OMG I got married!!!
I know you hear this all the time, but it was PERFECT!!! I got married to the man I love in front of every person closest to me in my own backyard. It was the day I had been imagining since I was a little girl… and it really shouldn’t have been. We held the reception in our backyard (which took over a year of renovation), we did all of the planning ourselves, did all of the catering ourselves, made NINE wedding cakes, and decorated everything ourselves (with a little help from our friends). If that doesn’t sound stressful enough… a month before the wedding my Father passed away from an unexpected and exhausting battle with lung cancer. Despite everything… my wedding day was perfect and I loved every minute of it.
Much love to Taken by Sarah for capturing all of these amazing moments.
The morning started out with us running around like crazy people, setting up decorations, getting all of the food, setting up tables, etc… the fun started with hair and makeup. I made a personal bridal suite out of my cake tasting room and started workin it with my bridesmaids, one rouge groomsman, and the very talented Carly from Beauty Asylum. For someone who doesn’t wear much makeup, get her nails done, or even own a curling iron… this was a real treat. An hour later the transformation was complete and I was stunned!
We had our first look photo shoot scheduled right after hair and makeup so I threw on my dress and ran out the door. We showed up to Loray Mill and for the second time that day I was stunned. Loray Mill was built over 100 years ago and its HUGE!!! (channel your inner Trump for that one). Now it has apartments, event spaces, and gorgeous little nooks perfect for photos. The photo shoot was done by Sarah Collier and her husband Ben from Taken by Sarah Photography, I could have stayed all day exploring the Mill and having my photos taken but we had a wedding to get to so we had to rush back to the house (not before a quick stop at Jack in the Box for some jalapeno poppers).
Things moved pretty quickly once we got home. Heidi and the Lily Bee Floral team had finished setting everything up while we were gone and the guests were already there, so all that was left was to get everyone in line and walk down the aisle. The grandparents went first, then the parents, the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, the flower girl, then our ring bearer… Theo.
I had been envisioning the moment I would walk down “the aisle” for so long with a mixed bag of excitement, fear, and sadness, When it came time to take those first few steps all I could see was Curtis waiting for me at the bottom of the yard surrounded by seventy of our closest friends and family. I walked down the aisle with my Uncle Carter while a recording of my Dad and I singing “What a wonderful world” played over the speakers. It was absolutely perfect and probably the moment my blissful fog rolled in to blanket the sadness I had been carrying since losing my dad.
The rest of the wedding went by in a bit of a blur. The ceremony was officiated by a family friend who has known me my whole life which was evident by the beautiful words he wrote. Then we read the vows that we had pulled from on of Theo’s favorite books… the Awesome book of Love by Dallas Clayton.
If I we’re a dinosaur and you were a Jet, there’s a good chance that we’de have never met.
If you were the Spring and I was the Fall we might not have ever gotten together at all.
But we aren’t any of those things, You’re you and I’m me
and we’re as together as together can be.
When I’m beside you I’m leaping and bounding,
so in Love I can hardly contain my heart pounding.
Together forever we’ll transform our surroundings,
the spirit inside us is truly astounding
I love you I love you in so many ways
Over thousands of years and billions of days
I would march through the rain
I would jump out of a plane
I would stand down whole armies defending your name
But you know that’s not all that this love is about
Sometimes it’s a whisper when you feel you could shout
It’s about living life with such strength and emotion
And knowing that waves are just part of the ocean
An ocean so large that it goes on forever
Just like the love that has brought us together
I love you, I love you, when you’re holding my hand
I love you, I love you, when you’re taking a stand
When you’re thinking a thought
When you’re dancing a dance
When you’re barely hanging in by the seat of your pants
Let’s make it a song and we’ll all sing along
I love you I love you… you make me feel strong
If you were the future and I was the past
If I were to slow and you were too fast
If you were a cloud and I was a ghost
If you were long distance and I was up close
I’d love you no matter because you’re you and I’m me
Ella + Curtis
Together forever in Love as can be
We exchanged rings, well sort of… he had a ring for me and I drew a ring on his finger with a sharpie which will be turned into new ink shortly. We kissed, smiled for a photo, then we walked back down the aisle… together as one… MARRIED!!!!
There was plenty normal wedding stuff like, greeting guests, eating two bites of food, and the cake cutting. The moment we were both most excited about though was the first dance. It started just as all good wedding first dances do, the two of us slowly shifting from side to side with very little grace to Whitney Houstons “I will always love you“,
Then all hell broke loose… Charley Daniels “Devil went down to Georgia” cuts in abruptly and Curtis starts working the crowd while playing an imaginary fiddle, then wait.. whats that… another song change.
Now it’s my turn to do a “So you think you can dance” inspired interpretive dance to John Legend’s “All of Me” until… yup… another song change.
Hey, Hey, Heeeeeey, Curtis is head banging and chair smashing (literally) to “Tourette’s” by Nirvana.
I cut him short and stole the show by shaking what my momma gave me and dropped the mike to Missy Elliot’s “Work it“.
Everybody loved it and we enjoyed putting on a show 🙂
In lieu of the father-daughter dance I opted to sing “With a little help from my friends” in remembrance of my dad. The whole crowd sang along and It was the best way I could think of to touch on his absence without having the entire wedding turn into a somber event.
The rest of the night is harder to remember. Plenty of dancing, speeches, eating, laughing, crying, etc… I figure that’s pretty normal for most brides. There were so many people, so many moments, so much to see and do, that it’s almost impossible to take it all in at once. We wrapped up the party when it got dark and got some rest before the big clean-up day that followed.
We put together much of the wedding ourselves but it wouldn’t have been half as amazing without the work of a small group of amazing vendors. A special thank you to Lily, she made her industry debut as the co-coordinator at our wedding and absolutely nailed it 🙂
- Day-of-Planning and all of the Florals were provided by Lily Bee’s Floral
- Our photography was captured by the insanely talented Taken by Sarah
- We had our wine barrel dessert table provided by NC Wine Barrels
- Those incredible handmade Red Velvet Bridal shoes are from the Shoe Bakery
- Our First-Look photo shoot was at Loray Mill
- Tables and Chairs provided by Classic Party Rentals
- Linens provided by Party Reflections
- An incredible Hair / Make-Up transformation by Beauty Asylum
- The Bridal Dress was from Fabulous Frocks
- The Grooms Suit was from Express