After four wonderful years together, Ben and I got married on August 9, 2015 at Whitehall Estate in Bluemont, Virginia. It was one of the best days of my life!!

We got engaged in August 2014 and started wedding planning around November 2014. We wanted a simple, personal wedding, and worked hard to make that happen with the support of our families and friends. Planning the wedding was incredibly exciting, but a little overwhelming, and I’m glad to be done with it and moving on to the next big thing in our lives.

We were married in an outdoor ceremony – a bit of a risk in August in Virginia, but the weather gods smiled down on us that day. A family friend officiated in a secular ceremony, where we read our own vows in front of 100 of our family members and closest friends. It was beautiful, emotional, quick, and memorable, which was just about everything we had hoped for.

Our ceremony was followed by an indoor/outdoor cocktail hour, accompanied by a trio of musicians that also played for our ceremony. After the cocktail hour, Ben and I made our grand entrance and had our first dance, to Songbird by the lovely Eva Cassidy. My parents, Ben’s brother Sam, and my sister Claire then all gave touching, hilarious, and eloquent toasts, and we began our dinner.

Our venue, Whitehall Manor, did the catering, and it was delicious. We decided on four entrees for our guests to choose from (beef, chicken, fish, and veggie) and they were all apparently big hits. I think I had the beef, but honestly, I ate bits of my new husband’s meal and my sister’s as well! In terms of party juice alcohol, we were able to bring our own, which my father arranged. We had beer, wine, cider, vodka, and plenty of Irish whiskey. Dinner was followed by LOTS of dancing, cake cutting (and finger cutting, oops), catching up with family and friends, picture taking, and even more dancing!

August 9, 2015 was a day that I know I will remember for the rest of my life. It was so meaningful to have so many of our loved ones there to see Ben and I make our vows and send us off to the next stage of our lives together. We are loving newly married life here in Ohio!

I spent so much dang time planning this wedding that now I think I should talk about the whole process a little more – I think I could write about 20 blog posts out of this!!! Up next: THE VENUE.

All photo credit goes to the amazing Two Spoons Photography!

Thanks for reading! ~Margaret