My Wedding- Post Five: The Moments

The last (probably?) in my series of wedding posts. To see the others, filled chock-full with pretty picture from Scotty Perry, click here:

Post 1: The Invitations

Post 2: What We Wore

Post 3: The Vendors

Post 4: The DIY Details

Part of the reason I’ve created these posts about my wedding is for myself. I want to remember. I’m so thankful for photographs, which capture moments and expressions otherwise lost. I’m thankful for photos that remind me of things that I would have not even known happened on my wedding day, and for photos that preserve the memories that I could never forget.

I’ve chosen some photos that document these moments, and I thought I’d share them and the stories that go with them.

These first two remind me of my eagerness, delight, joy, anticipation, and antsy-ness the day of the wedding. I peered out the window to take a peek at all of the delivery trucks bringing the tent, the flowers, the food and everything else. There were a circus of people down there, busy as ants, making my dreams come true. Later I peered out the windows to catch a glimpse of my handsome soon-to-be husband arriving in his tuxedo! The photo on the right is a glimpse of my bridal makeup for the first time. It was so fun to be the bride and to just feel gorgeous on your big day!

I was the last one that morning to get ready– to have my makeup done, hair did, and dress on. My bridesmaids were ready, and came into the room, just looking at me. I looked around at all of my beautiful friends and family and told them that I just wanted to freeze time and remember that moment. I felt so loved, to have them all surrounding me, beaming, excited for my big day. I was honored at their presence, and kept telling them all how beautiful they all looked. It is such a gift on your wedding day to be surrounded by people who know you well and love you.

Like I said… they were beautiful. My closest friends– Maegan, Tiffany, Laura, Charity, Shannon, my sister Amy, and Courtney. I have been friends with every one of them for at least 10 years.

The nervous groom awaits his bride.

The first look. I am so glad we did this.

He was nervous that he was going to somehow mess something up on me– my hair or makeup or dress. I kept telling him it was okay, he wasn’t going to break me. I kissed him, and then tried to wipe away the lip gloss. It was some heavy duty stuff though because he ended up having to go inside to get it all off his face!

We showed each other our fancy-ness. I twirled and showed him my dress, and probably pointed out my hair extensions (dang! Can’t believe I just told you my secret!)

Brides– do the first look! If so, then you have time to get photos like these:

The walk down the aisle was a long one. It began with the walk under these gorgeous greenery covered arches. The girls started dropping their petals and taking their time wayyy back under the arches, long before they ever got to the actual aisle, so instead of dropping petals, they just beamed and flaunted their cute little selves down the aisle! My dad and I were still to come, and I remember chuckling at how long they were taking and hoping that the song would go on long enough for me to get down the aisle.

Incentive: Lee had gummy worms in his pocket to give the girls if they made it all the way there!

Us Nichols’ are tall folk. We had to duck under the arches, and before we started down, my dad was contemplating how he should duck. Should he go back like the limbo? No, I assured him. Then, on the walk up, we were muttering to each other out of the corner of our mouths about how the audience was not standing for the bride. It was just like nobody wanted to be the first to do it. As we got a little closer, Dad made a “stand up!” motion with his hand, which got everybody to our feet. I think we are kind of talking about this and laughing in the pic on the right.

I have this next one framed on my bedside table. I love the way he is looking at me.

Okay funny moment (but NOT funny at the time). So we’re all up at the altar, maybe there was a Scripture reading going on, and all of a sudden, I really felt like I got a bloody nose (which is not totally weird for me). I freaked out, grabbed the tissue I was hiding in a convenient place and envisioned the worst– blood dripping down my wedding dress– wouldn’t that have been the WORST?! Lee quietly assured me a minute later that I was okay– no bloody nose, but it was devastating for a minute! The other weird thing– like the whole day… at least through the ceremony I remember this being the case– one of my ears was stopped up and I couldn’t hear out of it. So you know when you talk and you can hear yourself inside your head? Yeah that was me. On my wedding day. Super annoying.

These are my good college friends Rob and Jeff. They used to sing together and lead worship together during our college days, and I always said that I wanted them to play at my wedding. When the big day was approaching, I still wanted this sentimental thing to happen– and when I asked them, they graciously agreed. Rob and his wife Hayley came all the way from D.C. and Jeff, Angela, and their second child– baby girl Avery came all the way from Jefferson City, Missouri. They had no way of practicing before the wedding– how would they? Via skype? And they played perfectly. I had them play one of my favorite songs ever– Psalm 118 by Shane and Shane for my “coming down the aisle song.” The song swells toward the end in this big climax, and it swelled as I came to meet the man I would marry. It was perfect and beautiful and as the song says– it really was the “day the Lord has made.” And we did rejoice. When I thought about doing a non-traditional song, I wasn’t sure how my mom or fiance might respond, but when they saw it was what I really wanted, they were all in– and this was one of my favorite decisions of the day.

Another awesome moment– the first kiss. We should have practiced more. He went in, we both turned our head in the same direction and knocked noses. We both turned our head again and knocked noses again, we laughed and finally, on the third try, got it right! Everybody laughed and then we turned to celebrate with them.

Once we got past the crowd– this is what I did about the first kiss!!

And Lee goes “You never turn your head that way!!!” I guess it was my fault. It made for a very fun moment though. Oh.. and I just noticed my cousin Kevin in the bottom left with the flower pinned in his hair. Nice, dude. Nice.

Time for hugs– from my sweet father in law– and my precious little flower girl, Lyrik! It was so neat to have everybody so excited and rejoicing with you !

During cocktail hour the bridal party went upstairs and we snuck in a few more portraits. Scotty was straddling us and standing over us on the bed. It was funny and a little awkward, but we still got some fun, sexy shots.

First dance. My husband is, to put it mildly, not much of a dancer. He doesn’t mind slow dancing with me, but anything with a beat he’s supposed to keep up with? Yeah thats another matter.

So, as we’re dancing I tell him– maybe you could spin me around or something– to which he says “Okay– but you’re gonna have to walk me through it.” Hahaha. Love him. So, this is me, spinning myself and trying to funkify our first dance a bit 🙂

My sweet niece, Rebecca Grace, named after both her mommy and me, and my gorgeous momma. First Becca tries to upstage me because most of the family hadn’t met her yet– and then she goes to the next level and wears a white dress?? Come on now Becca– have you no tact?

My dad gave a speech. I was worried. At my sister’s wedding we were ready to get the old fashioned hook and yank him off the stage. I knew there would be jokes– like about how Mizzou (my school) had just beat Illinois (Lee’s school) in football the day before. But there was also a lot of really sweet things that he said. That pic on the left is classic Dad… being a ham.

Toast by the best man Chris “The Harp” Harper. This guy will preach to crowds like nobody’s business– but when he was reading a Dr. Suess poem to us and making his speech- he was shaking like nobody’s business! I just couldn’t stop thinking about how much he was shaking and how nervous he was– because Harp never loses his cool! So thankful for the friend he’s been to us– what a best man he was–riding all the way to Florida with Lee for a night so he could ask my parents for my hand in marriage.

My sister’s speech. I was genuinely concerned about the kind of things that were going to be said here. As you can tell, she did a good job of embarrassing me– talking about the year I cried because I got underwear for Christmas, etc. etc. The jokes went on, but it was genuinely also the sweetest thing my sisters ever said to me. Thanks, A.

Cake cutting. This is always such a quick moment at weddings, that I’m glad its on camera, or I probably wouldn’t have remembered that I put it on his nose! I mean come on… anybody who knows me knows I wouldn’t have been able to resist that!

Aaaand the sibling dance. At my sisters wedding, us siblings did some hardcore hippie dancing together for a song, so we had to bust out the tradition again for my wedding. Lee’s siblings did something that involved holding hands in a triangle and twirling. Ohhh the sibling dance. Gotta love it. I love these pics b/c we are just being ridiculous and loving it. I danced so hard.

Time to say goodbye. I was being whisked away by Lauren (well, as fast as she could whisk me away) so they could get all the guests lined up  for our exit. My dad snagged me quick for a hug. Super sweet.

And my brother, who’d had a few at this point, was going around taking flowers out of the arrangements and giving them to all the pretty girls. I got a rose and a hug from my sweet little (big) brother.

As everybody was getting lined up and getting their sparklers lit, Lee and I are inside on a couch, and we start hearing everybody singing or shouting or something. We were all like what IS that? I find out later that somebody started singing “Proud to be an American” and everybody joined in. Awesome.

Once me made it into the Bentley, everybody was screaming things at us. I specifically remember my sister– whose comments I won’t repeat here, lol.

And then there’s this. Sultry and one of my favorites. My grandparents have a shot very similar to this from their wedding day and I wanted to recreate it. Love love love.

Memories. I will treasure these forever.

Want your own beautiful photos? I love Contact Jessica!

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