All the wedding recaps in one place, because we live in an “In Case You Missed It” world…
And now: The Party!
When Brian and I started wedding planning, we learned very quickly that it’s insane. Places, whether they’re traditional wedding venues or empty warehouse spaces, charge you site fees and serving fees and fork fees and separate spoon fees, and so many fees. Plus, everything we liked even a little bit was either wildly expensive or booked until 2019.
So finally one day I was like, “Can we just get married in Central Park?” And then Brian threw out the idea of having our reception on a boat, sailing around Manhattan, the greatest city in the world. We liked that it would be a little less conventional and would show our guests the best views of our hometown.
Having the party on a boat also meant we didn’t really have to decorate! When you have the sparkly skyline as your backdrop, you don’t need much more.
Our “theme,” if you could call it that, was “gold glitter.” We had some vases with gold candles scattered around (which I’m sure no one noticed except my mom, who searched the entire country for the perfect gold candles) and vases filled with gold candy (Rolos, Hershey’s Nuggets, Dove chocolates with caramel, Mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, etc.). But no flowers, no centerpieces. No guestbook. (Can you tell I gave up on Pinterest early in the planning process?)
We had a “cocktail-style” party instead of a sit-down dinner. I do not like sitting still, plus we were on a boat. Who wants to sit inside when you can be outside dancing and looking at the best city ever?!
I think that’s it. Onto the recappy part…
While our guests boarded the boat, someone brought a tray of food out to our car. I mostly just ate 12 mac and cheese balls with buffalo sauce. That’s basically all I ate all night. (To be clear, I had plenty of chances to eat, I just wasn’t interested in taking the time to do so. So it was less, “The bride and groom never get to eat” and more, “the bride refuses to leave the dance floor.”)
Before we walked onto the boat, Brian and I said to each other, “Let’s not be like those couples who spend the whole night greeting people separately and don’t get to hang out. Let’s hold hands the whole time.”
LOLZ FOR DAYS.
We made our “grand entrance” and I didn’t trip, thank god, and within 12 seconds of boarding, Brian and I were on opposite ends of the boat, mingling with people…separately.
We found each other later, for our introductions. The bridal party walked in to “Eye of the Tiger,” and Brian and I were announced as “Alison and Brian Cristiano” to OneRepublic’s “I Lived.”
The boat was beautiful, and there was a tiny rainbow overhead. I mean…seriously? New York came out to play. And show off.
Our first dance was to “The Power of Love” by Celine Dion. Does that surprise you at all?
For months Brian and I said we were going to take dance lessons, but we never did, and wow, probably should have. We basically just stood in the middle of all our family and friends and I screamed the lyrics and Brian smiled really politely. We tried a couple “moves” but generally failed and begged everyone to join us on the dance floor so we weren’t so ashamed.
While we did forgo a lot of the traditions (no garter toss, no bouquet toss, no “watch us cut our cake”), we did each dance with our parents.
They opened up the food stations so people broke to eat and for a while people were all over the boat. I did my best to talk to everyone and I think did a pretty good job. But eventually I just wanted to dance.
After some dancing and some mingling, DJ Taiga (yup) called everyone to the top deck for toasts, which all took place while we were sailing underneath the bridges in the East River. It felt very dreamy. Except for the part when the J train loudly cruised over the Williamsburg Bridge in the middle of my brother’s toast. IT’S FINE.
After the toasts, Brian grabbed my hand and was like, “Let’s be alone,” and we stood off to the side and watched the party happening.
Everyone told us to do this, and it was one of my favorite parts of the night. And I cried because I was so happy and didn’t know how to properly process all those good feelings.
Then DJ Taiga (who has not yet accepted my Facebook friend request…) opened up the dance floor for the most epic dance party of my life. He totally killed it. I danced so hard the entire night. It was so much fun. Sorry to anyone who may have seen my boobs. I feel like they may have come out of my dress at some point. I don’t know. There were probably a few close calls.
At one point, Coordinator Douglas came up to me and was like, “It’s time for you and Brian to cut your cake,” and I was like, “ACTUALLY NOPE, NO THANK YOU, we want to keep dancing, box it up for later, thx bai.”
And that’s what I remember from the rest of the night. Dancing, sailing past the Statue of Liberty, and having the best time of my entire life.
When we pulled back into port, I was so sad it was over and tried to convince the captain to “do it again!” But he had to go home. So I ate a bunch of cupcakes before we de-planed. (“A bunch of cupcakes” = 14 mini cupcakes.)
I asked DJ Taiga (friend request still pending) to end the night with Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York,” and everyone busted out in a big kickline, which was right up my Ali alley.
Everyone said we would be so tired by the end of the party that we would go back to the hotel and crash.
Instead, we went back to the hotel bar, closed that down, ate pizza in the hotel lobby, then went to a bar around the corner. I wore my onesie the whole time.
By 2:30 AM, my feet hurt, so we went back to our room and ordered a pizza. This is why I can never leave NYC.
We were up and giggling at 7 AM the next day because we were too excited to sleep.
It was all perfect and wonderful and magical.
And then we went home, ate our wedding cake with forks, straight from the box, and then went to Africa.
Or I guess…the beginning.
Thanks for sticking around through all these wedding recaps (if you’re still here, that is). Wedding planning (and execution) was an interesting journey, and as much as I claimed to hate it for that 10-month period (and yes, there were several bouts of “let’s just elope”), in the end, I loved putting together something personal and special for all of our loved ones to enjoy. It really is incredibly magical having all the people you care about in one place at the same time, tearing up a dance floor in your honor.
So that covers it! Go Team Cristiano!
Again, all pro photos by Erin Baiano, my hero.
AND BECAUSE I’M IN A WEDDING MOOD NOW, CARE TO SHARE? Favorite wedding memory — from yours, or a wedding you’ve attended — go!
Thanks for sharing your wedding experience! My sister is in the process of planning hers and wants it to be just right. The idea of having a reception on a boat seems like a lot of fun! I’ll have to pass this along to her!
This looks like the most fun wedding ever! Thank you for sharing the memories with us. I have attended some of the best dance parties ever, but never on a boat! Sounds amazing. Happy Thanksgiving!
I love your articles!
You actually wore the Nikes???!!! 😛
And having the recep on the boat – best idea ever! Looks like everyone had fun, especially the both of you! Congrats again!
I took a long time off from reading/writing blogs and I just came across yours again and I’m so happy for you! You’re married!!!!! The last time I read, you were still so so sick and to see you so happy here makes me smile!
I have always loved your blog, but even more so as I had been wedding planning too. And threatened to elope multiple times. And I also danced to “Daughter” with my dad and it was the perfect song! I’d never heard of anyone else using it!
Ali – These wedding recaps have been SO amazing. I am getting married in a little over 2 weeks and feel like I’ve been going through the same things as you’ve been with wedding planning, and am now even more excited for the wedding after reading this! Congratulations and I am so glad you had such an incredible day/night/week/honeymoon.
You seriously crack me up with your captions! I love that your reception was on a boat- amazing views and you look so unbelievably happy!!!!
Favorite memory from my wedding is probably walking in during the reception and having everyone cheer and then our first dance which was slightly choreographed <3
LOVE your recaps! You’re wedding looked amazing and I cannot tell you how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE your dress. It is perfect to me. I got married in May and my dress was the same style/shape however I’m loving yours and have a little bit of dress envy 🙂
Loved reading all of your wedding posts. I got married on August 22 of this year and engaged in December, so like you had a short planning period. Pintrest was over whelming!!!
Funny thing about the tan lines…. I told my bidesmaids I didn’t care what style of dress they got just don’t have any tan lines… and I am the one that ended up with the tan lines!! Oh well.
AND I forgot to wear my veil. But other than that my day was perfect and so much fun.
You look absolutely stunning!!!
Loved all the pics, seems like you two couldn’t have enjoyed more, which is great, ’cause usually all I hear are couples who didn’t enjoy any part of the party, good to see a new benchmark hahaha
I LOVED reading these. And I LOVED the photos. You looked SO happy and beautiful!! Congratulations.
I read and loved all of your wedding recaps. You and Brian look so happy in all the pics.
Your wedding looks completely awesome. I am a tiny bit jealous.
My wedding was filled with hilarious-in-retrospect moments: a glass that refused to break, a groom almost dropped out of his chair during the hora, and an alarming amount of rain for a beach ceremony. That’s what makes these things unique…
My favorite-at the-time moment was after the first dance, and the father-daughter dance, the deejay invited all the guests out on the dance floor for “We Are Family”. Family, friends, family friends I’ve known forever… all in one room, all dancing, and my new husband and I together in the center of it.
My husband and I went to In-n-Out, still in our wedding clothes, and got a great picture of us staring up at the menu. Nothing like a double-double and fries at 1am.
Oh Ali, this was great!! Thank you so much for sharing so much about your journey, your week, and your day (and that fabulous honeymoon too!!). I love that you did your own thing, just like you wanted. Your dress is beautiful! Congrats in a huge way to you two!!
Congratulations! Your wedding looks so magical! We also closed down a nearby bar after our wedding, best way to keep the party going when you don’t want it to end! My favorite memory though was during our first dance. Our corgi, Macaroni, was a groomsdog and allowed to roam freely throughout the reception (we got married in a boat house on the beach). As we dance (to some really thoughtful and important song I can’t remember now), he started to herd us, circling and nipping at our heels. This continued as we two-stepped and spun and laughed and finally, he started barking and jumping up on me. So I picked him up and cradled him on his back (he’s 3.5 feet long and 33 lbs., kinda hard to hold any other way) and my husband held his paws and we finished our dance that way. It was perfectly us.
YOU HAVE A DOG NAMED MACARONI??? Be my best friend.
His name wins us lots of friends 🙂 I picked it when he was a few days old and luckily, he’s grown to represent it quite well.
P.s. Your honeymoon recap, the first one, where you’re in your onsie and the “Bride” hat in Amsterdam, drunk of Ambien, made me laugh so hard I cried and my husband had to ask what was wrong. Thank you for that.
I just read all of your wedding posts at once and loved them! This sounds so personal and perfect and fun. Congrats and best wishes to you!!
If I get married it will 100% be #feller style!!
Your wedding sounds like the way I would want to do it. All party! I always get so sad to sit down at weddings because I want to be on the dance floor! The whole thing looks amazing so happy you had a fabulous day!
Yay! Thanks for sharing your wedding day with us! My fav moment was once my husband and I got to our reception venue and (finally) stopped taking group pics, we went upstairs to have a private dinner. It was so crazy to think that we just got married and we were starving. It was the best part!
We couldn’t be torn off the dance floor at our wedding, and I was so sad when it was over. Then we closed down two bars, and we still didn’t want to sleep, so we hung out with a good friend, finally collapsed in bed at 3am and woke up at 7am. I totally know the euphoria that you were feeling!
Love love it all! Seemed so casual and still perfect!
Such an awesome recap! Beautiful wedding and I am so happy for you guys!
Thanks again for sharing, Ali!
Your wedding looks like SO MUCH FUN. We also nixed traditional wedding stuff to allow for more dancing time (and combined the mother/son, father/daughter dances for the same reason). And our DJ also played Spice Girls. (As every wedding DJ should.)
My father and I also danced to Daughter by LW! He wanted to do a foxtrot …but I forgot to practice. He whispered the count under his breath (as fathers do) so it turned out fine. Another similarity … my husband and I ordered pizza once we got back to the hotel. So romantic! I feel like this is probably a common thing for couples who have already been living together for years. The cheesy carbs are the most exciting part of the night!