Y’ALL. WE’RE MARRIED.
Hi there! It’s been a while since I’ve posted, but I hope you’ll excuse me. I’ve been a bit distracted by this whole building a life with my husband thing. And yes, calling Corey my husband is still very, very strange. Now that some time has passed and the proverbial dust has settled, I wanted to share the story of how our wedding went down with y’all.
I’ve mentioned before that we decided to do things differently than what social media claims is trendy. We more or less eloped, but we took our families with us. It was really important to us that our family was there to celebrate the moment with us, but neither of us really wanted the fuss of planning a large wedding ceremony and reception. Looking back, I’m extraordinarily thankful we did things that way. I’ve never been the girl that has had the details of her wedding planned out since the age of 6. So the idea of planning something Pinterest-perfect actually made me a bit nauseated — I’m just not like that. Corey and I aren’t that couple. I honestly admire the people that do the cute Mason jars as centerpieces or the custom hand-painted table numbers or the intricate flower arch over the alter. It all looks gorgeous! I, however, am not creative or original in things like that, and my attempts at recreating those things usually turn out about as well as the bakes on the Netflix show Nailed It. In other words, not well. We found a chapel that took care of pretty much everything for us. I elaborate on that in my Wedding Vendors post if you care to read about it. When we got back from our honeymoon, that’s when the stress of wedding planning really took root, since it turned out about twice as large as I wanted it to be. I can’t imagine dealing with large-party-planning stress on top of we’re-about-to-get-married nerves! I was thankful to only have one stressor at a time (mostly).
With all that said, now’s where I’ll launch into the timeline of our wedding week!
Wedding Week for us started the Monday before, when we sent Bear to what I’ve been calling puppy boot camp. It was actually a 2 week board-and-train program through Off-Leash K9 here in Oklahoma. I cannot recommend them more highly! (Before you ask, no, this isn’t a sponsored post of any sort. I really do just adore this organization). When we brought Bear home, we were trying to think through where to send him for the ~week and a half we would be in Colorado for wedding/honeymoon. Having him stay with our families wasn’t an option, since our families would be in CO with us. We weren’t crazy about boarding him somewhere, since boarding places can be stressful for pups. When we called Off-Leash and found they had openings, we had to celebrate! He got to spend two weeks working one-on-one with a trainer, learning his basic commands and playing with other puppies. The trainer he was with, Perry, has a pack of dogs of his own, and Bear would be interacting with them all the time. Bear got lots of playtime and lots of work done, which was great mental stimulation. It could not have worked out more perfectly. We have since continued our relationship with Perry, since he boards the dogs he’s trained. Bear now goes to have a sleepover at Perry’s house pretty much any time Corey and I leave town. We don’t have to worry about him picking up bad habits, since the same person who taught him his commands is taking care of him. Plus all the socialization. Bear goes nuts when he sees his BFF Perry! 🙂
Fast forward a few days. Friday was an early morning…. yuck! We woke up at around 4am to catch a 6am flight to Denver. Luckily, it was a direct flight, so no connection to stress over. We’d sent our wedding clothes (my dress and Corey’s suit) with parents, who were all driving, so we didn’t have to worry about that either. Landed in Denver, picked up the rental car, and off we went. First stop — the county courthouse to get our marriage license! We’d applied online, so we only had to pick up the actual certificate itself. Easy peasy. From there, we met up with our family and explored Denver a bit, including a trip to the Denver Zoo! (Zoo visits have sort of become a tradition for Corey and me). We all had dinner at Colore, which was an Italian place in Littleton (suburb of Denver), then Corey and I went to pick Alexis up from the airport.
Saturday morning, I was all nerves. We had the chapel booked from 10am to 11:30am, but I want to say I woke up around 7am (after not really sleeping super well the night before). I went to the living room of the rent house my family was all staying in to get a bite for breakfast. And coffee. I got to cuddle with Daddy for a while as well, which helped out some of the nerves. I showered and did my hair and makeup with a smidge more care than I do normally, put on my “Bride” robe, and promptly bundled up in sweatpants. It was a chilly morning!
We all loaded up and headed to the chapel. When we arrived, Alexis went in first to do recon work — everyone knows that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride on ceremony day before the big entrance, and Corey’s family was already there, so we had to make sure the coast was clear! Mom, Alexis, and I hurried downstairs, and that’s where we met Carmen, our amazing photographer. She was clicking away behind the camera while Alexis and I put our dresses on. Our bouquets were there waiting for us, neatly tied, in a vase.
When we were ready, Sherri (the chapel owner) took over and shuffled everyone into place and order. While she was upstairs organizing the bridal party entrance, Dad came downstairs and we had a small and emotional “first look” moment. Carmen got it all on camera; have I mentioned she was amazing?
Finally, the moment came. The moment I’ve dreamed about my whole life. The moment I got to walk down the aisle on Daddy’s arm to marry the man of my dreams. It was absolutely perfect.
I want to take a second to talk about our actual ceremony. If y’all have been around church much, you’ve probably heard a sermon or two on a specific passage in Ephesians 5 (5:21-33, specifically). For the most part, this passage is used to explain that wives should submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ. Now, while that is sound Biblical truth, it doesn’t portray the whole message of the passage. The minister that performed our wedding (Skylar, a family friend who is planting a church in Denver) took a different angle on that oft-preached passage: marriage is hard! Yes, I, as Corey’s wife, am supposed to submit to his leadership for our family. Here’s the part that gets overlooked. Corey is supposed to love me as Christ loves His church. Y’all, Christ sacrificed Himself for His church! That is a profound love, and it’s a profound burden on husbands. It’s so difficult for me to swallow the idea of submitting to anyone (y’all know how strong-willed I am), but the idea is much more palatable when the person to whom I’m submitting loves me enough to die for me. Submission is tough. So is loving someone like Christ does. That’s what makes marriage so hard, but that’s also what makes it worth it. That’s what makes a strong Christian marriage look so different than other relationships. We model the relationship that Christ has with His church, and that doesn’t look like anything on this Earth. There is great, unexplainable love from both the husband and the wife. There is submission, to God’s will and to each other. Y’all, to the world, that isn’t normal. That’s the tack that Skylar took, and I hope and pray that I never forget that interpretation of that passage.
Of course, by this point, I’m barely holding back tears, and I glance up at Corey, and he’s right there with me. So, naturally, it was time for us to say our vows. I honestly don’t know how my voice didn’t give out completely, but it didn’t. It was shaky, but I got the words out. Corey’s voice was solid as a rock, naturally! We went with traditional vows, because they’re so appropriate.
From there, Skylar announced us as husband and wife, and we had our first dance right there by the alter. We didn’t do much more than middle school swaying, but it was perfect. For the first time, I looked out at our family in the pews, and they’re all teary-eyed too! Weddings, man. Weddings.
After our first dance, Skylar presented us as Mr. and Mrs., and we had our “grand exit.” Of course, we then turned around and came back into the chapel for a solid 45min worth of picture taking! We had every combination imaginable – me with my parents, me with my brother, Corey and I with his siblings, just me with my new sisters-in-law, Corey and I with grandparents, etc. My cheeks were quivering by the end of it!
Toward the end, Corey and I decided to brave the Colorado chill for a few outdoor shots, and holy cow y’all was it worth it. The scenery behind us was gorgeous! So colorful! It was approaching freezing, and the ground was soft so my heels got stuck a couple times, but the pictures are beautiful, so it all worked out.
Speaking of pictures, about 6 weeks later, we got back 400+ fully edited, full resolution pictures from Carmen. Digital files, for I think a $2 download fee. Talk. About. A. Steal. Her normal fee was covered in the chapel contract (they collaborate often), but I was not expecting all of that!
Anyways, after we wrapped up at the chapel, we went out for a belated rehearsal dinner. Ish. Because the ceremony and all that was so short and sweet, we didn’t do a true rehearsal dinner, so we all went out to lunch afterwards. Where? Did we go to someplace fancy? Nope! We went to a burger bar and watched the Oklahoma State football game that was on!
From there, Corey and I gathered our stuff and headed on to our honeymoon. More on that in the next post!
The newest Mrs. H