Oh boy, I am so excited to share some of the highlights from mine and Ricky’s wedding weekend! Make sure to stick around to the end of the blog post for our wedding video! It was so intimate, relaxing & full of joy as we celebrated! Both our families took a road trip up to Flagstaff two days before the actual ceremony. We stayed in two cabins and spent most of our time just relaxing and spending time together. All of Ricky’s family is from out of state and this was their first time all being together in over a year.
Call us crazy but we actually didn’t have an exact wedding location until two days before the wedding. Yup, you read that right! Our photographer had suggested Hart Prairie near Snow bowl. We googled it and it looked perfect… so we went for it, but we had never been there before. When we got into Flagstaff Ricky and I went exploring, and the first place we stopped was the exact location we chose. We walked to the top of a hill and surrounding us was nature… EVERYWHERE in every direction. It was so silent and peaceful. There wasn’t a single person spotted. We pretty quickly new that was where we wanted to get married… oh and not to mention there was a perfect trail (isle) leading right to the spot.
The following day we just rested. My sister and I went into town for coffee in the morning. My nephews played legos for most of the day & Ricky’s family went to the airport to get his brother, sister-in law and niece. That afternoon my mom, sister and I made the flower arrangements for the dinner table. Oh and I totally forgot about a boutonniere for Ricky, so my sister made him one. She also made the cutest hair piece for me out of all real flowers! That evening everyone came over for dinner. We played corn hole, laid in hammocks and laughed a lot. It was such a sweet evening together!
Then it was the wedding day… the day we had been waiting for! I woke up without a single thing to do… REALLY, I didn’t know how I was going to entertain myself until the wedding! My family went for a little walk in the woods, made some lunch, played some games & just relaxed. That day Ricky and I were texting that it felt like the worlds loooongest day because we were so eager to get the show on the road! Around 3PM we started to get ready! My sister being a professional hair and makeup artist did all of our hair and makeup. We jammed out to some Beyonce & oldies. It was lots of fun!
Then our photographer (Scott English) & videographer (Jake Weisler) showed up! Once they got there is when it really started to hit me that it was HAPPENING… Shortly after my best friend showed up and we had a good ol’ time laughing and getting ready!
While I was getting ready our photographer & videographer went over to hang out with Ricky. A month before I moved I was going through some old stuff and I found a short journal I had written to my future husband when I was 17. I found it so funny & had to share it with Ricky.
When it was finally time for the ceremony my sister and I drove 20 minutes into the woods on a dirt road to our ceremony location. We laughed & danced… as we usually do. Once it was ceremony time all the nerves went away & I was SO dang ready to marry Ricky!
As my dad and I walked up the hill it got SOOOO dang windy. My hair was flying in my face and my dress was going crazy… but I kind loved it. It made our ceremony feel a little more unplanned & wild. Our communion tray blew on the ground twice. We just laughed about it!
For years I had sent my sister “potential wedding ideas.” A few weeks before the wedding she sent me some photos I’ve sent her over the years & a majority of them had some kind of geometric alter. Initially I didn’t want any kind of alter because it’d just create more work for someone to set up… but she offered to make it & set it up for us. Let me say, I am so thankful we took them up on it. I felt like the triangle alter added such a special touch. A simple reminder that marriage is between Ricky, me & God.
Our ceremony was just the best. There was something about it being so intimate that made every aspect of the ceremony so special. It didn’t feel like everyone was watching us get married, but participating with us. We had worship, communion, & a group prayer. It was so special. When Ricky & I first talked about getting married I told him there were only two things I wanted : a pretty meadow like location & our closest people there to celebrate with us. Both those things we got.
“Ricky… We made it! This day feels so surreal… Surreal because I genuinely thought I’d never get to be a bride. Just before I met you I had accepted the fact that I’d probably walk through life alone. I don’t say that to get pity, but to show God’s true and perfect provision over our relationship. From the very beginning when you sent me a message saying that you felt God was leading you to message me again I’ve seen God’s hand in the midst of every single step of our relationship. From the very beginning I’ve had such peace in everything… so much peace that after our second date I started writing you this journal because something inside of me told me that we’d be standing here together one day… and here we are, the perfect day to start a new adventure together!
I’ve never been the type of girl who dreams about all the details of her wedding day… (obviously) but I’ve always dreamed about the man I’d see at the end of the isle and how lucky I am that I got to see your face at the end of the isle.
In our short amount of time together you’ve been such a picture of Jesus to me. You’ve served me well, protected me in every way, shown me grace time and time again & have loved me unconditionally. You’ve reminded me of the love I don’t deserve, but Christ so freely gives. So thank you for leading me closer to our Savior. For praying for me often, for always reminding me my position before God. Apart from salvation, you’ve been the greatest gift here on earth.
Today I can stand here knowing that you are the best fit for me… without a doubt the man God has chosen me to spend the rest of my days with.
So today I promise to love you unconditionally. To encourage you daily. To pursue you fiercely. To respect you intentionally. I promise to walk through every hill and valley of life with you & encourage you to seek Christ’s face in the midst of it all. I promise to serve you as Christ serves his children. I promise to be quick to listen, slow to speak & act out of love not of anger. I promise to put your own needs before my own. I promise to never stop pursuing you. I promise to always forgive & pursue reconciliation in all things. I promise to make our home a safe place where people can come and experience Christ’s love. I promise to love our children as you have loved me & as Christ has loved us. I vow to be your encourager, helper, and faithful partners through all our days until Jesus returns or calls us home.”
“Shea… Here we are. This is it. The moment that we both thought would NEVER get here. How exciting it is to know that every day for the rest of my life, I will wake up married to the most beautiful, kind, loving, caring, and compassionate woman in the world. I can’t even begin to adequately express how blessed I am to be marrying you.
I knew very early on that I wanted to marry you. I knew that without a single doubt in my mind. Every night after seeing you or talking to you I would spend time in prayer, thanking God for putting you in my life. In my prayers I would always repeat over and over, “I think I’m supposed to marry this woman.” God had placed that desire in my heart and I just knew it was going to happen.
These past few months have been full of ups and downs, both I’m thankful for. It shows me that through the good times, we will rejoice with each other always.. through the rough times, we will be able to get through it and come out the other side with each other, hand in hand. And we will do that knowing that no matter what, we still love each other.
Now.. I know that with marriage comes a lot of hard work, sacrifice, and commitment. I’m ready to take on all the hard work, make all of the sacrifices, and commit to this marriage. Bold words, I know.. But I promise to stand by them. I promise to always be the strong leader that God has called me to be. A leader who will always make sure that he does what’s best for us spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I promise to keep Christ at the center of our marriage, and to always seek God’s wisdom and direction in any decision I make for us, no matter how big or small. I promise to always be a shoulder you can lean on. To always seek your wellbeing before mine. I promise to be with you as your teammate through all the difficult times where hard decisions have to be made.. through the sad times where things aren’t going our way… and through the happy times where we will experience joy and blessings. I promise to always keep my love strong for you. To seek new ways every day to show you just how special and important you are to me. To remind you daily of who you are in Christ through how I speak to you, the things I do for you, and in the ways I find to show you I love you. All of this I promise to do and so much more until the day we leave this earth to be with our father in Heaven.
I love you, Shealan, and I am ready to get this show on the road!”
After exploring with our videographer & photographer we said goodbye & headed back to the cabin for dinner. My sister took my camera and snapped away! I really wanted our dinner to feel like a fancy picnic! I loved it. We go our rentals from Material Girls Weddings. All the decor came from Goodwill or other thrift stores! It was like a treasure hunt to find pink, yellow or orange glass! With the candles lit and the lights twinkling, it was the perfect setting to celebrate together. It was so great to look down both ends of the table and see our people. The ones who have been through the thick and thin of life with us.
Overall, it was the worlds most perfect day! I wish I could go back and relive it over and over again. I’m not lying when I said I never thought I’d get married… so to see myself in these photos and video I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have married Ricky. We both know marriage will be a lot of work, but there isn’t anyone else we’d want to do it with. We are grateful. Grateful for God’s perfect plan & timing. Grateful that God chose us for one another.
Thank you for celebrating this season of life with me! So many of you have sent encouraging messages, gifts, etc. and it means the world to us, truly! I hope this blog post gives you a little glimpse into our wedding day & just how special it really was!
Photographer: Scott English Photo
Videographer: Jake Weisler Films
Hair & Makeup: Braids and Bobbypins
Bouquet: Jan Dekker Designs
Rentals: Material Girls Weddings