the in-betweens

While I do enjoy spending time at home alone, this season has really started to impact my mental health. I’m not sure what I did to deserve a husband who is so full of patience and grace. Every single night. Seriously, just as the Lord has taught him, he too turns mourning to dancing.

A couple of days ago, though, I discovered some big smiles when we received our wedding photos. Going through them helped shift my focus from the lonely I feel these days to the overwhelming love that surrounds us in every season. I was able to click through them all, reliving the wonderful gift that the entire weekend was. From God’s timing working out perfectly to every detail falling into place, there was so much joy experienced by everyone, and I absolutely love how well these photos captured that. I love these moments. All the laughs, the tears, and the in-betweens.

There are moments, though, secret glimpses of whimsy, that you cannot fully see in a photo. As we share the in-betweens of our story with you, we hope they will make you smile. 

~Almost every piece of our wedding was carried out by the people we love the most. The flowers, photography, videography, hair, makeup, music, planning process, implementation, decorations, and even the ceremony itself. James and I are surrounded by such a  talented and generous community, and to say they showed up is an understatement. 

~James likes to laugh about our ceremony often. Apparently, it is not normal for the bride to greet and thank her guests for coming as she walks down the aisle. (Why isn’t this in any of the wedding planning books!?) I was so excited to see everyone and so thankful that they were able to travel miles and miles to celebrate with us. I don’t think I actually looked at James once as I walked down the aisle — but hey, I saw him when I got to the front and he looked just as handsome as I imagined! 

~Apparently it is also not expected for the bride to whisper jokes to the groom during the entire ceremony either. I guess I distracted him from saying his vows. Oops! I was giddy. 

~12/10 would recommend surprising your mom with a mother daughter dance! Last year, a friend of mine danced with her mom at her wedding and my mom boo-hoo cried during the entire song. So I kept her in the loop about every detail of the wedding, except this little surprise. After dancing with my favorite dad in the world, the DJ called her up for a surprise dance. It was one of my favorite memories. 

~Speaking of surprises, my dad had one up his sleeve too. When it came time to “give me away,” he had both of my grandpas and brothers up there to join him. I lost it. Stopped the entire ceremony. Cried like a baby. Hugged them all. My dad is sneaky, and I am thankful. Here’s the entire play by play.

~Comfy feets. I wore converse to my senior prom, high school graduation, and college graduation. So the tradition continued, and my feet thanked me!!

~J’s note. He doesn’t write. Notes aren’t his thing. Needless to say I cried even before reading it. 

~Annnnnd our flowers. Oh me. I wanted these to be simple and inexpensive. A few days before the wedding, my parents drove to Trader Joes in Charleston to pick up a couple buckets full of blooms. Then the day before the wedding, one of my bridesmaids, my brother’s girlfriend, and I spent a couple of hours making the bouquets. Please with our work, we placed them in the refrigerator, only to find the next morning that someone had taken them out! It was 6 hours before the wedding and all of the flowers were dead. Ha! I didn’t even know for a couple of hours, but it still is so funny to me. Anyways… my people saved the day. Let me again emphasize how many talented and generous people God has given us. Both of my brothers’ girlfriends headed to the closest grocery store to get any living flowers they had. Then my lovely matron of honor and that same talented bridesmaid spent a couple hours saving the day. And let me just say, the bouquets looked even better! 

~I couldn’t help but look out and smile at what was going on in the background of our ceremony. Little kiddos were giggling and chasing each other, while Tucker was sitting there grinning and having the time of his life (shout out to Conner for being on it and taking care of him!). Many people don’t want kids at their wedding because they can be a “distraction.” Oh what a loss it would have been to not have little ones there to celebrate with us. They are some of God’s greatest gifts. And having them there was so special to me. 

~The silliest detail of them all that I have laughed about for two straight days now. I was completely unaware this even happened. J and his groomsmen got ready together. I love the photos of them adjusting eachother’s ties. Something is different though … one of his friends who wasn’t in the wedding party apparently was with them all morning. He joined in on the photos of getting ready and blended in perfectly. My mom saw the photos and just thought, “oh, he didn’t get the memo about navy pants!” Needless to say, I love the way he just joined in with the party. Seriously, I love our friends. 

We are so thankful that everyone was able to join us. The Lord really worked big things out for this day. The weather was beautiful and Corona was nowhere to be found. Guests came from Kansas, South Dakota, California, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska, Virgina, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, and Indiana. When it comes to family and friends, we definitely scored the jackpot. 

4 thoughts on “the in-betweens

  1. I love, love, love your wedding story. It sounds like it was the perfect day. Ashley, I am so happy for you and James.
    I hope one day I can meet him. I wish you a long, happy, healthy and loving marriage filled with respect and joy and of course a couple of babies throw in! You will be an awesome Mom!!!! I love you!

    Liked by 1 person

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