It’s safe to say October 28, 2017 was the best day of my life (so far!) Nick and I have such a history together, so our wedding day was certainly a long time coming! Our journey together hasn’t always been perfect or easy, but each challenge has helped us to grow and find the best ways to work together. It feels like every moment of our relationship lead up to the moment we became husband and wife.
When we first started planning our wedding we weren’t sure if we wanted a traditional wedding ceremony or if we wanted something else. Once we booked our venue we decided to have a traditional church ceremony because the church and venue were less than two miles away from each other. Looking back, I’m glad we decided to have a traditional ceremony because every time we attend church we are reminded of our ceremony and the vows we took 🙂
In terms of decor, we kept everything pretty minimal. We had a large floral arrangement at the altar and small floral pieces on the first few pews to reserve them for family. We really wanted our ceremony to feel intimate, so we added candelabras to the pews and over 50 candles to surround the altar. It was simple, but just adding those few things totally changed the feel of the church.
WALKING DOWN THE AISLE
I am extremely lucky to have two wonderful dads in my life. My mom and dad have been divorced since I was young, but all four of my parents get along so well! Throughout the planning process I made sure to include each parent in activities, whether it was my say yes to the dress moment with my mom/stepmom or walking down the aisle with my dad/stepdad.
Since Nick and I didn’t do a first look, when the church doors opened I was standing alone so that Nick and I could have our moment. My dad and stepdad joined me on each side to walk me down the aisle. My stepdad walked with us halfway and then exited down a pew as my dad and I finished off the walk. My stepdad has been in my life for ten years, so I knew I wanted him to have a role in walking me down the aisle. It was the perfect way to have my stepdad be part of walking me down the aisle without taking away the moment from my dad.Taking that walk with my dad and stepdad was such a special moment & one I’ll never forget. Both of them made me feel so relaxed and calm while we were waiting for the doors to open. Once the doors opened, I locked eyes with Nick and focused only on him as we made our way down the aisle. It was a little overwhelming having 120 people staring in your direction and I remember thinking to myself “just breathe!”
Nothing can compare to the feeling I had when the church doors opened and I saw Nick for the first time. The anticipation leading up to this moment was worth every nervous jitter I had before those doors opened. As I got closer to him, my smile grew bigger and brighter as I knew we were so close to becoming husband and wife.
P.S. During our rehearsal we were told no fewer than 5x by our wedding planners to make sure we walked slowly down the aisle. My dad and I practiced over and over that Friday at the church, but basically everything went out the window on the big day. Nick laughed as he told me afterwards that my dad and I had booked it down the aisle! I guess that’s what happens when you’re nervous 😉
Like I said above, we kept everything pretty traditional with our ceremony. We chose to have an unplugged ceremony so that everyone would be fully present and not worried about snapping photos. I am SO glad that we made that decision because everything felt more intimate that way. My friend, Mary, did all of our signage for our wedding & did an amazing job with our unplugged wedding sign. For our programs we created an accordion style program with If It’s Paper and love the way it turned out!
While we were engaged with did pre-marital counseling with our pastor, which we love and 1000% recommend! During that time he got to know us so well as a couple and he gave a really great homily that represented us well. One of our family friends did our reading and we chose Colossians 3:12-14 because it really resonated well with us.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them together in perfect unity.”
The photo below makes me laugh because when Nick first started repeating the vows he started off looking at our pastor. Our pastor, Louis, made a joke of it and so we were all laughing! It definitely made the moment lighthearted since we were both a bit nervous! After we exchanged vows and rings we lit our unity candle. Both of our mothers lit one side before they were seated and Nick and I lit the unity candle together to signify our families coming together and us joining as one. I’m really glad we decided to include that tradition in our ceremony and I think it will be really special to light it every year for our anniversary. After the ceremony our bridesmaids and groomsmen headed back to our venue while we took some photos. It was nice to have those few minutes just the two of us to talk, steal a few kisses, and just be together since we hadn’t seen each other the whole day! Some of these photos, while in a hallway of the church, turned out to be my favorites because I can see the happiness and I vividly remember those moments.
The photo below makes me smile because we’re both very silly and I’m pretty sure our photographer snapped it right after we said “we’re marrrrieeddd!”
WEDDING DRESS: WATTERS AZALEA DRESS | EARRINGS: GRANDMOTHER’S | SHOES: STUART WEITZMAN | BRIDESMAID DRESSES: WTOO BY WATTERS | GROOM’S & GROOMSMEN TUXES: J.CREW | GROOM’S & GROOMSMEN’S TIES: THE TIE BAR | FATHER’S SUITS: J.CREW | FATHER’S TIES: THE TIE BAR | CHURCH: CHRIST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH | VENUE: PROXIMITY HOTEL | CATERING: PRINT WORKS BISTRO | PHOTOGRAPHY: ALEXA’S PHOTOGRAPHY | EVENT PLANNING: CARLY MARIE EVENTS | FLORAL: ABBA DESIGN | VIDEOGRAPHY: WHITEWASH FILMS | HAIR & MAKEUP: CARLA WHITE BEAUTY |