Our Wedding Day: Getting Ready

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I’ve been loving sharing our wedding pictures and honestly wish I would have started years ago! These pictures are just too good not to share, in my opinion at least! We paid thousands of dollars for wedding photos so I might as well use them!

After our rehearsal dinner on Friday night I went to a fancy hotel with my bridesmaids for the night. We had so much fun snacking out of the vending machine, cramming ourselves into the Jacuzzi tub, and just hanging out.

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One of my favorite parts of our wedding day was getting ready with my Bridesmaids. I went with my Bridesmaids to get our hair and makeup done at a local salon before heading to our wedding venue. We had bagels, mimosas, and fruit at the salon. We took pictures together and talked. I felt so happy and so ready for our big day!

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I arrived at the wedding venue before anyone else so I was able to walk around and see how everything had been setup. It was so peaceful and really helped calm my anxiety!

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My mom and sister helped me into my dress which was a really special moment for the three of us. They are both my best friends and I loved sharing the whole wedding process with them!

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Brett got ready for the day with his groomsmen in one of the camp cabins. We got married at a local summer camp that I attended as a child. I have so many happy memories at camp and I am grateful to have added another amazing memory.

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We had a first look before the ceremony so we took a ton of pictures before the wedding started. I’ll share our first look photos soon!

Thanks for reading!

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Our Love Story: 8 Year Anniversary

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8 years ago today Brett and I went on our first date. Our mutual friend had introduced us through text one night when I was hanging out with her. We hit it off right away and talked everyday for a couple of weeks. Brett finally asked me out on a date while I was at my friend’s cottage on the lake. I was 17 and getting ready for my senior year of high school. Brett was 19 and was starting his junior year of college.

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Our first date was on August 19, 2011 at a mini golf and arcade place in our hometown. I remember seeing him for the first time as he got out of his car and walked towards mine. He was wearing a football jersey for our local university. The same university he was currently attending and I was hoping to attend in a year. I thought he was super cute and sweet.

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After our first date we were pretty much inseparable. We spent the rest of summer 2011 falling in love with each other. He took me to an early hot air balloon launch and we followed the balloons with his car. I navigated while he drove. After that we had breakfast at a cute little diner and then spent the day at the zoo. It was the perfect date day.

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Brett was so supportive during my senior year. He came to marching band competitions, football games, flute concerts, and every graduation occasion.  He took me to prom and we danced the night away together. He helped setup my graduation party and stayed with me the whole day.

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My favorite part of our story is our years in college. Brett was already attending my dream university so we ended up at college together! We both lived on campus my freshman year so we were able to eat meals together, study in the library, and hang out with friends. He helped me get acclimated to college and made the transition so much easier.

My junior year of college was when I decided to study abroad in London. It was a hard decision to make to be gone for 5 months but Brett was very supportive. I had been talking about studying abroad in London the whole time we were dating so he knew it was going to happen. He attended study abroad fairs with me and helped me choose the perfect program in London.

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Studying abroad was hard. This was the most difficult thing we had ever had to go through in our relationship but it made us a lot stronger. We were in different time zones and it was hard to make time to Skype. We planned on Brett coming to visit at the end of the semester with my mom and sister. It felt surreal when they finally bought their tickets!

Brett came a few days early so we could spend time with my new friends and I could show him around. I think he fell in love with London as much as I did during this trip. Once my mom and sister joined us we traveled around London, and to Denmark and Ireland. It was the trip of a lifetime!

The day I had to say goodbye to my friends in London was very memorable. Brett was planning on proposing to me and had been carrying around my engagement ring. He should have told my family his plan though! He left the ring in the safe while we went to dinner with my friends. My mom and sister found the ring box and opened it. While Dani was trying my ring on, my mom was texting her friend. Instead of texting her friend though she texted me on accident! She told me not to tell Brett but he had already seen the text.

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I spent the rest of the trip wondering when Brett would propose. He didn’t propose in Denmark even though my exchange sister had set up the perfect scene. He didn’t propose in Ireland or on our last day in London. On our last night we stayed in a hotel by Heathrow. We went down to the hotel lobby to print our boarding passes and Brett asked me to take a walk with him. It was on that night, on some random road near Heathrow Airport, where Brett asked me to spend my life with him.

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We decided not to do any wedding planning until after graduation. We got engaged in 2015 and planned for a 2017 wedding. Our engagement was also hard. I was only 21 so I felt pretty isolated. Brett and I had been together for 4 years and I expected people to be thrilled for us. Instead I just felt really lonely.

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We graduated in the spring of 2016 and both of us had to figure out what to do next. We started applying for jobs and having interviews on top of planning our wedding. We picked a date, August 19th, 2017, a venue, and I picked a dress. Finally we both landed jobs and everything figured itself out.

In December 2016 we moved into a cute little apartment together and made it into our first semi-permanent home. We both moved around so much in college so it was nice to finally be settled. We had so many great times in that apartment!

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Two years ago, on August 19th, 2017, I finally go to say “I do” and marry my best friend! You can read about my favorite wedding moments here if you are interested! Our wedding was English Garden themed with lots of flowers, music, friends, and family. We collected hundreds of antique teacups for the centerpieces and decor.

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Our honeymoon was in London and we were able to spend two weeks visiting all of our favorite places. It was the best! The last two years of marriage has been filled with ups and downs including buying a house, adopting a dog, changing jobs, etc.

Two years of marriage and six years of dating has flown by. We’ve had so many amazing memories together and I can’t wait for many more to come. Marriage isn’t always easy but it is always worth it.

Thanks for reading!

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Our Wedding Day: The Details

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In honor of our two year wedding anniversary on August 19th I thought I would share a few posts about our wedding day! First up are all of the little details that made our wedding special.

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I spent two years planning our wedding and I love how everything turned out! I had time to consider every detail and put thought and energy into each and every aspect. Things did not turn out exactly the way I planned them but that’s alright! I’m so happy with the end result!

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First up is my dress which I bought at a cute shop called The White Dress in Brighton, MI. It’s a Stella York dress with amazing lace detail on the shoulder straps and back. We added the sparkly belt to add a bit of bling. I loved my dress!

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My ceremony shoes were from Nordstrom but I can’t find them online anymore. I wore Toms for the reception which was smart because my feet hurt so bad from standing in heels for hours. My cross necklace was a gift from my Grandparents for my confirmation in 2007. I always knew that I wanted to wear it for my wedding! My earrings were a last minute purchase from TJ Maxx.

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Our wedding theme was English Garden because we got engaged in London. We spent our two year engagement going to flea markets, antique shops, and estate sales looking for antique tea cups to use for our centerpieces. The lanterns were from IKEA and my dad made the wood slices and table numbers.

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We had our guests sign a photo mat and had it framed to hang in our house. I love walking past it and reading everyone’s notes. The Bailey sign was made by a family friend for my Bridal shower. Another friend made us the shadow box. My dad wood burned the B and H logs.

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Our head table consisted of fairy lights and our bouquets from the ceremony. My favorite part were these two vintage Bailey’s teacups. My mom found the female cup at an antique store and bought it for me as a gift because Brett’s last name is Bailey. We ended up finding the male cup and completing the set before the wedding! We also have the cream and sugar to go with them.

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Our ceremony and reception were at the same venue. However, there was a short walk from the reception hall to the outdoor chapel where the ceremony was. My dad built this sign for us and my sister painted the letters.

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I wanted a welcome sign for when guests first arrived. I bought the chalkboard at IKEA and had my family friend write the words for us. We still have the chalkboard in our house and it’s really cute!

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My Grandpa has a tradition where he makes the card box for each of his grandchildren’s wedding days. Mine was special because he was the landscape artist who designed our wedding venue so he knew exactly what flowers would match. This is one of my favorite pieces from our wedding day and it sits on our dresser in our bedroom so I can look at it everyday.

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Our flowers were one of my favorite parts of the wedding decor. We got married under Wisteria near a field of wildflowers. I wanted our flowers to look very whimsical and wild. My sister’s bouquet is pictured on the left. I asked that our florist put a sunflower in her bouquet because those are her favorite flower.

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Our cake was made by a local bakery and each layer was a different flavor. I wanted our cake to look simple and then have our florist add the finishing touches. I loved how it turned out and it was delicious! Of course, when it came time to cut the cake I made sure to smash it in Brett’s face. He returned the favor and I laughed so hard my eyes were watering!

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Our wedding venue was beautiful! We got married under an arch of wisteria in the middle of the woods. The venue itself is a summer camp that I attended every summer for over 10 years with my sister and cousin. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and so special to our family!

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Our bridesmaid dresses were from David’s Bridal in the color Wisteria. I don’t believe that this current dress is still available. I liked using David’s Bridal because not all of my bridesmaids lived in our area so they could go to their own local store to buy the dress. It was super convenient!

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This picture of the groomsmen plus Brett is one of my all time favorite wedding photos! They are all so stinking handsome! The tuxedos were from Men’s Warehouse and were easy to order and pickup.

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Our wedding day was just so us. It was simple, colorful, and elegant. We were in one of my favorite places, surrounded by people that we love. I loved all of the little details and cherish the time I put into planning everything.

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I hope this brings you some inspiration if you are planning your own wedding! If you are, remember that your wedding day is only one day of your life while your marriage is everyday for the rest of your life. Your wedding day does not have to be perfect in order for your marriage to be perfect. Don’t stress about the little things and try to enjoy your day!

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Five on Friday #12

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Where has the time gone?! I can’t believe it’s already August! I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks and I’m ready for some R&R. Hopefully this weekend will provide lots of time to relax and unwind.

  1. We have picture day at work next week and I am in desperate need of a new outfit. The problem with weight loss is that I have no idea what size I am now so I don’t feel comfortable ordering clothes online. Our mall is pretty much empty so I think I’ll need to drive to our closest outlet mall this weekend for a little retail therapy.
  2. Brett and I have had a crazy couple of weeks! We went down to Florida for a week for Brett’s grandpa’s funeral and then last week Brett’s aunt stayed with us which meant lots of entertaining and family dinners. I’m exhausted!
  3. When I was in 8th grade I wanted to be a film director. I begged my parent’s to buy me a video camera for my 14th birthday and they did! I spent most of 2007-2008 filming every holiday, sleepover, and family event. I recently found the video camera and started watching my old “vlogs”. They are so sweet and I’m glad that I have them! I’m no longer friends with the people but I still loved seeing our happy times together! I feel like I need to do something with all of these videos now though. Let me know if you have any ideas!
  4. 2 years ago I was preparing for my wedding day! It feels like just yesterday and I can’t believe that I’ve been with Brett for almost 8 years now! We are planning a day date for our anniversary (August 19th) and I can’t wait to spend some time together.
  5. I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump lately and haven’t had the motivation to write anything. I go through these slumps every once in awhile but this one feels especially bad. I hope to be back with regularly scheduled content soon!

How was your week? Do you have any plans with weekend?

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Photo by meriç tuna on Unsplash

Our Wedding Playlist – 100+ Must Play Wedding Songs

100+ Wedding Playlist Songs

Hey friends,

We are headed to a friend’s wedding this weekend so in honor of that I thought I would share our wedding playlist!

Music has always been my thing. I used to love making CDs of all of my favorite songs for my friends and family. Every single road trip or event had it’s own playlist and I would spend hours planning the order of each song.

Our wedding was the highlight of my playlist-creating career and I dedicated hours planning each and every song that I wanted to be played. I wanted the music before the ceremony to be very touching but still fun. We really didn’t want a super serious wedding but wanted every second to be heartfelt.

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I have a super clear memory of standing at the end of the path and watching through the trees as Brett walked my grandmas and our moms down the aisle. He couldn’t see me but I could see him. He had the biggest smile on his face! Then I watched as each member of our wedding party left ahead of me and my dad. I had so many butterflies!

When it was my turn to walk down the aisle with my dad I felt so lucky. My dad had foot surgery the week before the wedding so I knew he was in pain but he acted like there was no place he would rather be. I went into my marriage with no seconds thoughts, no cold feet.

I hope this list helps you plan the perfect songs for your big day!

Pre-Ceremony:

  • White Dress – Ben Rector
  • Lucky – Jason Mraz, Colbie Calliat
  • This – Darius Rucker
  • Grow Old With Me – John Lennon
  • Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles
  • Everything – Michael Buble
  • Wouldn’t It Be Nice – Beach Boys

Ceremony:

  • Parent’s Entrance w/ Brett: I Won’t Give Up – Jason Mraz
  • Bridal Party Entrance: Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Bride’s Entrance: Forever Like That – Ben Rector

Recessional:

  • Waiting – Green Day
  • Brand New – Ben Rector
  • Ho Hey – The Lumineers

Wedding Party Entrance:

  • I’ll Be there for you – The Rembrandts

First Dance:

  • Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing – Aerosmith

Father-Daughter Dance:

  • Wildflowers -Tom Petty

Mother-Son Dance:

  • Forever Young – Rod Stewart

Mom and Dad Dance (25th Wedding Anniversary):

  • Forever and Ever, Amen – Randy Travis

Cake Cutting:

  • Good Life – One Republic

Bouquet Toss:

  • Where Them Girls At – David Guetta

Garter Toss:

  • The Boys Are Back in Town – Thin Lizzy

Must Play:

  • Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
  • What I Like About You – The Romantics
  • Summer of ’69 – Bryan Adams
  • Drink Up – Train
  • First Date – Blink 182
  • Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
  • American Girl – Tom Petty
  • Closing Time – Semisonic
  • Party in the USA – Miley Cyrus
  • Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
  • Cheap Thrills – Sia
  • YMCA – The Village People
  • Love Shack – B-52s
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me – Def Leppard
  • Livin’ on a Prayer – Bon Jovi
  • Footloose – Kenny Loggins
  • Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
  • What Makes You Beautiful – One Direction
  • (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) – Beastie Boys
  • All Summer Long – Kid Rock
  • You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
  • I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers
  • Wanted – Hunter Hayes
  • Yeah! – Usher
  • God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  • Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
  • Bailando – Enrique Iglesias
  • Starships – Nicki Manaj
  • The Nights – Avvici
  • Lighters – ft. Bruno Mars
  • Old Time Rockin Roll – Bob Seeger
  • Closer – Chainsmokers
  • Shut up and Dance – Walk the moon
  • Tik Tok – Ke$ha
  • Sexy And I Know It – LMFAO
  • Timber – Pitbull/Ke$ha
  • Something Just like This – Chainsmokers and Coldplay
  • Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
  • Wannabe – Spice Girls
  • Bye Bye Bye –NSYNC
  • Oops!… I did it Again – Britney Spears
  • Fancy – Iggy
  • Piano Man – Billy Joel
  • Wagon Wheel – Darius Rucker
  • I Want Crazy – Hunter Hayes
  • Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
  • Lean On Me – Bill Withers
  • Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  • Africa – Toto
  • Only Time – Enya
  • Kyrie – Mister Mister
  • It’s Tricky – Run DMC
  • Hey Ya – Outkast
  • Cupid’s Shuffle
  • Chicken dance
  • Cha Cha Slide
  • Once In A Lifetime – Landon Austin
  • Forever Like That – Ben Rector
  • Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
  • Better Together – Jack Johnson
  • Die a Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
  • Best Day of my Life – American Authors
  • Brand New – Ben Rector

Last Song:

  • Good Riddance (Time of your Life) – Green Day

We also had our DJ play requests during the reception which was a lot of fun! If you can, take the time to meet with your DJ in person before the wedding to talk about your music taste and how you want the reception to feel. I found this meeting very helpful!

Let me know if there are any songs that you would add to your wedding playlist!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Our First Wedding Anniversary

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Today is the day! One year ago I was at the hair salon getting my makeup and hair done for our wedding. I was dressed in my getting ready robe and surrounded by my friends. We drank mimosas and ate bagels and fruit on the back deck of the salon. I felt a little anxious but mostly excited and SO ready to start the day.

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Meanwhile, Brett was back at our apartment with his friends. He won’t admit it but he was a little anxious too. He forgot his vows so our brother in law had to go back and grab them. Brett, the groomsmen, and my dad met at the venue in the morning to setup the centerpieces and other décor. They then went back to my parent’s house for lunch.

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I can’t believe it’s already been a year. I can still remember exactly how I felt during each moment of our day. I hope we never lose the newlywed feeling or forget how much we loved each other on this day.

 

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Our first year of marriage was full of changes. We lost Brett’s Grandma Emma in December which was devastating for both of us. We went to many, many airshows where Brett took on new roles such as Assistant Air Boss. Brett started a new job in event planning and has really excelled! We bought our first house and have loved getting settled in it. We traveled to London, Florida, New York, and many other places. We adopted Oscar and settled into life as a family of four.

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Marriage has been easy so far but I know it won’t always be that way. Brett and I are lucky because we are really good friends in addition to being husband and wife. I hope when it gets tough we can remember the love we felt on our wedding day and continue to fight for each other. I love him more today than I did on our wedding day and I know that love will keep growing.

It’s been a great year and I am looking forward to many more!

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Our Top Wedding Moments

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Hi friends!

Today I thought I would share some of my favorite moments from my wedding day in celebration of our one year wedding anniversary on Sunday! I married my husband on our 6th dating anniversary so August 19th is technically our 7th anniversary.

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I loved waking up at a fancy hotel with my bridesmaids. I slept so well the night before my wedding in a huge king-sized bed with fluffy white pillows and blankets. I woke up before everyone else and just had a moment to look around and let it sink in that it was my wedding day! I sat down and wrote a note for our Anniversary Box. My Uncle made us a wooden box big enough for a bottle of wine and lots of letters. We each wrote each other a letter on our wedding day to place in the box during the ceremony. Each year on our anniversary we will open the box, drink the wine, and read the letters. I loved taking a moment on our wedding day to write a note to my future husband to express how excited I was for our future.


After I got my hair done, I left the hair salon with my friend and the flower girl. Our flower girl, Levi, was 11 months old at the time and needed a nap before we left for the venue. The hair salon was near my parent’s house so I volunteered to take Levi home for a nap while her mom, Hanna, got her hair done. It was so nice to have a quiet moment cuddling with Levi before checking to make sure everything in the “wedding room” had been taken to the venue. It was also really nice because the groomsmen were having lunch in my parent’s backyard so I got to see them for a few minutes which took some of the nerves away. I will always remember the moments where I just got to sit in my childhood bedroom and process the fact that I was getting married. My hair and makeup were done, I was in my getting ready robe, and I felt very little stress.

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I drove to the venue by myself, in my robe, with a car full of my stuff. It was so nice to arrive before my mom and the bridesmaids and just have a few moments to settle in. It was one of the best moments for me because I got to take the time to wander around and take pictures before anyone else got there. I got a few moments to just be present in the day and to notice all of the little details that I worked so hard on.

Our wedding venue was extra special for me because it was at a camp that I attended every summer of my childhood with my sister and cousin who were both members of my bridal party. My Grandpa was the landscape architect whose team designed the camp. He’s the one who suggested that we get married there so I know that it meant just as much to me as it did to him. Getting married at a place that held so many happy memories just made everything so much better!

Our first look was something that we debated on until a couple of weeks before the wedding. Brett didn’t want to have one because he wanted to see me for the first time as I walked down the aisle. But I knew I needed to see him before the ceremony to have any hope at all of not sobbing the whole ceremony. The first look was just us and our two photographers. There was no stress of standing in front of hundreds of people so we could just be ourselves. We chatted and laughed and even at one point I got my shoe stuck and Brett had to dig through the layers of my dress to find it. These moments were sweet and silly, just like us, and I will always cherish them.

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During the ceremony I made sure to take time to look around at all the people who surrounded us. Our friends, family, co-workers. All of these people had made an impact on our lives in some way or another. I made sure to take it all in. Brett’s sister shared a reading during the ceremony. Her words made me start crying and Brett just smiled at me and the moment felt so right. All of Brett’s friends, who are really my friends too, were facing me. They saw all of my emotions and it was a really special moment for our friendships. We both wrote our own vows and I sobbed the whole time. The ceremony just meant so much to us! My cousin, Lance, officiated our wedding which made it even more special.

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After the ceremony, I had a few moments to talk with my Grandparents before group pictures. I decided to wear a cross necklace that my Grandma and Grandpa had bought for me in the 7th grade for my confirmation. My Grandparents didn’t know ahead of time that I was going to wear it. My Grandma’s eyes watered when she saw it and she put her head on my shoulder and whispered how much it meant to her that I had worn it. That moment means the World to me now.

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Once we arrived at the reception we sat down and actually enjoyed dinner! I received the advice to make sure that we ate a lot before and after the ceremony. Because of this advice, Brett and I did not make the rounds to greet people during dinner (we greeted everyone in a line after the ceremony instead). We sat and chatted with our wedding party. We drank our fancy champagne and looked around the room that held all of our favorite people. It was a great moment.

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After our first dance and the father/daughter and mother/son dance we took a moment to thank our friends and family for all their help. We also surprised my parents by playing the first dance song from their wedding “Forever and Ever Amen by Randy Travis” in celebration of their 25th wedding anniversary. We invited everyone to come dance with us! Please note my sister in the background of the above picture. She was SO excited!

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The reception went by in a blur. Brett and I did take a few minutes to go out with the photographers to take some sunset pictures. Other than that, I just enjoyed dancing with all of my favorite people. It was special to dance with Brett’s junior groomsmen, Jordan, who I have known since he was born. He’s a teenager now but it meant the world to be able to dance with him at my wedding. His sister, Riley, was my Junior Bridesmaid. I put my veil on her head and we danced around together. All of my favorite songs were played and I just had the best time.

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Overall, our wedding day was more than I expected. It was more special, more emotional, and more memorable than I could have imagined. Your wedding is only one day of your life. It’s not worth stressing over but it is worth enjoying and remembering. There were some not so great moments and many things that I wish that I could go back and change. But at the end of the day, I was married to Brett, my best friend and life partner and that’s all that really matters.

I can’t wait to re-read this blog post in a few years and be able to remember all of these little moments that ended up being the big moments.

Thanks so much for reading!

 

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