I asked my husband to write a small paragraph on what our wedding was for him, and here's what he texted me:
You know how the night before you go on a huge trip you can’t get to sleep, so you just have hours to play with and the anticipation just crescendos until it’s finally time for your big moment? This was what our wedding day was to me. I started my day eating McDonald’s breakfast alone while Andrea and her bridesmaids got ready. We had exchanged written vows, which I read for the first time as I scarfed down my Wedding McGriddles. I was overjoyed to the point of tears, knowing how loved I am. Yes, I started my wedding day crying alone in McDonald’s, and it was then that I knew without a shadow of a doubt I was happier than I’d ever been. I spent the next couple of hours driving around my hometown, taking in the highlights of my childhood until it was time to get ready with my best friends. We listened to our old favorite songs, as well as all of the music my best man and I made in high school. It was all very touching and nostalgic, and remarkably void of any hint of nervousness. I was ecstatic to be with my best friends for the first time in so long. I was thrilled to be in the warmth of family. And I hadn’t even gotten to the venue yet!
Getting to the Speed was surreal. All the months of picking things out, booking this, arranging that, scheduling the other, had come to fruition. The reception space was beautiful. Our cake was picturesque. The homemade decorations looked right at home in a fancy art museum. As I saw friends and family start to trickle in my heart was just so full. Like “the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day” full. Everyone was here. Everything looked perfect. Everything was going according to plan (shout out to Debbie our wedding planner). I was finally achieving my dream of marrying the love of my life.
The ceremony was a blur for the most part. I missed my cue to start walking down the aisle because I was watching my sister-in-law and wedding planner soothe a crying ring bearer. My best friends walked up to stand by my side. The ring bearers (our nephews) warmed everyone’s hearts and the flower girl (my cousin) stole them. People snuck videos and pictures, and I didn’t mind one bit. And all things came to a standstill when I saw my bride in her dress at the top of the stairs. My breath stopped, my heart skipped a beat, my eyes lit up, all of that. I literally muttered to myself “I won. This is it I’m the champion of life.”
As the ceremony came to an end and all of the people we love began filing into the reception area, all I could think was that this was what I was put on Earth to do. It was so fulfilling to be able to put on this celebration of the love my wife and I have, and to be so close with our friends and family. Our wedding planner put whiskey sours in our hands (seriously, shout out to Debbie) then took Andrea, our wedding party, and me to the dressing rooms to sit and enjoy our drinks and food, since so many couples don’t get to eat at their weddings. How lucky were we!?
I’ve written a LOT so I will give you bullet points of the best parts of the reception:
⁃ both of our dads gave the most heartwarming speeches to kick things off
⁃ My stepdad’s uncle’s band brought the HOUSE DOWN!! It took absolutely nothing to get the dance floor poppin’
⁃ My stepdad danced with my mother-in-law
⁃ I got lost in Andrea’s eyes for our 5+ minute first dance
⁃ My mom and my first dance was YouTube worthy. Not exaggerating.
⁃ The best men/matrons of honor gave incredibly moving speeches; my brother made all 120+ people in attendance weep.
⁃ My dad watched with pride as my groomsmen and I rapped Int’l Players Anthem
⁃ There was a full blown, high school dance-level dance circle. I got to tag in the same friends I jumped in dance circles with 7-10 years ago.
⁃ In My Feelings challenge
All in all, everything about this day was more than I could have asked for. The food was delicious, decorations were beautiful, venue was jaw-dropping. Everyone had so much fun and made Andrea and I feel so loved by everyone around us. I still have trouble believing that we got THAT wedding. But regardless of all of that, the best part was that I got to marry my best friend and start the most exciting chapter of my life so far.
(Sorry for writing so much longer than a paragraph).
As of today, Kyndl and I have been married for two whole months. 62 days filled with joy, major life changes, assembling IKEA furniture, and unpacking a million boxes after a stressful move (read: forgetting to bring a dolly to pick up a 600 lb washer/dryer, borrowing a truck without knowing it's a stick shift, and other inconveniences I won't burden you with). Though we've both been running around like crazy in this new chapter of our lives, I'm so grateful for the magic he brings me daily and I couldn't pick a better teammate. So far, nearly two months of marriage has brought us tons of travel, a birthday to celebrate, an amazing visit from my parents, a big job transition, and a strong urge to adopt a kitten. I mean it when I say how excited I am for the rest of my life with this dude.
Alright, let's get into it! This blog post has taken quite a while to compose because I really do want to mention every single thing, both so that I don't forget, and to create a resource for all of the brides-to-be that I talk to on a regular basis. There were quite a few decisions we made that made our experience truly blissful and kept our stress levels relatively low; though, hopefully no matter how your wedding day goes, nothing can outweigh the happiness of marrying the love of your life—I know that's true for me!
First of all, none of this could have happened without the love and support of our family and friends. Our wedding was an all-hands-on-deck affair from the very beginning. Because we live in Oregon, we weren't able to see any venues for ourselves, so our parents spent a Saturday touring Louisville and Facetiming us 4 venues. The officiant was Kyndl's cousin, the band at the reception was his stepdad's family, my uncle carved our W monogram guestbook, the church I grew up in provided the crystal candle holders at the reception, family and friends were in charge of arranging the decorations... I could go on and on. We could not have had the wedding of our dreams without the help of everyone around us, so here's a massive THANK YOU to all of the great people in our corner. We love you all so much and seriously cannot stop talking about how fortunate we are. (And thank you cards are coming!)
Our wedding was a two week long event, and we loved it. We got into town a full week before the wedding, had cookouts and lunches and late nights out with our friends and family, and we spent a full week after the wedding relaxing, whether it was the day after the wedding where we hardly left our hotel (the Omni, highly recommend!), the 4 days honeymooning in Punta Cana, and the long layover on our way home that we turned into a mini Phoenix vacation. This year has been exhausting for both of us in so many ways, and we had been dreaming of this two week escape since we got engaged. It was everything we wanted and more.
The Venue: The Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Kentucky