Post run it was time to get beautiful, and that was really when the day started to take off! We got ready at the hotel all 10 of us plus two mom's and a flower girl! Our beauty team was fantastic, the hotel catered breakfast and I had a blast laughing and chatting with my girls as I got ready!
11:45 hit and it was time for us ladies to be whisked away to the mansion to get dressed! I was giddy like a school girl! I hadn't seen Derek yet and was anxiously awaiting my walk down the aisle where I would see him for the first time!
Entering the Van Dusen Mansion (where our reception was held) brought tears to my eyes! The mansion had already begun setting up decor and they had staged by dress in one of the upstairs bedrooms. It was beautiful and magical! The time I spent with my girls at the mansion was a whirlwind. But there are three distinct memories I will cherish from those few hours at the mansion forever.
The first one was slipping into my wedding dress for the first time with my mom and sister there to help me. I remember laughing with them as they fumbled with the buttons on the dress and then finally seeing myself for the first time done up as a bride. It was a special moment between my sister, mother and I!
The second memory was the first look with my dad, it was one of the most touching moments I have ever experienced, and I am so glad I took the time to have that special moment with my dad. The first look with my dad was definitely emotional.
I remember my dad walking into the room where I was standing, and having to leave the room because he got chocked up seeing me for the first time all dolled up in my wedding dress! The whole moment was touching, filled with tears (happy ones), laughter, hugs and smiles.
And finally the last big pre-ceremony moment at the mansion that I will treasure forever was the brief time Derek and I spent together pre-ceremony. On our wedding day we exchanged love letters, and since we were not seeing each other until we walked down the aisle our photographers had us stand on either side of the door so we could open our letters "together" without seeing one another!
I remember laughing, crying, and just feeling and overwhelming sense of calm just talking to Derek, I knew I was ready to walk down the aisle and marry him! That little moment just the two of us was perfect! Just what I needed before being whisked away to the Church!
3:30 PM came quickly! There was a whirlwind of photos to be taken and then before I knew it, it was time to walk down the aisle! I could hardly wait. Finally it was time to see Derek and time to join our lives together as husband and wife. I remember my dad asking me if I was ready and responding yup, with a big smile on my face and then adding, just don't let me fall down the aisle (I am a huge klutz).
Walking down the aisle was an out of body experience. I could not stop smiling and seeing Derek standing at the front of the church with a big smile on his face and tears in his eyes just made me melt. Our ceremony was very intimate. Our pastor used snippets from Derek and my letter to each other to help build the message. My uncle read a piece called the Art of a Good Marriage and Derek's Grandmother read a beautiful personal testimony she wrote about what it takes to make a marriage last. Derek's Cousin Katie sang, and my dad played the most beautiful piece on the piano. If I could go back and re-live the ceremony I would! The Ceremony was just perfect, and filled with love. And the best part, Derek and I are married!
Up next, little wedding details and a reception recap!
Photographer: Midwest Lifeshots - Fabulous!
Reception Venue (and where we got dressed) - The Van Dusen Mansion - Also Fabulous and amazing to work with!
Church - Diamond Lake Lutheran Church
Hair and Make Up - Lisa Reinhardt Make Up and Hair Artistry- Highly Recommend
Florist - Sadie's Fine Floral Design - Fabulous and Highly Recommend
**We worked with phenomenal vendors, I would highly recommend them all if your in the Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester MN area!!!