Going to the Chapel

March 19, 2011 — Wedding Day

In the months preceding the wedding, I spent a lot of time perusing  The Bride’s Cafe, Southern Weddings Blog, Snippet & Ink,  Millie Holloman Photography Blog and a handful of other top wedding planning sites.   I loved looking at the Real Wedding features and got excited reading the stories of the couples and watching their wedding unfold before my eyes in a glorious display of fantastic photography.

My thoughts often drifted to myself on my own wedding day.  What would it feel like?  What would I do when I first woke up on that morning and remember that today is finally the day?

On my special day, I woke up with the same euphoric feeling I have carried in my heart since the day Dustin and I became boyfriend/girlfriend.  Maybe that’s silly to some people, but we waited so long before we decided to enter any kind of relationship that by the time we “made it official” (read: put it on Facebook), we both knew we would never leave each other’s side.  The first person I saw on the morning of my wedding was my mom.  She came to my room to give me a special gift she had made.  She gave me a beautiful pearl bracelet made from my MaMa’s pearl necklace.  The original pearl necklace was long enough to have a bracelet and necklace made, so my mother wore the necklace on the day of my wedding and I had the bracelet.  It was so special and made us feel so connected to my MaMa the entire day.  I also chose to carry  MaMa‘s handkerchief and tied my bridal bouquet with my favorite brooch that she gave my mother.  The pearl necklace I wore on my wedding day was a gift from my dad the year I graduated from high school.  As you’ve heard me mention before, I am a tried and true “Pearl Girl” so there was absolutely no question what jewelry I would don for my wedding day.  That was one decision I didn’t have to make :)

Just before our makeup artist and hair stylist arrived to my hotel room, I finally completed my vows.  I am such a Type A person, so waiting until the morning of my wedding to complete my vows was incredibly stressful for me.  I couldn’t believe it took me so long to write my vows, but it wasn’t for lack of trying.  I have saved on my computer nearly 40 drafts of wedding vows that I have started and stopped throughout the planning process.  I finally discussed the issue with Dustin the week of the wedding to find out his thoughts and progress regarding our vows.  Since we were writing personal vows and reciting traditional vows, I thought he might be relieved to hear my struggle and decide to only recite traditional vows.  When I explained to him that nothing ever seemed close to good enough to recite to him, he put me at ease when he said “Of course they won’t be perfect. How can they be?  What will ever be good enough to say?  And knowing this, why not relax and just write the best you can.”   My immediate reaction was “GOSH I LOVE YOU! ”  Why didn’t I think of that?  I mean really…. So since he insisted on reciting the personal vows, I decided to relax and wait until the morning of the wedding to write what was on my heart.  That morning the Lord provided me with everything I ever wanted to say, and I am so thankful we decided to write them.  (I plan to share our vows in a post later on in the week.)

Around 11:30am, everyone had arrived at my room and we were all just laughing, reminiscing and enjoying the time together while the finishing touches for hair and makeup were getting finalized.  We had a Chik-Fil-A nugget tray and fruit tray and it was delicious!  It was so special to have my mom, my three best friends, my soon-to-be sister, my soon-to-be second mother, and my sweet, sweet soon-to-be niece in the room getting ready together.  Throw in our photographer, second shooter and videographer and we had one FULL hotel room!  But we made it work and it was beautiful.

Finally, it was time to leave for the chapel.  My bridesmaid and Lil Sis in Pi Phi, Averi, had her sweet husband drive me, Averi, Erin and Amy over to the Chapel.  It was so much fun.  On the way there, Erin reminded me of “Cheese fry Friday” in high school.  “Cheese fry Friday” was when one of us would leave for a “bathroom break” every Friday during our art class (Mrs. Smith’s class) and we would go to the Eagle’s Nest Diner, get cheesefries, and bring them back to class in our backpacks to share!  Hah!  I laughed and laughed because I can honestly say I haven’t thought about Cheesefry Friday since probably the last Friday before I graduated high school 7 years ago.

Once we arrived to the chapel, my maids and I quickly and stealthily snuck into the Bridal Room of the Chapel while the boys were out taking pictures in the church sanctuary.  Before I knew it, my dress was on, bouquet in hand, and it was time to walk down the aisle…

Tomorrow’s post will be all about walking down the aisle to this handsome groom!

The Rehearsal

Ask and ye shall receive!   Today I opened our door to two lovely boxes — one from our wedding photographer, Julie Mixon Photography and the other from John Hayes, our wedding videographer.  The Tar Heel and John are good friends and have filmed weddings together in the past, so he happily agreed to shoot our wedding and the Tar Heel is doing all the editting for us.  I am SO excited he gets to edit our wedding video.  I specifically recall having a conversation with the Tar Heel years ago in Chicago where we first became friends I asked him to film my (way in the future, completely hypothetical) wedding!  Hah!  He is just so talented at what he does and even though he couldn’t film his own wedding, I am thrilled he gets to edit his own wedding video.  I love how things work out :)

So, on to the Wedding Rehearsal night!

March 18, 2011 — The wedding rehearsal dinner was quite a labor of love.  The Tar Heel’s mom, Ms. Kay, had been searching high and low for blue and white plates, milk glass vases and candle sticks for months before our big day.  She incorporated so many sweet little details into our rehearsal dinner and it all turned out absolutely amazing.  By the time the Rehearsal Dinner day rolled around, so many hands lovingly helped to make our dinner a special and beautiful event.  All of the Sullivan girls had a hand in it and we were so appreciative!  Our Rehearsal Dinner was held at 128 South in downtown Wilmington.  128 South was actually was one of the three venues we looked at the very first weekend we got engaged (we wasted no time getting started on the planning! :) ).  It was my favorite venue, but it just wasn’t large enough for the ~125 people we were anticipating for the wedding reception.  So when we were discussing potential wedding rehearsal dinner venues, this seemed like an easy choice.  Ms. Kay went and checked it all out and the rest is history.  It was like getting the best of both worlds, the venue I really loved for our reception but logistically wouldn’t work still made it’s way into our wedding weekend.

As is tradition, I was in charge of providing the groom’s cake for the evening.  It was a really fun process for me because I immediately knew I wanted a big, yacht shaped cake with the name of our boat on the side.  I use the term “our boat” loosely, considering it doesn’t actually exist yet.  Regardless, the Tar Heel and I both dream of owning “our boat” one day, and when that day comes at least the hard part is over – we already know its’ name! You can read all about our boat here. I was so pleased with the way his cake turned out.  Even though the yacht shaped cake evolved into a normal shaped cake with our boat sitting on top, I thought the final product was perfect!

Probably the most memorable part of our Rehearsal Dinner was the Photo Booth!!  Julie Mixon photographed the Rehearsal Dinner and she has this great little gig of setting up a photo booth for all the guests to use.  The booth comes complete with masks, silly props and endless fun.  We all had a BLAST and the Tar Heel and I have LOVED going through all the final shots! Our wedding party and friends all kept the photo booth hopping the entire night which was so special to us.  I have to say I think the Tar Heel’s niece, Miss Karis, (also our flowergirl!) was the star of the photo booth show.  There wasn’t a single combination of silly outfits she didn’t try!  We love that little girl.

As for the day of the rehearsal, all was running as smoothly as possible until just before the beginning of our rehearsal.  The Tar Heel and I were running ~15 minutes late and I was not as calm as I normally am….  I do not do well when we are running late, especially for our OWN wedding rehearsal!  My goodness!  But it all worked out in the end, of course.  It always does, doesn’t it?   The best part of the entire day for me was that morning when we had the last piece of luggage loaded up in the car and we were standing in the doorway to leave. The Tar Heel turned to me and said “Baby, we are leaving to go to Wilmington to Get MARRIED!”  I got sooo very excited, as if this was the first time I knew it was really happening!  We just stood there, hugging each other and soaking in the happiness of it all and the Tar Heel prayed for us.  He asked the Lord to help us to remember the significance of the weekend, and not to take a single second for granted.  It was the best moment and I will carry it with me forever!

Week 2

Julie Mixon Photography

It is so hard to believe that we have been married for over a week (and soon to be two).  I know that seems crazy to be counting the days we have been married, but I guess I don’t know what to count down to anymore since the wedding is over!  It still seems like a dream.  I can’t tell you how amazing our wedding day was, and the overwhelming sense of peace and calm and “rightness” that permeated the entire day.  It was literally a perfect day.  When neither of our 18 month old nephews decided to walk down the aisle as our ringbearers, it was perfect.  When Dustin and I both broke down into tears, like steady-streams-funny-face-with-lots-of-sinus-noises kind of crying, when the wedding march started playing and we saw each other for the first time on our wedding day, it was perfect.  When I forgot to hand my bouquet to my bridesmaid before stepping up on the stage and she had to step up and get it from me, it was perfect!  Every single little detail of that day was beautifully perfect.

I am so excited to share our wedding pictures and rehearsal dinner photobooth shots from our photographer, Julie Mixon.  I can hardly wait to explain every little detail behind our wedding and show you why I’ve been such an absent blogger for the last 9 months!

I honestly thought we may have been a little crazy for planning our wedding in 9 months, but I think it was just the right length of time for an engagement.  Not too short, not too long.  I remember hearing a sermon from my pastor at Hope Community church in college saying he didn’t believe in long engagements, and I really took that to heart. :) hah!  In all honesty, we chose our date according to Dustin’s school schedule.  It worked out well to have the wedding on March 19 because he was on break between his winter and spring quarters and we were able to go on our honeymoon immediately following the wedding.  Speaking of honeymoon, I have lots of great pictures to share from that AND a few great stories… if I can suddenly become brave enough to post them :)  Let’s just say I may never ride a vespa again. Hah!

The Shoe Reveal!

Hey!!!  Well, I am officially a married woman!!!!  Our wedding was the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE and everything went beyond perfect, was more than we could have ever dreamed or hoped for and was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!  I cannot wait to share EVERY SINGLE detail!

We are headed out to go on our cruise to Cozumel, Mexico and I had to reveal the SHOES!  Ya’ll know it was one of my most favorite parts of the wedding planning process…. When I saw these shoes, it was instantly love at first sight.  My bridesmaid, Averi, kept saying they looked as though Kate Spade made them just for me!  I love love love them! Oh, AND I found the flat version at Monkee’s in Wilmington one day by chance and had to purchase them for the reception.  I can’t wait  to share pictures of those little gems as well! Photography for the wedding and my bridal portraits were done by the amazingly talented Julie Mixon of Julie Mixon Photography. Please note my subtle nod to my beloved Wolf Pack. You know I loved showing that off during my bridal portrait session in Chapel Hill, and the Tar Heel thought it was cute, considering… Hah!

Finally finally finally, here are my wedding shoes, Kate Spade “Charm”!

Now if you excuse me, my husband and I are off to our honeymoon… See you in a week! :)

(Gurley!)

Wedding days

There are absolutely no words to describe the incredible joy I have in my heart knowing that in just three short days my forever will begin with the love of my life.  It has been an amazing and emotional journey to get to where we are today, and just the last few weeks alone have been some of the most challenging for us as we have battled with unexpected circumstances that no one should ever have to encounter in one lifetime, much less just days before such a joyous occasion as a wedding.  Fortunately, we serve a God much greater than ourselves, and the limits we have as human beings are nothing compared to the overwhelming grace the Lord has for all of us.  SO, we continue to praise Him in storms and in sunshine, and give Him all the glory for the things we most certainly cannot understand but trust that He has a plan much bigger than what we could ever imagine!  And we are so thankful for that.

The Tar Heel and I sat in amazement at dinner and discussed how it seemed like just yesterday that we were getting engaged in Charleston, and trying to decide on a wedding date.  Even more for me, it seems like just yesterday that we were seeing each other for the first time in almost a year that fateful morning in Whitley Church when the Tar Heel’s incessant smile could not hide any of his excitement at seeing me.  I remember walking away thinking “Wow, he sure did smile a lot just now…” and then telling my best friend, Erin, about it later.  It was so sweet and such a good way for us to begin our journey to “us” — with so many smiles that turned into so much laughter which has turned into the best friendship I have ever had in my life.

It’s 12:48AM and I am working on finalizing wedding itineraries (who knew we would need so many?) as you can see from the screenshot above, and I am savoring every last minute of our engagement.   We just finished up one of our last premarital counseling sessions tonight via SKYPE!  Oh, the wonders of technology… And it is finally hitting me  how much I am going to miss all the wedding planning, including the chaos it may bring. :)    More than anything, though, I am ready to start my life with my amazing fifi.  March 19, you cannot come soon enough.