Hi everyone! Sorry to leave you hanging in part 1, but there’s just so much to write that I needed to split the posts up so they wouldn’t be so long. Anyways, let’s pick up where we left off!
Once hair and makeup was done, we quickly took some getting ready photos in our robes. I made sure the mimosas would be flowing all day, so we popped some bubbly and then quickly the girls got dressed. The photographer had my bridesmaids leave our suite while my mom and sister helped me get ready. To be honest, I was in full on panic mode at this point haha I tried on my necklace and decided I didn’t want to wear it after all, we were trying to take photos while my mom was helping me put on my dress and it was just not going as planned. I finally got everything put on, and my sister (MOH) was continually fixing my hair and adjusting my makeup. She was the best maid of honor I could’ve asked for, and was always there to help me with whatever I needed.
After a quick change, we headed out of the getting ready room for my first look with my bridesmaids. They were lined up with their backs to me, and once the photographer and I got in position we told them to turn around and see! Even though you’re getting ready with everyone so they’ve seen what your hair and makeup look like, it’s still so beautiful to turn around and see all your friends staring back at you like…”I’m getting married!… This is really happening!”. We cried and laughed, and I did lots of twirling in my dress, then I headed back into the getting ready room, so I could go over the game plan for me and Derek’s first look and private vows!
We didn’t have much time, but our photographer, Shannon from Century Tree Productions let me know to take my time, go out when I’m ready, and gave me instructions on where to find Derek. We got married in Texas Hill Country, so Derek was waiting for me in these hidden trees along a clay path. I had printed my vows off the morning of at the hotel, so I quickly folded them up as small as possible so I wasn’t holding a giant piece of paper during our first look, did a once over in the mirror, pinned down my hair extensions (because it was SO windy) and went off to find him.
Once standing behind Derek, he turned around to see me for the first time. I was an emotional wreck haha Derek is always cool as a cuke so he just looked at me and giggled. It was kind of everything I expected.. me being emotional and Derek being level-headed. It was so completely us, and it was so surreal. There were just too many emotions to describe. He had no idea what my dress would look like, only that it wasn’t going to be your standard white wedding dress, but he actually loved it!
We then headed into the open field part of our venue to do our private vows. Derek and I had decided early on that we wanted our vows to be 5 bullet points. We didn’t want to write each other full on letters, so we decided on 5 bullet point “I vow to…” So Derek reads his, and of course I’m crying the whole time. haha Our photographer was pretty far away, so I could see her hiding in the brush but it was just Derek and me 🙂 Then it was my turn, I got the 5 bullet point memo, but also decided I should write 2 intro paragraphs (oops..) so I’m basically reading him a book, and he’s laughing at me for how long the vows are and I’m just crying the whole time. haha It was an amazing experience to get to say exactly what we wanted to say to each other personally just between the to of us, and I’m really glad Derek and I decided to do private vows so we could enjoy at least 10 minutes of just us during our wedding day.
Now it was time for some pre-ceremony photos! These were the fun ones where we got to run through the field, and just be silly. I had connected with my fantastic photographer, Century Tree Productions before our wedding to let her know some shots I wanted to get and the atheistic we were going for. I wanted a lot of candid/wanderlust photos and just a general fun, natural vibe. I wasn’t looking for super posed stuff, but really wanted our photos to capture the joy of our day, and to tell our story. Our photographer, Shannon, totally nailed it, and we are so so happy with the photos we’ve received so far. We should get the rest of the photos in the next 3 weeks, and I seriously can’t wait!!
So after running through the fields and taking lots of photos, we walked back up the trail to the venue building because it was finally almost the start to the ceremony… literally where did the time go?! The girls started lining up after everyone was seated, and then the first major scare of the day happened…we couldn’t find my brother in law to walk my mom down the aisle. In the hustle and bustle of the wedding, I forgot to ask him ahead of time if he would do it, so I asked him the night before at the rehearsal dinner. So, my wedding planner is trying to find someone else to do it just in case, and my sister is trying to find her husband. Meanwhile, I’m just chilling in the dressing room waiting for everything to start. I wasn’t really freaking out because I was just thinking about how I’m about to go out there soon. But apparently, my sister finds my BIL’s parents and they said they didn’t see him on the bus, and his phone was going straight to voicemail. At this point, my sister is freaking out because she doesn’t know if something happened to him or where he was. Someone finally pointed him out to my sister, and she stomped off to find him while whisper screaming down the aisle “MICHAEL! MICHAEL! MICHAEL!” Oh, how I wish I would’ve seen it because after the fact it sounds so funny. Derek obviously saw the whole thing, and said it was one of his favorite parts of the wedding, and told me the story multiple times because he thinks it’s hilarious. hahaha
The ceremony basically went by in the blur. After the wedding was over, I was so glad that we had ended up having a videographer to film everything because it went by so fast. We had one of our friends be the officiant, and it was special for that to be someone we knew. The ceremony was fairly quick but some of my favorite parts were; my dad giving me away (he was emotional, and we both had a lot of tears), Derek each took a sip of mead (basically honey wine) and then he stomped the glass at the end of the ceremony (Derek’s grandmother is Jewish so this was an ode to her), and when I whispered to our friend/officiant that we needed to announce us as husband and wife before we walked back down the aisle. Derek and I just stood there for a second waiting for him to say it, and then me lacking no shame to say something whispered to him, and he announced us. It was sooo funny, and I honestly loved how perfectly imperfect our ceremony was.
We then spent about an hour to an hour and a half taking photos. We had all the family photos, bridesmaids and groomsmen photos so it took a while. Thankfully, we timed everything perfectly, and got some great sunset shots! FINALLY, it was time to get to the party! While we were taking photos, the cocktail hour was going on. So people sat down for dinner, after photos were done, and after some speeches and the bridal party walkout, we had dinner (Tex-Mex obvi), and I could finally sit down and eat and have a drink! Derek came up with this amazing signature cocktail with his friend (named after our bearded dragon, Drake), and I was so happy to finally be sipping on one because it was delicious! I’d say I had about 15 minutes until it was time to start making rounds and chatting with people before we had to cut the cake.
I was able to pretty much say hi to everyone for 5-10 minutes before things got crazy. I really wanted to prioritize dancing, and spend my time with people that way than to spend large amounts of my time focused on a few select people, if that makes sense. Derek loves talking to people, and isn’t much of a dancer, so it was the perfect match! haha We then did all the dances, cut the cake, and had the speeches basically back to back. Our cake was SO good, my mouth is watering thinking about it. It was a vegan cake from Sweet Treats Bakery. We had tried a few different vegan cake options, but they were definitely the best. We chose a citrus semi-naked cake with vanilla butter cream and a strawberry filling. We also had our florist add flowers cascading down. FYI, I did smash some in Derek’s face right after I told him not to do it to me 😉 He’s a gentleman though, and didn’t smash any in mine. I didn’t get to have much of it, but thankfully our amazing wedding planner, EPOCH CO+, packed us to-go boxes of all the food and cake so we could have leftovers!
The rest of the night was spent dancing away! Our DJ totally KILLED it on the dance floor. We had a light show, confetti cannons, and glow sticks to keep the party going. EVERYONE was dancing! We thought Derek’s grandparents would leave on the first bus going back to the hotel, but they ended up staying til the very end. His grandmother was the star of the show, and did Tai-chi on the dance floor for 2 minutes straight while everyone formed a circle around her to some top 40 song. That was probably one of my absolute favorite parts of the wedding! We ended the night, with a private dance between Derek and I, while the guests lined up for the sparkler exit. It was our last moment to take everything in. We danced under the eerie quietness while our last song played, knowing this would never happen again in our lives, and that our new life was just beginning <3
It was just SO cool to have all these people you you love in one room to celebrate you. Getting married is a celebration of love… My and Derek’s love, and the love that everyone has given to us to mold us into the people we are. The biggest thanks to everyone who came to share in this joyous day with us!