Our ceremony was at 4:00 and after primping, Stockton and I did some photos separately because, duhhh, I was going to have a grand entrance that could not be ruined by him seeing me before the big shebang. After doing the His and Hers thing with the photographer, it was time to begin the countdown. My parents came to escort me to the opposite side of the museum where a horse drawn carriage was waiting to take my dad and I to the ceremony. It was perfection.
As the guests took their seats, Stockton and his brothers waited on the steps of a porch where my carriage would be trotting by any moment. The brothers and our pastor, Ben, processed to the “altar” while my sisters and a very precious daddy-drawn-wagon-riding flower girl made their way down the aisle and Stockton waited patiently on the steps. Rumor has it, guests thought he was going to bolt when he didn’t follow his brothers to the altar. Rumor has it, he now wishes he would’ve. KIDDING!
While the guests turned their heads back to the carriage house from which the sisters processed expecting my dad and I to follow, a thunder of clip clops erupted from the porte cochere and my Daddy and I arrived in our horse drawn carriage. Heavenly entrance, if I do say so myself.
Our ceremony was perfect. The sermon was done by Stockton’s teenage mentor, Ben, who has since become a pastor, and was able to give us a wonderful gift of a beautiful and personal wedding sermon. We served our guests communion while Maddie sang a beautiful hymn, and it was all overwhelmingly special and intimate. At the end, Ben asked the guests to raise their hands and pray over us as we enter this covenant of marriage, and it was so special to have the accountability and favor of all of our guests to support us in this crazy, wild journey.
After the ceremony, Stockton and I left in the carriage together as husband and wife. And we totally had that moment of “Whew… so…. hey, we’re married!” once we were out of sight. The day you get married is seriously a great day for the human soul – to feel that much happiness and to share it with the love of your life is so healing and hopeful. Stockton and I rode the carriage from the ceremony site, through downtown South Bend to the reception venue. To be honest, it was kind of awkward and hilarious sitting in that carriage for 20 minutes for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact we got crapped on by a bird, but also because WHAT DO YOU TALK TO YOUR NEW HUSBAND ABOUT MERE MOMENTS AFTER GETTING HITCHED!?! Do you talk about the weather? Ask him if he thinks this dress makes your butt look big? Make sure he packed the travelers’ checks for the honeymoon? It’s such a surreal situation that ordinary conversation seems out of the question. So we just kinda laughed, and frankly, enjoyed every moment. Bird poop and all. And apparently, it’s amazingly lucky to be pooped on by a bird on your wedding day. JACKPOT!!!!
The reception was a blast. The room was GORGEOUS and I will be sure to post some professional pictures once I have those, but all of our hard work was DEFINITELY worth the paper cuts and cuss words. The band (First Impressions from Indianapolis) was AMAZING and we all had SUCH a blast dancing and singing with them. Seriously, as someone else put it, when they sang an Aretha Franklin song, you thought you were actually listening to Aretha Franklin. When you heard a Louis Armstrong song, you actually thought it was Louis Armstrong. Which leads me to the Father/Daughter dance to “Isn’t She Lovely”. SO CUTE (in my very unbiased opinion). I was so glad we chose a fun song instead of a slow, sad-ish song. It was just so positive and upbeat. And I do believe I threw my dad’s back out with some of my insane, unchoreographed gyrating, but SO WORTH IT!!!
We had such an amazing wedding from start to very finish, and we are so so blessed to have been given the gift of a wedding to remember for an eternity. Mom and Dad, thank you so much for giving us this beautiful gift. We love you and are eternally grateful 🙂 xoxoxo