Our Wedding

Well, it’s been three months since Stephen and I got married, so I guess it’s time for a wedding recap πŸ™‚ Ah, I don’t even really know where to start but I will say that overall it was genuinely the happiest day of my life. I know, I know. That’s super clichΓ©. But, its true!

We got married on June 4th 2017 (a Sunday) in Wilmington, NC at Wrightsville Manor. This is a (wedding) venue that opened last year. When we originally saw it, it was still somewhat of a work in progress but we pretty much immediately knew that this is where we wanted to be married. We knew we wanted a venue that has a great indoor and outdoor space with lots of natural light. And well, you’ll see in the photos below why this space was perfect! So, I’m going to go ahead and walk you guys through our wedding day. So let’s do this! πŸ™‚

The weather was seriously perfect the day of the wedding (thank God)! Wrightsville Manor had a bridal suite attached so my bridesmaids and I got ready there for the day while the boys got ready at a nearby hotel.

My bridesmaids and I all wore these silk robes from Boohoo.



20170604_maxwell_0308I’ll show you guys more details of the dress as this post continues, but I want to talk about the top piece of my dress for a minute! My dress is two pieces as you may know. The top was basically made up of a really sheer overlay with tiny pearls, beads, and sequins sewn into it. It was gorgeous but SO fragile! At my last fitting, my one sister Jane (who was my MOH) suggested that they sew extra around the straps because we were worried they might break off haha. That may be aΒ little Β dramatic, BUT you never know! Needless to say, it was very delicate but I loved it–it was so unique. And I love that I can re-wear it as a regular top! First anniversary maybe? Also, my dress is by the company Watters. The two pieces are from their lines Wtoo and Willowby Watters.

As we were finishing getting ready, the boys showed up and started taking photos behind the venue where the ceremony space was.


20170604_maxwell_0056.jpgFor the guys, Stephen and I decided on grey slacks, a white button down, and then black suspenders and shoes. Then we opted for pale pink bowties to match the bridesmaid dress shades. As far as the boutonnieres, we decided only Stephen would wear one. I told him, it’s not prom, we don’t need everyone inΒ boutonnieres LOL.

After the guys finished their photos, they went into the main part of the venue where the reception would be held. The girls and I snuck out the back and then took all our photos as well. For my bridesmaids, I wanted everyone to pick out their own style and color dress–with parameters of course! But I wanted everyone to feel comfortable in their dress, spend what they wanted to spend, etc. So, I just I told everyone that their dress should be floor length and then gave several color schemes to choose from. Basically, my sister Jane and I picked out about 50 dresses that we liked and felt could pair well together. We then sent out this list to all the girls and had them pick their top 5 and add any other dress they found that they wanted to wear. We then picked one of the dresses from each of their list ensuring that all the colors and styles worked well together. I personally absolutely loved how it turned out! What do you guys think? Do you like mixing and matching or when everyone wears the same?




My two sisters Jane (left) and Sara (right). I am the oldest!

Afterwards, it was time for Stephen and I to do our first look. We decided to do a first look, and all the family and wedding party photos prior to the ceremony, because we wanted everyone to be able to enjoy cocktail hour and just have fun after the ceremony was done! We didn’t want to get hung up taking a bunch of photos into the reception.

The first look was one of my favorite parts of the day. I love that Stephen and I just got to have a few moments together before the ceremony. I am not someone who is super emotional or sentimental, but I definitely cried during our first look (for the record, we both did πŸ˜‰ )

Terrified or extremely happy??? πŸ˜‰



20170604_maxwell_0092.jpgAs far as my hair and dress go. I knew I wanted to wear my hair half up. I didn’t want to wear it all the way down because I didn’t want to cover up all the details of my dress, but I also knew I wanted it to look a little more carefree and messy (so I didn’t want to put it all the way up). With that said, I also opted to do a fishtail braid. It just seemed like a perfect way to make it more of an “undone” look. My dress I got really lucky with. In the beginning, I knew I wouldn’t want something with a ton of sequins or rhinestones, and I thoughtΒ  I wanted something very form fitting, lace, open back, lower neckline. Ha. You can see that I clearly ended up with NONE of those things! I discovered this when I first tried on wedding dresses, and I stumbled across a Hayley Paige dress. I loved that the bottom was more fun (it was similar to the one above) but that the top was more simple (it was a lace top with an open criss cross back). I fell in love with but it was just a tad more than what I wanted to spend so I decided to keep looking. After going to about five other bridal boutiques though, nothing was quite measuring up to the Hayley Paige.

I then went to The Wedding Dress Shoppe in Wilmington one weekend and tried on several dresses…but still, nothing was quite doing the trick. Then, my amazing sales consultant was like, hold on…I may have exactly what you’re looking for (I had showed her the photo of the Hayley Paige). She brought into the dressing room the top and the skirt I’m wearing above. They were the last two in the store from a designer that they no longer carried. I tried on both pieces, and while they both needed to be taken in, I knew right away that it was exactly what I was looking for. It was perfect and literally half the cost of the Hayley Paige (since they were two discontinued items they were 50% off)! And honestly, the price was just a bonus. I fell in love with the dress right away and bought it immediately. The only changes I made to the dress was adding a thicker sash across the waist; this way my top would overlap with the skirt some and it would look more like a dress instead of two pieces. I didn’t care if people could tell it was two pieces–I actually loved that about the dress. But, I didn’t want it to look like a crop top in photos lol.


After we had our first look, we took a bunch of family photos and then some of the wedding party all together. At this point it was around 3:30pm and the ceremony was to start at 5pm.

Stephen and I could seriously not thank my parents enough–they were the reason we were able to have such an amazing wedding! My mom and dad are seriously the best parents in general FYI πŸ˜‰


Once all the group photos were done, it was time for the ceremony. I wasn’t nervous the entire day, but when we started lining up to walk down the aisle, I was so nervous. Honestly, I’m not an anxious or nervous person but ever since I fainted last summer (and landed on my face and broke my jaw…fun times!) whenever I get a little nervous it always gets 100x worse because then I get worried that I’ll faint again. Anyway, Stephen walked to the alter and the wedding party followed and then it was my dad and my turn. As soon as we walked outside, I lost it. Aka couldn’t stop crying lol. I even started making myself laugh because I knew if I didn’t pretty soon I’d be hysterically crying ha. There was just LOTS of emotions–all good ones. But just a lot lol. Also, as a side note, I remember that a lot of you guys gave us recommendations for songs to walk down the aisle to (THANK YOU)!!! We ended up playing the instrumental version of Without You by the Piano Guys. And then after we said our vows we walked out to Feel Again by One Republic.

As far as the actual ceremony, I was kind of a mess haha. I was so emotional (tears of joy) but also so worried that I was going to faint that I was so distracted when our officiate was speaking haha. The entire time I was just squeezing Stephen’s hands and taking deep breaths. Stephen was even supposed to say his vows first but I was getting so flustered that I needed something to focus on– so whispered to him during the ceremony, “Can I go first?!” Of course he said yes lol. Once I started saying my vows though I felt totally fine! I guess it was just a lot of build up to that point. Stephen and I wrote our own vows, and I think that actually is my favorite part of our wedding day. A lot of people later told us that everyone was crying in the audience while we were reading them lol, and Stephen and I both were too, so I’d say they were some pretty damn good vows πŸ˜‰




I was obsessed with the arbor that our florist had and designed for us. We opted for lots of greenery and only a few flowers that were similar to the bouquets.
After “I Do” (Obviously…)



After the ceremony ended (phew!) we headed into bridal suite to have a moment to ourselves (while everyone else went to cocktail hour).Β  We were also then able to view the reception before everyone else entered. After doing this, we went back outside to the ceremony area (cocktail hour was being held on the opposite side of the building so we still had privacy) and took a few more photos. We then joined everyone for cocktail hour about 30 minutes later!

We had several signs like this around the wedding venue to direct people where to go, what the night entailed, etc. And of course, our hashtag #nothingcanstandaGUENTZus (get it? πŸ˜‰
Before everyone else got their hands on our donut wall! #priorities



The rest of the night was pretty typical of that of a wedding! For our food, we had three stations set up so there was a variety of food. We did first dances, toasts, more dancing, cake cutting, bouquet and garter toss…and yeah! Everyone came up to us and said what an amazing wedding it was, and how it was one of the best weddings they had been to. So that was awesome to hear! Stephen and I really just wanted everyone to have a good time πŸ™‚ Once the wedding was over, we did a sparkler exit and then had a car take us to a historic B&B in downtown Wilmington. Honestly, the entire day and night were perfect. If there were any “mess ups” I had no idea. Probably because our wedding planner Jana was INCREDIBLE! Seriously, if you get married in Wilmington or the surrounding area, use Jana at Design a Dream Events.

We had Whole Foods make our donut cake (only $20!) And a local baker made the rest of the cakes. We opted not to do a traditional wedding cake…we wanted cake that actually tasted good haha.



My hairdresser suggested after the ceremony putting my hair all the way up so it would look best for pictures through the night. I’m so glad she recommended this! It was also nice to change up my look some.
Stephen’s ONE wedding request was that we do a garter toss. And of course, the garter I ordered didn’t come in the mail in time, and then I forgot to buy one in Wilmington. So the day of the wedding Stephen was like, “DONT WORRY, I’LL GO BUY ONE.” Well, then he forgot too haha. So, my planner took greenery from the table and made it into one for the garter toss hahaha. Also, please note Stephen actually took down his suspenders lol…like I said, heΒ really wanted to do it.

But yes, the entire night was incredible and I don’t think Stephen or I could have asked for anything better! I hope you guys enjoyed reading this post..I think it’s been my favorite that I’ve written so far πŸ™‚ I’d love to hear what you guys think!! In particular, any advice on what photos we should frame? I’m having a hard time deciding!! Thanks for taking the time to read it xx Claire

*All photos by Scott Piner


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21 thoughts on “Our Wedding

  1. I’ve been waiting so long to read this. Your wedding was absolutely beautiful. & you can totally see the love between you guys. Thanks for sharing!!! I can’t wait to get married at Wrightsville Manor, I definitely have a lot to do for it to even compare!! Lol ❀️❀️❀️

    1. Aw thank you SO much!! It was truly an amazing day, and you will LOVE Wrightsville Manor. It is such a stunning venue that you really don’t need to do a lot–it speaks for itself πŸ™‚ I’m sure your wedding will look beautiful. congrats on your upcoming day!! πŸ™‚

  2. Hey Claire! It was so great reading all of this. I’m in the beginning stages of planning my wedding and I loved all of your ideas! If you don’t mind calling the boutique you got your dress at to get he designer, that would be appreciated!

    1. Hey! That’s so exciting! When is your wedding?! And yes, I will put it on my calendar to do this week πŸ™‚ I’ll keep you posted!

    2. Hey! So I added the designer info to the blog, but the designer is the company called Watters. The pieces are from their Wtoo and Willowby Watters collections πŸ™‚

    1. Aw thank you πŸ™‚ and yes, I love that one too! It’s also a nice contrast compared to all the other greenery ones!

  3. Hi Claire. Thank you so much for sharing. It seems you had the perfect day and I’m so so happy for you. Could you please give some advice on writing your own vows? My fiance really wants to do it and I am a little nervous that I get it completely wrong. So any advice would be really appreciated xxx

    1. Hey! Thanks so much πŸ™‚ Stephen and I were both a little nervous about our vows too, and it’s kind of hard to know exactly what to write. But my overall advice would be, remember that you are writing them for EACH OTHER and not your guests. While your guests will hear your vows and witness you saying them, just write what you actually would say to your husband/wife. If you just keep that in mind, you can’t go wrong. Don’t overthink it, just share with them what you want them to hear on your wedding day πŸ™‚ Hope this helps!

  4. honestly, looks like THE dream- wedding and like you had the most wonderful day in your life β™₯
    congrats again!
    also, i LOVE the mix and match for the bridesmaids dresses.
    i really hope my brother and his wife-to-be will have such a great time on their own wedding this upcoming weekend too! …btw the idea with the sparklers is amazing! considering to surprise them with it too, now πŸ˜€

    1. Aw, thank you SO SO much!! πŸ™‚ And yay! glad you like the mix. I do it. I think it makes it so much more interesting and fun to look at for photos, plus everyone gets to wear and spend what they feel comfortable with. I hope your brother and his fiancΓ© do this! if they aren’t on board, maybe you’ll have to show them some photos to encourage them πŸ˜‰

  5. Claire! I’ve been able to connect with your account from a fitness standpoint for a long time now, but after reading this post we share even more similarities. I remember seeing your dress from the wedding photo you posted right after the wedding day – and I commented asking if it was Hayley Paige. I got married in July this year and reading your post was almost exactly how I felt about my wedding. We also had very similar decor/vibe… and a sparkler send-off which was amazing (I recommend to everyone I know now). Anywho- congratulations to you and Stephen! From my social media knowledge you guys have a great relationship!

    Not sure if this was similar to the Hayley Paige you were talking about, but I absolutely loved my dress. I am sending you a DM of one of our wedding photos.


    1. Hey! Got your DM and can’t believe that was the dress I tried on! Too funny. Its so pretty!

      And I love being able to connect with you guys on more than just fitness, so thanks for saying that. Fitness is important but there are so many more things that are fun to share πŸ™‚

      Thanks so much for your kind comments and Stephen and me! I appreciate that, and yep, what you guys see is pretty much how it is haha πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the comment and for sharing your dress with me! xx

  6. OMG please frame the last kiss with the sparklers in the background !! That is so perfect !!
    Also your dress was amazing en the wedding just beautiful !! β™₯️β™₯️β™₯️

    1. Hehe, that is the photo everyone is picking! It is definitely a favorite of mine too πŸ™‚ And thank you so so much!!

  7. What a gorgeous wedding! You should absolutely frame the last photo in this post! It’s perfect in every way. Congratulations!

  8. AMAZING! You obvs need to frame that last photo for sure! You looked so beautiful, hair, dress, everything! I love the fact that you didn’t do a traditional wedding cake- I’ll be the same way when I get married! As well as the fact the bridesmaids dresses were different styles, but in the same color scheme- totes doing that too! All in all, without sounding like a freak, I think your wedding, decor, style, etc. was gorgeous! loved the post- thanks!!!

    1. Hehe that is what everyone is saying about that photo! And thank you so much πŸ’ž hahah, I don’t think you’re a freak, I just think you have good taste πŸ˜‰ thanks so much for reading!! ❀️

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