Hey there--it’s Kristen!
I’m writing this on August 5th, which is a little important because we got married 4 days ago! Since then it has been a magical whirlwind of mini-honeymoon adventures, but for now let’s talk about the BEST.DAY.EVER. Literally.
So John and I are very artistic and unique-minded people who didn’t want a country club, random-lady-planning-everything wedding, so when we got engaged a little over a year ago we knew that we were going to want something that would be a little different. After a few weeks of searching we finally found Goggleworks in Reading, PA as our venue. It opened in 1871 and was the first factory in the world to manufacture optical glass for lenses and reading glasses. In the early 1900’s they started making safety equipment for coal miners and military personnel, and during WW2 they made aviator goggles and high altitude oxygen masks for pilots. In 2005, the factory was converted into a community arts center, and serves as a place where many artists teach, have their studios and display their art. They have 2 huge rooms you can use for a wedding, and they are essentially a blank canvas, with exposed pipes, brick walls, expansive windows and wood floors.
We knew we wanted our wedding to display not only me, but John’s personality--which i think these days a lot of weddings typically forget the groom. We already are collectors of ALL the things, including antiques, vintage books, old engravings, and for me, bottles. We already had a wide variety of “things” to display, but we (I) still feverishly hunted for more at Goodwill and Salvation Army in the year+ we had until our wedding. Without a wedding planner (I wanted it that way) it was a year full of list-making and planning, and although it was a pain in the neck, I really think it was all worth it in the end (HUGE props go to my mom who was an awesome organizer and helped keep me somewhat sane in this process). Fast forward to a week or so before the wedding, and John and I had both officially had our last days of work! My mom and I had the whole week off leading up to the wedding, which was the greatest thing we could have ever done. Every little silly thing on my “lists” were getting done and crossed off and I was starting to officially stop stressing.
The day before your wedding is probably supposed to be more relaxing--a day of pedicures and brunch--but since we opted for the DIY route, it meant an entire day of decorating. WHICH, like I said before, was worth EVERY minute. We wrassled up some family and friends and loaded up a U-Haul with all of our things, stopped and got some major bunches of cut flowers and went on our way to start the process. When we got there we unloaded everything and cut open all the boxes to try and figure out where to even begin. John started unloading his old books, and I, bottles and we started arranging our centerpieces. I didn’t really know where I wanted to go with decorating, but the main elements in mind were books, bottles, moss, flowers and GLITTER. John also threw in some vintage cameras and trinkets here and there. We wrote on windows and picture frames with chalkboard markers, and we had a globe for people to sign for our guestbook. It definitely did not look like an ordinary wedding, and it SCREAMED Kristen and John--which is what, I think, made it so unique.
After 12 hours of being out and decorating Goggleworks and the church, my bridesmaids came over for a little bit for nail painting and reminiscing. John was going to leave before that so we had to say our final “goodbye” before we were finally a married couple. It was pretty emotional--we had started to talk about getting married less than a month after we had started dating, so it was almost 4 years in the making. We both really were just overcome with relief of the decorating and planning process being over and excitement for the next day ahead. We just hugged and cried for a little bit before we could even say goodbye. It was like a little “end of an era” thing too--because we hung out almost every day, and every night he or I would leave and say goodbye, and tomorrow we could just say goodnight.
THE DAY ARRIVED. FINALLY.
And I don’t think I can even describe to you the love we felt that day with all of our family and friends surrounding us--finally getting a good glimpse into John and I’s friendship with each other. Our personal vows were so similar, our pastor thought we had collaborated on them--hah! From the flowers to the weather, the confidence I felt, the food and the DJ, the cake and how well Penny ran--it was really, honestly, the most perfect and beautiful and MOST fun day I’ve ever had. And I feel like that’s all I really can say. I think everyone was able to see John and I in everything, and they got it. Which is what, i think, made it all so special. Here’s the link to the blog post for our wedding from our perfect photographer.
All wedding photo credit on these goes to Alison Dunn
Since our ceremony was about 45 min away from the church we provided hotel accommodations for whoever wanted to stay, but John and I decided to stay at a little bed and breakfast instead. We had planned on staying Saturday-Monday, so we could have an extra night of relaxation before staying at my parents for a week or so before leaving for our trip. We found the Amethyst Inn in Adamstown, PA and booked the Topaz room. This was another thing that completely exceeded my expectations this weekend. The location was, of course, in the Antique capital of the world (which we had no idea), the place was beautifully quaint, and the people were completely willing to bend over backwards for you. We had a brunch the morning after the wedding with everyone who stayed over (which was amazing, by the way), and after that we headed over to break down everything we had set up at Goggleworks. Since we spent half a day doing all that my mom offered to pay another night for us to stay at the Inn! A few hours later I got a call from them saying that they had a larger room available and since it was our “honeymoon” they wanted to upgrade us for free for the next two nights! When we went back to switch our rooms we opened the door to our new room (The Amber Room) and were totally blown away! It had a king size bed, a massage chair, a jacuzzi tub and the room itself was huge! The Inn serves breakfast at 8:30 am with fresh fruits garnished with herbs from their garden, delicious quiches and yummy breakfast desserts! And like I said, they really just bend over backwards for you!
We mostly spent our time like old people--sleeping, going to antique stores, eating, we visited James Buchanan’s house and we rented a movie. But it was awesome and perfect and everything we needed. Now we are back home and starting to make new “lists” about what we need to purchase and prepare for our trip! We are set to get to our first farm on the 17th of August, so we plan to leave around the 12th! Time has been flying by and I hope it slows down a little so we can really take in all the wondrous things Penny is going to show us! We really just want to thank everyone again who was involved in our wedding--even if you weren’t invited and you just left a comment on facebook--the amount of love and generosity we’ve seen from our family and friends is really just amazing, and we really want to thank you all for being so supportive of us! We really have been having trouble processing how generous everyone has been--from the kind words and gifts from our friends and customers at work, to the help with getting ready for the wedding, and finally last night, as we opened our cards and presents. The amount of love that has been sent our way lately has kind of left us speechless, and we hope everyone understands how truly grateful we are.
And here are some extra photos from the weekend!
This is the Amethyst Inn, and the two rooms we stayed in...