our wedding // reception


Party time!

But really, there’s nothing quite like the relief of being DONE planning a wedding and being able to just relax and enjoy everything and everyone.

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We spent some time before the reception taking more portraits [which resulted in some muuuuuch better light].

But then it was on to dinner!

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One of the big things I learned about planning a wedding is that at the end of the day the details don’t really matter – it just matters that you plan and prepare for something. People need to eat and somewhere to do that, but the specifics of what and where don’t make or break the day [unless it’s like reeeeeally bad, then maybe it would]. I love hearing the relief and joy in the parents’ voices at receptions – it’s just too good.


We had a bounce house at our wedding. No, I’m not kidding. It was so much fun my family even used it the next day for a birthday celebration too!


For our wedding favors we made homemade vanilla extract, bottled and labeled it all ourselves. We even spent hours and multiple drill bits on making the custom display…

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Entering the party like: whaaaat whaaat


First dance! Let me just say, if you’re nervous about this you should be. Not really, but I would definitely recommend practicing before hand. You don’t need legit dance lessons or anything, but just practice moving together and talk about how you want your dance to go. We trimmed our song down quite a bit so that it didn’t drag on. It was definitely short, but we didn’t have any awkward moments of “man, this song just keeps going, doesn’t it?”

Don’t be nervous, this part is way fun even if you aren’t a dancer couple planning on doing the Dirty Dancing routine.


One of my favorite parts of the reception was the anniversary dance! We chose some songs to be played and had all the married couples come to the dance floor to dance. Then callers announced lengths of time and the couples sat down as the number of years surpassed their years of marriage until only the couple marred the longest was left. The first one was: “if you have been married for less than 4 hours, please have a seat” which ended Matthew and I’s short stint on the floor :). It was lots of fun and it turned out my aunt & uncle were the winners!

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Instead of a traditional cake, we had a tower of mini cinnamon rolls. So. Good.
[our cute cake topper]

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One of the other personal touches was the bonfire + s’mores.


Dance party!


We enjoyed every last drop of the evening, in spite of the dropping temperatures.

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It was such a good day.

our wedding // reception

our wedding // ceremony


Our wedding ceremony was the heart and soul of our wedding day.

Leading up to it I literally got knots in my stomach just thinking about walking down the aisle and speaking in front of everyone. But when the moment arrived the nervousness didn’t. I was so relieved to not spend such an important moment sick to my stomach.

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During the walk down the aisle, most of my focus was on not tripping over the front of my dress, which was somehow still too long in the front. I remember laughing with my dad and feeling so excited and slightly weirded out that so many people were looking at me.

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Matthew was feeling excited and pumped and focused on smiling so that his focus on walking at the right pace didn’t take over his face. All I remember is that by the time I could see him, he was definitely smiling.

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We both wrote our vows and it was incredibly sweet, but then Matthew took it one step further and SUNG his which was a total surprise [as you can tell by the last picture].

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I was so blessed to have my friend sing during two key parts of our ceremony, the ring blessing, and the feet washing.

Everyone gave me “you’re crazy” looks when I described what I wanted to do for the ring blessing (so I didn’t describe it to many), but it was one of the most special parts of the day and we were thrilled to include our guests in our ceremony in that way.

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Nothing too crazy or ridiculous happened during our ceremony and it went as rehearsed, thanks to the small army who helped ensure it did. Weddings are a ton of work and we are so grateful for the amazing people who gave of themselves on our wedding day.

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p.s. Happy Back To The Future Day! Hopefully this means the edited hoax photos will stop going around 😉

our wedding // ceremony

our wedding // getting ready + first look


One of the most special aspects of our wedding was the location. We got married out on the land I grew up on. It’s where Matthew and I hung out when we started dating and where many precious family memories were made.

Of course, it was also a very stressful aspect of our wedding, as we were the ones who had to ensure there would be bathrooms for 200 people and no fire ants.


The wedding party got dressed & ready at my cousin’s house, which is also on the property.


Ready for another honesty hour? This was not the greatest time I’ve ever had. I was feeling so many things and nothing at all and I felt like I was going to burst into tears at any moment. Matthew bought me coffee and had someone send it upstairs to me and I just held it in my hands for an hour and never took a single sip. Thank goodness my sister forced me to eat or I would have been a wreck.

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I don’t know if I was stressed or in shock or just plain tired, but I simply sat quietly on a stool for hours while my hair + makeup was done. I mean, just look at my face:

This is what I looked like for hours.

The boys seemed to have a much better time and I could hear them talking and laughing downstairs.

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As always, there were things that were supposed to be done that weren’t ready on time, for example my dress wasn’t steamed and I had our old timeline in my head so I wasn’t stressed about time but everyone else was.

I wasn’t even in my dress yet and everyone was freaking out “Matthew is already at the spot waiting for you!” Trust me, it wasn’t the first time I’d left him waiting and won’t be the last, I’m sure. 😉

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I finally got out the door and packed into the passenger seat of the car and rode the mile to where we planned our first look. As soon as I was walking toward the car I felt better. I felt excited and nervous and weird and ready.

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Matthew was waiting for me and I got out of the car and we got our set up figured out, and then… it got awkward.

I have no idea why but for some reason I didn’t know what to do and everything felt weird and awkward. We were talking to each other as he was faced the other way and I don’t remember what I was saying but I’m sure it was something like: “uhh, hi. i feel so awkward hahaha. what should i do? am i walking too fast? so, i’m um just going to reach out for your right hand ok? ok, don’t turn around yet. ok. is this good? i don’t even know. ok! tadaaaaaa!”

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After that initial awkwardness of trying to stage a grand reveal, the rest of our time together before the ceremony was incredibly fun and sweet.

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We were able to go down to the river to take some photos like we did for our engagement shoot, which was extra special, but, MAN, was it bright.

Future brides + grooms, listen to your photographers’ advice about timing and do what you can to schedule for the best light. We adjusted our timeline and did what we could, but at the end of the day October 25th was just. plain. sunny. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and everyone was all excited saying “oh, it’s such a perfectly gorgeous day, there’s not a cloud in sight!” and all I could think was “I could really use some overcast light today.”

We ended up with some great light after the ceremony and it all worked out in the end.

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To anyone on the fence trying to decide whether or not to do a first look, I would highly recommend it. At first Matthew didn’t want to do a first look, but after thinking more about it agreed to it.

It made sense for us due to our location – there was no way I wouldn’t be seen before the ceremony since we would be outside in a field. It definitely didn’t take away from walking down the aisle and I didn’t have to concentrate on catching Matthew’s reaction, instead I concentrated on not falling over my dress.

Being [almost] alone together before the ceremony was so special and calming and I can’t imagine not having the photos we got during that time. After such an intense morning it was a relief to go off with my about-to-be husband and have the chance to clear my head and regain focus on the day ahead.

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gosh I love him.

Our incredible photographers: Brett & Jessica

Other posts: wedding party

our wedding // getting ready + first look