It’s been almost six months since our wedding – time is flying! In honor of our almost-six-month mark, I want to share it with you.
I was surprisingly calm all day – if you know me, you would have thought I would be nervous and jittery. But I was all smiles, and simply ready to get married. From what I hear, John Mark seemed the same way! Neither of us were worried about the outcome or the weather, we just knew that by the end of the day, we would be married and off to our new life together. (Also, thanks essential oils for helping me stay level-headed). Just to give you a peek at how chill I was, one of my bridesmaids took this picture about an hour before the ceremony, after we had taken all of our formal pictures:
Back to seriousness – I was overwhelmed by the amount of help we received throughout the entire engagement process, day before and of our wedding, and we couldn’t have done it without all of these wonderful people – some of whom I don’t even know about, I’m sure! Most of the day was sunny and hot, but right before the ceremony, rain started to pour – which didn’t stop many friends and family from coming. It rained through the entire wedding, and cleared up just in time for our outdoor reception. We had removed tablecloths, centerpieces, and the photo booth so everything wouldn’t get soaked, and many of our guests (in their wedding clothes) helped dry up tables and put everything right back where it belonged. By the time we walked back outside after toasting and greeting a few people, it looked perfect. We were so humbled by this visual of how many people love and support our marriage to the extent that they served us no matter the circumstances (or outfit).
We got married in my hometown, at Athens State University, and pictures by Elles Photography of Athens, Alabama. We had an indoor wedding with an indoor/outdoor reception of heavy hors d’ouvres – emphasis on the heavy (and delicious) – that my honorary aunt and her friend were in charge of. Seriously, they cooked everything and set it all up beautifully.
My bridesmaids, flower girl, and I had so much while we were getting ready. We listened to music (AKA the wedding playlist I made), ate food, and just generally hung out like we normally would.
These sweet bridesmaids of mine and my lovely mom presented me with a scrapbook filled up with pictures and notes from each of them. I had no idea and was so surprised and thankful to have such a sweet memory to hold on to – tears were shed. My hair was done by Andrea, a friend of mine, and she did a wonderful job! I did my own makeup because I was of the “well I can do it just fine, so why pay for it?” mentality. Again. Too chill. Andrea and her assistant did all of my bridesmaids’ hair and they either did their own makeup or had each other help out. There was a lot of love going on. 🙂
My mom did help me get ready, but I guess she technically still had a first look after Andrea secured my veil. After that, I met my dad, then my brother, and last John Mark for a first look with each of them. They were such sweet moments that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Earlier in the summer I had bought John Mark and personalized pocket watch and a Moleskine journal that I wrote in almost every day of our (a little over 3-month long) engagement. He was completely surprised, and that was my favorite part. 😉
The Mr. and Mrs.
I found my dress at The Something Blue Shoppe in Hartselle, Alabama. I wanted head-to-toe lace, and I wanted a train. I thought I wanted something super flowy, but I surprised myself! My mom mentioned Audrey Hepburn to the person helping us, and he immediately brought this gorgeous dress with a lace “jacket” with a collar to go over it. I fell in love. I’m a firm believer in covering up more – I want to draw more attention to Christ, less to myself, and save anything else for my husband eyes only. So, we had the jacket affixed to the dress and lined to my liking. I don’t mind telling because 1) I want to share my convictions about modesty. 2) It looks like it came that way, amiright??
John Mark got a new black suit, and so kindly wore this tie I found that would blend both his groomsmens’ ties, and my girls’ dresses perfectly. If I had gotten him a full bright pink tie, he probably wouldn’t have been so accomodating. 😉 We compromised! And he looked handsome. I just love him.
The Wedding Party
John Mark and I had eight attendants each. That makes for a very long line of people – and we loved it! Like I said, we’re blessed with so many loving friends and family. These were several of our helping hands before and after the wedding. They were emotional and moral support throughout the entire day, and from what I hear, they helped with clean-up after the wedding (around ten at night). Not to mention their help after the rehearsal the night before. There are true servants in these pictures.
We loved our family pictures! By this point, it was starting to rain and thunder some, so we all retreated indoors where we finished up pictures quickly before guests started arriving early. Each and every one of the people pictured is so special to us, and we’ll always treasure having these too look back on. We have every variation of family members (mostly immediate).
Before the Ceremony
I don’t have pictures of this part of the day, but it’s worth sharing. The wedding party and I had been watching the rain pour and guests scuffle in, and I remember thinking how perfect it was. I wish my guests didn’t have to get wet in the rain! But the rain didn’t matter in terms of the wedding. I was surrounded by my friends and family, and I was about to get married, and it was perfect. Then matron of honor led my other seven bridesmaids and me in a prayer before they were all called out to line up. She prayed for all of us, our friendship, and John Mark and me.
They all went out to line up in order of the ceremony, I hugged my parents so my dad could take my mom to her seat, then one of my directors came in and said, “OK, I’m going to leave you alone now. It’s just you and God.” She turned and left, and I immediately started to pray – it was the first time I had been alone all day. I prayed for John Mark and my marriage, the ceremony, and I distinctly remember thanking God over and over for helping me get to where I was that day. For John Mark. For my family. For everything, as I held back my first real tears of the day (while smiling the whole time). It seems terrifying to be completely alone directly before you walk down the aisle, but I suggest this to anyone getting married. It is scary when they tell you you’re about to be alone, but I’m so thankful for this short time I had to recognize that it wasn’t all about us. It the first time I had really been alone all day when I could just breathe and remember that God deserves all of the glory. It was exactly what I needed right before I walked down the aisle to my husband.
I wanted the room to be light, simple, and cheerful to minimize the amount of clutter and work since our reception was going to be larger. So we did window coverings (which were more work than I expected, really), a white pergola with minimal decoration, one big flower arrangement, and lanterns down the aisle.
Both John Mark and I aren’t fond of standing in front of people for long periods of time, so we opted for a short and sweet ceremony that both glorified God and showed who we are. Our good friend and John Mark’s former roommate performed the ceremony, and my uncle led us in an opening prayer before we began. Another of our good friends played the songs I picked out on the piano. Three of them are popular songs, and another is instrumental. The piano gave the ceremony just the right amount of class. Our grandparents and moms were escorted down the aisle to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles (I love them), the rest of the party walked to “Glasgow Love Theme” and my dad escorted me to “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri (also The Piano Guys). We walked back down the aisle to “I Do” by Colbie Caillat, and went on to the reception. It all felt like a dream, but I remember so much more than I expected to after such a busy day – I’m so thankful for that!
Wedding and Reception Details
The ring bearer pillow was so very important to me. My mom made it out of one of her dad’s button-down shirts that he used to wear to work. I also had my mom’s wedding handkerchief wrapped around my bouquet stems.
Programs // John Mark’s brother designed the inside pages of the program for us. After we got those back, we used antique-style scrapbook paper for the front and back cover with a strip of lace down the front. My mother-in-law sewed them together (yes, sewed).
Guest Book // Our guest book was a large note-taking Bible. We asked that our guests highlight a verse and sign their names. Unfortunately the rain hindered this part a bit, but I have pictures of most of who was there, plus their RSVP cards! And the places that are highlighted and signed are treasures.
Our reception was amazing. I picked a classy/vintage theme, and we used mostly china for eating and drinking (much of it was my grandmother’s), regular silverware (wrapped in handkerchiefs as napkins) with lots of lace and floral touches. Most of the decor were gifts I was given and sentimental items. My honorary aunt had prepared food for everyone and set it all up beautifully. I didn’t get to see the finished product (or my finished cake!) until after the ceremony, and I was so happy with the results.
Photo booth // We went with a more casual photo booth where people could just take pictures with their personal cameras or phones instead of asking the photographer to provide another service. Everyone enjoyed just hanging out – and playing dress up 😉
Our venue was understandably strict (because it is a college campus that tries to stay clean and professional) about what we chose to be thrown at us when we left. I Googled all different kinds of confetti and found something called Ecofetti. It was biodegradable which helped tremendously on the clean-up end I’m sure. And it was pretty when they threw it! A couple of friends helped me make little cones out of old book pages to put it in.
Memory table // The memory table was actually a piano. It contained pictures of deceased loved ones plus dried bouquets from weddings I’ve been in or to, my mom’s veil, and ribbons from my mother-in-law’s wedding bouquet. The sweetheart table had similar items.
Toomer’s Lemonade // John Mark and I met in Auburn, and Toomer’s Drugs (a drugstore right downtown) is a big part of Auburn’s culture. The lemonade was something we could fit into the wedding without having orange and blue thrown around everywhere, making the theme look tacky. Our lemonade stand was very popular!
The Reception and Leaving
We had a white-grape-juice-punch toast and fed each other cake. We had made a deal not to smash it in each other’s faces. Sorry. 😉 After most people were done eating I did a bouquet toss. John Mark decided to throw and Auburn football – we find the garter toss terribly awkward, so we changed it up a little. After an evening full of memories and loved ones, we were seen off by a tunnel of people, flying confetti, Spongebob, and orange balloons. I wouldn’t have had this night go any other way.
OK, you knew it was coming. Our wedding video. Another friend (we have so many loyal friends) shot this video for us, and did such a great job with all of the music and edits. I’ve watched it at least one hundred times, and it never gets old. You can watch it here.
// What we wanted most out of the wedding was for it to be Christ-centered – a wedding in which we could glorify God through our actions, ceremony, vows, and even the act of being married because it all points back to Him. He’s the reason we live and breathe, the reason we were standing there that day, and the reason we get to strive to go to heaven together.
We wouldn’t have been standing there without the guidance of our families and close friends because they helped to make us who we are. It was such an honor to be able to share this milestone in our lives with people we love and look up to. It was a blessing to have had so many of our closest friends and family there to witness this and celebrate with us.
While I know some of my readers don’t know who these people are, I want you to know that they’re reflections of Christ. The people I mentioned and the ones we were able to share it with that day are all, in some form or fashion, reflections of Christ because of their servant’s hearts and big love. They each came to be with us as we vowed to each other in the presence of our Lord because of that love.
And I don’t think I’ve ever been more humbled.