We had just finished a year long journey around the world, having left in November of 2016 and returning on January 1st 2018. During the entire year there was one thing that we were always thinking about and looking forward to: our wedding.
We had set a date and venue before we left on our adventure and throughout the year we gathered inspiration and became increasingly more excited for the big day. When we arrived home in January, we jumped right into planning. We had six months to create the wedding we had been dreaming about for so long. For the most part, everything went smoothly. We had an incredible planner who helped in more ways than I thought possible, as well as friends and family who also helped make our dream come true.
Our nine year anniversary was on March 14th. I didn’t do anything special – flowers and a card – as I figured we had a wedding coming up, right? Well, apparently Rach didn’t feel the same way. She had planned a surprise trip to Tulum, Mexico where we spent a week eating amazing food and relaxing on the beach. The months rolled by and we moved into our apartment, caught up with friends and family and spent time at the cottage doing all the things we missed while we were away. Finally, we were one week away from the big day. We had friends coming in from other parts of the world, we had written our speeches and vows, signed the marriage certificate at city hall and were pretty well finished with all the last minute details.
We had decided that it would be nice for us to get out of the city a day early and head to Niagara to decompress. We tried to relax but our minds whirled with excitement as days shortened to hours before we would say ‘I do’. We barely slept in those last two days. Our friends arrived on Friday and so we spent time relaxing, talking and drinking by the pool. We had a big dinner for all our friends and siblings that night and took comfort in seeing all the familiar faces that would be there to welcome us into marriage.
At 5am on the morning of Saturday July 14th, we were both wide eyed and ready to go. Breakfast wasn’t served until 8am so we stayed in bed and talked about how excited we were to finally see our dream wedding come true and to actually be able to call each other husband and wife.
During the months of planning we only ever got to see small parts of the bigger picture; choosing all the things that would make the day as perfect as possible and now we would finally get to see it all come together. We had breakfast together and then as the bridesmaids arrived to get their hair and makeup done, the groomsmen and I took our leave to start getting ready at the venue. We played guitar, talked and did anything else that I could think of to keep my mind off the fact that I may not be able to make it through my vows without crying.
Time seemed to slow at that point for me. It seemed like hours and hours had gone by before the photographers told me that my bride was arriving and to get ready for the first look. I could barely contain myself (and can barely contain myself writing this). I was beyond excited for her to see my suit! After months of creation and design with an extraordinary company, she would finally get to see what I would be wearing on the day of our wedding (I was pretty excited to get to see her dress as well!). She had gone to a bunch of fittings and kept telling me how I was going to be blown away. That I was.
We had both been very secretive of our outfits, wanting the surprise to be as genuine as possible, and it was! I turned around and my knees went weak. I knew she would look beautiful, but seeing a real life angel standing in front of me was just overwhelming. After catching my breath, taking some pictures and trying desperately to keep my composure, we were told that it was almost time to walk down the aisle.
It was finally time to say our vows, our ‘I Do’s and to confirm our love for each other in the eyes of our friends and family. We walked to the top of the aisle with our parents and I was surprisingly calm as I started making my way to the arch. We had decided long ago that we didn’t like the tradition where the woman is given away to the groom at the end of the isle, so we came up with a way that would make us feel like instead of one being given to the other, it would be us embarking on a journey together.
Rach met me halfway and we began the adventure of a lifetime by walking hand in hand down the aisle and into our lives together, as husband and wife. Our officiant spoke beautifully, taking inspiration from our adventures and our lives to create his personalized ceremony. We read our vows to each other, placed rings on each other’s fingers and finally sealed it with a kiss.
After a short reprieve and outfit change, we pulled up to the dinner tent in my 1965 Chevy Impala and made our way to our table.
Our friends and family gave some beautiful speeches. It was a whirlwind of dancing, pictures and laughter as the night passed by in what seemed like an instant. There was a ferris wheel, horses, lawn games and a dessert table to end all dessert tables!
Before we knew it, the night was over and the acoustic session with the band was just starting. I ran to get my new guitar that Rachel had gifted to me and sat down to play some music. Some friends sang along and another friend brought out his trumpet. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the night: our friends and family gathered around, playing music, drinking, laughing and singing together.
When it was all over, we jumped into the bus we had rented and went back to our little B&B with our closest friends to finish the night together. We spent a couple more hours talking, laughing and catching up with friends from out of town and by the end of it all my face hurt from smiling so much.
The next day we woke up, piled into the car with eight of our friends and caravanned up to the cottage for a couple days of sun, surfing and relaxing on the dock. Our wedding was more perfect than we could have even imagined and we are so thankful to the people that helped make it happen.
After nine years of dating and three years of engagement, we finally get to call each other husband and wife. The adventure we have set out for ourselves is going to be nothing short of epic and we can’t wait to be able to share it all with you.