Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Our Wedding Day

On our six month wedding anniversary, I wrote a post on a previous blog going through the ins and outs of our big day! I thought I would revive the post on my new blog (here!) to share some of the amazing memories I have from August 26, 2012. I have added in a few things I’ve learned during my second year of marriage! Enjoy!

I, like many of you, spent a lot of time in thought about my wedding before even getting engaged! I am sure I am not the only one who has spent hours on Pinterest scrolling through the millions of wedding ideas and photos. After months of planning, sorting and deciding the big day finally arrived and I became a wife! 

The Morning of the Big Day

After spending the previous night at the church rehearsing, having the wedding party and those involved over for a barbeque and talking late into the night on our patio with my bridesmaids you would think I might not be up at the crack of dawn... think again! First thing in the morning I was up, eating a bowl of cereal standing in my backyard, rejoicing that the sun was shining! 

Before too long the bridesmaids' hairdresser arrived and my mom and mother-in-law were across the street getting their hair done. I was excited and nervous all at once. Time seemed to be moving slowly until myself and my maid of honour, Laura, headed over to get our hair done. Suddenly time flew and there was still so much to be done with only an hour before we left for the church! Needless to say, a relaxing morning suddenly became rushed and busy! 

Everything was a bit surreal and I was pretty calm. I felt so sure about the step that I was going to take that my emotions were completely at bay. I did my make-up (which I hadn't even practiced...) and then put on the dress with a group of women who are so important to me looking on. In all the craziness, it was finally time to get to the church! 

Lesson Learned: Make sure you have enough time! You don't want to feel rushed on the morning of your wedding. Even if you don't feel stressed, it will stress out those around you! 

The Drive to the Church

I managed to gather my very large dress into the back seat and before I knew it we were off. I drove to the church with my parents while the bridesmaids followed. This was something I was extremely intentional about. I knew I was on my way to an event that would completely change my life and I needed to be with the two most important people for it. These are the two who have encouraged me, prayed over me and prepared me for this since the day I was born. 

Lesson Learned: Sometimes you need a few moments alone with your family.

Before the Ceremony

We arrived at the church safe and sound and quickly escaped into a room at the side so that none of the guests could see us. What a buzz of excitement that room held! All of the girls were so helpful, supportive and caring over me and I realized how blessed I was to have them in my life. I knew I wanted to cover this event in prayer so I gathered the girls in a circle and began to pray. I almost began to cry as well! I had held it together so well up until this point but standing there, knowing what I was about to do, with all the love around me I just could barely stop myself from losing it. I remember so clearly my dad coming in, asking if I was ready and letting me know its just about time. 

Lesson Learned: Definitely cover the day in prayer but remember that you don't have to be the one praying! It is an emotional day and there are times to let the bridesmaids step up and take it away. 

The Ceremony

What a wonderful experience our wedding ceremony was. As I stood outside the doors at the bottom of the stairs I could just imagine all of the people in the sanctuary there to support Brandon and I on this big day. One by one the bridesmaids headed down the aisle on cue until it was just my dad and I standing there. It was finally time to take the walk I had pictured since I was a little girl. As I came in, everyone stood and I could sense a blur of photos being snapped but all I could focus on was the man at the front of the room that I was walking towards. 

The ceremony was beautiful as we worshipped God together, read our vows and signed the registry. It didn't matter if all of the flowers were in the right spot or if someone came in late. It didn't matter that the older man from the church didn't know how to work the ipod and forgot to turn one of the songs off. It didn't matter that one of my bridesmaids fainted and had to be taken out. I actually didn't notice any of these things! Of course I was worried about my friend who had fainted but she was fine and I wasn't even aware that it had happened until I was asked in the receiving line about how she was. All that mattered is that after four years of dreaming for, praying over and looking forward to this day... we were finally married. 

Lessons Learned: Don't sweat the small stuff! There will always be something that goes wrong during your ceremony. It really makes your wedding more memorable and even a bit more entertaining for the guests! All that matters in the end is that you enjoyed it and that you got married! 

The Photos

We got our photos done after the ceremony and although I was happy for the sun, the heat was a bit much in a very heavy dress! We first did family photos and then went on to the bridal party and individual shots in a beautiful location.

Lessons Learned: The lessons here are definitely the most important part! During the photos I almost fainted a few times. I hadn't eaten since that bowl of cereal, mainly due to excitement, and I really regretted it here! The heat and hunger got to me and I really couldn't enjoy the experience much. Also, make sure you carefully think about which family shots you want done! Your photographer will likely ask you for a list and then stick to it so that they can stay on schedule. I forgot to get individual shots with each of my grandparents and I definitely regret not having that! 

The Reception

After my long train was bustled and all of the guests had arrived, it was finally time to head into the reception. All of the bridal party was introduced as we entered across the dance floor. My aunt (and many others) did all of the decorations in the hall and I hadn't seen it ahead of time. I walked in and was amazed by how she was able to take exactly what I had pictured and make it even more beautiful! The centre pieces of old books, mason jars and daisies were perfect; the tule around the entrance table with photos from generations of family members' wedding days was beautiful and the head table was amazing. I loved everything about the reception except how quickly it went! We ate a wonderful (and very welcomed) meal and mingled around thanking all of our guests for coming. My brother did a fantastic job as the emcee with some games, a slideshow and some very entertaining jokes. The speeches were humbling and I felt so honoured to have people who I respect and admire so much give advice and praise to Brandon and I. 

We cut our cake (with a utility knife from the kitchen... you always forget something!) and I threw the bouquet. The garter got tossed and dessert was served. The father daughter dance that I always pictured ending in tears turned out to be great fun. My dad and I chose a song that wasn't too cliche or sad since the day is supposed to be happy, right? After spinning around in front of a crowd I was handed off to Brandon for our first dance. Afterwards the dance floor filled and the party really began! 

Probably the most entertaining part of the reception was when all of the groomsmen came out wearing bow ties and tear-away pants. They had created a whole dance routine to the song 'I'm sexy and I know it'. I had no idea this was going to happen and everyone had quite the laugh as they whole-heartedly shook their hips, enticed the crowd and even ripped off the tear-aways to reveal pink tight shorts underneath! It was quite the show! 

At the end of the day, we said goodbye and off we went to Toronto to start not only our honeymoon but to begin this journey of marriage. 

Lessons Learned: Enjoy every minute! The reception is where you can loosen up since you are now married! Savour every bite and listen carefully to each speech... time passes much too fast! 

Two years later, I look fondly on that day! It held so much joy and excitement. It was full of anticipation of what was to come. And, on the same day, two years later, I find myself in a similar place of excitement. Life is constantly changing and the ebbs and flows keep you on your toes.

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