Happy Wednesday everyone!!!! Today is our first day back in the office after 9 days away and it feels great to be back! We had an incredible vacation to the Yellowstone and Grand Teton area and have so many amazing pictures to share with you! However, before we get into that, we thought that since our first anniversary was Monday, it was high time to share some of OUR wedding pictures with all of you! I apologize now because this post is MEGA long, but when it comes to your own wedding day how the heck do you narrow down, especially when you have incredible photographers like Liz and Ryan?!?!?!? More than just being our photographers, they were great supporters and encouragers throughout the day and we appreciate that so very much! They went above and beyond in amazing ways. Liz even took a moment of her day to help me deal with a tough situation and I could never say how grateful I was for that.
The day of our rehearsal was GORGEOUS! It was so much fun baking desserts for the wedding day, setting up for the wedding, and then enjoying a great rehearsal dinner that Jeff’s parents worked hard to plan for us. We had breakfast for dinner at Victory Cafe downtown Galena and Jeff’s family made adorable candle favors using Angry Orchard bottles (which is how Jeff proposed to me for those that aren’t familiar with the story).
Miss Maggie at Studio One did an incredible job with my rehearsal hair too! Seriously-she’s amazing!!! Cody being the watch-dog of the proceedings 🙂 Aren’t these so cute! Jeff’s mom and dad and Cameron cut and made each of the candles and the ring decorations on the centerpiece bottles. Super cute! Yummy breakfast!!!! The chicken and waffles and little pancakes were way too cute!!!! Our gifts may have been a bit sentimental and brought on a lot of tears all around. Had to have a fun pic with all the brothers. I love getting to say I’ve got three brother’s now 🙂
The morning of the wedding was spent getting ready. Jeff did a lot of final preparations in the tent (because he is AMAZING) while I got all done up with hair and makeup.
Then it was time for the first look!!!! This was the part of the day Jeff and I were most looking forward to-getting to see each other and then spend the rest of our day together. We chose to do our first look at our house. Even though our porch needs a lot of love, and even if our house isn’t perfect, it’s the first home we’ve owned together and we’ve already put a lot of blood sweat and tears into fixing it up. It’s home and it made the most sense to us to start our married lives together there. There were lots of happy happy tears!!!
Our wedding party consisted of each of our brother’s standing up with us and Maggie who was my attendant throughout the day. We went all around Galena taking photos during the afternoon.
When we got back to Hawk Valley, we wanted to be sure to get some photos with the Best Dog, our adorable Cody man who wore his finest handmade bowtie for the occasion 🙂
Before we knew it, it was time for the ceremony to begin! Right before we were set to start, the rain started to fall. Jeff gave me a quick call and asked what I wanted to do. I said if we had to move into the tent that would be totally fine, but he thought that we’d get a break in the clouds and wanted to go ahead with the outdoor ceremony so we did! Once again our friends and family spoiled us and all chipped in to wipe off chairs and dry things off.
It was important to Jeff and I to walk down the aisle together, so my dad walked me to the end of the aisle, hugged us both, and then we continued down the way arm in arm.
No sooner did we get down the aisle than the rain started. At first it was just a bit of a drizzle so we thought we’d be alright.
Our helium balloons really did not want to fly in the rain, but eventually they did. We released them for grandparents and friends we have lost in our lives who couldn’t be there with us that day.
Then….then the rain started to pour down more. We had 5 readings that each meant something truly special to us and of course the very first one Duane was reading had the first line as “Now you shall feel no rain”. Can I just tell you how much EVERYONE started laughing at that point?!?!? The timing was too perfect!
The colorful umbrellas really worked with our theme of lots of color!
Yup…this is the point when the rain was really starting to come down hard….
And right after Chrissy finished her 2nd reading Jeff and I looked at each other and said “Time to give up? Yup-time to give up!” So Misty (our officiant and dear friend) announced that we would be reconvening inside the tent to finish the ceremony. I have to say, these pictures are some of my favorite of the whole day!
Lucas broke the ice in the tent with his reading “Why Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog”-a reading we heard at a wedding we photographed a couple years back and that we loved from the moment we heard it!
We each wrote our own vows to each other. Again with the happy sappy tears 🙂
Right after the ceremony ended, the rain cleared up and we could go back out for photos which was awesome. Everything was sunny and perfectly sparkly!
Brandi was awesome coordinating the day with Rodney and making sure our drinks stayed safe while we took pictures 🙂
While we finished up pictures, our guests played lawn games and did a bunch of activities we had set up in the tent like paintings and advice jars.
Josh was our amazing bartender for the evening. We made 4 custom drinks for everyone to try and they were a big hit! Our dessert table was our favorite!!!! Not only did Cody have his own cake thanks to Jeff’s parents, we had a huge array of different treats including Halfway Bars (Jeff’s favorite dessert his mom made for the wedding) and Pizzelles (my favorite Italian dessert that I made for the wedding).
Our tables were family style seating like all great Italian families (my family is Italian so this was kind of a tribute to them). Since our theme was color, color, and more color with a little nod to our favorite move here and there (UP), we had colorful vases that we had dyed ourselves filled with flowers from Garden Party Florist and candles on each of the tables.
From there on out, the day was just fun fun and more fun! We had speeches from our parents and brothers, we got up to thank everyone and tell them to dance the night away, we danced and laughed and enjoyed every moment with the people that mean so much to us and it was perfect!
The next photo on the left, that’s our amazing photographers Liz and Ryan!!!! Aren’t they amazingly cute?!?! And also ridiculously amazing for dealing with the rain with all of us! Yeah…we may have played a game of life-size Jenga…and Jeff may have won…. Partway through my dance with my dad he handed me off to Jeff which was super crazy emotional. Very sweet and super emotional!
Our DJ’s were our wonderful friends Brandon and Alex with The After Party. These two were awesome and hilarious all night!
My little brother Matthew danced the night away with everyone! It was so sweet to see the smile on his face while he had a ton of fun!!!! This guy…I don’t even know what all to say. He was incredible the entire day through! Rodney is our amazing friend that runs Special Moments Entertainment and the day of our wedding he was one of our rockstar coordinators pulling it all together to make sure our day was perfect. He is amazing and sweet and kind and totally ridiculous all rolled into one awesome guy.
This is all of us gathered around the video Liz and Ryan made of some of our pictures from the day.
This shot may not mean a lot to anyone other than me, but this is my Dad and I dancing to “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” That song happens to be sung by my all time favorite musician and happens to be one of my top 5 Billy Joel songs of all time. He grabbed my hand and asked if we could dance to it and then laughed at me because I knew every single word!
Our wedding day was amazing. Yes it rained. Yes every single tiny thing didn’t go completely perfectly. But it was perfect for us. From the very first moment we got to see each other through cleaning it all up and collapsing in our beds, it was a day full of joy! We got to spend it with so many amazing people who we are lucky to call our friends and family. I don’t think I stopped smiling most of the day!
Jeff, thank you for one incredible year!!! The first year has definitely not been easy to us, but we’ve made it as we always do-holding each other’s hands and standing beside each other to face very challenge head on. As we promised each other on our wedding day and I’ll keep promising you until the end of time, Team Honey-it’s you and me all the way babe and that’s the only thing that matters. Here’s to a lifetime of memories ahead of us!!!!