Our Unordinary Wedding

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Our Wedding Day! Check out the “rustic” metal in the background. We were ahead of our time.

Last year I wrote our love story in honor of our anniversary. I never realized how unorthodox our relationship was until I started getting feedback from that post. How does one follow up an unordinary courtship? With an unordinary wedding of course.

He proposed March 8th. We set the wedding date for June 17th. That’s three months later in case anyone is counting.

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Our first picture after getting engaged! It was two days later and we got to see both of our families at Eric’s driving experience.

I was in the throes of student teaching when we first became engaged, and this consumed my life so much to the point that I was seriously doubting whether I was cut out to be a teacher. I was thrilled to be getting married that summer, but the demands of finishing my education prevented me from spending too many hours surfing the web for wedding information. Praise the Lord Pinterest didn’t exist yet.

I was clueless when it came to weddings. Clueless. I had only attended a handful of them, and I was the first in my group of friends to be getting married. I really had no idea how it all worked. All I knew was that I needed a white dress, a pastor, and my intended. That pretty much felt like enough to me. Eric actually planned the majority of the ceremony details.

So, what were the details?

Bridesmaid. Yes, that’s singular for a reason. I wanted my sister to be my one and only bridesmaid because I knew my sister was the one and only person guaranteed to always be in my life. I didn’t want to pick and choose between friends, and I didn’t want to worry about finding a dress that everyone would be happy with. I let my sister pick whatever she wanted to wear because I wanted her to feel pretty too. Her selection then determined my colors. They would be blue and brown.

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My favorite picture of me and my siblings! Taken right before the service began.

Flowers. Okay, blue and brown. What flowers go with this? My soon-to-be Mother-in-Love mentioned blue hydrangeas, so I went with it. When I met with my florist, he told me all the woes of working with hydrangeas for weddings, and then insisted I have them because it was my wedding and that was what I wanted. I really didn’t care. He was right though, as my sister’s bouquet had to be replaced with grocery store hydrangeas minutes before the ceremony began.

The Dress. I wanted something simple and found a few styles I liked at David’s Bridal. At the end of trying on these dresses my mom says, “I could make something like that.” And so she did. My mom worked tirelessly to get the dress just right and leave me with a precious memory. The outcome was almost identical to what I had tried on in store!

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Our families prayed for us as we started off the ceremony.

Invitations. Formal invitations were sent to relatives and a few family friends. The rest of our guests were invited by email invitations and an open Facebook event. I am not kidding. We wanted everyone we knew to celebrate with us and to have the chance to hear about the goodness of God.

Food. How do you feed an unknown number of people? Easy. One of our friends bought cases of soft drinks as our wedding present. That was one of the most practical gifts anyone gave us. We decided to have a cookout for our guests and purchased boxes upon boxes of hamburgers and hotdogs from Costco. Sadly, an entire freezer worth of hamburgers was forgotten, so I’m not sure everyone had a chance to eat. We did get to return the extras though! Our cake was a gift to us from a friend of Eric’s parents, and a bounce house was set up for kiddos to enjoy.

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People were gathered everywhere! We may have had close to 500. Here they are gathering for food, with a bit of our fancy trailer and bounce house in the background.

Ceremony. To be held on a Sunday during a church service. Yes, it was our wedding day, but we wanted God to be the focus of it. Not us. We had praise and worship, and the new sermon series called “Once Upon a Time” was kicking off with Adam and Eve. Perfect set up for a wedding. We also decided to include a true love waits ceremony for those in the student ministry wanting to make a commitment to save sexual intimacy for marriage. This was especially precious to me as I was going to present Eric with my own purity ring during the vow exchange.

Location. There was going to be too many people for our church building, so we decided to hold everything outside on the lawn. Eric painted the big trailer outside white to help with the ambiance. It had previously been decorated with “LUAU” for a youth event. We rented folding chairs and a stage for the musicians. Our small group was kind enough to help set up that morning, and I later learned they had to clean silly string off most of those rented chairs.

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Our first act as husband and wife was to praise Jesus!
The Mishaps. I’m pretty sure every wedding has a few of these. In addition to my sister’s flowers dying and doing a quick fix, there were a few other experiences that didn’t quite go as planned. It was a high of 97 degrees that day, causing one of our guests to faint. We did a first look that I had hoped to be private, but because we were outside, a crowd of people ended up joining us. The cops were called because our music was too loud. Oh, and we probably should have set the date for something other than Father’s Day. (Sorry, Daddy!)

I really, truly, loved our wedding. I felt like we had the opportunity to bring glory to God and honor others. Neither one of us had much money saved, and our families certainly were not rich by any means. We chose to spend very little so we could start off our marriage focusing on our relationship without needing to pay off debt. Altogether, including all the things, no matter who was paying, the cost was under $5000. This was a tremendous blessing to the start of our  marriage.

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Only a few nights prior to our wedding, we decided to do a swing dance. I had no idea what I was doing, but it was fun! A small portion of our cake table is in the background.

Looking back, I probably would have done it the same way all over again. Looking forward, I love that we get to celebrate our anniversary in new ways. We are hoping to do a very small vow renewal for our 10th anniversary next year. My wedding day, while certainly a significant moment in my life, wasn’t the biggest moment for our marriage.

The biggest moment, in any marriage, is really the little moments day-to-day as we love and respect our spouse. It’s a life-long journey with a success rate not determined by a flawless wedding day. I am so thankful to have started off our marriage the way we did, and I hope to continue in the same mindset of honoring God and others for the rest of our lives.

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Bubbles!
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One Year Later…

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The baby’s face is priceless! Image by Alexa’s Photography.

I pay a small fee once a year to keep “.wordpress.com” off of the end of my blog name. I paid it once when I first launched the blog, and just recently I was notified that my next payment was due.

That means I’ve been doing this blog thing publicly for a year now. Woah! I must say, I’m rather proud of myself for keeping it up. ::imaginary pat on the back::

My first post was published on March 20th of 2015. I gave my reasons for blogging and laid out some goals. Looking back over that post, I feel like I’ve been able to accomplish each one, and wow…that feels great!

Today makes a total of 52 published posts. The month of November accounts for more than half of those posts as I wrote once a day as an act of gratitude for various individuals in my life. I have 3 posts sitting in my draft folder, but it never seems the right time to publish them. I have a folder on my computer full of things that I’ve written. Some I hope to edit and publish eventually, while others may just end up being personal thoughts to tuck away in a corner somewhere. And then there’s that long list of ideas that I keep for anytime a topic jumps into my head.

I suppose it is safe to say, Alfelfa Sprouts won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

I’m very excited, yet apprehensive, about a series of posts I’m planning to do toward the end of April. I’ve written 2 1/2 out of a series of 5 posts I hope to publish in honor of Infertility Awareness Week. Infertility is a struggle that impacts many more women than we might think. God has placed a very tender spot on my heart for this issue, and it is with much prayer that I am attempting to tackle the topic from an outsider’s perspective. Will you pray with me as I continue this pursuit?

This has been a year of personal growth and learning as I often lay my heart bare in hopes of bringing life to another. This is my ministry. It takes a great deal of time and effort for each post to happen, but I love it.

I’ll leave you today with the 5 most viewed posts from my first year as a blogger. I hope you enjoy looking back as much as I have!

  1. The Story of Us (All about how my hubby and I met and began our relationship.)
  2. In the Beginning… (My very first post! Read this if you want to know my heart for this place.)
  3. Life or Death (Our words contain much power; as demonstrated by little children. One of my personal favorites.)
  4. Mom Fails (I am NOT perfect, and here are a few examples!)
  5. Longing for Paradise (Hubby and I took our very first caribbean vacation, and it felt like Heaven.)

Thank you to everyone who consistently comes to this place to hang out for a bit. Your encouragement (through comments and likes online, as well as in personal conversations) speaks volumes to me and is so very appreciated!