It's hard to believe, but tomorrow, the Mr and I will have been married for 5 years. 5 years people!!! I cannot believe it! While it seems like this time has gone by so quickly, it also feels like I can’t remember life before him. It has occurred to me, with this marital milestone, that I have never shared our engagement story (despite several requests from my sister- sorry Kel!) or about our wedding. It’s probably about that time, don’t ya think? Since it’s our anniversary I will start with the wedding and tackle our engagement story another time.
For some background, the Mr and I had just moved to Houston from VA. While I am from VA, the Mr is from the Pittsburgh area. We were engaged in September of 2007 and started planning our wedding right away. Because we wanted to get married over Christmas break (since we would be back home anyway and it was between graduate school semesters for us), we had the worry of the snow. There would definitely be snow and my family wouldn’t be able to get to Pittsburgh area and vice versa. So the inevitable idea of two weddings emerged. We decided that the Mr’s father would marry us at his home church in WV followed by a reception, we would then go on our honeymoon, and then we would fly back into VA for a second wedding reception. In theory, this sounded like a lot of fun (and don’t get me wrong it definitely was), but planning two weddings (one in WV and one in VA) from TX in 3 months, during my first semester of grad school…….what in the world was I thinking?!?!?! I was clearly head over heels and blinded by love! lol With a quick engagement it allowed me to focus on the most important things, and I didn’t get lost in the buttons and bows of a wedding; I just didn’t have time to worry about details. So this is how it turned out:
Attending: WV wedding and reception- 150 people, and VA reception- 150 people
Engagement: 3 months
Invitations: These were very inexpensive and the only picture I have of them is from my tutorial on making them into a Christmas ornament last year. haha See here
Colors: Our colors were silver and black
Bridal Party: I chose my sister, Kellyn, and pledge sister, Katie, (actually we are all DZ’s), to stand up next to me at the alter; what a blessing these two were! The Mr chose a childhood friend and his brother for groomsmen.
Parties: My bridesmaids threw me a great shower at our sorority house and it was such a great surprise. I remember everything about that night. For my bachelorette party, they planned another great surprise for me: it was a tacky tour with all our girl friends in a limo around Richmond. It was so perfect for me and everything I could have ever wanted.
Rehearsal dinner: Since the wedding was in WV so was the rehearsal dinner. Everything was such a fast blur that I don’t remember much. I know that everyone was sitting at large round tables, but that is about it. I don’t even remember what was served. Though I do remember the Mr getting me to try fried pickles for the first time. They were pretty good but were not what was served at dinner.
Dresses: Because I was in Houston and didn’t have a lot of time. I went one afternoon in October to one store and picked out my dress. It was the first dress I tried on and I loved it. It was nothing like I thought I wanted. My favorite part was the crystal broach at the waist. The store said that they would have to order it for me in my size. Since I didn’t have much time for a dress to be ordered and altered, because I was having my bridal portraits the next month, I asked what size the dress on the manikin was. It was my size, and a perfect fit---no alterations needed and $200 off for being on the manikin. Perfect! Dress buying took me about 30 minutes.
Old, New, Borrowed, Blue: My something new was my dress, my something blue was my garter, my something borrowed was the pence in my shoe, and my something old was my pearl earrings.
Shoes: These were so precious to me. My sister spent three months making me shoes and socks for the wedding. I wanted to be comfortable but I’m also a foot and a half shorter than the Mr. So my sister helped me to find affordable platform white tennis shoes (this is much harder to find than you would expect) and she made them pretty for me. They were perfect for all the dancing!
Flowers: This was something that I was a little disappointed with. I wanted fake flowers to carry (seriously I might be the only bride who has said this) so that I could keep them forever. I wanted tulips, and I got tulips, but they did not look great. Since it was right after Christmas, the church was still decorated with candles, poinsettias, and Christmas trees. I still love this aspect of our wedding because I love that time of the year. There is a joke with our families because I didn’t want bows on the pews to reserve family seating. I told them that I didn’t want “pew bows” and they all thought I said I didn’t want “pewbs” I’ll let you think on that for a second. haha We still laugh about that. Instead I had evergreen swags made with black and silver ribbon and Christmas ornaments instead of “pew bows”. We still have these and want to use them as Christmas decorations in our new house next year.
Vows: Our vows were not traditional, but they also weren’t memorized. We were so nervous that if we had to remember something else I am pretty sure one of us would have passed out. I have written about our vows before, see here. They are currently posted in our kitchen so that we can see them daily and be reminded of our covenant.
Cakes: In WV we had the Mr’s favorite vanilla cake with whipped icing. In VA we had my favorite cake baked by a great family friend with buttercream icing. We used the same cake toppers on both cakes: an old wooden bride and groom that has been used on every cake in my family for decades.
Food: We had a sit down dinner at the first reception with ribeyes, chicken cordon bleu, or salmon. At the second reception it was a buffet styled dinner.
Photography: One thing I recommend to all brides-to-be is to invest in a photographer. I was cheap about this and I regret it ALL the time. I wish we had better photos of this day. The best pictures I got were from family and friends, not our photographers.
First Dance: The Mr and I took several dance lessons because we didn’t want to dance like we did in college at our reception nor did we want to dance like we did in middle school. We love Frank Sinatra so we chose to dance the Fox Trot to “World on a String”. The first time we ever performed our dance perfectly was at the first reception; thank goodness! lol
Honeymoon: Since we had just moved to TX and were so over the heat, we wanted to go somewhere cold. The first night after our wedding we stayed in Pittsburgh in a hotel over looking the Steelers stadium and the next day we left for Montreal, Canada. It was –15 degrees and we definitely got what we wanted: COLD! I think our favorite memory was swimming in the heated pool on the rooftop of the hotel at night in the snow. It was gorgeous!
So that is a little taste of our wedding. Like all marriages we have had our highs and lows but through the Lord we have laughed at the peaks, and clung together in the lows. Hubby you are more than I could have ever dreamed of and I praise the Lord for you daily. Thank you for being such a spectacular husband. I am truly looking forward to many more years with you!