of that cause at the wedding. Turns out she was grateful enough that I didn’t make her wear a dress. I had her stand up there next to me, as herself, as a natural piece of my wedding party even though she didn’t look like the other attendants, and that seemed to be enough, for the moment. Still feels like a small gesture – especially when I found out later that at least a couple of the (older) guests were confused why one of the groomsmen was standing on my side.

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

Since we had purposely built the whole event around the concept of being stress-free and living-in-the-moment and really having a good time no matter what went wrong (you know, Team Practical mantra) – I expected to have fun. I mean we were pouring X amount of money into this thing, half of which was our own hard-earned savings, the other half was money we knew his parents could have found a use for in their somewhat near retirement. We couldn’t see spending that amount of money on something that was not just hugely meaningful but also a holycraprockingout good time (with chill moments worked in). So I was not surprised that I had an amazing time at our wedding.

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

What took me a bit unawares was something many other graduates have referenced, but something it’s hard to imagine until you’re in the middle of it. It’s just this overwhelming, bubbling-over, gonna-drown-but-in-a-good-way JOY. All around. You can see it in the faces of every single person there. They were all so happy for us, so happy to be there.

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

You could see it in the faces of the married couples, I felt like we were reminding them why they got married. Whether they had gotten married a year ago or 20, 30, 40 years ago, the creation of our new little baby-family made them all feel like newlyweds again (that might be just my imagination, but that’s what the energy felt like in the room). And the joy wasn’t just coming from the married types. Everyone was just radiating happiness, and it’s something that Zach and I still talk about as one of the most memorable aspects of that day.

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

Weddings naturally provide an opportunity to honor marriage in your community; we tried to do that as much as possible, though we definitely could have done more. Some marriage honoring aspects:

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

  • We got married on Zach’s parents’ anniversary (I had wanted to make a big deal of it but they refused to let us draw any attention to them);
  • Our cake topper was from his grandparents’ wedding over 60 years ago;
  • For our readings we chose two women who were both very influential in our lives and also in strong marriages of their own;
  • At our reception, we had the DJ do the married couples dance. After most couples had been called off the dance floor, I remember standing there watching my aunt and uncle, the ones married the longest (other than Zach’s grandparents, who were not able to get up and dance), just totally ripping up the dance floor, and it made me really giddy thinking of it as a glimpse into our future. We’ll be the last ones dancing one day. We will, darn it.

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

Nothing went wrong! It’s kind of insane. Maybe it was karma, maybe it was great planning, maybe it was dumb luck. Maybe it was a willful suspension of expectation for that “perfect day.” I am a real proponent of the power of positive thinking; if you sincerely believe you’ll have fun no matter what, I think you’ll have fun no matter what, and it might just be because you willed it that way, which is a pretty darn good feeling looking back on it.

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

And it definitely goes the other way too; if you expect things will not go well, they probably won’t. Am I right? Who knows. But it’s working pretty well for me so far (although I’m pretty sure no amount of positive thinking would have gotten us that “romantic” wedding night. We were EXHAUSTED. but flopping over the bed so he could help me take the 50 bajillion pins out of my hair, and undo all the buttons down my dress, before we both went comatose, is still one of my most romantic and happy memories from that day).

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical Wedding

WHO WANTS MY DRESS? It’s Sarah Danielle (I don’t think they make it anymore, style 5523), fitted to my measurements, about 36(b)/30(w)/40(h) (ish). I’ll tell you I wear a 34C (sometimes 36C) and there’s definitely some extra room in the bosom on that dress, it has built in cups that were actually bigger than I needed. I bought it from a girl on PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com,* she said she bought it as a sample and then chose a different dress. I would love to see this beauty go on to another APW reader – preferably someone who wants to flaunt their curvy bottom (although smaller butts are welcome to apply, the thing can be altered).

Rachel & Zach (And Dress, Offered) | A Practical WeddingPhotos by Bong Lee of Bisou Photography

*APW sponsor, but this is not any kind of paid mention, obviously

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  • http://weddingdiplomat.blogspot.com/ Emily

    What a beautiful wedding! I really enjoyed the part about positive thinking playing a role in the day – and I totally agree – if you are determined to have a lovely time, no matter what, then chances are very much on your side that it will turn out this way.

    I am also quite sure that your joy on that day was contagious, and that’s why your guests were also so radiant! Lovely.

    • http://onecatoneperson.blogspot.com Angie

      I also loved the power of positive thinking. It is very true, though. I went to a wedding this weekend and the rain threatened my new aunt’s ceremony. My family and I (new aunt included) huddled under a gazebo and just laughed about the situation. My aunt was so calm, so happy, she could have cared less about the weather. So in turn, we laughed along with her, took pictures, drank our beers, and in a matter of minutes the rain passed. She marched back out to the outdoor reception and we followed closely behind. It was an awesome experience.

      • http://weddingdiplomat.blogspot.com/ Emily

        what a lovely story! Thanks for sharing I am going to channel those kind of images on our special day too :)

      • Kelly

        Beautiful wedding! I can see the joy and Love your dress. I also really appreciate the reminder on positive thinking…

        Angie – thanks for sharing the story about your aunt huddled in the gazebo. Less than two months to our wedding, and our rain plan (ceremony to be in a garden) is umbrellas. So while I’m crossing my fingers for sunshine, I’ve just decided that I will be happy no matter what, because I am marrying the person I want to spend the rest of my life with.

  • Moz

    What a beautiful wedding you guys had – congratulations on that and on being married! I think you giving your dress away is another part of your karma goodness theory, so lucky the girl who gets it. May such a good gesture bring everybody involved happiness and good luck xx

  • elyse

    don’t need a dress, but it’s gorgeous and i love your wedding venue and that you used the wedding topper from your grandparents cake, we’re doing the same thing! (also, from 60 years ago!) congrats!

  • jolynn

    So beautiful, so joyful! Congratulations!

    One day you will be the last ones dancing.

  • http://www.eastvillagekitchen.com Lauren

    That overwhelming feeling of JOY – that’s the focal point where I’m fixing my sights from now until our wedding in August. Last night, I watched my fiance while we were watching a movie on the couch. I can’t look at him without smiling my face off. Whenever I get stressed or annoyed with wedding stuff, I remind myself to take a pause and return to the basic question: what’s this really all about? It’s him, and me, and sharing our joy for one short day, with everyone else we love. Can’t wait to bask in it on the big day.

    That dress is amazing. Do you think it can handle another whole night of booty shaking?

    • ddayporter

      I think it can hold up! it suffered no damage at all that I can see, and I sure danced the crap out of it. ;)

      • http://www.eastvillagekitchen.com Lauren

        I would love to be able to take it for another spin!

  • Lisa

    That dress is beautiful – and it’s one of the few used dresses I’ve seen available that’s actually in my measurements! The only thing would be taking in the bust a bit. I bought a dress through a tailor in China (where I’ve been living the last 3 years), but am not too sure about the quality… it’s awaiting me at my mom’s house when I get back to the States in July! I’m restraining myself from buying a back-up dress (or 3…), haha.

    I’m a pretty devoted APW reader, but not a frequent commenter.

    Dress or no dress (because, let’s be honest, my comment is probably not going to be the most compelling), I would be curious whether you would consider parting with your veiled headpiece… It’s almost exactly what I’ve been looking for! I’ve been blown away – not in a good way – with how expensive they can be :(

    • ddayporter

      hmm I’m not sure about the veil – I didn’t realize I was attached to it until you wondered if I could part with it! Since I’m giving away the dress I’m thinking I might want to keep the veil as something to maybe pass on to a daughter someday.. CHEESE. haha.

      BUT I will tell you it was Not expensive, I bought it on etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/46100423/small-birdcage-blusher-wedding-veil?ref=vt_related_1 (mine is in Champagne). The flower clip is separate, bought on etsy here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/46275467/bridal-hair-comb-ivory-silk-dupioni-lily?ref=vt_related_1

      • meg

        KEEP THE VEIL. I was going to chime in when I saw the comment, actually. Keep it. Forget cheese, I’m keeping my dress forever and ever. I assume my daughter will scoff at it, but my granddaughter might not, and by then it would be 100+ years old (wowie!)

    • Aimee

      With the help of a crafty friend, I made my perfect bird cage veil with supplies off etsy! You can choose the type of netting you like (i chose a russian style with a finished edge), dec it out with pearls or crystals, and either make or buy your own fastener (i opted for a silk gardenia with feathers). I think my total cost was somewhere around $30 and it was perfect. I’ll keep it forever!

  • Jenn

    Yay for NoVa weddings!!

    My heart stopped for a second when I saw that you are in Fairfax and giving away this beautiful dress. I would really love to be considered, the silhouette is exactly what I was looking for, and I am indeed looking to show off a curvy bottom!

    My fiance is also in the middle of graduate school, and I am planning the wedding (at the moment) long distance from London – in a few short weeks I will be home in Oakton, facing the not so joyous position of being an unemployed architect. Luckily I am able to move back in with my parents for the time being, but suffice it to say there isn’t much of a budget for a dress.

    Regardless of whom you choose to give your dress to, I think this is just another example for me of how lucky I am to have found APW – people are so generous with so much more than just wise advice (as if that wasn’t enough.) Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding!

  • Julianna

    yay Fairfax!!! I am so excited to see pics of a wedding from the Old Town Hall – that was on our list of wedding venues, ending up not quite working for the size guest list we had, but definitely looked like such an awesome place.

    the dress is *stunning*. I fear I am significantly outside those measurements (and already have a dress) but just wanted to add my compliments as well! (which reminds me, Meg – think after October you might have any interest in a plus-size dress giveaway? I would love to pass mine along to another APW reader and I know how frustrating the search can be when you can’t even try on most of the sample sizes)

    Rachel, one more NoVA question – can I ask what you did for music? because it looks like you had a kick-ass dance party and we are still on the search for a DJ or corresponding option.

    • Jenn

      I second that – I have so far been appalled at the prices I have been quoted. Where is the 1000$ extra work in a wedding reception versus a bat mitzvah? I would imagine wedding guests, if anything, are easier to handle!

    • Zeke

      Julianna,

      What was the size of your guest-list? I would LOVE to use one of our historic buildings here in Fairfax, but I know the limitations on the size of that room for some events, but not a wedding necessarily.

      And it is such a beautiful venue, I would also recommend for those who are interested in the NoVA area (specifically The City of Fairfax), the use of Kitty Pozer garden in the back of Old Town Hall – especially in the spring when the blooms are at their peak. As well as the numerous other historic sites that are here. They are all on our list of possible venues.

      And yes, the staff here are really amazing and love to do weddings.

      -Z

    • Zeke

      Sorry – had to reply again (it would help to click the replies via e-mail button)

    • Elizabeth

      Julianna,

      I hope it’s ok to give vendor names here – if not I’m sure Meg will weed out my comment! We got married last Fall in NoVA and used Steve Hoffman of GOOD NOTE DJs. He’s quirky/eccentric but extremely detail oriented and good at his job. He did a really terrific job of pacing with the music and our friends/family danced non-stop all night long. If you’d like more info maybe we can figure out a way to exchange email addresses.

    • ddayporter

      thank you for the dress love! I’m glad you found one already, hope you DO offer it up in October, you’re right there is definitely a need for more diverse sizes out there.

      We hired Tommy of “Big T’s Entertainment” – http://www.bigtsentertainmentllc.com/id71.html His site is just so-so but he did a good job sticking to the guidelines we gave him (charlie parker/miles davis type stuff for dinner, then sinatra/fitzgerald/holliday/armstrong to get people warmed up and then progress to more modern stuff later in the evening). he also takes request and can basically download anything on the spot. We also hired him for our ceremony, so he was $775 total. he also can do karaoke, which we were This close to doing, but we decided our reception just wasn’t going to be long enough to work that in.

    • Julianna

      woohoo! thanks so much for the DJ recommendations, I will definitely check them both out. That’s “next up” on the master to-do list but I didn’t really know where to start. I really appreciate the info!

      Zeke, our guest list was originally 150+ (now narrowed down slightly). We almost went with the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria but ended up choosing the Hotel Monaco in downtown DC in the interest of sanity-saving all-inclusiveness, ceremony + reception at same site, etc. (and it turns out my partner felt more strongly about being downtown than we’d initially thought)

    • Jackie

      I am also planning a NoVA wedding… at Oatlands in Leesburg, Virginia. I’ve found two reasonably priced sources for DJs… Miles Steibel at http://www.mseproductions.com/ and Ian Lade at http://digitalsoundservices.com/.

  • ddayporter

    even though Meg told me our wedding was up next I was still sort of giddy and shocked that’s my name in the heading of a post! :) :) thanks all for the compliments!

    • Alyssa

      It’s fun, isn’t it?

      Your wedding looks beautiful and so much fun! I’m a believer in positive thinking also; even if stuff DOES go wrong, by that time you’ve generally worked yourself up into such a good mood that you go, “Eh, screw it. It’s fine…”

      And can I throw in some wedding jealousy? For one, that people are dancing their BUTTS off in your pictures; we didn’t have a DJ but even if we did, I’m sorry more people didn’t dance. It was outside and got a little hot so I think people didn’t want to move that much. (Sissies.)

      And two, OMG, you are surrounded by books for your ceremony!! The town hall looks so great elegant and simple, but as a total book nerd, I love that you have shelves and shelves of books surrounding you. Makes me think of all those people, pouring their souls and lives into their writing and therefore having just a little bit of themselves there, blessing your wedding.
      Is that weird? That might be a little weird. But I’m fine with that.

      • ddayporter

        aaahhhh that’s not weird! I Loved the books surrounding us too, it was a big selling point for us – but the way you put it had not fully occurred to me. I love it.

  • http://www.msawesome.com ms. awesome

    Oh I absolutely LOVE what you’ve said about positive thinking being so important to creating the type of wedding day you WANT to have. I’ve often wondered when I read stories of seemingly petty things “ruining” a brides wedding day around the blogosphere how it could be possible that the wrong dessert, flower etc.. could drown out all that joy?! I think that you’ve kinda hit the nail on the head here- if you think your day is going to be wonderful it will be…If you’re a stress ball and think all kind of things are going to go wrong- well they probably will. Or more likely you’ll actually notice. So here’s to drowning in joy on your (our) wedding day! I can’t wait! :)

  • Chelsea

    Gorgeous dress! I already have one that I love but I smiled when you recommended it for “someone who wants to flaunt their curvy bottom.” Let’s just say there’s a good reason that Baby Got Back is on my “definitely play” list!

    And thanks also for sharing your wonderful attitude! Sometimes the wedding world seems so full of people talking about the stressful parts of planning or what went wrong on the day. It’s refreshing to see someone focusing on what went right! I’ve been trying to do that as I’ve planned and it’s worked out well so far, and I’m glad to see that – if I can keep it up – it will work on the wedding day as well!

  • Eliza

    Rachel – the picture of your aunt and uncle ripping it up on the dance floor TOTALLY gave me the warm and fuzzies! What a beautiful tradition!

  • http://www.tbonelee.blogspot.com Jess (or T-Bone)

    I just want to say thank you for making the point about positive thinking…we are now less than 3 months away from our wedding and during the planning process we are spending so much time trouble shooting and thinking about what could possibly go wrong in an effort to plan for that contingency that I hope I have the wherewithal to let it happen and enjoy every minute regardless of any snafus.

    Oh…and although i already have my dress just wanted to add that yours looks GREAT on you! :)

  • lani

    Two and a half months away from our day and all I want is to have a wedding as lovely, loving and stress-free as this one! I LOVE the pictures of the aunt & uncle dancing. Such happiness!! Congrats to you both, and thank you for sharing!

  • Rachel

    Love love love the whole post, the dress, and especially the shout-out to us brides with junk in the trunk! I already have my dress (less than a month till we’re married! WHOA!), but I could easily picture myself in yours.

    I’m just gushing for you right now. Truly beautiful, wonderful, perfect APW message!

  • http://www.unspeakablevisions.blogspot.com Christine

    I’m not planning a wedding, so don’t count me in the giveaway, but I LOVE that you’d like the dress go to “someone who wants to flaunt their curvy bottom”!

  • http://sochicsocheap.blogspot.com liz

    this is one of the first times that i read a “everything went perfectly” wedding story and didn’t throw up a little.

    gorgeous day, lady. and you look effing hot.

  • http://www.segloveskep.blogspot.com Shannon

    We almost choose the Old Town Hall for our wedding as well!! It’s very cool to see a location that we considered for our wedding. We ultimately decided to go with another venue but it’s nice to see pics of such a lovely wedding at that location.

  • http://joyquestdaily.posterous.com Rachel

    Hi, this is my first comment to APW although I am a long time reader and fan. I had to comment because of the coincidence of this post.

    First, I just got engaged two months ago… and my guys name is Zach and my name is Rachel. So, when I saw this post in my reader this morning it was like seeing the future! Plus, our photographer just confirmed so we are ready to go for our New Year’s Eve wedding. I’m nervous that with all the pieces in place we are just asking for something to fall apart… so it’s nice to know that there can be wedding planning without huge messes. One of our mottos is stress-free (especially considering we are moving back to the states from Australia in the meantime)… so, thanks for the reminder that motto can result in a rockingyoursocksoff wedding!

    Thank you (all) for being such a wonderful community. It’s amazing to find people who so deeply reflex so many of my values about marriage.

    • ddayporter

      Rachel.. I just found your blog and saw your “Hopefully..” post – I teared up!! thank you! I wish you the same.

      Yes, use that positive thinking now! All the major pieces are in place – that’s cause for a deep breath of relief, not renewed anxiety. Something Might fall out of place, it’s true, but it sounds like you’ve got enough on your plate with the upcoming move, be confident in the decisions you’ve made and move on, until something actually goes wrong. And then you deal with it, because that’s all there is to do.

  • Jessie Decker

    AH! That last photo is BRILLIANT! I love the look on the groom’s face – he looks STOKED to be married to Rachel. Congrats you two!

    • ddayporter

      haha truth? that look on his face in that photo – he was actually whistling, we were dancing to “My Rifle, My Pony and Me,” from Rio Bravo. kind of a random song for a last dance, but it was a little tribute to his love of cowboy movies.

  • Darcy

    When I invent my time machine I’m going to go back and crash your wedding. Hope you don’t mind. It looks exactly how I want our wedding to feel like in 22 days.

  • KD

    I LOVE your outlook on possitive thinking. I LOVE your dress and how hot your booty looks in it. I LOVE the joy you talk about (and we can see in your pictures!), it makes me want my wedding to be now so I can have an ounce of what you had at your wedding.

    My question to throw out for general conversation is… how do you get people around you who sometimes seem to be on the negative side of things to have a positive outlook? Everyone who knows my bf and I well comments that we balance each other out well because he’s the one who tends to get a bit “overdramatic” when anything goes the least bit wrong and I roll with whatever because, whatevs, “life is good. It all works out…”
    I want him to be the awesome fun guy he is at the wedding and not stressing about the timing being off or something.

    Should I just prep him that things ARE going to go wrong and we need to just roll with it and make the most of it?

    • meg

      Prep him. Talk a lot about what’s important to you (having a wonderful time, focusing on what’s happening, not having a perfect time). Have people around to slap you guys back into line if you start focusing on what’s not important. Talk to your officiant and have your officiant talk to your partner.

      Everyone always talks about how great it was to have their friend marry them, but let me say, having a professional marry us? Glad we made that choice. Because our Rabbi ran us through our paces. She was like, “If I forget something, or change something, or something goes wrong, you have to LET IT GO, because your job is to BE PRESENT.” And when something did go wrong and the huppah fell and I tried to fix it, she said, “Meg. Let it go.” And I did. So having helpers outside the two of you is good.

      You just need to collectively think a lot about what’s important (I’d go so far as to say sacred) in the day. Because when you really get that, you realize that you dis-honor what is happening when you make a choice not to stay present.

  • sarah

    “smaller butts are welcome to apply” – that’s hilarious!

    also i really appreciated the bit about the power of positive thinking… my mom keeps telling me that i can’t let things get to me on the wedding day, and i just have to let things go, and if we need to, we will laugh at whatever happens/goes wrong, because that’s the only way you can deal with these things. i hope that i can make it happen… as a type A personality, it’s hard to let go! but on the other hand, i’ve worked really hard for this day, and no one is going to get in the way of it being an amazing one for me! (not even the ever-complaining, ridiculous FMIL!!!)

  • Mary

    Your wedding is beautiful! The joy…THE JOY…is apparent everywhere! I am so happy for you and your husband – the baby family. Congratulations on using the power of positive thinking and MAKING your day a great one. My future husband and I always say “make it a good day” when we go to work in the morning. That’s something his father always said to him. And we love it and live by it. Sometimes it may be difficult, but we can still “make it a good day.” I’m glad you guys made your day a great one!! And thanks for sharing!

  • http://bluesuedeidos.wordpress.com Beth

    Ohhhhh, I love how you want to be the last one dancing one day!! You’re a gal after my own heart. And I absolutely love the photo of your aunt and uncle dancing.

    The joy is everywhere in your post! This is what a wedding is all about!!

  • Sara

    Great wedding! I am evoking the power of positive thinking for my wedding, too. So far it seems to be working. Reading about your wedding is making me more excited for mine next month. Congratulations!

  • Melissa

    I’ve already got a dress to flaunt my curvy bottom, but I wanted to say that’s a sexy dress and you looked amazing in it!

  • lolo7835

    Sweet a fairfax bride! (I live in Vienna) If I remember where the old town hall is, I’m guessing the bar is the Firehouse grill? Or whatever version it is now-10 years of living here and I feel like it changes all the time. Or the Auld Shebeen. Mmm….beer. :D

    What a great wedding! Congrats!

  • Mel

    Oh my god, this post made me so happy. We’re getting married at OTH in Fairfax in October. And just seeing that another Practical did it…and how happy everyone is…it’s great. Also: you didn’t decorate the downstairs! And it looks fantastic! That is a load off my mind.

    • ddayporter

      weeeeeeeeeeeeeee! that makes me ridiculously happy for some reason, I’m so excited to hear of another OTH wedding. no, we didn’t decorate at all beyond the tables, the place doesn’t need it. congrats and good luck! :)

    • Cristi

      Hi Mel!
      I would love to hear which vendors you’re using at OTH. We’re considering it for next year and it’s looking more and more perfect! Happy Wedding!

  • Kendra

    What a wonderful wedding! Your comments about positive thinking just snapped me out of a days-are-counting-down-omg funk.

    Also, if you don’t mind me asking, did you buy your attendants’ dresses on Etsy? They look almost exactly like some reasonable, custom-made ones I have my eye on (and they come in either one color or reversible!) I’d be interested in how that process worked for you — I’m a little nervous about fit, etc.

    • ddayporter

      sorry I didn’t see this till now but aahhh YES we got them from Miss Brache aka Diane. those bridesmaid dresses are reversible! I could have done a whole post on Etsy’s influence on our wedding but that would probably be for a different site. ;)

      http://www.etsy.com/shop/missbrache

      She is SO easy and awesome to work with. We went back and forth with her for months deciding on which dress, which fabrics, etc etc. She was full of advice but never pushy. And don’t worry about the fit. Of the three dresses, one dress fit perfectly, one dress needed minor alteration to the straps, and one dress was totally wrong in the bodice. The one that was totally wrong, we told Diane and she insisted that we send it back and she would reimburse for the shipping. She talked out the issues with my sister, it came back and fit her perfectly. So as long as you give it enough time in advance, she will make sure the fit is right.

      Incidentally, the one that needed minor alterations, that bridesmaid didn’t want to send it back, she just took it to her seamstress, so I didn’t tell Diane it was off. I’m sure she would have fixed that one for free too.

  • Cristi

    Hello! Your pictures give me hope that I can have a SANE, JOYFUL wedding because right now it’s easy to get discouraged. I would love to know what other vendors you used along with them if you wouldn’t mind sharing the tips!

    • ddayporter

      Hi Cristi! weird that I just randomly decided to check in on the comments over here, so soon after you asked the question. I would love to share my vendors, they were all great (they all have websites, you can google):
      Caterer – The Purple Onion Catering Company, out of Centreville
      DJ – as mentioned in an above comment, Big T’s Entertainment, out of Fairfax
      Flowers – centerpieces, Wollam Gardens (they’re at the Dupont and Clarendon farmers markets), and they work with Like Water for Tulips for the floral design. my mom did my personal flowers, but she works for Petals Edge, in Alexandria
      Officiant – Georgiana Atkins Havill
      I think those are the big ones? did I miss anything?

      congrats and good luck!

  • IlovesE

    Hey! I was googleing old town hall weddings and found this post. How lovely! Looks like you had a great time. I am getting married this Oct at Old Town Hall and I’m so excited, can’t wait. I am in the process of putting my invitations together, and then the next big thing in planning will be getting a DJ. The process was a bit stressful in the beginning until I decided I was doing my wedding my way and finding different advice, sites and ideas to do it at a smaller budget. I love the photos of your day, looks like you had a lovely time and makes me so happy to have picked this venue as well. Cheers!

  • Alexandra

    So awesome, congrats! Love all the dancing!

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