Once the car was packed we were on our way to Wilmington. The 7 hour trip flew by for Kevin and I. Of course we were super excited to get down there, but we also had great conversations the whole way down about the past 7 years of our lives together and how it was all about to change...for the better of course!
Once we arrived we went straight to the house my parents rented in downtown Wilmington, which was super cute and huge. It was only a mile from the wedding venue which was another added bonus. At that point my mom was the only one in town. My dad stayed back in Raleigh for a few extra hours to pick up Devin and Dwayne from the airport. It was nice to have just our family in the house for the first night.
The next morning after little sleep (I had been a bit anxious and wasn't sleeping great) I popped up and went for my usual early morning run. I decided to head towards the water because I would pass The Brooklyn Arts Center on my way. I hadn't seen it in about 2 months so I was dying to see how much had been done since we'd seen it last. Unfortunately when I got there no one was there yet so the doors were locked. However, I hadn't seen any of the final product for the courtyard (which is where our ceremony was to be held). I walked around back and was in complete awe of the how it turned out. I loved every little detail from the shells in the cemented ground, to the beautiful landscaping, as well as the gorgeous steps. Let's rewind a little and go back to when we first looked at BAC they showed me the courtyard that consisted of an open area with scraps and a dumpster, one of the reasons I wasn't too sure if I could see myself getting married there. I could not have grasped how beautiful it would turn out. On one of our visits Rich (he runs BAC) took me out back and showed me the winding steps over to the side that I was going to have to go down. I made a comment about how accident prone I was and that it may be a challenge to get down those winding steps without falling or tripping up. I guess I also commented that it would be odd to come out of a door directly behind the guests and then to have to walk over to the side, go down those steps, and then walk back over to where the guests/aisle would be. Well... Rich definitely listed to what I said and had beautiful grand steps built so that when brides walk out the door they can go straight down wide, non-curvy steps. I thought that was really neat that he listened and wanted to do something about it. To top it all of he had done a little more than just build the steps. Now let's fast forward back to when I was out for my run and stopped by the BAC to look at the courtyard. I walked around and looked at every detail knowing in two days I would be back to walk down that aisle and marry Kevin. To the right was a cute little bench. I looked closer and there was a plaque on it with someones name. I didn't know the name but thought it must be someone special to BAC. Then I walked over to take a look at the final product of those steps they had built. I looked closer and there was a plaque on the steps as well. I looked even closer and realized MY name was on them.
Rich had named the steps after me. I couldn't believe it. To most it may seem like no big deal, but to me it meant a lot. From the day I called Rich sobbing hoping he had some amazing venue I could use (right after we were canceled on by Orton Plantation) he was so good to us. And to think he named the steps the "Bre Gurley" steps and that plaque would be there forever. I was pretty excited. I made sure to take a few pictures with my i-phone and took off for the rest of my run
You can sort of see the plaque behind me in this picture
Once I was back to the house I couldn't wait to share the news about the plaque on the steps. My dad was up at this point so I showed him and he was just as excited as I was.
I spent the rest of the morning getting things put together for the wedding weekend. A lot of it had to stay packed up so we could get it down to Wilmington. I started by putting together the hotel bags. They turned out so cute. They were little navy bags with a B&K sticker on the front. Inside they had a map of downtown Wilmington, directions to the rehearsal dinner as well as the wedding from each hotel, a water with our B&K logo, crackers, candy, gum, pretzels, chips, etc. As everyone began waking they began helping. We ran out of maps so Dwayne jumped on his skate board and wheeled on downtown to grab us a few more. I thought it was so cute.
Once we were done putting a few other things together we had to sort everything into where it was to be delivered. We loaded the car and headed off on our pre-wedding errands. First stop was the Brooklyn Arts Center to check out the final product inside :). WOW is all I could say. It was incredible. It truly made me realize that "everything does happen for a reason". I would never have picked an indoor location, but this was perfect. It was rustic, and beautiful, with some outdoor aspects as well as indoor. And...we were the FIRST to get married there...how cool! My whole family was in awe. We couldn't wait to see what it would look like on our wedding day. Once were were done there my mom, sister and I headed off to meet Claire and get our nails done. We all got manicures and pedicures. It was so fun to sit and talk about the upcoming days with such special people all the while getting pampered. Once we were done there we headed off to make a delivery of wedding goodies to Salt Harbor Designs. They were doing all of the floral, table set-ups, favors, etc for us. We brought them the programs, lemon topiary, favors (flip flops and koozies) and a few other items.
Once we were done there we headed down to see my cousins, aunts and uncles that had rented a house on Wrightsville Beach. We spent the rest of the evening hanging with them eating crab cakes and other goodies and playing with the dogs on the beach. It was such a fun time being surrounded by all the people I love for such a fun occasion. Later that night we headed back to the house to wait on the arrival of the Fishers as well as Ren and Justin. I couldn't wait for them to arrive. I knew it would begin to feel like it was my wedding weekend as more of my favorite people got there.
Below are a few pictures of how the Brooklyn Arts Center @ St. Andrew turned out... we could never have imagined it becoming this breathtaking!
This is main room where our receptions was held. The DJ set up in that alcove in the center and up and to the right is a HUGE balcony overlooking the entire room. You can see the combination of circular and rectangular tables for our guests. The windows are the original stained glass windows.
This is the area where we had the buffet set up
The house next door is where the girls got ready. This is a comfy little living room in that house where we lounged.
This is a beautiful emblem of the BAC on the floor.
To the left is the Brooklyn Arts Center and to the right is the little mansion house we got ready in and spent the day. Behind the house is the courtyard where the ceremony took place.