These past few months have been full of trips to my hometown of Lowville, NY (from Buffalo- a 4 hour drive), cutting paper for decorations, shoveling mounds of wood chips, and planting hundreds of succulents. My then fiancee helped my dad build a bridge, and he whipped up a beautiful arch only a couple weeks before our big day. Everything that went into the day was a project--and I loved it.
While I wasn't home, my parents worked so hard to make my dream a reality. One of my best friends took charge as a wedding coordinator and another girl organized all the food/ food related tasks. Over the weeks, groups of kids worked in the woods, getting dirty, wet, and tired. All for this day. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude.
After getting ready in the morning, Mark and I had chosen to do something a bit different and unconventional (which to anyone who knows us is no surprise). With my pastor's direction, we did an "intention of marriage". We wanted a small, intimate group to be there to support us as we entered into the journey of marriage, to pray with us, and listen as my pastor shared a very personal word and scripture.
Mark and I had waited. We had saved our first kiss. And that made entering into the covenant of marriage extra special to us. It was not just a formality, it was a commitment to give ourselves as pure humans to each other. To love each other unconditionally for life. We were not married on the bridge, we simply shared our intention to. My dad still walked me down the bridge and Mark saw me for the first time--and teared up. It was beautiful. Following that, our families prayed around us, speaking protection, wisdom, and encouragement into our lives.
I would not have traded this time for the world. The knowledge that these families of ours were there--not just for the big day, but committing to supporting us forever, was incredible.
Afterward, Mark and I snagged a few photos with my incredible photographer and I went off to hide in the cabin next to the pond before the ceremony with the rest of our guests at 4pm...
To be continued....