Celebrating Us

Our “wedding” day was one of the best days. Of course, the day wasn’t without frustration or confusion, and there were some things that got left out, but those things didn’t matter in the end. I remember going to bed that night with no regrets. Win!

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The process of planning a wedding is simultaneously amazing and awful. Our first ideas for this day were the exact opposite of what it evolved into. There was one point where I wanted to throw the entire idea of a ceremony and reception out the window. But I came to my senses with a fresh perspective. Thankfully, it turned into something more funky and original – a reflection of Aaron and I. In no particular order, here are four of my favorite details about that day.
Something Old
If you know me at all, I love second hand items. I found my dress at a tiny consignment shop in Minnesota and had it altered (aka chopped off) to show my fun shoes! The dress was exactly what I had hoped it would be: simple and fun to dance in! I went out of my comfort zone a tad and chose a dress with a deep back. Turned out to be a smart choice. It was not only extremely pretty, but practical since it kept me cool on a hot day!
I found the vintage sarees on Etsy for roughly ten dollars each. (Sarees are about 15 feet of gorgeous, soft fabric.) We used them for backdrops, table decor, and cushions. It was a beautiful pop of color. On that note, my bridesmaids wore such beautiful kurtas! They looked lovely. I’m so happy to have thought of this since it was the MOST comfortable thing they could have possibly worn that day. Lovely, comfy, and elegant.
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Something New
I kept the flowers very simple for a variety of reasons. First, I wasn’t keen on holding a bouquet just for a few moments as we said our vows. Secondly, they weren’t going to last super long, to even to the next day. I chose 10 foot greenery garlands that had bayleaf and rosemary. I also ordered about 5 dozen garden roses. The roses were beautiful accents on the garlands and smelled amazing together!
I ordered flowers from FiftyFlowers.com. We were really impressed with the delivery (since we only ordered them a week or two beforehand!) and they arrived in such wonderful condition. They have a huge selection and great customer service; I’d order from them again!
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Something Yummy
We celebrated our marriage with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. I searched and searched for a restaurant or business that would adhere to a custom menu – a menu I knew would be a hit with guests. Some gave me ridiculous quotes at 20K when I asked for my Lucky Charms and waffles. I picked my jaw up off the floor and considered my options. Eventually I was victorious with the Red Skiff, a local brunch spot in Rockport. I was so happy when someone told me “I smelled bacon and I knew I was in the right place.”
Guests munched on bacon, sausage, mini quiches, fresh fruit, and cheese. We also had a virgin mimosas, a coffee bar, and a cereal bar! To top it off, we had waffles with all the toppings!
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Something Blue
Aaron and his groomsmen stole the show. Not only are these young men so incredibly patient with a bossy bride, but they are not afraid of the dance floor. I’ve gone to way too many events where the men line the walls. No fun! I loved watching Aaron and his boys dance. And of course, I loved dancing with them to the beat of Bollywood, Latin, and everything inbetween.
I remember a party a few years ago where Aaron and I came with different people, but danced together to a Katy Perry song. In that moment, as friends, I recall having so much fun with him. We laughed and laughed. It was like we were the only two people in the room and no one else mattered. I am so happy that we’re here and we have friends who LOVE to get down and move their hips.
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It was weird and wonderful to see all of our worlds colliding. I wish there were more excuses to gather together than just weddings and funerals. We are so blessed to have people in our lives that pray with us, answer our questions, and cheer us on. It was so incredible to have our Maryland/Alaska, college, and church friends with family on that day. (I hear rumors that some of you may have started some new friendships thanks to that day.)
A very memorable day in the books. Thank you for celebrating with us, near or far!
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Messy hair and big smiles. No other way to end that day.
VenueRockport Community House DJ – Seth McKinney PhotographerSteven Schultz Dress – Consignment ShoesSteve Madden  RentalsBoston Rustic Wedding Rentals FlowersFiftyFlowers.com Catering – Red Skiff ProgramsSLCreative Designs on Etsy GuestbookArtifact Uprising BalloonsHomeStyleDivas on Etsy

The 11th Bridesmaid

“These past days have easily been the best days of my life.” I texted my mom. It wasn’t just the sentiment of a wedding, nor the pretty dresses and makeup that defined that week as the best. I look back and see shared meals, friendships, and still feel the soreness in my core from all the laughing.

Last week one of my best friends married her sweetheart in Tennessee. Another long time best friend and fellow bridesmaid made the trip to Jackson with me. (After a fun weekend in Austin, Texas.) It had been a while since the three of us had been together in one place; perhaps a couple years. What a wonderful reunion it was in that (tiny) Memphis airport.

In 2012 before our Senior banquet; our last year seeing each other everyday.
Selfie in the Houston airport while traveling to Jackson, TN.

As one of 11 bridesmaids (and only knowing two of them previously), I knew I had lots of names and faces to memorize quickly. Fortunately, the living arrangements made it easier to remember. The bride-to-be warned us it would be similar to Little Women for the next few days. That description hit the mark as our eyes met the huge harp in the middle of the living room, next to the cozy fireplace and well-stocked bookcases. It was dreamy, honestly. Right out of a Jane Austen novel.

Just a few bridesmaids at Kels’ 4th bridal shower.

This house held a variety of young women each night. In addition to the 5-6 girls that lived there through the school year, space was made for other friends and bridesmaids. I’d like to say the count got as high as 10-11 girls one night. This 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house was full! Let it be known, these girls, my fellow bridesmaids and new friends were beautiful inside and out. Creative, devoted, talented, extremely smart, and humble; I couldn’t get enough of them.

 

Looking at the wrong camera, oh well!

Wedding day came fast. It felt similar to Christmas morning. Sleepy eyes and happy smiles gathered together at the top of the stairs to finish up the final details of the veil and cover ups. Once at the church, curling irons were turned on and the final preparations were made. I kid you not, there was a cloud of hairspray in that room. If only you could have seen the bobby pins, make-up, and shoes that were scattered all around, strategically of course.

Soon we all linked arms with a groomsman and (slowly) walked down the aisle. Approximately 200 pairs of eyes watched as the bride entered with one of the biggest smiles I’ve ever seen. The ceremony was so “them” and could not have gone any smoother. One of their priorities was for their relationship to mirror the marriage between Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:22-32) This is something I admired and believe was executed beautifully. This wasn’t just a simple exchange of vows, it was the entrance into a sacred covenant between God and man. I loved every second, it was so special.

 

Each bridesmaid got to pick her own style of dress.

Marriage is a much larger picture than just romance or being together “forever”. It mirrors Christ’s perfect love for His imperfect church, which is essentially the Gospel in a nutshell. He loves unconditionally with grace, truth, faithfulness, patience, (and all the other fruits of His Spirit), despite our sin. Earthly partnerships such as marriage are limited to Earth. (Matthew 22:29-30, Mark 12:24-25, Luke 20:34-36) I’m thankful for that! Because of my Savior’s sacrifice, my sins are no more, I’ve been sanctified by His blood (something a husband could never do.) I want to spend my forever with Him.

We were among the last few to leave the reception. Such a fun memory to run outside, practically barefoot and “cold” in 40 degree air, and wave the happy couple off as they drove down the street. I had to keep reminding myself, “she’s getting married, not dying.” Hah! What a beautiful thing to be married! And, what an amazing thing to watch one of my dearest friends begin a life with her love.

Off they go! #blurry

Merry Christmas!