Wedding Recap: My Father

After Ryan proposed on October 3, 2009, he surprised me by having both of our families waiting for us to enjoy dinner on a private dock at one of our favorite restaurants. It was that evening where I first got a little glimpse into how my father would handle our upcoming wedding.

On the night of our engagement, he was excited, emotional, loving and beyond supportive. These characteristics remained with him through our wedding day.018_GettingReadyOn the outside my dad is a tough businessman.

He works long hours, and has a seemingly intense personality, but his tough-guy exterior immediately begins to fade when he talks about me, my mom and my sister … "His girls."014_Formals

020_GettingReadyAs my dad’s oldest daughter, I was the one who had to break ground on the whole "boyfriend" thing.

I remember the first Homecoming dance I attended with my good friend, Steve.

"Is he your boyfriend?" my dad asked.

"No. He’s just a friend."

"Does he like you?"

"No. Seriously, he’s just a friend."

"Do you like him?"

"Daddy! No." (I did a little, actually. πŸ˜‰ )

We arrived at my friend Steve’s house for pictures and my dad pulled me aside, loudly whispering, "Julie! He has an earring!" 

Great start.

The second memorable boy-related conversation I had with my father occurred during the beginning of my sophomore year in high school. One night at the dinner table, I broke the news to my family that I had a boyfriend. My first real boyfriend. The conversation didn’t get too involved and we continued eating our meal.

About an hour later, I was upstairs in my bedroom, working on geography homework when I heard a knock on my door. My dad entered and sat down at the foot of my bed.

"What does this mean?" He asked me. "What do you mean you have a ‘boyfriend?’"

"It’s nothing really, Daddy." I said, treading with caution.

"So why are you calling this guy your boyfriend? What do you mean by that?"

"He’s just a guy I like. It’s not a big deal."

"You’ve never called anyone your boyfriend before."

"Yeah, well, it’s a little different."

"What? What’s different?"

This went on and on as I tried to assure him I wasn’t running off to get married at the age of 15.

At the age of 25, things were a little different.008_Formals

I was in love with a guy he liked and respected.

Hearing the way my dad talks about Ryan warms my heart in the most intense way. Hearing the way he talks about me and Ryan together shows me how much he believes in our relationship.

Throughout the wedding-planning process, my dad was so generous and supportive. It was so clear that he wanted our wedding to be the wedding of our dreams.

It was.

He even let me get the chiavari chairs.


And he gave me these adorable sneakers, reminiscent of Father of the Bride, our family’s favorite movie.

025_DetailsDuring the rehearsal, and on our wedding day, I think my dad was the most emotional of everyone.

He had a calm, happy smile on his face but tears in his eyes throughout the whole weekend.

As he prepared to walk me down the aisle, I remember him taking a deep breath. His exhalation was shaky and his smile was a little timid, but very pure.

008_CeremonyHe walked me down the aisle and placed my hands in the palms of my future husband.005_Ceremony As the ceremony progressed, my dad watched me exchange rings with Ryan and listened to us as we said our vows.017_CeremonyOur photographer managed to capture this magical moment in perhaps my favorite of all of our wedding photos.043_CeremonyWhen I first saw this picture, my eyes welled up with tears.

The emotion on my dad’s face is so apparent and breathtaking. The look of love has never been more pronounced.

To be continued…

(All photos courtesy of Gina Leigh.)


  1. says

    Wow Julie. You are such a fantastic writer. I can’t say it enough. There was just SO much emotion through out this post. I am sitting here all teary eyed @ work just thinking about HOW special that day is…and how special it is to have your dad give you away. That is an awesome picture that she captured. He looks FULL of joy for the two of you..and you can honestly see that he just seems to be thinking about all of the time you & your dad have shared through all of the years. Absolutely beautiful post, cannot wait for the rest!


  2. says

    Awwww, this is so sweet. The only time I almost cried on my wedding day was right before and during my dad walking me down the aisle. It’s such an emotional thing for a father and daughter who are close!


  3. Jess says

    You really are such a beautiful writer! I love your wedding recaps and the way you talk about your special day nearly has me in tears every time!! Can’t wait to see pics from the reception–those are usually my favorite ones because people really let loose πŸ˜‰


  4. says

    This was a beautiful post, Julie! I’m sitting here at work trying to hold back tears. This was beautifully written and just shows how amazing of a relationship you have with your father. You are lucky!

    I am so envious of the relationship that you have with your father. You can truly tell from everything that you wrote about him down to the pictures just how much he cares deeply about you. I long for that relationship with my dad. I have a very rocky relationship with him and I pray one day that I can have a relationship with mine like you have with yours. πŸ™‚


  5. says

    THIS is why i shouldn’t stealth blog read at work! i’m sitting at my desk trying not to let the tears fall! such a sweet and touching post! i’m all teary eyed!!!!

    you’re lucky to have such an amazing family!


  6. Laurie says

    Aren’t Dads wonderful? My Dad was very emotional on my Wedding day too! Thanks for posting a very special tribute to your Dad! Love the pictures!


  7. Jennifer says

    Julie, I absolutely love reading about your wedding and how special it was to you and your family. I’m currently planning my April 30th, 2011 wedding and I get so much inspiration and joy from reading your posts. I’m also the oldest of daddies 3 girls and I know what a special moment that will be for us both. I know tears will be flowing! πŸ™‚

    Also, I agree with everyone above – you are a fabulous writer and you are making me cry at work! πŸ˜‰


  8. Shareece says

    I love this post, it’s beautiful and my dad is the same exact way. Tough exterior but very emotional and loving when it comes to his family. Gotta love our daddies.


  9. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter says

    What an absolutely beautiful post! That is just so adorable how your father cares for you. I wish you all the luck in the world to you and your husband πŸ™‚


  10. says

    Very well written Julie :*) I have tears in my eyes. A father/daughter relationship can be so strong. It’s apparent that you and your dad have a great one. My father passed away when I was 13, so you would think this kind of story I wouldn’t be interested in hearing, but instead it makes me happy, and realize how special this is for you.

    P.s. My husband proposed to me on October 2nd 2008 πŸ™‚ close to your date


  11. Kaella Carr says

    And.. now I’m crying…again! My dad used to say “if a guy honks his horn, he better be dropping something off, because he definitely isn’t picking anything up!” LOL, I always used to say…ooohhh dad, but it taught me guys should treat women with respect. Wonderful story Julie (and pictures!) πŸ™‚


  12. says

    This post is so emotional and wonderful. I’ve lost my father two and a half years ago, and it breaks my heart that he won’t be there to walk me down the aisle. But I know that he will be there watching over me.


  13. ashley says

    Hi Julie!

    I need to stop reading your wedding recaps because I always end up crying. I also want to let your know how much I love your mothers dress!

    I’m excited to try the apples and pork recipe you posted. So far I’ve made the barbecue meat loaf and the beef stew. Both were delicious. Who knew I could cook?

    Also No More Rack (online sample sales) is having a promo for the next 48 hours. If you refer friends you can earn an ipod or ipad. Plus you get a $10 gift card for signing up. No purchase necessary. From what I can tell it seem legitimate.


  14. Chelsea says

    Very cute post!

    Also, one of the first debates I had (with myself because it didn’t bother anyone else haha) after booking my wedding venue was whether or not to rent Chiavari chairs. I still haven’t decided. People might not notice the detail, but it makes the room as a whole look better in most cases.


  15. says

    All these posts are making me tear up a little bit πŸ™‚ I can’t help but think that I’ll be a teensy bit sad on my wedding day, because for the first time in my life my daddy won’t be my main man anymore. Of course it’s not really like that and we’ll never have to choose between the two, but I can’t imagine how both hard and exciting it must be for a dad to “give away” his daughter. It sounds like the two of you have such a wonderful relationship!


  16. Shayla says

    Now I’m crying!!! Seriously Julie, all recaps are so touching and precious, they make me well up with tears!!!

    I have to say – anytime I’d look over and see my dad during my wedding day I’d get emotional and start to tear a little – I’ll always be daddy’s little girl πŸ™‚


  17. Gina G says

    Absolutely beautiful post! I’m the only girl, i have three older brothers and this just makes me so excited for that special day my dad gets to walk me down the aisle (i’m only 18 and already dreaming lol, but my dad and family means the world to me!)

    Loved this Julie!


  18. says

    What a beautiful story. I definitely teared up!

    I wish my dad had wanted to walk me down the aisle; I wish I had wanted him to! I was very blessed that my mom’s father (my amazing unconditional love-giving Grandpa) was there for me on such a special day.


  19. Jess says

    Nope couldn’t finish reading this post…tears started flowing immediately. Thats the 2nd time one of your wedding recaps have made me tear up. :o) I’m such a sap when it comes to weddings.


  20. Katherine says

    The photographer definitely did an amazing job capturing your dad and his emotions. What a handsome man, very old-Hollywood gentlemanly.


  21. Courtney says

    Julie!! Reading this post and seeing the pictures- I’m not kidding you- made ME cry!! Your father resembles mine to a T! It is so important for your father to like who you date and respect them. I am sincerely so happy for you, and thank you for this amazing post <3


  22. Paige says

    Hi Julie,
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while and enjoy all of your fun recipes and beautiful wedding photos. Congratulations.
    I went to see the new Harry Potter movie the other night (not sure if you’ve read the books) but there is a scene were the characters Bill and Fleur are having a wedding, and guess what chairs they had at the reception? Yep, the chiavari chairs. They really are magical!
    Have a great day!


  23. Marcy says

    I came by your blog from J’s Everyday fashion, and I know I will be hooked. Your storytelling and pictures are so beautiful and has me all teared up -all the way in Sudan!!! My dad-the most important person in my life, recently passed away and so much of who your dad is, he was- and though it makes me sad that he won’t be there on my wedding day and the days that have followed I know he will be watching and smiling down on me. Thanks so much for sharing,really uplifted my day and will continue to do so. Congratulations on your wedding:)


  24. says

    I am definitely crying. I am the oldest child too, and I will probably be the first one to walk down the aisle. I’m afraid that I will be a mess because it’s such a bittersweet moment…I know my boyfriend does not take the place of my dad, but that’s how it feels sometimes. It’s hard growing up!


  25. heatherb says

    i know these are older posts, but i’ve been tracking back after reading this weekend’s anniversary post. love the way you write about your parents. i’m assuming they both follow your blog? πŸ™‚


  26. says

    I’m a new reader, so forgive me for being late on the comment game, but what a beautiful post! I feel like giving away his daughter must be both tough and exciting for a father, and I’m sure he really appreciates this reflection from you!

    P.S. I wore bedazzled tennis shoes at my wedding, too, a la Father of the Bride!


  27. ellie says

    wow. so i came across your blog because i was looking up recipes… but here i am now crying ridiculously over a couple of strangers and their wedding.

    you and your husband and family remind me of myself and my boyfriend and our families. and that alone makes me believe you guys are really genuine and happy and, honestly, lucky. your wedding was beautiful and literally had me in tears reading through it all. spread the love. there needs to be more people like you all in this world.

    i hope my man cries at our wedding. (:



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