Anyway, on with the story.
How fitting that Friday was our 2 month anniversary? Are you shaking your head? I am! However, how do you recap the best day of your life? Should be easy, right? No! It isn't! At least, it wasn't for me anyway!
I will try though ... so, here goes!
The day before the Big Day ...
I absolutely hate to start with a mishap, but ... it IS how the weekend started! I am laughing now, so it is okay! On Friday morning, Bill went to pick up the white benches that we rented from the fairgrounds for the ceremony. We were just going to use simple folding chairs that we were borrowing from the local YMCA (seriously, small towns are AWESOME), but I noticed these benches in the Varied Industries Building at the fairgrounds in June when we were there for Bill's high school reunion. I commented on how perfect they would be, and then, what do ya know? Bill pulls some strings, connects his sister-in-law with someone she knows and we got an amazing, dirt cheap deal on some gorgeous white benches that would be awesome for a rustic, chic, country wedding. I was so excited! Then ... the day before the big day, Bill goes to pick up our benches that were already loaded on a trailer waiting for us. Except .... they are not white. They are a patriotic red, white, and blue.
The infamous red, white and blue benches ...
Overall though, I knew I would laugh about it later, and ... I am! Several people didn't even notice! To send the benches back would have taken an additional 2-3 hours out of the day, and that was 2-3 hours we just did not have left!
On Friday, my girlfriends got to town around noon and we headed out to lunch. Our original plan was to go to my favorite restaurant in town, Gary's on the River, which was a beautiful, former church. Sadly, the restaurant was closed because of a music festival they were hosting that evening. We quickly switched plans and ended up a sports bar in town (there isn't much for options!)
After lunch, we headed to the mall to get our nails and toes done! I had my toes done already at the Aveda Institute back home, so I just needed a manicure. I went with a very light pink by Essie called Not Just A Pretty Face. It turned out gorgeous and I am glad I went with a simple, neutral color.
When our nails were all done, we headed out to the wedding site so everyone could see it. The site was about 30 minutes out in the country and away from Spencer, the town my husband is from and where most of us were staying.
When I say "out in the country" I literally mean, off several dirt roads and way, waaay out there! The first time my mom went out there, she was almost immediately on the phone with our city dwelling family to warn them that it was "out there." Haha!
After we did a few things out at the site, the group headed back into town to get ready for the rehearsal dinner. We didn't have a rehearsal the day before, and instead opted to do it an hour before the wedding. I had several mini panic attacks over this, but it ended up working out beautifully. Most of the people in the wedding had been in a wedding before ... so, having a long rehearsal was just not necessary!
Our "rehearsal dinner" was a bbq at Bill's brother's house in Spencer and it was perfect! We had hamburgers and hot dogs, enjoyed a few drinks and just got to know one another the day before! Several of my family members were unable to come at the last minute due to being exhausted from driving all the way from Kansas City, but that just meant more food and drink for us! :)
That night, I stayed with several of my bridesmaids at one of my best friend's mother in law's house which was also in Spencer. It was so nice of her to host us, and I am so grateful! I think I fell asleep around midnight and, shockingly, got about 6 hours of sleep. I was so worried I would not be able to sleep and would therefore be super tired the next day and not able to make it until late into the reception. Spoiler: I made it just fine!
The morning of the Big Day ...
The next morning, all seven of the bridesmaids met at the same house I stayed at and this is where we got our hair done. Another friend of mine runs a salon in town and she brought one of her employees with her to doll us up.
After we got our hair curled and styled just right, our makeup applied perfectly, fake lashes and all, we headed out to the wedding site ... but, not before another "mishap" ....
As I was downstairs putting the finishing touches on my makeup, one of my bridesmaids came running down the stairs, obviously in a panic, and threw herself on the couch mumbling something about "passing out" and "blood" while clutching her head. She had gone to get something out of the trunk of my car. There was a (very heavy) bike rack on the trunk that made my trunk just SLAM really hard. She wasn't expecting it, and it almost knocked her out!
After that was all taken care of and we nursed our dear friend back to health (ice, ice, ice!) we all got together for one last picture while getting ready ...
Then we headed out to the wedding site to start getting dressed and get ready for wedding party pictures. At this point, I was beginning to get really nervous. I knew that once we got our dresses on and we started to get ready for the "First Look" I would begin to get really nervous, and I was right! I think this was the moment that I asked one of my bridesmaids for a drink! I knew that I didn't want my wedding party drunk before the ceremony, but I also knew that the alcohol would be flowing! Luckily, everyone handled themselves just fine! I had a drink while we did some pictures and definitely felt a little better! Once I saw Bill for the first time, I felt EVEN BETTER!
After the "First Look" we took a ton of wedding party photos and it was so much fun!!! These are definitely among some of my favorite pictures ever!
Our wedding party pictures were down the road at Sutherland Farms. The owner of the farm is a really good friend of Bill's and I was so excited to have our photos taken there because it is a BEAUTIFUL farm! I really wanted water photos, and luckily there is a gorgeous man-made lake on the property. He even took us out on the pontoon and we cracked open a bottle of champagne! It was perfect. :)
After the wedding party pictures we headed back over to the wedding site. We still had family pictures to take, and our rehearsal.
If I could go back and change anything I would have our rehearsal the night before, but with our wedding site being about 30 minutes out of town, that really changed our timeline quite a bit due to the added driving. Overall, it was fine, but I think that if I we hadn't waited until the day of for the rehearsal, I wouldn't have had so many jitters! Several of the wedding party had been in weddings before, so there really wasn't much to worry about, everyone know what they were supposed to do!
Once we finished all of the formal photos, I jetted back up to my room to touch up. Plus, guests were beginning to arrive and I just wanted to get AWAY. I wanted to gather my thoughts, have a few moments alone and touch up my makeup.
One cool thing was the view from the room I was getting ready in ... I could watch all of the guests arrive, but they could not see me! I loved this!
Before I knew it, it was time to head down to the ceremony. ::deep breath:: I went down, found my dad, who at the time wanted to reminisce! I know this is totally normal though, I told him we had to go, hugged him and we headed to the clearing where everyone was waiting!
During the ceremony, Bill and I tied a literal knot with rope to signify both families joining together. The knot also signifies our bond that will not break, due to the strength of the fisherman's knot we tied. We now have the rope displayed in our home and I absolutely love this!
After the ceremony, we walked up to the building, on the same property, and ate, drank and danced. Oh my, we danced! I was so worried before the big day that it would not turn into a big "party" but come to find out, I had absolutely nothing to worry about! The party went well into the night and everyone had such a great time!!
The end! Happily ever after!
Thank you so much for reading! Stay tuned, I am sure I will write more! Our day was perfect, so beautiful and I am so thankful for all of those that could come celebrate and/or help make our day what it was!
More Photos ...
If you are interested in seeing more photos, feel free to request me on Facebook. I'm not shy about assuming friend requests and there are literally hundreds of pictures on there!