Looking Back: Wedding Day!

Sometimes you look at your wedding album and it feels like it happened just yesterday.

Sometimes you look at your wedding album and it feels like an entire lifetime ago. Today, it feels like my wedding didn't happen in my lifetime. Michael has changed jobs 11 times in less than 4 years (Only 2 of those times was it by choice... and he has never been fired. Perhaps, this economy has been a bit rough on us, but then it seems like it's been rough on a lot of people...). We have moved 4 times in less than 4 years. We had a miscarriage. We have brought 2 children into the world.  We've vacationed a few times. A whole lot of set-backs and triumphs... life seems full of them, and some seasons of life seem to hold more than others.

Since this weekend we celebrate 6 years of marriage, I want my wedding day to feel like it was just yesterday.

And so...

I pull out the pictures. I look back.

Michael and I had known each other for 5 years prior to dating. We were friends. Not close ones. Just friends. We went to church together and served in the youth group together. He was one of my brother's closest friends. I was the girl who broke his friend's heart. It's not that we didn't like each other, we just didn't think of each other.


He asked me out for a burger.

I didn't even get the burger with him. But that proposition changed everything. Michael was now at the forefront of my life. It's a story for another time (a good one too... I think it makes the story of Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe pale by comparison... but then I might be a little biased. It is my love story after all).

So here's the very short version: We dated for a month. We were engaged for 3 months. We fell in love, hard and fast. Perhaps the short span of courtship time just convinced you of my craziness, but I haven't regretted it for a single moment. Sometimes you just know.

We knew.

Enter November 13, 2005. It was a Sunday. We chose Sunday because, well, when you are planning a wedding in 3 months on a tight budget, you take what you can get. The sun was shining, the air was brisk. Maybe it's cliche, but it really was a beautiful fall day.
I remember putting the dress on and the tears my mom cried. Good thing she bought the super-duper water-proof mascara. My mom cried a lot. I love you mom!

My husband bought his groomsmen air soft guns for gifts. Not very traditional, or sentimental for that matter. But I don't think most guys care about all that.

I remember the anticipation, stepping out onto the first day of the rest of my life, knowing my life would never be the same. (In fact, there was so much "anticipation"... I literally showed up to the rehearsal the night before puking... like really, got out of the car, and, as Mike came out to greet me, I retched into the bush in front of the church. I had a large group of women and girls praying fervently for my nervous tummy. What if I showed up to the wedding in the same fashion?! It was not funny at the time, but looking back, it's hilarious! I would be the girl who gets sick! Fortunately, on the day of the wedding the prayers worked, and, while I was not 100 percent, I did not puke on the preacher's shoes.)

We chose the song "She Walked In" by Detour 180 to walk down the aisle to. Alternative Rock song by a barely known Aussie band; totally suits Michael and I. "And here I am waiting I'm waiting for you With arms outstretched. And here I am longing I'm longing for you For you" Cue big dramatic rock pick up and then the fall, and as I begin to make my way down the aisle only the singer can be heard: "She walked in and made me smile Talked a bit then stayed for a while. Beautiful vessel, who is full in you? Come fill me." Kinda perfect if you ask me.

I remember the look of devotion and excitement in my husbands eyes. I didn't know what "the better or worse" would look like that I was committing to, but I knew this man would love and cherish me through it. I remember wiping a tear from his face and the entire room seemed to let out a sigh: "Awe!"

Our ceremony was simple. We aren't too into traditions; and, since we both have trouble sitting through anything remotely verging on boring, we just exchanged rings and vows; had someone play a beautiful song they wrote for us; and, since prayer and God are a huge part of our life, we had our spiritual mentors pray over us and our marriage. Then we kissed. It had been 3 months since we kissed. It was important to us to save ourselves for our wedding night and since we had such a strong, um, chemistry together, we realized we wouldn't make it to the wedding night if we didn't hold off on the kissing. So when I say we kissed... we KISSED. :)
I love this picture. You can see the eagerness of my husband to seize his bride, the hesitation of a bride who knows she's in a room full of relatives, friends and fellow church-goers who are all watching, and you can see our pastor who knew we had waited to kiss, laughing in the background.

Someone should have cued Etta James bellowing out "At Last My Love Has Come Along."

"And now I have the pleasure of  presenting to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Michael ______" 

When we got outside the church, this is the site that awaited us. Can you tell my brother was in charge of the decorating our getaway car and that the Christmas decorations had just been stocked at the DollarTree? We can!

And now the whirlwind of congratulations, family reunion, pictures, and trying to head to the reception. I love how my baby brother is tight-rope walking on the planter box ledge in the midst of all this. Young boys are so enthralled by their big sisters' wedding days... HA!

Us with both our immediate families.
Can you tell which family goes with me and with Mike? :)

Me with my girls.
I love these girls! They were all positive troopers from my burnt orange fabric choice (I still love that color) to the terrible seamstress we ended up with. By the way, I strongly recommend going with a seamstress and buying fabric from a local flea market (dresses were a mere $35 a piece this way!)... but I even more strongly recommend that you make sure your seamstress comes with recommendations first!

Mike and the guys.
Oh, boys! White socks?! My husband would have been sporting the white socks too, had our pastor not came to the rescue... not Mike's rescue, he didn't care... MY rescue. Ha!

We were and still are so in love.

The reception was beautiful. My pastor's wife saved our small budget decorations with her creativity. I love that woman! Our theme was: "Fall in Love." Cheesy, perhaps, but cheesy definitely suits us. (And yep, those are real leaves! Thank you bridesmaid who collected them for us.)

The cake cutting. I still love the classic elegance of that cake. I just wish I could remember what it tasted like... (Confession: I don't even remember what flavors I picked out) That day goes by way too fast!

First Dance: "Fools Rush In" by Elvis Presley. Classic and very appropriate for our love story.

Father-Daughter and Mother-Son Dance. We combined them, and it was hysterical. My dad and I did a nice fox trot. My daddy can dance! Mike and his mom did something that resembled swing... yep, to the same song. If you know both of our families, you know how appropriate this is.

Let the dancing commence!

What fun to look back! Okay, now it feels a little more like yesterday. And along with the birth of our children and the day I asked Christ into my heart... this day is among the BEST.

Now to remember the first night... Don't worry I will not remember the details here. All you get is: It was worth the wait! ;)

 Happy Anniversary Michael! If I could do it all over again knowing what 6 years into the future would hold, I wouldn't change a thing (well, maybe the seamstress... ha!) I would marry you again in a heartbeat.