The wedding party walked down the aisle to this song . . .
The moments before the ceremony I was just a ball of so many emotions. I was so excited to see everything coming together. I was nervous. I was kind of sad to see it all end. I was also in shock--was this really happening??? But mostly I was extremely happy.
I was supposed to have another bridesmaid, my other best friend Chris, but he was unable to make it (long story). So we had my bridesmaid (and sister in law) Jessica walk down with two of Patrick's groomsmen, Jimmie (left) and Adam (right).
Patrick's groomsmen Dustin was so funny and thoughtful. He asked me at the rehearsal if I wanted him to hold hands with my bestie Matty down the aisle. I said it wasn't necessary. But Matty was equally funny by proclaiming "Aaaawwwww, how come Jessica gets two guys and I only get one?"
My brother and his girlfriend Ginestra looked amazing walking down the aisle together and I love how Ginestra's eyes totally pop in all of her photos.
Patrick's groomsmen Lee walked my cousin Tina down the aisle. Tina is my cousin technically but in actuality, she is more like my sister. My mom took guardianship of her when we were in high school. Her mom passed away about 6 years ago, so my mom has become practically her second mother.
Patrick's best friend and best man Grant walked my sister and Maid of Honor, Sammie, down the aisle. My sister has been my best friend all our lives. We are only 13 months apart in age. I've known Grant since high school and he and Patrick are some of the best men I know.
My seven year old son Conner was our ring bearer. It was so cute how nervous he was. He got down on his knee and presented us with the rings as soon as we all got up to the altar. We had to tell him it wasn't time yet. He did a great job.
Patrick's niece Brynn, 7, and my daughter Brielle, 5, are so close. They just love each other's company and looked especially cute in their matching dresses, shoes and hair that day.
My mom walked my niece Anya, 6, down the aisle. She looooooved sprinkling the flowers and really loved the bucket, which ended up on her head halfway through the ceremony. She is so damn cute!
As it was time for me to walk down the aisle, my brother played Stand By Me. Originally, he was just going to do an acoustic version on his guitar, but he surprised me by singing to it as well!
Patrick watching me walk down the aisle
My oldest son, Kaden, 11, gave me away at my wedding. He was so excited, he could barely contain his smile all day.
Kaden giving me away
Patrick and I joining at the altar
You may remember, but a few weeks before our wedding, our officiant backed out and we had to find a new one. We met Lin Cressey about a week and a half before our wedding. She was so amazing and I am glad that we went with her. I am not religious at all and preferred our ceremony to not have any Bible verses or anything in it. Patrick is a bit religious, though, and wanted to put a few verses into the ceremony. We emailed each other back and forth for a week or so tweaking the ceremony.
Here's the funny part, though. As I was reading aloud to Patrick the final version of the ceremony, I got to a quote by Katherine Woodward Thomas from her book Calling In "The One" that Lin had wanted to use. It read: "The best partnerships are formed between two people who have worked to develop a firm and resilient sense of identity within themselves. Put simply, you have to be a strong "me" in order to form a strong "we". Healthy "we-ness" always enhances and strengthens the individuality of who you are . . ." So I'm reading this and Patrick all of a sudden stops me. "Wait," he says, "Did she just say . . . weiness?" I started busting up laughing. It was at this moment I knew that Patrick, me and all of our wedding party were going to bust up laughing when she shared this quote. It was a big joke leading up to the ceremony. But the quote was so perfect that we didn't want to exclude it.
The first kiss
Yep, he dipped it!
The ceremony was short and sweet--just the way we wanted it. And with over 40 kids in attendance, it was preferred by all.
And the funniest photo booth photo of the night goes to Lee and his adorable family (wife Jackie, daughter Taylor and son Tanner). Thanks for including the we-ness!
*All photo credits to Krista Watzel Photography