We were in the middle of the woods and I saw his back towards me, his foot nervously making shapes on the ground. Our photographer said, "When you're ready, call out his name and he'll turn around." I couldn't get the word out of my mouth. I just stood there, watching him, as tears filled my eyes. After what seemed like ten minutes, I finally cleared my throat and called out his name. He turned and I saw him. This man that I've wanted to marry for years. The man I would call "husband" in just a few short hours.
It was our moment.
When I saw him brush tear drops from his cheek, I thought my heart would burst. All the stresses, arguments, late night DIY projects, and planning. The weight of all of that. It rolled off me in that moment. I no longer cared about the torrential downpour of rain that was coming. I didn't mind if the parking lot was full of cars and there were no places to park. Nothing in me even thought about that as I walked towards him. All I saw was him: my forever love.
As the day unfolded there were so many moments that I will treasure in my heart forever:
Seeing my in-laws and no longer thinking of them as "his" parents, but as my own. Walking down the aisle accompanied by all five of my brothers. Bawling and laughing our way through each moment of our ceremony, officiated by my oldest brother. Sneaking around to the side of the lake to surprise everyone. Standing on a stand up paddle board, next to my husband, in the middle of the lake that I grew up playing ice hockey on. Coming into our reception and being greeted with hugs, laughter and, "DID YOU PLAN THAT?!"
During the reception my favorite moment was when I heard one of my brother's voices over the microphone, saying, "Brooke, come up here. Before we start the dancing, me and the rest of the brothers want to do something." I thought for sure they would tell some embarrassing story about me. But, instead they told everyone about this song that my dad and I used to call "our song." My dad always said it would be our father-daughter song when I got married someday. However, when my dad passed away a few years before, I knew that wouldn't happen. In honor of him, the brothers explained that they would each take turns dancing with me to that song. It was the sweetest surprise I could've imaged. I don't think I could ever be able to say how much that moment meant to me.
Those moments. And these people. They made this day so entirely special to us.
We did "us." We didn't do a lot of traditional things that didn't hold significance for us. I danced like a mad woman to every flippin' song of our reception. And it was awesome.
Drew and I learned so much during this season of life. It was such an honor to be a bride during the same year as so many of my brides. Being on the other side, being a bride instead of photographer/bridesmaid/friend, I learned so, so much. I am thankful that I can relate to my upcoming brides on such a different level than I did before. There are a few things Drew and I have "tweaked" now that we've been a bride/groom. And I couldn't be more excited to share that with our upcoming weddings/couples!
Thank you to our amazing vendors, esp. our photographer that provided these special images: Roger Ellsworth.
If you want to see more from our day, here is our wedding video by kJoy Photos: