(WARNING: TONS OF PICTURES AHEAD)
The three month wait till our wedding soared by. Originally, Ryan had suggested waiting until December to get married, but I'm not the most patient person in the world and wanted to get the show on the road. He was still nervous about the whole marriage thing, which I was too, but I didn't want to give him too much time to digest the fact that he was going to be stuck with me for the rest of forever ;) Ironically, a couple of weeks after our wedding, Ryan turned to me and said, "Man, if I would've known how awesome married life was, I would've proposed sooner!". What a cutie.
One really fun thing we were able to do during our three month engagement about a month before our wedding was go to California with Ryan's parents, his brother, and some family friends. Ryan served his mission in the San Fernando valley, so the first night, we stayed at a family's house who were in one of Ryan's wards and really close with him. The next day, we went to church with them and as soon as we walked into the building, Ryan was a celebrity. Everyone knew exactly who he was and gathered around to give him a hug or shake his hand and ask how we was. Ryan was all smiles. It was really cool to see him get excited and actually put some names to faces to the people from his mission stories. We weren't able to spend a lot of time there, but seeing Ryan at his height was special and fun. I hope we'll be able to do that again soon.
The family from Ryan's mission, the Baker's
The Baker's love the USC Trojan's, so we got all dressed up ;)
Monday through Friday was spent at Disneyland, California Adventure, Sea World, and Universal Studios. We had a lot of fun and there really weren't any crowds or super long lines which made it even better. The only thing that would have made the trip better was if Ryan and I were married so we didn't have to say "goodnight" and leave each other every night, but even then, I couldn't complain after a week of fun with the love of my life.
The Whole Gang at Universal Studios with Ryan's Aunt Diana and her daughter, Sophie
The roof of our hotel with Disneyland in the background
We spent our last day on Saturday at the beach. You can't go to California and not go to the beach. The wind was blowing and the water was still pretty cold, but we made the most of it and had a lot of fun. Afterwards, we drove all the way home and man, were we exhausted! What a fun week and great way to relax before the wedding. It was nice to get away for awhile.
I know everyone says this, but our wedding day was PERFECT. Not one thing went wrong (at least not to my knowledge). Stress didn't even enter my mind and I was totally at ease. Around 8 a.m., I drove to my hair stylist's house and had my hair and make-up done. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, leaving me with an hour to spare before I had to be at the temple, so I headed over to the hair salon where my mom, grandma, and all of my bridesmaids were getting their hair done. I just sat and chatted with everyone. How awesome is that? I wasn't rushed one bit. As soon as everyone's hair was done, we drove to the temple and that's where the magic happened. I can't really say much about it, but being married and sealed in the temple was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The feelings and spirit in the room were so comforting and peaceful. I cried, of course, and Ryan held back the tears that rimmed his bottom eyelid. I think maybe one tear slipped out ;) I was definitely nervous and I'm sure Ryan was too, but the nice thing was that we were never separated from each other. Only when we needed to get dressed. There was no aisle for me to walk down. Instead of all eyes on me, it was all eyes on us and I loved that. Our families and close friends smiled, cried, and gave us big hugs. It was quiet and sacred. I am so blessed to have been worthy to accomplish my most important goal in life: be married and sealed in the temple to the man of my dreams. I couldn't help but feel a little prideful. I was worthy. I made it. We made it. I was so proud of myself. What an amazing accomplishment it was!
One thing about our wedding that was extra special was the fact that Ryan's Grandpa Smith was able to join us in the temple. He had been very sick and his health was declining fast. Even though he didn't feel good, he still was able to make it to our wedding and we were able to get one last picture of him. Grandpa Smith died about a month after our wedding and what a blessing it was for him to be able to hold on just a little bit longer for our special day. Ryan was very close with his grandpa and they didn't think he was even going to be able to make it to the point when Ryan returned home from his mission, but we are extremely grateful for the extra time we had with him.
We walked out of the temple around 12:30 p.m. and man was it hot! Our pictures turned out great, but everyone wasn't too happy about standing out in the sun for an hour, especially the little kids. We were able to get through the pictures in good timing. We still had an hour to spare before our luncheon, so Ryan and I drove to his apartment, took off our layers and layers of wedding apparel, turned the fan on high, and just laid on the floor. We were so hot, it was embarrassing. I couldn't stand to be in my dress another minute. This lasted for about 15-20 minutes. I think we even fell asleep for a little bit. Then it was time for the luncheon and luckily, we didn't have to get back into our sweaty tux and dress.
This is one of my favorite pictures. Ryan claiming his property ;)
I had to include this picture. I love the focus on my sweet little cousin, Brinlee. She's such a cutie!
Me and my sweet momma! Without her, our wedding wouldn't have been possible!
My family (my older brother, Dustin, wasn't able to make it)
Time was definitely on our side that day. We had at least an hour between each event. We were never rushed. We just took our time. I never thought my wedding day would be so easy. Right when our reception was supposed to start, the sun got covered by heavy dark clouds and it began to pour rain for about 30 minutes. Talk about random! A lot of people didn't come because of that, but we still had a good turnout. We had a line for the first hour of our reception and the rest of the time was filled with shoving cake into each other's faces and up one another's nose, throwing the bouquet, tossing the garter, and dancing. The building didn't have any A/C, so it was super hot too, but we had a lot of fun.
I absolutely loved the way the decorating turned out. The women did an amazing job!
I had to get a play-by-play of feeding each other the cake :)
Ryan was too nice ;)
But he quickly changed his mind ;)
Ryan and his mom - two peas in a pod :)
My family and I celebrated Thanksgiving in Wyoming in 2012 (right around the time I decided to stop being a punk and call Ryan). While we were there, I bought these really nice pair of leather boots and I remember saying, "I'm going to wear these babies to my wedding". Let me tell you, my feet praised me for wearing those babies on my wedding day. They were heavenly! I didn't get one blister and I was so proud to show them off. I'm obsessed with boots and have tried to get Ryan to try on a pair just to see what he would look like in them, but he never will or he'll change the subject. But on our wedding day, it was time for our first dance as a married couple and out Ryan came with his pants tucked into a pair of black cowboy boots and a big smile on his face. I couldn't believe it! I absolutely loved it and we even got pictures! I'll never forget that. Plus, right after our first dance was my dance with my dad and out he came with his pants tucked into a pair of cowboy boots as well! It's not unusual to see my dad in a pair of boots, but tucking his tux pants into them was the icing to the cake.
Ryan walking out in his boots
Our first dance :)
My dad and I in our boots for our daddy/daughter dance
As Ryan and I walked out of the building to say goodbye, everyone stood in a line and gave us a good spanking. I did not plan on that, but we rolled with it. As we were making our way to our car, my one and a half year old cousin, Cooper, came running after us with a balloon in his hand and yelling our names "Tada" and "Yan" (Ryan without the "R"). He handed us the balloon and gave us a big hug and ran back to his mom. It was short and little, but oh so cute and sweet! I will never forget that either. We hopped in the car, waved goodbye, and we were off.
Cooper running out with the balloon. What a sweetie! :)
We were blessed to have tons of help for our wedding. My aunts, bridesmaids, sister's friends, siblings, Ryan's friends, and my parents did all the decorating for the reception. They spent hours the day before trying to make the place look good and boy did they do a good job! It was absolutely beautiful! My dad even built a beautiful wooden arch/background for it and it really added to the place. My grandma made our wedding cake and the sheet cakes that we served. The cake was gorgeous and special. Ryan's mom also made a groom's cake which was also gorgeous and very nice. Ryan's dad popped all of the popcorn and let us use his speaker system for the music. You can't have a wedding without music! Ryan's grandma Dini made everyone's boutonnieres and corsages. Not only did that save us a lot of money, but they were better than anything we could have gotten at a flower shop. Let's not forget our parents for putting up with us and paying for everything! Our day was wonderful and perfect because of them, but especially, my mom. My mom did absolutely everything. I really didn't do anything at all. I would get texts from my mom asking me questions and I would just say "yes" or "no" or whatever she needed and she would take care of it. My dream wedding wouldn't have happened without her.
Thank you to everyone who made our wedding day perfect and for celebrating with us whether it was in person, through a text, or even a gift or card. Ryan and I are extremely blessed with family and friends who love and care about us. We love you guys!
The gorgeous cake my Grandma Aletha made
The beautiful groom's cake my mother-in-law, Shirley, made
The incredible wooden backdrop my dad made. What a blessing to be surrounded by so many amazing and talented people!
The boots :)