You can go through all the wedding planning sites, magazines, and Pinterest boards you want, however, your special day is in fact-your special day.
When planning our wedding, things just fell into place naturally as we thought of them, and it truly made our day so special. There was a lot of meaning behind many of the things that we chose to do, and I would like to share with you those private details in hopes to inspire the newly engaged and or future brides to make sure that their wedding has special meaning to them.
It’s easy to get caught up in the perfect details, but always remember the day is about you and your soon-to-be forever partner, so make sure that you work as a team and make sure to pay homage to those little details that make the two of you and your relationship so special.
To me, my grandparents, AKA Nana and Papa, had the most beautiful love story of all. Married October 17, 1959, they managed to remain married through sickness and in health 53 years before my grandfather’s death in 2013.
I have always loved fall weddings and wanted to be married on the same date, however, in order to make that date work for us, we would have had to wait until 2025 (Friday) or 2026 (Saturday), so we opted for the closest date possible, Friday, October 15, 2021.
I have admired my grandmother’s wedding dress ever since I was a little girl. My grandparents had a beautiful oil painting made capturing them on the day of their wedding, and I knew that I wanted to have a dress with long lacy sleeves similar to my grandmother’s.
I found my dress at David’s Bridal, it was the first and only dress I tried on and bought it on a whim when I was shopping for dresses with my bridesmaid. I had found the dress pictured below on the David’s Bridal website (unfortunately, I believe, this dress is discontinued) and luckily the store had one on the floor I could try on, and I fell in love. I knew this was the dress for me, it was everything I was looking for and was a modern version of my grandmother’s dress, which I loved.
Bridal Tip: I remember my matron of honor telling me prior to trying on dresses to bear in mind that the store usually only has the largest size of the dress you are looking for, so do not be worried when you see what size they bring out, generally it is not going to be your size. The store associates will pull the dress back and clip it, so it fits your figure, then take your measurements and order you the proper dress size.
The selling point of our reception venue was the gorgeous stars and constellations on the ceiling of the ballroom. One of the things Sean and I bonded over in the beginning was zodiac signs; I am a Sagittarius and Sean is a Capricorn.
In the early days of getting to know each other, I was going through a breakup or two, and I had this nagging urge to go have my tarot cards read over Thanksgiving weekend in 2019. The woman reading my cards told me, “I see you with a Capricorn, you are going to meet him at work, and you will be together for a very long time.”
The only Capricorn I knew of and pretty much the only male in a female dominated office was Sean. At that point, we weren’t even that friendly-the only reason I knew he was a Capricorn was due to the fact I overheard him talking about it one to another coworker while fixing their computer.
Surely, I never thought Sean and I would end up together, let alone married one day! Once we started talking, I told him what the card reader had told me and his response was “I’m into that” and the rest is history.
We also loved the concept of dancing under the stars to what became to be “our song” Midnight, The Stars And You.
When I tell you I worked on the music for over a year and a half, I am not joking.
Of course, we had a DJ, however, I did want to have as much control over the music as possible for our ceremony as well as during cocktail hour and dinner.
At first, I started looking into different wedding ceremony playlists on Spotify, however I just kept coming up with the same cheesy quartet songs like “A Thousand Years” and I knew I wanted music that was more personal to Sean and I and gave deeper meaning to our ceremony.
I came across a group, Vitamin String Quartet, who did amazing instrumental music to both classic and modern songs (they even had a version of W.A.P). I started really digging into their catalog as well as other string quartet groups such as Midnite String Quartet and Tribute String Quartet and found the most perfect and beautiful soundtrack to our wedding ceremony.
Processional- These Days by Nico covered by Vitamin String Quartet
Flower Girl Entrance-Here Comes The Sun by The Beetles covered by Midnite String Quartet
Bridal Entrance-Stand By Me by Ben E. King covered by Tribute String Quartet
Each song chosen had a very deep and personal meaning to me:
These Days by Nico released in 1967, most notably known for being in the 2001 Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums, first came into my plane of existence at a funeral. My cousin, David, father to my dear cousin Chloe, passed away from colon cancer in 2020, he was an avid movie and music buff and during his celebration of life service my cousin put together a beautiful playlist of songs and These Days was on the list. It is easily one of the most beautiful songs of the 1960s and is widely overlooked.
Being an avid Velvet Underground fan I was surprised I had never actually sat down and listened to the lyrics quite like I did at the funeral and the song perfectly sums up life and or the end of one’s life-
“I’ve been out walking
I don’t do too much talking
These days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to”
I come to tears every time I hear this song, not only for the loss in my family, but for the beautiful piece it truly is.
Here comes the Sun by The Beetles, written by George Harrison and was actually inspired by the long harsh winters endured in England, which he felt went on forever. However, the song has a different meaning for me…
I lost my only sibling, my brother, Jacob, almost nine years ago- I knew I would never become an aunt to any beautiful nieces or nephews biologically, and I swore I never thought I would get married. God had different plans, and I met Sean when his niece was fourteen months old. She is three years old now and will never remember a time in her life when “Aunt Amanda” was not around. She has single-handedly become one of the brightest rays of sunshine in my life, and I am so blessed to be her aunt.
The cover of the song is so beautifully performed and the lyrics, well they speak for themselves…
It seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun,
And I say, It’s all right
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
It’s all right”
I mean, what can be said about Ben E. King’s stand by me? It is an absolutely beautiful song that encompasses every aspect of remaining by your loved one’s side through the dark times and knowing that everything will be okay as long as you stand by me…
“When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me”
Closing Time by Semisonic is the ultimate 90s classic and of course can be heard as the last song playing at any bar on the planet during last call.
As popular in the bar scene as it may be, this song, of course, has a bit of a deeper meaning in my world. As I mentioned before I lost my brother almost nine years ago- Semisonic’s Closing Time was on the NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC VOLUME 2 CD which I proudly owned (released in 1998) and somehow my brother got his paws on it and played this song over, and over and over and over and over again, when he got his first CD player, thus causing an everlasting imprint on my brain having to turn it off at 3am when he fell asleep to it.
Not only was it the perfect song to close out our wedding ceremony, but I felt it was only right to use the song in a very important ode to my brother and acknowledging that even though he wasn’t physically there with us on our wedding day, he was there with me in my heart…
Closing time, time for you to go out
To the places you will be from
Closing time, this room won’t be open
Till your brothers or your sisters come
So, gather up your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Closing time, every new beginning
Comes from some other beginning’s end”
Dinner/Cocktail Hour Playlist
I had a very specific vision as to what would be great music for cocktail hour and dinner. I wanted to make sure the music was of course meaningful but also upbeat and friendly for all generations.
I always loved listening to oldies with my grandparents in the car after lunch on Sundays after church, always begging my Papa to take us for a drive just to get a few extra quality time minutes in with my grandparents.
I opted for an “oldies” playlist, including lots of Motown (we are from the Motor City, after all) doo wop and hits from the 50s and 60s.
You can check out my dinner play list here.
Our First Dance
The song we chose for our first dance as a married couple is Midnight; The Stars And You by Al Bowlly, most notably known as the song that plays at the end of the film The Shining-one of our favorite horror movies.
Midnight; The Stars and You is also the last song that plays at the end of every Last Podcast On The Left episode (one of my favorite podcasts), which is where the idea of using that song as our first dance actually came to fruition.
I was listening to LPOTL one day at work (as one does) and I sent the song to Sean and asked him what he thought-he immediately replied “YES” and from then on it was set in stone that it was “our song.”
“Midnight with the stars and you
Midnight and a rendezvous
Your eyes held a message tender
Saying “I surrender all my love to you
Midnight brought us sweet romance
I know all my whole life through
I’ll be remembering you, whatever else I do
Midnight with the stars and you”
Father Daughter & Mother Son Dance
We opted to do a combination father daughter and mother son dance, the song that we chose is Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin.
I fell in love with this song when I first heard it in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. In the series, Heavenly Day was the song the main character Nell dances to with her husband on their wedding day. I thought the song was so beautiful and becomes so haunting throughout the series.
The song lyrics are so beautiful and truly speak for themselves, especially on the day of a wedding…
“Oh, heavenly day
All the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today with anyone
The smile on your face, I live only to see
It’s enough for me, baby, it’s enough for me
Oh, heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day
Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here’s a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few
Oh because right now is only thing
That all that we really have to do
Is have ourselves, a heavenly day”
Another thing Sean and I bonded over in the beginning of our relationship was healing crystals, minerals, and geodes. We spent many weekends going to different metaphysical stores looking for new specimens to add to our collections. Once we even bought a geode that we had to crack open ourselves- I told Sean to smash it with a hammer on my then desk, he warned me it was going to break the desk, I didn’t believe him, and… well we had to get rid of the desk once that bad boy was cracked open…
When searching for different styles of wedding cakes, we found these gorgeous style cakes that have carved out crevices that look like geodes. We opted for an amethyst look to go with our plum and gold wedding colors, however, upon entering the reception hall the first thing I laid my eyes on was a turquoise geode cake. I am not sure why and or how it ended up being turquoise, however, it still turned out beautiful and was truly a gorgeous focal point for our reception.
Custom gold cake topper created by Luxtomi on Etsy, you can find them here.
In true horror movie fandom, our guestbook was custom designed by Sean and created by a seller on Etsy. It has a wooden front and back cover in which the famous pattern of the Overlook Hotel carpeting is burned into the front and back cover with a typewriter font that says Sean & Amanda Crosslin October 15, 2021.
Although, very few people seen or signed our guestbook as it was placed on a podium off to the side, it is a beautiful piece of memorabilia from our wedding that we absolutely love and another ode to one of our favorite horror films of all time.
Guestbook created by RedBerryGuestBooks on Etsy, you can find them here.
I opted to have an artificial bouquet made in lieu of fresh flowers, so it would in fact last forever, and I could use it as a display piece in my home. These particular bouquets were made with eucalyptus and sola wood flowers, which are an extremely light wood derived from the plant Aeschynomene aspera that grows in wild marsh areas.
I found an amazing seller on Etsy who already and chose one of her previously designed bouquets as I loved the color palette she used- a lot of greenery with pops of lavender and plum as well as white. The plum did not overpower the bouquets and offset the bridal gown as well as the bridesmaids dresses and were an absolute perfect match. I also had boutonnieres made for the groom, groomsmen, and our fathers as well as corsages for our mothers matching the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets.
Bridal / bridesmaid’s bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres created by WildRoseFlowersDecor on Etsy, you can find them here.
All photos credited to Adrienne & Amber Photography, please check out their website here.
I hope you enjoyed some insight to our special day! I have been wanting to make this post for a while now, and I am so glad I finally am able to share the special details with you.
Look out for more wedding related content in the very near future!!!