foodie wednesday: feast for the eyes (i.e. wedding pics!)

m2 photography

hello, mavens!  i’m back : )  after 2 weeks of wedding and honeymoon bliss, we’re finally (slowly) re-engaging in the real world.  craig and i were married on saturday, november 5th in philadelphia, pennsylvania at the bellevue hyatt.  the weather in philly that entire weekened could not have been more glorious – high 50s and sunny.  november perfection.

view from my sister's suite at the hyatt of city hall

i began my weekend with mani/pedis with my mom, sister and a good friend on friday morning and then continued the festivities with lunch at max brenner, where we met up with the guys and a few more friends.  the food was delicious, and next time i plan to save room for some of their chocolaty treats.

after lunch, we had a bridal party dance rehearsal – yes, we did a bridal party dance to rihanna’s “pon de replay” following our first dance.  (it was a huge hit with the guests and so much fun!)

friday evening found us at our ceremony rehearsal, and then later at our rehearsal dinner at valanni – a fabulous little tapas restaurant on spruce street in philly.  the food was outrageous, and everyone enjoyed the father-of-the-groom’s and best man’s speeches…or should i say roasts.

wedding day morning, i went to le pain quotidien, a french café/bakery, near the bellevue with my girls (mushroom and gruyere omelette anyone?), while the guys enjoyed a traditional irish breakfast at a nearby pub and then went for hot shaves.  after our breakfast, we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the hair stylist and makeup artist in my sister’s suite.  and thus, the hair & makeup marathon began…

we rocked out to my friend’s dance party playlist and just enjoyed lounging around as we all awaited our turns.  around lunch, we ordered up some champagne and cheese platters and enjoyed some sandwiches.  as is the usual, i found that i didn’t have much of an appetite at this point though i didn’t feel nervous at all.

before i knew it, it was dress-time.  everyone left the bedroom but my mom, sister and our photographer to get some getting ready pics.  we had kept my dress a complete surprise – my mom, my sis and me – and for a very good reason (as you can see in the pics).  it was blush colored.  once in my gown, my dad came in to see me, and then we did a “big reveal” for my bridesmaids.  their reactions were priceless – a mix of happy tears and smiles.

m2 photography

me and my girls squeezed in a few pictures, and then it was time for our 4pm ceremony to begin.  when people tell you that your wedding day flies by, they are not kidding.  i waited around the corner by the elevators while my girls lined up and processed into the ceremony – the coordinators wanted to make sure no one saw me before it was time.  i was shaking like a leaf.  literally shaking, which was funny because i wasn’t all that nervous.  i supposed the gravity and immediacy of everything was just more than i could handle at that moment.  and then it was time for my entrance.  my dad and i walked around and waited outside the grand double doors behind which you could hear the music playing.  calm swept over me, and they opened the doors.

m2 photography

my dad said that there was a soft but audible gasp from the guests as they saw my blush vera wang, but i guess i’ll have to wait for the wedding video to see if that was really true.  all i knew was that i could see craig, and i was happy.  the ceremony was a roller coaster of tears and laughter and more tears, but when all was said and done, we recessed down the aisle with huge smiles on our faces.  i was so enraptured by the moment that i even forgot to take my bouquet back from my sister before heading down the aisle.

as the guests went up to cocktail hour on the 19th floor in the café at xix, we got in some picture time.  our photographers - m2 photography, a husband and wife team – were totally awesome.  our bridal party fell in love with their senses of humor and undeniable likability, as did we.

m2 photography

craig and i were able to attend the tail end of cocktail hour (and grab a glass of our signature cocktail – bellevue bubbly) before lining up with our bridal party and parents to get announced into our reception in xix restaurant.  as we crept closer to the door, awaiting our turn, we got our first peak into our reception room now filled with our guests.  the room was glowing.

reception in xix - m2 photography

our first dance was to “make you feel my love”, recorded by yours truly.  we love that song (especially adele’s version), but it’s a bit melancholy.  with a few lyric tweaks and a couple visits to a recording studio, we had a lovely and memorable version that was all our own.  our dance was followed by a surprise bridal party dance – a smash hit.  then we settled in for an unforgettable evening of dinner and dancing.  and dance, we did indeed.  our modest-sized dance floor was definitely too small to contain all the guests who were dancing.  it was totally wonderful.

to be truthful, we kept waiting for a small hiccup.  a little thing that probably one else would notice, but we would catch.  but it never happened.  the entire day was flawless.  the staff at the hyatt and our wedding weekend coordinator went completely above-and-beyond.  i’m not usually one who can easily hand over the reins, but with the team we had, it felt easy to pass on the control.  and they executed it with the utmost elegance and care.  it was truly a dream come true.

m2 photography

later in the evening, for a momentary reprieve craig and i stepped out onto the xix’s balcony for some refreshing november air.  the view of the city from 19 floors up was breathtaking.  the sparkling lights of the buildings resembled twinkling starlight, and the sky was completely clear.  looking back in through the large french doors into our reception, we watched our guests – laughing, dancing, talking.  with the city on one side and our wedding reception on the other, we took a moment to let this extraordinary evening sink in.  for one night, this view, this place, this splendor was all ours.  and we were married!!!

our wedding pics on m2's blog {here}
our wedding slideshow by m2, set to our first dance song {here}