I’ve been meaning to write a post about our wedding day for a few weeks now. This past Saturday marked the final wedding celebration – the Open House in Iowa for John’s family and friends. Now it’s on to writing lots and lots of thank you cards!
Since I haven’t been able to fully put into words the experience of the day, I decided to write down ten wedding memories and share ten of my favorite wedding pictures.
1) One of my greatest wedding desires was to keep our wedding day focused on the ceremony and the promises to God and each other that we made that day. We opted to get married in the morning and then have a luncheon with family and close friends at Maggiano’s, one of my all-time favorite restaurants. We then had our Virginia Open House/Reception the following weekend. I loved the fact we structured the events this way. It made the actual wedding day so special and less tiresome than it could have otherwise been. It was also super fun to come back from our honeymoon and still celebrate our wedding with additional friends that next weekend at the Virginia Open House. We’ve both commented to one another how grateful we are for how our wedding day was structured.
2) When we arrived at the Temple to be married, we were seated on a bench in the foyer waiting for our parents to arrive. While sitting on the bench, I remembered I had both of our wedding bands in my bag. So I pulled out the band that John needed and handed it to him. What I didn’t notice, but John was aware of, was a group of teenage girls standing nearby. When they saw me pull out the ring boxes, they got very giggly and were SO excited to see a bride and groom. At that point, we weren’t dressed in our wedding attire, so aside from hearing our conversation and seeing the ring boxes, they would’ve had no idea we were about to get married.
3) We were married in the Washington D.C. LDS Temple. Ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted to be married in an LDS Temple. You’ll see in the picture below the inscription, “The House of the Lord. Holiness to the Lord.” I am grateful to have been married in such a sacred place that will serve as as symbol for us of the types of lives we want to lead.
4) The fall leaves looked incredible on our wedding day. You never know what weekend the fall leaves are going to peak. Some years the leaves peak early in the season, and some years the leaves peak late. I am not really sure when the leaves are supposed to be at their peak, but they were gorgeous on our wedding day.
5) My favorite part of the wedding festivities, aside from marrying John, was the opportunity to spend time with family. My brother came into town, as well as other aunts, uncles, and cousins. The night before the wedding, my family had a bonfire in our backyard and roasted s’mores and hot dogs. We sat around the fire, ate delicious food, chatted, and laughed. It was such a fun evening and one I’ll remember for a long time.
6) Before the actual ceremony, the officiator who married John and I gave us advice and counsel. As I sat next to John during this time and held hands, I felt such peace and gratitude for what was about to happen. I loved the feeling of anticipation.
7) Throughout the whole wedding process I’ve been overwhelmed by the support and kindness of others. From an uncle who spent a whole day arranging the centerpieces and making my bouquet to aunts who devoted countless hours making cookies, helping my mom prepare for the Open House, etc. to the women at Harris Teeter who hand filled all of the cannolis for our Open House and were meticulous in their attention to detail, there were so many people who made us feel special and loved. Being the beneficiary of such love and support made me want to strive even more to support, love, and serve those around me.
8) Instead of having a traditional, large wedding cake at our Open House, we opted for five smaller wedding cakes. And oh my goodness, they were so good! Multiple people commented on how much they looooved the cakes. The amazing thing is the cakes were from Harris Teeter, a local grocery store. We had taste tested cakes at a local bakery that had received a number of awards for their wedding cakes, but they paled in comparison to the cakes from Harris Teeter. My favorite was the raspberry chocolate cake. That is what I want for my birthday cake every year now 🙂
9) I loved the luncheon at Maggiano’s. The food was delicious, the staff so helpful, and the opportunity to celebrate the day with family and friends in that environment was exactly what I was hoping for. We had four toasts during the luncheon, and each one touched on a different aspect of marriage. I appreciated the wisdom shared and the congratulatory wishes. The luncheon was perfect. What surprised me though about the whole wedding process was that is wasn’t the formal wedding events I most enjoyed but the informal interaction with friends and family who came to celebrate with us.
10) Lastly, and most importantly, the most special aspect of the day was the person I got to marry. John is an anchor for me. He keeps me grounded. I don’t want to get mushy or cheesy on here. So I’ll keep this short and sweet by saying he helps me see the best in myself and the best in the world around me.