I remember being up at 5:00 am because I could sleep no longer. Time passed slowly that morning, so knowing that I would be out of reach for a few weeks, I replied to an inquiring bride. Sure enough the time came to get ready and before I knew it my dress was on.
The morning quickly slipped away with a whirlwind of activity and wedding morning stress. Being in the wedding industry for so long, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it was my very own wedding. For some reason my mind kept going back to the regular thoughts of wedding day details and planning and would not engage in the fact that this my in fact my very own wedding day. Looking back I realize that I should have taken more time for myself and our wedding. However, as my dad drove me to the ceremony it started to sink in. This way the day I married Aaron. The day I took a new name and became a wife.
As I walked up the isle with my arm side my dads, I wanted to take it all in, take as many mental photos as I could. The family and fiends, their smiles, tears, and then there was the love of my life… This is the moment I started to cry. There he was waiting for me. He waited for me for two years to realize that I loved him. He knew all along that he loved me and that I was “the one.” I still to this day can’t fathom how he managed to keep quite as I dated others. I would have gone mad if I had been in his shoes.
But as my dad gave me one last hug and kiss as Tiffany Ziegenfus I knew that the man he was giving me away to would take wonderful care of me.
And so our trip to the alter together began.
There was a moment during prayer time that I stole a peak back at all our guest… Several months before the wedding someone, I wish I knew who, told me the most valuable wedding day advice. They said to pause every little bit and take mental pictures. The few seconds I used to capture one of my favorite “metal pictures” was during the prayer time. All those people who loved us, supported us, and had always been there for us were witnessing that wonderful time in our life. It was perfect.
I can’t remember our vows word for word. The papers we had seamed to have gone missing, but I know I got choked up at the start of my vows and added an embarrassing yet funny, ” don’t worry, they are happy tears” as I re-started to read. (I can’t wait to watch our wedding video and here them this weekend. We have had our video for a while but wanted to save it for our anniversary. Thank you to the fabulous Video Horizons for capturing the day!)
Then there was out act of service portion of the ceremony… Let me tell you, cowboy boots without socks… not a good idea. We still laugh over his foot getting stuck and me not being able to pull off his boots till this day.
Then finally the much awaited I now pronounce your husband and wife!!!!
I don’t think my smile could have been any bigger at this very moment. This is where the day began to blur a little as moments started to happen so fast.
There were bubbles blow and a quick get-a-away in my dad’s Corvette.
Followed by family photos.
Then photos of us and our bridal party.
Then can the reception, the party! As we stood in the back of the light waiting for our entrance song, Toby Keith Made in America, to come on I remember thinking, ” This is how all my brides feel. This the what I have the honor of capturing every time I shoot a wedding. Then I heard it. This was my wedding day and my entrance song. You got to love the faces we all make when we come into the hall. There photos are never picturesque… So here for your viewing pleasure and a laugh is mine.
The toasts were given and then came the blessing. This is the second time I took in a mental picture. Things slowed down again and I stole a glance while everyones eyes were closed and heads were bowed. The hall looked perfect. All my heard work and long hours finding the perfect unique and different centerpiece for each table. The food, made with love by family and friends, smelled amazing, and the warmth of the fire behind us and the warmth of his hand holding mine sealed my second most memorable mental picture.
Then came time for the cake cutting and no he didn’t smear it all over my face. Sorry to disappoint. 😉 We did add a little dab to the nose though for good measure.
Time stood still. I can’t even remember what we talked about during our first dance.
Everyone around us seamed to disappear and the only person in the room was Aaron.
Leading up the the day I would tear up as “God Gave Me You” by Black Shelton would come on by in that moment in time, I could hardly hear the song.
Then came the time to dance with my daddy. I lost it. He even cried too.
No parent dance would be complete if we didn’t dance with our new dad’s and mom’s too. 🙂
I remember the anniversary dance where Larry, our wonderful DJ, invited every married couple onto the dance floor. The longest married couple would be the last couple standing. My grandma and grandpap were the last couple. I had no idea they would win and the kiss they shared at the end of the dance is a moment that I will never forget.
A little dancing and a little fun.
Our kids candy toss for all our small guests.
Then the garter and bouquet toss for the rest. However, I have never really understood why it’s call the garter and bouquet toss when the bouquet is thrown first… Shouldn’t that be the other way around? Or is that a Western PA thing?
To end the night off right the rain cleared yet again and the sun peaked out for some of my favorite photos.
Then back inside for the bridal dance… Now those of you who are not from Western PA might wonder, just like Aaron did, what the heck is a bridal/money dance. Well to lay it out for you simply, you pay to dance with the bride, and sometimes the groom too. After the long line of guest have danced the brides feet off all of the guest surround the bride, blocking the groom out. His job is to then break through the crowd and steal away his bride.
After trying for several minutes to break through, me hubby had an idea…
After photographing 122 weddings I still have yet to see another groom do this. I guess it just makes my bridal dance all the more memorable. : )
Then finally the day was done and and it was time for us to make our exit.
One year ago…
I said “I do.” to my best friend and life long companion. I would re-live that day all over again if I could. In a year we have grown closer together though life’s challenges and started writing our own family story. Aaron came on staff as my second shooter for all of our weddings and I decided to take the business back to the basics and stick with what I love, weddings and seniors. Aaron also stared his own company, Jackson Renovations. Even thought that year has flown by, I have been blessed with a man who supports me, shares my dreams and dreams with me, and even keeps me down to earth. I couldn’t imagine a greater blessing. I can’t wait to see what God had for us for years to come.
– The Jackson –