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Wedding Recap #2 – Before the Ceremony

Good morning! This week seems to be flying by, and I am not complaining one bit. I think it’s mainly because I am so darn busy this week with playing catch up at work, trying to see and properly thank all our friends that worked so hard to make our wedding so wonderful, and just getting back in the general things of my typical weekly routine. And you guys know there’s not much more I love than routines and lists, so I am actually a pretty happy camper this week, despite the busyness.

Anyway, I’m coming to you today with the second recap of our wedding! Some of these posts will be spaced out more, but I was really excited to write this one since it was probably my second favorite part of the whole day. If you missed yesterday’s getting ready post, check that out here first!

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Once everybody (except guests) had arrived at the venue, things really started to move fast. Our pastor came up to the bridal suite to have me sign a few different parts of our marriage license and to grab my vows so he could hold on to them for me during the ceremony. Chris’s best man also came to see me with a gift from Chris, which was a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings that match my engagement ring. I ended up changing my mind last minute and wearing these earrings, along with the necklace my parents had given me the night before. I sent Chris his gift from me with the photographer so she could capture him opening it. I gave my parents and Chris’s parents their gifts. It was all a bunch of little details that I hadn’t really given any thought to when they would actually take place, but luckily we had the best people surrounding us all day to ensure everything got done when it needed to.

The bridal suite we had been using all morning could not have been more beautiful. It was a huge glass room on the top floor of the mansion, overlooking the backyard garden where the ceremony would take place. So I was able to see all the chairs being set up, the florist strategically placing flowers and lace around the gazebo, and even caught a glimpse of Chris when he was going outside with his groomsmen to get some pre-ceremony pictures taken. Which undeniably gave me goosebumps.

While Chris and the guys were outside doing their pictures, we did a few in the bridal suite while we were waiting for our turn. I’m sure the photographers captured some gorgeous ones, but for now all I have are the sweet, fun ones my sisters sent me that they had on their phones.

Here’s one of me awkwardly sitting in a chair alone, not knowing how to be “natural,” sans shoes because I waited until the last possible second to put them on.

Here is one of my hair – I LOVED it. It was gorgeous, didn’t hurt, and stayed out of my face the entire day. Perfection.

Here is the back of dress, which I was and still am obsessed with. I’m trying to decide if I should now get my dress altered to be able to be worn as like a cocktail dress of sorts on every anniversary maybe? Or if I should just preserve it. Thoughts? Oh, and ignore my tan line. I tried so hard to get rid of it, but it just wasn’t happening. And I was probably stuffing my face with oyster crackers in this picture. I love them and it was just about all I could stomach before the ceremony.

Once Chris and the guys were safely tucked back inside and there was no chance of Chris accidentally seeing me, the girls and I all went outside to get some pictures of us taken! We had SO. MUCH. FUN. The place we got married is accurately called Pine Knob Mansion, and it is essentially just a huge, gorgeous, old house on top of a hill and right next to a golf course with gardens surrounding it. So we sure didn’t have to go far to get beautiful scenery for our pictures. We wandered around the grounds a bit and (hopefully) got some really pretty shots.

As we headed back inside around 3 p.m. to freshen up in the bridal suite before the ceremony at 3:30 p.m., my mom came running up to me all flustered that people had already started to arrive and would see me in my dress. But I was excited to see who was there! The first two people I saw were Erica and Audrey – my childhood friends and college roommates. Then I saw my grandma and aunt. My grandma was the first person to really make me cry that day, except for when I gave my parents their gifts. She looked beyond gorgeous in a long, cream colored gown and just when she looked at me I lost it. Some of my other family was there, too.

Erica and Audrey came up to the bridal suite with us to hang out, and then my friend Hannah came up, too! Hannah was super pregnant and would have stood up in our wedding, but instead she did a reading during the ceremony in case she wasn’t able to make it. I loved spending that half hour with my girlfriends as they tried to distract me from my nerves and we watched people arriving and finding their seats. We also drank some more champagne. 😉 I think this might be my favorite picture so far.

Here is another cute picture of my sister Olivia looking gorgeous and using the snapchat filter she created for us!

As it got to be about 3:15, it really began to feel real. I checked my hair and makeup, went to the bathroom, and headed downstairs! I met my dad at the bottom of the stairs, who also started to make me cry when he told me how beautiful he looked. All the other girls lined up right by the door to go outside, but my dad, Jenna (maid of honor and sister), and I hung out a little further back by the bar so Chris wouldn’t see me. We were all a little on edge and were tempted to take a shot of tequila, but refrained. Then I heard the music start to play, and it was time for the girls to start walking down the aisle!

And that’s where we will pick up next time…. 🙂

#Bride #Wedding #Love #Mansion #Groomsmen #Pictures #Groom #Gown #Bridesmaids #Dress #Marriage #Preparations

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