I’m going to treasure this post for years to come, I just know it.
The past three months have been a whirlwind.
New jobs, graduate classes, babysitting, learning the ins and outs of marriage and financial responsibility, establishing and maintaining a business, new puppy, family events, social lives. Yeah, we’ve been busy.
But today, I decided it was time. Honestly, I should have made time to write about it sooner. To make it permanent. The pictures, the memories, Give them their own little space in the universe. A space where years from now, when we’re old and gray, we can sit down in our rockers and revisit the day we became one flesh in the eyes of God.
July 28, 2012. Our wedding day.
The feelings floating around me when I awoke that morning were indescribable. I couldn’t believe it was finally here. This day we had planned for, orchestrated in its entirety, hoped for, prayed to come had made its arrival. My nerves completely left me. I was no longer anxious, I was ready to see my groom, take his hand, and become his wife.
I spent the morning getting ready with all my girls. There were mimosas. There was laughing, tears, dancing, and more laughing. There was Prosecco, there was Panera. And of course, there was doing the Wobble in our britches before we put our gowns on.
And then, there was this moment. When my Mama came in the room to give me all her love and wisdom as mother of the bride. And then, there was more tears, more laughter, more love. You see, NONE of what occurred on our wedding day would have been possible without this woman. She would have gone to the moon and back to make sure the day was more than perfect. And it was. For this, Matt and I are forever indebted to my angel mother.
An Etsy garter, “Duke Blue,” of course.
The shoes, Manolo Blahnik’s Something Blue.
Something old, and treasured; my Nana Pat’s pearls.
Included in my bouquet were two sweet grass flowers from our trip to Charleston, where Matt proposed. My flowers were also wrapped in my Nana’s handkerchief. All my girls also had antique handkerchiefs that were wrapped around their bouquets as well, each displaying their monogram in cobalt blue.
The tent was magical, completely set the mood we were going for. All centerpieces and decorations designed and hand crafted by my mother, with tender love. She, and a team of dedicated aunts, put this masterpiece together.
Our cake was created by my friend, Jennifer Housden. The delectable creme brulee cupcakes were made by Ginger Harvey of Happy Cakes. They were such a hit, and inspired by dessert we had in Charleston the night we were engaged.
Our guest book alternative was a blessing tree where our guests could express their prayers of blessing for our marriage. We recently sat down and read them all. They were so touching, and we’re glad to have them as a keepsake.
This sign was hand crafted by my Daddy.
Antique lanterns lined the brick aisle.
Matt and I chose to do a first look for several reasons. The most obvious one was the portrait opportunity that results from first looks. I wanted a relaxed and intimate portrait experience, and that’s exactly what we got, thanks to Amanda.
These images were my favorite from the day. It was also helped our timeline tremendously. After the ceremony, all we had to do were the formal family portraits because all the bridal party pictures were already done.
I don’t know what we would have done without this big group of people, and all of their even bigger hearts during this time in our lives. They were each, in their own amazing ways, our rocks, confidants, our people.
Having both families suffered loss of those we love dearly, we counted ourselves blessed to have our grandparents who were able to make it to the wedding. It’s funny how the absence of a presence you want with your entire heart can make your heart fonder of those whose presence is still here.
Roses placed by sisters in vacant chairs in memory.
Daddy and I have been on several walks before, Lord willing this won’t be the last, but it was certainly my favorite.
My calm facade faded quickly when I laid eyes upon my Mama, weeping. Like Mama, like daughter. At this moment, I lost composure and was consumed in sweet emotion.
Always Daddy’s Boo Boo. He said he would never give me away, but he “reckoned” he would share me with Mappayew.
And there I stood with the Santerre twins, marrying mine and his brother officiating. How amazing that Thomas could perform our ceremony! My oldest brother, Mikey also blessed us by sharing scripture and telling of the miracles Jesus performed at the wedding in Cana.
It was around this time that Matt said, “I give you this ‘wing.'” And no, I’ll never let him forget it. We have the video.
Scarred for life by the unity candle wax. It took all the strength I could muster to not curse audibly.
In the words of my sister, “Kiss on her, Mappayew!!!”
Why, yes, Pop’s pants did fall down at the end of the ceremony, stealing the show. 😉
And, oh the reception! It was every last bit of the fabulous event we’d hoped it would be, minus the 90 degree heat.
“Crazy Love” by Michael Buble was our first dance. It took us MONTHS to decide on a song for this occasion, but we couldn’t find one we were sold on. Two weeks before the wedding, on one of our first nights in our new home we stumbled across this song. I immediately started crying because I knew this was it. These words were the ones I always scribbled beside my signature when I practiced my new last name. It was perfectly fitting.
A moment 23 years in the making. And as I swayed slowly with my father, I looked over his shoulder to see the tears of a broken hearted friend who had lost hers this year. And I immediately wanted to drop to my knees and just thank God my Daddy was able to walk me down the aisle. I know so many beautiful women who won’t get to have that experience.
Before dinner was served, our dear friend Ryan played an acoustic version of “Stand by Me.” Our DJ, Rick (who I recommend highly), invited all our guests to join us for this dance. With everyone we love by our sides, we took the day in and celebrated.
And for the remainder of the night there was dancing, there was wobbling. There was “You remind me of the babe!” and “Pour Some Sugar on Me!” There was cake smashing and Tebow-ing. There was one helluva maid of honor speech given by Ms. Emily Strickler. There was photobooth-ing and sparkler-ing. There were toasts and laughs. We celebrated life. We celebrated love.
A sincere thank you to every single person who both helped us grow in our love for each other , and who helped this day come together (including our fabulous vendors).
It was the best first night of the rest of our lives.