(Originally Posted in October of 2016)
As many of you know, Devin and I recently got married on October 15th- just seventeen days ago!
We had very seriously considered following my grandparents’ (who will be married for 52 years on Christmas Eve!) lead to elope, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to exclude the people we love the most from an event that we would love to have them at, and one I’m sure that they would love to be included in. We didn’t want much attention on us, and we didn’t want to have a large, blown out of proportion ceremony. We wanted it to be filled with love, and have a simple, intimate atmosphere. To us, having a small wedding just made sense.
Figuring out a guest list was difficult. We wanted our immediate families there, plus our grandparents, plus all of our aunts & uncles, our best friends, cousins, and more! Not only this, but you can’t invite these people and not include their spouses, significant others, and children! The list was huge, and we just didn’t know what to do with it. We decided to narrow it down to just our immediate families and grandparents. At first, we hurt a lot of feelings, which was so disappointing. We explained our decision and it’s reasoning to our friends and non immediate families, they seemed to be significantly less hurt and very understanding afterwards. That was a huge relief!
Now for the crazy plot twist? Until about two weeks prior to the wedding, I didn’t know about it! Devin and my immediate family had planned it, set a date, and they were going to tell me about it days before it. Obviously before all this, we had been talking and trying to figure out a wedding, and when to have it, but I was struggling with it a lot. I didn’t know if we should elope or try to cut down our guest invitations- I was nervous to be in front of a crowd, nervous to elope, and nervous to make the right choice. I was worrying myself sick and kept pushing back the wedding’s timeframe, just trying to make the right decision. Not only that, but I hate making these types of decisions, and I’m not very opinionated on minor details. Devin knew all this, so he took over to set it all up by himself. He planned the location, the time, the date, the food, he wrote his vows, decided what everyone would wear, and who would do my hair and makeup. It wasn’t until two weeks before, that my mom started getting worried. She was afraid I was going to miss out on all the ‘fun’ planning of the wedding, and insisted that he let me in on the secret. He did, and I was so overwhelmed yet relieved at once to realize most all the planning was already finished! All I had to do was find a white dress and write my vows!
Our wedding day flew by so fast! To anyone wondering how your big day will go, just realize, it’s very quickly! That morning, my sisters and I arranged mismatched chairs on the front side of my mom’s wrap around porch to form an isle. We made a podium for our officiant using a nightstand. We also realized that, since we didn’t have any children at the wedding, that we wouldn’t have flower girls or ring bearers. We decided to have the rings already sitting on the nightstand for us, and to have the ceremony sans flower girls (although we did consider having my Grandma and Devin’s Mammy be flower girls). We also realized that since we didn’t have groomsmen or bridesmaids, that I wouldn’t have a place for my bouquet to go when I got down the aisle. To fix that, we decided to also set a jar of marbles on the nightstand for me to place the bouquet in. Devin and I wrote our vows in the front of our guestbook, and that set on the nightstand as well. In a last minute panic, I realized we didn’t have a song for me to walk down the isle to! I texted Devin in a panic and he said he had found the perfect solution.
After my makeup was finished, my dress was on, and I let my natural hair down- I got the pre-wedding jitters so horribly! There wasn’t a doubt in my mind that Devin was (and is) the person for me; However that didn’t stop me from worrying about tripping, crying, or saying the wrong thing! My sister, Olivia helped me slip my boots on, and I tucked my grandmother’s blue handkerchief into them. It was something she had carried when she eloped, and had given to me to carry as well. Remembering that my grandparents had been married for so long, and that everyone downstairs was here completely out of love- not to be nosy, and not to just be able to say they came, made me relax some. I walked down the stairs and to the backdoor where my grandpa stood, waiting. He was dressed in his best and standing as tall as he could. His belt was almost level with the top of my strapless dress! He stood 6’4 and was called Big John in his younger days because of the country song referencing John Henry. To others he may have been intimidating, but to me, he was just my soft hearted, sweet farmer grandpa. His hand swallowed mine, and both of us were teary eyed and we started walking toward the front side of the porch.
As we took our first step, Devin’s dad strummed his Martin guitar and our family started singing ‘Amazing Grace’. As I rounded the corner to see everyone, I was overwhelmed with love and emotions. I looked up, and at the end of the isle stood a long time family friend (our officiant), and a man. The first second of looking at him, I didn’t even recognize him to be my soon to be husband! It truly was one of those ‘this just has to be too good to be true‘ feelings. He stood so straight and tall, his chest was swelled up, he smiled, and his white cowboy hat and red beard perfectly framed the face I loved so much. I smiled even harder when I saw him, and I saw that his eyes looked teary too.
When my grandpa and I finally reached him, our officiant, Mrs. Shannon Julian, asked my grandpa who would give me away. He said “I do, and I do on behalf of myself, my wife and my daughter“. I wasn’t expecting that as an answer, and it was so sweet and overwhelming to hear.
I placed my bouquet in the jar and looked Devin in the eyes. I knew better than to look at our families, because I would definitely start crying! He was my safe place and I just lost myself in his eyes as we said our vows and Shannon prayed for us. We each read our own vows, (and his were so perfect by the way!) and we looked to Shannon to finish the ceremony with our rings. She said we could now kiss, and I was instantly nervous again; I felt everyone’s eyes on us and I didn’t like it! Devin swooped in and covered our kiss with his hat- the perfect ending to the perfect wedding. My mom made me laugh when she exclaimed “I guess I’ll never get to see them kiss!”. My bright red lipstick left on his lips told on us though!
We walked down the isle, and there such was a special feeling I’ll never forget- being surrounded by people who I know and love with every fiber of my being, while walking hand in hand with the person I love and trust the most. We walked into the back door of my mom’s house, and for a moment, just looked at each other and said ‘I love you’ a lot- we were flooded with good feelings and so much happiness. We then realized we needed to go back outside and get our pictures finished. Heidi’s ‘Infinite Photography’ from Scott County, Indiana did our photos and they turned out so well!
After that, my mom started frying her just alike ‘chick-fil-a chicken nuggets’, and her and the rest of our family talked and laughed and celebrated together. Prior to that day, our families hadn’t met, so this was also a great relief to see them blend and get along so well.
That Friday after the wedding, we had a reception open to all of our friends, family, and Facebook friends- and it was equally nice. We loved visiting and enjoying the people who were able to come, and it really made us feel loved, and we really appreciated the people we’re so blessed to have in our lives- not to mention all the wonderful marriages we get to look up to!
On Sunday, we packed the essentials into our Toyota 4Runner and headed out to Montana! That’s another story for another post on another day though. 🙂
All in all, our wedding day was a success, largely due to the fact that we kept it simple, intimate, and we placed more importance on our new marriage than the show of a wedding. We also couldn’t have done it without such a supportive, loving family. I wouldn’t change any detail of our wedding, and I’m so thankful with how smoothly it went. Now to just make this marriage as smooth and blissful!
In case you were wondering, here are our unique vows. Keep in mind, we just said told each other to keep them between five and seven sentences- we didn’t know what the other had written beforehand! Also, if you personally know us, it’s up to you to help us uphold these vows at all times!
Here are ‘His Vows’:
“I promise to never let you be hungry.
I promise to always provide you with a roof over your head.
I promise to always keep you safe from anything that wants to hurt you.
I promise to do my best to show you that I love you, every day, for the rest of our lives together.
I promise to only argue with you when it’s important.
And in the rare case that you might be right, I promise to not let my pride get in the way.”
“I promise to do my absolute best to uphold these vows, and this marriage, even when our love is completely exhausted.
I promise to speak to you, and about you, with kindness and compassion.
I promise to make time to lead us both closer to God, even when it doesn’t seem ideal.
I promise support your dreams, and respect our differences.
I promise to not ask you to change in ways that I am unwilling to change myself.
I promise to never threaten you with divorce.
I promise to not let today end our courtship, but to continue it through the entirety of our lives together.”
Now it’s your turn! Tell us about your wedding day in the comments section. If you have any wedding or newlywed advice, please share it as well! As always, thank you for reading.