The Good Stuff
I realize you guys are all probably SO over wedding pictures, and I get that!!! I totally do! But it's just so deeply therapeutic to share the details and the joy that I see in the photos. :) As I'm sure you've heard, the day goes by lightening fast, and after the fact, all I experienced was deep sadness and mourning over losing my dogs, and I couldn't even remember being joyful on the day. Seeing the photos with lots of smiling friends and family is such a blessing! So just bear with me a little longer as I continue to process and enjoy remembering the day.
Today I want to share with you all the little things that made the day extra special! Last week we reviewed all the design details, and this week I want to go over more of the decisions we made that created an atmosphere of joy!
I know, I know, they're more like ribbon banners. I know! But I prefer to call them flags! One of the most-discussed topics while wedding planning is "what are you going to do instead of birdseed?" You can go with bubbles, sparklers, lavender, confetti, all the most beautiful and wonderful ideas! I love them all! Instead, we went with these home-made flags. Mom spent HOURS putting together these guys using dowel rods, tulle, silk ribbon, and little wedding bells. The fun thing about these flags is the sweet tinkling sound they made all afternoon into the evening, and the fact that the little girls were running around all evening with a half a dozen in each hand!
Me, Nicholas, and Sarah taught children's church together every Sunday for years. YEARS! So I've known for a long time that it would be impossible to have a standard flower girl and ring bearer. Instead, we opted for a Kid Parade! We invited every child who attended the wedding, from children's church friends to my cousins children, to take a flag, line up, and walk down the aisle waving their flags wildly! I don't have to describe the cuteness, you can see for yourself!
My dad, as you all already know, is the most multi-talented man I've ever known. We were just laughing last night about how you can ask dad anything from "Are cows friends with each other?" to "How much fuel does an F-16 burn every minute?" to "Do you think I should build the fence out of wood or metal and do you know how to install it?" I mean...he literally knows everything! One of his lesser-known abilities is pictured below!
It was clear to me from the minute dad became ordained that whenever, if ever I got married, he would be the one to marry us. Hands down, no doubt. But although I was so confident in this decision, there was quite a bit of hesitation on my parents part! Mom was NOT liking the idea of sitting at my wedding by herself and dad was NOT liking the idea of having to keep his tears on lock down during the ceremony! In the end, they both agreed to let dad be our officiant.
One of the funniest things during the ceremony that made me keel over laughing was towards the end. It was the time of the ceremony, after dad said "I now pronounce you man and wife." His next line was SUPPOSED to be "you may now kiss your bride," but instead he kinda puffed his chest out, lifted his chin and said "you may now...shake her hand!" Everyone burst out laughing!
Big Group Photo
I know the photos at weddings can be exhausting "first, I'll take the bride with her parents, then we'll add in the groom...now let's do the bride and her sisters, no groom in this one." And every other variation! We told the photographer from the very beginning, we don't want to wear everyone out with photos but one thing I DEFINITELY want is a photo with every single person! I imagine years from now future children saying "who's this guy in purple?" and I can say "oh my word! That's Charlie! He was an ATC with Doo-Dad and later became our electrician at Lambert Home!!!"
This was one of my favorite moments of the entire day and the pictures show! Now traditionally, the send off line is at the end of the reception, after everyone has eaten, danced, and celebrated, or at the end of the wedding, right after they announce you man and wife! We chose to flip the script and instead of a reception send off, we did a reception welcome! We walked down the path while everyone waved their flags with the bells jingling! it was so fun and so special and I just love everyone's faces in these pictures!
Y'all. Real talk. I don't think any decision I have ever made in my entire life has ever received the amount of push back, questioning, and downright judgement as the decision to have Nicholas wear red. Every single person who knew said things like "oh, I can't picture that," or "Why can't he just wear a normal suit like every other groom" or worse yet "Absolutely not. He's not wearing that. Absolutely not." In the end, after it was all said and done, EVERYONE, even the haters came to me and said they loved his outfit after all. That being said, here's why I chose this outfit for my groom and not the normal suit like every other groom.
Me and Nicholas first met in 5th grade. We were both in green pod at BCI. He has distinct memories starting in 5th grade but my first memories start in high school. Nick and I went to the same church, attended the same youth camps, mission trips, Monday night pool parties, school, football games, everything. We spent years together, creating memories, laughing our heads off, and being general miscreants. Nick made his feelings for me apparent to everyone through the years. His friends would constantly come to me asking if I intended to date him, but instead I dated every other boy. Through high school and college Nick became my best good friend. We'd talk on the phone as I walked across campus, I'd visit him in Oklahoma, we spent every day of our summers together. I'd get my heart broken time and time again and Nick would sing Taylor Swift songs with me while I cried. He only ever cared for me, sacrificed for me, and made me laugh.
My disinterest in dating him began to dissolve when I quit asking myself "What If I miss out on something better down the road?" and started asking myself "What if I'm already missing out on the very best?" I quit thinking of the things he didn't bring to the table, and began thinking of the things that he, and only he, could bring to the table.
When nick proposed he said "Since the first moment I saw you in 5th grade in that dress with the strawberries on it, I knew that I had to marry you. I remember thinking 'this is the most beautiful girl in the world, nobody will ever be able to compete with her' and I knew from that moment on that my life's dream would be to marry you. But if I'm being honest, I never, truly never thought that I would actually be here with you, in this moment, asking you to choose me."
That is why I chose red. I chose red because my groom is not like any other groom. My groom has the heart of a warrior. My groom endured 17 years of the kind of heart-ache that crushes other men. My groom's faithfulness, patience, and stubborn will to love me, with zero certainty that I would ever love him in return, earned him the right to bypass the "normal suit" and wear Crimson. Plus I figure, If dozens of princes and the future king of England can wear red to his wedding, then he can too.