It’s been almost one month since my amaaaazing wedding day, so I guess it’s time to tell you guys all about it. I will try to keep it semi-short because we all know I could write a novel about it. So I’ll write a novella instead. You should grab a cup of coffee because you might be here for awhile.
Our wedding day was October 28th. I was a little nervous about getting married at the end of October because when you live in Newfoundland that can mean a very cold, windy, rainy day…and it can also mean a snowstorm. Our weather is very unpredictable. I would lie to people and say things like “oh yeah the weather is what it is, I’m not concerned. If it rains that’s cool,” while on the inside I was freaking out about the possibility and refreshing the weather app about 40 times a day. There were times when I would turn to Matthew a month before the wedding and say “it’s calling for rain on our wedding day but that prob won’t still be the case in 30 days right? Right?!” To which he would just look at me weird for checking the weather 30 days in advance. I was just super concerned that I would spend a day outside in freezing rain and then get pneumonia, because I’m the type that can get pneumonia at the drop of a hat. But the weather gods blessed us for our wedding and we had a BEAUTIFUL slightly overcast, not too cold wedding day with zero pneumonia. Huzzah!
Our wedding weekend also happened to be my bestie Clare’s last weekend in Newfoundland before she moved away to start her exciting new life in another province. So I used the night before the wedding as an opportunity for a slumber party with my besties at this beautiful boutique hotel downtown called Blue on Water. What a beautiful hotel! They gave us a huge room to get ready in and we spent Friday night chatting, drinking some wine, listening to music and just being totally in love with each other. And I probably had the “deer in headlights” look the entire night because I was getting married in one more sleep. And then after hours of tossing and turning in bed trying to get to sleep it arrived – my wedding day. Thinking back on how I felt in those moments makes me want to barf. But like, in a good way. Which is a new feeling for me. Most of my barf feelings are very negative.
So I nervously and excitedly got ready for the day with my favourite humans surrounding me. Shout out to my hair stylist Bailey Squires, and my makeup artist Victoria Strickland from The Skin Spa Inc. They did amazing work on me and everyone should go to them, even those of you reading this from the UK. I don’t think that’s expecting too much from you. (JK)
So the first real thing I did with my day, once I was all prettied up and in my dress, was a little first look with my dad. He was waiting for me in this beautiful courtyard beside our hotel and then I turned the corner all dramatic like and walked down the stairs to him and I bawled and he bawled and my stepmom bawled and it was a lovely time. That’s when it really hit me that holy shit, today I am actually getting married. Because up until that point I was still a deer in the headlights going through the motions, not really grasping that it was my freaking wedding day.
After my father/daughter moment we all gathered in cars and headed to Bannerman Park, where Matthew proposed to me, so that I could see him for the first time and then get family photos taken. I was pretty nervous leading up to this point, but as soon as he turned around and I saw Matthew’s smile I felt very at ease and just ready to have a fun day. We had our first look photos taken, and then met with our family and friends who were waiting in the park to see us.
My first super huge highlight of my wedding day happened next, during family photos. Matthew and I were getting a photo with my dad and then my dad turned to me and said “I guess now is a good time to give you your wedding gift.” And he had already given us a wedding gift so I thought he was just kidding at first. But he was like “no, seriously, I have a wedding gift for you.” Then he told me to reach into his coat pocket, which I did, and I hauled out two sheets of paper. I looked down and there in my hands were 2 tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway(!!!!!!) I couldn’t believe it. I definitely lost my shit, and dad and Matthew just watched me with grins on their faces because they both knew about it for months. So then I screamed at Melissa, Pamela, Clare and Kate “I’M GOING TO HAMILTON!!!” And some of my family looked confused and wondered “why is she so excited about going to Hamilton, Ontario?”
We then went on a mini downtown photoshoot adventure with Melissa in tow. I wanted her to spend the whole day with me so we could get adorable couples photos throughout the day. Melissa is PREGNANT YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYYYYY!!!! so we wanted adorable friendship photos of us holding Baby Bump because I’m practically this baby’s second dad.
After we got some awesome shots downtown, it was my turn to surprise Matthew. One of his favourite places in town is a bar called The Bull and Barrel. That bar has been the background of many amazing nights for both solo Matthew, and for Matthew and I as a couple. We spent a lot of time there when we were first getting to know each other as friends, because he played shows there with our friends Ian and Jerry, and we were often both in attendance if Ian or Jerry had their own show at the Bull. We had our first slow dance there to an Ian Foster song, albeit we were also slow dancing with Clare and Pamela at the time. But these memories stand out to me as really important moments in time that helped solidify my connection to Matthew. I figured Matthew would really like to get some photos taken at The Bull, but they don’t open until later at night. So I messaged the amazing wonderful owner Tino and asked if he could do us a favour and open the bar for awhile during the day as a surprise. He jumped at the chance to help out. And then I messaged Maggie who also works at the Bull and is an amazing graphic designer, and asked if she could put together a gig poster for a fake gig at The Bull for our wedding. She also jumped at the chance because she is also amazing, and she created an epic poster to be placed on the front door of the bar. Our friend Rebbey had a great idea to pick up some pizzas from our favourite pizza spot Piatto and have them waiting for us for lunch inside The Bull, so that happened as well. Thanks Rebbey!
So everyone knew about this except Matthew, and I had to pretend I wanted to get photos on George Street in order to get the surprise rolling, even though I mostly hate George Street (it’s a street full of bars). So we walked onto George Street and then Matthew said “let’s get a photo in front of The Bull!” We walked up the stairs and then he noticed this poster with our faces on it and then looked at me all confused. That’s when Tino opened the door for us and there was Oasis playing (Matthew’s fav) and pizza and drinks there waiting for us. So we sat around and had some food and drinks, got some pictures taken, relaxed for a bit. And then Melissa popped a U2 dvd into the dvd player and we had our first slow dance of the day to the song “All I Want is You.” And it was such a lovely, private moment. I’m a sort of over-the-top-lover-of-surprising-people and Matthew is pretty much the opposite and not a big fan of public spectacles so I wanted to find a way to surprise him in a more private way, and I’m pretty sure I nailed it. *pats myself on the back*
Wow this is already so long and I haven’t even gotten us to the wedding ceremony yet. Thanks for bearing with me. Let’s take a moment to just pause and breathe, maybe do a few stretches, drink some of that coffee.
Feeling better now? Ready to take on the rest of this blog post? Good, welcome back.
After our break at The Bull and Barrel, we headed to Signal Hill, which is this area downtown that overlooks all of the city and is truly beautiful. There I wrapped up in my nan’s blanket and we walked out onto some rocks to say our wedding vows to each other in private, while the sun began setting behind us. IT WAS SO ROMANTIC AND GOOD OMG. I said my vows first, and surprisingly managed to get through them without crying too much. But then as soon as Matthew unfolded his vows, looked down at the card and just said “Lisa…” I started crying. We joked beforehand that that exact thing would happen. That all he’d have to do is say my name during our vows and I would have a sob-fest. And it happened. He said the most beautiful vows to me and we kissed and held each other on this beautiful day in this beautiful setting and it was perfect.
After that, I got the most romantic couples photos with Melissa while Matthew sat on a bench nearby. I mean, she was my one true love long before Matthew came along, so it is only fitting.
After our sunset photos we headed to our wedding venue to get the official party started. We held our wedding ceremony and reception at the Rocket Room, which is this beautiful open space above Rocket Bakery in downtown St. John’s. I’ve always loved this space and said many years ago that I wanted to get married there, so luckily that actually happened. I designed the wedding myself (gold, pink and white, with a subtle TV Sitcom theme, naturally), and my friends and family got together on my wedding day to decorate everything for me and make my dream come to life. It was perfect and I love them forever for doing that for us.
Before the ceremony began we decided to start the evening off on the right note by playing some instrumental versions of beautiful love songs like The Jurassic Park Theme Song. And then our Ingrid Michaelson song came on and it was time to get married. We both tried to walk down the aisle together, but there wasn’t enough room behind the chairs for us to walk side by side, so I decided to go first. But Matthew was worried about stepping on my dress and ripping it, so he stayed far behind me and it literally looked like I was trying to drag him up the aisle. But that was perfect because it got people laughing and that’s what we wanted, a fun, casual night of laughter with our friends and family. We worked together with our fantastic officiant Craig Murphy to write our own ceremony script. It was important to me to have a feminist wedding ceremony that really showed off our personalities, so there were mentions of binging Netflix, eating spaghetti, and even a Kurt Vonnegut quote because I love the man. Kayla did a reading about friendship. Our friends Jerry and Brad performed the song Flowers In The Window by Travis and it blew me away (figuratively…I’m still here). It was all very Lisa and Matthew, probably because it was written by Lisa and Matthew. We laughed, we cried, I smiled so much my face hurt. It was perfect.
After the ceremony we mingled with friends and family over some drinks and appetizers (the food was so good – I ate almost a bucket full of pulled pork turnovers at 3 am in our hotel room and it was divine even when it was cold). We listened to some instrumental Star Wars music. We ate some delicious food from Rocket Bakery, along with delicious cupcakes from Sugar Mama’s and AMAZING Simpsons donuts made by Sadie Leigh’s Donuts. People are still talking about those donuts. Then we had our first official dance as husband and wife to “Stand by Me,” but the Florence and the Machine cover that was done for a Final Fantasy video game. And then we danced and drank and played board games and laughed and cried more (mostly just Clare and I) and it was just so much fun. Everything went smoothly and everyone seemed to have a great time.
I still can’t get over how amazing our wedding day was. I expected at least a few things to not live up to my expectations, especially after 10 months of putting this wedding together. But everything went exactly as I would have wanted it to go. Even my stomach and legs let me have a great day. I didn’t feel sick at all, and I was able to dance for quite awhile before my legs were like “okay you’ve had enough, stop being greedy now.” I feel so lucky, and I’m so happy and in love.
Thanks to everyone who attended our wedding, thanks to everyone who helped us with our wedding or who offered up help to us that we didn’t end up accepting because we had THAT many people wanting to help (hashtag blessed), thanks to all of you who have sent messages or comments congratulating us, thanks to all of our vendors for making our day so special.
I can’t end my wedding blog post without giving THE BIGGEST SHOUTOUT EVER to Alex Stead and Alex Spracklin from Alex Stead Photography. I couldn’t imagine having anyone else by our sides as we became husband and wife, and I couldn’t imagine trusting anyone else to capture our day. You are amazingly talented and I can’t wait to see the final products. I bow down to you.
There will be another blog post in the near future that will just be a million wedding photos, b-t-dubs.
Okay bye. Love you all.
P.S. “Boyfriend” has officially become “Husband.” Ahhhhhh!
P.S.S. in the future I think I will write a blog post about planning a wedding with a chronic illness because that shit is tricky.
Okay bye for real this time! *waves*