*warning* I think I'm about to break the record for the most pictures in one blog post...
January 26th, 2013. Has it already been two years?
It's impossible to capture every moment of that day. God blessed us with an amazing one. After all the planning, I was calm and enjoyed every moment, though I felt like I was floating along in a dream. But looking back at the pictures, it all comes back.
5 months of planning... sewing my dress, ordering my shoes, finding the perfect accessories... Everything was ready.
The day was perfect. We took a risk getting married in January, but Alabama gave us a beautiful day, with blue skies and 50 degree weather.
The "Anna" roses had come and been arranged... I had my dream of pink roses, with a white rose in the middle to symbolize purity. By God's grace, we had come to this day.
Our wedding bands were made out of the same piece of gold, symbolizing the union we were forming.
I caught sight of my reflection in the mirror and thought, "I'm the bride??"
After all those years of waiting my prince had come. I knew his name!
It had been so worth the wait.
I was surrounded by my sisters - by blood, by marriage, and by heart...
These were the ladies who had been praying with me for years about this day.
His guys were standing with and supporting him.
They were the guys who weren't afraid to have a little fun. They'd also prayed and encouraged him as he'd waited. He'd had to wait 6 years longer than me.
I didn't want him to see me before I came down the aisle...
...but we wanted some moments together before the ceremony. To pray. To say "I love you" a million more times.
We exchanged letters of love then too. And then, later on, in our starry-eyed newly-wedded-ness, we accidentally took them out of the Bible they were in and left them in a restaurant. But, as they spoke of how all the days of restraint were coming to an end, how ready we were for each other, how thankful we were God had brought us to this point... we pray that someone found them who needed to read them and be reminded that true love is out there, and is worth waiting for.
Then it was back to the room, to laugh with my little sister one last time...
To share precious moments with dear friends who had flown for miles to be there...
Dancers warmed up and my flower girl niece twirled...
And I twirled too, for the sheer joy of it all! I was getting married!
The chapel was filling. It was time.
"My" girls opened the ceremony. The girls I'd spent the last 7 years of my life pouring into. It was an amazing moment, as I was able to watch through a window in the foyer.
Then it was one last glance over my shoulder, my last moments as a single girl on my father's arm...
The only things brighter than the lights above us were our smiles.
He was the happiest groom the wedding coordinator had ever seen, and I was his princess.
We sang in worship, we heard our marriage charge, we held hands during "our" song, we said our vows, and exchanged our rings. But I admit a lot of what I was thinking about was: "I get to kiss you soon!"
We were married. Mr. & Mrs. Ryan Wolfe!!
We walked down the aisle amid a surprise shower of rose petals- another gift from "my" girls.
We smiled for many pictures, as we were now a part of each other's family.
And the time it took to arrange everyone onstage allowed for many sweet moments of looking up in wonder. I'm his wife?? I was hardly aware of anyone else.
Our wedding party members were from 10 different states... dedicated friends who made it there no mater what!
They made it lots of fun too :)
We were husband and wife.
And there was no holding back any longer.
There are no words to describe the intensity of that love. And in two year's time it hasn't dimmed. It's gotten stronger.
Then it was on to the reception. I was the bride who didn't have any idea of what I wanted. But somehow my amazing decorators (sweet women from my church) made it into something dreams are made of.
There was amazing cake that tasted as good as it looked. Pumpkin spice and chocolate peanut butter cup...
And the food! An amazing friend took some of our favorite things...
...and made them into works of art.
We were surrounded by hundreds - our family and friends, students and church body - and had a steady stream of well wishers. And while I was so happy to see everyone there, Ryan was all I could really see.
We danced our first dance... and have kept dancing.
"All those dreams and now they're finally here..."
We did one last dance with my students too... the end of an era.
I threw my bouquet...
...and Ryan threw a frisbee, just to keep things interesting. :)
We left under a canopy of bubbles...
...and began our life together as one.
The last two years have been full of immense joys and great challenges. We have laughed a lot and cried a lot... together. I love how Ryan wants to do as much as we can together. It is such a joy to be his bride.
Special thanks to Ann Michelle Photography for taking our photos that day, as well as to family and friends who shared shots they captured!