Bridal Babe Blog
Amanda Hawkins pt. 4
The Wedding Celebration
Rain or Shine!
Every bride has their own wedding-day fears. One of mine was rain on my wedding day because we were scheduled to have our ceremony outside. Sure enough, I woke up Saturday morning, April 3rd to the sound of thunder and water pouring from the skies. We went on with the morning with the perfect team, hair and makeup for the bridal party, my mom, and myself by Jade Wade Beauty and photography by Grant Foto Wedding. Soon, we didn’t even realize the rain had stopped and the sun peeked through the clouds to create the perfect day.
It Takes a Team
My groom, Matt put his groomsmen to work and they all took on the tasks of decorating the tables and the ceremony site. My sister-in-law and Matron of Honor, Bonnie took on the role of the florist, arranging flowers for the start of the aisle. As much as it drove me nuts not getting to decorate, I knew I was in the best hands. Matt and I planned our decor in detail with all of the extra time we had during “Snovid.” My bridal party and groom knew exactly what I envisioned and wanted me to relax, which eventually, I did.
The First Look
The morning flew by. The next thing I knew, it was time to put on my gown and take pictures for the first look with my dad and brother. Steven Grant (Grant Foto Wedding) captured the moment perfectly. Our videographer, Emanuel with Complete Weddings-Austin had the perfect eye for detail too. If you are debating on spending the money on a photographer and videographer- DO IT! If you are debating on doing your own makeup or having someone do it for you, save yourself the stress and book someone, but make sure you have seen their work and that if you don’t know their work, you do a trial before the wedding! You should have an idea of what you want and if your stylist can do it. There will be countless moments on your wedding day that you will want to remember. Spend the money on professionals to make you look and feel beautiful throughout it all and always be reminded of it in your pictures and videos!
Here Comes the Bride!
I started getting messages from my friends that Matt looked a little nervous as he stood at the alter waiting for me. I could feel the butterflies doing somersaults in my stomach, but I was not nervous, I felt excited. It was time. I remember taking my dad’s arm and walking down the steps slowly. I looked around and locked eyes with Matt and then, without even realizing it, I began walking quite quickly, although others would say I was running, down the aisle. Russel, my dad reminded me to breathe and slow down. I giggled. Oops. My dad looked at me one more time before we reached the end of the aisle and whispered, “it’s not too late, we can go to Mexico tonight!” I nudged him with tears welled up in my eyes and a giggle escaping my mouth. Don’t get me wrong, my dad loves Matt, it was just his dad-humor.
Matt’s vows were thoughtful and beautiful and immediately after I interrupted the ceremony to hug him, and our officiant told me “it’s not that time yet!”, everyone chuckled. As I began my vows, I felt my throat close up and water filling my eyes. I took a deep breath and recited my vows to Matt in front of all our family and closest friends. Right in the middle of my vows, the wedding down the road at another venue had just finished their ceremony and their cheers commenced, without hesitation, my teacher instincts kicked in and a “HEY!” jumped out of my mouth. It was one of those funny moments that was so memorable and the crowd and wedding party, including my soon-to-be husband, were in tears laughing. I pulled it back together and finished my vows. Our unity ceremony was to water a Jasmine tree because we love the movie Aladdin and it was the first play I ever saw on Broadway when Matt took me there for his birthday a few months into dating. We also loved the idea of being able to plant our new love tree and watch it grow on the property we just bought to build our future home on. A unity ceremony can be whatever you want it to, but finding something that is meaningful to both of you will make it all the more special.
Mr. & Mrs.
The next thing I know, wedding bands slipped on our fingers, I do’s were said and we are officially husband and wife! Matt kissed me and dipped me while our family and friends cheered us on. We took pictures during the cocktail hour and tried to eat dinner together, but that never really happened. Our guests came up to our sweetheart table and it was so amazing being able to see and talk to them since Covid had taken away so many opportunities to enjoy time with family and friends. That was more important to us than eating, plus I was far too excited to eat! We served salmon with a lemon butter sauce and chicken piccata with sun-dried tomato mashed potatoes, risotto, and broccolini. We sat together and enjoyed toasts from Matt’s dad and my father, Matron of Honor, and Best Man. BJ, Matt’s Best Man, told embarrassing stories that made us blush and the crowd laugh. Bonnie read her speech and then performed her own version of “Fresh Prince” lyrics that were such a hit!
Finally, it was time to dance! Our DJ was Alex from Complete Wedding and Events-Austin. He was wonderful! If you are on the fence about a DJ versus a live band, pick what kind of party YOU want to enjoy, a good DJ can either make or break a party, but when they make it, everyone has a blast! Our first dance was “You Had Me From Hello” by Kenny Chesney. It was so romantic, and all we saw was one another in a crowd full of loved ones. It all went by so fast, which is all the more reason to spend the money on professionals to document your big day so you can enjoy it forever!
Let There be Cake
We cut our delicious cake from Cakes Couture and fed each other. The bouquet toss went off without a hitch then Matt did a power slide entrance to remove my garter before he sent it flying into the crowd of bachelors. Before long, the DJ announced the last dance, and our late-night snack of honey butter chicken biscuits was a big hit among departing guests. Then, it was time for our final dance. We danced together to Lost in this Moment by Big & Rich while our guests lit up their sparklers outside. Walking out together hand in hand with all the sparks flying and our loved ones was breathtaking! I will never forget this perfect day or all the incredible friends, family, and vendors that made it possible! Take time to breathe and (this is really important) take time to enjoy one another at your wedding. Laugh together, have fun, and do your best to remember the special moments because the whole evening goes by so incredibly fast! You’ll face speed bumps and detours throughout your planning and even on your big day, but take it in stride and you will find yourself having more fun than you thought possible. I always wanted a fairy tale wedding and it really turned out to be one.
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