Our Big Day Begins

As anxious and excited as I was for our big day, I had no trouble sleeping the night before, and Saturday, August 18th started bright and early!

My hair/make-up artist {Angela Parker of LucieMarie} showed up at my parents' house at 8:45 to work her magic, and my bridesmaids and house party joined me for breakfast as we all got ready. Dad cooked up one of my favorites, biscuits with cinnamon baked apples and whipped cream, and it was such a relaxing morning of preparation. 

Looking back on our wedding weekend, there were so many "God moments" where I could feel His presence and point to His faithfulness. The first one happened on our way to the church that morning. I rode with my friend Meredith and we arrived at the church with no problem, but as I got out of the car, I heard a loud hissing noise. I looked down and could see a huge, jagged gash along the side of Mere's rear right tire! I could even see it deflating before my eyes. It was a little scary to imagine what could have happened, maybe a complete blowout or a car accident, but the Lord is good and kept us safe! {Meredith laughed nervously, thinking of the cargo she was transporting to the wedding - the bride, the maid of honor, and the wedding dress, all in one car. Yikes!} The Lord also blessed us with manly groomsmen friends who didn't hesitate to change the tire before putting on their suits. Thanks boys!

We did hair and make-up touch-ups in the bridal suite, and then it was time for Mom and Sarah to help me get in my dress. This dress had been put on and zipped up time and time again for fittings and photos, but there was a huge sense of peace as I put the dress on for the final time. I was about to see my groom. HE was about to see ME in the dress he knew absolutely nothing about. 

I consider myself a pretty traditional bride, but waiting until the ceremony to see each other just wasn't that important to us. Thomas and I decided to do a "first look" for many reasons:
  1. By seeing each other prior to the wedding, with only our photographer/videographer with us, we were able to share a tender, blissful moment alone without 185+ pairs of eyes on us. Yes, we both still cried as my dad walked me down the aisle that afternoon. No, having a "first look" didn't make that moment any less special. 
  2. We were able to talk and hug and kiss and share in our giddyness before the day completely got away from us. Really, as soon as the ceremony begins, the next thing you know you're running down the stairs with bubbles floating around you, hopping into the getaway car and driving off. Of course I paused to cherish as much as I possibly could on our day, but people aren't lying when they tell you it fliiiiies by! 
  3. Doing a "first look" extended the amount of time that we spent together on our wedding day. After all, the day was all about the two of us, and we didn't want to wait until 2 p.m. that afternoon to finally be in each other's presence. 
  4. We were able to have all of our photos (just the two of us), plus photos with our entire bridal party, taken before the wedding so that our guests weren't waiting too long at the reception for us to arrive. 
  5. Having the majority of our outdoor photos taken before the wedding turned out to be another blessing, like I mentioned before with the flat tire. Our "first look" took place around 11:15, and a huge Texas thunderstorm graced us with its presence around 1:30. Had we waited to do all photos until after the ceremony, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to take photos with the gorgeous green trees and ivy walls surrounding the church. {more to come about that rain!}
Because we did a "first look," I get to cherish this photo for the rest of my life. I mean come on, look at that face. 

See those ominous looking clouds behind us? The rain held off for all of our photos, and thank GOODNESS the impending storm cooled the summer day to a comfortable 80-some degrees.

Photo snapped as I asked my flower girl Bayleigh to sing for everyone. What a hoot! Her favorite song at the time was LMFAO's "Party Rock," and we were all cracking up! 

When it started to rain, we headed into the chapel to take photos with family. Our talented friends who we'd asked to sing in our wedding were rehearsing, and I was listening to the music for the very first time in context. The lyrics of cherished songs filled the cozy church. Family popped in and out of photos for different combinations: Thomas and me with each of our parents, just me with my sister, and so on. I stood motionless on stage as our photographer Taylor directed the photos, and I'll never forget what I felt in that moment. Taylor stopped shooting, came close, and asked if I was okay. Tears of joy were flowing. My heart was racing. I was so completely overcome with emotions.

It's today!

I smiled and nodded. I just needed a second to take it all in. I could not have been any happier in that moment, and I couldn't believe the wedding was about to begin.

One last prayer before the ceremony. 
What wedding is complete without a little bubbly?
My precious Daddy giving the first of the day's toasts.
Thomas' Best Man {Sterling} praying over him. 
Ceremony and reception blog posts, coming soon!

All photos by Taylor Lord Photography.


  1. Hey lady, I'm using your 5 reasons to do a first look to persuade my brother and his fiance to do the same. Great post!

    1. Aw thanks! Haha I would encourage every bride to do a first look.

  2. these are SO precious! I am glad you did a first look... I wouldn't have done it any different! I knew walking down the aisle would be filled with emotion and I wanted to share the first time I saw Jon on our wedding day just the two of us... I will never forget the look on his face and we caught it on camera and film! It did not make the aisle any less special.. almost MORE special! And I was so much more calm going into the wedding.. I was like dude lets go get married!!!

    1. That's EXACTLY how I felt! Walking down the aisle was even more special, and I was definitely more relaxed.

  3. These photos are beautiful! And I love the idea of a first look. What a sweet moment! Stumbled upon your blog today and just wanted to pop in and say hello! I may have only met you and Thomas seeing Next to Normal with Ross a few years ago but I remember these gorgeous pictures appearing after your wedding, and I'm actually interning with Kristi at Joyful Details this spring thanks to that connection! Again, you have a beautiful blog and were certainly a beautiful bride!

    1. Thanks Bailey! Ohhhh, Next to Normal - how good was that show?! That's amazing about interning with Kristi. She's so amazing! I can't wait to hear how your internship goes.

  4. beautiful beautiful pics!! My husband and I didn't see each other before the wedding, but we did do the "non first look" thing where we held hands on opposite sides of a door and I loved that!! He was adamant on not seeing me so that's what we had to do! :)

    1. Thanks Savanah! Just saw your wedding video last week - it was beautiful! Looking forward to meeting you one of these days at a blogger meet-up.

  5. Congratulations! What a beautiful day to remember!
    It was so nice meeting you the other day at West Elm. Look forward to seeing more of your blog.

    1. Thanks Sabrina! It was so great meeting you too!!


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