We got married!

I never could have imagined how magical our wedding day would be. I can’t find the right words to describe the event, other than to say that it was truly the happiest day of my life.

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I remember the weekend that Mike and I got engaged (June 2011), we celebrated with friends and family for about 36 hours and then suddenly it was time to plan. When would we get married? What city? What venue? How many guests? What was our budget?

These questions were not all easy to answer and even Mike and I had different thoughts on them sometimes. (It’s not fun to disagree with your brand new fiancé about your wedding, but I’m pretty sure it’s normal.)

I wasn’t the bride with the three-ring, color-tabbed binder for planning. I didn’t pore over dozens of bridal magazines or make a million Pinterest boards. I didn’t really care a lot about details. I just wanted to marry Michael and have a fun, joy-filled celebration with the people in this world we love the most. Sometimes I felt like I was a “bad” bride for not fretting over my colors or invitations, but then I realized that as long as I was over-the-moon excited to marry Mike (you bet I was) that’s all that mattered.

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We got married in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. As July 5 got closer, and I realized how many moving parts were involved with making the day come together, I worried that I would never be able to just relax and soak in the day. Then, a few weeks before the wedding, I got an email from Mike’s cousin Annie that made perfect sense. She wrote,

I think the best piece of advice I was given is that if it isn’t done by Wednesday of wedding week – just leave it. Stop and enjoy. It is going to be an amazing day no matter what and you don’t want those final days to be a frenzied mess of tiny details.

So the day before the wedding, when the church wedding planner asked me whether I wanted the pew bows placed on every pew or every other pew, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “You know, I really don’t care!” 🙂

The day of the wedding, I woke up to the sound of pouring rain. I laid in bed and told myself it would still be OK, none of our events were outside, we could find good spots for photos inside, rain is good luck. But I didn’t believe any of that, apparently, because I walked downstairs and practically cried to my mom about the weather and said, “Why me?” and other embarrassingly dramatic things.

Sure enough, the pitter-patter of falling rain disappeared by noon. My parents’ house was full of the voices of my family and bridesmaids as we finished getting ready.

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We left for the church, and then all the big moments, the ones I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life, were suddenly happening.

Mom and Maggie helping me put on my dress and veil. Seeing Mike in his tuxedo on the front lawn of St. Andrew. Standing arm and arm with my dad, right before the church doors opened, taking one deep breath before it was ‘go time.’ Looking out into the church from the altar and hearing Mike whisper to me, “Never forget this scene, of all these people here for us.”

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I could have wept through the entire ceremony, I couldn’t believe it was actually, finally, our wedding day. But I said my vows without a tear, keeping my eyes on my new husband, the guy who stole my heart in South Bend.

Then it was off to the reception — a blur of hugs and hellos and dancing and music and laughter and the most amazing, heart-felt toasts. Basically, the best party of our life!

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The night ended with all the guests forming a circle around Mike and me as we danced to "I got you babe" by Sonny and Cher.

We are now three weeks in to married life and it's pretty great. Team Mike, MK and Larry.

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An April Shower

I am biased, but I think Mike and I have been given the best bridal showers imaginable. Yesterday, my Aunt Kathy and Aunt Susan hosted a beautiful celebration in Granger, Indiana.

It was so perfect, they thought of everything. The decorations, the flowers, the food, the opening blessing, the cake!

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My beautiful aunts and I. They planned such a memorable day for me.

My beautiful aunts and I. They planned such a memorable day for me.

It will never feel normal to receive and open so many gifts. But I love to think that when I use my pancake-flipper and cooking spoons, I will think of the Beeler girls. Or my loaf pans and measuring cups, I’ll think of my amazing friend Kim.

My sister gave us HANDMADE pillows! She sewed them herself and they look like they are from Anthropologie. So adorable I can hardly stand it.

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My mom gave us a Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I’ve read so many great things about the durability and versatility of this pot, I can’t wait to try it out.

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“Mom, is this what I think it is? You didn’t!” (Love Maggie’s face)

Every single gift meant so much. Especially the ones from my future family, the Martins, who drove all the way from Chicago and St. Paul to be there.

I felt so overcome by the people and the presents that I cried when I thanked everyone for coming. It was such an incredible day.

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(Thanks to Maggie and Kim for capturing it all in photos!)

Showered with Love

Last weekend was just magical. Our first bridal shower was about so much more than new kitchen gadgets and table linens. It seemed everyone there — parents, cousins, friends, aunts, uncles, siblings — truly shared in our excitement.

I tried to seal the whole night to memory. The hugs, the faces, the sounds of a house full of people celebrating.

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Don’t get me wrong, we were really excited to receive amazing gifts, like this beautiful serving set from my cousins John and Caroline!

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Each couple asked us a question before we opened their gift.

“How did you meet?” (A combination of Twitter, a massive snowstorm and The Linebacker Lounge)

“When did you know he was The One?” (I really butchered this one because I started to cry about three words into my first sentence)

“What names are you planning for your kids?” (Yikes!)

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I hope experiences like Saturday night stay in our memory for many years ahead, as we face life side by side.

With all that support, I know we can handle whatever lies ahead of us.

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