The Last Chapter
We had our reception in and surrounding a beautiful old barn on the venue property. There was a lot of work done there in the days and weeks leading up to the wedding, and the result far exceeded my expectations. It was picture perfect in every way.
We had a small table reserved for us at the front and we were finally able to eat! (Kind of.) I was mostly just overwhelmed with happiness and excitement and didn't really have an appetite. Minutes later, all of our favorite people crowded in to the barn and joined us for the two wedding traditions we did keep. First, toasts!
My maid of honor, Brittany, and her husband, Aaron (who Chad and I initially argued over who's side he would actually stand on) made their speech together. Then Chad's brother and best man, Nathan, made his speech. They were all wonderful and funny and true.
As per tradition, after the toasts I would have had a dance with my dad. A couple of months before the wedding I had asked my brother to create a slideshow of pictures of my dad and I and set them to the song we had chosen for this occasion many years ago. Levi did an amazing job, and instead of skipping my father-daughter dance, it was replaced with a few minutes of wonderful, loving memories of the two of us together.
Butterfly Kisses by Bob Carlisle
Now, of course, this kind of thing resulted in some tears. It was emotional, but it was necessary for me to include my dad in some way. One thing I'm extremely thankful for in my long history with Chad is that he was able to meet my dad and know him for awhile when he was still mostly healthy. It was extremely special to remember him with Chad in the presence of our families and friends.
After the video, Levi went forward to re-lighten the mood. Considering that it wasn't easy for him to watch either, he recovered perfectly. He cracked some jokes and made his own toast before introducing mine and Chad's first dance together as husband and wife.
Coffee by Copeland
Then it was Chad's turn to dance with his mamma. I've already said how special Josie is to me... and of course Chad has some crazy love and respect for his mom. She has been through a lot and has persevered through a lot. He tells me often how highly he thinks of her, and Chad is Josie's baby! They have a special relationship. I mean look at those faces! That's love.
Forever Young by Bob Dylan
After the first dances, our good friend and DJ, Jonathan Orner (who killed it with the playlist, by the way) said something like, "And now the time we've all been waiting for!" ... and we had the best dance party ever.
And then it was time to go...
I have lived and re-lived the day. I love what it was and I love what it stands for and I love the people I got to share it with. I'm so happy to have photos and written memories to help me remember forever. This is the last of my stories from my wedding day. I'm actually kind of sad about that. In the words of my best, Brittany: "My hearts all weird feeling and I cried a little again. Still one of the most perfect slash fun slash inspiring slash beautiful days of my life!!!" I think that's about right. The wedding day story is over now, but I get to read it again whenever I want to. And, I don't know, life is still going so I'm just going to keep writing about it I guess.
So to close this chapter... I want to share our wedding video! Drew Schrimsher did a phenomenal job. (Thanks, Drew!) Really, he went above and beyond! I asked him, pretty late in the game, if he would be willing to get some footage of the wedding... then he offered to edit and create the video too, and JEEZ! It's perfect. I woke up to a message from him telling me it was ready, and the timing turned out to be pretty perfect in bringing this story to a close.