Year Three | An Anniversary Post

Today marks three years of marriage with my sweet husband.  This man has been such been such a force in my life and my business….A force of encouragement, belief, love, and never failing strength.  When I feel as though I am not enough, he is always there with a hand and a hug to pull me out of whatever slump I have talked myself into and when I am feeling on top of the world, he is the first one that I want to celebrate with.  

We’ve been together for 8 years now.  Three years of marriage, Two homes, two dogs, a few career moves, countless kisses, a million hugs, and a baby on the way- I can honestly say that I can not imagine a life any sweeter than it is now. 

Today’s post is a bit personal + I am going to blame it on hormones as I get all sentimental and say that I thought the best blog for today would be a recap of our wedding!!!  Abby Hudson Photography did not yet exist when we were first married, so I thought that today was the perfect day to share those images with you all!!

We were married on our five year dating anniversary.  It also happened to be the day after my birthday which meant that we had birthday cake at our rehearsal dinner thanks to our dear family.  Yeah, I know, it was great!!

The night before our wedding, after the rehearsal dinner, we invited our bridal party back to our house to continue the celebration.  Brad had been considering staying the night at a friends house to keep with tradition and not see me on the wedding day until the ceremony.  However, by the time our friends were leaving for the night, it was already 12:30 am so I reminded him that it was already our wedding day, he had already seen me, and therefore he should just stay home with me.  We all laughed a bit at the logic but he did decide to stay which meant that I was able to get a good nights sleep as always when he’s there to snuggle with.

The next morning I woke up next to him with sun pouring into the windows.  It was a beautiful morning- cool morning air without a cloud in the sky!!  I walked outside with Jillian (this was back before we had Sadie + when Jillian was an “only child”).  I remember walking outside with her and sitting there soaking in the sunshine for a few moments.  It was quiet out aside from the birds chirping and the leaves rustling in the breeze and I remember sitting there just soaking in the final moments of calm before the festivities of the day began.

My bridesmaids arrived to the house one by one and it was soon time to leave for hair and make up.  I sat Brad’s wedding gift on the kitchen table, gave him a kiss on the cheek as he continued to sleep, and I left knowing that when I saw him again, it would be to say our vows.

What started as a cool June day, soon turned into a blistering (what felt like ) 120 degree day with no clouds + no breeze!!!  It was hot to say the very least, but the joy I felt that day was too immense to be dampered by any weather condition.  After a fabulous hair + makeup appointment with my bridesmaids + then setting up the reception area of the venue, it was then time to relax with a glass of wine and prepare for the ceremony + celebration ahead.  

The time in the bridal suite before the ceremony is all sort of a blur.  There are of course bits and pieces that I remember vividly, but there were just so many emotions going through my body during that time.  So much laughter, so much happiness, so much excitement for the moments ahead, and I was longing for the moment that I would get to see Brad again.  I remember feeling the most calm + the most certain that I have ever felt in my entire life before our ceremony and every ounce of me was ready to be in the arms of my soon to be husband.

I remember holding it together pretty well all day until the moment that we were ready to walk down the grassy vineyard aisle.  I was holding onto my step fathers arm and as the music began to play, I began to cry.  I remember my him patting my arm and smiling, telling me that “It’ll be ok” and I remember crying and laughing to him saying “No, no, these are happy tears!!” hahaha.

As we walked down the aisle, all I remember is Brad’s sweet face.  I don’t remember the faces I passed down the aisle, I don’t remember if I walked too fast or walked to slow or if I was holding my flowers in the right spot or anything like that… All I remember is looking at him and knowing with every ounce of my soul that he was the one the God meant for me.  (Side note, I still cry a little every time I hear the song that I walked down the aisle to!)

Our ceremony was short and sweet and true to us as a couple.  I will never forget the way we laughed with our guests at the reading we chose for the ceremony.  I will never forget the way that Brad held my hands in those moments through the entire ceremony + the way he rubbed the tops of my hands gently with his thumbs as he held on to me tight.  I will also never forget the moment that I thought the ceremony was over + leaned in to Brad for a kiss…. Aside from the fact that I did not make it all the way in for the kiss, lets just say that I was wrong + the ceremony was not yet complete!! haha.  That is a great memory as I pulled back laughing with Brad + clapping at my silly self for what I had just done!  What can I say?! – I was excited to marry him and seal it with a kiss.  The rest of the day was filled with hugs, laughs, dancing, + the best celebration with those closest to us.  Every moment of that day was perfect for us.  It is easy to get wrapped up in the details of wedding planning.  its even easier to become overwhelmed + stressed.  But the truth is that looking back, none of it really mattered.  The only thing that actually mattered was the fact that the man I said those vows to was the one person in the world that is meant for me + we get to love out our forever together, side by side.

Marriage has definitely been a journey- a journey that I may write more about one day.  It has been full of lessons of patience + understanding, but it has also been full of more love +  joy than I ever even knew was possible.  I am so blessed to be his wife, + I am even more thankful that he chose me to spend forever with… because looking back on the last 8 years, I wouldn’t want to spend my life any other way.

Thank you so much to all of the incredible vendors that made our day as special as it was!!!

Venue: Ingleside Vineyards

Photographer: R.C. Bell Photography

Florist: Bridgett’s Boutiques

Hair + Make Up: Tanglez Hair + Tan Studio

Officiant: Walker Gaulding, Rappahannock Church of Christ

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