You’ve likely seen some of these images before. Our wedding was perfect. It was early spring and Gabe and I were madly in love. We filled our blended family’s first day with lots of details that years later I still adore.
But when I say it was perfect, I mean that we ended the day married. The day itself was filled with lots of imperfect details.
Today, I’m sharing ten of the perfect and not-so-perfect details of this day years ago that you might not understand at first glance from the pictures above.
- My ring features six side stones, one for each of our sweeties. Our pictures feature five children, because our middle son and ring bearer chose not to participate in the ceremony or reception. He and his brother squabbled 10 minutes before I walked down the aisle, he ran off into the woods and we didn’t see him again until we cut the cake two hours later.
- The girls and I shopped endlessly for dresses. The winner was a $20 lace lovey from Target. Each wore her dress several times after the wedding. Frugality for the win!
- As I got ready, Lottie helped me with my shoes. I’d had visions of my mother and grandmother and daughters with me as we prepared for the walk down the aisle. Lottie was our only daughter who was able to be with me in the dressing room the full-time. Loyalty binds show up in powerful ways during transitions. Change is hard.
- Not convinced yet about mixed emotions in a blended family wedding? May I present little Lottie and Simon’s ceremony photos as evidence? Many of our pictures of the day show worried kids. Yes, it was a happy day for all of us, and also all six often looked like this.
- We had nearly 30 children at our wedding, and a full table of entertainment for the kiddos. The crowd favorite was a scavenger hunt that helped the children get to know our adult guests.
- Those lollipop topiaries are styrofoam balls glued on gold spray-painted candlesticks. We bought ten bags of lollipops and made them at home as a family. Super fun and super cheap!
- The children picked the cake flavors, after extensive testing at cupcake shops all over town. We asked for an extra-large anniversary tier so we could celebrate our first family-versary all together.
- This is the only professional picture we have of Caden at the wedding. He came in from the woods just before we cut the cake. He made a beeline for me, worried because a bird had pooped on his new jacket. That boy needed his mama for a host of reasons in that moment, and we paused the pomp and circumstance for a cuddle.
- See Gabe telling me how much he loves me? Nope. He’s whispering that soon we’ll be in Mexico, far away from the noise and hustle and, for a short time, the complicated business of blending.
- We planned to toss paper airplanes as we left, thinking that the kids would like to make them and they probably couldn’t be turned into weapons like rice or destroyed like butterflies. We forgot.
The last two pictures are my favorites. Not because of how little our babies look as we gather to leave, or how much I still love that flower crown, but because of the sign in the background. For so long, I thought there was one way to be married, one way to parent and one way to a happy ending. I was wrong. The second reminds me of the power and beauty of new beginnings, no matter how perfectly imperfect.