September 20, 2013

The purpose of this blog is to document my life, so I suppose it makes sense to begin by documenting the biggest day of my life thus far.  Our wedding was on a perfect, late-summer day and we were blessed to share this day with so many of our beloved family and friends. Even though our days as true ‘newlyweds’ are probably numbered, I still find myself thinking about our wedding often – what a happy day it was.

We were married at my husband’s family’s church – Christ Church, in Overland Park, KS – and celebrated with a reception at the Lenexa Conference Center (which has a very nondescript name but is a beautiful event space, both rustic and modern, in a refurbished barn).  Our wedding was photographed by Steven Michael Photo, and we will always treasure the beautiful images that day.

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We actually got married on a Friday largely because of the availability of our event space, which worried me at first because it was a little less convenient than a Saturday wedding.  In the end, it worked out just fine.  Since the wedding was at 7pm, I was able to spend the morning prepping the event space with my mom and mother-in-law – we did all the decorations, planning, and coordinating ourselves, and while it was a lot of work, I wouldn’t have done it any other way.  Maybe a wedding planner could have made things happen more quickly, but I loved putting my energy into every detail of the day, and I think everything came out beautifully in the end.

Jeremy and I shared a “first look” moment before the ceremony and took our pictures that afternoon, and seeing each other before I came down the aisle took away so much of our nerves! After I saw Jeremy that afternoon, I felt completely at ease.  Our photographer told us that couples who see each other before the ceremony often report that they enjoyed the day much more than couples who avoid seeing each other.  I understand the tradition of waiting until you’re walking down the aisle to see your groom, but I also have to advocate for the quiet beauty of the “first look” moment. It’s a wonderfully intimate way to see each other on your big day, and I loved every minute of it.

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jeremy_anna_0160jeremy_anna_0174jeremy_anna_0193 It was funny – the ceremony was the part of the day that involved the least effort on our part.  We picked a few songs and discussed a few ideas with the church staff, but other than that, the church coordinators really made it come together without asking much from us.  In the end, though, that beautiful ceremony was the highlight of the whole event for me.  The service and message were beautiful, the music was personal, romantic, and light, and I could really feel the love and support flowing from all our guests.

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We didn’t want to slow things down at the reception, so instead of serving a traditional dinner, we did heavy hors d’oeuvres and dessert.  We served everything from sushi to bruschetta to finger sandwiches, and it was delicious!  It definitely kept the reception feeling light and fun – my ultimate goal for the evening.

I loved coming up with a variety of centerpieces and decorative details for the space, and I was so proud of the way it all looked in the end.  I wanted the decor to feel a little rustic and softly romantic, and I loved mixing together sweet peach roses with modern, bright succulents.  It was a perfect marriage of our tastes as well – Jeremy loves clean lines and modern finishes, and I love soft touches and vintage details.

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Our reception favors were extra-personal because my mom made them herself! She runs a small business where she handcrafts luxuriously creamy soaps and deliciously fragrant soy candles – be sure to check her out at Waving Wheat Soap Company.  She personalized the labels for us and I picked fragrances that related to our wedding (“Strawberries and Champagne” and “Green Clover and Aloe”) – it was a great favor because people could take it home and actually use it.

We had such a great time dancing and talking with family and friends, and it was a little surreal to have all the people we loved in one place!

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