Oh my gosh… I still can’t believe it happened! It’s here in this blog post! Our wedding day! It was nothing like I imagined it being yet such a beautiful Jesus-filled day from start to finish. When we first started planning our wedding, I had just one prayer. That God would use our wedding day to minister to people. And I think that’s exactly what happened. From what I’ve heard, our guests had the time of their lives and witnessed a kind of joy and love that’s hard to describe. What I think is equally as amazing is how God used our story this past year and a half to encourage other young couples in their journey to marriage as well as people who aren’t even in a relationship. It was truly all I wanted from our wedding and the start of our marriage and it’s all I can ask for now, here, one month later.

I woke up on the morning of our wedding to the sound of rain and a bedroom much darker than it had been the previous morning on the sunniest day I’d seen all year. We were expecting rain, but a tropical storm had actually changed course overnight and was going to now be sitting over Lexington ALL day. I had the sweetest bridesmaids who acted like there wasn’t even precipitation falling from the sky and my vendors either acted like it wasn’t happening or assured me that it was all going to be fine regardless. The hourly kept saying the rain would stop in a couple of hours but I knew the second I checked my radar in the bathroom at 7am that it was going to be a pretty wet day. But it was honestly like it wasn’t even raining. As we got ready in the bridal suite I kept looking outside like “oh, the ground is wet.” I kid you not… wedding day feelings and emotions kinda just take over no matter what’s going on around you!

I hadn’t really been able to process anything for several weeks and the morning of the wedding, I just felt kinda numb! I was excited, SO happy, and not the least bit nervous. I had been so stressed about something like our ceremony song timing and the second I woke up all those thoughts were gone and all I could think about was I GET TO MARRY JUSTIN TODAY AND GO HOME WITH HIM! What?!?! It felt absolutely unreal.

The first tears came after Teddi of Bobby Pins & Blush had just finished my airbrush makeup. Lauren brought in all of our bouquets and as I walked into Jill’s kitchen to take a look, I lost it. It was the moment it all hit me and I realized it was REALLY happening… these flowers were real and our WEDDING day was starting!!! AHHH! Of course this was when Tyler of The Herrintons had just arrived as well and I hugged him with tears streaming down my face literally unable to speak when he asked me how I was doing. I WISH someone had taken a picture of my tear stained cheeks and all the brand new airbrush makeup melting away. I probbaly looked ridiculous!! Haha! It was the hardest I cried all day and I’m so glad I got it out of me then!!

The biggest surprise of the morning came from the strange sense of peace and calm. It was so quiet at some points that all we heard was the raindrops falling on the roof above our heads. Looking out at the spring and seeing thousands of drops hit the water and ripple out into a circle from one end to the next… it was such a beautiful site and when Kristin remarked that it was like a dream, I immediately agreed. It was like something out of this world seeing the hillside so green and the mountains covered in mist. It was absolutely beautiful.

So now that I’ve set the tone, without further delay… here is the FIRST HALF of our wedding day captured by the wonderful Katelyn James! I still can’t believe these are OUR wedding photos! Ahhh!! Enjoy living out our day from getting ready to cocktail hour! Part II (reception and second dress portraits on the hillside!) is coming VERY soon!!!! But for now… here we go!!

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HUGE thank you to Meredith for my Mrs. box!!! It was the sweetest surprise gift and I know Katelyn loved using it for ring shots!

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Classic bridesmaids robe shot! I got these for everyone from Etsy and they were so comfy!!

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I also gifted each girl with a gold necklace engraved with the date I met her in Roman numerals. I was getting emotional handing these out and telling everyone what it stood for! Most of these dated back to the early 90s… insane!!! I’m so lucky to have such wonderful lifelong friends!

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Kristin Wall flew all the way from Washington to be a part of our wedding day… she has been so encouraging in our walk with Jesus and our wait for marriage and I can’t tell you how much her presence there meant to me. It was so sweet being prayed over right before starting the most important and beautiful day of my life so far. I’m so thankful for her friendship!

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Time to get into my DRESS!!!! (Long story here but this is my CEREMONY dress! It got altered seven times leading up to this day and I was so relieved when it fit on the actual wedding morning! Haha! Thank goodness!!!

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Reading my letter and opening my gift from Justin! Tears were shed!!!

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And then my first look with my dad!!! Oh my gosh what a sweet moment. The “thumbs up” though. So cute. And notice my sister bawling in the next room. Apparently everyone was!

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He was trying SO hard to fight the tears!!!!

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Ready for the First Look!!!

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But first… the guys had to get ready!! They hung out in the barn for a few hours and I’m assuming they had a good time!

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Justin got his groomsmen matching watches to wear on the wedding day!

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Reading my letter(s) from him! I had one letter that had been sealed since March of 2011… we had been dating at the time but it wasn’t made out specifically to Justin, just my future husband. I’m glad he didn’t read that one out loud! It was embarassing!! Haha!

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My handsome groom!!!!!

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AHHHHHH!!!!! I wish I could describe to you how happy I was in this moment… happy and a little nervous hoping Justin loved my dress!!!! And SO EXCITED to hug him and talk to him and kiss him and hang out with him a little bit before the ceremony!!! EEEEK!

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Did I say I was happy?! HAHA

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We read our personal vows to each other privately right after our First Look! This was such a beautiful and intimate moment and I cried reading mine and when he read me his! I thought I would BAWL during the First Look but I was so happy and excited and just bouncing up and down with joy that I forgot to cry! Haha!

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And then we started the first of MANY, many bride and groom portraits! I don’t even know what to do with all of these!!!

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Then the guys came over because it was time for bridal party portraits and I loved hugging everyone and saying hi!!

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And yes, it was raining during ALL of these… we’re thankful for bridal party members that didn’t complain about getting a few droplets on their clothes (and face) and for HUGE trees to shoot under!!

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THESE FLOWERS. I cannot. Prettier than I could have ever dreamed!!!!!!!!! Lauren of Ginger & Blooms did a PHENOMENAL job. Oh my word.

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Annnnnd more bride and groom portraits!!! We are so lucky!!!!! But future brides and grooms… THIS is why you do a First Look! We would have been screwed if we had only had the time after the ceremony to do ALL bridal party and bride and groom portraits because of the weather! I’m SO GLAD we did a First Look for SO many reasons!!!!! These portraits just being one of them!

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Haha! I love this!! Michael was awesome! :)

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Guys… how epic is this shot. Big Spring is SO PRETTY. And Katelyn is magical!!!

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TIME TO GET MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t put enough exclamation points to relay my excitement!!! But maybe you’ll be able to tell by the ridiculous grin on my face as I’m walking downt the aisle!! Just wait…..

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Traditionally the bride’s mother leads the processional. In my mom’s absence, her sister (my aunt Deb) walked down the aisle with a bouquet for her in hand and placed it on her seat…

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The processional was to “Revelation Song” by Kari Jobe. I had listened to this song for years and years and imagined walking down the aisle to it and I would cry every time. Every. Time. Picturing myself walking down to Justin during the final chorus of the song. It was the most heavenly, surreal moment of my life… and I think it was for my sisters too… :)

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I was walking to the ceremony site from the barn as Kari sung, “Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder, at the mention of your name. Jesus your name is power, breath and living water, such a marvelous mystery…” and then I rounded the corner…

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MARRIED!!!! I’m crying at this point. I wish I could go back and relive this moment over and over again!!! It was the happiest moment of my entire life.

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Annnnnnnd then I was like… Where do we go now?!?! Hahaha!!!

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And the answer was, to more portraits!! With the LOVE sign provided by Light Your Love Marquees! AMAZING!!!

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Family portraits!!! Loved seeing everyone! We all look so good!!

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Our flower girl and ring bearer were PRECIOUS.

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And here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come next!!!!! There are so many more photos to share and the reception is when it really starts to get fun! Hahaha!!!! Stay tuned!! And by the way… I had a second dress!! And it was a surprise to everyone!!! More on that soon!!!! I can’t wait to share part two!!!!

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