here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
I have been wanting to write about our wedding for a while, but have yet to find the time. Plus I’m already terrible enough at writing without trying to describe such an incredible day within the space of a blog post. Today is cold and rainy so I am kind of tethered to my couch/computer for the afternoon and figured this was probably as good a time as any. So here goes nothing! All of the pretty pictures in this post are by the talented Jodi and Kurt of Jodi Miller Photography.
It was Saturday, May 21st, and I woke up in my childhood home to one of those perfect 80 degree days with the sun shining so hard that clouds don’t stand a chance. Perfect day for a
rapture wedding. The best part of waking up in my old home was opening my eyes and seeing my sister/arch-nemeis/bff sleeping on the opposite side of the room. She was supposed to be attending Army AIT training in Texas and not able to fly home to be my maid of honor, but due to a small miracle my family secretly put together for me, she was able to convince her superiors she needed to be at the wedding and fly home to surprise me just in the nick of time. It was very sweet and even a little poetic for me to be able to spend my last morning as a single girl in the house where I grew up, surrounded by my little family.
After we got up, we went to get our hairs did, delivered the decor to the reception venue, got in a Hardees breakfast (my fave) and pretty much just hung out while we had our makeup done by my friend Candi. There was very little crazy drama…just one small freak out when I picked up my handmade bouquet and realized some of the peonies were looking a little worse for the wear.
Before I knew it, the time had come to put on my gown!
While all this was going on at my parents house, John and his groomsmen got ready at the nearby City Center Marriott.
I handmade all of the boutonnieres using a little tutorial I will be sharing with you guys sometime soon. I really wanted our bouts and corsages to be something that could be saved and kept as a keepsake. Plus making them saved us a little bit of money we’d have spent on fresh flowers and saving money never hurts.
After everyone was all prettified, we all headed over to the Ceremony site so John and I could meet up for our first look. Choosing a first look was hands down one of the best wedding decisions we made. It was an incredibly emotional and intimate moment shared between the just the two of us. Something I doubt we would have had if we hadn’t done a first look. Both John and I tend to be very private people, so I knew that we would want our first time seeing each other on our wedding day to be intimate, rather than shared with all of our guests. We were also able to get more pictures because since we had already seen each other, we could carve out some time for just the two of us right before the ceremony.
As I crept up behind my soon to be HUSBAND, it was all I could do just to try and keep it together. I was shaking like a leaf and felt like I might throw up. When I tapped him on the shoulder, I could feel hot tears welling up in my eyes and tried to remember to breathe. When he turned around, I could see he was already crying and I started to do the same. It was so surreal…after years of planning, our wedding day had finally arrived!
We chose to hold our ceremony at the historic Nelson House in Yorktown. The house played an important role in both the Revolutionary and Civil wars. There is actually a cannonball embedded in the side from where it was bombed during the Civil War!
Lynn Lindsay made these chair decorations. She also was kind enough to bring a vintage desk that she had in her home for us to use as our altar.
My mom and stepmom helped me put together all of the flower arrangements a few days before the wedding.
Before I knew it, the time had come for the ceremony to begin. My mom, my friends, and I lined up to walk down the aisle and then everything started happening really fast.
Surprisingly I didn’t cry. Not one tear. I had always pictured myself as a mess going down the aisle but I kept it together and smiled the whole way. In fact, I didn’t cry again until my sister got up and gave e.e cummings “i carry your heart” as the reading. *tear. I kind of tear up thinking about it. About how much that poem really means to me and how it applies to the love I have for not only John, but for my sister as well. And my sister, who is not even an emotional person, cried while she gave her reading. The three of us stood there together underneath the clear blue sky on a warm May afternoon and just cried. Because sometimes when you love, it can be overwhelming.
Immediately after the ceremony we invited all of our friends and family to join us in a celebratory wedding parade. Ashly, our coordinator, had suggested the parade years and years ago (kidding…sort of) when we first started planning the wedding. Best. Idea. Ever. I kind of laughed at the idea when she first brought it up, but she was so right! The parade was festive and fun. There was just an excited energy and John and I were so relieved to finally be married and get to relax a little. Plus the parade pictures are some of my favorites!
I made ribbon wands and bought kazoos online to pass out to our parade-goers. Lynn made the cute “Just Married” sign Avery carried. Lynn is so good at what she does!
John and I put together all of the burlap runners using no-sew hemtape! I love that we can now decorate our dining table with a handmade remnant from our wedding.
We had Rita’s Ice at our reception! Probably the best 50 dollars spent. People are still talking about how cool it was. I mean, it was so cool it was ICE COLD…hahaha.
Here we are getting our Cupid’s Shuffle on. The Cupid’s Shuffle is MY JAM. Like you have no idea how hard it is for me to not Cupid’s Shuffle when I’m shooting a wedding. It practically goes against who I am.
By the end of the night I was overwhelmed by emotions as well as the enormity of the day. Like how can you be so, so happy. How did I even deserve all that happiness? Oh and I’m a wife now! And then saying goodbye not just to my old life but also to my sister, yet again. Goodbyes are rough on me. Even as a little kid I would always say I love you and Be Careful to my parents before they left because I was so scared that might be the last time I saw them. At the end of the night I said goodbye and Be Careful to my little sister, then held her and sobbed.
When I look back on our day I feel such a range of emotions. There was joy, a little bit of sadness, and a lot of love. Yes, there are some things I might have changed about the day if I had a wedding do-over. Hindsight is always 20/20. But ultimately the goal of the day was to marry the sweetest man I’ve ever known and to share that with the people who made me who I am today.
Venue: Yorktown Freight Shed
Catering: Green Leafe Catering
Coordinator: Ashly of Coast Couture
Photography: Jodi and Kurt of Jodi Miller Photography
Groom’s Attire: Jos A. Banks
Cupcakes: Sam’s Club
Hair: Animare Aveda Salon
Makeup: Candi Valentine
Stylist: Lynn Lindsay
Officiant: Dawn Kenny
P.S. Keep an eye out for a budget breakdown coming to the blog sometime soon…I am famously cheap and will share some of my secrets as well as a list of DIY projects.