Our Wedding Day (Part 1)

Getting Ready

(Thanksgiving 2016–I started this post but backdated to the correct chronological time) I was at my parent’s house and I was going though some old photos. I was enjoying (again!) all of our beautiful wedding pictures that were taken by some very talented folks at Midwest Lifeshots. We spared no expense on best photographer we could find, and spent considerable time vetting various photographers before settling on MLS. This was easily the best decision we made regarding the wedding because they were able to cement into our minds all of the details that we had planned into the day.

So, it’s is time that I wrote a little about a day that was so important to me (us). This will be an extremely image-heavy series, so I’ll break it apart into separate posts, and really, there’s probably going to be way more detail than YOU ever wanted to know about this day, but I’ll remind you that this post is for myself and those that want to relive the day.

I remember in the months leading up to the wedding I became interested in the weddings of various family members, especially my mom’s and my grandmas’. Mom had some really pretty pictures of her wedding which I idolized as a child. My mom was the most beautiful bride. There are hardly any pictures of either of my grandma S’s or D’s weddings. My grandmas couldn’t tell me much detail about their weddings. That should hopefully not be a problem with me, since I will have this wonderful series!

So, without further ado, our first stop on the wedding planning:

Obligatory Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

I don’t go out for drinks with friends all that often, but when I do, it’s usually with my siblings or close family. So of course it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to do a bachelorette party of just girls. Me and my cousin Whit are really close, but I don’t have a sister or THAT many girl friends that I wanted to party with. I also love my brothers very much. So, it just made a lot of sense to have a mixed gender bachelor/ette party. We did this early in September so it would still be warm and we could do a little bar-hopping. I invited a few of my friends from work also who are not pictured below.

That was fun. They started buying me shots like RIGHT after dinner. I thought I had a pretty good tolerance built up from my college days, but that can’t stand up to the rigors of shot-taking. So, I crashed at 11:45 P.M. My husband-to-be apparently kept the whole wedding party up in the hotel’s hallway that night telling them how much he loved them all. Hahaha. Good times.

Before we all got shit-faced. Don't we look cute and fresh as a daisy?
Don’t we look all cute and fresh as a daisy? It’s before we all got shit-faced. First row: Husband, Me, Brother, Brother’s GF. Second row: Whit, Brother, Brother’s GF

Wedding Rehearsal

In the days and weeks leading up to the event, I anxiously watched the weather reports for rain, or god forbid, snow. In Minnesota, October can range anywhere from extremely nice and warm to freezing and snow within a few days. I needn’t have worried. The weekend dawned with warm sunshine and plenty of nerves.

We had our rehearsal the night before, as is tradition. Everyone knows their places, and gets the lay of the land. My husband’s three kids were here too, but it was difficult. We tried to help them understand where they needed to be and what to do during the wedding. We wanted them to be involved, but it wasn’t going well. My dad turned to me and said softly, “Well I don’t know about you, but as they say… ‘that dog ain’t gonna hunt'”. I was in denial, but turns out he was right. Probably my one major letdown for the whole weekend, since you will see we hardly have any pictures of the kids at our wedding. We just didn’t have them at our house very much, and we weren’t on the greatest terms with their mom at the time… well, I won’t dwell on that, because it just makes me a little sad, and weddings are supposed to be happy.

Brother helping set up the ceremony location.
Brother helping set up the ceremony location.

Saturday Morning, Getting Ready!

Mom and I had gone dress shopping nearly a year in advance. It takes quite a long time to have a dress made for the occasion. I think that dress shopping was possibly my favorite part of the whole experience, because I’ve always adored playing dress-up as a child, and this was REAL dress-up for adults. I tried on some of the most extravagantly beautiful dresses in my life. Beads, lace, satin, the works. I fell in love with several, but the second I put this one on, I knew it was the one. It already fit my body perfectly, and accented my natural shape, as well as displayed my favorite assets, my ahem…. collarbones. 😉 It was also a dress that fit my self image–pretty, timeless, and classic.

The Wedding Dress
The Wedding Dress

Our wedding took place in two main locations, the first, that you see pictured above is a neat old mansion, and there are tons of beautiful pictures set in various places throughout the house. We had the entire house for the day, including the bedrooms upstairs where me, my cousin and my mom got ready. The second location was at a nature center, where we will travel to later.

My really cute & practical shoes. Nice and comfortable to be in all day long.
My really cute & practical shoes. Nice and comfortable to be in all day long.

Upstairs in the bedroom, my mom helped me into my dress, which had a long row of buttons down the back, so I needed someone else to do them all up. It was a pretty emotional time for my mom. Oddly enough I was the first of her children to get married, even though I am the youngest. I didn’t dare cry because I had fake eyelashes on (which are fantastic in photos), it was difficult not to.

Mom and Me hugging after helping me into my dress.
Mom and I hugging after helping me into my dress.
She can hardly believe her baby is getting married.
She can hardly believe her baby is getting married.

There’s a wedding tradition to have “something old, something new–something borrowed, something blue”. The dress and shoes were of course new, and my wedding colors were blue and gold, so I had selected a necklace with blue stones in it. I had one my grandma D’s old lace handkerchiefs in a clutch with me, and most importantly, I had borrowed my grandma D’s wedding ring from my cousin Carrie (who had inherited it after grandma died).

The rings on my right hand.
My Grandma’s wedding ring is the ring on my right hand’s middle finger.
Posing on a bench in the upstairs bedroom near the window.
Posing on a bench in the upstairs bedroom near the window.
Looking like a hollywood movie star by the gorgeous staircase.
Looking like a hollywood movie star by the gorgeous staircase.

Okay! We’ve got a few solo portraits of the bride, let’s get in the car and head to the nature center, where the boys are busy getting ready.

My fresh-faced and handsome husband adjusting his tie. On his right hand is a claddagh ring I had bought for him while we were dating.

Now that husband is all ready, he runs outside to give the bridesmaid a quick excited hug, and takes his place at an agreed-upon location for a “first look” picnic with his new bride-to-be. Look at him grin from ear to ear, he can barely contain himself.


I arrive shortly after, and I hop out of the car and take a quick picture with Ranae, who arranged all the flowers for the wedding. She stopped by the nature center to put her finishing touches on everything, and to deliver my bouquet. I had met with her earlier that year and shared a bunch of pictures of things that liked. I told her my colors, that I wanted thistles because I loved their texture, and to make the bouquet like a bundle of just-picked wildflowers. Perfect.

The very talented lady who arranged all the flowers for the wedding.
Ranae, the flower wizard!

And now, time for what is possibly my favorite part of the day, “The first look”.

All photos taken by Midwest Lifeshots


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