Our Wedding: Getting Ready

Our Wedding: Getting Ready


I've held off on posting more than just the sneak peak of our wedding photos here because I've been totally intimidated by the shear amount of them! Which is indeed a good thing but endless scrolling through hundreds of photos did not sound like a great experience for you all! So, I've finally figured that perhaps I'll just post them in sections. I'm so excited to start here, with the photos from preparing and getting ready for the biggest most beautiful day of our life! I've chosen a hearty bunch of my favorites.

My bridal party, sweet mother and I got ready in the bridal suite at our venue, The Hellenic Center. It spanned two rooms and was so comfortable for us to enjoy the day without rushing or any need to go anywhere else. We loved it when we toured the venue just a few months after we got engaged, but shortly before our wedding date the suite was re-decorated and turns out so perfectly matched the color scheme of our wedding -- meant to be! Those grey walls though <3

Backstage Salon out of Rowley, MA did a great job on mine and my Mom's hair as well as everyone's makeup. It was really important to me that we get our hair and makeup done in the bridal suite rather than going back and forth between a salon as I truly wanted the day to be spent relaxing and in the moment. It was just that, and I'll never forget the memories made just us girls.

I was so looking forward to reading Derek's card. Writing is a form of expressing our love for one another in our relationship and it's so special to us. This was the best love note ever. And after not seeing each other since the day before, it was nice to connect in this way.

Derek's wedding gift was so sweet. An engraved wooden box that says 'Schradieck Adventures' with three travel journals inside. This meant so much to me. We've been so nose to the grind since the early days of our relationship going from one life change to the next starting with Derek's senior thesis year in college to him graduating, my senior year and my college graduation, starting our careers, to signing a lease together and moving in with one another (that was a big one), to buying our first house, renovating said house, adopting a dog, Derek changing jobs, getting engaged, planning a wedding and getting married...WHEW...we have discussed all along that the years between getting married and having kids were to be spent making adventurous memories together. This keepsake box and journals confirmed in the sweetest way that we'd indeed enter our marriage with this goal at the forefront of it all. That acknowledgement and validation of our future meant so much to me.

Derek spent the evening before our wedding at the beautiful new Beauport Hotel on the water in Gloucester harbor. We wanted to keep things traditional and not sleep with one another the night before so he stayed there with his a few of his groomsmen and I slept at our house with my mum.

After sailing around Gloucester harbor on the Ardelle schooner for our rehearsal dinner (pinch me), Derek and I headed to the bar at the Beauport Hotel to have a glass of wine and share our last moments with one another as an engaged couple. I'm so glad we did that. It was the moments of pause all throughout the festivities both that day and at the wedding that truly allowed us to feel as though we enjoyed every minute of it all. To this day we do not feel as though we blinked and it was over or that there was any part we did not get to enjoy. More on this in a later post :)

A moment I'll never forget was when Derek drove me back to our house after our last little wine date at the Beauport and he walked me to the door. There we were, about to say goodbye before not seeing one another until I walked down the aisle. The juxtaposition of the reality of the next day combined with him walking me to the door to say goodbye felt like one of those early dates in a relationship when it almost pains you to let go. It was so special and perhaps a bit indescribable. If you're not yet married, I highly suggest taking time for yourselves this way to soak up every moment and process the moments you're living.

Back to the photos.

The Beauport was a special experience for Derek as I'm not sure we'd ever actually have any other reason to stay there since we live about five minutes down the road. So I'm glad we, especially Derek, got to experience it for such an occasion!

The decor is stunning. Traditional and classic yet sleek and modern. It sort of felt like old world charm similar to the grandiose luxury of the Titanic, oddly enough. It was the perfect spot for him to get ready with his guys.

I had a few gifts for Derek as well. The day after we got engaged, I went out and picked up a journal. I then wrote letters to Derek in the journal from that day forward right up until a few days before our wedding. I wanted to document this special but fleeting time in our life and also write a literal book about my devotion to him. It's the thought.

In traditional fashion, I also got Derek a pair of sterling silver David Yurman cuff links to wear with his tux on our wedding day, and for many occasions in the future.

Meanwhile, back in the bridal suite.

It was time for my beautiful bridal party to do a few hair touch ups and get into their gowns — it all started to feel more and more real!

Next was the moment I'd waited for. The dress! I loved (love.) my dress so very much (what bride doesn't?!). I found it just a few months into our engagement. But still tried on others at the shop I'd scoped out that had that very one in stock. Alas, it was still the one. I've never felt so beautiful in my life. I wish for every woman to have that moment in their own life, whether it's on your wedding day or anything else.

How sweet is she? My best friend all these years. My confidant. My inspiration. My twin. My Mama.

I hope to be half the mother she's been for me someday to my own little ones.

I also hope I look like her, always. Werk.

At this point, the guys were about ready to hop in the car and get on their way to the venue.

Derek's gifts to his best man, groomsman and usher were these monogrammed compasses. Everyone in the group loves a good adventure, so this fit the bill for them all. Particularly my brother (RL in this photo), who is currently on a trip by way of motorcycle from San Francisco, CA to Bogota, Colombia. That adventure cannot be topped!

Now. The next happening was well, quite emotional. And perhaps one of the top most special parts of the day (how many times can I say 'special' in this post, I know). The girls cleared the room and my Dad and I did a first look. It was like twenty-five years of emotion pouring over. It's a moment we owed to one another to honor the close relationship we've had since day one. I could not be more grateful for him, my Papa.

Wait for it.......


A few days prior, I had snuck a personalized hankerchief into the inside pocket of the suit coat my Dad planned to wear for the wedding. I wanted him to find it while he was getting ready, and have that moment to himself to process and read the message written on it.

What made it even more special, was that my Dad offered it to me when I was crying buckets after the first look and we both wiped our tears with it. I mean, come on. We are a very sentimental bunch and this was just the best.

After the first look, it was getting so so close to go time. So close to walking down the aisle to the love of my life and vowing our lives to one another. I couldn't wait, so exciting!

Singing along to none other than Taylor Swift to tame the nerves...

Champagne toasts work too :)

And then, it was time. A last look in the mirror and it was time to take several deep breaths and head down to the doors where my almost husband was waiting. Arm in arm with my Dad by my side, it was the moment of a lifetime before me...

Our ceremony was the focus and high point of our wedding for us — I will share photos of that next!


You can see more of our wedding via these links:
Part 2: The Ceremony, Wedding Party and Family Portraits
Part 3: Golden Hour + Reception
Wedding Video

You can also see our honeymoon here:
Part 1: Inn at Castle Hill here
Part 2: Tulum, Mexico
Honeymoon Video


Sources mentioned:

Flowers: Celia's Flower Studio
Photography: Photography