Our Wedding

Part 1 - 20160819-McCarthyBriana_0006.jpg
Part 1 - 20160819-McCarthyBriana_0288.jpg
Part 1 - 20160819-McCarthyBriana_0308.jpg
Part 1 - 20160819-McCarthyBriana_0363.jpg
Part 2 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrick_0098.jpg
Part 1 - 20160819-McCarthyBriana_0479.jpg

I can't believe our wedding was over one year ago! Time really has flown by. It really was the greatest day of my life because I genuinely married my best friend in this world. Patrick and I had dated for almost 9 years before we got married, and we were friends for almost 2 years before we even started dating - so to say this day had been a long time coming is an understatement! We got married at St. Ignatius Loyola Church on the Upper East Side (the most beautiful church in NYC!!) and had our reception at The New York Public Library which still feels like a dream. We had chosen to get married up in NYC because our families are from New York and New Jersey and most of our closest college friends were coming from DC - so NYC was a perfect central location. We knew we wanted to get married somewhere that was convenient for our guests to travel to, with tons of accommodation options, food, things to do and see, etc. We both had grown up close to NYC so there were so many memories from our childhoods there as well. Patrick had proposed to me in New York City the year before in Gramercy Park (you can read about how he asked here!), so that our families could celebrate with us right after. So, NYC just was the perfect fit.

Part 3 - 20160819-McCarthyFirstLook_0004a.JPG
Part 3 - 20160819-McCarthyFirstLook_0008.jpg
Part 3 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0046.jpg
Part 3 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0065.jpg
Part 4 - 20160819-McCarthyCeremony_0076.jpg
Part 4 - 20160819-McCarthyCeremony_0187.jpg
Part 4 - 20160819-McCarthyCeremony_0167.jpg
Part 4 - 20160819-McCarthyCeremony_0231.jpg
Part 5 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0168.jpg

 A few months after we got engaged, we went to NYC for a long weekend to start the venue search. We toured a few iconic places like the Central Park Boathouse and The Plaza Hotel....but the second we climbed the steps of the New York Public Library we knew it was the place. It felt so romantic, this breathtaking white marble structure that housed all the greatest love stories of all time. Patrick, being an architect, started pointing out all the details he loved about the space and for me, having grown up a bookworm reading Jane Austen and Emily Bronte - it was a place that combined our passions and we knew it was perfect!

Part 5 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0199.jpg
Part 5 - 20160819-McCarthyPortraits_0341.jpg
Part 5 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0222.jpg
Part 6 - 20160819-McCarthyCocktails_0046.jpg

Our cocktail hour was in Astor Hall, the Lobby of the Library. It's such a gorgeous space we didn't do anything to it. We added a bar and some candlelight and let the venue speak for itself. We added personal touches by offering signature cocktails that were our real-life favorite drinks and we designed custom cocktail napkins together with different quotes from our favorite love stories and poems: E.E. Cummings, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jane Austen, Lord Byron, Walt Whitman, and more.

Part 6 - 20160819-McCarthyDetails_0043.jpg
Part 6 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0245d.jpg
Part 6 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0232.jpg
Part 6 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0236.jpg
Part 6 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0245.jpg
Part 6 - 20160819-McCarthyPatrickBriana_0245g.JPG
Part 7 - 20160819-McCarthyDetails_0083.jpg
Part 7 - 20160819-McCarthyDetails_0076.jpg

Our first dance was to: Sam Cooke - Nothing Can Change This Love. Patrick and I have always both loved music and share an appreciation of the oldies so something we both agreed on from the beginning of wedding planning was not to have any "current music". To us, there's nothing more awkward at weddings than watching parents and grandma trying to dance to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.  Our guests dined to Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and danced all night to the classics: Earth Wind and Fire, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, James Brown and Rick James to name a few! 

Part 7 - 20160819-McCarthyIntrosDances_0003.jpg
Part 7 - 20160819-McCarthyIntrosDances_0031.jpg
Part 7 - 20160819-McCarthyIntrosDances_0029.jpg
Part 7 - 20160819-McCarthyIntrosDances_0042.jpg
Part 8 - 20160819-McCarthyToasts_0195.jpg
Part 8 - 20160819-McCarthyToasts_0177.jpg

A special shoutout here to my dad, my sister and my brother-in-law for the best wedding speeches ever! They all kept them under a few minutes, they were short and sweet and also had everyone (especially my brother-in-law's speech) in stitches, we noticed some guests crying they were laughing so hard. The speeches were one of the highlights of our night for sure!

Part 8 - 20160819-McCarthyToasts_0139.jpg
Part 8 - 20160819-McCarthyToasts_0228b.jpg

When we fell in love with the library, the front steps and Astor Hall had already sold us, but this private room under the lobby with it's incredible glass ceiling was the icing on the cake. Most people don't know it even exists, but if you ever find yourself at the library, pop your head into the Bartos Forum. It felt like an old Parisian carousel to me and was just a truly magical space. 

Part 10 - 20160819-McCarthyReception_0061.jpg
Part 9 - 20160819-McCarthyCakeCutting_0039.jpg

Our cake was another one of our favorite parts of the evening. So many little details go wrong when wedding planning. For example, our only instruction to the florist was white and green flowers only and no tulips. And sure enough, pink and purple bouquets showed up to the bridal suite that morning that I had to send back, and from each high reception centerpiece hung white tulips haha. There's so much at the end of the day {no matter how hard you plan and how many phone calls and emails to planners and vendors...ugg}, that's completely out of your control. But this cake was done by Madison Lee Cakes, and it was everything we'd dreamed it would be. Patrick and I originally had wanted something simpler, just a 4-tier white cake with gold bands, but when we went to Madison's showroom she had this one on display and Patrick actually was the one who said "that's the one". It really was gorgeous and Madison's attention to detail was amazing. Most people don't care about the cake, but I think since Patrick and I both have design-based jobs, it's something we couldn't help but fully appreciate. Every single flower on our cake is sugar that Madison hand made. It was unreal! At our cake tasting, I had loved a champagne soaked vanilla cake and Patrick had loved the strawberries and cream flavored cake. So, Madison had the idea to join both of our favorites together. We had a champagne soaked cake with fresh strawberries and creme and words can't begin to describe how delicious it was!

Part 10 - 20160819-McCarthyReception_0185.jpg
Part 10 - 20160819-McCarthyReception_0368b.JPG

Our wedding day was truly was magical!

What We've Learned In Our 10 Years Together 

I mentioned on social media, but Patrick and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary together yesterday. So last night over dinner, we chatted about a few things we could share, here it goes:

Don't sweat the small stuff. I feel like deciding to marry someone isn't about who gives you the most butterflies (yes, butterflies are still important) but I think the reality is deciding who you want to fight with and work things through with for the rest of your life. The reality is that disagreements happen. Coexisting with someone and sharing your life fully with someone is hard work, but Patrick and I both say to our friends who ask us, you have to learn to pick your battles, let the little things go, and for the bigger things- know that there's no other person you'd rather be arguing with, forgiving, and moving forward with. 

Know how the other person receives love. There's an amazing book called The Five Love Languages- it's about how people receive love in different ways. When Patrick and I first started dating he would always say "I love you" and think that satisfied his expressions of love. But my love languages are 'physical touch' & 'quality time'. I feel love, not by hearing words, but through affection: hand holding, sitting close on the couch while watching a movie, being out with friends and Patrick crossing a room to give me a little kiss (not in a gross PDA way, but in a little "hi just checkin on you, love ya" kind of way). It was a source of tension at the beginning of our relationship because I grew up with TONS of affection. My parents hugged and kissed my sister and I like crazy and that's how I became programmed to receive love. On the other hand, Patrick's family wasn't as physically affectionate so it never was a way he received love growing up. His love languages are 'words of affirmation' & 'acts of service'. So Patrick would always say "I love you" because it's how HE received the feelings of love. So, to show Patrick love, I use words, not only " I love you" but also "thank you" -  "thank you for taking out the garbage", "thank you for cooking dinner", "thank you for walking the dog", etc. And acts of service (i.e. when he gets stuck working late at the office and I have dinner ready when he gets home or a glass of wine poured or the dog's already been walked). I think you get the idea. But without knowing HOW your partner receives love and feels loved, we do what we personally would want and expect, not realizing it doesn't work that way. Read the book, thank me later!

Keep dating each other. This was something that became really important after we moved in together. When you're so comfortable with someone and so content it's easy to fall into patterns of doing the same thing every day and for us, it was becoming complete home bodies. Friday and Saturday nights meant a bottle of wine and renting the newest movie out on iTunes, most of the time also being on our phones or laptops, working on opposite ends of the couch like roommates. That had to come to an end! There were Friday's we'd do happy hours with friends or the occasional group dinner, or birthday party that would draw us out into the world, but we never just went out for drinks just the two of us or had spontaneous night's out on the town without friends. It's something we try to do a lot more now. And the nights we do stay in, we try to put the phones and computers away. 

Keep other people out of your relationship. It's easy to vent to a girlfriend over a glass of wine about a recent argument or to text a sibling and say "we're fighting about XYZ". We've come to realize that involving other people in your relationship does nothing but cause bigger problems. You start having friends or family members that think they know the ins and outs of your relationship because of that one argument you mentioned, or that one time you said something negative about the other person. Everyone has flaws and you accept them in your partner in order to have a successful relationship and move forward together, but outside people can cling to these negative things. In addition to that, the advice people tend to give is usually biased and based on their own personal experiences, which will be different than yours anyway. The only person you should vent to about the inner workings of your relationship is the other person involved. If you can't find a solution to the problem and really struggle to move past an argument, then consider seeking outside help from an unbiased third-party.

Learn to love "middle ground". Patrick and I always say the best thing that happened when we moved in together was that we learned how to effectively communicate! When we argued before we moved in together, it usually involved a hang up or "I'll talk to you later", followed by a few hours or a day without speaking until we were ready. Moving in together changed all of that. We couldn't run away anymore or ignore each other. We had to learn to argue and still coexist in the same space for the rest of the day or night. Even for the first few years living together, when we'd fight, I'd always want to talk about it until we worked it out and Patrick always wanted to take some time {like the entire night!} to calm down and talk about it in the morning. I never wanted to wait until the next day and Patrick never wanted to keep talking so...dead end. We found middle ground by agreeing to wait an hour or so after a disagreement to collect our thoughts and calm down before trying to work it out. Then, even more middle ground is needed. Patrick and I are both very opinionated, passionate people which makes arguments difficult, and "agreeing to disagree" usually isn't a real true resolution to an issue. Since we both work hard in our marriage not to sweat the small stuff, the things we actually do argue about are usually deeper. The only way to move past them is so both agree to work on things about ourselves for the other person. Not to change who we are, but we challenge each other to self-improvement {which is never easy to hear at the time, that one of us is "doing something wrong"}. We've just learned after all this time, that if we each work a little bit on ourselves, our relationship is able to come out on the other side of it all, better and stronger than it was before.