Alicia and Jeff planned a gorgeous wedding combining Alicia’s love for woodland creatures with her elegant aesthetic (which obviously involved some creative wrangling from her designers of Intertwined Events!) The celebration took place at one of our fave venues, Casa Romantica, and was shot by Candice Benjamin. We know you will love it all!
Tell us what made your wedding unique and special?
Of course having my closest friends and family at the wedding was the largest part of the day being special and unique for us. Design-wise, I think those qualities came naturally because we just followed our own sense of style. I was hesitant about things being “rustic” and nearly downright allergic to “whimsy”, but once I let go of trying to figure out a theme and went with what I liked, it all fell into place. Thank goodness for my wedding planner, Katie Webb of Intertwined Events, because she just understood me right off the bat and lined me up with vendors who could work with her to execute my vision and effectively read my mind. I was determined to walk the line between organic and modern, which is tough to do, and I think pretty special in how we pulled it off. I have a thing for antlers, branches and other raw elements like that, so we were able to incorporate classed-up versions of those things that I find beautiful and a little bit strange. My taste tends to be very offbeat, a word people use to be nice, whereas my husband is far more conservative, and it was important to me to be able to reflect both of us, even where we are divergent. Katie and the other vendors, particularly the florist, were great at balancing me when I started to go into left field, softening hard elements that I like so much.
The ceremony took place at the church that my grandmother attended for many years, and that choice was very personal to me. Of course, as tends to happen in the planning process, a wrench was thrown in the works when the priest who presided over her funeral service retired a couple of months before my wedding, but it still meant very much to me to celebrate my new life with my husband, witnessed by family and friends, in a place that meant so much to her, my mom, and her family. Since the wedding was in November, a month when Catholics celebrate those who have passed, a cross with her name on it hung on the wall, and that was really special for us.
At the end of the day, what made it special and unique was that I really did put my heart into every little detail, wanting it all to be beautiful according to my taste and to reflect us as a couple. My heart went into velvet chocolate ribbons with rosemary sprigs around the napkins, it went into pizazzing up the linens, it went into the signature cocktails, the bridesmaids dresses, ceremony music, ceremony musicians, everything. No doubt it was a stressful way to live, but fortunately I had a great group of vendors that oftentimes I could just fall back and trust. It all paid off in the end with a wedding that was exactly how I wanted it.
I even got to eat dinner, which I hear is pretty special and unique.
Tell us about some of the personal touches.
I had a few personal touches, even though I steered away from DIY due to time constraints and distrust of myself holding a can of paint or a glue gun. We dropped the glass-clinking-earn-a-kiss tradition in favor of a must-do list of options which included waving streamers with bells, serenading us, toasting us, or telling a lawyer joke. We are both lawyers, so the bigger the laugh, and our profession can be a tough audience, the better the kiss, and I will say, there were a few good ones in there. The most popular one was having to write a haiku about love, even though I was sure that would bomb. We even inspired my aunt from Cuba to write a dirty one in Spanish! People had a ton of fun with that one.
I was in love with little aesthetic elements like our bear-bunny cake topper, which was borne of my inclination towards the weird and my husband’s inclination away from more traditional cake toppers. I saw them on Etsy and fell in love with them, so I deferred to my husband to pick his favorite, and I picked mine accordingly. I thought they were amazing at balancing weird with pretty.
My husband really feels a connection to music, so there were some songs that were very personal to us. The anniversary dance was a song his grandfather loved, which was important to my husband and his dad. The song playing during the cake cutting, though I’m sure very few people actually heard it, is a goofy song that we sing to each other from a TV show that we like. Of course the first dance song was very personal and meaningful to both of us, even though it seems lighthearted. We’ve associated so many of our special moments with songs that it was great to hear “the One we mangled the lyrics to on a lazy Saturday morning” played at a celebration of our relationship.
Tell us about what you remember the most from the day.
Most of the day is pretty hazy, unsurprisingly. I barely got my hands on a cocktail, so that wasn’t the reason, so I know it was pure excitement and nerves. The one thing that stands out the most is when I was standing on the church steps listening to the entrance music for the bridal party, which incidentally I also can’t really remember. The double doors to the church were open for my bridesmaids, and my husband and I hadn’t done a first-look, so I was standing off to the side a little bit to not be so visible. I was so nervous, I felt like I was going to start shaking and crying. It didn’t help that my dad said “Don’t cry, because if you do, I will” and the thought of my dad crying was almost too much to handle. My frazzled mind felt chaos everywhere with my sisters processing in, my dad talking to me, latecomers trying to squeeze in before me or hang around behind me, and the church coordinator and my wedding planner giving me smiles and words of encouragement. When I looked up into the church, trying to get a peek of what was going on in there, I noticed my husband was right in my eyeline. In trying to avoid him, I had placed myself in perfect view. However, we both just started smiling so big, just beaming, that I didn’t feel nervous anymore, the chaos in my mind cleared, and I just wanted to get in there and see him. I pretty much grinned like a fool the rest of the walk down the aisle, sat like a deer in headlights through the ceremony, natch, then continued to grin and laugh back down the aisle and through the reception. I’m still kind of grinning like a fool.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We actually met at work. I was introduced around during my first week, but he was always out of his office. Fast forward to the next week, and the elusive senior associate had set up a “welcome” happy hour for the newbies and all the existing associates and partners to interact. I was stuck in the office working on a project, so I arrived late and took a seat at the opposite end of the table from the host, whom I still hadn’t met. The long table was packed and I was sitting with my friends, so we didn’t interact until the middle of the table thinned out. As I’m chatting it up, I hear this deep voice say something I can’t fully hear, then that whole half of the table just erupts in laughter. I leaned forward and looked down the table to figure out who the unicorn funny lawyer was, and he was leaning in at the same time to drive the joke home, smiling and laughing himself. I always thought when some of my married friends said “the world stopped” it was just a fluffy expression, like “seeing stars” and “hearing crickets”, but wouldn’t you know it, it really did seem like everything stopped. I just felt this inner peace and clear knowledge that this person would be very important in my life. How cool, I thought, a lawyer with a beard. This was before beards were hip and more common, and yes, that was my real first solid thought about him. I carried that weird sense of knowing with me throughout the ups and downs in our relationship; I had this innate calm that no matter what, everything was going to work out okay, which, as a natural worrier, was a first for me. We still had times of turmoil and happiness, but for the first time, even from the beginning, I felt in my bones that it was all going to turn out right in the end. So I married him. That proved me wrong! Just kidding. Of course, his telling of that night and how we met is much more subdued, it’s shortened to just “we met at work” and leaves out the fluff, but that’s what makes us great for each other.
Vendors: Photographer: Candice Benjamin // Event Planners & Design: Intertwined Events // Venue: St. Catherine of Siena Parish Church // Venue: Casa Romantica // Videographer: FlyFennix // Florals: Bloom Box Designs // Entertainment: Ocdamia Strings // DJ & Lighting: Honored Occasions // Rentals: Bloom Box Designs // Rentals: Signature Party Rentals // Catering & Rentals: Carbonara Catering // Cake & Mini Desserts: Sweet & Saucy Shop