As most people can attest wedding days are often the most amazing, wonderful and crazy day of your life! No exception for Justin and Courtney. The day started off pretty typical, southern hospitality at its finest I was offered a mimosa at 7 am! To which, sadly I had to decline but the thought was nice! You see Justin’s family is from Texas. So, true to form his mother was kind enough to offer me and my 2nd, Elyse, a beverage. Lesson #1 of the day, make sure that orange juice is just ORANGE juice :D!!
This wedding morning was fun from the start, ten girls getting ready, running around, Mother of the Bride watching adoringly as her daughter begins her morning. Clothes thrown everywhere, Bridal Gown tucked safely away.. and the men… still sleeping. The guys always get it easy the morning of the wedding. Which brings me to Lesson #2 of the day, since the Bride has been up since.. well four am, always offer her coffee after your trip to Starbucks! That and I love when you get to write Bride on the cup.. I know.. totally cliche but I am a sucker for it!
I was so excited to start this wedding day with Courtney! I have know her since I was a college intern and I do remember the day her and Justin started talking. Justin must have knew immediately what i knew, Courtney was a catch! She was independent, quiet, reserved but had a laugh that would make you laugh even on your worst day.. it’s that contagious. It doesn’t stop there, she was a lover of video games, she could fix up floor boards, and enjoyed sporting fashionable Converse tennis shoes on her wedding day. Quirky to say the least, she was one of the most unique people I met during my college intern year. I couldn’t be happier to see her glowing the morning of her wedding. As I checked in one last time before leaving to visit the men who had finally crawled out of bed, she stopped and asked politely “Could you tell Justin (after a long pause).. Hi”.
That was it. Just “Hi”. Simple. Cute. And full of hidden meaning I’m sure I couldn’t decipher if I tried. So I ran away with my encrypted message to deliver to the groom! As I arrived to the boys room, the very first thing Justin asked me was, “How is Courtney?”, to which I delivered my secret message, “oh.. she says.. Hi”. Just like that Justin smiled and continued to get ready. Whew.. I had done it. I didn’t forget what she said, the message was safely delivered.. Ok I’m being dramatic lol.. on with the story.
The time had finally come, we were heading over to the church! So here is where things started to get a bit crazy.. they moved from mimosas to singing ‘Chapel of Marriage’ at the top of their lungs while passing around the champaign. It was like a movie, the bus was singing loudly, some on key, some way off.. but the swaying, the music and the vibes were enough to get me to join in. So much joy on this day. I had already told you that Justin’s family was from Texas but what I didn’t mention is that Courtney’s family was from Green Bay and England. Yes, England. So many people had traveled from all over the world for this day. You could tell how grateful Courtney was that morning to have her family supporting her and singing crazy girly tunes! The champaign was just a bonus!
As we arrived at the church we finished up some bridal portraits and ran inside as fast as possible as the days storms started rolling in. The church pews were filled with a small number of closest family and friends as the ceremony began. Justin, his father and mother followed the priest down the aisle to begin processional. And then they followed the Priest.. and then they continued to follow the Priest.. and follow. AND FOLLOW. Ha Ha, ok I’ll stop! BUT that is the truth! I couldn’t not include this in the story! The Priest walked so slow down the aisle that a snail could have passed them up lol. This was one of my favorite moments of the day as I watched Justin and his parents giggle down the aisle. If you don’t believe me.. this walk actually inspired two of the wedding party to use this as their grand march entrance!!
After the wedding party had finished their processional the big moment came. Courtney entered the church to smiles from Justin and her soon to be in-laws. I always love to see the Grooms expression but this was special. To see her new family so happy and willing to hand over their Son was a breathtaking sight.
The ceremony was a wonderful celebration of a new marriage, growing love and faith. The messages conveyed rang true to me as I could relate to all the lesson spoke by the Priest about, love, marriage, communication, and Faith. As we headed back to the Radisson for the Reception the party began! The two families became one, the champaign flowed and laughter rang. I knew this was going to be a good night, I could feel it!
The Best Man and Maid of Honor sang praises of the love shared between Courtney and Justin, they threw in a few punch lines, and closed beautifully with a toast to new love, new beginnings, and new family. As the grand march approached the wedding party lined up ready to impress with their silly and witty gimmicks. Finally, the Bride and Groom approached. Lesson #3 Trust-falls at the wedding are possibly a bad idea. Depending on who you ask! Let me tell you, holding your camera steady while you are laughing so hard you start tearing up is a challenge!
The reception was off to a bang! Let the fun and games begin! As the evening continued the dance floor filled, drinks were poured and the photo booth became a sensation. I always love to see a wedding end this way. Or.. it can end with more silly singing of Elton John karaoke. Why not :D!
Courtney and Justin, Your families were the welcoming, helpful, gracious and a pleasure to work with. Congratulations on your marriage. Thank you for choosing me for your wedding day. As I close my story of your day I wanted to leave you with a summary of the few lessons I learned on your day.
1) Coffee is a must. Always.
2) Your families love Champaign. (ok no lesson with this lol, just and observation)
3) Spiderman is the best super hero ever ( Courtney.. you know where I’m going with this one.. and Justin you may too :D :D )
4) Next trust-fall.. Justin gets to do the catching! Courtney.. Don’t hold back!!