As Annalise and I started our journey in this business, we thought it was important to not just share our passion and inspiration behind it, but also how we got here together.Every time we meet new couples, we ask them to give us the full story, as many details as they can, about how they met, started dating, and eventually committed to a life together. It’s amazing to hear the different ways that people have found each other and fallen in love, from family encouragement, to online matching, to decades of friendship blossoming into romance. But usually after we hear their stories, they want to hear our own. So here’s the truth: we want to know YOU. Your stories, your journeys together. But we think it’s important that we share ours, too. So, here’s a peek into our wedding day!
Part 1: A Lion, A Horse, A Ring
The beginning of the day was a complete blur. Thankfully Michelle Lillywhite was able to capture the day for us! We cannot thank her enough for the amazing work she did on our wedding day. The first vivid moment I remember was sitting in the little house for the groom and groomsmen to get ready at Calamigos Ranch. I remember thinking how ready I was to just see my bride. Months of buildup filled with planning each moment of this day, and now a long morning of waiting. I just wanted to see her.
Annalise’s little sister was singing as I entered the ceremony area with our pastor. No clue what she sang. All I was focused on was that moment I would see Annalise. The only communication I had with her that day, was through a set of letters. I had given one of her bridesmaids a set of letters to deliver to her that day. She was instructed to open them throughout the day, from morning until right before she walked down the aisle. It was my only chance to say anything to her, as I had adamantly opposed a first look (my single regret of our whole wedding day). I was so worried about losing the classic ‘aisle moment’ if we shared a first look. But your wedding day is about you and your bride coming together as one. And, having that small amount of time to just be together, to refocus and share in our excitement together, would have been wonderful. When she finally walked into the ceremony with her dad, I balled. I mean I totally lost it. And there are pictures to prove it. It was a moment I had waited 4 years for. A moment that felt like a lifetime to get to.
I finally got to talk to her, just us, halfway through the ceremony when we stepped behind our pastor to share communion with each other. We shared a moment of quiet joy, just the two of us. And from that moment on, it felt like our day. We got to enjoy everything together for the rest of that day! It was an amazing day. It was the best day.
Annalise, I am blessed by God to have you in my life. You have been an example to me of how to love and how to persevere. You have stood by me no matter my failure, and it is through you that God has continued to show me grace. Thank you for being my wife.