Monday, January 18, 2016

08.29.15 - the ceremony

we left off with our wedding party pictures and how thankful i was to my peeps for sweating in the august sun for us. alexander homestead had this gazebo & loosely strung lights that i fell in love with from the moment i saw them. it was where i wanted to be married and nothing else mattered.

after the family shots, us girls went into the female bridal suite which overlooked the ceremony location. since we had that first look, i was very calm - which i didn't think i would be honestly. standing in front of all these people can make a woman nervous! we popped our mini champagne bottles, danielle said a quick toast & prayer, & before i knew it, we were lining up to head out. 

one thing that i didn't think about was that since i was tucked away, i wouldn't see the seating of the parents, grandparents, lee's entrance or anything! i mean duh, right? the bride comes down last so that kind of logical, amanda, but when you have a million things going on in your head, you tend to have bride brain that makes you do stupid stuff. 

like the song my bridesmaids and i sang inside the suite because i was about to bawl my eyes out from emotion/nervousness/catching a quick glimpse of my adorable 84 year old granddaddy going down the aisle. 

we sang "heads, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes." literally while everyone was staring at us waiting, like the guys below, we were singing a dang barney song and no one knew.

i'm pretty certain it was my idea to sing it and why on earth barney popped into my head, i have no idea. i think that's a barney song right? regardless, it made us die laughing and helped out my goal of not ugly crying down the aisle. score.

so what did i walk down the aisle to? this may seem stupid to a lot of you, but i really don't care. the first time i heard the instrumental cover by the piano guys of taylor swift's begin again - i knew that was it. i love the way it opened into the song. my dad came from behind the building down a brick path & waited for me to meet him at the bottom of the stairs in front of the bridal suite. i had this planned, literally, down to the second so i would arrive at lee when the instrumental ended at the chorus. numerous morning commutes to work were spent listening that song over and over and over.

so why that song? well, it's no secret i'm a taylor fanatic and have been for years, but 'begin again' is literally our love story. our first date was on a wednesday in a (sort of) cafe. the lyrics of that song hit home to me in so many ways. from the first time i went on a date with lee, i watched my entire life, and love, begin again. i wouldn't change this for the world.

it's funny how ceremonies go. you plan them for 30 minutes (or at least we did. we wanted short & sweet) and you feel like you're up there for 3 minutes. you say your vows, you exchange rings, and boom the show is over. we did decide to have a lantern lighting ceremony. lee gave my mom a white rose & i gave lee's mom a white rose as well. this was a surprise to them and i think they loved it. my photographer did a great job at capturing so many different angles of our ceremony. 

like the below. i don't even think garrett knows it's one of my favorite pictures because of how unique it is. plus i love those lights.

my grandma passed away on april 2, 2008. she was one of my best friends so i got this picture blown up and it sat in a chair beside of my granddaddy in the front row.  i hand wrote the following lyrics beside her picture...

and what would you think of me now? so lucky. so strong. so proud.

one of my bridesmaids, taylor, contact my florist without me knowing so she could send in my new monogram stitched in blue & attached a charm of the bible verse luke 22:43 to my bridal bouquet. she has no clue how much this meant to me. 

i miss you everyday grandma.

and in the blink of an eye, the ceremony was over & we were headed back down the aisle. i had a "lavender shower" planned for our guests to toss dried lavender into the air as we walked by. it was really fun and unique. 

and just like that, we were married. a big shout out to our closest people below who made this day possible and a dream for us. without your unconditional love, shoulders to lean on, and a million text messages that i sent & you helped me - our wedding day wouldn't have been the same. 

we were blessed beyond words for an absolute perfect wedding day. 

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all photos by carolina portrait designs.