Category Archives: Wedding

The Ceremony

I remember those small moments leading up to the ceremony. We had moved to a nursery room because the bridal room had grown uncomfortably warm. My bridesmaids and I made small talk, but I was so nervous that I just couldn’t think about anything else! Throughout this whole planning process, including the weeks and days leading up to the wedding, I hadn’t been nervous. It was an absolute no-brainer to marry Andrew. He’s my best friend and I can’t even imagine my life without him – as cheesy as that may be. What was there to be nervous about?

Oh, my. Many things, apparently.

Our day-of-coordinator pulled open the door, letting us know that the ceremony was starting; my brothers were lighting the candles down the aisles and on the stage. We lined up behind the door and I had to refrain from peeking through the curtains. I wanted to see what was going on! This is my wedding!!

238b+aI was jittery, but then I thought of my brothers and their silly mustaches in front of everyone we know and I couldn’t help but feel better. As I looked at the groomsmen and my bridesmaids, I couldn’t get over how good we all looked! It’s one thing to see wedding party pictures of other people – but these were my friends, my family—and they looked absolutely perfect. I took another deep breath as the groomsmen began to escort the bridesmaids down the aisle.

My eight-year-old cousin was our flower girl and she whispers that she is nervous. I tell her that she is going to be perfect and she keeps inching closer to the door, ready for her turn. My brothers are pulling the aisle runner down now and my dad starts to chuckle, informing me that they are pulling it crooked. I roll my eyes and try not to giggle. Then they are passing me and out in the foyer. They grin at me and then walk back to their seats.

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And then I hear my song: “To Make You Feel My Love” by Adele; my aunt is playing the acoustic version on the piano and it is dramatic and beautiful and perfect. I grip my dad’s arm, take a deep breath, and step out with my father. I am suddenly so overwhelmed by the sea of family and friends that I see before me. I can’t stop the tears that instantly prick my eyes or the enormous smile that crosses my face.

283b+a 288b+a I hear a hissed “slow down!” behind me, our coordinator informing my dad and I that we are walking too fast. I was just too excited to rush out there! It’s my turn, guys! I cannot believe all of the people that are there, for me and Andrew. I’m not crying, I remember distinctly focusing on not crying, but my eyes are moist because I cannot believe the amount of love we are surrounded by.

290b+aAnd then I remember to look at Andrew. I was so distracted that I forgot to look at my own groom! At this point, he is walking down the stage and I see him take a deep breath and wipe a tear from the corner of his eye. I melt. I had no idea how he would react seeing me walk down the aisle, but I wanted to make him cry (I promise I’m not a sadist) and it made me want to cry knowing that I made him cry!

But I just can’t stop smiling as my dad gives me away and then awkwardly hands me over to Andrew. I give my father a quick kiss on the cheek and then my hand slides into Andrew’s, like it has so effortlessly in the past. He squeezes it as our pastor says a prayer.

 Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me. Ruth 1:16-17

A good friend of mine reads the verses from Ruth as Andrew helps me up the stairs to the stage… except I’m stepping on my own dress and get stuck! I just giggled at myself as we somehow managed to get up there without falling and ripping my dress!

319b+aThe rest of the ceremony is honestly just a blur and I only remember moments. I remember the tears filling in Andrew’s eyes as he said his vows. He slipped my wedding band onto my finger. I remember thinking as I said my vows that some of the words sounded so strange–does my voice sound weird? And then without thinking I’m slipping Andrew’s ring onto his finger — but on the wrong hand! I laugh and try to just flip to his other hand without everyone noticing, and our pastor says, “Eh, whichever hand works!” Everyone laughed and I put the ring on the right hand this time. :)

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We light our unity candle and wax drips all over my hands but it doesn’t burn. A close friend sings “God Gave Me You,” by Dave Barnes, as we give our mothers their roses and hug family. At some point I lose my veil – I remember thinking, hmm, that’s not supposed to be on the floor, haha, so I just pick it up and throw it on the pew. I wasn’t going to try to put it back in my hair by myself! My mom mentioned later that she didn’t even notice that it fell, so I felt pretty smooth. ;)

And then, Andrew is dipping me and kissing me and everyone is cheering and I am so full and so happy that nothing could ever compare to that moment, that moment being surrounded by so much love and joy that I am just overflowing.

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This is the third post in a series about my wedding. You can also read about my rehearsal dinner and the morning of my wedding. :)

The Morning Of My Wedding

7:00AM. My first thoughts: I’m getting married today.

I get up – there’s no point trying to sleep anymore now that I’m awake. I walk through the house that I will call my home for the last time and can’t help but get a little nostalgic. I will of course always be welcome, but it won’t be my home anymore. For a homebody, it’s a big step. :)

My mom is up by now and she greets me with a big bear hug that makes me tear up a little. She offers to cook me breakfast but I don’t really have an appetite anymore. My aunt and uncle from out of town stayed with us for the night, and my uncle offers to take everyone out to eat for breakfast, but I decline – I have so many things running through my head!

17b+aThere was a lot of small last minute things I needed to do – whoops! I forgot to pick out Dollar Dance songs for the DJ, so I spent fifteen minutes or so listening to different songs before finally settling and texting them to the DJ. I had also forgotten to print out schedules and questions for the shoe game (will talk about that later during the reception :) ). I was literally running around the house, slightly crazed, making sure that I hadn’t forgotten anything!

35b+aBut then, I had everything done and was just waiting on my sister. The plan was for all the bridesmaids to meet at church at 10:00AM to do our hair and makeup. My sister went to eat with the rest of my family, so I just waited for her, nervous that this was going to push our time off for the rest of the day.

16b+a22b+aWe make it to church at about 10:30 and carry all our fans and bags into the bridal room. The room has fans, but no air conditioning, so we brought our own to keep it cool. I walked through the sanctuary and the foyer to make sure everything was set up how it had been a couple nights ago and I take a deep breath. This is happening!

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My sister, the saint that she is, did my hair and my makeup. Everywhere I looked, it was going to be over $100 just to do my hair, and that was before makeup! I just couldn’t justify spending that much and Rachel did an amazing job. It still looked like me, but was nicer than I ever wear it! She also did another bridesmaid’s hair, so she didn’t have a lot of time to do her own hair and makeup. I felt bad, but she still looked amazing!

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Andrew and the groomsmen arrived at noon (must have been nice! ;P) as did the photographer. She was cracking up, telling me that they couldn’t figure out how to fold the pocket squares! ;P I didn’t even notice until after we got our pictures back that they still folded them wrong. Haha, but if that was the biggest thing that went wrong I was happy!

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Andrew looking like James Bond!
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Pocket squares are hard…

I wanted to do some of the formal pictures before hand, that way the first time Andrew would see me was when I walked down the aisle. She started with Andrew and his family and then moved to my side. My girls and my mother helped me into my dress. I was a bit too nervous as the last couple times I tried it on it was uncomfortably tight. I was nervous that I would pull an Elizabeth Swann and pass out – but I could breathe and we were good!

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When I walked inside the sanctuary, the first person I saw was my eldest brother, Ryan, with this huge, fake mustache on. I burst into laughter and marched over to him and grabbed his mustache, trying to take it off. Except… it wouldn’t come off! He was swatting my hands away, assuring me that, yes indeed, the ‘stache is real. Then I turned to see Steven, who had dressed as a homeless man just the night before, sporting the same (albeit less full and bushy) mustache.

The mustaches. I still can't get over the mustaches.
The mustaches. I still can’t get over the mustaches.

“Oh, my gosh.”

I could not stop laughing. They looked absolutely ridiculous! Every time I looked at them, I couldn’t help but laugh. I didn’t find this out until later either, but they had both brought their razors in case I got really mad and wanted them to shave it off. But I thought it was so funny. They looked just like my dad! So much mustache. It helped calm my nerves though, as I waited afterwards in the bridal room as guests started to arrive, thinking about their mustaches.

I am so excited to be sharing my special day with you guys! This is the second post in a series about my wedding. Read about my rehearsal dinner and my ceremony next!