This past weekend, my parents sat around a fire with my aunt and uncle reminiscing about our wedding. My Uncle Ted said, “You can tell people all about the wedding. You can describe all the details. But you have no idea how special it was unless you were there. It was so spiritual and you can’t express that in words.” How true that statement is.
I woke up before my alarm went off. I wondered what time Chris would be getting up or what he was doing. It was weird to think the next time I would see him would be standing at the end of the aisle. The night before I had texted my friend Molly to see if she would want to paint the sign we were putting out front of the venue. I had forgotten about it and everyone knows that my handwriting is so bad that we’d be better off without the sign. First thing in the AM (I think she texted me back at like 6:30am)Molly shows up at the door ready to paint. Whew! I sipped on my coffee and thought about the full morning, busy afternoon and the unforgettable evening ahead of me. Once I ate some breakfast I realized I actually didn’t have much time before heading to get my nails done. About this time Jen Seitz walks up our stairs and sees me frantically trying to throw a bag together. I said hi and already had one foot in the shower. When I came out, Jen had my room completely clean, my bags packed and waved goodbye as she pushed me out the front door. In the meantime, my friend Lauren was on her way to pick up the sub sandwiches that Emma had ordered the day before and she promptly delivered them to my mom. (Wow, do I have some amazing friends or what??) Jaime, Emma, Donna and I paraded into the Turtle Bay Resort Spa and relaxed while we got our nails done. Now you should be proud of me. Two months before the wedding I pledged that I would stop biting my nails and would have them french manicured for our wedding. Guess who actually delivered?? I DID! (Sorry, I just needed to toot my own horn for that one).
Once we had our nails looking beautiful and Emma and Jaime had placed a latte in my hand, we packed up the cars and headed to Loulu Palm Estate. And the rest…well… is hard to put in words.
All photos by Alvarado Photography.
Head into Loulu Palm Estate
Future Mrs. Courtney
My Aunt Kathleen's ring. She passed away from pancreatic cancer. This was my something blue and it meant a lot to me to have part of her with me.
Chris and I didn't want to give gifts on the day of our wedding. Much like everything else about our special day, it was all about love. We wrote each other letters the morning of the wedding. No monetary gift would have meant more.
Chris is my soul mate
Time to lace up the dress!
My maid of honor and sister, Brittany helping me with my earrings.
Emma putting on my bracelet. The bracelet is my cousin Shannon's she let me borrow
And now for my favorite chain of photos.... oh Jaime.
There we go!
Christina helping me with my shoes!
Me and my girls!!!
My beautiful mother and me
Looking out the window at our ceremony site.
Chris and his brother Brian
Chris and his brother Brad
Chris and our friend Mike
Chris and our friend John
The men... I'm going to assume they've already had their champagne toast
The head table
Chris's parents made all the wine for the wedding. Each table had a bottle to enjoy and smaller bottles to take home!
Our friends and family are starting to show up! And you will never guess who surprised us
Chris being escorted by his mother
My mom escorted by my brother in law David
Chris patiently waiting
Emma and John
Jaime and Mike
Christina and Brad
Brittany and Brian
My groom and I seeing each other for the first time.
Dad escorting me to Chris
Love him so much
Such a beautiful and spiritual ceremony
Pure joy and happiness
Exchanging of the breath, a Hawaiian tradition. Absolutely beautiful.
You may kiss the bride!
Mr & Mrs Christopher Courtney!!!
We did it!
Signing our marriage license! It is OFFICIAL!
I am officially a Courtney!
Welcoming Chris to the family!
My awesome aunts and uncle!
OUR SURPRISE! Mark flew in for our wedding and surprised us I cried of course. Mark is like our brother. So amazing to have him there!!!
We have too many wedding photos to share in the blog but these are some of our favorites!
Another awesome series... ready. set. GO!
Anddd this might be the best photo of the day! Hahaha
Pretty, pretty ladies!
Oooo La La!
A beautiful sunset... just for us.
While we got our photos taken, our guests were enjoying cocktails, Hawaiian music and the ocean breeze. And then…
The Lets Get Married Remix started playing and Mr and Mrs Courtney entered the party!
My Uncle Ted gave an amazing speech and wonderful prayer before dinner. We were so thankful.
THE CAKE! Chocolate hazelnut crunch, vanilla macademia nut and strawberry guava! There wasn't a crumb left!
The food was soooo yummy! Loved all the Hawaiian food!
We couldn't have asked for anything more beautiful or perfect.
Slight breeze, palm trees lit up, laughing, eating and a whole lotta love.
Brittany gave a perfect speech. She talked about the moment I made her look at Chris on Facebook and how I couldnt stop talking about him and she is happy to finally have someone to take care of me
Brian gave a great speech touching on their striking resemblance and welcoming me to the family
Here we goooo! *Sugar na na na na na oh honey honey*
And before I could even get a piece of cake... this happens!
But he let me get him back
When we were eating dinner I told Chris I was so happy Mark made it and how surprised I was. Chris replies, "I have something to tell you. I slept with Mark last night." I couldn't stop laughing. Long story short, Mark called Chris at 2am the night before the wedding and showed up with a backpack. They stayed up talking then fell asleep in a huge bed. Mark even borrowed one of Chris's shirts for the wedding. Absolutely priceless. Love him. If you don't know which one is Mark, take one guess
We love them all!!! So happy they could make it!
Talking to Miss Shelby! We really missed her and all the nieces and nephews.
What a rowdy table
If you are a Kappa, you know who we are looking for. "Where is she? I don't know, I don't know!"
Our first dance as husband and wife. Chris is very suave (best word I think) and we often call him Frank. So of course, we wanted a Frank Sinatra song. One that fits us perfectly.
Call Me Irresponsible by Frank Sinatra
Call me irresponsible – call me unreliable
Throw in undependable too
Do my foolish alibis bore you
Well I’m not too clever – I just adore you
Call me unpredictable – tell me I’m impractical
Rainbows I’m inclined to pursue
Call me irresponsible – yes I’m unreliable
But it’s undeniably true – I’m irresponsibly mad for you
Our life isn’t predictable and some choices maybe impractical. Rainbows, well, we pursed them here. And we are irresponsibly mad for each other. I’d say Chris picked the most perfect song.
Growing up my dad sang you are my sunshine to me. He even put my name it so I thought it was only for me. And dad's favorite singer is John Denver (and one of mine), So, "Sunshine on My Shoulders" was the perfect song.
Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver
Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high
If I had a day that I could give you
I’d give to you a day just like today
If I had a song that I could sing for you
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way
The Kappa girls sang Kappa Love and the Sweetheart Song to Chris. It's a tradition.
Lawrenceburg girls gettin' it on the dance floor.
Chris made the night. The wedding details were beautiful. But dancing with him, laughing with him and leaving as his wife was the best part.
Jen took care of everyone at the wedding. She was there to give the earrings out of her ears to help a bridesmaid, carried a platter of drinks out to the wedding party during the photos and danced her heart out with everyone. She is wonderful.
My mom did such an amazing job putting this all together. Chris and I sat back looking at everything and said we wouldn't have changed a thing. This was the most perfect wedding ever.
View from the ocean...
Learning to dub step
Yep... that is about right
A little bit softer now... Right before one of my most favorite moments- when Patrick high stepped all the way around the outside of the circle screaming "wooo!" during Shout. SOOOO funny!
If you haven't watched Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give" video. You should do it now. We did a little reenactment.
Never gonna give never gonna give you up!
At the end of the night we arrived at Turtle Bay Resort. Emma and Jaime were waiting for us and took our picture as we checked into our room. Amanda and AZ had reserved a room for us. When Chris carried me into the room there were rose petals everywhere. EVERYWHERE! On the bed, the floor, the bathroom. Candles were lit, music was playing. It was breathtaking. There was a box of chocolates and a card from Amanda and AZ. It couldn't have been any more special. It had us speechless at we have such amazing friends.
There are so many thank yous to give. For the people who flew 4 thousand miles to be here and for the little things they did for me. They did not go unnoticed. Thank you to Amanda and AZ who coordinated everything so wonderfully. To Chris’s parents for a beautiful rehearsal and delicious wine. To my mom for planning this so smoothly and making it so beautiful. To my parents for putting it on. To the Reverend who made it such a spiritual and meaningful ceremony. *Deep breath* The love everyone showed was overwhelming.
But I really want to thank Christopher. He is the most amazing man I have ever met. He loves me more than anyone could ever love another. He is such a special person. He is the type of man that can walk into a room and talk to anyone. The kind of man who grabs me around the waist and takes me to the dance floor even when no one is dancing. He is the type of man who takes care of everyone around him without them even noticing. He cares about my friends. He opens doors for strangers, he brings me flowers just because, he makes me laugh until I cry and he makes me feel safe. He is my soul mate. I got to marry my soul mate. How lucky am I? To me, it was just us during the ceremony. Just me, my husband, the ocean and God. To my one true love, I will love you forever. Thank you for asking me to dinner.