Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Amber & Dave's Marvelous, Matrimonious, Memorable May Wedding!

"Our wedding was...everything we dreamed of and more!  It was truly perfect.  We enjoyed every moment!"

- Amber & Dave

Last May, I was honored to be a bridesmaid in my friend Amber's wedding! She and I go back all the way to elementary school and I couldn't have been happier for her and her husband Dave as they said "I do". They are an amazing couple- complementing each other perfectly and bringing positive energy and adventure wherever they go. Their wedding day was the most beautiful Spring day. We (the girls) started the day getting ready at the hotel, then got onto a trolley (!) and rode to meet the guys at Dave's parents' house for the first look. Then we were off to Valley Forge Park for some amazing wedding party and bride & groom photos before we went to church for the ceremony and back to the hotel for the Cocktail Hour, Reception, After-Party, and the rest of the night! Everything flowed beautifully, the music was great, the food was delicious, and everyone was so antsy and excited to celebrate this couple that we couldn't wait until after dinner to hit the dance floor! 
Read on to hear about the big day in Amber's words (with a special cameo from Dave on his favorite part of the day)!

What Made This Celebration Unique?
I'm not sure our wedding was all that unique, to be honest.  There were a few things that we really knew we wanted: delicious food, a fun DJ, and an amazing photographer.  After that, we really didn't sweat too many of the details.  We did a few things DIY (seating chart & programs) and we were lucky to have Shayna in our wedding party so she added a few personalized touches (like our amazing card box!), but otherwise we really didn't go overboard on the extras.  We wanted classic and simple, and I think that approach really kept things stress free.

There was one thing, though!  After our first dance, Dave surprised me with a very special second dance.  He had been practicing some choreography with my bridesmaid Jes and he led me around the dance floor to John Legend's All of Me.  I was so surprised, it was something I will remember forever!

Another unique thing about our wedding was the midnight Wendy's delivery we arranged a friend to pick up and bring to the after party :)

Why Did You Choose the DoubleTree in King of Prussia as Your Wedding Venue?

We knew immediately when we visited that the DoubleTree was going to be the venue for our reception!  The ballroom was beautiful.  We loved that we could have our cocktail hour outside.  The package they offered was a great value and we really got a lot of bang for our buck!  The service was outstanding from day 1.

Also we had attended friends' weddings where the bride and groom were forced to clean up and take all their stuff with them that night and we knew we did not want to do that, so the fact that the venue cleaned up everything and we were able to pick it up the next morning was definitely a big selling point.   The warm chocolate chip cookies we received during our visit didn't hurt either ;)

We've been to so many weddings with shuttle fails, we knew we didn't want to have that at our wedding so a hotel made the most sense.  We also wanted a rocking after party and figured more people would attend if they didn't have to go anywhere, which was true and actually, a lot of our friends and family stayed over at the hotel even though they lived close enough to drive home since it was so convenient.

What Advice Do You Have for Future Brides & Grooms? 

Shayna and I have talked about this so many times that she beat me to the punch with her last post!  As mentioned above, don't have a shuttle fail!  If the shuttle is a 10 person van and your venue is more than 5 minutes away... it probably won't work!  It might work for the trips before, since people will leave staggered, but afterwards most of the guests will stay till the end of the reception and suddenly there will be a large crowd waiting for a tiny vehicle. We've been to weddings where we're standing outside with 50 other people seriously wondering if we're going to get left at the venue.

Something more general:  get everything in writing!  Our wedding coordinator promised me a free suite for my bridal party the night before... and then suddenly there was a new wedding coordinator halfway through our planning.  I was extremely happy when I had the previous coordinator's promises in an email.  Also, don't put an "&" in your instagram hashtag, it doesn't work!

What Was Your Favorite Wedding Moment? 

Amber:  Walking down the aisle!  I thought maybe having a first look would've downplayed that moment, but it didn't take away from it at all.  I felt overwhelmed with happiness.  It was amazing.

Dave (written to Amber) It's really hard to pick just one moment as a favorite, I have two moments that come to mind. The first moment is during the ceremony getting to kiss you the first time, I think it's a favorite because of all of the emotions from watching you walking down the aisle, and the speeches from our friends and the pastors. All of those emotions just seemed to culminate when we had our first kiss. 

Another favorite moment would be our second first dance, the look on your face the entire time was a mix of surprise, nervousness and fun. I think I will always remember that as a favorite because I got to surprise you, which is nearly impossible with all the planning that went into the day. I also think the dance went really well which of all things going on that day I was most nervous for that dance. I knew you wouldn't have any trouble picking up the moves but I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to lead well enough, mainly because I am not the most coordinated dancer! 

Tell Us About Your Honeymoon! Where did you go? What did you do? What tips do you have? 

Nicaragua!  We spent half of our trip on Isla de Ometepe, a small island in Lake Nicaragua, staying in the cutest little guest house right on the beach between 2 volcanos!  We spent our time wading in the lake, eating the freshest fish, swimming in the mineral springs, lounging and relaxing.  The second half of our trip was on the west coast at Aqua Wellness Resort, where our room was up in the trees and every morning we would wake up to monkeys swinging around outside our windows.  Our room even had a private plunge pool!  We enjoyed yoga overlooking the ocean, a couples massage, and a sunset cruise.  We hiked into a neighboring surf town and drank cocktails with the locals.  We also went out for an amazing seafood dinner at a fancy resort down the street.

My biggest tip for honeymooners would be don't plan too much!  We thought we were going to hike one of the volcanoes on Ometepe, but once we got there we decided we really just wanted to lounge.  You've just gone through a crazy wedding weekend... relax and recover on your moon!  Also, do not leave for your honeymoon the next morning, give yourself a day to relax.  We woke up and had brunch, gathered our things from the hotel, and had the rest of the day to do any last minute honeymoon prep.

Just out of curiosity...What are a Couple of Gifts that you Received for your Shower or Wedding that Stand Out?
Our favorite wedding gift was a handmade quilt from Dave's groomsman Mike and his wife Jen, who created the quilt with the help of her mom.  We received the gorgeous gift at our rehearsal dinner and it was so unexpected and special.  Some more conventional gifts that we love and get a ton of use out of are our food processor, pots and pans, and vacuum (ok we're officially old lol).

Favorite Wedding Vendors? 
We would 100% recommend any of the vendors below:

I'm honored that Amber and Dave have shared their big day with Wediquette readers, and highly encourage you to check out more from her on her blog, Busy Bold Blessed She has more in-depth posts about the wedding, and also about healthy eating and living, her awesome experiences with the Whole 30, CrossFit and more. 
You should check it out & follow it!
A BIG congrats to Amber & Dave and Happy 1st Anniversary!! Here's to many more years of happiness, great memories and dancing! 

By the way...

Want to check out some great wedding tunes? Check out this post, which is updated often!

Putting together bathroom baskets? Click here for great tips and inspiration! 

Are you (or your wedding party members) in a wedding party and not quite sure what to do next? Check out this post  to get prepped and rock it! 

Have you thought about what you'll do with your dress after the big dayThis post has some great ideas!

Planning your Engagement ShootThis post will help you make a plan and this one will give you some more great ideas from my super-creative and beautiful friends and family!

Check out the most popular posts along the sidebar (scroll up!), including Weddings Across the Board- a series devoted to the cultural & traditional awesomeness that goes into wedding celebrations around the world- with coordinating Pinterest boards.

Don't forget to check out, follow & share the Wediquette Pinterest page!  

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