The actual ceremony took place at my dad’s house. Dad lives on five acres of land on a local creek that feeds into the St. Johns River. He has a beautiful yard with lots of open grassy areas. We planned to have both the wedding ceremony and reception outside but knew we would have enough room to house everyone in the house should we need a Plan B. Thankfully we literally could not have asked for better weather. The temperature was perfect and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. We definitely got super lucky.
Decorations for the ceremony were simple. We set up two tables. One for bottles of water, a seating sign, and wedding programs. The other table was for gifts. And I love that my college roommate brought her gift in a superhero bag.
I designed the wedding programs using elements to tie into our invitations, which I also created myself. (I’m planning a whole post for those.) I came up with the wording by combining programs that I found on Pinterest.
We reserved the first two rows in each side for family members and included a memorial chair for the loved ones that couldn’t be with us. I created the signs and just printed them off my computer the night before.
The arbor was a rental but we added our own touch by using burlap tiebacks bearing our names.
After we finished photos at Nana’s, we headed over to Dad’s to wait for the start of the ceremony. We would be walking out the front door, down the steps, and towards the water. It was a little bit of a long walk but I think it added a nice dramatic effect.
Once everyone found their seats, the guys headed to the front and the DJ started the music for the bridal party. The bridal party walked to the Vitamin String Quartet rendition of I’m Yours. (Feel free to listen while you read. You’ll really feel like you were there.) I had a really hard time deciding on music for the ceremony. (You can ask my bridesmaids because I drove them crazy.) I didn’t want music with words. I just love instrumental music and it felt more wedding appropriate to me. I’m Yours really stuck out to me because it was upbeat but the original lyrics are really sweet too.
Madilyn walked after the bridesmaids. I originally hoped she’d walk Bean down the aisle on a leash but at the last minute, I couldn’t find Bean’s leash so we improvised and let Bean walk down by himself, which ended up even cuter.
Dad and I walked down the aisle to Vitamin String Quartet rendition of I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing. We started walking about 30 seconds into the song in case you’re listening along.
I think Dad and I talked the whole way down the aisle. It was the only way we could keep from crying the whole way down the aisle.
LOOK AT THAT SMILE. My heart is melted. If you’re thinking a first look might ruin your experience with walking down the aisle, that photo is proof that it won’t.
Dad and I also had to coax Bean down the aisle a little bit but everyone giggled as he frolicked in the grass, did spins to make sure we were still behind him, stopped briefly to greet guests, and wagged his little tail all the way down the aisle. It was so adorable.
Once Bean made it to the end, Adam grabbed him quickly and passed him off to his parents. Lima was already nestled in Adam’s dad’s arms and clearly unaffected by the fact that he didn’t get to walk down the aisle.
Once we made it down the aisle, Pastor Gee said a blessing over the wedding.
I love the apprehension in Adam’s face. Is he sure he wants to do this? Haha!
Gee has known my family for years. He’s been through the ups and the downs. He was my number one choice for an officiant. I had full trust that he would put together a wonderful ceremony and left everything in his hands.
An outdoor wedding on the water wouldn’t be complete without a little bit of boat traffic. One boat even made a point to hoot and holler a little bit as they drove past.
Pastor Gee asked the family to stand and had them recite a blessing over us.
He then asked all the guests to stand and vow to help us live a Godly marriage.
And then it finally came time for Dad to bless us. Who gives this woman to be married to this man? “Her family and I.”
By this point, Bean was tired of sitting so he stood down by my feet for most of the ceremony.
There was laughter as Gee told some background about getting to know us and our families.
And then it was time to say vows and for the second time that day, I cried. Or at least attempted to. You can see that ugly cry welling up. I let out one sob and Adam squeezed my hands and smiled at me, his way of telling me to get it together. So I did. I paused and gathered myself.
Meanwhile, Dad’s been crying the whole ceremony. (Sorry, Dad! Had to share.)
Pastor Gee cracked a couple more jokes as we prepared to exchange rings. But little did we know, there was a surprise in the air. Literally!
Unbeknownst to everyone, Poppie scheduled a flyover for the wedding. There in huge letters in the sky was ADAM <3 ERIN 4 EVER. We all laughed and cheered. Just when I needed an icebreaker to finish the ceremony, Poppie pulled through. And what an awesome memory he made!
We exchanged rings…
Received one final blessing…
I wiped my red lipstick off his face…
And we high-fived our way into married life! We exited the ceremony to Justin Moore’s Til My Last Day.
“‘Til my last day, ’til my last breath, of everyone that can I can love you the best. ‘Til my last day, I’ll be loving you. All the way up ’til they lay me down, six feet under the cold hard ground, ’til my last day I’ll be loving you.”
Now it’s time to celebrate! Someone please bring me a cocktail…
To be continued…
Photos were taken by Jenn Guthrie Photography, whom I cannot recommend enough. She was an absolute gem to work with. For any other questions or specifics, leave a comment below.