Friday, May 24, 2013

Our Wedding: Reception

Let's finally wrap up sharing about our wedding with a little bit about our lovely reception! Although our reception was very different from most people's vision, we LOVED it. It fit us beautifully, and I believe that the people in our life would agree. We aren't dancers- so there was no dancing. It was a 3pm wedding, so I wasn't feeling people grooving in the bright daylight. Not even a first dance. I know. Some of you are probably shocked and in horror right now. But here's the thing. We dance alone in our kitchen, and that's my perfect version of dancing with my husband. We would have both been shy and embarrassed dancing in front of everyone. We wanted it to be less about us, more about mingling with loved ones and thanking them for coming to celebrate us. Oh yeah, and we fed them real good.


For our tables, we used the banquet tables at the church (praise the Lord- renting tables = $$$) There were large floral arrangements, and fabric squares in a light gingham that my sister Kayce and I sewed like a week before the wedding. I'm so thankful for her help with that project. We wanted a relaxed feel, but with long tables so lots of people could dine together and meet others. I hope everyone had fun!

We are so blessed to have a family that is extremely loaded with talent. 100% of the catering was done by members of our extended family. WHAT? Yeah. I know. I include the next few photos of our food not to make you salivate, although I know you will. But these photos remind me of the hours that people put in to serve us and make our day special. That is such a priceless thing to us. And the food was DELICIOUS! I've had several people tell me that they "still dream about our wedding food!"


All of the food labels were hand lettered by Kathryn Murray calligraphy, who works on a bunch of projects with Southern Weddings. You will recognize her penmanship all over the SW website. 




Okay I lied about 100%. The cakes were from a bakery. (Legacy Cakes in Grapevine, Texas. The baker was on TLC's next top baker. That made me feel cool!) Ben's groomscake was shaped like his dream car, as you can see. 



Part of getting married in a less than gorgeous venue meant bringing in a lot of pieces that could hide other things. I'm pretty sure there is a neon orange scripture behind that large chalkboard. Or something.  The large gold frame was a vintage find, which I am obsessed with. That board now resides in our living room. One of these days Ben will actually hang it for me. HINT HINT LOVE LOVE.


Something I really wanted to include was several people's signature dishes. It's on my to do list to have Meme (Ben's paternal grandmother) write out the recipe for her signature cookies, so I can frame that and the picture in a double frame. Okay. Doing that this week. Hold me accountable, please.




We also had a hot chocolate and coffee bar. Guests could pick up a to go cup (the sleeves also had our names written in calligraphy) of their favorite hot beverage to keep them warm during our exit, and to keep them company on the road to their next destination. I just loved the idea of people getting a to-go beverage. I was really pleased with how this idea turned out in terms of style, also.


Entering our reception was one of the most surreal, overwhelming things. At this moment, I'm making eye contact with my grand-little in Theta, and holding the hand of one of my oldest friends who I was so excited to see! 


I need everyone to know that during the cake cutting we were super awkward and just like not even aware of our surroundings. We cut the cakes right as we came in (because guests had already been eating the main course while we took family photos and took a few minutes to ourselves after the ceremony. Also, by "few minutes to ourselves".. I mean, talking about how overwhelmed we were while Lucy, my MOH bustled my dress.) 






These are all the girls from my sorority that attended the wedding, in our signature pose. This made me the happiest girl. So many sweet people drove many miles to support us and I am so thankful for that! 







It wouldn't be an Aggie wedding without the Fighting Texas Aggie Warm Hymn. Occasionally this still comes on shuffle while I'm in the car and I let it play... Yikes. That's an embarrassing confession. 


A few of our bridesmaids lined up with candles to light everyone's sparklers. 


This was BY FAR my favorite moment of the whole day. Is that silly? Yes. But it was just SO FUN to walk through all the sparklers. To see everyone's sweet faces, and to finally be me and Ben, heading out to our lives together. 


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Aaron and Sarita are married!

Yesterday we attended a wedding unlike anyone I have ever attended. Our dear friend, Aaron married his adorable bride, Sarita yesterday in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Towards the end of high school, my free time was defined by endless hangouts with five close friends. It's one of those things I almost can't put into words. There are some people you can just breathe around. These are my people. I have been angry and frustrated with them, I have cried with them, laughed with them, and prayed with them. It has been such a precious blessing to look forward to little reunions with this incredible "friend group", as we so lovingly called it, throughout college. We celebrated our own special Christmas each year, and sat on porches in dirty clothes together, talking about nothing. We have served together in various capacities. La Porte. South Dallas. (Kristen, our trips together could get a full separate blog post. Thankful for that.) We stayed up all night together and swam together and we lived summers that felt endless and perfect. Thanks to a Sunday school getaway to the lake and a trip to camp, we logged almost a solid two weeks together right after high school graduation. Every single day, every trip to Olive Garden, every drive around the block had meaning and laughter and joy when I had these five by my side. I know these sentences are choppy and dull and probably have no meaning to you, but just typing them brings tears of happiness and thanksgiving to my eyes, thinking about how richly these people have blessed my life, and Ben's too.

Ben, me, Seth, Kristen, Aaron, & Liz at one of our many "Friendsmasses"
If you know our story, you know that Ben and I spent a good amount of time apart during the middle of college. Now, in reflection of that time, I realize how much grace our friends gave to us. They extended grace when we said mean things about each other or pried for information about each other or were stubborn and wouldn't let us all be together, like we were supposed to be. (Okay. Fine. Those things were just me. Ben has always been too wise for those kinds of shenanigans.) These four loved and supported us through all of the deep hurt that was happening. They were patient with us. I will never forget in all of my days the fact that Kristen kept a photo of Ben and I hanging in her room for the full year and a half we were broken up. She didn't give up on us. I love that. We didn't deserve that. She just loved the picture of us so it was on her wall. These are the kind of people that you keep a photo of in your guest bedroom because you know they'll find their way there many times over the changing years.


It was a very happy day for the friend group when the first marriage happened. The first time Ben told me he liked me, Liz and Kristen jumped around in the room crying happy tears with me. These two sisters are so dear to me. I realized this weekend while helping them move out of their apartment that I can genuinely tell a large amount of cleaning/moving memories that we have shared. That's real friendship, people. I digress. The first wedding didn't add a new member to our group. We left that up to Aaron, who got engaged just days before our union.

I would encourage you to read the story of Aaron and Sarita, if you are the kind of person that enjoys Jesus written love stories. Which you should be. So... go, shoo. Read. Then come back here to finish reading the rest of my post. :) My favorite part is in Aaron's side about when Sarita won prom queen.

This weekend was their wedding. Let's be honest, the first time Aaron told us about Sarita we were already trying to guess their wedding date. It was so worth the wait for all of us loving bystanders, and I'm sure the couple would say the same.

Photo stolen from someone random on Facebook who tagged Sarita. No shame here for my photo stealing! 
I say nothing about their wedding was traditional because in a world of millions of dollars spent on weddings each year, focused on designer dresses and elegant venues and complicated seating charts, their wedding was about Christ and their love for each other and the people around them. They were married in a field of wildflowers overlooking a pond. Or is it a lake. Who knows what the size classifications for bodies of water are? NOT ME, HEY HEY!


More stolen photos. Sorry to the people of Shawnee. 
Sarita rode in a horse drawn carriage and I was already crying before she was out of that sucker because I knew Aaron was in hysterics of joy at the sight of her. I know for sure that Aaron was dressed from head to to in attire from the local thrift shop, and I heard a rumor that Sarita's dress was also thrifted. All the flowers were picked from the field. They were some of the most beautiful arrangements I've ever seen, for more reasons than one. This wedding was about everything but money and that is how it should be. They made me want to tell everyone to get away from theknot.com and throw their wedding magazines out the window and to just gather inspiration from what makes them smile, from what's simple. Their ceremony had approximately ten photographers and videographers getting up close and around the couple. People couldn't help but try and grasp for something tangible during their meaningful ceremony. They wanted something to hang onto to remind them of this precious union. You and I both know that I'm all about the pictures, but the something tangible from this day is the love of Jesus Christ. Their story contains time after time after time where God answered prayers and guided them together. Eight or so little girls of all ages, all races, came down the aisle before Sarita, serving as flower girls. At that moment I felt like I was attending the Southern Weddings Yellow Rose of Texas editorial wedding because of those flower girls. The food at the reception was set up on two tables. One with Aaron's favorite foods, one with Sarita's. More weddings need cheeseballs. Cheeseballs are humble and happy and simple.


I feel like a straight up creep saving this photo of their first kiss to my computer and uploading it to my blog but sometimes you just have to be a creep, I suppose. They saved their first kiss as a couple for their wedding day, and it was perfect. They were giddy. Literally giddy. Their kiss was lengthy. It was great and everyone cheered with such joy. I wish I could put into words all the incredible symbolism that they used in their wedding to point the direction to Christ, but I can't even begin to try. Their ceremony was rich with Jewish traditions.

Yesterday, we got to establish a tradition of our own, a "friend group" photo at every wedding. We initiated our first new member. Wait, that sounds sketchy. We just hugged and welcomed Sarita with welcome arms. We talked about how over the years these pictures would grow. We imagined full baby bellies and toddlers and new spouses being added to the group. Looking at this picture, my heart is full, imagining the faithfulness of God that is only to come.





Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our Wedding: Portraits

Before finishing up our wedding with the reception and exit, I thought I would sneak in the information about our formal portraits. Mmmmm. This was one of my favorite parts of the day. It was so fun to just hang out with our loved ones, and take photos that I knew would become our favorites for years to come.

Part of the decision to get married at our home church, left me kind of stressed about where our outdoor portraits would take place. Although our church is a beautiful place to us, and beautiful things happen there.... to put it gently, we got married in a contemporary building with a gym sanctuary. I had to get creative in order to transform it into the venue of our dreams. If you're planning your wedding and have a similar situation.. don't hesitate to shoot me an email or check out the rest of my wedding posts.

While browsing the interwebs for inspiration, I came across some wedding photos that were taken outside an old, southern looking white house. A big porched beauty. Then I saw a few photos of the ceremony in (what I could tell to be) a similar looking sanctuary to ours. That was a huge lightbulb wedding planning moment for me. We could easily take photos at a third party location. Immediately, Ben's aunt and uncle's house came to mind. It was a pretty close match to the house I saw in the photos. The added bonus was that Roy and Cathy so graciously opened up their home to all the girls for getting ready. I cannot stress how much I loved this. Cathy served us a huge spread of delicious breakfast and lunch, we all just hung out in the house and got ready, then just scooted outside for all our photos. I cherish knowing that when Ben and I did our first look, my dear friends were peeking from inside the house.

This is a photo that one of the girls snapped. I love it! 

I was BLOWN away by how these images turned out! SO SO SO pleased. Again, Caroline Joy Photography did an incredible job. 
















Thursday, May 9, 2013

What, what, what, what!

This title suggests that I bought something at the thrift shop recently. It was actually an estate sale find, but I couldn't resist this fun title. Ben and I don't really listen to rap music, but "I'm wearing grandad's clothes, I look incredible" has been Ben's life motto since early high school so we sing this song to each other occasionally. Couldn't resist. Anyway.


Check out this little baby. 



I have recently loved seeing photos of styled bar carts on Pinterest and in Williams Sonoma, etc. One teeny tiny problem. Okay, two teeny tiny problems. 

Problem one: As newlyweds, we aren't exactly financially equipped for this guy from WS. A thousand smackaroonies could go a lot farther and on a lot more practical things than that cart. 

Problem two: We don't really drink. We aren't against an occasional glass of wine together at home, but as far as our actual life.. we just aren't drinkers and don't believe that displaying alcohol in our home lines up with what we want to portray to people who visit us. If you have any more questions about that, feel free to email me. Holla. 

So basically we had zero dollars and zero practical need for a bar cart. But when we walked into an estate sale and found our new little baby marked down 50% to just a mere $15... things change. I actually "ummm-ed and ahhh-ed" a little bit but Ben knew I wanted it so kinda pushed me. And boy am I glad he did. 



I decided I wanted to make this little spot welcoming for visitors. When someone comes into our house, I want them to feel like they are special and loved. And don't tell me you wouldn't feel special and loved if you were given a flavored soda and a Dove chocolate upon visiting someone's casa. 

We'd like to replace the weird, big, rolly wheels on the cart... But for now, just a little bit of styling helped out A LOT. I wanted to bring a little bit of sophistication to our living space. We've actually recently nicknamed this room office/future living room "Matilda's Lair" because of the painting of her above. I know the painting is too high for the cart but whatever we aren't all perfect and haven't adjusted things yet. :) 



TA-DA!


I put some striped straws in a textured cup from Anthropologie, some chocolates in a small bowl (also from Anthropologie), some of our favorite stemless glasses, some Izze soda and some sparkling water. I wanted the water to be in real bottles but no where around here that I looked had that. Oh well, those bottles were only like a dollar because of it so I'm fine with that. 


Flavored sparkling water, two favorite design books, and a ceramic flower votive holder sans votive. 

So, what do yall think? Any fans of our non-alchoholic bar cart out there? :)

Also, forgive me for not editing these photos. Squint a little bit.