Our wedding (Part one)

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After so many years of praying and waiting and dreaming and seeking the Lord, on Saturday, September 21st, 2013 I woke up before the sun… on the day I would become one with my best friend. There aren’t many words to describe the strange serenity, sunny beauty, calm joy, and normality yet enormity of that day. The world was moving on around us, people were going through yet another weekend, but I was marrying my Ashton…

The dress

The dress

Despite being a night owl, one of my faithful bridesmaids woke up bright and early with me so that we could drive together to the Church by 7am and start my hair and makeup. I hadn’t fallen asleep early the night before but now I was wide awake…

Ashton's wedding gift to me

Ashton’s wedding gift to me

 

A symbol

A symbol

 

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I had met a hair stylist during a friend’s wedding a while back, kept in touch and ended up forming a relationship, and decided that I didn’t want anyone else to do my hair and makeup. She was willing to meet me at the Church so that I didn’t have to drive back and forth. I didn’t realize that it takes so long to be prepared on one’s wedding day, and after several hours in the chair the butterflies were getting to me, and my bridesmaids could see that I was pretty jittery. I was ever so ready to don my dress, and see my groom… but by the end of it, I didn’t regret my decision to take time for it. My hair and makeup turned out just as I wanted it to for my wedding day.

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While coffee would have been a very bad idea for an already jittery and restless bride, the girls enjoyed their morning caffeine rush as a perk to having to get up early on a Saturday…

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Brothers

 

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There is no way the wedding would have been as beautifully decorated, as big, or as smoothly run had it not been for the many friends and family members that so willingly gave of their time and talents to help. I had friends from Church and moms from the dance studio who arrived early at the Church to help with bridesmaids hair, which also meant that my girls didn’t have to pay to go to a salon, and we could all get ready together and at the same time.

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So ready to get the party started!

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Two women who are very dear to me… my amazing mother, who has poured out so much for the sake of raising her children in the fear of the Lord, and been such a good friend and mentor to me as a daughter… Kit, a sweet woman in the Lord from our Church, who has been a big source of encouragement and advice to me, and sought to come alongside me as a friend while I was single even as we were in very different seasons of life. I felt so blessed and rich to have these women close to me as I prepared for the biggest step of my life…

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I think it’s safe to say that while the girls prep for hours- tying and pinning and spraying and curling- the guys arrive mainly just for some photos and a few (or many, as the case may be) laughs. I had my seven sweet bridesmaids, and Ashton had his seven *cough* fun beer-and-beard-loving groomsmen. Suffice to say, even while they had to dress up, they made the most of it.

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My sister and my sister-in-Christ

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Pinning on flowers is a delicate business

 

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I always wanted a dress with real buttons down the back. It took some time and finger-power on the part of my mother to get them all fastened… but I cherish the moments before the wedding where the special preparations- the last before transferring to a new household and taking on a new name- could be savored. View More: http://kathryngracephotography.pass.us/ashtonjenniferwedding

After sitting and being pampered and primped for several hours, I was especially thrilled to finally be wearing my dress… on the day of my wedding. There’s nothing like feeling beautiful, elegant and glowing for one’s groom on a sunny Saturday…

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Blessed to be her daughter

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That moment, when you realize the woman in the mirror wearing the wedding gown is you… that the women surrounding you are truly there to support, cry, laugh, rejoice with and for you… that your time of waiting is over… that the Lord has been faithful to bring you to a moment so long awaited.

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Trying not to cry…

 

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A circle of dear bridesmaids and my mother as they prayed for me moments before walking down the aisle… a heart full to bursting with gratefulness and overwhelming happiness.

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The dear parents who raised me, loved me, encouraged and protected me as a daughter under their roof for 23 years. Thankful prayers, choking back tears, holding hands… precious moments of thanking the Lord for His amazing provision and faithfulness.

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Father and son

Father and son

 

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Precious hands, preparing to let go

Photo credit: Kathryn Grace Photography

5 Responses

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  1. Jessica
    Jessica December 31, 2013 at 9:40 pm |

    This is beautiful. What a blessing to be able to witness y’all’s joy that day and what a beautiful testament to God’s faithfulness you both are. <3

  2. Gabrielle
    Gabrielle December 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm |

    I love this….I remember this day so vividly I can only imagine what it is like for you <3 <3

    And for the record, I did not mind going with you bright and early. I got to pray for you in the car and THAT meant the world to me…..and hey, the double shot from the day before was still keeping me wired.

  3. Trinity
    Trinity January 1, 2014 at 12:25 am |

    I so wish I could have been there. What a beautiful wedding, and it was hard to hold back my own tears by the end. I can’t wait to see part 2!

  4. Anna Wolfe
    Anna Wolfe January 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm |

    So beautiful. Way to capture it and the emotions and memories!

  5. tami kolar
    tami kolar January 1, 2014 at 6:37 pm |

    So nicely done, Jennifer! Such a nice way to be a part with us not being able to be there. Thanks.

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