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November 8, 2017

Boston in the Fall (OUR WEDDING!!!)

“Once in a Lifetime.”

These are the words running through my head as I sit down to write this post. Today I get to blog about MY WEDDING DAY! This truly is a once in a lifetime sort of thing.😱 So where do I begin? Months of dreaming, planning, surrender and prayer went into this occasion, and now that it is all said and done, the right words seem to elude me. From day one my hope was that our wedding would be a stress-free BLESSING to others. After being a part of so many weddings, I now know that the BEST days are the ones where PEOPLE instead of PLANS are made the priority! So it was with this mindset that Matthew and I flew to Boston to get married.

The days leading up to the wedding were a blur of joyful activity. Errands had to be run, plans had to be finalized, and beds had to be made for the many out-of-town friends that were on their way. (My favorite memory from this time was when we went to the Topsfield Fair with our Boston friends and Matthew won me a fluffy, stuffed animal alpaca!!! 😍 I just HAD to marry this guy!) Soon enough, it was time for the flood of family and friends to be picked up from the airport. What a REUNION!! Our dearest loved ones all in one place?? Talk about a taste of HEAVEN! You’d better believe there were hugs and tears galore that day.

However, as the excitement rose, so did my stress.

Giving up Control

You guys, no matter how much I told myself to not stress out, I couldn’t help but feel just about SICK with anxiety in the days just before the wedding! It was probably a combination of being in a new place, getting little sleep at night, and being overwhelmed by seeing so many people. Oh yea and preparing to get MARRIED! (#hello) The result was a very indecisive, and queasy me, who decided at last to let everyone else handle things instead of being in control. Whew! Other than that I just kept praying and sneaking naps in whenever I could.

Then it was rehearsal time. At this point my nausea had calmed down and I was just looking forward enjoying the results of all of our hard work! The weather was perfect, everyone showed up at the right place, and all the details seemed to be in the BAG. However, the Lord had another plan in store for us that evening. In the middle of our rehearsal, our beloved wedding photographer was called away to attend a family medical emergency. At first I couldn’t even grasp what was happening! Matthew and I were simply overwhelmed with concern for the people involved, and it wasn’t until our rehearsal dinner that the reality sunk in: our photographer would not be able to make it to our wedding.

I remember sitting there, surrounded by friends and fancy Chinese food, praying, “Ok Lord, I’m letting you take this one.” How fitting that as a wedding photographer, I was about to have my wedding without one! (Side note: the true test of an IDOL is your reaction when it is taken away.) Just as I had given it up to the Lord, He PROVIDED! Our first hero was Jack Connolly, an incredible friend/photographer as well as Matt’s groomsman. The words were barely out of our mouths before he said “I’LL DO IT!” However, we still wanted Jack to be a groomsman, so we contacted another local photographer and friend, Jason Cox. Within seconds he responded with a resounding YES!! Jack would photograph the getting ready pictures as well as most of the reception, while Jason would take care of everything else in between. Can you say AMAZING?!?!

That night, after a time of prayer and encouragement from my girls, I went to bed with peace in my heart and a smile on my face.

October 5th, 2017!

The big day arrived and I practically JUMPED out of bed! I got some music going and could hardly contain the joy I felt in my soul. I WAS GETTING MARRIED!!! The Lord had answered my prayers for peace, and now there was nothing left to do but get pretty and marry my man. ♥️😂🙌😍

I will never forget that morning. The bustling of my bridesmaids, the sound of Sleeping at Last humming in the background, the smell of fall right outside the window… everything was PERFECT! We got our make up on and started to get dressed, completing the look with the BEAUTIFUL eucalyptus crowns that had been made for each of us (shout out to my friends Shawna and Poyu! 😍). Then we all piled into our separate rides and drove off to the Pierce House.

“I just want to KNOCK his socks off!” That’s what I had been telling my girls all morning. 😂 Matthew and I had decided to do a First Look at the venue, and I could hardly WAIT for him to see me in my get-up! As soon as I saw him standing out there at the front of the house, I melted into a big puddle of nothing-else-matters. We hugged and cried and laughed while the bridesmaids peeked from the second story window. I knew in my heart that marrying Matthew Vacaro was the only thing that really mattered that day. ♥️

Guests started to arrive, music started to play, and the autumn sun glowed all around us. I remember standing out of sight, holding onto my Dad’s arm, and hearing Jen Aldana start to sing “Agnus Dei”. I just about LOST it, you guys! I still tear up when I think about that moment. It was our signal to start walking down the aisle, where my life would change forever. Tim Rice gave the charge as my Dad hugged me and handed me over to Matthew once and for all. Hymns were sung, the Gospel was shared, and the breeze in the air felt as though it carried the very presence of God. Then my Dad stood up again to lead us in our vows and our first communion together as husband and wife. At last, AT LAST! We were married. 😊

Married

Oh the rejoicing!! How can human hearts bear such happiness? (Side Note: I can’t even begin to imagine the great Wedding Feast awaiting all of God’s adopted sons and daughters!!!) Matthew and I embraced our loved ones and could not stop smiling if we tried. We had a time of family pictures as well as portraits of just the two of us, and then it was time to celebrate! We were announced into the reception where we had our first dance to Michael Buble’s You and I. Dinner commenced with a blessing by Mr. Vacaro, and soon enough everyone was enjoying the amazing Italian dinner provided by Maria’s Catering. We managed to go around and give hugs to EVERYONE there (intimate weddings are the best!) and then we cut and ate the beautiful cake provided by LaCascia’s. Emily and John gave their toasts, which were a perfect combo of sentimental and hilarious, and then it was time to dance! My Dad and I swayed to a beautiful Mongolian song (which we had translated for the guests), and Matthew danced with his Mom to Slow Down by Nichole Nordeman. There was hardly a dry eye in the room after both Matthew AND his mom started to cry! These are the moments that will never be forgotten. ♥️

The rest of the reception was a PARTY! We danced like the goofy kids we are, and then sat down briefly to play the Shoe Game. After that was the bouquet toss, which was thrown short by me and picked up by the lovely Sophie Skiles 😉. Matthew’s Mom, Grandma and aunts had all worked together to bake dozens and dozens of all kinds of cookies! That, along with the cake, gave everyone an amazing sugar high. 😂 Soon enough it was time to exit! Sparklers were handed out as our loved ones lined up to send us off on our great adventure.

Back Home

I love being married. We are currently back in Lakeland, all settled in and ADORING the fact that we get to come home to each other every day. As I remember back to the wedding and all of the events that happened, I realize that there was definitely some spiritual warfare surrounding our day. (After all, the last thing that the evil one wants is for two children of God to join forces in this world!) However, like always, the LORD won the victory, and as a result, I have learned once again to surrender EVERYTHING into His perfect and complete control. The Lord’s faithfulness is evident every day in a MILLION ways, and I hope this story is another testament to that truth. ✝

I will save the funny (and scary) honeymoon stories for a future blog, since I’ve already written way too much haha! Please enjoy these pictures taken by our heroes, Jack Connolly and Jason Cox. 😊

And to all the other vendors that made our day amazing, THANK YOU! You have no idea how much you mean to us. 😊

Photography: Jack Connolly and Jason Cox
Venue: The Pierce House 
Coordination, Florals, and Rentals: Boston Rustic Wedding Rentals
Hair: Paige Schisler
Makeup: Alina Inacio
Hair Crowns: Shawna Carpenter and Poyu Huang at 2 Sisters Events and Design
Food: Maria’s Catering
DJ: Jamie MacNeil
Ceremony and Cocktail Hour Musicians: Jen Aldana and Danny Godwin
Cake: LaCascias Bakery
Transportation: Thomas Suchy, Mike Sprenger, and Andrew Basdeo.
Sound Set up: Jon Miller
Wedding Favors: Kalvin Reynolds
Arbor Arrangement: Abi Reynolds

Our rings on the hair crowns 😍

Alina did SUCH an amazing job with my makeup!  Check out my hair! My friend Paige did that 😍 Daddy/daughter first look! Heyyyyy!!! “Fawn over me guys!” I WAS SO EXCITED! ^tears^ I just LOVED that stair case! All of our favorite people!!! Abi’s creation!! 😍 ^cutest nephew/ring bearer EVER!^ Sneaking in those side glances 😉 Uncle Matt!!! ^Oh so married! and my nails look pretty good too 😉 ^Kalvin made 150 of these candles for us!!!  ^😭😭😭^ ^All those in favor of making this Stephen’s new profile pic?^ CAN’T. STOP. LAUGHING. Last dance! The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything LOL!

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