Ryan and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary yesterday with family on Lake Bruin and it couldn't have been a more intimate and relaxing weekend. We once again found ourselves surrounded by loved ones and completely embraced the art of mindfulness to soak it all in. It's amazing what memories you can walk away from when you live in the moment.
We laughed minute to minute. We cried tears of joy and hysteria at any given moment and even had a worship service for the kids Sunday morning on the dock while the sound of the water reminded us of our place in the world. It was a PERFECT way to end our first year together and start our second.
Until I upload pictures from the weekend I will focus on the ones captured a year ago.
I want to show you guys a few special memories that might not be meaningful to you but have significance to me (and possibly a few other readers, too). On the other hand, 90% of you seeing these pictures don't know any of us so there is no significance whatsoever. Moving on.
This picture below was taken right after the wedding party arrived at the church about 30 minutes before the guests were due to arrive. I overheard my then 16 year old cousin, Laura Beth, rehearsing in the sanctuary so I snuck off from the wedding coordinators to go hear her. I was later shooed out but before the coordinators found me the photographer captured this moment. Why was it so special? Ahh, I wish you could feel what I felt. I wish you could feel what I am feeling to this day when I see this picture. I've known Laura Beth since she was born and there was no doubt as to who was going to sing at the wedding. My friends assumed she was going to sing "some country song" and sound like a typical teenage family member that I had biased opinions towards and everyone felt obligated to allow her to sing at family events. They were just wrong. Ryan and I decided on "Down To The River To Pray". You might know it from the Alison Krauss version or from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? She had almost the entire guest list weeping.
***UPDATE*** I've received permission (somewhat) to post the video of Laura Beth singing during our wedding ceremony. We were not allowed to have photos taken during the actual ceremony and did not hire a videographer so Laura Beth's mom, my first cousin, secretly recorded her from the back of the pew. I love watching Pastor Katie getting swept away during this song. Grab a tissue, people.
The second image is of our wedding party. These people got us through one of what could have been the most difficult time in our lives, and I'm not referring to planning a wedding. These are our best friends. Our family. The amazing part is there are about 15 more people not pictured.
"Where are the pictures of your dad walking you down the aisle?" Oh? You mean these pictures where the coordinators photo bombed them?
"Did you have a cute dress for going out afterwards? Did you even go out after the reception?" I refuse to comment in detail on this. I will say that Lil' Jon was performing that evening and we made an appearance in full wedding attire. For more information please see Instagram #vivianvows or #turndownforwhat
"Well did you at least get your dress cleaned right away?" Why would I do that? Wouldn't cleaning it defeat the purpose of this?
"Can we at least see a picture of you and Ryan exiting the reception with everyone throwing rose petals or a picture of the two of you in your fancy schmancy get away car that you just HAD TO HAVE to drive you two blocks away?!?!" No. No you cannot. I was sweaty. My hair looked like I had been rolling around in a briar patch. I was looking down making sure I wasn't going to trip therefore I looked like Timmy from Southpark in all of the exit pictures. Proof that no matter how much you plan, not everything will be "picture perfect" but it isn't supposed to be. Who cares about the perfect pictures. We had so much fun.