After the ceremony, our friends and family walked just a few steps over to the cocktail area to drink and mingle before the big party. There were flower boxes hanging above the bar (one of Megan and Emily's genius ideas!), café-style bistro tables, and plenty of incredible Napa wine to go around.
One of the things I appreciated most about our wedding was the fact that so many of our long-distance friends and relatives made the trek, and that vacation-like feeling seemed to leave everyone at ease.
Radley and I were able to join the group after our little photo shoot, and it cracked me up to have everyone cheer as we approached. Everyone was just so happy and party-ready and it was incredible to have that kind of positive energy around us throughout the day.
Even now, as I glance back through all the photos from that day, it means so much to see everyone chatting and getting to know each other — to see the people we love all lit up.
The cocktail hour ended just before sunset, during those beautiful golden hours that make everything feel just a little bit dreamlike, just a little bit surreal. And then, of course, it was party time.
Our reception took place in the middle of the grove, in a beautiful area where the oak trees bowed in and strings of lights hung from the branches. It was exactly what we'd pictured from the start.
Our parents and bridal party busted a move to Chris Brown's "Forever" on their way inside, and I'm pretty sure those entrances set the tone for the rest of the night.
We danced our way in and everyone was on their feet, cheering, ready to celebrate.
Before dinner was served, though, Dad kicked things off with a witty, heartfelt speech about love and hard work and commitment. About the love he saw between his parents, his grandparents. About how beautiful the day had been and how beautiful he was sure my life with Radley would be.
(And Sam, of course, captured it all through her lens, too.)
Radley's best man, Eric, had been so nervous about his speech — but as our reactions show, he absolutely killed it. Funny, touching, and nostalgic, he hit all the right notes.
One of the sweetest surprises? My maids of honor, Kel and Erin, wrote a speech based on my What I've Learned series! (You can find what I learned from them here and here.) A few of the gems: that peanut butter is its own food group and that you can be sweet but also swear like a sailor.
Post-speeches, it was time for our first dance. We debated the song forever, considering a handful of lesser-known indie picks, but in the end, we went with a song we both grew up loving, a song we knew we'd hear again and again and turn to each other to say, "Hey, remember when?" — Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight." Sometimes, we thought, classic is best.
Afterward, Radley and his mom danced to Stevie Wonder's "You Are the Sunshine of My Life," the perfect, lighthearted song to capture their sweet relationship.
My dad and I had planned to do a fun medley for our dance, but we ended up choosing Tim McGraw's "My Little Girl" instead — not just because we've seen him live together so many times, but also because nothing else seemed to illustrate our special, best-friend relationship so well.
Truth is, with each passing moment, I kept thinking, This is it, this is the best moment of the entire day. And then I'd float into the next moment and it would feel just as magical, just as charmed. I'd never felt so blessed and grateful in my entire life.
(Photos by Cooper Carras)