our wedding

So, I wrote about Baby J’s birth story, but before that happened, we got married. 🙂 We have only been married a little over a year and a half, so our wedding is pretty fresh in my memory. It was a perfect day.

WARNING: This post is pretty long as well. It’s also full of sappiness and pictures.

We were married on Saturday, July 16, 2011 on the bay, on Shelter Island, in San Diego, CA. It was a GORGEOUS week filled with friends, family, love, and a lot of laughter. We had a very small wedding, with only about 30 people invited, 17 of whom were IN the wedding. We kept it small and intimate and and casual and wanted to share that day with the family and friends who we were closest with.

That day, I remember waking up at 6 am and going outside to just pray and reflect on how my life was about to change. I had spent the night with 4 of my closest friends, women who had been with me through every stage of life. I went outside and just thanked God for the blessings of my family and friends that He had given to me. I cried, I read some scripture, and just really thought about what marriage meant. It was a beautiful time. At one point, my best friend, Megan, came out, and we reminisced on our life as friends and we cried and laughed some more. It wasn’t too long after that until the other girls joined in for a little bit before we had to go and get our hair done.

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After going to get all beautified, we came back to the hotel and had lunch and the girls and I just continued the trip down memory lane. We put on some music and danced and got ready. I could not stop laughing and crying from being so happy. At one point, a couple of the girls left to go get my mom, so that she could be there with me during this time. I didn’t want her to miss it. She had just had her second hip replacement surgery 3 weeks prior so that she wouldn’t miss this day, so I wanted her to be with us as well.

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When my mom got there, she helped me put on my wedding dress. It was real. I was really getting married. I was about to join lives with the man of my dreams. Holy moly, talk about emotional. I’d also like to note that when I get nervous, I laugh. There was a lot of laughter that day from the nerves.

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There was a point where our photographers took me away from my family and friends to get some pictures and take me to see Mr. Wonderful for our first look. I have never been so nervous in my life. Having not seen or talked to him since our rehearsal the night prior, I was SO EXCITED to see him. I was excited for him to see me. I remember shaking from being so nervous. And laughing. A lot of laughing.

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The anticipation of waiting for him to arrive was insane. I had been tucked away into a little corner to hide from him while he was being put into position for our first look. I could see him, and how amazingly handsome he had looked, but he couldn’t see me. I was the luckiest girl in the world to get to marry this man. Then, it was time. It was time for him to see me. I kinda skipped up to him because I was so giddy. I put my arms around his eyes, and told him to turn around. He broke out in tears, and I, in laughter. It was a beautiful moment. It hit both of us that we were about to be joined in marriage and that our lives were going to become one. Holy. Moly.

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After our first look, we went to join our wedding party for photos. We had fun taking all sorts of pictures. We’re a big group of goofballs. It was fun.

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Then… it was time for the ceremony. We were lined up and then it was time to begin. THIS was the moment I’d waited for for my whole life. Wow. I got emotional thinking about it, and then I laughed because of my nerves. I’ve never smiled or laughed SO MUCH in my life.

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The song that I walked down the “aisle” to was “Falling Slowly” played on an acoustic guitar by our friend. My step-parents walked me down half of the “aisle” and then they handed me off to my mom and dad, and then all four of them gave me away. It was extremely important for me to have all of them involved in the ceremony because all four of them have had a huge impact on my life. When they gave me away, I remember looking at Mr. Wonderful and thinking that I was SO BLESSED to be marrying a man who loves me and makes me so happy. I was giddy.

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Our good friend (and Mr. Wonderful’s BEST friend), Dennis, officiated the ceremony. It was a perfect mix of funny and sincere. We laughed and cried, and took communion. We joined our lives together. The most emotional part of the ceremony, for me, was when Dennis read letters that we wrote to one another. We didn’t want to read them because we both knew we’d cry, so he incorporated them into the ceremony. Mr. Wonderful wrote the most beautiful words to me; words he genuinely felt and meant. I did the same.

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We exchanged rings, and when he placed the diamond band on my hand, I knew the words were coming… “By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may now kiss your bride.” I laughed, Mr. Wonderful cried. We kissed and there it was. We were joined in holy matrimony for the rest of our lives. This man CHOSE ME. I CHOSE HIM for all of eternity. It was a fairytale day. It was the start of our adventure.

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We didn’t do the traditional processional because most of the people that came to our wedding were IN the wedding, so instead we opted for a GROUP HUG. Yes, a group hug. Awesome right? We wanted all of these people who love and support us to hold us close and say “We love and support your marriage.” So we did.

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After some family pictures, it was time to head to dinner. We had a beautiful dinner at Miguel’s on Shelter Island. We didn’t want a traditional wedding dinner, and being that we only had 30 people with us, we opted  for a delicious Mexican dinner.

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At dinner, we made it legal. It was already official under God, but it wasn’t legal. So, we signed our marriage license and I could not stop smiling. That whole night.

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The toasts made me cry. Each one came from a place of genuine love for us. We were surrounded by people who cared for us through thick and thin and promised to continue to support us and our marriage.

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After the toasts and eating, before we fed each other cupcakes, we snuck away for some pictures in the sunset. We were taken to the Sunset Cliffs in Point Loma. Oh. My. God. It was gorgeous. We could see the sunset on the ocean and getting to take in the fact that we were married and that we made that commitment with one another literally took my breath away.

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We got back to the dinner after that and fed each other the yummiest of yummy cupcakes and then the evening was coming to a close. We had every intention of partying with our friends until 2 am after dinner, but a very tired bride and a very tired groom only went out for one drink with the group and then went to go live happily ever after. 🙂

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Our wedding will forever be ingrained into my mind because it was a beautiful day, but more than that, it was a day that two lives became one and it was just the beginning of our journey. In my short year and a half of being married, I’ve come to find that marriage is not a happily ever after, but it’s the beginning of a new adventure; an adventure that refines you and brings both challenges and great joy. We just began ours and have many more years to go.

Wedding Coordinator: Brittany Hart at Hartfelt Events

Photographers: Marcus Murphy at Gina Meola Photography & Brianna and Scott Chanson at Radiant Photography

Dinner: Miguel’s on Shelter Island, San Diego, CA

Cupcakes: European Cake Gallery, Point Loma, San Diego, CA

Flowers: Flowers of Point Loma, Point Loma, San Diego, CA

Hair: Aveda Salon, Point Loma, San Diego, CA

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