[Note: We got married on 8/8 and this was supposed to be published as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, but apparently I set the publish date to 2016… I’d blame it on technology, but who am I kidding. It was the wine. It’s always the wine.]

Yep – on Saturday, August 8th, (the 9th anniversary of our very first date), we made it official and got hitched. While I could gush all day long about how happy and honored I am to now be a wife to my very best friend in the whole world, I’ll spare you all of the mushy stuff and simply say that my heart is full.

We had planned on eloping and it just being the two of us, for a few personal reasons. One, I didn’t want a normal wedding because having lost both of my parents in the past couple of years, a big ceremony without them just didn’t feel right and made me sad even thinking about it.

Another reason we chose to forego a wedding ceremony is because my brother is currently deployed, and Chris’ Dad has Parkinson’s disease and has a hard time getting around, therefore, travel for him is out of the question. This meant that we would have had to have had the wedding in Philadelphia, but without knowing exactly when my brother would be coming home, and the fact that I didn’t want to wait too long (because when you get a proposal after 8 years together, you jump all over that as quickly as possible!), we chose to have a private ceremony.

We decided to get married on Jekyll Island at a place called Driftwood Beach. The moment we saw it, we knew it was the perfect spot. It has these huge monolithic driftwood trees that give it a mystical look that is unlike any other beach we’ve seen. It is simply stunning.

We hired a non-denominational minister from Jacksonville, FL (we liked her spunk and didn’t want anyone too formal), and everything was all set.

Or so we thought.

We got a call from one of Chris’ sisters begging for us to let her “crash” our “non-wedding” because she just couldn’t stand not getting to see us marry. She also wanted to bring Chris’ mom, so I called my sister and told her that if she wanted to come, she could, and she said, “Oh I was hoping I could crash it!”

So at 10am that morning, accompanied by Chris’ sister Mary, his mom, and my sister Michelle, and after spreading a few of my Mom and Dad’s ashes at the tree where we stood, we said our vows and committed our lives to each other, and it was absolutely perfect.

Where we got married - driftwood beach, jekyll island

Wedding day!

For our honeymoon, rather than go to a relaxing beach resort (since we practically live at the beach anyway), or to Europe (August is a bad time to go there because so many businesses go on holiday, and it’s super expensive in August), we opted to go to New York City, because although I’ve been a couple of times, I’ve never had the chance to really “do” New York.

We rented a couple different rooms in different parts of the city, so we could see downtown, uptown, and even Brooklyn. Our first night was at the Jade Hotel, an awesome boutique hotel, and let me just say, if you ever go to NYC, I cannot recommend it enough. When we checked in, the girl behind the desk asked what brought us to New York. I gushed that it was our honeymoon, and she casually asked us to have a seat while they finished getting our room ready.

Turns out, she was upgrading us to a room with an amazing view of the Freedom Tower, and shortly after our arrival, just as we were taking in the breathtaking view of the city, we get a knock on the door from room service. The girls at the front desk had sent up a complimentary bottle of champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, a cheese plate, and a card to congratulate us. Our friend Margaret knew where we were staying, and she had called ahead, too, and sent us up a bottle of wine! We promptly popped open the champagne and I was totally feeling like Julia Roberts’ character in that scene in Pretty Woman… minus the hooker part.

Freedom tower, nyc

Stunning view from our room at the Jade Hotel

Honeymoon "treats"

Champagne and strawberries… a perfect kickoff for our honeymoon!

The rest of the week, we slept on big, comfy beds in hotels with killer views, ate food that we haven’t been able to get anywhere else we’ve been, went to art museums and a Broadway show (Phantom of the Opera), walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, saw Henry Winkler walking down the street, and took in all of the big-city sights and smells that we’ve not experienced in so long. We even got matching tattoos of our wedding date in Roman numerals. (My first tattoo!)

We spoiled ourselves and enjoyed every second of it. And this is just the beginning…

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