20 April 2011

Tales of My Wedding Day




Back in October of 2010 my husband John and I took the plunge. He proposed on February 13th of the same year and 8 months later our wedding had been planned and I was walking down the aisle. Life happens fast folks. 

I feel ashamed that it has taken me over 6 months to post our wedding pictures online. I honestly haven't had the time, or the energy to sift through 500 images to pick the best ones. Especially considering we weren't very happy with our photographer so looking at said pictures only frustrated me further. I managed to dig up a couple of the ones I felt do well at showing the culture of our event and some of the DIY aspects of our quaint little wedding.


The groom and ring bearer, Jin Tao

We had a very strict budget for our wedding so that we could spend the majority of the overall marriage budget on a 2 week honeymoon to Spain and Morocco. Those don't come cheap so we had to do all we could to cut corners where possible but spend on what mattered. We spent on the photographer, the dress (David's Bridal) and the cake and did everything else ourselves...right down to the invitations. 


Getting ready for my big day.

We had our wedding in my hometown about an hour and a half away from Orlando. It was at my mom's church and it was free. The auditorium of the church was set up, reception style, with a little aisle in the middle for me to walk down to the stage. It was great not having to rent out a place for reception elsewhere and kept the whole thing low key. It also cut down on time since as soon as the vows were done we walked right off the stage and into our reception. From start to finish our wedding lasted all of about 3.5 hours.


Me and my dads.

Another really cool aspect of my day was that I was walked down the aisle by not one, but two dads! The dad on my left is my biological dad and on the right is my step-dad. Both have played such huge roles in making me into the woman I am today that I just couldn't leave anyone out. Instead of a bouquet I had a weeping man on each arm, and that was very nice.


Prayer time with my ladies.

I had 3 beautiful bridesmaids- two of my good friends and John's sister. Each had a different color. Emerald, fushia, and plum which corresponded to the ties of the groomsmen. My color was red (red shoes) and John and the kids matched. 

I can't begin to tell how privileged I felt to be surrounded by three amazing women of God on my wedding day. They cried with me, laughed with me, celebrated with me, and praised the Lord with me. It was truly the most wonderful experience to have these women walk down the aisle before me, beautiful examples of what it means to be a God-fearing female. We're a force to be reckoned with I tell you.


Hooman and Viyan

My Iranian friends (who just had the baby) did a scripture reading for us. They aren't Christians but the were gracious in doing a special reading from the love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13. Love is universal, you know.  This was my favorite aspect of our wedding. Hooman would read a line or two of the chapter, and then Viyan would repeat in Farsi. Not only was it beautiful to hear, but it struck the heart to hear such lovely words in another language. One foreign to so many. God speaks all languages, and His love can be understood without words. It's beautiful really.


The vows.

John's dad is a preacher and facilitated our ceremony. He did a wonderful job exploring the meaning of Biblical love, the foundation of marriage and the seriousness of the vows we were about to take. We got through the vows gracefully, though with some tears and then did a unity candle and prayed. It was such a meaningful time and before we knew it, we were hitched!  We left the stage to "Bleed to Love Her" by Fleetwood Mac.


Centerpiece

For the centerpieces we wanted to bring in a lot of culture and keep it eclectic (my blog isn't "adventures in eclectic living" for nothing!). Over 8 months of planning we scoured TJ Maxx, Pier 1, Ross, and HomeGoods for interesting Moroccan lanterns and candle holders that were dirt cheap on clearance. The idea was to keep it mix and matchy and be able to use the pieces in our home after the wedding was over. Our party favors were M&Ms (thankfully those actually are our initials) and I made little thank you tags out of scrap booking paper.


My beautiful cake.

I loved our cake. Isn't it beautiful? Perfect for a fall wedding. We went with a local cake maker, a southern good-ole-boy with a thick accent and rough hands from chopping trees. When I first met him I was shocked this tough guy baked cakes for a living but he is something else! Best cake I've ever tasted. We wanted something classic, and that looked homemade so instead of fondant we went with a plain vanilla cake with spackled buttercream.  The only taste of the cake I got at the wedding was the one John fed me. It is true that you don't get to eat at your own wedding. John and I are having him make us a cake for our anniversary so we can have it to ourselves.


An overview...

Above is an overview of the auditorium. You can see how we arranged everything for a ceremony and reception. In the far left, not pictured, we had a buffet table of snacks and punch which we cooked and prepped ourselves. So I guess you could say that, in a way, I catered my own wedding by making hummus for the guests. :)


We really enjoyed our wedding and hope everyone else did too. We know it was low key and in a lot of ways nontraditional, and that's not everyone's cup of tea, but it worked for us! And we made it to our beachfront hotel well before nightfall to have plenty of time to relax and enjoy the night. Bonus!

Our wedding night was our first time making love, and it was perfect. Having the time and energy to relax instead of using all of it up for a 5 hour reception was the best decision I have ever made. Ever.

Here's some wedding party pics to wrap things up! Aren't they all pretty and shiny?









What was the favorite part of your wedding day or a wedding you've been to?







 

38 comments:

  1. What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. how sweet! we got married in october of last year too, how funny. :) you looked lovely. my only regret of our wedding is that we spent so much we weren't able to have a honeymoon post wedding! we were going to do it this summer but now it's turned into a baby-moon, haha. this has inspired me to finally blog on our wedding! thanks for sharing the beauty of your day, hannah.

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  3. that is the sweetest post!

    and i still haven't picked the pictures for our wedding album... almost two years later!

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  4. Wow, thanks ladies! It is so good to know I'm not the only one who has procrastinated on this. All my friends just gave up on asking for photos... now that I've posted they'll be shocked!

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  5. Hannah- I loved this post! You were such a beautiful bride, and your wedding day looked like it was amazing: intimate and personal :)And the picture of you praying with your bridesmaids?! Oh wow... what precious memories!

    As I look back, I think my favorite moments were the "in between" moments with just me & Jon-- the "first look" (I will never forget the way he looked at me the first time...) and when we drove his car around the block together after the ceremony... looking at each other and laughing, "Oh my gosh, we actually finally did this!" (Haha ... by the time we got married we had been engaged for aver a year, and dating for 7 years... finally was not an overstatement :) I think I wrote a post at some point about my memories for my wedding day... will have to go through and find it-- you've inspired me!

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  6. that is precious!!

    We got married in June of 08 and the most memorable part was that it had not stormed or rained for 3 weeks before my wedding... but precisily at the time the ceremony started it STORMED...Im talking severe thunderstorm warning was out and it was outdoors at the lake. All my guest were huddled up under the tent and I was inside the house (we got married at my cousins house) I remember having the window open and the trumpet player was playing and I felt like I was on the Titanic! haha It finally stopped storming and raining just enough time for us to get married, take some pics and then get under the tent with everyone else... then it poured again... Oh well...they say rain is good luck?!

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  7. Low key is sometimes the best way to celebrate something. Makes it more special. Loved your pictures and all those colors!!! :)

    xoxo

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  8. Wow, you were a beautiful bride!! And your husband has gorgeous teeth! :)

    In July, my husband and I will celebrate our eight year wedding anniversary. We have been a couple since we were 16, lived together since we were 19, were engaged when we were 20, and married as we finished up college. We announced to family and friends that we were getting married about two months before the date. We both really wanted more of a celebration than a fancy event and didn't want to leave too much time frame for that to get off track! Our ceremony (in a friend's backyard) lasted maybe ten minutes; I didn't let anyone sit down. Everyone just gathered around us because I didn't want to be on "display." After we got the vows "out of the way" we grilled out and enjoyed our wedding cake. We didn't have a photographer because posing makes me uncomfortable. Instead, we asked everyone to bring cameras have have a small collection of really sweet images (instead of an abundance over which I would be critical!) The day was really perfect. I wouldn't have changed a thing. :)

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  9. you looked gorgeous!
    best part of a wedding is the couple in love :)

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  10. I love your hair, dress, shoes, cake and the fact that everything was very chic. What a great wedding!

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  11. Thanks for sharing these pictures! Looks like you had a fabulous wedding!

    I just found your blog today and I would love for you to check out mine and follow back! :)

    bmaryandblessed.blogspot.com

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  12. @ All- I'm loving all your stories. Caught in the rain, finally united after years of dating, wedding cookouts. All you guys are so darn cool!

    For the longest time I thought about doing a big BBQ pig shin dig. :)

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  13. You look stunning and so so happy! And your hair is just absolute perfection! I got married July 31 and I still need to post my pictures!

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  14. You look beautiful!! Love the flower in your hair!!

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  15. beautiful! And love those red shoes :) Thanks for sharing, I am glad you did!

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  16. you look stunning and so happy! congrats!
    I would totally want to splurge on a honeymoon too. How was Spain and Morocco?
    xo, Alexandra

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  17. Carol- Post pics of your wedding! We want to see!

    Alexandra- Our honeymoon was amazing. If you go to my culture and travel page up top you'll see a couple posts with pictures and what not from our travels there. I highly recommend it!

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  18. You look gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing! I love the picture with the guys holding you and you're showing off your red heels, too cute!

    My favorite part of the most recent wedding I have been to (2 years ago) was either when the bride walked in or when the couple had their first dance! I have 2 weddings coming up this summer! So exited! :)

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  19. you looked so beautiful!!! ... i got married last november!! my favorite part of my wedding was looking out at all our friends & family while we cut the cake seeing everyone we love under one roof was a wonderful feeling!!

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  20. you look stunning. i love your dress and your makeup and hair!! thanks for your sweet comment. i can't wait for my wedding day :P
    xoxo

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  21. you look gorgeous in all these pictures! wow! looks like such a fun day!

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  22. You were such a beautiful bride! My fiancé and I are also waiting, and it's nice to see that we're not the last ones on the planet! haha I hope my wedding is as beautiful as yours. :)

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  23. ohh this is beautiful! Your dress is stunning! And the colours are fabulous! XX

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  24. Awesome wedding! You look so beautiful!

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  25. Yay! finally some pictures!! What was wrong with your photographer?
    I could not sleep for the life of me the night before the wedding; i got 4 hours the night before the rehearsal and 4 hours the night before the wedding! i also lost my appetite big time... not sure what went wrong, lol... my most memorable moment was definitely when we exchanged rings :-)

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  26. beautiful wedding! you look great!

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  27. You looked STUNNING. My favorite part of your wedding is that you walked down the aisle with two dads -- that seriously brought tears to my eyes. I've certainly had many interesting moments at weddings including fighting off stink bugs at one this past October. They were EVERYWHERE.

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  28. wow! you looked absolutely stunning on your wedding day :)


    Kim
    xox

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  29. You look sooooo amazing!!

    Monique xx

    misszuman.blogspot.com

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  30. what a gorgeous bride you were! i loooove that flower in your hair--the perfect touch.

    in spite of your tight budget, it looks like everything came along beautifully!

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  31. you're so lovely! thanks for sharing.

    it looks like a very happy day.

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  32. What a lovely day! :) You were a beautiful bride!

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  33. Wow you look stunning, I love the dress. Looks like a special day for all! That's amazing that you guys waited until marriage too, I am trying to also.

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  34. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing your special day with us. You're one gorgeous couple!

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  35. You look so great on the pictures! Stunning!

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  36. You look beautiful and everything looks very nice! My favorite part of weddings is when the couple talk about how they met, fell in love, etc.

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  37. Awe, this is awesome!! I almost cried reading about the couple who read the verse in two languages. What a cool idea. Total bummer about not being happy with your photographer. :( My sister is a professional wedding/family photographer, so pics were a HUGE deal to us. My good friend gave us a smashing deal (like, 1/2 off) and did an AMAZING job. Plus my sis and my friend Staci took pics as well. Anyway, I think what you've shown turned out great! Looks like you had a great time and your dress was beautiful! We were busy from 11AM till 11PM our wedding day!! But I loved it. And I ate food! Not cake, but dinner :). Also, our wedding was a Friday, Josh had to work for a few hours on Saturday (I know, right!?) and we left for our honeymoon on Sunday, so we had some time to relax and pack and such. I love weddings!!!

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