My post for Wedding Week!
(I’ve changed all my pictures to sepia for this post but I have them all in full color.)
Ryan and I were married on June 24th, 2000 in Phoenix, AZ.
After growing up together we spent 6 years without seeing each other more than a handful of times. In late 1999 when we saw each other for the first time… again, we just knew. It would be a short 10 months before we walked back down the aisle as man and wife.
After a busy few months of planning the day dawned bright, humid, and hot! I like every other girl had dreamed of my wedding ‘all my life’ and insisted on getting married in June… in Phoenix… yeah.
My dress was insane! 10 foot train, lace and sequins… High neck and long sleeves… I look back just 8 short years later and shudder… I would do things differently now but it suited me then! Then it was one of those dresses that you put on… look in the mirror and just know that it’s the one! Now after 8 years of getting to know myself a little better and growing comfortable in my own skin my tastes have changed… in fact my whole wedding would be different… but I look back on the day and know that it was exactly what it should have been. There’s comfort in that…
We woke early on the day of the wedding. (It was my mother, both of my sister’s, and myself… as well as my dad of course!) We had a hawaiian theme for the day! (We all wore Hawaiian shirts for the day to work in and for us girls to get out hair done since they buttoned down the front. It made for a fun and semi relaxed kind of day!) Then it was off to the church! My dress was so big that my Grandpa offered to get his RV out of storage and use it to drive my dress to the church! It had to be hung from the ceiling of the RV bedroom and the train and skirts covered both beds! CRAZY!
I won’t lie though… I felt like a princess!
And I couldn’t wait to marry my prince!
I woke that day at complete peace. I had no doubts and no reservations! I wasn’t crazy, insane, or raging… We had done all we could to pull the day off and I was determined to enjoy it!
Then I got to the church!
Okay let me back up a bit… I had ordered my flowers from the lady that provided flowers for the church and was therefore their recommendation. She was trouble from the beginning but hey it was my first wedding (LOL) and I was the first of my mother’s daughters to marry as well. We were inexperienced and unprepared for how much trouble something as simple as flowers could be so we buckled down and struggled through it… Now, I would have smiled politely and taken my business elsewhere…
I had ordered close bouquets of white roses accented with baby blue flowers. (My colors were white and baby blue with touches of darker blues here and there for accent.) I told her that I wanted the greenery to be ivy. She assured me that it would be no problem to procure it (I had some concerns since it was high summer) but asked me to give her a back up greenery just in case. I told her that I didn’t care. As long as it was NOT fern. (That soft air fern that sheds on everything… I can’t stand that stuff.) I watched her write all of this down… the colors, the flowers I wanted, the greenery and the forbidden things…
Then the next hurdle arose. My wedding was at 3pm. We were to begin pictures at around noon so I wanted the flower delivered at the church by 11am. She refused. She said that because of the heat she felt uncomfortable with bringing the flowers until after 1pm. We argued and weedeled but in the end had to give in and rearrange the way we did pictures accordingly.
So, imagine my surprise when I arrived at the church at 11am to find my wedding coordinator in a panic. She said that the flowers had been dropped off that morning at 8am and that the florist had waltzed in, set the arrangements in the sanctuary, made a comment about how worried she was by the wrong color of the decorations since my wedding was purple and then breezed back out. The coordinator was frantic that she had the wrong color written down and didn’t know where the florist had placed the corsages and bouquets!
After a frantic search, we found them. On the counter… of a bathroom, uncovered, unchilled, wilting. And you guessed it…
Purple and bristling with fern!!!!!!!!!!!!
The beast within me that had hidden itself for all those months of planning tore out of my chest with vicious screams, hot tears, and claws… That is to say… I LOST IT!
In the end a wonderful assistant from the church ripped the bouquets apart put the white roses back together and tied them off with some ribbon on hand that was NOT purple and we survived. Although I will forever look at my wedding pictures and see that I carried a bouquet with fake ivy in it… (Had I not been so enraged about the fern and so insistent that I had WANTED ivy I would have realized that it would have been prettier with no greenery… ah well.) … and that all the men wore corsages with huge sprays of that hideous fern! (I hadn’t looked at those after I saw my bouquet! LOL)
In the end, I re-caged the beast, and managed to enjoy the rest of my day!
After we were all ready to go, we waited in the brides room to be called! Of course, if you know me at all by now… you know we spent the time goofing off!
My mom helped me get into my shoes. Yes, I wore tennis shoes! This was the one BIG argument my mom and I had in the planning. My wedding dress was the first dress I had worn in YEARS! (I was a tomboy and I hated dressing up.) I told my mom point blank that high heels were out of the question as were any other kind of dress shoe and that I was wearing tennis shoes. I had a dress that swept out from my legs by almost three feet on every side so no one would know and she would just have to deal. LOL That didn’t go over well… In the end she ‘allowed’ me to wear my tennis shoes on the one condition that she be allowed to decorate them! So they had lace and sequins hot glued down the sides and lengths of tulle for laces! They were great!
Finally the time came… My dad came to get me and we paused for one big smile at the door to my future.
And then there we were… at the head of the aisle… My eyes locked on to Ryan’s and the world faded away… I walked towards him on my father’s arm.
Her mother and I…
I took Ryan’s hand and walked my last few steps as Courtney Jones…
Here we are… the whole wedding party! It really was a family affair!
My girls from center stage out are:
Flower girl: Natalie, my maid of honors little cousin.
Maid of Honor: My, truly lifelong, best friend, Emily
Bridesmaid: My sister, Charly
Bridesmaid: My sister, Becky
Bridesmaid: Ryan’s sister, Josie
The guys from center stage out are:
Ring bearer: My cousin Lucas
Best Man: Ryan’s best friend and my cousin, Tim
Groomsman: Ryan’s Brother, Zach
Groomsman: Ryan’s friend and my cousin, Matt
Groomsman: Ryan’s Brother, Andy
The pastor that married us was our old youth pastor, Mike Christian. We flew him in from Colorado to do our ceremony!
Here I am saying my vows.
Ryan saying his vows.
Here I am pointedly not looking at Ryan. I look all demure and classy but in truth I’m trying my best not to laugh. You see, Ryan had just burst into laughter during his vows and I was determined not to laugh too and ruin the solemnity of the moment.
At the first opportunity I asked him why he had laughed. He told me that he was trying not to look me in the eyes during our vows (we had had our rehearsal the night before and hilarity ensued making it hard for all of us to be serious.) so that he wouldn’t laugh. Instead of looking at my mouth or forehead he had ‘gotten lost’ in my cleavage. At one point he’d looked up to see me looking at him seriously and thought Id caught him looking… Dork.
Me looking at my ‘almost’ husband in innocent bliss and him still trying to get control of his laughter.
We signed our marriage licence on stage.
Then we took our first communion together.
Man and wife!
Then it was on to the reception. The first thing we did was the toast and the moment the liquid touched our lips we came to a silent agreement that neither of us was coming up for air until the glasses were empty! Neither of us had had so much as a sip of water in almost six hours at this point! By the time we finished the glasses off we actually had the crowd chanting, “CHUG, CHUG, CHUG!”
Then it was time to cut the cake! No that is not a look of concentration on my face and no that is not a look of happy bliss on Ryan’s face. Those two faces are expressing one emotion…. eagerness. WE WERE HUNGRY!
YUMMY! And also… “If you smear that cake on my face you won’t have time to ask for a divorce before I stab you with the cake knife!”
This is one of my all time favorite pictures. This is not posed… this was not planned this was real! Ryan reached up my leg to grab my garter and my father yelled “HEY!” at the top of his lungs. I think Ryan almost had an accident! LOL
This picture scandalized my mother. Ryan is getting ready to fling my garter. He decided to shoot it over his shoulder like a rubber band but my mom swears it looks like he’s about to backhand me! I’m actually saying just whispering directions under my breath!
And then it was over and we were ready to leave. This picture makes me so homesick for Phoenix… So romantic isn’t it… Sorry to disappoint but the dialogue in this picture isn’t something mushy like…
“I’m so excited! I can’t believe we’re married! I can’t wait to spend my life with you!”
It was something a bit closer to…
“Oh Ryan you just stepped on my dress!” Followed by… “I’ve got to get out of this tux! I’m so hot that I’ve sweat through the jacket… if I don’t get it off soon I won’t get my deposit back!”
Oh so romantic! Just pretend we said he first thing…
We ran up the steps into our new life through a shower of birdseed! Ryan is screaming “Oh my eye!” in this picture…
As romantic as this picture looks I must caution you. Do NOT have bird seed thrown if you have an updo and very thick hair. It took Ryan over two hours, with my head upside down over the bathtub in our hotel room, to take out all the pins and shake the birdseed out. By the time he had my hair down and we were out of our dress clothes it was after 1am and we fell right to sleep!
We piled into my cousin’s van and he drove us away!
We waved goodbye and left to start our new life together!
It was a lovely day! It had it’s moments and I’m playing them up for fun but in truth, if it hadn’t had those moments I would not have half of my favorite memories of the day and absolutely no stories to tell. It was the perfect day for Ryan and I.