Every minute of our wedding day was a dream come true. From the moment I woke up in the hotel room with my best girl friends to giggling over mimosas while getting ready and finally marrying the love of my life, it was truly the day that I had imagined since I was a little girl.
The day started bright an early with a 7:00am wake up call. We decided it would be easiest to have hair and makeup done at the hotel before venturing out to the venue, so my hair and makeup artist arrived early and ready to get started. As each girl was getting dolled up for the big day, we sat around and told stories of how we began our friendships. There were stories of high school days, stories of college days, and stories about the moment that everyone knew Steven was "the one" for me. We drank our Starbucks (free for the bride of course!) and laughed at the memories.
After hair and makeup was done, the girls met the groomsmen downstairs to take a charter bus (otherwise known as a party bus) to the venue. Careful not to see me before the chapel doors opened, Steven stayed upstairs in another hotel room and drove over to the venue with one of his groomsman.
As soon as we arrived at the venue I noticed a smokey haze surrounding the backyard and continuing on for a mile or so down the road. I could smell burning leaves, so I knew that someone, somewhere had a controlled fire burning. Your typical bride would have freaked out at that very moment, but for some strange and unknown reason, I was calm about it (possibly the mimosa I had on the way to the venue??). As I started walking out back to where the team was setting everything up, my coordinator walked up to me, hugged me, and said "I've got good and bad news."
Not something a bride wants to hear on her wedding day.
He told me that the good news was that we couldn't have asked for better weather. It truly was the perfect day, but the bad news was that the town was, in fact, doing a controlled burn about a mile away and that's where the smoke and smell was coming from (that's what you get for getting married at a venue in the country!). He had done all he could, including calling the mayor to stop it, but the burn was already in full force.
I, of course, did what any logical bride would do at that moment and poured myself another mimosa before going upstairs to the bridal suite to get ready.
By 2:00 that afternoon, soon after we started taking pictures, the burn had concluded and the smell of burning leaves had completely disappeared. In all actuality, the burn benefited the day because it ran off all the pesky bugs.
While the girls enjoyed the big and beautiful bride suite inside the historical home, the boys had a huge man cave on the other side of the venue. With beer, food, pool, and games, they had plenty to keep them entertained for the afternoon!
Steven had one and only one request for our wedding day, he didn't want to see me before the chapel doors opened and I walked down the aisle. At first, I was completely stressed about this idea because I just assumed that we would have a first look. I was mostly concerned about having time to take all the pictures I wanted, but this was important to Steven so I gave in (the reassurance from my photographer on the picture aspect also helped).
Once we got settled into the venue, I sent one of my bridesmaids to the man cave to give Steven a gift. I gave him Tennessee cuff links (yes, it was painful to buy something with the Tennessee logo on it, but I guess that just proves how much I love the man!) with a sweet little note attached. My bridesmaid returned with a gift for me from my groom.
Right after Steven and I got engaged (sixteen whole months before the wedding day) I told him that I wanted a pair of gold Kate Spade earrings that read "MRS." The earrings were both adorable and representative of my new initials, so I had to have them! Well, Steven remembered that conversation because on our wedding day he presented me with the prized pair of earrings along with a note that stated how excited he was to marry me. It was so cute!
After mimosas were drank, gifts were exchanged, and makeup was retouched, it was time to begin pictures. I spent the first hour of pictures with my bridesmaids and family, and then Steven took the second hour of pictures with his guys and family. Like I said, I was worried that not having a first look would have an affect on pictures, but our photographer was amazing and had it all worked out.
After my part of the pictures were done, had a couple of hours to take my dress back off, relax, and get ready for the ceremony. Nothing about the entire day felt rushed, and for that, I am incredibly thankful.
My girls and I spent the last hour before the ceremony singing and dancing in the bridal suite. My wedding coordinator came upstairs at one point and was shocked at how calm I was. He told me that I was the most relaxed bride that he had ever worked with! I even shocked myself that day (and the days leading up to the wedding for that matter) at how calm and relaxed I was. Honestly though, with my mom and Christopher in charge and the man of my dreams waiting for me at the end of the aisle, I didn't have a thing in the world to be nervous about!
Right before walking out of the house and to the chapel I hugged my family and each of my bridesmaids. We then broke out in song and dance to nothing other than "Party in the USA." Nothing like a little jam from Miley to get you wedding ceremony ready!
After the mini-concert we put on, everyone walked outside and headed for the chapel. My dad and I stayed behind in the house until we were given our cue to leave. I loved having those precious few minutes alone with my dad before he walked me down the aisle. He did his very best not to cry during that time, and I spent those moments telling him not to look at me because I would start crying and there was no one left in the house to retouch my makeup.
Before we knew it, we were given our cue, and thus began the start to our wedding ceremony.
Photo credit for all pictures || Armosa Studios