I am SUPER EXCITED to show you today the wedding of Jessica and Martin. Jessica reached out and allowed me to share their big day on Secret Wedding Blog because she’s excited share a multicultural wedding. Grab a beverage of your choice and read their story…
Our scenario: A Dutch guy meets a Puerto Rican girl in Brussels. Girl moves to Washington, DC. A year later, Dutch guy proposes. How do we accommodate our family and friends an ocean apart? We have two weddings in two continents! We decided to have our first wedding in Rochester, New York, a small city in the north western side of the state where I grew up and in the spring we will have a beach wedding in Barcelona, Spain.
We invited 80 guests to both weddings. My family is quite large therefore most of the guests at the Rochester wedding were my relatives and close friends. The wedding in Barcelona will be Martin’s family and friends from The Netherlands and my close friends living in Europe. We decided not to have a wedding party, just a best man and woman (I find the maid of honor title antiquated). One of the highlights was the fact the best man was with Martin the night we met, so he gave a very funny play by play story of how we met.
Being from upstate New York, I love the nature and the beautiful snow landscapes. For the venue, we decided to book a lodge at Ellison Park, located in the suburbs of Rochester. We went with the rustic decor to match the lodge. With two weddings, we went with DIY decor and hired a local event planning company (Platinum Events NY) to set up the venue. If going the DIY route, I suggest hiring someone the day of the wedding to setup the venue. It gives you the day to relax and focus on the wedding. The Platinum team did an amazing job of making our vision come to life.
For the décor, we chose orange and white roses with mason jars as vases supported by rings of wood from my sister’s farm in Virginia. String lights and paper lanterns gave the lodge a very whimsical feel. For favors, we gave guests quilted jelly jars for drink and labeled them with words from our song (How Sweet It Is by Marvin Gaye) and our invitations (All You Need is Love). Everybody loved the romantic, rustic atmosphere.
Our wedding was an intimate affair of family and friends. It was simple but filled with personal details. My sister in law catered the dinner with traditional Puerto Rican food. My sister officiated the event and my other sister cut the wood from her farm as decorations. My brothers shuttled decorations from my parents’ home to the venue. Two nights before the wedding my cousin came over and we baked cupcakes while another cousin made sangria for us and my niece was the official taste tester. I made bouquets for my best woman of orange and white roses wrapped with burlap and lace and boutonnieres for Martin, the best man, and my mom,
The ceremony was short but very sweet. I walked down the aisle to ‘Rise’ by Eddie Vedder, played by a classical guitarist, Michael Klein. After the ceremony, we did the procession to a more up-tempo version of the same song. At the end, we were met by a sword arch by Marine friends. It is customary for Marines to have a “sword arch”, and arch made by Marines to welcome the newlyweds to the Marine Corps Family. What made it very special is that my two friends who did this for us are a married couple. I was in uniform for their wedding back in 2004 with my sword. Afterwards the best man and woman and my best friend shared words with our guests. We also did a joint speech welcoming and thanking our guests.
My dress was a gift from my sister, from Impression Bridal, my vintage fur shawl I bought at an estate sale, and my shoes were navy blue Badgley Mischka which I found on sale on their website. Martin wore a custom black suit with a blue tie to match the shoes.
With a cross Atlantic move, immigrations costs, and weddings in two continents, we had to keep an eye on costs. My biggest advice is not to succumb to all the extras the bridal industry makes you believe you should have. We ended up buying second hand items for decorations through craigslist or friends of friends. We became creative with the details and it made a more personal experience for both the guest and us. Most of all, we had a lot of help from our friends and family to make this special day happen. We focused on all the love pouring from our family and friends. We danced, drank, ate, and were married…
Location: Ellison Park – Rochester – New York
I can’t wait to blog about their second wedding ceremony 😉 How fabulous is this wedding though?3