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Our Wedding Day

2013-11-27_0045I remember like it was yesterday… the day I said “I DO!!” and married the love of my life!! I cannot believe that it’s been three years since Ryan and I exchanged our vows. It was a beautiful sunny day on December 1st, 2012. I remember waking up with a huge smile on my face while thinking to myself “Today is the first day of the rest of my life!!”.

Our wedding ceremony was held at St. Benedict’s church. This church is extra special because Ryan got baptized here at the Easter Vigil earlier that year. The church is absolutely beautiful!! The wedding party arrived a few hours before showtime! We didn’t decide to do a “first look” (where Ryan and I see each other before the ceremony). Instead, we exchanged cards where we stood on either side of a door inside the church. It was a very intimate moment and yes, I cried! But I loved every second of it!! By then, the church was a full house… the pews were packed with all the love and support from our closest family and friends. The music was incredible!! During the wedding planning, Ryan and I chose to have the soloist sing “Ave Maria” as my grandparents and our parents walked down the aisle. I was initially worried that I wouldn’t hear her sing it because I would be getting ready to walk down the aisle… but when the moment came, I was standing in the side parlor, the bridesmaids had left to go line up, and that was the first moment that I was by myself all day… the church was silent, and all everyone could hear was the soloist’s beautiful voice. I know that my Mom was beaming with happiness walking down the aisle (she looked absolutely beautiful on this day!!). Even though I couldn’t actually see this moment unfold… it was amazing to experience exactly how it did!! I remember thinking, “This is it!!”. My heart was racing! Moments later, I was meeting my Dad outside for him to walk me down the aisle. Dad was totally calm, cool, and collected which calmed my nerves just a little bit. He’s a romantic mush and I love it! I thought by this exact moment of the day I (we!) would be bawling my eyes out (with happiness!!!). But I was calm too! I knew it was time to go when I heard the music crescendo, it was building up, and building up, and the doors to the church swung open, the light poured in, and everyone stood up. It was one of the most overwhelmingly beautiful moments that I have ever experienced. Dad gave me a little squeeze of the hand and we began to walk. I remember glancing to my right and to my left to see all the familiar faces there to witness our love. I then looked straight down the aisle at my Groom. He looked so incredibly handsome! Ryan had this huge smile on his face that melted my heart! I remember thinking to myself, “how did I get so lucky?!”, “I get to spend the rest of my life with this man!!”. Walking down the aisle with my Dad will truly be a moment that I always cherish. The service was beautiful. We chose my Godmother (and my Aunt!), Mary, and Ryan’s 1st cousin, Caitlin, to read during the ceremony. We walked up to the alter to say our vows. I was shaking with happiness — filled with nerves of excitement!!!!! Afterwards, my brother read the “These Hands” poem.

“These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love, that hold yours on your wedding day
as you promise to love each other all the days of your lives.

These are the hands that will tenderly lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look in each other’s eyes,
eyes that are filled completely with overwhelming love and desire.
These are the hands that will work along side yours as you build your future together,
as you laugh and cry, as you share your innermost secrets and dreams.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and soothe you like no other.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle, and support and encouragement to chase your dreams.
These are the hands that will wipe tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
And lastly, these are the hands, that even when wrinkled with age, will be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch, a touch from these hands.” ~ Author Unknown

Our reception was held at the John Marshall Ballrooms in their fabulous Virginia Ballroom — complete with a wrap-around balcony that leads into the main floor from a split staircase for a grand entrance, the chandeliers, the wedding cake!!, the dance floor… it was all amazing!! My Mom and her best girlfriends worked SO very hard to turn that ballroom into a fairytale! The centerpieces, the bridesmaid’s bouquets and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres, the Christmas trees behind the wedding cake…there wasn’t a single detail overlooked. The ballroom was truly breathtaking! Ryan and I had our first dance to kick off the night to “Crazy Love”. I danced with my Dad to “I hope you Dance”. Ryan danced with his Mom to “The Way You Look Tonight”. We had an incredible motown band — Another Level. The dance floor was packed the entire night!! Catered by Homemades by Suzanne — the food was absolutely delicious!! We had a photo booth and it was a huge hit! An album was put together of everyone’s photo with personal notes inside — they are hilarious! Check out some of the favorites here! There were so many times at the reception where we stopped to look around and take it all in. Every guest was having a blast!

I was SO very excited to have Laura Gordon as our wedding photographer for our BIG day! The photos she capture are ABSOLUTELY amazing!!! She is incredibly talented!!!!!! My Matron of Honor’s dad and brother offered to do the videography for our wedding day. This was SO very generous of them. They captured the entire day!! We will cherish that DVD video always!!!!

I am so very blessed to have Ryan in my life. I fall in love with him more and more each day. He makes our house a home. He makes my life complete!! Happy anniversary baby!!!

My great Grandmother’s mink stole. Beautiful!!
Oh, yes! I rocked those gold sequin heels on my wedding day!!
I had my Grandmother’s initials engraved on a charm and added it to my bridal bouquet.
Dad seeing me for the first time!
This was a beautiful moment with my girls.
Seeing my brother for the first time! His face was priceless 🙂
SO handsome!!
Ryan’s niece, Ryleigh, and my first cousin, Brooke
Showing Pop JJ’s initials 🙂
LOVE this! Showing off his bling!
Kathie, you looked so beautiful!!
Unbelievably beautiful!!
 Get it Emily!
My Maid & Matron of Honor – Laura & Emily
Ryan’s best men – His brother Eric and best friend Brian
Three generations
The ladies that worked their magic decorating the John Marshall!!! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!

The dance floor was packed so Mom and I started a dance party of our own. Loved this moment!!
Check out our getaway car!!!!! THANK YOU BRIAN!!!

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