Weeks to a Wedding: The Big-Day Recap

Despite a rainy weather forecast, Sophie’s wedding day turns out perfectly.

By: Sophie Gilbert

My last wedding post! So sad. The last ten weeks seemed to fly by like, well, weeks. Along with my fellow bridal blogger Erin, I started checking the weather forecast as soon as I could and was gutted by the prospect of rain right up until two days before the wedding. I should’ve trusted more in two people: my bikini waxer, Lidia, who assured me with complete certainty that it “will not rain,” and my editor Garrett, who says that it rains only in the afternoon in Washington. Both were right.

I can describe our day only as perfect. There were a few minor snags, but they really only served to make me laugh. My two brothers walked me down the aisle, meaning that there was some confusion over where they’d both stand, and for the duration of the ceremony I was distracted by the lily-pollen mark on John’s face—he had helped transport the flowers earlier. But the ceremony, the weather, the location, and the brunch were absolutely perfect and just what we’d wanted and imagined when we’d first thought about getting married, which is really all that matters.

John and I decided to spend the night before together. It isn’t traditional, but it helped me calm down and get some sleep. After a day of hangovers, massages, nauseating road trips, rehearsals, flower arrangements, and last-minute seating plans, I was feeling a bit overwrought, and it really helped to have him around. We woke up horribly early on Saturday so I could get to the Erwin Gomez salon, but for the first hour I got to sit in blissful silence while Adrian made up my face. No questions, no loudness, no other people around—which is what made it one of the most relaxing hours of the whole week. I can’t recommend it more. Then Rudy did an amazing job on my hair—I picked 42 bobby pins out at the end of the day, if anyone’s interested—while the rest of the staff took care of and distracted my mom, stepmom, sister, and maid of honor. We left looking much more beautiful and groomed than we had when we arrived and headed to the St. Regis, where I had to hide in a telephone booth on the eighth floor so John could leave our room without seeing me and my epic up-do.

My mom came up to the room, crying already because the string quartet had started practicing our wedding song. We gave her Champagne to calm her down, and then we all had some, which was delightful. After we were all dressed and halfway drunk again, we headed down to the terrace, where everybody was already seated. Because the tradition is to enter the terrace through the gate on 16th Street, we had to walk past a bus stop full of people who gawked and gave me the thumbs-up. As soon as I started walking down the aisle, I was crying and then laughing because everyone else was crying, too. Then John and I held hands and made faces at each other until we were married (by Dennis Schulze, who gave a wonderful service and to whom we are forever indebted for driving 80 miles in from Maryland far too often for us). It was very beautiful, and it went by far too quickly.

Our brunch at Adour was flawless, and so was the cake: a two-tier chocolate-ganache number from Lara Stuckey at Fluffy Thoughts, who did a fantastic job at the last minute. Our friend Rick was so busy in his role as official photographer that he forgot to eat and had to be gently reminded that his eggs were getting cold. And of course the florist (me) did an amazing job. The flowers from Potomac Floral Wholesale came out beautifully, and our apartment still smells like a flower shop. I may start considering a new career.

All in all, our wedding was just what we wanted: small, intimate, happy, stylish, and most of all affordable. We splurged on some things (string quartet, brunch, location, wine) and economized on others (dress, shoes, Prosecco, flowers). Even with 55 people, we still didn’t have enough time to spend with everyone. The only thing I regret is not planning an immediate honeymoon, mostly for practical reasons. After the culmination of ten weeks of planning and stress, we were both absolutely wiped out. I’ll be spending my first free weekend as a married woman on the couch watching Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, if anyone wants to come. And maybe arranging a flower or two now that the wedding ones are finally dying.

You can follow Sophie's story from the beginning here.

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