Ethan and I walking out of the temple as husband and wife minutes after being married. We were so happy; we could seriously not stop smiling for hours after. The second picture captures that perfectly. A lot of that happiness probably had to do with the fact that we would finally be living in the same state, same city, same casa. :) Yeah! No more driving 3 1/2 hours on long weekend trips to see each other!!! I smiled so much that day, my cheeks hurt.
Posing and smooching around the temple grounds.
Day one was over, well, besides the Giodorno's dinner for family and friends who were at the temple. Oh, and traveling back to Marquette for the reception the following day. Whew, weddings are busy, busy. :)
***Other tidbits about the engagement and reception you may not know: We were 22 and 23 when we got married...relatively young as far as the national average goes, but we decided to take the leap. Ethan and I were only engaged for 2 1/2 months, and we were both going to school out west during that time. Two and a half months is not much time to prepare a wedding/reception...especially since we lived four hours apart, and across the country from where the wedding would be, and from where we would be starting our lives together. We came back to Marquette only 6 days before our wedding. There was so much to be done and decided in such a short amount of time. Luckily, I was a pretty easy going bride. I've always had a more "practical and responsible view" of weddings/receptions. What is my "practical and responsible view," you may be wondering? Here it is: It's just a party... shouldn't the ceremony be the most significant part, not the party to celebrate? AND, why would you spend thousands and thousands on one party when you can spend a fraction, with a little planning, a little common sense, and trying to use friend's or family's talents? You can have a party just as nice, food just as delicious, flowers and decorations just as beautiful, and dress(s) just as elegant. Save the money - the national average is $25,000 for a wedding - and put a down payment on a house, or use it for education, or go on an awesome vacation to create great memories, or just SAVE the money. So. That is my practical view, which I know is not how a lot of people approach a wedding reception, but I had to share. Moving on . . . :)
The day we were sealed (married) in the Temple was just beautiful. We went to the Chicago Temple because it was the closest Temple to Marquette (a mere 6ish hours... so, not really close :). We both view that as "our" Temple growing up, and I've always LOVED their beautiful sealing room. We were excited. We were nervous. We felt the Spirit and knew we were making the right choice. The Temple ceremony was sacred and beautiful, and put the main focus on the belief that Ethan and I were making a covenant between ourselves and God to love each other forever. It reminded us that we need to rely on Him in our relationship. The Temple sealing also emphasized our belief that we will be married for eternity, not just for this life, but after. The room was beautiful and Heavenly, with two large mirrors on either side of the alter to physically show the idea that this marriage will go on forever. It was so peaceful, beautiful, joyful. Whenever I am in the Temple, including this day for my wedding, I feel like I get to glimpse a little of what Heaven will be like, and I know I am connecting to something ancient and sacred. What a beautiful morning! It was short and sweet, as Temple Sealings usually are, and everything at the temple, pictures and all, were done around 1pm-ish. Everyone who was able to make it to Chicago then went to a lunch hosted by Chuck and Melissa at Giodorno's, a gourmet pizza place in Chicago. Many gave a "thumbs up" for their choice of restaraunt... what better food to have when you're in Chi-town. :) After lunching with our family and friends, and getting some last minute advice, hehe, Ethan and I drove the few hours to Kohler Wisconsin to the American Club (the only 5 star hotel in Wisconsin...and on our route back to Marquette), where Chuck and Melissa had arranged for us to stay that night. It was beautiful, and perfect and relaxing ...the hotel and our wedding night. hehe.
So, as far as receptions go (which we did the following day in Marquette), this was about as much direction as I gave my mom: Simple, but elegant. Nothing too frilly or foofy (that's not my style :). For flowers, only fresh red roses. Wendy Phillips, a family friend who did the decorating as a wedding present to me, did such an amazing job! She even made the lattice herself, and decorated it with white lights, red roses, and tulle. Yeah, she's talented. I heard so many compliments about how beautiful the room looked, and I had to agree. I think because I was so UNinvolved in the reception party decisions, it was such a fun surprise walking in to the room on Saturday evening and seeing how amazing everything looked! I loved how the red roses were incorporated everywhere, especially the table center pieces with the roses floating in glass bowls, and real red rose petals sprinkled around the bowls. I also loved that Wendy brought in so many green plants and white lights (while dimming the main lighting). It really set such a beautiful atmosphere. For food, I helped my mom plan the menu - deliciousness! - and it was decided on very quickly: fruit trays, veggie trays, awesome dips, mini quiches, little gourmet sandwiches, spiniach puffs, meatballs, cheeses, sparkling punch, and a few things I know I'm forgetting. A few of my mom's friends from church offered to be in charge of keeping the serving tables full. Oh, and I loved how all of the food was displayed so beautifully and fancy... thanks again, Wendy! And the cake was beautiful, and easily decided on too. (Did I already mention how delicious it was? And I'm not even a cake person.) I also loved the silver drink fountain; I loved the cute slide show of Ethan and I (including adorable baby pictures) that was playing during the reception - thanks for setting that up Elaine...and for taking our beautiful pictures!; and I loved the music we had - especially the "live performances." I'll cut myself off now.... Just know, I loved it.
As a girl, I didn't spend a lot of time daydreaming about my wedding day. Future husband and family, yes. Wedding stuff, not too much. I guess I did picture having a more casual, outdoor wedding. However, when the time came, we didn't want to wait for warmer summer weather...we were just so anxious to get married!!! I never thought I'd do the bridesmaid thing (I LOVED their dresses!), or choose the kind of dress that I did (I always pictured something simpler), or do an indoor reception (glad we got outdoor photos at the temple though...and that we brought a lot of green plants into the room), or have a ring ceremony, but I loved it, loved it, loved it. It was beautiful. It was perfect. Mainly because I didn't worry or stress about any of the unimportant reception stuff, which is typically the main focus. I was able to focus on the important things with Ethan. So, much, much thanks to my mom, who did have to plan/do/coordinate most of it. Excellent job mamacita!!! :) (And she had a lot going on with Andrew's wedding less than two months later, plus the Open House they were having in Marquette.) Of course my mom and I were in close contact, but I was just not physically near, and didn't want to spend my super short engagement doing reception planning stuff (although I love talking about it for other girl's weddings....and I can't wait to help plan Anna's wedding...if she wants me to. :) There were a few things Ethan and I had to do ourselves. We had engagement pictures taken and quickly decided on our cute annoucements (but my mom put them all together, addressed and mailed them - she had a "wedding announcement party" and a few of her friends came over to help :), I of course found my own dress (in just one afternoon though), we had to register (which took FOUR HOURS! so we kept it to one store), and I planned the music and performances for the reception. But my favorite part of our engagement - we went together to the temple often, we spent so much time talking and planning our future, and doing fun Provo/Rexburg stuff every weekend. It was such a wonderful, fun, perfect time of life!