Ephesians 5:1 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.

I now pronounce you man and wife, you may now change your Facebook status! 

Hi!  It’s Satorie aka Mrs. Baxter!  It is so hard for me to admit that my time as a Coordinated Bride has come to an end (insert sad face)!  It’s been a while since my last post, because I’ve been enjoying my new “status” as MRS. BAXTER!  I have now been married for 8 months and it still feels surreal that I AM A WIFE! EKKKKK! I often get asked “How’s the married life?” and my response is always the same. See, when you have been together for 12 years before saying “I Will” nothing should change. From the age of 19, I have grown and matured with this man, I have learned who I am as a person with this man and if anything “changes” as a result of becoming a wife, then we are doing something wrong.

Wedding Planning

During the preparations for our wedding for 1 year, 8 months and 26 days I often wondered how my life would return to normal once I returned from our honeymoon. To my surprise, it was much easier than I thought. I used to spend any bit of free time I had between Pinterest and Google images trying to figure out how to execute our ideas, and the many MANY nights on YouTube searching for the PERFECT songs for our ceremony and first dance. How could my life possibly be anything but wedding planning – RIGHT?!  Pinterest is the devil (ha!) – how was I going to pull off the wedding of my dreams, on the budget we had set? By putting faith in the hands of our amazing wedding planners Fairytales Bermuda – these ladies were able to take the ideas Damien & I had to ensure our day was everything we envisioned and more!

Last Minute Preparations

Let’s see how good my memory is:

  • I do remember still ordering things online 2 weeks before the date (ie: I only received my wedding shoes 2 days before the big day).
  • Finalizing our seating chart I didn’t find as stressing as finalizing the guest list. I had a really good app I used that helped me to visualize the tables. I am a visual person, and creating one using post-its and poster board is NOT life!
  • Ensuring that all vendors had been paid in full – We wanted a stress free honeymoon! Absolutely no worries!
  • Creating and printing wedding programs, table name cards and photo inserts to add to the favors for our guests.
  • Hair, nails and feet on fleek!

Traditional and “Off-the-Beat” Details

Damien and I are very unconventional, but there were some things where we stuck with tradition. My something old was dangling from my earlobes. My mom had gifted these to me while shopping for my dress. After selecting my dream dress, she says “please put these on”. It gave me that added “jack me up” (as the say on “Say Yes To The Dress”) feel. My something new other than my dress, of course, was my shoes. I only received them 2 days before walking down the aisle. My something borrowed was my beautiful wedding belt. A friend of mine had gotten married in 2014 and lent me her belt which made the dress look 10 times more beautiful with the added piece of bling around my waist. My something blue was originally supposed to be my blue shoes, but they were not the heel height I required to “feel” tall standing next to my 6’2” groom; they were my reception shoes instead. My alternative something blue was my garter which was handmade by my grandmother, using the extra material removed from one of my bridesmaid’s dress during the alteration process (shhh she doesn’t know that).

To display our non-traditional side, I had my cousin apply a beautiful Henna design on my left hand, with a special pattern on my ring finger. While this is tradition in the eastern countries, Henna is increasingly becoming popular in the western countries. With the intricate designs and the symbolism behind it, I wanted to incorporate it into my wedding look. For our ceremony programs, we had a very “off-beat” style as we didn’t want the traditional look, but rather something easy to read, easy to follow and amusing. After searching Pinterest, I found the perfect editable template. Our dinner tables were not numbered, but rather named after popular Bermuda beaches. So the seating chart was labeled “Please find your beach”.

Another favorite highlight of mine was the hand-made glassworks earrings I had gifted to my special 7 ladies. On a Saturday afternoon, we visited Dockyard Glassworks and I fell in love with the craftsmanship of their items. Having not been to the glass blown studio since I was a little girl, I had completely forgotten about this little gem. I had them design hanging earrings to resemble ocean waves as our theme was “Underwater Seascape” which then turned into “Seashells and Starfish”. The earrings were made with cobalt blue and white glass, and each pair had a different wave-like swirl. For my jr. Bridesmaids, I had studs made with blue and green glass which illustrated the prettiness of Bermuda‘s ocean waters.

Damien and I also had custom-made drinking glasses made from Dockyard Glassworks as well. Mines was the traditional wine glass, with a smokey cobalt blue stem. And he’s was a Whisky Tumbler designed to match my blue stem of my glass. As his gift to his guys, he had 5 custom-made shot glasses which mimicked his Whisky tumbler. He decided shot glasses would be the gift of choice because in true Bermudian fashion “Bermudians love to drink”.

Keeping in line with our Seashells and Starfish theme, rather than have our guest pass around a guest book, we instructed our guest to Leave a Message in a bottle. We were able to source the perfect size bottle in the perfect hint of blue. On November 10th, 2017 we will empty our bottle and read all the well wishes, guidance and advice to celebrate our first year of marriage.

Talk about Bling

What I love most about Damien is that he always has some trick up his sleeve. He goes above and beyond to surprise me. So I knew he wouldn’t let me down on our wedding day. For the months leading up to our wedding, and figuring out what type of band would sit perfect with the swirl of my ring. I would often ask my #RingTwin, if I could closely look at her solid white gold band to envision what my band would look like. Damien and I decided that we would do one band for the wedding and the second band for our first anniversary. But little did I know that he had secretly visited our jeweler and designed a jacket band and soldered the three rings together. I didn’t know this until the Pastor asked “May I have the rings please?” My eyes lit up looking at my beautiful ring, glistening in the middle pages of his Bible.

Wedding Nightmares…I mean Hiccups

As stated above, I spent my life on Pinterest. All those staged getting ready pictures in cutesy robes or matching shirts – yeah that didn’t happen for us. My girls and I started prepping at the crack of dawn (6am for a 2:30pm wedding). One would think that would be more than enough time for getting ready pictures, NOPE! It for sure was the biggest rush trying to get dressed, take pictures and show up at the site on time. I am always late, every day of my life, and this was one day that I wanted to be on time. But this is where Mother Nature worked in my favor….

Damien and I planned to have an outdoor wedding, with the most gorgeous views of the golf course as our backdrop. Mother Nature had other plans. We managed to secure a tent so everyone remains dry during the ceremony, however, in the morning we had experienced TORRENTIAL downpour for about 2-3 hours. Because the location is naturally breezy, the rain had gotten under the tent and created puddles; having Damien make the executive decision right then and there (just before I was due to walk down the aisle) to move everyone and everything inside of the restaurant (hence this is why everyone is standing).

The upside to Mother Nature’s bad behavior was that I was able to put my dress back on so soon after our wedding for an intimate family re-shoot. But even this day was reminiscent of our wedding day. Determine to get this shoot done, we ducked out the wind and dodged through the rain drops and had the most romantic wedding re-shoot I could have ever imagined.

In the years to come….

Our day was filled with plenty of love, laughter and loads of well wishes. If I had to give any advice to future brides (from the start of planning, right up until the party of your life!) it would be:

  1. Wedding party selection: This special group of men and women should ALWAYS have your best interest at heart. These persons need to “Show up and Show out” not just on the day but all the months and weeks leading up to your wedding.
  2. Plan early: The sooner you start planning things out and putting pen to paper, the better. Time can really get away from you and before you know it, the day is a month away and you are stressed beyond your limits.
  3. Make decisions and move on: This was one that I couldn’t grasp. Once I had made my decisions, I found it incredibly hard to check that off of my checklist and move on to the next item. Doing this resulted in me still ordering items 2 weeks before my wedding.    Search. Decide. Purchase. Move on
  4. Your guest list: Weddings to Damien and I aren’t always all about the big party at the end. Weddings to us, should be intimate and sentimental. We were initially supposed to have a destination wedding, but what better destination then our beautiful Island oasis. However, if you want to invite any and everyone who you have crossed paths in your lifetime, and your budget allows, by all means, go for it. But for us, we chose the people who we love and loved us back just the same.
  5. Your Wedding Day: No matter how much you plan, no matter your timeline, no matter how many times you have gone through everything to ensure that your wedding, the wedding you have put so much time and energy into planning – without a doubt, something will go wrong. Stop. Breathe. Let it go! At this point, there is nothing you can do, because no one will even notice (or remember) that the wedding singer sang at the wrong point during the ceremony;)
  6. Take it all in: They say your wedding day will be over before you even know it. As upsetting as this may sound, it is true. My advice for you and your new husband is to steal some time away to celebrate your union. Between talking to every guest and smiling at every camera, my wedding night is a blur! I want a do over!

I enjoyed my time documenting my journey to the aisle, but now it’s officially over – I will forever be #ACoordinatedBride #SatDaeSayIDo #SeashellsAndStarfish