10.02.2013

#weddingwithaporpoise

as i walked off the plane in cedar rapids, iowa i knew i was in for a special weekend. 

i mean, when you arrive in the smallest airplane known to man and walk through a tunnel of international flags (accompanied by the iowa flag as well...of course) you know it's going to be good. 

i was there to celebrate my dear college girl mandy get hitched to tom, the love of her life (while changing her last name to the happiest of marine mammals...dolphin! how perfect is that?!?!) and i had one of my other favorite college girls charlene as my date for the weekend.

the good times started out at none other than the local starbucks, where a nice, very awkward, very hairy 30 something traveling doctor man joined our table after staring at us for a few minutes and attempted to make small talk about my camera and california weather. yeah, it was painful and hilarious and charlene and i left before our new friend could try any funny business.
people in the midwest are friendly but not thaaat friendly if you know what i mean.
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the festivities also included a rehearsal dinner where we stuffed our faces, and i reconnected with some other college girlies, who are beautiful and kind and overall fabulous. 
it's nice to find people who truly understand what it means to spend four years at oru.
a bizarrely amazing and forever apart of your heart kind of place.
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and before we knew it, the big day had arrived.
we started off with a bridal brunch with delicious food and stories to share.
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then charlene and i spent the afternoon in downtown cedar rapids, doing last minute errands for the bride to be, enjoying the sunshine, eating cupcakes (duh!), and admiring the fall leaves that only the midwest can truly boast. 
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we also wanted to make sure to see mandy as she was getting ready and spend time praying together on one of the most important days of her life.
it was sweet, and sincere, and one of those moments that feels a whole lot bigger than you.
it was good.
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under a big, beautiful tree in tom's parent's backyard friends and family gathered to celebrate mandy and tom pledging their lives to each other. 
the weather was perfect.
the sun was just beginning to lazily set in the distance. 
and there was an air of anticipation inside us all.
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and before we knew it, mandy was walking down the aisle with the biggest smile on her face.
so calm, so ready, and so happy.
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and with a camera phone selfie, they were husband and wife! 
it was time to celebrate! 
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wedding receptions are some of the best parties out there. 
am i right? 
everyone is so happy. 
the excitement and joy is palpable.  
and in the cool of the night, everything in our world felt right and good.
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of course there was a lot of dancing {coming from a university that pretty much banned dancing, all of us oru girls really represented on the dance floor...just think "footloose."}
then there was the cake cutting and the father/daughter dance, where charlene and i definitely started crying {i blame steven curtis chapman}, and there was, as to be expected. a whole lot of time in the photo booth. 
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and if you're wedding doesn't include some sort of rendition of the "dirty dancing" routine, i don't think you should even be getting married.
thanks tom and mandy for that epic lift. 
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when the night was over, we just had to pull out the blowtorch and light the way properly to their car. 
sparklers are always a good idea.
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and just like that they rode off into the night.
husband and wife.
partners in crime.
mr. and mrs. dolphin.
{winner of the best last name award}.
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i was so honored to spend the weekend celebrating this couple, reuniting with some of my favorite people, and getting back to my midwestern roots. 

i just love love. 
i can't help myself. 

and i love my friendships that don't know distance. 
when we always pick up right where we left off. 
friends that know how to celebrate each other. 
and dance with more gusto than is probably necessary.

to love, to marriage, to my college girls, to dancing, to the midwest, and obviously, to a random guy at starbucks...

cheers.

3 comments:

  1. As always, awesome photos lady!

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  2. Gorgeous wedding! One of my favorite moments from my own wedding was praying with my closest friends right before I walked down the aisle. I wish I had a picture of it, but I guess it was one of those moments that will be engraved perfectly in my mind only. :)

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  3. What a beautiful wedding!!! How wonderful that you were able to celebrate with your dear college friends. And yes, I'm right there with you - they've won the best last name award. ;-)

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