9.25.2021 | McAlvany House Wedding
How We Met
We heard from Joanne, Nicole’s mom, in March 2019. She was beginning to feel overwhelmed for her daughter’s wedding that was going to take place at their house. Nicole and her fiancé, Colin, live in Chicago and they were needing additional help for their wedding day. They heard about us through Bloomin Bouquets owner, Sarah. We met at Panera and we just clicked with Joanne and even though (at the time) we never had done a house wedding, Joanne trusted us and we began planning!
All love stories are unique and different but are totally romantic. Nicole & Colin fell in love in a perfect and beautiful way! Read their journey here:
“Colin and I first met my freshman (or sophomore?) year of college, when he was in town to watch his sister’s volleyball game. His sister and I were on the volleyball team in college in Memphis, and Colin had traveled down with his parents to visit from Chicago. Neither of us remembers much about our brief first encounter.
Fast forward 2 (or 3?) years later, and I decided to move to Chicago after college, with one of my best friends, Colin’s sister. I was planning on teaching English as a second language in the fall in Spain, and didn’t have much in the way of summer plans, so I decided to live basically with Colin’s family for the summer. Colin’s family is infectiously warm and welcoming. Throughout the years they’ve housed many people from foreign exchange students to cousins to schoolmates. This made the experience staying with them all the more welcoming. That’s when Colin and I really clicked.
Towards the end of the summer, love was in the air when Colin’s other sister had an at-home, “block party” wedding, at their family home, the very house I was staying in. From helping out with decorations and cleaning, Colin and I were able to spend more and more time with each other. After leaving for Spain shortly after the wedding, I returned to Chicago 9 months later to move in with my cousin to an apartment in the city. Colin and I hit it off again, and he ultimately moved in with my cousin and I (major props to my cousin for being so cool with that).
After spending time with my family back in Atlanta later that year for Christmas, it was a sealed deal. My wild family didn’t scare him off! Colin embraced their crazy yet lovable energy, and they welcomed him immediately.
We are both so lucky to have the families that we have. Without them and their influence on our lives, our love story never would have been possible! Our wedding really focused on the importance of our families in our lives, which made the day all the more special.”
Down to Business
Our meetings were always a fun time! The McAlvany’s opened their house to us and we would talk through logistics over a glass of wine. Bill, Nicole's father, got involved in planning and they began doing little updates to their house to improve it for the wedding and for their lives. Then, 2020 hit and threw a serious wrench in our plans. Out of safety, we pushed the wedding which was originally supposed to be in May of 2020 to September 2020 since “it will for sure be over by then”. When alas, it wasn’t, we decided to push a full year out to September 2021. We lost vendors and had to be very flexible but we think it was all for the better. Getting to spend 2.5 years with this family was such a blessing!
The Big Day
The Rental Place came on Thursday to install the tent and drop off the tables and chairs. Colin’s family came over and set up all the chairs for ceremony on Friday before rehearsal. On Saturday when we arrived, the house was alive with excitement. Family, friends, and neighbors were over helping the McAlvany’s prepare for the day. We began laying table cloths and making sure there was enough room under the tent for everyone to hang out. Bristow Hair Company & Brushworx were upstairs getting the ladies ready with hair and makeup while Nicole and her sister’s drank mimosas. Abbys at the Cottage arrived bringing personal flowers, centerpieces, and the arch for the ceremony. Soon after, Talk of the Town arrived and began unloading their items. Since they had to build a kitchen to cook everything on the screened in porch, they brought ovens, racks, and trays. Once they unloaded their two trucks, we were firing on all cylinders!
As the ladies were wrapping up hair & makeup, Brighton from Brighton Calloway Photography arrived to begin getting ready for photos! After pajama photos, everyone put on their dresses so we could get bridesmaid photos while Colin and his siblings were getting their photos taken. Keeping these two apart was harder than we originally thought since the house was so interconnected and guests were beginning to arrive! We tucked Nicole away upstairs so we could have all the guests find their seats. When ceremony time rolled around, we lined everyone up and began this special time. Nicole’s cousin married them and she was also a roommate to Nicole & Colin for a long time, so she had a special bond with them. Colin’s best man and brother sang a song with Colin’s niece and two sisters read poems. After a perfect ceremony, Nicole & Colin were finally married and as happy as could be! Guests were drinking and enjoying appetizers while Nicole & Colin got photos together as we began moving chairs from ceremony to tables in the tent and garage to make room for dancing!
When photos were done, Nicole & Colin joined cocktail hour to mingle and hang out with their guests. When it was time and the food was ready, we had a very sweet welcome speech from father of the bride, Will, before whisking Nicole & Colin away for a private dinner. Guests were invited to enter the house for the buffet and stations that included mac and cheese & shrimp and grits bars. Once everyone had eaten, we passed out peach bellinis to all the guests to toast with. We first heard from Nicole’s sisters who prepared wonderful speeches followed by Colin’s brother. Before inviting all the guests down to the dance floor, Nicole danced with her dad, Colin danced with his mom, and Nicole & Colin shared their first dance!
We found DJ Daniel from DJ About Business through Espeute Productions and let us tell you he KILLED it for the guests! He kept the dance floor filled all night! Guests were all over the house and had a wonderful experience listening to the music! Stop the Time Photobooth got set up in the basement and the guests loved using the props and being silly in the photo booth! A little while later, Nicole disappeared and returned in a different skirt that was made of tulle and showed off her boots - a total 80’s babe! After dancing for a few hours, to cap off the night, Waffle House Food Truck arrived and began serving Nicole & Colin’s menu! Guests enjoyed eating and drinking even after the music was off. Once Nicole & Colin had coffee and waffles, they hopped on the shuttle from Atlantic Limo for a nearby bar they loved to frequent! A great end to a great night!
One thing that made this wedding so special was how Nicole & Colin just wanted everyone to feel at home. We took a lot of formality out of this wedding which was really cool! As soon as guests arrived they were invited to grab a drink and mingle. After the ceremony, guests were invited to wander the property to play yard games in front of the house, grab a cigar on the back porch, or a drink at one of the three bars. We didn’t do introductions or tosses and that made the day so much more unique to Nicole & Colin!
"Megan, and the Marmaros Productions team, were one of the absolute best parts of our wedding process. From taking on a home wedding (with some logistically tricky hills), to having to move the date twice due to covid--switching DJs and photographers last minute, they were there for us every step of the way. They went above and beyond, doing way more than we ever expected, including coming to the house multiple times to make sure everything went smoothly the day of, and reaching out to all of our vendors when we had to switch the big day. Not only that but Megan made some great game-time decisions on the day of to help keep the wedding running smoothly. Hiring a wedding coordinator was more my mom's idea initially, to help keep her stress level at bay. Little did I know it would be the service I was most thankful we invested in. This is more than just a coordinating/planning team! This is a team of support, care, humor, and significant stress relief, that ultimately became friends. We cannot thank them enough!!"
Happily Ever After
Nicole & Colin had a day worth waiting for! They couldn’t have asked for better weather or better company. We loved every minute of planning with the McAlvany’s and we would do it all over again. We wish them the best as they continue their lives together in Chicago. We know their love will flourish! Congratulations Nicole & Colin!
All Hands on Deck
Venue: McAlvany Residence
Photographer: Brighton Calloway Photo
Hair: Bristow Hair Company
Florist: Abby’s at the Cottage
DJ: All About Business via Espeute Productions
Catering & Bakery: Talk of the Town
Officiant: Christine Recsetar
Food Truck: Waffle House Food Truck
Rentals: The Rental Place
Photobooth: Stop the Time
Shuttle: Atlantic Limo