Just over a month ago Wade and I set out for Sioux Falls, SD. We were on a mission, many miles and hours ahead & at the end of our trip was an event that we had been anticipating for some time. We were on our way to get married. The trip is just over 450 miles to Sioux Falls. We woke up early on the morning we were driving and set off, our goal was to get to Sioux Falls in time to apply for our marriage license before the County Courthouse closed, we made it. The process was pretty painless and shortly after we arrived we were off, papers in our hands.
The next couple of days are a blur, family and friends arriving and last-minute appointments and plans to be made. Wade had groomsmen driving and flying in from across the country, my friends mostly are in the Sioux Falls area still, or have family there.
Over the next few days we saw so many amazing people who have been such huge parts of our lives, friends from our childhood, family we don’t get to see very often or haven’t met, people from our lives who have helped shape the people we are today. I think I can honestly say I have never received so many hugs as I did in that weekend, it was pretty astounding how happy people are when you yourself are beaming.
Before I left the Quad Cities friends and co-workers who couldn’t be there kept reminding me something would go wrong and not to worry, in fact I think absolutely nothing went wrong. The reality is that there were a few moments that weren’t exactly how I had imagined them in my head, but they were pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of the weekend.
The wedding day itself is a massive confused memory of people, faces, moments, but they are all positive. We woke up, kissed each other goodbye until later and I was off to get my hair done. We weren’t to see each other until our first look later that afternoon. Wade spent time with his Groomsmen during the morning, he had gifted them all a superhero t-shirt and they had fun taking pictures around the campus.
Our wedding was held at the Center for Western Studies on the Augustana College (now University) campus. I am lucky that my dad is the director of such a cool facility and it was a beautiful venue for our ceremony and reception. After we were all dressed we drove down to Falls Park and Wade and I did our first look and we took pictures with our wedding party. It was a warm day and the boys did great surviving the sun!
Taking pictures at Falls Park is something I have seen friends and others do for their wedding, it’s something I have always wanted to be part of my wedding day and they turned out beautifully!
We ended up with some extra time after our photo session in the park and took a short drive to my old place of work, the Old Courthouse Museum where we took a few more shots. These also turned out beautifully. I have worked plenty of weddings, events, parties at the Old Courthouse and seen many a bride walk down the beautiful staircase in her dress, on this day, I got to be that bride and it was pretty fantastic.
It was so interesting as we were going around to take pictures the number of people who stared, congratulated us, I saw one lady pull out her phone and take a picture too. Having never been a bride before this was all pretty new, I suppose it was like being a celebrity for a day, people are drawn to your happiness and just want to be part of it.
The ceremony was great, we had asked my favorite professor from college, Dr. Sandra Looney to officiate, as an English professor she was the perfect person to create a beautiful tribute to our love.
The ceremony itself lasted about 20 minutes, the moment my Dad and I stepped out I thought, oh my goodness how could anything possibly be more wonderful when I’m surrounded by so many amazing people, my Dad by my side and my future husband just ahead.
I know we smiled and winked a lot during Sandra’s speech, we both didn’t really know what to do, but the feeling of love and support is overwhelming. I think my cheeks hurt for days after. I supposed something that continues to stand out in my mind even over a month after our actual wedding day is the insane amount of love we felt that day and the days leading up and after. I honestly can’t believe how many wonderful people are in our lives and we are so truly blessed.
From our friends who helped us out by taking pictures, donating their times and talents, to our wedding party who have supported us & agreed to stand with us, to our families who mean more to us than is possible to express – we are a lucky couple.
Picture 1 & 2 were taken by my good friend Aaron Dang.
Pictures 3-8 were taken and edited by our friend Jason Miller.