- From Ryan's perspective -
Everyone looks forward to their wedding day (if they don't then something's wrong). I actually downloaded an app for my Android phone that showed how many days were left until our wedding day. When we were first engaged there were over 200 days to go, and I remember when we reached 100 days to go, then 50, then under 30. Finally the countdown reached 1. The day before the wedding I went to a place to have my suit fitted, then went to the rehearsal dinner. Shanna was so excited to see me, and some of my relatives were there, getting the place ready for the next day. The dinner and the wedding were both at Shanna's parents' house. At the end of the evening we said goodnight to each other just before I left, the last time we would see each other before she walked down the aisle.
The day of the wedding I slept in a little, had breakfast, then went to the store to get a few last minute things, including roses and chocolate for later. I finally arrived at Shanna's parents' house just after 2 PM, and I was directed downstairs to a bedroom to get ready in. My friend and photographer Stephen came in to take pictures of me putting on my tie, shoes, etc. Then my friend and groomsman Trevor came in and talked with me for a bit. He had just gotten married a month and a half before, so he had some wisdom to share about being a newlywed. Our pastor came in and prayed with me, then we headed upstairs. The countdown had reached 0.
We came around the front of the house and down the side to the back yard where everyone was seated. It was a strange feeling, knowing that they were all here to see the two of us. My brother Nathan, and Trevor were there waiting. I was looking around at everything when our pastor said something like, "Let's do this." All of a sudden I found myself walking down the aisle and standing in front of everyone. I was trying to take it all in, looking to see who was there. Then it happened, the music changed. This was one of those moments where I felt like I wanted to be able to slow down time, or wind it back a few minutes and experience it again. My bride came around the side of the house, her parents on either side of her. I could hear her breathing, she was so excited. She didn't even look like the same person I had left the night before, she had been transformed into a stunning bride in white, shining in the sunlight.
When her parents handed her off to me it was a special moment. Their daughter became my bride. The ceremony was just right, the weather was beautiful, and I will never forget what happened there.
- From Shanna's perspective -
I will never forget our wedding day and how special it was to us. Every time I think of that day and how beautiful it was I want to cry tears of happiness. The weather was perfect and everything fell together so perfectly. When we finally made it to that day I was overwhelmed with joy that it was finally here. My close friends and family helped me get ready, even with cameras everywhere. It took me close to 3 hours to get ready and I felt so beautiful and happy. I remember staying in the house, pretty much the whole day, and walking around in my new nightgown that my mom got me as an early wedding gift. When my hair and makeup were done I felt like I was the most gorgeous girl in the whole world, all for my handsome man and everyone to enjoy. My dress fit me almost perfectly... I ended up losing so much weight before the wedding that it was almost too big on me. I remember the day before the wedding and all the preparation that went into it. I also remember saying goodbye to Ryan the last time before he would see me walking down the aisle and thinking this is it, we are really going to do this and this is really going to happen. God is so amazing to me, how much He had planned for us as we began our journey together.
When the moment came for me to walk down the aisle, I was so nervous that I started breathing heavily. I looked around at how amazing everyone looked and how everything fell into place for that day that we had been preparing for for so long. I was so happy and felt so blessed for the life that God had chosen for Ryan and me. When I saw Ryan as I came down the aisle and he was crying I felt almost like I wanted to cry too. The message that our pastor Adam gave was incredible, my bridesmaids looked so beautiful, my parents walking me down the aisle looked amazing and the ceremony was more than I had hoped for. And that was just the beginning of the most beautiful day of our lives. Saying our vows to each other and hearing our pastor share what Ryan and I had written about each other was precious. As we kissed for the first time ever we felt as if the world had disappeared and it was just the two of us in that moment.
Being Ryan's new bride made me feel like a princess who finally got her prince! After we walked down the aisle as a newlywed couple I was so joyful that we were finally married and were going to spend the rest of our lives together, sharing our love and memories with each other. Having dinner, taking pictures, the toasts, the cake, throwing my bouquet, and the dancing... it was all so special to share, not only with my new husband, but with all my family and friends. God brought it all to completion and it was absolutely beautiful. Our Wedding day is one that I will remember forever and it just gets better from there. Praise Jesus for our new life together.