Meghan + Stephen
(July 17, 2021 in Colfax, WA)
In todays blog post, we are sharing about our real bride Meghan who got married during the pandemic! She and her fiancé had to make a tough decision in the summer of 2020 to change their original wedding plans, and they got legally married. However, they did not want to miss the chance to have a big wedding with all their friends and family. Therefore, they planned a big party for the summer of 2021, hoping things would be better. The bride's dream was to have an outdoor barn/country wedding. They found the perfect venue, and the rest of the vision was to bring what brought them together to their wedding day. They both met at Washington State University and wanted to give back to the community that had given them so much over the years. The day was a big success, filled with personal touches, and the bride's advice to future brides is to enjoy every second of their day because it goes so fast!
Meghan looked absolutely GORGEOUS in our Easton gown by Essense of Australia. This ballgown has a simple mikado satin top with a stunning v-neckline and dainty straps. Beautiful floral appliques cascade throughout the skirt and a touch of softness to the satin. Meghan added our Brielle belt by Sara Gabriel Designs for the perfect hint of sparkle.
By our real bride, Meghan:
What was the vision for your wedding?
Due to the pandemic, we actually got legally married in the summer of 2020 because we didn't want to wait and we were so uncertain of where things would be at even a year after we got engaged. But we knew we didn't want to miss the chance to have the big party with all of our family and friends either (plus my husband knew I wanted to wear the pretty dress and have all of the other "normal" wedding experiences). So we tentatively booked vendors for the summer of 2021 hoping things would be looking up in the world by then. I always knew that I wanted to get married outdoors, and my dream wedding was a big barn/country wedding. We happened upon the Palouse Knot Barn venue on accident a few years before when we were dating and I remember saying to Stephen, "When we get married, this is where I want to be!" And he may have rolled his eyes at me then, but I didn't forget that venue!
The venue was the easy part, then the rest of my vision was to bring what brought us together to our wedding as well. We both met at Washington State University, and although we didn't start dating until about a year after we met, WSU always held a special place in our hearts, especially with Cougar football! We wanted to help support and give back to the community that had given us so much in the last nearly decade between us of living off and on in Pullman, so we tried to choose vendors that were local to Pullman or the Palouse. My cousin Jen was our wedding planner because I knew what magic she could work at weddings and knew I would be comfortable with her helping us every step of the way. Both our caterer and florist were well-known Pullman vendors who we knew would deliver exactly what we were looking for. Our photographer had shot many weddings at our venue and I loved her work. We had so many supportive friends and family who reached out to help with the wedding, which is why both our officiant and my hair and makeup artist were dear friends who have known both of us for years. The only thing that really surprised me about the whole wedding planning process was the dress I chose! It was not what I had pictured or set out to buy when I went dress shopping, but once I put it on the day of the wedding, I knew that it was the perfect dress for me and I couldn't imagine any other dress to wear on my wedding day. My Pinterest board wedding ended up being pretty much the wedding I had, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way!
How did it go the day-of?
Because we already had our legal wedding in the summer of 2020 and we were having this big wedding/vow renewal nearly a year later, we chose to have some fun with it! Hair and makeup in the morning was a whirlwind, but we chose to have our first look photos upstairs in the barn and the photos are some of my favorites from the whole day, and it was so special to have a few moments alone before the ceremony. I also successfully kept my dress hidden from Stephen for a solid six months, and he was definitely surprised when he saw it! For the ceremony, we still wanted to have some traditional aspects, like my dad walking me down the aisle and our wedding party, but we made the ceremony much more us with the addition of some funny vows and jokes too. We took our original vows from our 2020 ceremony and kept some of them, but then added things about how many baseball games I would let Stephen go to a year and things like that to really personalize it.
Our dog Scout who we adopted a month after we got married last year was also our ring bearer and carried the rings on his harness. There were special touches about wheat and scripture in the ceremony as well, which was very meaningful to us with the Palouse/country theme of the wedding. Dinner was delicious, the speeches from our best man and maid of honor made us both tear up, and when it was time for cake, we both couldn't resist smashing it all over each other's faces! We have photos from our August wedding of the same thing, and I guarantee Stephen was thinking the exact same thing I was right before we both made the decision to go for it with the cake! After our first dance song, we surprised everyone with an appearance by Butch T. Cougar (the WSU mascot), which was an absolute hit with all of our guests and wedding party! Butch was something we had talked about from the beginning about having at our wedding because it was a very "Meghan and Stephen thing" to do and it was of course on-theme with our Palouse wedding. We were not sure if Butch would be able to make it due to COVID-19 regulations, but it all worked out a few months before and we could not have been more thrilled with the results.
It was a hard surprise to pull off with the crowd we had, but it was so worth it to see the looks on people's faces. Butch stole the show in the end but we heard nothing but great things about it from friends and family afterwards. Everything ran so smoothly and it went by so fast! All we could talk about on the drive home was how amazing the whole day was and how much fun we had. It was definitely a wedding worth waiting for and was the big party we dreamed of!
What is your #1 tip to future brides?
I know everyone says this, but it is so true: enjoy every second of your day because it goes so fast and don't sweat the small things! I remember starting to get anxious because hair and makeup was taking longer than scheduled, and all of the guys were ready and already taking photos with the photographer, but me and my girls were behind. But instead of enjoying my time with my girls and my mom, I stressed and kept asking everyone every 5 minutes how long it would be before we were done. But before I knew it, it was time for our first look photos and everyone else was nearly ready. On that note, trust the people there for you that day to get it done. So much happened behind the scenes that I didn't know about and everything truly went smoothly because everyone we had there (vendors, family, friends, etc.) were making it all happen, from set-up to dinner set-up to take-down. Once I let go of control, I felt so much better and actually enjoyed my day! It went by so fast once I relaxed and trusted everything would fall into place. Some little things went wrong, but in the scheme of things all I remember is having one of the best days of my life with my best friend!