So there I was, in my silky floral pajamas and slipper booties, going over the reception layout on wedding eve with the bride, her bridesmaids…and her father…who also happened to be the officiant. But for the sake of all things Grand Occasions, let me start from the beginning.
Stefanie Manzer may be one of the most beautiful and generous people I know. I was living with her and her cousin before Grand Occasions was even a thought in anyone’s mind and it was about that time she started falling for an incredible man named Jason. Fast forward a few lovely months, and they (like most people who are bitten by that crazy love bug) decided to spend the rest of their life together. Jason proposed, Stef said yes, and the planning began!
Stef collected empty wine bottles, we found her wedding dress, and Grand Occasions was hired to do her Day-of Coordinating…which would end up being G.O.’s very first gig!
I arrived with the friends and family on wedding day eve and coordinated the rehearsal, got the lay of the land, and stayed the night with the bride and her bridal party. We ate popcorn, painted nails, and put finishing touches on the decor for the next day. Later in the night, while going over the next day’s events, Stef mentioned how she would like to do a walk-through of the reception site just one last time. So into the dark and chilly October night trekked 4 bridesmaids, 1 bride, and 1 wedding coordinator, clothed in nothing but her oriental-looking silky floral pajamas and floppy slipper boots. As we reviewed where to move the piano, made note of the dance floor space, and confirmed the seating arrangement, Stef’s dad made a grand (and unexpected) entrance. On a night walk, he happened upon us girls, and asked for an overview of what needed to happen in the next 24-hour time period.
Thus, the scene you entered on: Sarah in her ridiculous pajama get up, giving (very professional and experienced) wedding instruction to the Father of the Bride/Officiant, hoping he wouldn’t ask if she actually considered the slippers she was wearing to be appropriate footwear. Oy, may this situation never be my pre-wedding fate again (amen).
I still remember how incredibly nervous I was on wedding day. Monica arrived and I caught her up to speed as we put suitcases in cars, tacked direction signs to trees, made an emergency Walmart-run for fishing line, and tried to keep track of where the bride and groom were at all times, lest they catch even the slightest peep of each other before that glorious walk down the aisle.
That day was also the first time we ever met James and his beautiful wife, Candice, Stef’s wedding photographers (who just had a beautiful baby boy btw!) who we would later do a Style Shoot with and consider one of our favorite photographers. (His pictures are the ones featured below).
What I can say with complete confidence is that the wedding went off without a hitch. Stef and Jason are still very married and very in love (1 year and 4 days married, to be exact) and we are still grateful. We are grateful for great friends and generous people who believed in us before we had the confidence to fully believe in ourselves. That wedding was the experience we needed to hit the ground running. Looking back, we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect beginning to this grand adventure.
So here’s to you, Stef and Jason! We are so profoundly thankful that you found each other. Wishing you many many years of love, joy and blessings – which is what your wedding day gave us.
Cheers to all their mushy love stuff,
Photo Cred: James Saleska Photography