The Wedding Day

I'm finally getting around to journaling about our wedding day.
A picture snapped by my mom the morning of the wedding. I need to do a separate post about my angel parents and all they did to make this day so perfect. So grateful and soooo blessed. 
I wish I had pictures from the pre-ceremony festivities...getting ready in the morning with everyone, the arrival of the flowers, eating breakfast, going downstairs and saying hi to Derek (he stayed in our basement the night before the wedding)...but I'll have to rely on my memories for those moments. Both Derek and I have talked about how it really was the best day ever. And I feel so lucky to be able to say that.

I don't remember the first thing I thought about when I woke up, but it was probably something about having to go to the bathroom. (Too honest?! This is my journal, haha.) Either the night before or one of the nights before, I stayed up, sobbing in my bed thinking about my childhood. I was so blessed to have the childhood that I did, and I remember thinking specifically about how I knew exactly what it sounded like (the doors, the dogs, the keys) when my dad got home from work each day. Why did that stick out to me? It's hard to say. It must be influenced by that Taylor Swift song (The Best Day, I think). I love my dad and mom so much, and that night, it just hurt in the best way.

All that being said, I was so excited for the wedding and remember feeling remarkably calm. I do remember the night before having the most ravenous sugar cravings, but that was a sure sign of my stress. :) Luckily, I didn't give in to that craving and make myself sick.

Natalie, my angel sister, did my hair and makeup early that morning. She dolled me up, and I went to change into my short white dress. I went downstairs to the basement to say good morning to Derek, and we had such a sweet hug. I could sense Derek's nerves, and he called his dad a few times that morning just to "check on things." On the drive to the temple, I asked Derek if his dad helped calm him down. He said yes. :)

We went upstairs and had Bob's Red Mill oatmeal for breakfast. There was a hustle and bustle of people getting ready, but it was also calm. I could feel my dad's genuine excitement for the day, and his support and spirit about everything is something I remember so distinctly. He went to pick up all the flowers, and after snipping off the big white bows, they were all ready to go. We had a little swithcharoo and figuring out of who was driving what car, but it all worked out. Derek and I drove separate from everyone else, and it was nice to have that time together.

I remember going up to see if Kendall and Becca were ready to go, and they were both still laying in bed. Haha! They are so relaxed about everything, and I love it. They didn't have to be to the temple until later.

We got to the temple a little bit early and ran into my best friend and bridesmaid, Nicole. Her and her mom had been doing some ordinances before they came to our sealing. We waited for a few minutes until the temple was ready for us, and then we went back. We got everything figured out with the marriage license, and then parted ways to go get ready. We hung up my dress in the bride's room, and my family and the guests went to the chapel to get ready for the ceremony.

Our sealing was an absolutely precious sliver of time that I hope I never forget. We rounded the corner and saw our family and friends filing into the sealing room, and Derek was overcome with emotion. He cried throughout the ceremony, and it absolutely melted my heart. It was such a tender time filled with so much genuine love. Being surrounded by so many people who, truly, shaped our lives, was incredible. I don't know if we'll ever all be gathered together like that again in such an intimate setting, and it was perfect.

After the ceremony, we hugged everyone as the exited the sealing room. It was so fun saying hi to everyone and seeing so many people from Derek's growing up years. It was then time to go change into our wedding clothes and make the big exit.

There are a few checkpoints throughout the temple wedding experience where escorts take the bride and groom to make sure they are where they need to be at a certain time. They told us that grooms are usually waiting at the checkpoints for their brides to finish primping, but I beat Derek to each one! It was kind of funny. I was probably rushing because I was excited, and I had nothing to worry about since Natalie did my makeup with her expert hand that morning. My mom, mother-in-law, and Megan helped me get into my dress, and then they went outside. Derek and I held hands at the big exit door, waited for the light to cue us, and then made our exit.

One thing Derek reminded me to write about was the lost key. After the ceremony, all the guests exited and went outside to watch me and Derek come out a few minutes later. My mom left with the group to go grab something or do something, but we didn't realize that she had somehow ended up with the key to my locker in the temple. There was a wild ten minutes where a temple worker went to go look for my mom while Derek and I kind of just...stood there, with the temple workers. Haha! Everything ended up working out, but it was kind of funny. :)

The first thing I remember was how warm and heavenly the sun felt. For a May wedding in Oregon, the weather could have been rainy and cold. It was absolutely perfect weather, and it was such a blessing. There was cheering as we made our exit and all of our family and friends came into view. We had so much fun talking to everyone and saying hi while the photographers snapped pictures. Our photographers were amazing and organized all of the shots for us so well. As people finished with the pictures they needed to be in, they started to head over to the luncheon. Derek and I were the last ones to get to the luncheon along with Megan and Ezra, because we stuck around to take a few pictures on the temple grounds. My in-laws hosted everyone from both families at Sweet Tomatoes, and we had fun eating the yummy food and seeing everyone. We spent a lot of time with Derek's nieces and nephews, and it was so great.

We stopped by my in-laws' hotel to give my mother-in-law a mother's day gift (we got married the day before mother's day. We had given my mom one previously.) We talked to them for a few minutes and then headed over to the reception hall.

I have heard a lot of people talk about how your own wedding reception is the worst time of your life because you're tired and done socializing for the day and you just want to be alone. Derek and I can both honestly say that our reception was an absolute blast, and we had so much fun. I am so grateful that it wasn't a "dreaded" part of the day that I've heard so many call it. My parents (mom especially, with all those decorations) took care of absolutely every detail. The food was to die for (so I hear, we didn't eat any until we were back at the hotel! They sent us with a goodie box, and the rumors were true: it was good food.) All the decorations were so beautiful, my sister handled the music, and my young women's leader did the emcee task. Dinner started a little bit late because of the caterers running late, but it was no big deal. It was so, so, so much fun. My dad and I did our daddy daughter dance to "My Girl" by the Temptations, and Derek and I danced to "All About Us" by He is We.
It was a crazy and beautiful feeling to be wrapped up around so many of our favorite people. We had to get out extra tables and chairs because of all the guests! There was an epic dance party, a playing of the shoe game (expertly coordinated by my sister, Kendall), and lots of chatting. Derek and I couldn't believe that it was time to go when everyone started lining up with bubbles for the send off. It was a surreal and absolutely magical feeling to run down those stairs that were lined with all the guests, cheering and sending us off. We hugged our parents at the bottom of the stairs, and then Megan and Ezra drove us to Portland to our hotel.

It was an absolutely incredible day. I would go re-live it in a heartbeat if I could. Endless thanks to my incredible parents and family who took care of every single detail. It was so exciting to begin this new chapter with my greatest gift of all--my new husband.

Need to still journal about: the honeymoon, the day/night before the wedding, and the random things I remember from the weeks leading up.