Monday, June 28, 2010

Six Years of Wedded Bliss

Saturday marked our 6th wedding anniversary!!

It's hard to believe it's been six whole years since we did this:
The title of this post is very accurate: it's been BLISS!

God truly blessed me with a wonderful husband. After saying "I do" and living with this man for these past 6 years, I know that I got an even better deal than I expected. ;) The longer I know him, the more I admire him. His character impresses me daily. His integrity blesses me with security. He loves God with humble sincerity and he loves me and our girls with consistence. He is kind, always. I hope it doesn't sound arrogant but I really do wish that every wife were blessed with a husband who treated her as mine treats me.
I always enjoy looking through my wedding pictures. I've said it for about 5 yrs. and 11 months: I want to get married again. Same groom, of course! But I want to have that whole special day again and again. Partly to just enjoy it even more fully, and not be nervous or even the tiniest bit stressed. And partly because there are a few things I would do differently.
Our wedding was the first event I'd ever planned... at all. I had not so much as planned a birthday party before this monumental occasion! Added to the facts that I did the vast majority of planning from my dorm room (without a computer or Internet connection) and with a budget of whatever I could scrap together after paying my college bills. I was 20 yrs. old and making it all up as I went. Overall, I cherish the day because hey, by the time we drove away, I had a ring on my finger and that finger was enclosed in the hand of my new groom. Who cares about anything else! As I share with these pictures with you, I'll share with you what were my best choices, and what I would change. Of course, if my over analysis is more than you can tolerate, feel free to just enjoy the pictures and ignore my ramblings entirely!
The groom: Best choice ever!!!!!! He's a keeper!

Handmaid flower bouquets, flower girl wreath and decor. Major money saver and I was pleased with how they came out. I hit the clearance racks at craft stores and sat down with my maid of honor and just did what we thought was pretty. Isn't my little flower girl a sweetie? Her parents were my Sunday School teachers growing up.

My beautiful bridesmaids. I had 5 chicks at my side while my hubby had only 3 groomsmen (it's just not that important to guys to travel all the way to California to see their friend get married, ya know!) We made that work fine though. What I would do differently is the dresses. They came out nicely and I'm so grateful to Jessica (the bridesmaid on the lower right with the long gorgeous hair) for working so tirelessly to make them. But when most of the bridesmaids are flying in from out of town, it was stressful on her and me to make sure they were finished and actually fit well. Since then, I've seen nice dresses in stores like JCPennys that would make great bridesmaid's dresses with an added ribbon around the waist and aren't too expensive. And of course, Internet opens up countless options.

My photographer was wonderful. My budget was quite small. A typical wedding photographer was out of the question. I decided to put a simple ad up on a bulletin board at the local community college in the photography classroom. One student called me. She was almost done with her photography course, and had worked on a large team of photographers for up scale weddings. Mine was to be her first solo wedding. She had a journalistic style, which I loved but she also included a few important formal shots. She was VERY unobtrusive. You hardly noticed her as we went about the day but what we ended up with was a wonderful collection of two photo albums, a CD with every single image (hundreds) and as an extra, simply because she wanted to give it a try, a DVD slide show set to music. Our cost: $500. That was a big chunk of my budget but such a terrific deal. Now that she is well established, her base package is about $3,000!!!

My veil was bought off eBay for $20...

The groomsmen: Seth's brother, brother in law and his father as the best man. Something you should know about having marines as your groomsmen: They yell "Hoo-ra" (or how ever you spell that!) when you kiss. ;)

I loved, and still love my rings. Seth did an amazing job selecting them. His ring, however, he helped me select, and I'm glad he did because what I would have gotten was not what he liked! But on the day of the wedding, his rings were no where to be found! We used his brother's ring for the ceremony and then found his actual ring right after everything was over! Oops! In this picture, you see Seth's boutonniere, which along with my bouquet were the only fresh flowers we had.

We rented a local church out of necessity. This church happened to have a women pastor.... that was interesting. She had strong opinions about how everything should go but, to my great relief my home pastor handled her, and her opinions, perfectly. He he he.

My mom's little touch to the back of our rental car. Loved it.

My brother in law serving cake. I seriously did not even think about who would help serve at the reception. My planning did not include those kinds of details. But my husband's family demonstrated, as they have countless times since then, that you can always count on them to help out.

My pretty sister in law. I just think this picture of her is awesome and had to share it. If she finds out, she will probably throw something at me. =)
My dress. *sigh* This was probably the biggest "wish I could do over". My dream dress was always one with a big tulle skirt with sparkles and flowers and all sorts of frilly foo foo la la nonsense all over it. But, I had become frustrated and discouraged as I looked for a dress with a big skirt that wasn't very low cut in the bodice. So when I came across this simple high necked dress that was well within my budget, and the sales lady said it looked great, I bought it. In hindsight, I should have put it back on the rack and slept on the decison. But it was a long drive to the store, time was running out and the low price tag caused me to just buy it. In the end, it felt a little plain and even with the high neck, I wasn't entirely comfortable wearing it. But... oh well.

The tiara you see in this picture (which shows us in the back of a rented SUV and Seth rolling the window up for privacy so we could... pray? Um... never mind).... was an impulse buy but a good buy. A week before the wedding, I felt an undeniable need for something sparkly and fancy. So I paid $80 for this very pretty tiara. It is actually, along with my veil, the only items from the wedding I saved. Most were given to engaged friends or lost in the cross country move, but this tiara gets brought out of safe keeping every year on June 26 for me to wear and look silly in. =) I even bring it to youth conference when it falls on our anniversary.

These topiaries (I just love topiaries) were from the dollar store. The runner was made from left over bridesmaid dress material.

The cake was a FABULOUS choice. It was actually from a local grocery store! The bakers there were excited to be making a wedding cake and really did a great job. The cost was of course substantially smaller than a fancy bakery and it tasted REALLY good. Many people complimented it saying it was the best wedding cake they had ever had.

I think the key to ordering a wedding cake from a grocery store bakery is to keep it simple. I doubt they could have handled a wedding cake shaped into Cinderella's castle very well. But simple smooth butter cream with piping, with a colored ribbon that I provided them looked really elegant to me. The florist at the grocery store put together the bouquets for the top of each floating tier. It was exactly what I wanted it to be.

My Beloved and I:

It may sound strange, but one of the best features about the church we rented was the lawn. Although small, in the Mojave Desert of Southern California, a lawn is rare and I was so pleased to have actual living grass in the background of our wedding day. =)

Although you can't always expect grass in the desert, you can always count on wind!

The entire wedding party. Notice my brother in law is standing on a song book because he felt like a dwarf next to my statuesque maid of honor.



raising3princesses said...

These were so beautiful! Guess what? We had the same dress! Great minds think alike...huh? I’ve got to meet you someday, we seem to have a lot in common. {smile} Maria

Michelle said...

I loved, loved, loved your pictures. Thanks for sharing. I look back on my day (June 25, btw) and think of things I would change, but I am so happy with my groom that it doesn't really matter.
The rehearsal dinner was a disaster, there were emergency fittings for the bridesmaids' dresses. My mother-in-law made them and 4 out of the 5 were not in her state. She had to completely remake a top after the rehearsal dinner.
I did LOVE my dress at the time. It was exactly what I wanted....puffed sleeves...a la Anne of Green Gables....not quite, but close.
Our biggest chunk of money was on the photos, but I'm so glad we have them now. I wish I would have thought to try photography students. That was a GREAT idea.
Hey...tell Brent that his brother was in OUR wedding and HE didn't have to stand on a book!!! :)

Michelle said...

Oh......Happy Anniversary!!!!

Lishak said...

Happy Anniversary! I have always adored your wedding pics. They are truly amaaaazing! God really blessed you with that student.
I, too, take out my tiara and still wear it from time to time. It's fun. :)

Kimberly said...

Happy Anniversary, I recently found your blog, I don't remember from where though- but I am really enjoying reading about your growing family. {Maybe it caught my attention since one of our sons is named Chad!!} Anyway, I love your dress! It is exactly what our oldest daughter wants in a dress, no froo-froo for her. our anniv. was the 24th, the only thing I'd change about our wedding is the photographer.

Congrats on 6 years!

Holly said...

This was so fun to read=) LOL, I didn't realize that your brother-in-law stood on books because I was taller than him!! That is too funny! I remember going with you when you got fitted for your dress, didn't we borrow your moms car to drive down to Ontario? I remember it was a stick shift and it was like the second or third time I drove a stick! That was fun=) Congratulations on your 6 years being married! Wow, how time does fly=)