I will remember every detail of that chilly, overcast October day.
Waking up from excitement at 6 am in the hotel room I was sharing with my best friend and looking out at the sunrise over the Mississippi, thinking that this was a beautiful day to get married.
Popping champagne in the salon with all my bridesmaids while blasting the Cyndi Lauper Pandora station.
Picking up lunch at Panera in street clothes and a veil.
Putting on makeup in the hotel and getting a peek out the door of my dad wearing his fathers' suit and top hat with the guys in the hall. That's the moment I knew this was for real.
How exhausted I felt from not being able to sleep the week before.
Meeting Ben under the arches for our first look, and finally releasing all the anxiety and tension and replacing them with calm and excitement and love.
Standing outside the chapel doors with my bridesmaids and parents right before the ceremony, and my mom telling me that this was exactly how she'd wished I would look on my wedding day.
Stepping into the golden light of the chapel with my dad, and feeling surrounded and overwhelmed by love and joy.
Freaking out when Ben started saying his vows, because he started crying and then I started crying and I didn't know how I'd get through mine.
(I ended up starting great, until we both started church-giggling at how surreal it all was.)
The reception was just how I wanted it: relaxed, fun, intimate, like a dinner party with all my favorite people in which I just so happened to be wearing an ivory ballgown.
My little sisters delivered a toast full of cheesy childhood stories and songs.
My bustle ripped out during a Dutch party dance and I didn't even care.
Ben and I danced to Green Eyes by Coldplay.
I accomplished my reception priority: getting to eat my own wedding cake.
The day didn't fly by like everyone said it would. It actually unfolded in perfect time (after an intense and hectic morning) and when the party was over I was ready to leave with my new husband and begin the rest of our lives.
Our amazing photographer Christy has posted our wedding photos on her blog so this is an excited announcement to go check them out if you are into weddings :)
These photos of us under the arches at Augustana are my favorite, in part because Ben showed them to his (Southside Chicago) students and they said I looked like Tinkerbell.