Admittedly, it was naive to think we would post our first blog on our wedding day or even the day following!
I, for one, have been entirely wedding-focused since Wednesday evening all the way up until I had to get up for work today. Yes, work. We’re of that new breed of newlyweds who prefer to come back to work for a week before taking a week off. It’s hard to find the energy now, but I think we’ll reap full benefits of giving ourselves time to unwind from the wedding to unwind on a honeymoon. (Weddings require a different kind of unwinding; believe me).
I’m sure you’re wondering, so let me cut to the chase: Our wedding was perfect.
We spent the better part of the day yesterday recapping all of the events that took place leading up to and during the big day and “perfect” is the only way to describe it. Not that everything happened perfectly, because it didn’t. We had our fair share of hiccups. They included, but were not limited to: Forgetting the veil at the photographer’s studio, Freddy’s suspenders missing a clip, a dress tag left on my sister’s dress by a careless store attendant, and a bridesmaid dress alteration that started and stopped with the pinning (despite a bill for completion).
Not aside from but those things included, the day was still nothing short of perfect.
The weather was gray and gloomy leading up to Saturday but lifted for the weekend. Saturday and Sunday were sunny and cool leaving us just enough time to celebrate with family and friends. Monday welcomed in the rain, making our weekend just that much more special!
Our flowers were beautiful, compliments of Gail Vander Laan (and despite my frantic request to change the entire order the day before it was locked in. Thankfully, Gail persuaded me to stay true to my original vision). It’s certainly a blessing to work with seasoned vendors who can keep their calm when you can’t!
Our flower girls, Fred and my nieces (I already love being an aunt!) were awesome and so excited! They did an excellent job and were beautiful in their dresses, don’t you think? I love these little women!
Our ushers (niece and nephew) matched that excitement and it was great to have our families play such a large roll.
For the ladies, the morning started off at the studio where Freddy and I first met our photographers, Karyn and Joe of Karyn May Photography.
The studio was cold to start but quickly warmed as the bridesmaids, MOB, photographer Karyn, and Echo Salon stylists piled in. We got the tunes going and the mimosas, bagels, and coffee passed around in preparation for the long day ahead of us. We had so much fun swapping stories and getting ready that when we finally looked at the clock, we rushed to get ready and run out the door. That’s when I forgot my veil.
Arriving at Ada Bible in Kentwood was a little hair-raising (but NOT for any fault of the church – our coordinator, Jennifer, was amazing and even talked my lost grandparents to the ceremony for a good 15-20 minutes). My mom and I arrived but we were down all bridesmaids to start.
My sister had to run to a department store to get the security tag removed from her bridesmaid dress with the company of another bridesmaid while my MOH and fourth bridesmaid waited at the studio to see if they could grab my veil. Luckily, they all made it back safely and the veil found its way back to me (Thanks, Karyn!). We had a few hours to kill, so we scarfed down some sandwiches, sprayed our legs tan (or rubbed foundation on them – I’ll spare using a name here!), took our bridesmaids pictures, and lifted some weights to look fit on our walk down the aisle ;).
The men started their day with golfing and experienced their own setback, but I’ll let Fred speak to that when he can slow himself down long enough to write a few words (he’s a constant mover!).
It’s strange but I felt incredibly calm leading up to the start of the ceremony. I didn’t get my first set of butterflies until I was waiting for my dad to come take my arm to lead me down the aisle. Once that happened, I stepped through into a whirlwind that didn’t slow until the next afternoon. I cannot believe how quickly the day went! Everyone warned me but I didn’t realize just how true they were. If I could change anything about the day, I wish I could have communicated how much everyone meant to me. Taken more pictures. Captured it all on video. My heart is so full!
Fred and I had gone back and forth regarding what photographers call a “First Look.” This is when the bride and groom set aside a private moment where they first see each other before the wedding. It can lead to some endearing photographs and allows for more time in the wedding day, but at the last minute, Fred and I decided to be traditional.
The best wedding-planning decision.
I hope we have pictures because the look on Fred’s face when I stepped into the church melted my heart. I’m getting choked up even writing about it. That’s all I can say because I don’t have words to express the emotions that I felt while walking toward him. To put it simply, I have never felt so beautiful as I did on my wedding day and I credit that to my amazing groom and husband <3.
Within the blink of an eye, the wedding was over and my HUSBAND and I jumped on a trolley with our bridal party to celebrate with one another while drinking champagne and a few beers, laughing, and swapping stories. We stopped for pictures along the way (which I will leave under wraps until our photographers publish the professional shots; we are so excited to see them! Karyn and Joe are amazing!) and drove around until it was time for the reception.
Our reception was held in the pavilion at Thornapple Pointe and the venue looked beautiful! My amazing new family went in to decorate in the morning, so the look of the reception was just as exciting to me as to our guests! Walking in, Freddy and I were pointing out all of the details to each other that our family had so lovingly incorporated.
We had a blast. The food was so delicious that we kicked ourselves for not reserving plates to take back with us after the wedding. Smoked pork butt, quartered chickens, sweet potato mash, baked beans, seasonal salad with pumpkin dressing, Stella Artois and Founder’s Pale Ale with an open bar. (We’re foodies, if you weren’t sure!).
The best part about a wedding is that you get to celebrate with (most of) your friends and family. Fred and I are blessed to have such amazing people in our lives. The entire day was about all of us, collectively. Fred and I were the center of attention but we felt the love surrounding us from start to finish. I don’t know if this is the same for all brides, but I felt like people weren’t just excited for a wedding or to see one of their friends/family get married. I consider us lucky because we have friends and family who are excited to see us marry each other.
Fred and I split up for just shy of a year prior to getting back together and marrying. I think it adds a different twist to our story. Our friends and family rejoiced with us when we got back together. They support us as a couple, encourage us, and love us. I love to see my friends married off to someone whom they love but my heart sings out when my friends marry someone whom I love too.
That’s our marriage.
Fred and I aim to carry that torch for years and years to come (’til death do us part!). It’s amazing to have friends and family who love both bride and groom so deeply as a couple; they have invested in us. They make clear their expectation for us to be the best husband and the best wife to one another. They’ve given us a responsibility that we are so willing to work toward!
And I think that’s just how God intended it to be.