A behind-the-scenes look at lovely couples and their beautiful weddings, tips for planning your wedding and preparing for your marriage, everyday life and more!
Kelly and Josh were married on a gorgeous day in June and it was perfect! Every wedding day should be filled with this combination of happy tears, excitement, anticipation and fun. Kelly and Josh’s wedding style combined easy-going, traditional, DIY, travel and outdoor relaxed with the modern aspects of their venues.
Kelly, her mom Ann, and her bridesmaids started the morning off right with hair and makeup in their hotel room. I love when this happens, since there’s usually more time for the girls to have fun and relax before the ceremony. That was so true on this day, since Kelly’s girls were dancing, laughing at the custom scrapbook, photobombing dress photos, and keeping the energy high. When it came time for Kelly to step into her dress, her Maid of Honor Colleen was the first to break down. She was watching her best friend prepare to marry the love of her life. Meanwhile, Jeremiah was hanging out at Josh and Kelly’s apartment with the guys. They enjoyed lunch and joked around, but also took time to iron their shirts, polish their shoes and make sure everyone looked dashing.
The boys decided to walk from the apartment to the church on this hot day. They stopped at the Tosa Village to take a few photos under the bridge. They also risked their life for requested photo on the train tracks. This was definitely not Jeremiah’s idea, but he played along and even had a leg slip through the tracks. I also found out that a few minutes later a train crossed these tracks. Boys will be boys risking their lives on a wedding day. They arrived to the church unharmed and enjoyed a game of cards before the ceremony. This is very fitting to the couple, since they love games and played cribbage during their winter engagement session.
Meanwhile, the girls and I headed to Hoyt Park for Kelly’s first look with her dad, Kevin. Kelly was standing on the bridge, while Kevin walked backwards from his car to the bridge to meet her. It was so precious and helped to calm the nerves a bit. Kevin arrived on the bridge with his hands covering his eyes. He slowly lowered his hands, opened his eyes and let his emotions take over. His eyes grew large from the joy of seeing his little girl and instantly shifted to happy tears. Kelly, his only daughter and little girl, was all grown up and he was so proud of the woman she became. Ann, the bridesmaids and I were all staying quiet and trying to hold back the tears.
The girls and I headed for the church in the bus, while Kelly joined her parents in their car for a few minutes alone with them. I love that! While the girls snuck away to the basement to play table tennis, I scoped out locations for a corner photo with Kelly and Josh. I met Josh’s dad, Randy, who told me that another photographer had shown up moments earlier thinking they had a wedding at this church. There are several churches in this area and he walked into the wrong one. Oops!
Kelly and Josh shared a moment alone around a corner, holding hands and sharing a few words. It didn’t last long, but I doubt either of them will forget this moment. The ceremony came and went so quickly, but spoke to the couple history and love for travel. In the end, these two were so excited and happy to begin their new journey.
We headed to Juneau Park for photos with their family and bridal party. It was the perfect setting, offering beautiful colors, glimpses of the skyline, and a nice lake breeze. Colleen’s infectious laugh kept the bridal party in high spirits and prompted great reactions. We also had a lot of time, so Kelly and Josh shared a few minutes alone. I fall in love with my job every time I get to work with a couple like this, so in love and excited.
Kelly and Josh boarded the bus with the bridal party and headed to 1451 Renaissance Place for their cocktail hour. They made it a priority to spend time with their family and friends, which I love. Cocktail hour was held in the lower level and cultivated their love for travel. Once we headed upstairs into the ballroom this was further established through the tables. Each table was named after a place the couple had visited during their relationship, including Dubrovnik where Josh proposed to Kelly.
The couple entered the ballroom with the sounds of cheering and amazing dance moves reminiscent of Grease. They cut their beautiful cake and grabbed the mic to thank their family, friends, guests, vendors and everyone for their help. It was the most heartfelt thank you and appreciation, bringing the room even more together.
The wedding toasts were some of my favorite and prompted a lot of laughter and tears from the audience. I’m pretty sure everyone in the bridal party had a tearful moment after hearing the toasts. Colleen spoke about the beginning of Kelly and Josh and hilarious written signs and skype chats. I could barely hold it together when Kevin talked about climbing a mountain with Kelly and ready to give up, until she said, “I can do it if you can, dad.”
The evening ended with amazing dance moves, a Piano Man singalong, and a few moments shared with the couple on the steps of the Renaissance Place. I can only imagine these two danced the night away and spent time with family and friends.
I wish these two an amazing future and lifetime of travels.
I always ask my brides a few questions before the wedding, so here’s what Kelly had to say.
How did you know that he was THE ONE for you? Anytime I even thought about him I would always smile and instantly feel calmer, more relaxed, and happier. Anytime I pictured the future he was automatically in it.
What’s the most memorable moment of your wedding planning process? Being able to shop for my wedding dress with both of my moms (my mom and my future mother-in-law before she passed away). Other memorable moments include trying to find a venue when one person was overseas; and enjoying checking the mailbox for all the RSVPs.
Any tips for other brides about the planning process? There are so many good DIY blogs out there with great tips and tricks. Also, don’t get hung up on everyone else’s opinion. You do you.
What do you feel is the most important thing about your wedding day? Celebrating starting our life together and sharing it with friends and family.
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