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J&C28 Sep, 2019
The story of our wedding
I dreamt of getting married at my parents' farm but couldn't believe it was actually happening. My husband and I both grew up in Nashville, so it was meaningful to have our rehearsal dinner at his parents' home and the wedding at mine. I focused on creative, personal details--from wearing my mom's wedding dress at the rehearsal to pinning my grandmother's earring in my bouquet to wearing my best friend's veil. Our guestbook was an old book called "Love" that I found in my grandmother's house.
The drive up the long gravel driveway is scenic it itself. All we added were hanging flowers on the street sign and a custom arrrow pointing towards the house that said "love." I spent the day with my mom getting ready in the house and helping set up. It was surprisingly peaceful. Much of that was due to my amazing wedding coordinator. My four bridesmaids trickled in and we ate and chatted without rush. We're all in our 30s--most of them have kids--so we've gotten better at not sweating the small stuff.
One of my favorite moments before the wedding was surprising my mom, a singer/songwriter, with framed lyrics she had written. We placed them at the end of the aisle. Before the ceremony I was nervous. I couldn't believe it was actually happening, and it weird to be the last one in the house after everyone had made their way down the aisle. It was my turn! The string trio played Nessun Dorma, and the timing I had worried so much about went perfectly. Both my dad and stepdad walked me to the aisle; then I hugged them and continued down the aisle by myself. In the photos, my eyes are fixed on John and starting our new life together.
During the ceremony, my brother and bridesmaid--both professional singers--did a duet with my uncle on guitar. John and I wrote our own vows and also spoke traditional Christian vows, which are important to us. After we were pronounced man and wife, everyone joined together to sing the hymn Blessed Assurance. I remember seeing my grandmother lift her hand to the sky in praise.
We walked back down the aisle into the house, and I still couldn't believe it. "We did it!" John said. The sun was setting and we went back out for family photos under the arbor that John, his brother, and our dads made together. Guests were gathered in the side yard for cocktail hour at the bar my dad made from old barn wood.
Once we got to the tent, it was a dance party. I hired a linedance instructor for an hour, which was an absolute blast. A DJ took us the rest of the way. For the dessert table, my mom's lace tablecloth looked gorgeous under our Tennessee cookies, cakepops, and two cakes. A friend made a 5-layer chocolate groom's cake and a bakery made a small caramel cake.
I had one last surprise for my mom during the reception when the DJ played her song, These Are The Women We Come From. She and I danced, and then the DJ invited all the other mother-daughter pairs to join us. The party kept going after, with highlights like me leaping into my brother's arms for a spin. We all had a joyful night. Sparklers lined the way for John and I to leave in our limo at 11pm that night, and we haven't stopped talking about it since.
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