Some people feel the weather start to change and want to cling on to the last pieces of summer, wearing shorts and flip-flops for as long as they can manage. (Trust us, you can get away with that for a long time here in Arizona!) Others celebrate winter coming, eager to curl up with hot tea and a good book. Serena and Nick, though? With autumn quickly approaching, they decided to roll with it, delighting in a crisp, cozy, gorgeous fall-inspired home wedding in Chandler! Accents of burnt orange, burgundy, and teal turned their home into a bona fide venue, and I’ve never wanted to eat a tree stump as much as I wanted a piece of that cake.
The day itself was beautiful. The temperatures had finally started to fall, so it was the perfect chance for Serena to snuggle up with her beloved mom, soon-to-be-mother-in-law, soon-to-be-cousin-in-law, and soon-to-be-sister-in-law Sasha as they exchanged giggles and swapped stories. I even got in on the action, setting down my camera to braid Sasha’s hair and help get Serena’s nails picture-perfect!
Nick, meanwhile, was able to horse around with his brother-in-law and soon-to-be-brother-in-laws while they got ready at home themselves, putting on their final touches. Even thinking about it now gets me emotional! In case you don’t remember, I grew up with his sister Sasha. She’s been one of my best friends since we were around 9 years old, and naturally, Nick ended up being like a little brother to me. Knowing he was preparing for this day while I helped his almost-wife get ready herself… it felt like I was gearing up for my own brother’s wedding!
(My son Tristan had a blast, too, taking photos of everything. Think we have a future photographer on our hands?!)
I’m not close with Sasha and Nick only just because we grew up together: we nerd it out over Harry Potter, we attempt to plan trips (and sometimes actually go on those trips!), do young & dumb things like jumping on a wet trampoline (yes, there may have been a cracked ankle and a cast with this story), and hang out whenever we have the chance. Tristan absolutely LOVES bonding with Uncle Nick and Aunt Serena over Mario!
With the sun shining down and a light breeze picking up, the opening notes of The Little Mermaid’s theme signaled it was time. Nick’s suit was perfectly pressed, making him look catalogue-ready while he waited for his beloved, but Serena herself was a vision of beauty when she made her appearance. I always get the feels when the bride makes her appearance, but just knowing that Nick found someone as amazing as Serena to spend his life with, seeing the love they have? Man, if I don’t stop talking about it, I’ll cry all over again. In a good way, I promise.
I bet you can feel their love from the other side of the universe. I know I could feel it before Serena even pulled up her veil. (I wasn’t the only one crying! Even when they swapped heartfelt vows. There were nothing but sniffles when they finally kissed!)
Sasha and her husband, as Matron of Honor and Best Man, gave speeches over champagne toasts (with appropriately-autumnal apple cider for the kids and non-drinkers!), which started the waterworks all over again. Since I have a personal relationship here, it makes sense I’d feel so much about this wedding, but the way that Sasha and Matt talked about Nick and Serena made it clear that Serena and Nick, together, have touched lives. They don’t just care deeply about each other, but also about their loved ones. (I’m tearing up thinking about it! Again!)
There’s nothing like first dances to stop the sniffles, though. Nick and his mom boogied away to classic swinger-style music with spins that made me a little dizzy watching, but it was fantastic! And what’s more fitting for a first newlywed dance than Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid? The cover they chose is so so so romantic!
The garter toss even went well, too. The bouquet… well, that was a little less romantic. Don’t get me wrong, the bouquet itself was super pretty! It just didn’t look quite as pretty when it got stuck in their orange trees 🤣 I feel like it suits Serena and Nick, though. Their love is deep, but they also love to have fun. Serena and Nick even snuck the song from Sasha & Matt’s first dance into the playlist, which brought huge smiles to Sasha and Matt’s faces.
(Serena and Nick even dedicated the last dance of the evening to me and Tristan so we could have our first mommy/son wedding dance. Like I said, they care deeply about their loved ones.)
Words can’t express how happy I am for these two, not even in this blog post. I know that they have plenty of joy to come, and I can’t wait to see it all!
Congrats, Serena and Nick! Alli and I love you!