Since I have shared some of my stories as a wedding coordinator I thought it only fair to share my own wedding story. This idea is what started me on this journey of sharing my love story for the whole month of February. Since I have so many memories and information I thought I'd fill the whole week with shorter parts of the story instead of one big long one. So check back every day for some more fun stories.
Growing up I always dreamed of my wedding. Yes, I was that girl. Before Pinterest was a thing, I had a binder of ideas and would buy wedding magazines for fun just to dream. It was all very Monica Gellar of me. So when it came time to plan my actual wedding, things went really smoothly. I knew exactly what I wanted. My mom helped me secure a photographer, cake, and decorations, everything I wanted while I was finishing up my college. We really had no issues because I was so organized. I remember being about a month out from the wedding and I looked at my mom and said: "I feel like we should be stressed out and doing something, but there's really nothing to stress about." She agreed. Now the week of the wedding was hectic pulling everything together, of course, but it all came together smoothly.
We got married in our home church New Hope Assembly of God. That was special to me because my family had been going there since I was 15 years old. We had the rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception all at the church. We had three different rooms to set up and it took us both Thursday and Friday to set up and decorate. Our church staff and wedding coordinators were wonderful. We tried to keep everything upbeat and fun, but I was definitely stressed. Everything came together well, even though I was a half hour late to my wedding rehearsal. (OOPS! Sorry, everyone!)
The rehearsal went well and the dinner was delicious. We had the dinner in the basement banquet room in the church. Friends of ours made all the food and we recognized all our wedding party and gave gifts. I also met my sisters-in-law and some of Jon's family for the very first time. Jon's family is spread all over the United States. I had met his parents once at his graduation and one of his sisters went to EU, but this was the first time I was meeting everyone else. It was a quick meeting, but they were all very lovely people. At the end of the night, Jon and I went back up to the sanctuary where our wedding ceremony was going to be to pray together. It was just us in a dark sanctuary only lit by white Christmas lights down the aisle. We wanted to invite the Holy Spirit to be a part of our wedding day and a part of our marriage. We prayed for peace over nerves and joy to fill everyone who was a part of our day. It was a holy and meaningful moment. We parted ways that night with a hug, a kiss, and see you tomorrow fiance`.
The morning of my wedding was early, hectic, and fun. The bridesmaids had all spent the night and we were up at 6 am to get our hair done at Studio 409, the hair salon I had worked at off and on throughout college. Once we were done there we went to the church to do our makeup and get dressed. The boys were there in a different room hours after us. I had made a CD of oldies songs to play while we were getting ready. It was fun to blast that, sing, laugh, dance, and enjoy the day together. Jon and I decided to do a first look instead of waiting to see each other until I walked down the aisle. We choose to meet up at Lions Park for some outdoor pictures and our first look. My two bridal attendances helped us get out there and helped me through the photo shoot. Seeing Jon for the first time that day was emotional. We were excited, shocked at how good the other looked, and relieved to be able to be together the rest of the day. Once we were done at the park we went back to the church for even more pictures. We had a great photographer from All Image Photography in Slater Iowa. He worked well with us and was so reasonably priced. We loved the shots he got for us. It was also wonderful to get all the pictures done beforehand, so once the wedding was done we could just celebrate.
The ceremony started at 2 pm. I can still remember the nerves and excitement waiting my turn to walk down the aisle. When my turn came, my dad and I took our time. I made the mistake of looking at my mom. She was a crying mess, so I started tearing up. Then my dad got choked up saying his "Her mother and I do"…we were all a mess. I got myself under control enough to listen to the Pastor's message. Pastor Weaver did a wonderful job even though I remember nothing of what he said. (I have it on VHS, so we're good. :D ) Jon and I chose to do traditional vows. There was something very romantic to me about saying the vows that had married people for hundreds of years. I went to say my vows and got to "take you as my husband" and my voice cracked. The tears started flowing. I couldn't contain them any longer. I was SO happy and in such disbelief that this was actually happening. Most of my life I had convinced myself that I was going to be single and live in a small house with two dogs. I would have never guessed that God had actually created a husband just for me. I couldn't get control of the tears so I just whispered the rest of my vows through tears. I got to the end of my vows and mouthed "I love you" to Jon. He smiled, handed me a tissue and mouthed back "I love you too." I remember hearing an auditable "AWE!" from Jon's family as they watched that happen. I got ahold of myself enough to actually talk through the exchanging of rings which was good.
We choose to do a unity candle lighting ceremony and communion during the ceremony. My Uncle Todd, brother-in-law Josh and music pastor Brett sang "Shine on us" during that part of the ceremony. It is a Phillips, Craig, and Dean song and they sounded AMAZING!
Our kiss wasn't the best it could've been. In the excitement of the moment, Jon decided he was going to dip me. I didn't know what he was doing and was afraid he was going to drop me so it just turned out very awkward. It was a good kiss though. ;) We were pronounced husband and wife, and excitedly walked/skipped out of the sanctuary. Our bridal party met us in the back with lots of hugs, congratulations, and laughs. We chose to go back in and dismiss row by row ourselves. It gave us time to greet everyone. We knew our cake and punch reception in the banquet hall would get busy with our 200 guests, so we wanted to make sure we had time to see everyone and thank them for coming. We played oldies music overhead and everyone enjoyed it while they waited for us to get to them.
It was a perfect day. It was everything I had dreamed, hoped and prayed it would be. Everyone really enjoyed themselves. I even had a friend tell me it was the most peaceful and joyful wedding she had ever been too. She said everyone was so calm beforehand and she could just tell the Holy Spirit was present. I agreed with her. It was just what we had prayed for.
Our first look at Lions Park.
The archway, greenery, lights, tulle, flower petals, bows, unity candle table...that was all decorations we brought in, set up, and tore down.
A lot of planning and work, but worth it!
We had six bridesmaids and groomsmen, and three ushers. (The guys at the top are the ushers)
Photo cred: All Image Photography in Slater, Iowa