The day was breezy with a winter chill. We spent 5 months of our busy engagement season planning and creating for the arrival of February 10th. The October before, we had booked our venue at the Farmhouse at Schnepf Farms in Queen Creek, AZ. The setting was rustic, serene, and simplistic. Pretty Celtic tunes were drifting in and out of the Bridal suite from my iPod that morning as we all prepared for the day ahead of us.
This set of photos are of the first several hours of the day which included the set up and preparation of the wedding, as well as my and Nolan's "first look."
Most of the photos in this group were taken by my dear friend, Elena. I remember deciding several years back that she would be involved in the photography of my wedding in some way. Because she was out of state during this season attending a Christian media school in Texas, part of our wedding budget was to buy her airfare out to AZ for the wedding week! Unfortunately, she didn't make it in these photos!! That was the only downside to this. In all the crazy events of the wedding day, we somehow didn't take the time to get a really good shot together. Oh well. She likes hiding behind the camera. ;)
A few of the concluding photos from this set (most of the ones included in our "first look") were done by our hired photographer, Casey Graham of I Do Photography. She is a really sweet lady who really utilized the natural light in the photography as I had previously emphasized to her. Also, she had such a relaxing personality that it helped loosen us up for the camera.
In addition, my beautiful friend, Elizabeth, who I hadn't seen since I met her three years before in Colorado, blessed me with her presence for the wedding week! She flew all the way out from New York and she happily jumped at the opportunity to be one of my bridesmaids! I felt spoiled. :) We spent some lovely quality time together!
My two friends from church, Sarah and Krissy (sisters!), did such a wonderful job thrift shopping for their creamy-white dresses after I invited them to be my "flower maidens" for the wedding party. They both have a gorgeous Renaissance look with their lovely curls and have been such dear friends. Early on, I knew I didn't want children in the wedding party (just some added stress that comes with that, let's be honest! ha!), but I wanted more members than just my bridesmaid. Thus, I created a NEW wedding party group - flower maidens instead of flower girls. :)
I headed out that morning with my sister, Danielle, and Elena and Elizabeth (who were staying with us and our family for the week) and picked up our sweet friend, Hannah, whom I have known since I was, at least 8 or 9 years old. Our lives, although lived mostly separately on our own paths, have always intertwined at many points. It meant so much to me that she could be with all my ladies that morning. She was ready to help out with anything that we needed and did so much in getting things set up and ready!
In case you could not tell, the lady next to me with long light brown hair and glasses is my awesome big sister, Danielle. She led all of us in prayer before the ceremony. You can tell very well from these shots, but my mother, Nolan's mother, and Nolan's sister were in the room with us.
My cousin, Alexis, and I having a girly moment!
One of the things that completely escaped my mind during the wedding planning was the construction of boutonnières and corsages for the wedding party. I think I had considered them at one point, but deemed them as unnecessary in the midst of other more important matters. As many discovered, Nolan and I took a very non-traditional approach to wedding planning and we didn't include many of the typical things you find at weddings. Thus, I think I didn't really think of the wedding party accessories. However, on the day of the wedding, my sister (in all her awesomeness) made some last-minute pins with stems of the dried lavender for Nolan and for my mother and his mother.
That moment when the bride looks outside the window and sees the guests beginning to arrive: priceless!
Kiddo Korner was an idea I thought up quickly when I knew there would be a small group of children at the wedding from some of the families attending. I know some kids don't always appreciate having to attend a boring ol' wedding. haha! Therefore, I really wanted to create an environment they would have fun in and feel invited and wanted! Kiddo Korner was filled with lots of colorful chalk and bubbles for them to enjoy to their heart's content.
These adorable paper boxes and name tags were constructed by my creative cousin, Alexis. I'll admit, I was hemming and hawing about the boxes at one point (because I am always a very indecisive person), but I love the unique look they gave each table setting. Her handwriting is so gorgeous and precise; I wouldn't have trusted anyone but her to write those name tags for each guest!
My sister designed the seating signs and wedding programs through photo-shop. She pretty much did everything! haha!
Each table included a dried flower arrangement in a mason jar, a frame with a marriage/love quote, small jars filled with jam and a tag with our names and wedding date on it for each guest (also created by my sister!), and the plates, cups, wooden utensils, and the paper boxes with guest name tags.
The entrance for the guests actually turned out to be around the back of the farmhouse. It worked out much better this way for us. My good friend, Hannah, took charge of this and arranged all the things I wanted included on our guest-book signing table.
My sister and I (but mainly my sister) spent hours creating the hymnal paper-cones for the dried lavender. I saw this idea several years ago on a website and knew I wanted this included in my wedding some day. I looked around the down-town area of my city for all the antique stores that carried old hymnal books.
|Here I am, waiting for the official photographer to signal me for my and Nolan's first look.|
Our First LookNolan and I planned early on for our first look moment. Being both introverts and pretty reserved around large groups of people, we needed a moment together that would settle our nerves. Our main photographer took some of our bridal party shots during this hour before the wedding. Afterwards, Nolan and I sat together inside the farmhouse to pray and soak in a moment of reflection on everything that was happening. It was so rewarding to have a moment of processing the beginning of our day together. It helped us slow down instead of getting caught up in merely meeting schedule deadlines.
Onward to the next wedding post....! Click HERE.