Once we had the venue decided on, I always knew the only place I wanted to exchange vows was in the middle of the hay field behind my grandparent’s house. This land actually belongs to their neighbors, so our wedding date needed to correspond to the time of year they cut the hay. The middle of June was a sure thing and they agreed that we could get married there. When we first arrived a week before the big day though, it hadn’t been cut! It was waist-high and we lost our dog in it for a few minutes. And I panicked a little bit (all my planning for a year had been centered around this spot). Turns out, they were waiting closer to the big day so the land would be freshly mowed :) They were so nice about it.
The Good Time Trolley was such a fun touch to bring all the guests over from the hotel since mostly everyone was from out of town, plus parking was limited at my grandparent’s house. It was just by chance that I found this trolley for rent – I had googled for months every single thing I could think of to find a trolley to rent with no luck. And one day I was on the city’s web site and saw a picture with a trolley in the background and so I called someone – who gave me someone else’s number – who finally directed me to someone who sometimes gave historic tours of the town with the owner of the trolley – and then I got his number. Turns out it belonged to a nice man who doesn’t have internet or email and just drives it around for fun when there are festivals downtown. Once I finally got in touch with him, he agreed to drive around our guests to and from the wedding (and rehearsal dinner the night before). It was open air to enjoy the beautiful weather we had, it was vintage and nostalgic just like the rest of the details and added an air of whimsy.
Parker and I definitely wanted to see each other before the wedding. In fact, we spent most of the day together and that was exactly as I wanted it. He’s my best friend in the whole world and this day was about us so I couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing him until the wedding. We even got to have breakfast together, just the two of us, at a little coffee shop where we excitedly told the barista we were getting married that day. I loved getting to hang out with him and look at how handsome he was in his suit – some of my best memories of the day are us together before the wedding.
The most memorable moment is writing our vows together two hours before the wedding!! Yes, that was one tiny little detail that kept getting pushed back because of the chaos of everything else that week. Finally the night before the wedding as we were going to sleep, I cried to Parker, “We need to write our vows! I can’t believe we haven’t done that yet! We have to do it right now!” and he calmly kissed me and said it was okay and that we would write them the next day, when we were excited and not sleep deprived and stressed. And you know what? Best decision ever!
We snuck away to a quiet room, told everyone to not even think about bothering us, and we sat there quietly writing and then reading aloud what we had written to each other. It was the most perfect moment and still brings tears to my eyes as I write this. We were so present in that moment and everything we felt for each other was on the tips of our tongues, just spilling out, excited to promise everything we had to each other for all time. The excitement of the momentous occasion just in front of us made the most honest, personal, and touching words come. In retrospect, I wouldn’t have done a thing differently :)
This photo above looks so calm and serene, but my heart was pounding out of my chest! My dad asked me if I was nervous and of course I said “No!” like it was such a silly question because I wasn’t at all nervous about marrying Parker, but just something about it finally being time gave me all sorts of nerves that I tried to hide.
But then as soon as we got our queue that it was time, we turned the corner to walk down the aisle and a big gust of wind took my veil and made this big dramatic scene. In an instant, I decided there was no way I was going to let a rogue veil distract me during the most important moment of my life so I stopped and squealed to my dad “Wait! Take this damn thing off!”. I hollered to our guests, who were just seeing me for the first time, that we would be right there :)
We laughed and yanked the veil right off my head (thank goodness nothing bad happened to my hair!). Turns out, it was exactly the ice breaker I needed – I was no longer nervous and I felt light hearted again. I still smile thinking about how silly it was, but how much I needed something to make me laugh right in that moment, even if it was a tad bit embarrassing :). It allowed me to take a big, deep breath and think “Okay, now let’s do this!”
Our officiant (who stepped out of the way while we spoke our vows) let us have the laid back and brief ceremony we wanted. She took parts of this awesome blog post I had read a few months before our wedding that I thought made some beautiful points and were good reminders for us as we entered a marriage. Then she let us read our vows to each other. I had made Parker hide a hankie in his jacket just in case I needed to dry my eyes and I’m so glad I did. I definitely teared up a bit when he read his vows to me. The sweetest words I have ever heard and all my little girl dreams came true when he said them to me :)
Have you heard of the Wedding Box Ceremony? It’s gaining popularity, and the idea is that you write letters to each other before the wedding and during the ceremony, you put the letters in the box and seal it, not to be opened until your 10th anniversary to celebrate your love for each other and reflect on how far you’ve come. However, if the marriage is ever in trouble and in need of remembering why you got married, you would open it, read the letters and be reminded of what the core of your love is and that your marriage is bigger and stronger than any problem. Also in the box is a bottle of wine and two glasses to share when the box is opened. We chose to put our wedding vows in the box since those are the most important words we could ever write to each other.
My dad is a very talented woodworker and he custom built this box for us, so it holds even more meaning and sentimental value. He also made it have a lock and key, rather than nailing it shut, and I actually cheat and open it to put cards and sweet notes Parker and I write to each other :)
When we were announced husband and wife, I jumped for joy! I was (and am!) so happy to be this guy’s wife – finally!
When we walked back up the aisle, we headed straight to the trolley. We wanted to take a ride around the countryside for a few minutes to have some time to ourselves to soak it all in and be together alone for just a bit before we met back up with our guests to celebrate. I wept the entire walk to the trolley from overwhelming happiness (I’ve never done that before!) but pulled it together for the ride.
I’m so glad we did this! It was nice to have a quiet moment to smile at each other, be present, and enjoy the moment. And what a fantastic moment it was too! :)
Tomorrow I’ll show you how much fun the reception was – and if you missed it yesterday, check out all the little details of our wedding.