Shared with their kind permission, many of the pictures featured in this blog post were taken by the wonderful husband and wife team behind Black & Hue Photography. Some photos are my own, but all of the fabulous photos can be attributed to Black & Hue Photography.
When the alarm clock blares on the morning of a wedding, it often feels like there is plenty of time to do everything that needs to be done before the ceremony begins. Hair and make up can only take so long and most of the real legwork is done. And yet, no matter how calm and relaxed a bride’s wedding day may be, it seems like the 30 minutes before she walks down the aisle are always filled with excited chaos.
After Merri slipped into her beautiful dress and the groomsmen’s boutonnieres were pinned to their jackets, guests began to arrive early for the 4:30 p.m. ceremony.
Bridesmaids dashed downstairs to grab our bouquets as Merri realized her wedding vows were missing! One of our girlfriends accidentally took them with her when she left the bridal suite earlier that day, and we called her to tell her to hurry back to the Edson Keith mansion with the vows as quickly as possible.
It was a little tense, but Merri kept her cool. She is a pro in stressful situations and remained enthusiastic and joyful throughout the whole exchange.
(I am in love with this Black & Hue Photography photo of my best friend. She is so, so beautiful.)
Once Laurel dropped off Merri’s wedding vows, we lined up in order and chatted with nervous and excited anticipation. It was almost time for Merri to say “I do!”
Someone started singing, “Going to the Chapel,” and we all couldn’t help but join in. It was a random moment of pure joy and a memory I will always treasure and associate with Merri and Pete’s special day. (Merri immediately whipped out her phone to record some of it when we started singing it again because she wanted to document it to remember it, too!)
When we received word that Pete and his groomsmen were downstairs, we were ushered to the giant wooden staircase at the center of the house to wait for our cue.
Pete walked down the aisle first and took his place in front of 100 guests.
He shook the hand of each of his groomsmen as they joined him to wait for his bride.
And then I walked down the aisle and held my breath as I waited for Merri and her father to step out from inside of the historic home and make their way down the aisle.
(And yes, I had to make sure I didn’t fall! Walking in grass in spiky heels is an art!)
Merri’s dad is so full of life and he was absolutely beaming as he escorted his daughter down the aisle.
Merri walked down the aisle to a beautiful rendition of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” which not only had her groom wiping tears from his eyes, but everyone else as well. Pete’s reaction to seeing Merri in her dress was so moving. His eyes welled up and his mouth quavered as she walked toward him. I couldn’t let myself look at him for too long because every time I did, I started crying… and not delicate, soft tears.
The ceremony was officiated by Paul, a good friend of ours from college. He had everyone laughing and kept the ceremony upbeat and lighthearted. Three couples who are close to Merri and Pete also spoke during the ceremony, offering the bride and groom marriage advice and words of wisdom from couples at different points in their marriage.
They had everyone smiling and laughing!
Then it was time for the exchange of rings and the vows. Merri and Pete recited their own vows which was so special. I didn’t have the courage to say my own vows at my own wedding but I love it when couples do! Their vows were romantic and thoughtful and everyone cheered when it was time for Pete to kiss his bride.
They did it!
Congratulations to Pete and Merri!