Since I never got around to sharing our wedding photos after we got married, I figured our 7th anniversary would be a good time to share!
Weston and I met at University of Mobile, which you can read more about here. When we started dating, we knew we would wait to get married until after we both graduated. We both ended up completing the 5-year integrated MBA program, which means that we earned our bachelor’s and master’s degrees simultaneously. It also means that we had to wait a year longer to get married than many of our classmates.
We got married at First Baptist Tillman’s Corner. My dad is a pastor, but his church was too small to accommodate our guest list. No lie, we visited 13 churches before one finally agreed to let us get married there since we were not members. I understood their reasoning, but it was still frustrating as a bride whose priority was having a church wedding. First Baptist Tillman’s Corner ended up being the perfect fit for us!
Our reception was at the Alabama Cruise Terminal downtown. I love Mobile and I wanted my city to be prominently featured somehow. I lost count of how many venues we visited in an attempt to find one that met my three criteria: must be able to hold all of our guests, must show off Mobile’s charm, and must be within a reasonable driving distance from the church. The cruise terminal wasn’t even on our radar when we started wedding planning, but we fell in love with the skyline view and the spacious room.
Like most weddings, there is usually something that doesn’t go according to plan. We were actually three hours (yes, THREE) behind schedule. Our hair and makeup artists rocked, but there were so many of us getting dolled up and it just took a little longer than we thought. Not to mention that it rained most of the morning, so we ended up delaying some of the photos and taking many of them inside. We still started the ceremony on time and still got plenty of wedding photos though!
It’s also worth mentioning that my hair wouldn’t do exactly what we wanted it to do, so I told Mrs. Lisa she could cut whatever she needed to make it work! I still can’t believe I did that!
Since we had some time to kill before everyone was ready, Candace led us in an impromptu pure barre class. We had to stay fit for our dresses! 😉
While we were getting ready, I realized that I had forgotten the garter. The garter toss wasn’t exactly something my modest-self was looking forward to, so I decided it wasn’t worth it to go back home to get it.
If you know me personally, you know I’m a perfectionist. For that reason, I think many people expected me to be stressed out because of these things. I honestly didn’t care. I was way more relaxed on my wedding day than I thought possible.
Part of the reason for that is because just a few days before, my youngest brother called my mom to tell us that my dad wasn’t breathing. We found out later that his heart had stopped. We spent a stressful evening at the Emergency Room. Long story short, we still don’t know what caused this episode, but my dad recovered enough that he was able to walk me down the aisle and twirl me around the dance floor! The cake could have fallen over, my dress could have ripped, or I could have tripped walking up the steps and I don’t think I would have cared. All that mattered was that I was marrying my best friend and my dad was alive to see it.
I chose to keep my dress a secret from everyone except my mom. (I’m starting to realize a theme in my life.) It was so fun to keep everyone guessing and know that they would be completely shocked when they saw me. My dress was basically the opposite of everything I thought I wanted. Because of the big secret, I wanted to do a first look with my dad, my bridesmaids, and Weston.
Side note because you can see it in this next picture. We got married in July. In December the prior year, a group of us decided it would be fun to temporarily dye our hair. We only dyed a small portion of the hair closest to our necks. It was supposed to last for about a month, but I had never used hair dye and my hair is naturally blonde. Almost 8 months later, I STILL had purple in my hair! At least it had faded!
All three of the first looks were some of my favorite moments of the day! Weston cried when he saw me and it was everything I dreamed of and more.
We went through months of pre-marital counseling with our friend, Mark. He was in my dad’s youth group decades ago and he treated us like family. It was a no-brainer who we wanted to officiate our wedding. When he asked what we wanted him to say, I told him I didn’t care as long as he made us laugh and made us cry. He began by reading a poem that my dad wrote for our wedding. I was already getting teary-eyed.
When it was time to exchange rings, Mark shared with the congregation that Weston and I were choosing to wear our rings on our right hands. You can read our reason for that here. Before Mark handed the rings to each of us, he dropped them! They were laying in his Bible and slipped off. I think he was slightly embarrassed, but I thought it was hilarious and made a great wedding memory to share!
One of the funniest parts was when it came time for our vows. He slipped in Weston’s vows that he would bring me breakfast in bed every morning. (Weston did bring me coffee in bed every morning for about 5 years. We had to change it up after I fell asleep a few times and spilled coffee all over me!). Mark slipped into my vows that I would leave the toilet seat up for Weston! I can’t say that I have done very well with this, but there’s always tomorrow.
This was a moment of relief for us. It had been a tough week with my dad’s health. It had been a tough semester being separated by distance and finishing grad school. All the wedding planning stress was finally over. Five years of dating came to an end. It felt like a huge accomplishment!
Did I mention how much I loved this view?? I could have taken pictures here all day!
Weston and I danced to “The Way You Smile” by NewSong and Francesca Battistelli. I’d love to say that we listen to it every year on our anniversary, but we haven’t thought to do that until the time of this writing. Maybe we’ll play it for our anniversary this year, Weston? 😉
My family loves to hit the dance floor at every wedding! Weston isn’t much of a dancer, but I do have proof that he danced with me at least one day of our lives! 😉
And now for one of my favorite wedding photos:
I told you I loved my hometown!
Which photo was your favorite? Tell me in the comments!