Emily & Matt’s Virginia Vineyard Wedding

* Emily, Website Manager & Matt, Writer  *

I like to call myself a realist. I prepare myself for the worst-case scenarios of almost everything big I do in life (and some of the little things, too). Applying for a job? Likely won’t get it. (Happy surprise when you do!) Weird rash on your hand? Could be flesh-eating bacteria. (But no! It’s from good times drinking margaritas on the street in New Orleans! True story) The list goes on. Some (my now husband included) call this pessimism. Whatever. It mostly works for me.

What happens when a realist plans a wedding? Well, first of all, the expectation must be that your planned outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour will actually take place inside. It’s also likely that our full bar will—poof—magically vanish before our eyes as guests slurp down local ales, wines, and rye whiskey. This is not acceptable, so extra wine needs to be purchased at the last minute. The most obvious area for disaster is the two fifty-five-person buses hired to take guests the thirty minutes from the hotel to our vineyard venue. They could get lost! A tire could pop! Half the guests could be running late and miss the bus!

With all this in mind during the planning process, there were spreadsheets within spreadsheets and contingency plans galore. Somehow, in my mind, our “plan B” would always twist itself into “plan A.” And then, in the end, the plans all came together to make something that was absolutely perfect because it was us.

Maybe I am still basking in the afterglow of the amazing friends, family, and vendors that helped us to make our wedding a success. (Actually, I definitely am, with just over a week between us and the “big day.”) Getting ready was hectic and over beer, just like we normally do it. Matt and I laughed and smiled as we walked down the aisle hand in hand. Our ceremony both sped up and slowed time as we shared our vows with each other and with the most important people in our lives. I even managed to say “boob” and to drop Matt’s ring. We had an epic dance party and got to drink our favorite drinks. (They didn’t run out, thank you very much.) We got to soak in the love and happiness that surrounded us on all sides, and it was the most amazing way to mark us being married and joining each other’s families officially.

Pessimism. Realism. Cautious optimism. No matter what you plan for your wedding, isn’t it a good day to start accepting that maybe everything won’t turn out for the worse? That good (even great) things do happen? (Not always, but they do happen!) We prepared for everything we could think of—and then we sat back, watched everything unfold, and had a drink.

The Info—Photographer: Amber Wilkie / Location: Bluemont, Virginia / Venue: Bluemont Vineyard / Wedding Bands: Bario-Neal / Emily’s Dress: BHLDN / Emily’s Heels: Nine West / Emily’s Dancing Flats: J. Crew / Emily’s Necklace: Your Wishcake via Etsy / Emily’s Hair Piece: Hanging by a Thread via Etsy / Emily’s Hair: Stephanie Novak, Coppertop Salon / Emily’s Makeup: She did it herself, proudly / Matt’s Suit: Banana Republic / Matt’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Matt’s Tie and Pocket Square: Tie Bar / Flowers: From Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, done by Emily and her family / Caterer: Savoir Fare / Pies: Mom’s Apple Pie / DJ: Anthony Simpson from My DeeJay

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  • Lovely & wise! Wedding planning at its finest: plan, plan and plan some more, then just let go & enjoy your wedding day. Congratulations!

    • Moe

      This is what almost every former bride has advised me to do. “Just let go” on the wedding day.

      9 days and counting!

  • OMG the joy. You and everyone else is smiling / laughing so hard on every photo, it does seem like one hell of a good time.
    Wishing you all the best :)
    (And I wish I was more like you, expecting the worse. I am overly optimistic by nature, I am always hoping for the best…and it’s like I am getting a master on disappointment… while at the same time I try to be very aware of our blessings)

  • The huge grins and happy-clapping from your family in photo 3 are pretty much entirely representative of what I think an awesome wedding should feel like.

    Congrats and Best wishes to you both!

  • I feel like I could have written this post! I make contingency plans for my contingency plans, and yes, my worry DOES have a magic quality, haha. I love how joyful this wedding was and it made me so happy. Our wedding was also a huge dance party that was amazing and full of love, and I was convinced it was going to be a disaster from Day 1… so glad someone else shared the same experience and also had a gorgeous, beautiful, day bursting with love and joy.

  • Kiera

    Realism. That is exactly how I approach my life too. Because Meg’s right, disappointment IS the worst emotion. But Emily, you are also so wise: “isn’t it a good day to start accepting that maybe everything won’t turn out for the worse?” Because isn’t the joy that results from acceptance and thanksgiving the real blessing in life?

  • haha You sound so much like my husband. 2 months before the wedding, he was like, “What if it rains? How will our guests get back to their hotels? We can’t expect them to walk half-a-mile in the rain, and with 125 people, they’d have to wait forever for cabs.” I told him that they are adults with access to the forecast and could figure it out if it rained. In the end, it was 70 degrees and sunny, and no one had a problem getting from point A to point B.

  • Yes! Exactly this. So many things went wrong on our wedding day, and it was all just fine. I’m glad everything turned out great for you two! Congrats!

  • Super awesome wedding fantastic time. I had no idea you were a realist/pessimist – you seem so easy-going. Maybe those things go hand-in-hand? CHEERS!

  • Katelyn

    “…and then we sat back, watched everything unfold, and had a drink.”


    I’m actually the opposite in that I can be too naive and optimistic so failures and disappointments blind side me. I hope our wedding will lovingly unfold like this wedding did. Cheers!

  • This is so me! My outdoor wedding in Houston in February was going to be too cold and/or too rainy. (It was not, it was a perfect 70 degrees without a cloud in the sky) The rabbi, imported from Dallas, was going to miss his flight and not make it to the ceremony. (He made it, and home, in one piece.) The bus for our 100+ out of town guests was not going to show up. (actually it almost didn’t, when my husband called the day before the wedding to confirm they had NO record of our reservation even though they had already charged his credit card for the deposit). I had backup plans for my backup plans.
    A year before our wedding, my husband’s sister got married. She was young and not very organizer, their mother did most of the planning. The night before the wedding she was running around like a madwoman and I told her “There’s nothing more you can do. Just give up and enjoy.” It freaked her out, but I determined that when I got married (at the time we were not engaged) I would live by that principle once the rehearsal started. From that moment, I’d be done.
    On the day of our wedding, I just let it go.

  • Ahh, this is great! I am a realist of the same school as you, Emily – being prepared for the worst is my *thing* – but it always feels wonderful to let go and just enjoy the moment. I’m sure it was even more beautiful to be able to do so on your wedding day – which looks like it was a blast!!

  • Oh my gosh. The smiles, guys. The SMILES. This wedding is so full of joy. Also, I think “We prepared for everything we could think of—and then we sat back, watched everything unfold, and had a drink” should be in Latin on Emily and Matt’s family crest.

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  • Laura Mc

    Yay Bluemont!!! I got married in July 2013 at Whitehall Manor in Bluemont– so awesome to see another Bluemont couple!

  • Courtney

    I can agree with you 100% on always fearing the worse for a lot of big things in my life. Since I am about 6 months away from my own wedding, I constantly am fearing the worst things possible for each of the things that I am planning. My fiance told me that I need to start taking breaks and realizing that things will work out if I just have a better attitude, so I’ve decided to think more positively that everything will hopefully all come together and will work out. I also tend to second guess myself when picking out things for my wedding, so I am trying to not do that as much. It drives me crazy when I second guess myself, but it is a hard habit to truly break! I am glad to hear that your wedding came together and was everything you had hoped for! I just hope my wedding can go as smoothly as yours did! :)

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