Real Bride: Maggie L.
From the Bride:
How we met:
Jay and I met at a notoriously fun locals party in Las Vegas in 2009. At the time I was a newspaper reporter and Jay was vacationing with mutual friends. I remember meeting him and repeating back “Like the letter J?” He remembers thinking I was very sophisticated. The same girl who still has a family nickname of ‘Tooterbutt.’
We had endless things to talk and joke about. It was a friendship built on the tenets of loving comedy, being Midwestern, and knowing too much Full House trivia (our first dance song was “Forever” by Jesse and the Rippers). But he went back to Kansas and we stayed just friends for two years.
In late summer 2011, we both acknowledged the elephant in the room — we more-than liked each other and couldn’t imagine going forward without the other.
Jay and I saved and sacrificed to fund a dream vacation to Maui, Hawaii in December 2016. We splurged and indulged and kept the general attitude of “Say yes.” But I said “ABSOLUTELY, yes” when he proposed in front of a heart-shaped rock overlooking the ocean. It was so special and we capped the day off drinking champagne and calling all our friend and family VIPs with the good news.
I really loved wedding planning and having a long engagement. We had fun with it and it was pretty easy to plan from 2,000 miles away (thank you, Internet!). Shout out to my boots on the ground helpers in the Midwest who were my eyes when I needed them. Because I live in Los Angeles and our wedding would be in Michigan, I thought it would be fun to have dress shopping in Kansas City and share a fun wedding planning experience with my soon-to-be family. My mom and maid of honor joined.
Altar Bridal was our first appointment. Everyone was so positive and I was in good hands with Gail and Sara. Foolishly, I thought I should keep looking, which overwhelmed and disappointed me. I loved the bottom of one dress and the top of another at Altar Bridal, and I hated thinking I failed this special occasion for everyone else; I was sending secret SOS texts to my best friends. And oddly enough, I was bummed I couldn’t get my fiance’s opinion because I would for anything else.
I finally aired my feelings to my mom and MOH, who took charge (because that’s who they are) and who turned the car BACK to Altar Bridal that moment. It was meant to be! Sara and Gail happened to just be hanging out and accepted me with open arms. They somehow read my mind and put me in a dress and “jacket” that literally made me gasp. It’s a sweet memory I visit often.
The whole wedding weekend felt like one long hug. There was nothing but positivity and were so many joyful reunions and new friendships formed. Guests came from literally all over the world. Having everyone we love in one room was the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen.
The ceremony was special and memorable. Our officiant was my classmate and close family friend. I was the third-generation bride to get married at our church. Jay and I were able to write our own vows and we weren’t the only ones getting emotional as we read them. As guests left, we got to spend five minutes away together in the bridal room and process all our hard work coming to fruition.
Our dream team bridal party was amazing and we took pictures around town in a purple school bus.
We chose a reception venue that handled all the day-of coordination (including set up and tear down — I signed that dotted line faster than Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Take my voice, please!) and had near-perfect reviews.
We incorporated tons of personality like hidden shamrocks, diy boutonnieres, a Stanley Hudson from The Office pretzel bar during our New Wave cocktail hour, rented checkerboard dance floor under the venue’s 20+ disco balls, and life-size cardboard cutouts of Dolly Parton and Pee-Wee Herman. And most of all, enough purple to make guests wonder if Prince was secretly in attendance. We’re taking the marriage seriously, but not ourselves.
We were going for a fun day where our guests felt loved and taken care of. We wouldn’t be who we are or have met at all without them. I think we nailed it, too. Seeing everyone having fun made every second of planning, every extra hour worked, every little decision, so worth it.
Years from now when we reflect on this time in our lives, we will remember feeling surrounded by love and support from our family and friends.
Maggie and Jay
May 26, 2018
Ceremony: St. Alphonsus Catholic Church
Reception: The Cheney Place
Veil: Family friend, Mary Hormuth
Hair & Make-up: @samklugartistry (Sam Klug, bride hair and makeup, and bridal party makeup) and @alanasaindons_styles (Alana Saindon, bridal party hair)
Photography: The Mittentog
Videographer: Lane Gordon Film Co.
Men’s suits: The Black Tux
Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie
Caterer: Adeline Leigh Catering
Desserts: Lesley Gallatin
Florist: Gail VanderLaan
Invitations: FlyOver Design Co.
Signage: Reagan Marketing + Design
DJ: Kaleidoscope Events
Honorable mention to Amazon.com, etsy.com and Weddingwire.com.