The Jessica Ryan Bride Diary: Caitlin

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Caitlin is one of those women that when you meet her you almost instantly feel a genuine friendship with! Caitlin got married to Ryan last June on the perfect summer day. It wasn’t terribly hot and we had the perfect salt air breeze during their portraits at the Chesapeake Bay. They grew up in that area so they choose to celebrate their marriage at the Marina Shores Yacht Club with all of their family and friends. Caitlin answered these questions below to help other brides during their wedding planning!

What has been your favorite thing to plan or decide on for your wedding day? I am the worst decision maker ever! There were so many things that went into the whole day, but I think my favorite thing deciding on was the food.  This was something that Ryan and I got to do together and then we LOVED the tasting.  

It was fun getting to go and enjoy the food, chat about the day that was coming up and spend quality time together.  There were so many things that we planned on our couch or in the car traveling to VB and this was one of the details we could spend just enjoying each other’s company.

What were the three most important details to you on your wedding day and why?

The food: (are you catching on to the fact we like to eat).  Food is something that is very important to my family, and I really wanted people to leave the wedding reception feeling happy and full. It was something that I really wanted people to feel special about, and it is a great way to show your guests how much they mean to you if you go above and beyond on the food, because it is something they are enjoying. Our caterer was Cuisine & Company
The decor/music:  The flowers and decorations were important to me because I just wanted the whole room to be ‘us’.  Even more importantly, the music was extremely important.  We wanted our guests to be able to dance, dance, dance! And that is exactly what happened! Roger Cruz at Astro Dj’s was amazing and I would recommend him to anyone! Once the music started playing people never left the dance floor.  
The photographer! The day could go amazing, but if you don’t have amazing pictures to show for it, then it will all be over in a flash, as it already feels like it is over in a second 🙂 
What were the three most important vendors to book for your wedding day and why?
The DJ-as I stated before the music was super important to us.  We made sure we had a good mix of songs and Roger really listened to everything we asked for.
The food-as you already know, the food was super important to us.  Cuisine and Company went above our expectations and we couldn’t say enough good things about them.

The Photographer- I also can’t say enough good things about working with Jessica.  This was so important to us, because Ryan loves photography and he does this as a hobby so he really appreciates photography.  Pictures of the day and capturing all the important moments were important to us. 

Jessica went above and beyond the whole day, and I truly felt like we left the day being great friends! She listened to my every request and made sure everything I wanted to get pictures of actually happened.  Her pictures came out even better than we thought and we are so pleased.  We can’t wait to have Jessica do all of our future photography moments, she will be with us for the long haul.

What is your opinion on DIY decor? Did you do any?

Do it! But don’t wait until the last minute! We actually did end up doing quite a bit of DIY, but we are so fortunate because Ryan’s mom is an art teacher and she was able to use a lot of her talent for the decor.  If you are able to DIY definitely take the time to do it, because you should put your cost into those other things that are expensive, when you can DIY things and save money for those more expensive items. 

We’re there any amazing ways you saved money on things that you’d like to share? Save the dates can be super expensive, we used a friend who is amazing with graphic design and then ordered our Save the Dates from Overnight Prints and it was a great money saver.  We also made all of our table “numbers”.  I had the idea and then our mom helped us put it together.  Those are probably one of my favorite decorations. 
Another thing we did was our photo booth.  We had SO much fun with this! We got photo booth props from Michael’s and then painted them colors of our wedding.  We got silly dress up stuff from family and friends.  Then we bought selfie sticks and people just went over to the backdrop (from Black Iris) and took their selfies from the photo booth.  I loved this!!! So many guests said it was so fun and really different.

Are there any experiences you had with a particular vendor that you would like to rave about? I think I did a lot of raving above, but the same ones as before Astro Dj’s (Roger Cruz), Photographer (Jessica Ryan), Cuisine and Company, and Black Iris Floral Events who did the flowers! All four of these vendors made our day amazing!

What was your favorite memory of your wedding day? (No matter how big or small) I think the whole day was just amazing.  One favorite memory that I have is that our friend Sean was at our wedding, and unfortunately a few weeks later he passed away very unexpectedly. It meant more than anything that he was there, and that even more so we got a picture with him. My Husband and I both treasure that picture more than a lot of others from that day.  Looking back, the whole day is my favorite memory.  I know it sounds cheesy, but the fact that all of our loved ones were in one room helping us celebrate our love, is the best memory we could have. 

Is there something that you still can’t stop thinking about or reminiscing about your wedding day? Just the day itself. I love thinking about that day and how much fun we had, how beautiful I felt and how much love I felt rushing out of me for Ryan.  I have never felt so loved in my whole life.  It was a day that was over in a flash, but meant more to me than any other day in my life.  Ryan and I look back on that day probably once a day, and every time we do we fall more in love. 

What one thing/person/item that you invested in that you are still over the moon about with your investment for your wedding day? I have to say…my wedding dress. Which is a story in itself, for another day at another time 🙂 But short story, this was my 2nd dress and I am so thankful that I did go and look after already buying one.  This dress made me feel amazing, and it was exactly what I wanted. I got my wedding dress at Here & Now Bridal

Lastly, our photographer….seriously.  She made our day because we didn’t have to worry about anything not being photographed for memories.  Even moreso now because of the loss of someone so special and to have that memory means so much to us.  If it weren’t for her, we wouldn’t have that.  She captured so many sweet moments, and kept me sane. 🙂 I am so glad we chose her! 

On a scale of 1-10, how handsome did your groom look? 10….duh! He even looked like a model! 

On a scale of 1-10, how beautiful did you feel? 10! I am one of the most self conscious people.  I never think I look beautiful, no matter how many times Ryan tells me. But I felt so pretty that day! 

 How fast did your wedding day go by & what moment helped slow it down even if just for a little while? It went by SO fast!!!! We even got up that morning at 6am (I think) and went to Pure Barre! It was go, go, go the whole day. The one moment that helped slow down the day was taking the portraits of Ryan and I on the beach. That was our time together, that it was just us. That was probably the moment that helped the most.  
Thank you Jessica for getting me to do this! I probably could have cried a few times through it! I love reading your blog and keeping up with your life and your upcoming wedding. I can’t wait until we have a reason to do another session with you! 
Thank you for making our day so amazing. We always continue to talk about how special you made our day and how amazing you did. Thank you!
Caitlin Baker
 To see Caitlin and Ryan’s full wedding blog post click here: Marina Shores Yacht Club Wedding