On Saturday, August 1, 2020, Kyle and I got married! If you read my previous post on our COVID-19 wedding planning, you may be confused, as this mini wedding was not our first, second, or third plan. But wow, did it turn out to be SO SPECIAL!
As a little background to how we got here, we had rescheduled our wedding back in March from May 2, 2020 to July 17, 2020. It’s crazy to think that we thought there would be a chance for a full on wedding in July, but back in March so much was unknown about how the world would look in a few months. Once we realized our July wedding was not in the cards, we worked with our venue to move it to June 26, 2021. A few weeks later, the completely unexpected happened, and our venue decided to close it’s doors for good.
We were devastated, jokingly (and not so jokingly) repeating over and over that the dream was dead. All that work to find the perfect venue that we based all of our inspirations around was suddenly off the table. We considered for about a day looking for a new venue, but the fear and the pain of having to change those plans for a fourth time was just too much risk to bear. We were truly just exhausted from all of the rescheduling, all of the questions, and all of the uncertainty. We had to change our plans drastically.
Our main focus was wanting to get married and to make the event safe. The most important thing was to be married, after all, so we decided to have a 12 person wedding with immediate family only. It was heart wrenching to tell our wedding parties we wouldn’t have them there, but we just knew we didn’t want to put them in the position to have to decide what to do: risk their health for a party or risk missing out to be safe. We also didn’t want to be worried about our families or where everyone would stay, as we decided to host the wedding in my home town which does not have a ton of hotels. We decided we would host some sort of celebration at a later date, but that right now a mini wedding made the most sense.
With the tough decisions out of the way, we had an entirely new wedding to plan… again. I was honestly really over it all. I was set on having a super low key wedding and not making a big deal out of it, but it turned out to be the most special day of all time thanks to so many amazing people. The church worked out (being Catholic has a lot of paperwork LOL), the flowers turned out beautifully, our special meal at Milwalky Trace was beyond incredible, and we ended up with the most STUNNING photos!! Our parents planned out meals for the days before and decorations for the entire house. Our friends and family sent food and flowers and gifts to the house throughout the week. Our siblings made music playlists, set up a beauty station, drove my dress across the country, and made cocktails in the laundry room. Our wedding party sent us a video that almost everyone at our wedding just bawled to (it was both the funniest and saddest moment of the wedding hearing their loving words to us), and I even got ready via Facetime with my bridal party. We had 3+ days with our entire family together, some of which had never met, and it was probably the closest I have ever felt to them all. Most of all, Kyle and I had the time and the low stress environment that allowed us to just enjoy being married and enjoy each other. We will always cherish this mini wedding that turned out to be the best thing ever.
Our families came up with all of the decorations – luminarias (a New Mexico classic), lanterns hanging from the trees, and even a surprise sign from my Aunt Diane on the morning of the wedding!
Showcasing these photos I had planned to have out at the big wedding. All of the frames were second hand finds filled with wedding photos of all of our immediate family.
No COVID wedding would be complete without masks – I made these from silk a few weeks before.
Emma set up this getting ready station in her room the morning of the wedding where we were able to Facetime with the rest of the bridal party and do our makeup. This was SUCH a special and surprising moment for me.
So happy we had time to sit down for a cup of tea before the ceremony. A Bleck classic.
Flowers of my dreams. My florist was 2 blocks away from my parents house and used all of the exact flowers and greenery I had in my inspiration photos, plus some! I was awestruck when they arrived.
The first look with my Dad that we almost spoiled because I forgot to tell him about it and our photographer quickly ushered him outside!
Walking to the church I grew up going to for my entire life was one of the best moments of the day. I was baptized, completed my first communion, and was confirmed in this church, and completed my final sacrament of marriage there too! It was such a special thing that I never anticipated caring about so much.
All masked up, my mom said a prayer before going into the church. As a special surprise, our priest told us we could take our masks off before we walked down the aisle. It was so incredible to get to see one another for the first time (all dressed up, that is) without masks!
The church was absolutely enormous and echoing with only 12 people in it, but because we faced away from the congregation and we knew so many of our guests were watching via livestream from home, it didn’t even feel empty to us.
My mom said this was one of her favorite moments of the ceremony when we kissed and then hugged. She said you never see people do that, but it was really sweet and showed how close we were as friends. It had been a long journey to the altar, and we were just so excited to finally be married. I only choked up once during our vows when I said “husband” for the first time. It was so surreal to say those words out loud. I was honestly shocked I didn’t bawl my eyes out the entire time. It was one of the reasons we decided to give each other letters and just repeat the traditional vows – I am SO emotional!
Pure joy!! Father Trout talked about joy in our homily and it really spoke to our relationship, focusing on the joyful moments and not blaming one another for hardships or struggles.
A sweet moment embracing our new families.
The entire Bleck family – we are really growing!
And the Valley family, trying to even out the boy-girl ratio!
Our tiny wedding party. We really missed our friends on the day of the wedding, as we originally had six bridesmaids and groomsmen. We love and miss them so much!
It was really special to have my grandpa there! He is my only living grandparent and lives down the street from my parents. We were also so fortunate that Kyle’s grandmother who does not travel was able to watch the livestream!
I absolutely love this photo of Kim, my new mother-in-law!
This photo is also a favorite!! It was one of the best moments of the day. Walking through my hometown, people in cars honked and yelled out of their car windows at us. The people in the park all started clapping when we arrived for photos, and I almost cried it was so sweet. Our fearless photographer, Kayleigh, jumped into the middle of traffic to grab this shot and none of the cars minded one bit.
The final moments with Kayleigh were shot right outside of the restaurant we had our wedding dinner at, Milwalky Trace, my favorite restaurant in town. My dad actually did the architecture work on this restaurant and two others the chef has in town. It was the MOST special meal, as we hadn’t been eating out at all because of COVID-19. They served up amazing cocktails, a seafood tower with champagne, chile relleno’s (a nod to our original New Mexico wedding plans, not usually served on the menu but maybe my favorite dish of the night), a variety of main courses (I had pork with blueberry sauce and goat cheese grits and Kyle had halibut), Mediterranean couscous and honey glazed carrots, and then passionfruit creme brulee for dessert. To say we were in heaven is an understatement. Our dads both gave heartwarming speeches and we all had a few too many glasses of wine, but it was such a celebration!
After dinner we walked home and had an incredible surprise waiting for us. Our bridal party made the sweetest video (with incredible editing, I might add) that brought me to tears instantly (shocker). They had all left messages to us on our wedding day from all over the country, which was then concluded with photos of Kyle and I over our entire eight year relationship before getting married.
After the video viewing, Kyle’s brother Nik got to making cocktails for us, and my siblings got the music and dancing started in the driveway! We danced the night away, even dancing to our first dance song and dancing with our parents. The night ended with a round of acoustic guitar songs from various family members in the living room before we called it a night and crashed. It was truly the best day.
Photography – Kayleigh Lynn Photo
Dress – Ann Matthews Bridal
Shoes – ASOS, Necklace and Earrings – Tiffany and Co., Bracelets – Vintage Shops, Veil – Made by Julia
Suit – Enzo
Rings – Bryan Gavin Diamonds
Masks – Made by Julia
Invitations – Designed by Julia and Kyle, printed by Cat Print
Flowers – Buss Florists
Church – Saint Joseph Catholic Church
Food – Milwalky Trace