Our Wedding Day

Today is Thursday.

Right now it’s shortly after 11am.

Last Saturday at this time I was full of excitement. And a tiny bit of nervousness. And a whole lot of joy.

The church was filling full of the people we love. Our family.

We kept the details simple. We stuck with the things that were the most important.

Fresh flowers that were arranged by three of my best friends. Vases and mason jars that didn’t match.

Tables were decorated simply.

For me, simplicity gives us the opportunity to focus on the things that matter the most.

Crayons were laid out for the kids. Papers for pictures and messages. Opportunities for mementos that I could treasure for years.

Greg and I took the opportunity to get away for 20 minutes before all the craziness started.

We prayed together. We thanked our Father for all that He had done. We prayed that He’d be with us as we went through the day. We sat quietly in the depth of the moment. I felt the weight of joy of knowing what was soon to come.

I laughed as I shared my frozen coffee with Greg and he sucked down half of it in one gulp.

I remember taking the last deep breaths before walking back towards the main building.

My heart melted when I saw our photographer with his toddler on his shoulders. Seeing him snap pictures with his son in tow. This small moment captured the essence of our wedding for me.

Kids are everywhere in my life. Not just tolerated or even me being intentional to include them. They are just a part of everything I do. They are a piece of my life.

In the months of planning, one of the main goals was to include them in the wedding. To allow them to play roles. Because they have been there for me through everything else. Why would my wedding be any different?

Kids helped with set up. Kids helped with tear down. Kids helped with decorations. Kids were fully present through it all.

We were intentional with our backdrop. It was probably the one piece in our wedding that had the most work put towards it. It turned out better than I had even hoped for.

I wanted soft lighting. I wanted something simple and sweet. Greg has a great idea to incorporate the kids.

While we ate, the kids were able to draw pictures for us. We hung twine and clothespins to display those pictures on stage. I couldn’t think of anything better to stand in front of as I got married.

Our pastor prayed over the food that everyone brought. We decided to go with a potluck-style family dinner. Celebrating our big day by sharing a meal with the people we love was what we wanted most.

I’m glad we took the advice of a wise friend. She recommended that we get our food first. I told her my hesitancy because my anxiety gets so much worse in situations like that. She suggested that we could still make it work by releasing the tables of guests little by little after we had already grabbed a plate.

We had asked for people to bring food to share instead of gifts, so it would be nice for us to see everything. To be able to appreciate what our friends had brought. That was a sweet and important moment. I was thankful for her advice.

It blew me away seeing all the food. So many amazing dishes. Everything was organized and laid out beautifully.

My excitement grew as I remembered that people were bringing the recipes to share for our recipe guestbook. Another great souvenir from the day that I could savor for years to come.

We probably ate less than a dozen bites of food between the two of us.

As we walked around the room I was amazed at how perfect the atmosphere felt. It was exactly the feel I wanted. Our friends were visiting with each other. So many conversations were going on throughout the room. Children were running around. Several little girls ran up to me to show me the pictures they had drawn. Faces had smiles. It felt like a celebration. It felt like family.

We had opted against the “walk down the aisle” moment. We had a room full of round tables. The guests already had access to us. We shared a meal together.

Our pastor got on stage. I felt butterflies in my stomach as I realized the moment was coming. He asked for the bride and groom to come up.

The moments on stage flew by.

But there were moments that I still soak in.

Looking into each other eyes.

Briefly looking in to the crowd and seeing two little girls in dresses twirling and dancing.

We said our vows. Weeks prior we sat down and wrote them together. We decided to share identical vows. I have a knack for being wordy. Greg is skilled at keeping things concise. We balance each other out well. He took what could have been my 10 pages and together we made one paragraph.

We gave each other rings. As I looked down at my finger, I saw that it wasn’t the ring I expected. Greg had bought the new one. He told me later that he still had engraved my engagement ring as well. What a wonderful, unexpected surprise.

We were pronounced and then presented husband and wife.

It felt nice to get off the stage and head into the coffee house.

The ladies had set up the decorate-your-own cupcake bar.

We had our own little station to make ours first.

After having so much time of everyone staring at us, I pulled Greg to the side for a few moments of quiet. It felt nice to eat our cupcakes in a bit of peace. We both soaked in the moments that we had just shared. It wasn’t long until we noticed that we had a few paparazzi.

We headed back into the crowd. We took what felt like a bazillion pictures. So many hugs and so many smiles.

We grabbed our witnesses and made it official.

My last time signing Emily Clerk.

The day honestly was even better than I had hoped for. So many moments. So many memories. So many wonderful pictures and we haven’t even seen them all yet.

So many people helped make the day special. We’ve lost count of all the people who have loved us and served us. Hours of set up and clean up and tear down. So much generosity.

I’m still blown away. I still get caught in moments of joy in recounting the day. I’m giddy at the thought of going through the kids' pictures when we get back home. Also the messages and recipes that the adults left us. I’ve looked through the teaser of pictures probably a dozen times.

We were so very lucky to get a cabin for 10 days in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee for our honeymoon. It’s been great to get away.

I have a husband now. I am a wife. I’m just overwhelmed at the kindness and faithfulness of the God I love. He was enough in my singleness and now I’m learning that He’s enough in my marriage.

There’s more I could write and more I’d like to share. But for now I have a husband on the couch next to me. We have Smoky Mountains that we want to go explore. And plans for ice cream after that. So this will have to do.

Thanks for sharing our lives with us.

-Mr. and Mrs. Kaufmann


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