About two months before the wedding it finally set in. Suddenly it was just felt real; not just like some elaborate party I was planning. The days leading up to it definitely felt a bit accelerated but I still feel like my life was pretty normal. We made sure to keep each other calm and not change our daily lives as much as we could. The day before the wedding we said bye to our pups (the biggest bummer about the Madonna Inn – no dogs allowed) and hopped in our car to drive up for our weekend. I remember there was a stretch of the drive where I fell asleep and then woke up and told Aaron I wanted to stop at a Chinese restaurant in Santa Barbara for lunch. He had to remind me we were getting married and on a tight schedule. Then he handed me a granola bar, ha.
Speaking of snacks, our car was also filled with 100+ goodie bags for each of our guests featuring some of our favorite snacks from Spindrift, Otis Spunkmeyer and Enlightened. Each guest also got a sweet little pin designed by my pal Robin Eisenberg of our dogs Georgie and Mochi inside of a pretzel. One of my favorite parts of the wedding!
The day itself went pretty perfect and smooth. When people ask me “what would you change about your wedding day” or “what is one thing that went wrong?” I genuinely can’t think of anything besides that I wish the lights were dimmed and the disco ball was rotating for our first dance, haha. Even the unplanned parts like when I forgot to print my vows and made Susan go print them and run them up to me in my room, ended up being some of my favorite moments.
When it came time for the ceremony, it was exactly as it should be. Sweet and short. My brother officiated (and did an amazing job considering he’d never done it before!) and we wrote our own vows. Somehow I didn’t cry or barf during the ceremony, but I did laugh a lot. I also kissed Aaron way before I was “supposed to” because I guess I forgot how these things work haha. As with everything else, it was so perfectly us.
When we entered the reception (which btw was about 50 feet from our ceremony) for our first dance our lovely DJ Erika played “True Love Will Find You In The End” by Daniel Johnston and it really was a perfect moment. We spent the rest of the night eating and dancing the night away with our friends and family. I am SO glad I had such amazing an amazing videographer and photographers to capture because it does feel a bit blurry by the end.
A few words about working with the Madonna Inn: would definitely do it again but it’s very no-frills (ha, imagine that) in the service & perks department. There were definitely some miscommunications across the way and hiccups and personally I found the reservations department not to be super helpful leading up to our big day. If you book a 20 room block the bride and groom get their wedding night free which was nice. But no discounts are offered to guests, even in our case when we had about 40 of their rooms booked for our wedding. Our wedding coordinator was fine but they have so many weddings there they definitely run it more of a business than trying really to make it about your day and catering to you. They couldn’t tell me until a week before what time the reception room would be open to us in case they booked an event in the same room earlier that day which was annoying when coordinating with our sound guy and balloon deliveries. Things like that. Ultimately, you get what you pay for which I’m fine with in this case.
I think I fit a lot in here but please feel free to reach out if you have more questions. I will definitely say once again, that I loved the team I hired and would recommend them all in a heartbeat (DJ, Photographer, Videographer, Dress Surgeon, Hairstylist etc) if you’re planning an event coming up. Hope you enjoyed looking through pictures of my wedding as much as I did!