Time to P-A-R-T-Y!
Sara: Following our wedding Mass, it was so great to see so many of our friends in the gathering space of church. Fr. Ron quickly whisked Justin and I and our best man and matron of honor to the sacristy to sign our marriage license. It was great to see our priest friends back there, as many of the priests had Saturday evening Masses to celebrate and couldn’t make it to our reception.
Next, Justin and I headed with our photographer and one of my bridesmaids and her husband to a local park to take some more pictures. Justin and I rode separately from everyone else, so it was our first moments alone together as Dr. and Mrs. Justin! I don’t remember much – just being excited to sit next to my HUSBAND!
By this time, the day was clear, and the grass was mostly dry. Thankfully, my bridesmaid thought to bring a towel for the shots our photographer wanted me to sit down!
Following the photo op, Justin and I headed to our hotel to check in. We brought our overnight bags in, sat down for about ten minutes, and then headed to our reception. We met the bridal party in the parking lot. Then, the bridal party was announced, and we walked into the reception. Father prayed, and the food line began!
As I sat down, I looked around the reception hall, and was in awe. After I had left the night before, several of the girls stayed a few hours longer and did A LOT of decorating. The DJ table had moved, and the cake table looked amazing. I couldn’t believe the transformation that a room with just four walls had made in less than 24 hours. And, of course, seeing the people we loved most in the world in that room helped!
Many of Justin’s friends have children. Some of them had asked if they should bring them. I LOVE all of his friends’ children, and I was so happy to see them there. At the head table, the girls decorating had placed colored rocks around. It was so much fun to see the joy of several of the children as they separated them into piles by color!
Following that, much of the reception is a blur – just snippets of conversation come back now and again. After dinner, Justin and I began to make the rounds to see our guests. Unfortunately, due to the flooding, many of them had their drive times doubled. Many guests left immediately following dinner. Next, we heard several great toasts from our best man, my matron of honor, and an usher. Then we cut the cake. Justin was actually pretty nice – he only smeared some on my face after I did a bit of smearing on his face. Then we had our first dance to “Look at You Girl” by Chris LeDoux. We were both huge Chris LeDoux fans before we met, so it seemed very fitting. It was so nice just to be in Justin’s arms for a few minutes.
Following our dance, I danced with my dad, and Justin danced with his mom. I learned during the dance with my dad that he’d never learned how to dance – the first time Dad had ever danced was at my sister’s wedding. It was really special to have that time with my dad as both he and my mom have really taught me what marriage is about.
The rest of the night is a blur – quick conversations with people before they left.
Justin: I remember looking over and seeing that the photographer looked kind of bored. I remember commenting that we probably weren’t that exciting because all we were doing was catching up with old friends.
Sara: As Justin and I left the reception, we noticed the “Just Married” sign and the cans on the back of our car. The cans clanked merrily as we headed to our hotel for the night. The anticipation for what was to follow was building, and it was amazing to finally be able to express our love in ways we couldn’t before the wedding. It truly was a night we’ll never forget.