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After ReBar happened, Brent and I had to start over again with our “dream” wedding. With all the hiccups that come with planning a wedding plus all the unexpected disasters, by the time February rolled around, we just wanted to do the damn thing already.

I think a lot of couples feel this way- but along with the anxiety of watching the weather reports, making time for dress fittings and finding all these last minute details- it was all worth it. Even the 15 lbs of stress weight I put on (the dress still fit!).

I foolishly planned to work up until the day before my wedding. Thanks to the flu this year I took an unexpected week off from work recovering from the flu and bronchitis and had two weeks of HECK trying to catch up. I was given the green light to take an extra day off to prep and boy was it needed. Our wedding was the day after Valentine’s Day. I had to prepare for the rehearsal dinner which we wisely decided host at our apartment to keep things intimate and to keep costs down.

Prior to that, the weather report showed February 15 was going to feel like -20 degrees outside. ::insert groans here:: I mean, we DID opt to have a wedding in February so I guess we were asking for this – all in the name of keeping costs down. Because the weather forecast was “bone chilling cold” I made a snap decision to add hot cocoa to our favors. A small item that guests were so thankful for when they went home. Hot chocolate and S’mores. My friend Patty, and my Maid of Honor, Danielle, made the favors happen and worked till the day before the wedding getting them all ready for the wedding. They were beautiful (and delicious).

At the rehearsal dinner, we cleaned the apartment like never before! We had it at a 1pm and provided an assortment of bagels, spreads, muffins, fruit, cheeses, jams, cookies, brownies, quiche, champagne and orange juice. The spread seemed to make everyone happy- especially the quiche. (A big pat on the back to me because most of the leftovers were eaten on the morning of the wedding.) I had to fight tooth and nail with some people over whether or not having a rehearsal was necessary- if anyone is debating the matter- you NEED to have a rehearsal for a number of reasons. As the bride, I had my own expectations of the wedding. My father- in-law, who performed my ceremony, was gracious enough to tweak his sermon to accommodate my wishes- the end resulted in 3 dry runs of the wedding (and still on the wedding day people forgot when they were supposed to walk and when they were supposed to stay- good times).

Leading up to the big day I thought I would be too nervous to sleep… nope. Slept like a baby the night before right beside my future husband. I awoke early on my wedding day for my hair and make-up appointment. I kissed him goodbye and went to the salon leaving him to chill with his best man- my now brother-in-law.

I brought with me a platter of bagels and muffins from the rehearsal dinner to the salon. It gave us life! We sat under the dryer. We got all pretty and somehow 4 hours flew right by.

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I left the salon with the girls and at least 2 cans of hair spray holding my hair together as the frosty BONE CHILLING winds whipped around and headed for my parents’ place where the photographer was already clicking away at photos of my shoes and dress.Rodriguez 02-15-15 025

Even as they zipped up my wedding dress I felt calm. COLD. But calm. I was marrying Brent.

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I was looking forward to the best party ever.

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Our limo arrived completely filthy – that sucked. We were on our way to DUMBO to shoot the first look with Brent. Only living one block from my parents, timing the limo with Brent’s cab could have gone better. His brother let it slip that the saw me entering the limo as his cab was pulling away… Rodriguez 02-15-15 103

But he still gave a good WOW when we had our first look. I think the first look was probably my favorite part of the entire wedding.

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It was our Alone time. It also made the big walk down the aisle less nerve-racking.

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Once we arrived at the wedding venue I got news that the weather was not cooperating which made my heated tent useless. Rodriguez 02-15-15 203

My wedding coordinator was amazing. He worked around every obstacle and got us up and running smoothly despite all the hiccups and set me up with champagne and let me relax.

It all seems like a blur. A beautiful blur.

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My bridesmaids were AMAZING pillars of support and strength. They checked on me every so often to make sure I had assistance in the ladies room- that brought our friendship to the next level!

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I walked down a makeshift aisle to A Thousand Years and managed to keep it together without crying. Even though the tent was the original plan, having the wedding in the actual restaurant was perfect. It felt perfect.

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As we were pronounced husband and wife, At Last by Etta James played. No truer words have been sung. Our first dance was to All of Me by John Legend (so cliché, I know).

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I danced with my father to I Loved Her First by Heartland and we made each other laugh so neither of us would cry. Our Grand Entrance was to Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars because I wanted to “kiss myself, I’m so pretty”.

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We cut our cake the My Everything by Michael Buble. We got the cake from Milk Bar! Salted Pretzel Naked Cake for the win… and we already at the top of the cake!

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My dress was an Allure Bridal gown that was heavy but beautiful- dancing in that thing was an art. And all the rips in the back from being stepped on prove that when getting a bridal fitting, one should make sure there is a proper bustle for dancing!

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I made my bouquet from my grandmother’s brooches. I made boutonnieres, bridesmaids bouquets, and corsages out of silk flowers, burlap and brooches. My Centerpieces were IKEA mini lanterns with LED flicker tea lights on top of burlap and lace doilies (made by my maid of honor), with mini rose vases filled with baby’s breath (and leftover Valentine’s Day roses from the restaurant). The table numbers were numbered cards printed on a chalkboard template. ETSY provided my wedding cape, cake topper, cards banner and cards holder.

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Hot chocolate favors!

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One of our vegetarian appetizers – a mushroom dish! A popular item

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The langoustine appetizer was also a big hit!

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The suitcase to hold our cards. Burlap and lace everywhere.

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S’mores Tower!

At the end of the night, we were a sweaty mess. We had an AMAZING time at the wedding. We got to enjoy our AMAZING dinner without interruption- seriously, how many couples can accomplish this? And the food was amazing- albeit small portions but delicious.

We drank endless glasses of champagne and celebrated our two families becoming one. What had me most nervous was meeting my in-laws for the first time just a day before the wedding. I can now say that I love my in-laws to pieces. Our two families got along so well and I am certain we will all have a long happy life together! We all danced the night away, hugging and laughing together. It was such a perfect evening that I cannot even imagine our wedding any other way. I owe the former owner of ReBar a proper thank you for running out on us- our DREAM wedding was fulfilled.

We will cherish that memory for the rest of our lives.

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