I'm not even sure where to begin, other than saying that it was an amazingly beautiful day. We shared it together with almost every single person (that lives within reasonable traveling distance) who played or still plays an important role in shaping who we are as individuals. Leading up to our wedding, there were a lot of people who told me not to put too much thought into the ceremony because everyone gets bored when they're too long. I'm glad we didn't take their advice.
Jamie and I are not "religious" but we are spiritual people and our relationship being recognized and honored in a ceremonial manner felt important and sacred to us. That said, we didn't obsess over what words our minister said or the various routines associated with the best man, maid of honor, etc. (To this day I have no clue what the differences are...) Our minister was our neighbor Mitch. He knows us well enough to understand what our marriage symbolizes and did a beautiful job of it.
The night before our wedding, I tried staying up and writing my vows. In fact, we both did. Jamie was on his game and had written his the week before. (Then his computer crashed.) I fell asleep, pencil in hand, and wrote them at the crack of dawn the next day. I was worried for weeks about what to say, or that his would be way longer and better than mine, but it just came to me that morning, crystal clear. In true McKenzie-Jamie fashion, I have to say our vows complimented one another nicely.
(Yes, I'm boasting a little here, but I'm proud of us!)
I could detail the whole story of what happened that day, but I'll let the rest of Lydia's incredible pictures do the talking. Let me just note that:
a) The only times I got stressed were when other people were freaking out over things not worth freaking out over. Otherwise I found it pretty easy not to be a bridezilla. I won't lie... I was a little worried that it would inevitably take over me.
b) Our families worked incredibly hard to help us create an environment that was respectful of our values and welcoming to our guests. We have a LOT of very long thank you letters to write, hopefully ones that will relay how happy they made us. The memories they formed are permanent. For now, we're just floating around in blissful, surreal, amazing love-ness. We feel truly cared for.
b) The only time I really lost it was about two hours before the ceremony when all I wanted to do was take a cold shower, get dressed, and take pretty pictures because Lydia had just arrived but family members were also arriving and one of them (you know you you are and I still love you) really wanted me to go outside and see a foot washing station she had made. Seeing it later, it was pretty darn adorable but I knew if I left the house at that point I'd be pulled in a million different directions and be in the middle of the aforementioned freak-out sessions taking place in the tent and OH BOY I did NOT want to go there.
c) So my dear friend Rachel feverishly opened a bottle of Knob Creek Whiskey and *made* me take a generous swig of it and from there on it was smooth sailing.
d) Lydia is awesome and is a bona fide cat lady like me.
e) We're friends now. Cat friends. I'm her cat-bringer-alonger. You know, for brides that want cats in their wedding photos but don't have any? Yeah. That's me. I know, I'm stinkin' hilarious. ;)