4.22.17., Our Wedding Day.

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Shortly after Celestino takes Beyoncé’s advice and decides to put a ring on it (i.e. my finger), I talk to my soon to be sister in law about the process of tying the knot. As a recent newlywed with a knack for throwing balmy bashes in the comfort of her own sun-kissed, South American backyard, Bea’s advice concerning the direction of our wedding lingers in my head in the way that a hyper-catchy #JBiebs song always manages to do.

When it comes to the utter despair pure bliss of planning the big day, the first decision that many a future bride contends with usually has to do with budget. She might ask herself something along the lines of, “Should I spend an excessive amount of time and money creating a fantastical, if not over-the-top, event in which every last detail is painstakingly mulled over until it’s finally effectuated or do I opt for something more economically savvy and relaxed, so that I can enjoy this experience in its entirety?” If you know me at all (and even if you don’t, perhaps), then you’ve already concluded that I took the first route. My wedding day was joyous, magical, wrought with adoration and gratitude for Celestino, my husband, but the process of getting there was overwhelmingly, exceedingly difficult. Although I never gave much thought to the specifics of an eventual strut down the aisle, I ultimately found myself struggling to reach an onslaught of self-imposed standards of unattainable perfection.

In retrospect, I wonder why I felt so compelled to pull that slew of all nighters, saving photos of orchid arrangements to one of about three hundred individually labeled Pinterest boards. For months leading up to the day, I operated under a thick, low-hanging air of intensive pressure. It was my responsibility, I thought, to provide an outrageously beautiful and entertaining weekend for every last one of our guests. AND, if I didn’t find the wherewithal to whip my body into tip-top shape, get glowy, poreless looking skin – which, by the way, is a feat that can only be achieved through the excessive use of Face Tune — adeptly arched eyebrows, white teeth, lengthy lashes, and Oscar worthy hair and makeup, then I’d angrily berate myself. “Why can’t you just exhibit some measure of self-discipline for once, Brooke? You’re really going to let that juice cleanse remain untouched, sitting in the kitchen cabinet for weeks on end?

You’re failing.

You’re failing.

You’re failing.

I’m not sure why I allowed my wedding day to serve as something that was indicative of how perfectly I could perform. Did I fall prey to the archaic belief that tying the knot is the single most important event in a woman’s life, and that, as such, she mustn’t leave any room for error? Or, was it a result of the fact that I planned everything without the help of my mother, which catalyzed an internal desire to prove that I could handle it all on my own? I would be the girl who didn’t need a warm hug during a stressful moment, or a person to shop for party favors with, or a stupid bridal shower, anyway.

Immediately prior to the start of my wedding weekend — and at the height of my anxiousness — I woke up to a text message from my cousin David. While flying up from Austin, Texas, he snapped a photo of his wife and two small children on the plane. Quietly watching cartoons to help pass the time, both kiddos sported colorful headsets and sat comfortably in their seats. With that, it hit me: regardless of what I had or hadn’t completed, of what would or wouldn’t transpire, all of the people who I love most made special plans to ensure that they would be with me on this day. What’s more, after an admittedly rough decade in the romance department, I was finally about to marry my soulmate, committing myself to him in the presence of God. Upon receiving Dave’s message, and thinking about all of the plane tickets, babysitters, and days off from work that people arranged for, I made a devout resolution to enjoy the weekend no matter what.

My wedding day turned out to be utterly dreamy and magical, but that’s not to say that all of the details came to fruition in exactly the way that I planned. In fact, a number of things went “wrong.” It rained. My dress got dirty. The party favors that I ordered never arrived. But, it was a wildly inexplicable feeling to watch every single person whose played a deeply impactful role in my life come together under the same roof for the purpose of celebrating love. Their light yielded a radiant, adrenaline-packed euphoria that kept us floating on top of the city (literally, sort of?) until 4 am.

At the outset of the planning process, the advice that my sister in law gave me was this: “People will tell you that your wedding is really nothing more than a couple of hours of your life, and ultimately, that’s true. But I had so much fun on that night, and I couldn’t be happier that I planned everything the way that I did. If I could live that one party over and over again every single year, I would.” Given the opportunity to press rewind and to start from scratch, I’d still listen to Bea. I’d forget about practicality (because, let’s be real, I’ve never been great at paying it much respect, anyway) and throw the exact same bash. But I’d also make a conscious effort to recognize that nothing in life is perfect, myself included, and instead of stressing so much over the way that I looked in a dress, I’d only concern myself with ensuring that I had a drink. 😉

[Photos] Fred Marcus Photography

[Dress] Angel Sanchez

[Hair] Andre Davis

[Makeup] Charlotte Tilbury, Maria Riskakis, National Lead Artist

 

  • Ps.enjoyingmelife

    So beautiful! I wish you all the best!

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comment, sweets! You’re always so kind, and I really appreciate you taking the time to read this novel of a post – ha!. 😉 xx

  • Sarah Doyle

    Absolutely perfect! I’m so happy you enjoyed your day, although I know it was stressful leading up to the big day everything looks stunning, beautiful and those “Pinterest dream weddings”.. love reading your posts girl!!

    Xx Sarah

    • Thank you so much, Sarah! This message makes me so happy. I became obsessed with Pinterest during this process, so that’s the ultimate compliment to me — haha! I really appreciate you stopping by the blog. I didn’t know whether or not to post such a long article, but I wanted to try and capture the whole process! Thanks, again! xx – B

  • Natalie Turetsky

    So beautifully written Brooke. Your wedding looked truly magical and I’m sure it was. One day all the little details that didn’t go quite as planned will fade from your memory and all you will remember are the amazing moments that made up the day.

    • Hi Natalie, my favorite airport friend! 😉 I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the article. 🙂 I recently decided that the ultimate goal for “NoteBrooke” is for it to evolve into a digital magazine, so I try to tell a meaningful story rather than to solely post photos.

      The only words that come to mind when describing my wedding day are “blessed” and, as you said, “magical.” Somehow, it all came together in the end, and although I would definitely encourage all soon to be brides not to stress/panic/become abnormally anxious in the way that I did (lol), I have to say that I was elated with the outcome.

      Also, regarding your question about first time highlights on a brunette — it’s hard for me to answer this because I’ve tried just about every colorist in the city of New York, and I always walked out in tears before I found Abby, who is my current colorist. Since I know that you’re not based here, I would first encourage you to research someone who you can really trust and feel confident with. Look at his/her past work, any online reviews, etc. Then, in terms of the actual highlights, I always emphasize that I want golden tones rather than ANY shade of auburn or red. I say it ad nauseam. When I first started seeing Abby, I also brought close-up photos of my hair gurus (Kate Beckinsale, Isabel Goulart, to name a few), and asked for the same tones. And lastly, my colorist does balyage, so she hand paints the highlights across my hair to make sure that they “emphasize the light” (or something?) and frame my face well.

      If you only remember two things from this: go golden and start subtly – haha.

      Good luck, lovie!!

  • Natalie Turetsky

    I also have to say that while I initially planned to skip straight to the photos…you had me at Beyoncé. So while all your photos are amazing, your writing is equally so.

  • Tina

    Thank you for sharing those amazing pictures and the wonderful article! Your wedding looked like a fairytale and you looked absolutely stunning. Also, I have to admit that I fell in love with your shoes. I wish you two the best !
    x Tina x

  • Kim (legal.fashion.nomad)

    So eloquently written and so relatable as well. I remember initially feeling like our wedding day was the moment where I (not we) had to represent who we were and how put together I was. The funny thing is that eventually all that matters are the people and the atmosphere. It rained (we got married in a meadow), guests got stuck in traffic and after all that Pinterest hassle I still didn’t get the tablecloths I wanted… on the day itself it didn’t matter anymore.
    You looked absolutely gorgeous Brooke, but the most beautiful part is the way your great love is looking at you. Best part!
    As we say in the Netherlands. I wish you both all the love, luck and health! ♥️

  • CM

    So beautiful, Brooke. Your wedding looks like it was a dream, and your description shows how wonderfully genuine and self aware you are. I really hope you continue to post more here, as I miss reading your writing regularly (though I do appreciate your IG content). 🙂 xox