Let’s take a trip back to our wedding ceremony. I’ll grab a box of tissues and hope to keep my sappiness to a minimum (but I make no promises).
I began my vows to Brandon with, “Today, it has been 1283 days of me loving you. That may seem crazy, because if you can do math that quickly, you’ll know that it means I fell in love with you the day I met you.” That was all it took for me to begin choking up. I looked up at him at this moment and saw his eyes glistening, and realized in that moment that I had never been happier in my entire life. We had just gone through several months of stressful wedding planning, we’d finally moved most of our belongings into the home we would live in together, and we had been waiting until marriage for over three years (yep – you’re picking up what I’m putting down).
After some of the really challenging things I had experienced in my life, I was about to make a commitment to battle through the rest of my years with a partner by my side. It was reassuring, to say the least. My husband is my best friend, confidante, and the love of my life. I might be a total ball of cheese when I start to talk about how much I love him, but I’m always speaking from my heart. So you can only imagine that saying “I do” to life with Brandon was the most exhilarating promise I could possibly make.
Photos // Virginia Ashley Photography | Wooden Wedding Signs // c/o Susan Atkins Style + Design | Tulle, Lights, Greenery, Florals + Wooden Arbor // handmade by friends | Chairs + Tablecloths // Riverwood Events and Catering | Location // Pocahontas State Park | Makeup // c/o KK Shoaf Inside Out Beauty | Bride’s Eyelashes // Curly Willow Spa | Bride’s Hair // family friend | Reception Dress // Lulus | Wedding Gown // c/o Lillian West via Ava Laurénne Bride | Bridesmaid Dresses in “Dusty Rose” // Azazie | Druzy Earrings // c/o The Shinn Life
Let me give you a run-through of our dreamy ceremony.
Our number one request when it came to this part of the wedding was that it needed to be quick! I didn’t want an endless speech that had our guests lolling in their chairs. Brandon and I both knew the moment we asked our good friend, Walter, to officiate our wedding, that it was going to be fantastic. He wrote up a “fairytale” based on our actual love story, had everyone laughing like crazy, and led us to our vows within fifteen minutes. Good thing, because my nerves were beginning to get the best of me, and I don’t think my legs would’ve held me up much longer.
A little, quirky addition we made to our ceremony was the “wing-bearers.” That’s not a misspelling, I promise. One of our favorite things to do together is eat buffalo wings. When we asked my nephews to be our ring-bearers, we decided to put a totally corny twist on it and have them carry the wedding bands in on a plate of hot wings (complete with celery sticks and bleu cheese dip). They even had signs around their necks with the wedding date and the title of “wing-bearer.” I’m not sure how many people understood the pun, but we got a good laugh out of it! 😂
We chose to write our own vows, and I’m quite glad about that. It was a tender moment for the two of us, and when Brandon was reading to me, it felt like we were the only people in the room. Then there was a quick exchange of rings (which is always an awkward, fumbling mess to laugh over later) and a kiss that felt like fireworks! I’m so glad we had our best friends and closest family members there to celebrate our union.