After sharing some of the DIY projects from our wedding (which, if you missed, you can catch up on here), I want to take a moment to share the amazing wedding vendors that helped to make our day as perfect as it was. These are the people that did everything I couldn’t do myself (or didn’t want to do myself). These are the people that gave their time and talents for five (or fifty) hours of exclusive attention to my wedding guests, my family, my husband, and me. They all deserve recognition, thanks, and great. big. hugs.
[Here's Part 1 - on our Location & Caterers and Florist!]
Our Photographers: Focal Point Studios
Another aspect of our wedding that the hubs & I discussed long before we were actually engaged was photography. My man is about as camera-shy as they get. He gets all tense & nervous when someone tries to take his picture, and he is not a fan of being told where & how to
do anything pose/stand. Luckily for us, we’d already had the experience of being photographed by our fantastic wedding photographers – Amy and Lauren of Focal Point Studios, at a family photo shoot the previous summer. Hubs loved how casual & easy-going they were, and I loved how gorgeous the photos were. And so, without even a second thought, within the first week of our engagement I had emailed & booked Amy and Lauren for our wedding day.
We did an engagement shoot with them, which was not nearly as painful as hubby expected, and when the wedding day rolled around, they were an absolute dream. Full of enthusiasm, encouragement, and creative vision – these ladies (and Dave, Lauren’s super talented husband who joined them) just hit it out of the park.
Compiling the photos into books as Christmas gifts for my family, printing my favorites to frame and display in our home, and sharing a mini album of some of the best pics with friends & colleagues has been such a pleasure.
Some days, when it’s grey outside and I need a pick-me-up, I just sit at my computer and page through the hundreds of beautiful pictures from our wedding day. I couldn’t be happier to have such an amazing collection of little moments and memories, forever preserved in time.
Our Wedding Band: The Free Downloads
One of my dearest friends from college, Sheree, is the lead singer for the most happening wedding band in Boston – The Free Downloads. You heard me right- I said Boston. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll note that our wedding was in New Jersey – a good 4.5 hour drive from the Massachusetts capital. Yet when I asked Sheree if her *fantastic* band would consider making the trip to play for our wedding, they heartily agreed, and proceeded to provide the “best wedding music I’ve ever heard” (direct quote from a guest) for both our ceremony & tented reception.
The Free Downloads is a seven piece band, featuring amazing Sheree and the equally talented singer Neil, and a group of some of the best musicians I’ve ever heard (Sheree and I went to college together… for music… so as a fellow musician, I feel confident in my professional evaluation!)
The number of glowing compliments I received about this band was only trumped by the number of smiling faces on the dance floor throughout the night. From the beautiful & soulful music during dinner, to the PUMPED UP energy of the dance tunes, this group of music makers were simply incredible.
While the night was a total blur for my husband and me, we did remark on several occasions that it seemed like the singers & players never took breaks, and just got better and better as the night went on! Nothing could have been more meaningful than to have Sheree, along with my bestie/man of honor/another college classmate Eric, providing the exquisite music for our ceremony. The added experience of having such a close friend perform throughout the evening, keeping everyone on the dance floor & having a blast, was unforgettable.
By the way, I once waxed poetic on this little blog about the many factors weighing on me as I selected the music for our wedding ceremony. (I was in charge of the music, hubs was in charge of the readings). In case you are wondering, here is what we ended up with:
Preludes (performed beautifully while guests enjoyed a glass of apple cider, took a pic at the DIY Photo Booth, and then found their seats) (and while I was bursting with excitement as I listened from a distance!)
(the links take you to YouTube versions performed by the original artists, but my personal (and slightly biased) opinion is that the renditions by Sheree & Eric were even better!)
My parents & bridal party came down the aisle to the James Taylor song, “The Secret of Life“. This is my mother’s favorite song (and she passed down the partiality to me). It even features the lyric that inspired the title to this blog!
My processional tune was an instrumental-only rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” (Beatles), performed on acoustic guitar by the talented George of The Free Downloads.
Our recessional was the light & happy “Everybody” by Ingrid Michaelson.
Since music is easily four-fifths of my life (with the final fifth split between my love of the beach, crafting, travel and bacon…) the music provided by my dear friends and the talented band members was very, very special to me.
I just might be crying a little bit right now, but don’t worry… it’s the good kind of crying.
Thank you once again to the fabulous Free Downloads, to my amazing photographers, florist, and caterers! I am also so grateful to the additional vendors who contributed their talents to our wedding day. See the whole list of amazing-ness at the bottom credits portion of this feature post.
[all photographs courtesy of Focal Point Studios]