I’m about to do something that I swore I wouldn’t do…I’m going to show you photos from my wedding. Here’s why I was hesitant to post wedding photos: throughout wedding planning, I got serious Pinterest-fatigue from looking at all the picture perfect weddings. You don’t get the full story when you see a beautifully executed and beautifully photographed wedding. There’s A LOT that goes into it (and a lot that doesn’t go according to plan.) I was lucky enough to have amazing vendors (including the ever-lovely Kelli of Kelli Lyn Photography who took the photos below) who all contributed to making this day so special and beautiful, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The only way I can feel okay about sharing wedding photos is to talk about it all: the good, the bad, and the sweaty.
I had some fears going into the wedding planing process. I tend to have a higher level of anxiety than what might be considered “normal” or “average.” I’ve dealt with it my entire life. I’ve gotten to a place where my anxiety is very well managed, but I was worried about how the wedding planning process would affect my anxiety. Planning had a lot more ups than I expected, but I think that was because James and I were really committed to staying true to our vision for the big day. Honestly, because of the way we did this, I was pretty calm. But not consistently. The two weeks leading up to the actual day still felt like a scramble despite my efforts to plan in advance. I had moments when I thought we should have eloped and skipped the whole wedding planning chaos. But that feeling fell away when wedding weekend arrived, despite some anxiety that popped up over the course of those few days.
There were a few key decisions that helped me stay mostly calm during this process. We had a small wedding (55 guests) because we knew we’d both be very overwhelmed having too many eyes on us. We kept our ceremony very short and nontraditional because that felt a bit more manageable and authentic to our personalities. That authenticity helped both of us feel much more relaxed.
So let’s talk about the ceremony. We wanted a fall wedding to avoid the heat. We lucked out with a beautiful clear day, but it was WAY hotter than we expected. I think it was 84 degrees, but once we got up to the porch area where the cocktail hour and ceremony was, it felt so much hotter. Feeling physically uncomfortable is a big anxiety trigger for me, so I started to feel a little panic as I realized how incredibly hot I was going to be during the ceremony. After guests grabbed a drink and an appetizer, it was time to start the ceremony. There was no walk down the aisle, we just gathered everyone in a circle around us. I kept trying to look at James, but the sun was literally setting right above his head. I have incredibly sensitive eyes and I could barely look at him…not to mention the fact that we were both glistening (meaning we were DRENCHED) with sweat. Luckily, I was able to take some big deep breaths, listen to what my dad was saying (he officiated) and take in the beautiful surroundings. Before I knew it, James and I were saying our vows and sliding our rings on. The ceremony felt completely casual and had lots of humor, which helped me relax. But I felt a HUGE sense of relief when that part was done.
After the ceremony, I was utterly amazed when I went to the bridal suite with my girlfriends to find that my makeup hadn’t migrated to my chest after how much I sweated. My makeup somehow remained perfect (thanks to Ashley Smith, hair and makeup stylist extraordinaire). My besties put a little dry shampoo in my bangs and we re-applied some lip balm. Now it was time for dinner. The setting was absolutely gorgeous, but that sun was still very intense. Half of our guests were facing the sun during dinner, so they were blinded for another 45 minutes until the sun went down. Once the sun set, it got pretty darn chilly. Luckily everyone pulled on their jackets and seemed pretty happy despite the crisp breeze.
Fast forward to the next morning, we had organized a goodbye brunch to say farewell to all of the guests who traveled for the celebration. I arrived and immediately realized that I was getting a migraine. I burst into tears knowing that I needed to immediately leave (the pain can be severe). So the last image some of our wedding guests have of me is me blubbering. Hopefully the merriment of the few days prior erases that last memory…
There’s a lot of other tidbits I could share with you (like how the bottom of my dress is now green from the venue painting the lawn to hide the dead grass), but I think you get the picture. No wedding you see on Pinterest or a blog is ever perfect, even though it looks perfect. But here’s the thing, our wedding was perfect for us. The imperfections made it perfect. There were moments of stress, but mostly moments of pure joy and feeling utterly present. I can’t even begin to sum up the magic that we felt, the love we felt, and the absolute fun we had with our friends. I wouldn’t change one thing about how it all unfolded.
So all of this is to say, I hope you like the images of our wedding below! And if you have wedding blunders, I’d love to hear them. Let’s humanize our weddings a bit!
A special thank you goes to my vendors who started to feel more like friends in the end.
Photographer – Kelli Lyn Photography
Event Coordinator – Revel + Bloom
Flowers – Grown Flower Shop
Hair + Makeup – Ashley Smith
Venue – Castle Pines Country Club
DJ – Derek Russo of Higher Sound
Bistro Lights – T’Da Design
Rentals – Event Rents