There is no doubt in my mind that we had the best wedding we could possibly have dreamed of for us. The Natural Bridge hotel and confrence center was very accommodating for us and all of our out of town guests. While my parents would have liked us to have the wedding nearer to our homes in Northern Virginia, we strongly believe that the Shenandoah Valley is the most beautiful part of Virginia and the only place we wanted to get married. We fell in love with the bridge on our first visit down there, it’s sort of a forgotten natural wonder. I think the heyday of the hotel may have been in the 1960’s as things don’t seem to have been updated since then, which is fine with us. The main hotel has a certain charm to it of an older elegance and the staff are very nice and will go out of their way to help. Maybe it’s because we were the bridal party but we never heard a word about our whole wedding taking over the cottages and partying late for 2 nights. At one point we even joined forces with the noon wedding and partied into the night. It was an incredible experience and the hotel was great about it.
The Rehersal Dinner:
Like most everything at the wedding the rehersal dinner was planned by someone else. the Cedar Creek Cafe down by the bridge was a really great place to host the dinner. It was right by the river with perfect weather. The food surprised everyone by being GREAT. I mean capital letters GREAT. I could go on the be a spokesperson for this place because everything was above expectations. It was good to have the night before to talk to some of the out of town guests before the blur that would be the wedding day.
With only a short walk-thru the night before I was a little nervous that there would be some mistakes, but everything went very beautifully. The ceremony was everything we wanted, short-ish and filled with inspiring views of the bridge and being surrounded by nature. We hope everyone enjoyed the bluegrass covers provided by Robbie and edited by Laurel. Laurel walked down the aisle to a bluegrass cover of ‘One’ by U2. We both laughed and smiled a lot during the ceremony but that was just to stop from crying. It was really special to us.
What can I say about that party? It’s been two weeks and I’m still thinking about it. Everything came together perfectly. We told the band minutes before to play the beginning of ‘Superstition’ for us being announced by laurels high school friend Steve Kiely. And everything worked out perfectly. The food was great but I was still a little nervous from the ceremony to properly enjoy it. The toasts were heartfelt and great and we really appreciated all the kind words from our family and friends. And then as if the night couldn’t have gotten any better we unleashed our secret weapon THE Soulminers from Morgantown WV. One of the most fun bands we have ever seen and we brought them to our night. I will never forget the dancing and smiling faces that lasted all night. Thank you sooooo much guys.
The photo booth was a total success, I had been slowly working on it all summer, trying to make it different and special, just like us! My dad stepped in without me even asking to keep it running and help everyone with using it. I didn’t expect that, but I should have coming from the man who I learned all my electrical and wood working skills from.
The days leading up to the wedding were filled with last minute projects and logistics of getting everybody down there. Those of you who attended the wedding might have thought that we thought of everything, but we couldn’t have done it without our families and friends. We delegated a LOT of the work to friends and especially family. We never would have got through it without all the people who stepped up and said “What can I do to help” and that’s what I’ll remember most from the whole thing. We have an awesome group of people in our lives and they are their for us. We had the best time, and we hope you did too.