May 23, 2018

What Really Happened Before our Wedding – For all the Stressed Brides out There

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I actually get a little choked up thinking about this but we are already about to celebrate our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! What in the heck… I just can’t believe it. Of all things I really don’t like, at the top of the list is how fast time flies. I know it’s just a part of life but it makes me sad! I’ve always been that way and I can tell you right now I have a feeling that will never change.

Anyway, since it’s the week of our anniversary I wanted to take the time to share all of the stuff (I could use a different word…) that happened before our wedding day. Don’t get me wrong, our wedding day was the best day of our lives and I couldn’t imagine it being any other way but holy cow the time leading up to it was so comical I just have to share. This will also serve as a great reminder for all of the brides out there about to get married and potentially freaking out… IT WILL BE OKAY. Trust me. It seriously will and if you don’t believe me yet, just listen to how it was leading up to our wedding day…

For reference, we got married May 27, 2017 in a church and then celebrated under a big tent in the front yard of the house I grew up in. The weather was perfect that day, not too hot, not too cold, the sun made an appearance but there were also a couple of rain drops during pictures for good luck. It really was perfect.

February 2017 – I got a call from the priest from the church we were going to get married in. We had already been through one premarital counseling session with him by this point and had another on the schedule in a week. On the phone he explained to me that because I’m not Catholic (Stephen is), we actually couldn’t complete premarital sessions with him in that parish and that we would need to complete them with the priest where Stephen resides, which was Columbus, Mississippi at the time. The kicker… Stephen was about to move from Columbus to Phoenix in a couple of weeks so his parish was about to change. The priest in Columbus would also have to be the one to do all our paperwork before the wedding. I explained that Stephen was moving soon but it didn’t matter. We had to rush to get the paperwork done so that we could actually get married in a few months as planned. We asked the priest that was going to marry us if we could continue premarital sessions with him but he said we’d have to do them with the priest in Columbus. When Stephen asked the priest in Columbus about them, he said he didn’t do premarital sessions. We ended up talking him into doing one with us anyway. Needless to say, the paperwork got done and we were still able to get married come May 27.

March 2017 – This one was loads of fun… The church called me and asked if we would be okay moving the ceremony up from 2:00 PM to noon. The planner had made a mistake and booked two weddings on May 27, 2017 at the same time. The other couple had booked there’s months before us so the planner forgot they also had a wedding planned for that day. I was at work at the time and really had to keep my cool considering ALL OF THE INVITATIONS HAD BEEN PRINTED. I ended up agreeing to 1:00 PM and had all of the invitations reprinted. Luckily, the envelopes hadn’t been sealed yet and it required more money and work but it was all a-okay! Both weddings did in fact end up happening that day. Whether or not people were going into second wedding while we were taking pictures outside after our ceremony is another story…

May 2017, the week of the wedding – If you all had seen the house (reception venue) the week before the wedding, you probably wouldn’t believe it. It was an absolute MESS. We had crews working all over the place. There was stuff all over the yard and mud was everywhere. My dad and his guys worked every day for probably 12 hours straight to get the yard to what it was the day of the wedding. The vast majority of the week leading up to the wedding I was either on a tractor working on the yard or with a shovel in my hand digging ditches to help with water drainage. It was seriously insane.

This picture was taken exactly ONE WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING. ONE WEEK!!! Do you feel stressed yet? HAHA!

Large Tent Wedding Large Tent Wedding

The weather the week before the wedding was also not in our favor. It rained all week and soaked the yard so much that we had to change all of the plans around where to put the tent. It rained and rained and rained until literally an hour after the tent was up in the front yard. That was all fine and dandy except for the fact that now that the sun was out, the tent was preventing it from evaporating any water. Don’t get me wrong, it was one heck of a muddy mess on the wedding day but it was still beautiful and honestly, it was another perfect representation of my life. I GREW UP playing in that front yard and in that mud! So what if my dress was covered a bit! That is the kind of girl I am and always will be.

Tent Wedding

Wednesday before the wedding – Stephen, Jess, and I went to Costco with a very long list of alcohol to buy. Stephen did all of the math on what we needed and did such a good job at it! We had one left of everything by the end of the weekend. It was amazing. Anyway, we drove Jess’ car which is a little (like Jess) SUV. You guys… That thing was barely off the ground coming home. We were actually really worried about making it. It was SO FUNNY. We could barely fit Stephen in the car. The boy almost had to walk himself home! By the way, this saved us boat loads of money. You can more about that here.

Thursday before the wedding – Jess (MOH) and I went to get spray tans. Oh my gosh I can’t stop laughing just thinking about it. A lady in Northern Virginia did our tans and they looked absolutely amazing. They were the kind of spray tan where you look insane when you get it done but after you shower all is right in the world again. When we got them done, the lady said to put on as little clothing as possible so that we didn’t mess it up while it set in aka no underwear/bra and no shoes for a couple of hours. The only problem was, Jess and I had run out of time before the appointment and we really needed to go to Macy’s to make a huge amount of returns from the registry (I returned the stuff and then repurchased it to have it shipped to our new Address in Arizona). We had no other time to do it so we laughed our heads off all the way to Macy’s… Once we got there, we continued to laugh our way through the entire mission. We looked like two oompa Loompas. We were both wearing large neon orange shirts and our skin was just about the same color and we didn’t want to mess our feet up so we had our sandals barely on our feet. We literally stood on TOP of our shoes. Every time we looked at each other we laughed… Hard. We ended up having to ‘run’ back and forth to the car multiple times. Of course, the wedding section was in the middle of the store so everyone could catch a glimpse of our orange, undergarment-less self’s multiple times. Oh what I would do for a picture from that time… I remember we wanted to take a snap but we also didn’t want the boys to see how we looked because we figured they’d panic. You guys… It was so bad. I can’t stop laughing. Anyway, here is a photo of how our tans looked the day of the wedding! 😉 If you want the contact info for the lady that did ours, let me know! She was amazing.

Large Tent Wedding

Friday night during the wedding rehearsal – A couple of my family members had to be at my parent’s house to make sure my car got put on a truck to be shipped to Arizona. Jess and I spent hours on Thursday making sure it was covertly packed with as much stuff as possible (you aren’t supposed to pack more than like… 50 pounds in it).

The night before the wedding – Stephen and the guys were all staying together in a hotel and I was staying at home with all of my bridesmaids. We got back to the house late after the rehearsal after running more errands and my dad said to me, “Jordan, I need your help. Get Dakota and Rhya.” I guess you could say the three of us didn’t grow up in a “typical Northern Virginia environment” and because of that, we all feel comfortable in big trucks. My dad knew that so he entrusted each of us to drive one of his works trucks to another location to park during the wedding. My dad was in the biggest of them all, followed by each of us in a truck and Jess as the caboose to take us home. We looked like a white truck gang going down windy roads at midnight… The night before my wedding… Another great part about this story is that my dad still had so much to do that he rushed to get us out there and Jess didn’t know where she was going and she didn’t have a cell phone and we almost lost her between a red light… At midnight. It was so funny listening to the play-by-play of what was going on in her head afterward when we were finally in one car together.

I imagined that night just hanging out with all of my bridesmaids drinking a cider or two, and laughing while telling stories. Instead we were up really late driving these trucks and we came home to my bridesmaids helping around the house and steaming my dress. I didn’t imagine that at all but for some odd reason it is one of my favorite parts of that whole weekend. The whole thing made me feel extremely blessed to have such awesome people in my life that would do pretty much any darn thing for me just to make our wedding day as special as possible.

Bridesmaids Getting Ready Outfits

The morning of the wedding – Our house looked like a circus. My Dad told my mom he could get everything done in time the night before and my mom woke up saying, “WHAT THE [insert very bad word here]!” She immediately called my cousins (who were very hungover in fact) and had them all rush over to help. My uncle was whipping around the yard in a tractor, moving rocks and whatever else he was doing, while one cousin was mowing the lawn, others were setting up the tables and chairs in the tent, etc. It was a mad house. We seriously couldn’t have done it without them.

My dad was working outside until minutes before we had to leave for the church. MY BRIDESMAIDS HAD TO PICK OUT WHAT HE WORE. Did you all hear that… MY BRIDESMAIDS HAD TO PICK OUT WHAT MY DAD WORE HOURS BEFORE THE CEREMONY. Neither of my parents ever had the time to plan out what he was wearing. That was so dang funny to me. Rhya and McKenna asked my mom where all of his clothes were and they picked out every last inch of what he wore that day. He looked amazing. Gosh am I thankful for my friends (and so is Papa Newk)!

I didn’t feel any sort of anxiousness, frustration, or anything like that the entire time. This is how my family rolls! It wasn’t anything new or surprising to me. It did make me laugh though. It was just so comical to see the place like that on my wedding day. In fact, Jess had to force me to sit down and get my hair and makeup done so that we could leave on time. What a day…

All of that being said you know what? Our wedding day was the BEST DAY OF OUR LIVES. All of this stuff that happened in the months leading up to the wedding, the week before, the night before, and the day of made the whole thing even more special to me. There are so many memories and laughs filed in my brain that are worth so much to me than my muddy wedding dress.

Large Tent Wedding

To all our family and friends that helped make our day possible, THANK YOU AGAIN. Not only did you make the day possible but you made it way more special and memorable than I could ever imagine. We’re really dang blessed and we don’t take that for granted.

The yard was by no means perfect but ultimately Mother Nature decided a long, long time ago that she was going to win that battle. We rolled with the punches and people still had a blast (or so we were told), which was the most important thing to us!

Large Tent Wedding

To all the brides out there reading this that may or may not feel worried/stressed about getting everything completed before your wedding day, scheduled properly, done on time, whatever the heck it is… STOP WORRYING! It will all be okay!!! Even if the day ends up not exactly how you imagined it, IT’S OKAY! It will just be inserted into your memory as a ‘remember when…’ and with a joyful attitude, it will make you smile. Look around at the people that are supporting you through it all and be so thankful for them. Do not take them or their time for granted. They are who make the memories even sweeter. Our wedding day was so incredibly special because we got married, of course, but I think that everything we went through and all of the moments involving our favorite people in the world leading up to it made it even more meaningful to us. I can easily say that because of my compilation of memories leading up to the wedding and on the day of, no one will ever have a wedding exactly like mine and I LOVE that about our day. If you embrace every single moment (good and bad) with open arms, you will feel the same about yours too.

Photos by Luck & Love Photography

with joy
jordan jean


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