I can't believe Im writing this

I was the girl who hated weddings. I was maybe one of very few who didn’t have a Pinterest board for a dream wedding. I always thought if I ever become engaged, I would elope, alone, because weddings are stupid.

And here I find myself writing about our wedding. Let’s get to it!

My inspiration for our big day was kind of glam, kind of bohemian and woodsy. I didn’t have a wedding planner or coordinator, I designed and pulled everything together on my own! We chose 9/29/18 for the big day! Which by the way was very, very coincidental! Jordan and I met for the first time on 12/29/17. And the date that I had picked for the sole purpose of the caterer to be available happened to be 9/29/18, exactly 9 months to the date since meeting each other. Very serendipitous, right?! I decided on having our wedding on my parents 80 acre property, my favorite place in the entire world.

The Dress

My dress was and is probably one of my favorite parts of the day (sorry Jordan). My mom and family traveled with me to Chicago and I tried on dresses at a bridal salon called Alice in Ivory. I knew which dress I wanted beforehand thanks to Pinterest, and I was so worried that when I tried it on I would hate how it looked on me. So I tried several different dresses on first and saved my favorite for last. I immediately cried when I put that dress on you guys. Cried. Why? No idea but apparently that happens! I even cried again while I was putting it on with my family fastening the back the morning of. I lost it…the feeling of utter excitement and happiness and denial that I was about to get married hit me hard! Anyway…The dress was hand made in Australia by designer Anna Campbell. It had a fit and flare silhouette with a heavily beaded top and bow in the back. Seriously, what my dreams are made of.

The morning of was so fun! My hair was done by my bestie Brandi and my makeup was done by Vanexa, owner of V Beauty House. For my hair, Brandi created a chunky french fishtail crown with loose waves. We completed the look with a vintage inspired hair piece also by Anna Campbell. For my makeup, I went a little nontraditional with a darker, fall inspired smokey eye and lip.

The Firstlook

The First look was the most important part of our wedding day by far. I was so looking forward to seeing Jordan’s reaction after seeing so many First Look photos on the internet! He looked SO HANDSOME! And his reaction went like this… OMG. SMILING HARD. OMG. HUG ME. OMG. I’M CRYING NOW. It was so so so so perfect. After we were finished looking at each other (LOL) we read secret vows, more so love letters, to each other before our family showed up for group photos. This was really special to me, hearing something Jordan wrote from his heart, (and written on his paycheck stub HAHA) and I did the same for him (but from my phone because I completely ran out of time to hand write it!). I think our photographer might have been crying along with us.

The Venue and Ceremony

As I mentioned above, our wedding took place in my parents back yard near the spring fed pond, with endless forest views in every direction. My step-dad Joey constructed and handcrafted the most amazing arbor for our ceremony and he filled the site with lights and vintage chandeliers borrowed from our good friend’s personal collection. The most special part of all, my grandma Lou, my dad’s mom, married us! And of course, Yogi was our best man and walked down the aisle too. You guys, this arbor was magical. It brought everyone to tears! The whole feel of the ceremony was just pure fairytale magic, it hardly felt real! From the music, to the fall hue in the sky, to the insane flowers, just…wow!

The Reception

I had so much fun putting together the table settings! It turned out better than I had even imagined! Our invitations were navy blue with rose gold metallic details and all tied together with a piece of grey vintage velvet ribbon I ordered from Ireland! (found on Etsy) I chose a clear tent, vintage farm tables, gold Chiavari garden chairs, and tons of bohemian, moroccan inspired rugs. The gold chargers and silverware added a glamorous gatsby touch, while the velvet navy napkins added a warm and luxurious feel, perfect for the chilly fall weather. I used vintage brass candle sticks, found on Etsy, with navy blue candles, colored glass votives and white casper pumpkins surrounding the floral arrangements for additional decor. These were all placed on top of a sheer dusty mauve runner for a dreamy feel.

Our dinner was catered by my absolute favorite restaurant here, the Black Forest. We had charcuterie platters and hummus dips for appetizers during cocktail hour, and dinner composed of several in-season farm-fresh salads, gemelli pasta with beef tips and mushrooms, as well as red wine stewed chicken with potatoes. For desert, lavender creme brûlée! We also had cupcakes made by our local bakers (the best), and the most beautiful semi-naked cake EVER! Funfetti flavored :) Yes, I’m drooling now.

Our signature drink was called the Tea Hive and was made of elderberry liquor and honey. BUZZ! AND! Our good friend that lended us the chandeliers also let us borrow his vintage copper claw foot bath tub. We filled it with ice and champagne bottles. My friend Abby made the acrylic bar signs, and Joey used old birch logs for additional decor and staging. For an extra dessert, I created a s’more bar by the firepit complete with smash mallow flavored marshmallows. The kids LOVED it.

Our band, Old Pine Road was PHENOMENAL!!!! Seriously, those guys are so talented and totally made the party! We all had so much fun dancing, especially my nephew Finley who breakdanced like no one’s business. There were so many great photos of everyone after dinner, it was hard to choose which ones to include on here. I wish I could fit them all!

The Lantern Ceremony

Instead of traditional vows during our actual ceremony (think unity candle, jumping the broom, tying a knot, etc…) We chose to light Chinese lanterns once it was dark. The best part was allowing every guest to also light one with us! I can’t tell you how beautiful the huge open field in the middle of the forest was that night, in the dark star lit skies, seeing all the lanterns flickering golden lights of hope, love and prayer. Pure magic. This was really special to me because the day after Jordan and I had our first date was New Year’s Eve. My family and I lit Chinese Lanterns that night and I wished for Love. I think it might have worked :)

The Joke of the Night

The last special touch of our wedding was to be a romantic sparkler exit. Well… we soon figured out that I had in fact bought incense sticks instead of sparklers. When the band announced that the night was coming to an end and it was time for everyone to grab a sparkler and light it up, everyone was saying “omg…these aren’t sparkling! They’re not lighting!” I just said..oh well! We and our guests thought that was hilarious lol. Oops! But I have to say, it made for great memories to laugh about for the rest of time! There had to be at least one hitch right?! The hippie in me has to admit that I wasn’t disappointed to have such a cleansing exit :) These pictures are so funny..LOL


Dress: Anna Campbell

Head Piece, Veil, Robe, Earrings: Anna Campbell

Bracelet and Shoes: BHLDN

Makeup: V Beauty House

Hair: Brandi Ingram

Wedding Bands and Engagement Ring: Point No Point Studio

Flowers: Flowers From the Heart

Photography: Pure Poise Photography

Tent & Furniture: Elite Rentals

Serveware: Event Essentials

Linens: BBJ Rentals

Cake: BC Cakes & More

Food & Drink: The Black Forest

Rugs, Lanterns and other decor: Amazon

Trolley: Hometown Trolley

Band: Old Pine Road, David Walters

Invitations and Stationary: Minted

Jessica Pence