small pieces of joy

pieces of joy in each day

our story: the big day!

on August 27, 2011

This is the sixth installment of the story of my relationship with Jonathan. If you missed any part, check them out before reading this one to get the full story. 

1.  our story: the meet-cute

2.  our story: the start of something good

3.  our story: going the distance

4. our story: the proposal


5. our story: preparing for marriage 


The Big Day!

So after much preparation, the day arrived. The night before was absolutely perfect. The rehearsal was a little surreal, but I loved it. We had the rehearsal dinner at Jonathan’s parents’ house with delicious food and wonderful company. We had close to 60 people intimately seated in all areas in the house. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We got to mingle, share stories, and I felt the nerves ease knowing that all was right in those moments. I slept fairly well for it being the night before my wedding, my cousin texted me at 1am (thanks Abigail),  and I only had my mattress and a few clothes in my room. It felt a little empty….

I woke up to a phone call from my mother saying the elevator in the reception hall was broken and the air hadn’t been turned on yet. EEK. My family was working hard that morning to get the hall decorated and I really had no idea how to figure it all out, being that I needed to get ready to get married! I later found out my mom tracked down the priest while he was writing his homily for the morning mass and with the efforts of a family friend they got the right people to come and try and fix everything. The elevator did not get fixed, but the air did get turned on. Of course not everything can go right. 🙂

I was so nervous as I was getting my hair done that I didn’t want to eat anything, and I kept thinking of things that could go wrong. But there were some hilarious people in the hair salon that morning which really helped to calm me down. And once my mom and cousin showed me the boutenieers an the bouquets I was getting more and more excited.

We arrived a the church and began to get dressed. I was still a little nervous, so I decided to go downstairs to the adoration chapel to say some prayers before all the craziness began. It is amazing how different I felt walking back up those stairs. I was back to my joy-filled self and the nerves had been washed away.

Before pictures began my dad came to meet me and escorted me to see Jonathan for the first time all dressed up. What an emotional moment, to see my dad, filled with emotion, taking me to the love of my life. I shed a few tears as I walked with my daddy to see my man. Those few intimate moments before pictures were priceless. We just got to be together and share our thoughts before we officially were married.

After pictures I went back in hiding. I snuck out a few times to listen to the music because many of my dear friends were the musicians, and I didn’t want to miss it. When I heard them singing “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” I got goosebumps. Sigh. From that moment, and throughout the ceremony the music we picked filled me with joy, and the readings spoke so beautifully, and the homily was incredible. All during the mass I felt the love and support of my family, as well as God’s arms lovingly wrapping around us. It was so beautiful. Everyone talks about how amazing it is to hear the vows professed to them. I fully agree. There is nothing quite like hearing that someone is pledging their life to help you get to heaven.

After the mass we enjoyed more pictures at a park I visited many times in my childhood. We had a blast and got most pictures in before a wall of rain decided to grace us with its presence. Needless to say most of us were soaking wet after arriving at the reception. My dad sacrificed his dryness to help me get inside dry. My brothers arrived sporting yellow trash bags… I really loved that it rained. 🙂

The decorations were bright and fun, the dinner was delicious, the toasts were funny and heartfelt, and the dancing was non-stop. Of course celebrating with around 250 friends and family was the best part. I loved being able to finally share my relationship with Jonathan with everyone, especially since we dated long-distance and many people didn’t know much about us!

It was crazy to plan such a big event. It cost a lot of money, even though we really did a good job on cutting costs. It was stressful. But it was more than I had ever dreamed of.

I want to thank all of those people who helped to make our wedding day fabulous. Thanks to my wedding coordinator/consultant cousin Courtney for not only keeping me sane and helping me make decisions, but for working with your mother (thanks Aunt Carol!) to make such beautiful boutonnieres and bouquets. Thanks to my amazing maid of honor for always steering me in the right direction, and for living with me for 4 years!! Thanks to my family members who helped to carry boxes up the stairs in the non air conditioned reception hall. Thanks to the family and friends who decorated tables, arranged flowers, and made the reception hall look beautiful. Thank you to my friends who gave advice, listened to me, and encouraged me while I was going through many life changes at once. And last of all, thank you to all who prayed for us at any part during our journey. All of you, whether present that day or with us in spirit, are so important to us.

As of July 24, 2010 I am Mrs. Ashley, and married to a pretty stellar man. Thanks be to God. (400 days tomorrow!!)


Stay tuned for the next installment….our story: the honeymoon…which hopefully will be coming without as much delay as this one! 


(Professional photos were taken by Susan at Beau Vaughn Photography.)





2 responses to “our story: the big day!

  1. Laura V says:

    Awww…finally got around to reading this and I LOVED reliving your big day! 🙂


  2. […] Stay tuned for the next installment of the series! our story: the big day […]


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