Sunday 5 August 2018

Seven Years!

This month's post is a personal one, as today my husband Wade and I are celebrating seven years of marriage! As I said in my last post, this summer has been tough, and there isn't really any part of it that has gone to plan. In addition to the difficulties mentioned, I also had to cancel a trip to Denver for a girl cousin's weekend because I hadn't recovered enough from my gallbladder surgery to make the trip. All that being said, I'm excited to celebrate this milestone in my marriage and reflect a little over the past several years, specifically on our amazing wedding weekend. Get ready for lots of photos and a walk down memory lane! 
Engagement photo by Michael Anderson & invite design by Jerry Scheller

Wade and I met for the first time in the fall of 2001 at a youth group meeting. I was wearing a black, pleather jacket and Wade was wearing a red, Adidas sweatshirt. Our middle school selves were not super impressed with the other. We were in the same class of 30 students starting our freshman year of high school, and we actually became friends through a mutual friend group in the fall of 2004, our sophomore year. The beginning of our dating relationship started about a year later when Wade asked me to be his date for our junior year homecoming in November of 2005. He officially asked me to be his girlfriend on January 2nd, 2006. Aside from one short break, we dated throughout high school at Abundant Life Christian School and college at Olivet Nazarene University, and he proposed to me the spring semester of our senior year of college on February 11th, 2011. We had been dating just over five years at that point, and then just over five months later (about ten years after we met), we were married!

Our first homecoming, first date as a couple, and engagement were all documented in my parents' front living room:
Homecoming 2005
First Date 2006

Engagement 2011
As this is our seventh wedding anniversary; though, I want to recap and remember our amazing wedding weekend! For almost the entire summer prior to our wedding Wade was in Washington for his LDAC training. That meant that not only could we not see each other for about six weeks prior to getting married, but we also couldn't talk on the phone, text, or email, either. We did send letters through the mail to one another, updating each other on our daily lives and details leading up to the wedding. In some ways it was sweet and old fashioned feeling, but in many ways it was quite difficult to be apart through that time period. The good news, though, is that he got home in time to get his suit tailored, choose our vows, and prepare for the weekend!

We chose to get married on a Friday night, and I wanted the wedding to have an "Old Time Madison" feel. I wanted black satin dresses, butler passed hors d'oeuvres, and a night of dancing. I think we and our 175 guests enjoyed all of that and more! Because of Wade's summer schedule, when we were getting married, and the fact that many family and friends came in from out of town, we decided to make a whole weekend out of our nuptials. Here's our wedding weekend! 

To make you feel a bit more like you were there, check out this playlist of songs played at our ceremony and reception. 

We began the festivities on Wednesday, August 3rd with all day bachelor/ bachelorette parties. The bachelor party actually lasted overnight as they ate, hung out, and camped at Lake Wisconsin together. My bachelorette party was thrown by my sister and a dear friend, and we had a phenomenal day. We got our nails done at 007 Nails, took a Betty Lou dinner boat cruise, had desserts and opened lingerie gifts at Brocach Irish Pub, did karaoke in a private room, then hung out downtown. It was so much fun!

The day following the parties was the day of the rehearsal. We spent the day preparing wedding favors and other details, and then we rehearsed and lived it up that night! We rehearsed the wedding ceremony at Ridgeway Church (then called Bethesda), then Wade's parents threw an awesome luau party in my parents' backyard. The luau was complete with tiki torches, leis, and a full Hawaiian spread. They hosted about 50 people at the rehearsal dinner, and it was a wonderful night. 

The next day, of course, was the wedding day!! Friday, August 5th, 2011 dawned bright, clear, and hot. Our wedding started at 6:00 PM, so we had the day to sleep in a little, get ready, and take photos with our bridal party. Before photos, Wade and I met in the sanctuary of the church for a private first look. It was just us and our wedding photographer, Lukas Keapproth. I walked up behind Wade, he turned around and saw me in my dress for the first time, and we hugged. It was the only moment in the whole day when I cried, and it was my very favorite.

Wade and I each had eight members of the bridal party on stage with us in the ceremony. In addition, we had two ushers, two bridal attendants, a flower girl, and a ring bearer. Our total party of 22 was big, but we wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Coordinated by our amazing wedding coordinator, Conni, we had the ceremony at Bethesda, then we hosted the reception at the Madison Club, the perfect venue for the theme and feel we wanted for our day. We laughed, we toasted, we ate, and we danced-- our first dance was to "Hold On" by Michael Buble. That day will forever be one of my very favorite days. Enjoy these photos from Red Wave Weddings that expertly captured some of the most special details and moments. 

The day honestly went perfectly. Though we were a bit disappointed that we didn't do a receiving line so we missed getting to say hello some guests, there is almost nothing about our wedding day that I would change. It was sweet and special and so much fun.

Both of our parents hosted a brunch for our friends and family the next morning, Saturday, August 6th, at Lake View Bakery & Deli connected to Hotel Ruby Marie where we and many of the guests stayed the night before. We opened our presents, and it was great to have the chance to spend more time with some of our guests. This was our final wedding weekend event, and it was a wonderful culmination to the festivities. We enjoyed every moment of our wedding weekend-- so much so that I want to reminisce all about it seven years later! 

We spent the next week on our honeymoon in Panama City Beach, FL enjoying the second half of our fifth year together and the beginning of our forever. 

In our seven years married, Wade and I have adopted two dogs, lived in three different states, five different houses, traveled to five different countries, and worked at least eight different jobs. To summarize a very wise (& handsome) contestant on the Bachelorette, it's not the falling in love but the staying in love that is truly the best part of life. I'm glad that 17 years ago I found someone that I could fall and stay in love with... even if I had no idea then. 

In our vows we promised this to each other: "I take you to be mine, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love. On this day, I affirm to you in the presence of God and these witnesses my promise to stay by your side in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, as well as through the good times and bad. I promise to love you without reservation, comfort you in times of distress, encourage you to achieve your goals, laugh with you and cry with you, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for as long as we both shall live."

Seven years later, I'm so glad to attest that every word was true.