November 24, 2009

Watching the Sunrise...

We woke up in the middle of the night to make the trek up to the top of the Haleakala Crater to watch the sunrise above the clouds one morning while we were on our honeymoon in Maui. The area where people gather to watch the sunrise is around 10,000 feet above sea level. According to the website, Haleakala means "House of the Sun" in Hawaiian, and from these pictures you can see why.

It was a breath taking experience, full of awe and wonder. Watching the sun as it peaks through the clouds, each ray getting brighter, lighting up the sky. Being present in that moment is something that some people will never get to experience. I found it very emotional and really moving, I'd highly recommend it if you ever visit Maui.

November 23, 2009

Maui Sunset

This was our view from Fred's Mexican Cafe in Kihei.
One of the best ways to spend a relaxing evening in Hawaii....

November 15, 2009

The Cake & The Dances

Our wedding cake was awesome. It was made by a family friend, who has a true talent for baking and designing all types of cakes. We had 3 different flavors and JJ designed the cake loosely based on the look of our invitations. We had fun with the cake cutting and I went for the cake smashing, making sure some of that tasty butter cream got shoved into places it probably wasn't supposed to go, like up the nose (HaHa)!
The song we choose as our first dance song was "Kiss of Life" by Sade. Some couples have a song that has very special meaning to them through out the relationship. I think this is very cool, to find a song that has such special meaning. JJ and I didn't really have one specific song that fell into that category, but we both love Sade's music and really felt that the lyrics in "Kiss of Life" represent how we feel about finding each other at the right time in our lives.
My Dad and I danced to "My Wish" by Rascal Flats. It was great to have that special moment with him to reminisce on a few childhood memories, hear some words of fatherly advice on marriage, and just enjoy dancing with my Dad. I remember laying my head on his shoulder and singing the words to the song, one that he picked out, which meant a lot to me.
JJ and his Mom danced to a song called "The Man You've Become" by Molly Pasutti. This is a beautiful song with lyrics that talk about a mother being proud of her son, remembering the days when he was a young boy and being proud of the man he has grown up to be.

November 10, 2009

Our Ceremony

Together, Jeremy and I wrote our entire ceremony, choosing words on marriage and vows that we feel represent what it means to promise to spend our lives together, always working on growing together while respecting each others individuality. Jeremy's long time friend preformed our ceremony, which was very emotional and filled with love. We also choose to have another friend do a reading called The Art of Marriage.

The only way I can describe the day for me is to say that it was the best day of my life! I remember standing with my Dad, before I walked down the isle and taking a big deep breath, while I looked out onto everyone that was there to share the day with us...

As I stood next to Jeremy, holding hands with him and somehow making it through my vows (despite my emotions getting the best of me), it was honestly the greatest feeling I've ever had in my life - knowing I was marrying the right person for me & knowing he was feeling the same way about the moment, it was all very over-whelming, in the best way!

Once we exchanged vows and light the unity candle, our friend announced us as Mr. & Mrs. and I remember letting out a huge smile, throwing my bouquet in the air and cheering out, so excited to celebrate this wonderful moment I've looked forward to for so long!

November 08, 2009

Seeing each other before the ceremony....

There are lots of different opinions on the bride and groom seeing each other before the ceremony. Some say they feel it may ruin the moment of the bride and groom seeing each other for the first time as she walks down the isle. Others suggest that seeing each other before hand is a great way to have a moment with one another, before all the "chaos" starts.

JJ and I decided to see each other before to have some alone time together and take the majority of the pictures ahead of time. The Nature Center has so many great spots, so we found a beautiful location near a lake that was off the beaten path to meet for our photos. Here are some pics of me walking up to see JJ and us having a few moments to talk about how excited we were for what the day was about to bring.
Once we got all those pictures finished, we headed back to meet up with everyone and grabbed some group shots with the wedding party. We had a smaller wedding party, JJ's two brothers, Tim & Jesse, and two of my best girl friends, Mandy & Wendy, stood next to us as we exchanged vows. On one of our visits to the Nature Center, JJ and I found this old house called The Abner Hollow Cabin and thought it would be a great spot for these pictures.

November 01, 2009

Rehearsal & Rehearsal Dinner

The wedding weekend was jammed pack with lots of memorable moments for sure. Things kicked off mid-week when we were able to get together with some out of town guests. Dinner on Wednesday at Montgomery Inn with some family, coffee & breakfast with friends on Thursday, and a relaxing massage for a bargain price. (What more could a girl ask for, right?)

The Friday before the wedding was wonderful. I spent the day with Mandy and Wendy, getting manicures & pedicures and sharing a nice lunch. I decided to stay at a hotel that was close to the wedding venue, so I got all checked into my room that afternoon and then we headed off to the Cincinnati Nature Center for the rehearsal.

Things with the rehearsal went smoothly and it was great to see everyone who had arrived in town that day. Everyone was keeping an eye on the sky leading up to the wedding day b/c it was a chilly and raining week in the tri-state. So all fingers were crossed that the rainy weather would pass like the meteorologists kept saying it would.
Our rehearsal dinner was held at Bella Luna, a family owned Italian restaurant. It was a lovely evening shared with family and friends. Beautiful toasts were shared by JJ's mom & dad, my mom, and my best friend Wendy. It was definitely an evening where we celebrated long lasting love and friendship.

(JJ, my Dad Eddie, me and my mom Carole)
(Some group pictures)

After the dinner, we invited those available to gather at BW 3's for a few drinks to toast the night away! I was so excited to see so many people able to attend. Both JJ and I caught up with dear friends from our college years and several family members traveled many miles to be there with us during this special time.

(College roommates: Alina, Me, Wendy, Molly, & Elizabeth)
(Me and my cousin, Dawn)