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We’re MARRIED! (AKA: a recap of the best day ever!)

October 21, 2020

Life Outside the Shop COVID Wedding Recap

“Do you feel so different!?”
“Do you have a bit of post-wedding letdown?!”

One week and three days after “I do” I can give the same answer to both questions:


A glorious, abundantly happy, extremely grateful, “no!”.

Wedding ring on

Okay – maybe that is a little bit of a lie. I definitely feel more adult saying things like “my husband”, seeing my name as “Ali Macy” will take some (super exciting!) getting used to. And when our marriage license showed up in the mail, it was definitely an incredible feeling.

…And seeing Sam with a ring on is probably one of my new top three favorite things in the entire world. So I guess things do feel pretty different.

But it is definitely a HARD “no” to question #2. To be completely honest, there is no post-wedding letdown here – for either of us.

After seven years together, three years of homeownership, and everything that happened with Lincoln and planning a wedding during a pandemic, we were BEYOND ready to enjoy our day and then… you know… get our married life goin’!

But, just because we’re not feeling the letdown doesn’t mean we didn’t love EVERY second of the journey and our big day. Here is the official wedding recap and how it went down…

The Morning Of

The girls and I had to be at Maquam Barn & Winery, at 8 am sharp to get goin’ with hair and makeup! With one bride, one Maid of Honor, five bridesmaids, two mamas, and my aunt, we had a lot of people to get through before our photographer showed up and all the festivities really started!

While we were gettin’ all primped and pretty, the boys were hanging out, getting ready, and taking pics at Sam’s godfather’s house.

Don’t boys always have it easier;)? They got a bit more time to sleep in then spent the morning playing corn hole, eating a delicious breakfast (complete with a Bloody Mary Bar), and takin’ some celebratory shots!

But let’s be honest, with my personality, getting started earlier in the day was #necessary. I’d rather be way ahead of schedule than behind and would have spent the morning driving myself CRAZY without something to focus on. And, I definitely didn’t need any pre- (or intra- or post-) wedding shots;)

The First Look

We decided to do a first look and a round of couple shots before the ceremony. It was hands down one of my favorite parts of the day.

All morning, I was excited and so, so happy to be surrounded by my family and best friends but there was also a bundle of nerves sitting right in the center of my chest.

They weren’t “OMG I’m about to get married” nerves or even “the weather better hold out” nerves (spoiler alert and wedding miracle: IT DID!)… this wasn’t nerves at all. It was a different kind of feeling.

It was a pull to be with the one other person who feels the same bundle of emotions I was experiencing. A need to get a big hug from the person who I wanted to be sharing my excitement with most.

Here’s the best way I can think to describe it: I felt like I had been holding my breath all morning and seeing him finally gave me the ability to exhale and feel like myself again.

Sam said it best right after he turned around. “I feel so much better now!”

It guess that is what you want to feel when you’re standing next to the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, right?

“I Do”

Before you get married, people tell you that it goes by in the blink of an eye and to savor every moment. This was one of the BEST pieces of advice I got and something I tried to remember through the day and night – not always with a ton of success.

But, the time between the first look and the ceremony FLEW by. Lots more pictures, a bathroom break (or two), and watching everyone get down to the arbor and in their seats

I don’t know about you, but wedding ceremonies DEFINITELY feel like they have a more official start time and build up when you’re a guest. As the bride, it all just kinda… happened.

One second, I was talking to someone and nailing down a little forgotten detail, and the next second, the music was playing and the whole thing was starting.

Deep breaths, one step at a time (thank God for flats vs. heals) and I was down the aisle, taking Sam’s hands and we were saying our vows.

Think Madlib meets wedding vows and you’ve got an idea of what this sounded like. We wrote a general outline together and then filled in the blanks separately.

If you’re getting married and thinking about how you want to write your vows, I 10/10 recommend it. It was such a fun way to weave together how we BOTH felt while adding a bit of fun and surprise!

Parties and Family Surprises

Speaking of surprises, there were a few shining moments that we are just so, so grateful for.

Because we had to cut our guest list pretty significantly, we weren’t able to celebrate with all of the friends and family we love so much. We decided to live stream the ceremony and our loved ones did NOT disappoint! Many got together and dressed up for their own viewing parties and sent us pictures throughout the day!

My grandmother who wasn’t able to come also wrote a beautiful poem that my aunt read as part of our ceremony. It was a complete surprise and it was one of the moments that brought me to happy tears.

We were also completely shocked when a projector appeared out of nowhere and Sam and I were put front row center to watch a pre-recorded and edited friends and family dance that my sister organized.

It is a wedding tradition in my family for all of the cousins to get together, rewrite the lyrics to a song, and perform it during the reception. As the first cousin in my generation, not being able to carry on this tradition was one of the things I was saddest about missing because of COVID. But, I really shouldn’t be surprised that my sister and a TON of our friends and family stepped up, got creative, and made it happen anyway.

I know I told you that the first look was one of my favorite moments of the day. Watching that video and seeing everyone’s faces (and awesome dance moves) was also high on my list.

Each speech was poignant and perfect in their own way. MOH and Best Man speeches were a graceful combination of funny and loving. My dad’s speech called us to remember Pride and Prejudice, (one of my favorite books and movies) and the father/daughter relationship between Elizabeth (or, Lizzy) and Mr. Bennet.

And MAN – I’m so glad we were able to record them all to share with friends so I can re-listen and have those memories at my disposal forever.

Then, we danced the night away with all of the people we love before hanging by the fire tables and then calling it a night.

And, in an extremely #onbrand fashion for Sam and I, we ended up in bed at a somewhat reasonable hour since we’re the WORST at staying up late!

The end

It was one for the books and a day I would replay over and over again. Maybe not the planning so much… but the day, definitely;)

We were so ready for it and just about two weeks later, we’re still on cloud 9. We have so much to be grateful for and so many amazing, supportive people in our lives.

Did you get married in 2020? We 2020 brides have to stick together;) I’d love to hear your experience in the comments below, on Instagram, or you can email us here!

We love you <3

A special thank you to our extremely talented friend and photographer Ellen Sargent for so many amazing pictures!

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Hi, I'm Ali! Photographer, dog mom, daily walker, reader, and wife to a busy maker. I'm the voice you hear and read at Life Outside the Shop.

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