The last 30 minutes before the ceremony was spent in the bridal suite with the whole wedding party. One of my favorite things about the day was getting to see the reception space before anyone else did. Our wedding planner came and got us while we were waiting for the ceremony to start and we got to see the entire space empty, this was SUCH a good idea because once 260 people are packed in, it wont look the same. It was the best feeling in the world seeing all the planning over the last year come to life!
Ok, back to pre-ceremony. Right before we were getting ready to line up, my best friend Courtney said a prayer. Everyone stood in a circle and held hands while Grant and I were in the middle. It was such a cool moment to have all our favorite people surrounding us before the ceremony began.
Then, it was time for the ceremony to begin. We had two of our fave string quartet songs cued up for when our bridal party/family walked down the aisle and then we saved our absolute favorite for when I walked down the aisle. Ever since Grant and I started dating we loved the song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” so, it was only fitting that I walked down the aisle to the string version. <3
Songs linked here:
wildest dreams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5lcsPH4Xz8
young forever: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyktf4iKV-4
can you feel the love tonight: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkDYn56NKdM
Something that our wedding planner had told my dad and I during the rehearsal was to pause before we walked down the aisle. I am so glad she gave us that advice because it really allowed us to stop and take in the moment and look at all our guests. The day goes by so fast, so any moment you can take to just stop & soak it all up is important.
The ceremony was pretty quick, around 30 minutes start to finish. We had my older cousin, Brandon, officiate us. We knew we wanted to have someone that knew both Grant and me personally, marry us. It gave it that extra element of intimacy & connection that we loved. He truly did the BEST job, and we cannot thank him enough! We also had my uncle, Scott, do a bible verse reading. It was really special to us to have so many of our family members involved in our wedding. We also wrote our own vows, which we were pretty nervous about doing, but were really happy we did. If you have ever attended a wedding where the couple writes their own vows, then you will know what I mean when I say it really helps the whole audience feel connected and get to know you more as a couple on a deeper level. I ordered these vow books off Etsy:
They turned out SO cute and something we will have and cherish forever <3 Also, they are small enough, so they fit in Grant’s jacket pocket perfectly.
After the ceremony was done, it was TIME TO PARTAYY! All the nerves were gone. We did it & were ready to just enjoy the evening with our friends and family. As everyone exited the ceremony, they were handed a glass of champagne which was such a fun element! Not only did it relieve pressure off the bar right away, but it also was just a fun surprise for the guests that they weren’t expecting!
All the guests then headed over to the reception spot which was right across the parking lot from the ceremony, which was SO convenient. We had a bar and some tables set up outside for a little outdoor cocktail hour. Our signature drinks were a margarita & an old fashioned. While the guests were at cocktail hour, the wedding party stayed in the bridal suite. We enjoyed margaritas, signed our marriage license, and just sang and danced & had the best time! Another fun little thing that I did was have my sisters switch my hair from a bun to a ponytail, I wanted to do some sort of switch up and I thought this was the perfect way to do that! I also put in a little “wifey” clip that added a fun element for the reception.
About halfway through cocktail hour Grant and I took my dad’s vintage car over to the reception space, we did a quick drive by, said hi to some friends and family & drove off, it was so fun! Then we took some more photos before it was time for the grand entrance.
The whole wedding party danced their way into the reception and then we got introduced as Mr. & Mrs. Shaeffer for the first time!Next was dinner & speeches. My dad said a hello & thanked everyone for being there. Then, Elijah said a quick prayer before it was time to eat. About halfway through dinner, it was golden hour, so Grant and I snuck out quick to take some sunset photos. These photos are some of my absolute favorites that we got the entire day, the lightning was amazing & we love how they turned out!!
When we went back in, it was time for speeches. My dad went first, then Grant’s dad, next was my sisters for their maids of honor speech, and then Grant’s brother for his best man speech. Speeches were easily a favorite part of the night, all of them were so good.
After speeches & dinner, it was time to dance! We didn’t have a sit-down dessert, we just had a dessert bar so people could grab what they wanted throughout the night. My dad and I did our first dance first, we danced to American Girl by Carrie Underwood, the lyrics are so spot on! Then, Grant and his mom danced to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac & then finally, Grant and I did our first dance. We danced to “Anyone” by Justin Bieber & it will forever be a favorite song of mine. <3 Finally, after these special dances, we invited everyone to come on the dance floor. One of my favorite things about our wedding was how the dance floor was ALWAYS packed. It truly was so fun. We danced and danced all night. Around 10:00 we had late night pizza delivery, which was perfect!
When the wedding ended & it was time to go, ( 🙁 ) we loaded up the buses and headed back to Grandview. Good thing we had the cabins to go back to, because we weren’t ready for the party to be over! Our family & friends came over and we stayed up until like 3:30 just talking about the night & having fun. It truly was the best day of our lives & we will never forget it. We cannot thank our family, friends and vendors enough for making it all possible! Thank you for tuning in to wedding week, ok maybe 2…. We so appreciate your support! Please reach out with any questions throughout your wedding planning process, we are happy to help!
Here is our wedding video, we hope you enjoy!