Enjoy every moment, because it’s here and gone before you know it.

just about everyone who has had a wedding

Many people said either the above, or something just like it, to me the days leading up to my wedding. Some days, I did find it hard to “enjoy every moment”, as some of the planning and prepping moments weren’t necessarily my favorite. I mean, if we’re being honest, I was crying the night before, at the rehearsal dinner, for some reasons that really didn’t matter the day of the wedding. However, I did cry on my wedding day, but it was for reasons that I will always hold dear to me.

You know, unless you are the bride, you may not necessarily know every small detail of a wedding. What I wanted to do this time, is to give you the inside scoop of my wedding day – mainly telling about the details that mean so much to me. From who was in it, who showed up, what I was wearing, and maybe a few other things.

Let’s start with my girls.

From left to right: Matrice (Tricey), Ale (Sister), Ashley, ME, Crystal, Trinity, Mela

Although she is my cousin, Matrice has been like another mother to me for at least the past 15 years of my life. When thinking about who I wanted to be beside me on the big day, I knew I had to have her there. She and David (that’s her husband) have both played very vital parts in my relationship with God.

Their daughters, Mela and Trinity, have become like little sisters to me. This alone has been a blessing to me, and an answer to prayer, as I have always wanted a little sister – yet, God blessed me with multiple. It’s crazy to see how much they have grown up – Trinity was the one that styled all of the girls’ hair for the day (except for Ashley’s).

As I talk about sisters, one sister I was blessed with through marriage is my sister-n-love Crystal. I love how God has brought us together over the years, where she has gone from being my brother’s wife to MY sister-n-love. I love how God brings people together like that. Just like He brought together Ashley and me. It’s crazy because we have so many similarities, yet we laugh because we really can’t even remember how we even became so close. One minute I was her youth leader, and the next, we’re partners in crime.

Then there is Ale, who I typically refer to as Sister. I met Ale back in March 2018 when I went to Spain to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) at the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Madrid base. We were roommates then, and were roommates again in September when we returned to attend the Bible Core Course (BCC) at the same place. Since then, we have been close like sisters – watching God move in each others lives, from inner healing to finding our husbands. Sister, and her husband Ben, from over from Spain, to be part of our big day. This I will never forget.

The fact that they all went out to buy the vans I requested for them to wear meant so much to me. I am such a huge fan of vans, and knew that I wanted us to all wear them for the big day – they all made it happen. Even my niece had her a pair on as well. It all worked out so well, as the guys wore grey with red wine accents and the ladies were in their red wine dresses with grey vans.

As an aunt, it meant so much to me to have both my niece and my nephew as my jr. bridesmaid and jr. groomsmen. They both were so beautiful and so very handsome.

As for what I was wearing, well, my dress was found by Tricey actually. The girls went with me to look for my dress when I was here in August 2019. That was when we found the style of dress that I liked. However, the price was way out of my price ranged, so the search continued. While in Spain, I received a text, with my dress. I saw it, loved it, and God provided for me to be able to purchase it; it was such a fast turn around.

As for the traditional things:

Something old: my burgundy vans

Something new: my dress of course, that was lace with pockets.

Something borrowed: the earrings I was wearing were earrings that my Grandma gave to Tricey to wear for her wedding.

Something blue: the nail of my wedding ring finger

My grandma graduated to heaven in 2015. If she was still around, she would have loved being part of everything that goes into planning a wedding. I’m sure she would have loved to bake my cake topper even (I say topper because I went with cupcakes for my wedding). Having a pair of earrings that she gave to Tricey to wear for her wedding was definitely something special to me.

Also, having my grandfather there for my day meant so much to me – him being the last grandparent I have living (from both my mom and dad’s side). He came out to “This is Why I’m Hot” by MiMS

As for the rest of the procession:

The moms walked out to “Pretty Girl Rock” by Keri Hilson. Andrew’s mom was escorted by her daughter, Andrew’s sister, Sarah. My mom was escorted by our cousin David, who is like another father to me, and, as mentioned before, has played a big part in my relationship with Christ.

Andrew and his best man, Chris, walked out to an instrumental a Ludacris song, “Act a Fool” – being an ATL guy, having Luda part of his wedding was very great for him. The bridal party walked out to “Mi Gente” by J Balvin – if you think about it, our bridal party is “our people”. And with us both being missionaries to Spain, it was only right to have a song in Spanish, that also brought some “life to the party”.

Before I even had “getting married” on my radar, I decided that I wanted my brother to walk me down the aisle whenever that was to happen, and that’s exactly what happened. I walked down to a song by one of my favorite composers, David Nevue, called “Where the Water Flows”. The original plan was for me to walk down to the track playing, but that’s not what happened. It was because of what actually happened, that I found myself with tears.

About 2 or 3 years ago, my little cousin Christian, the brother to Mela and Trinity, asked me what I wanted for my birthday – I told him I wanted him to write me a song for me to walk down to for my wedding day one day. Fast forward to September 2019, I get engaged, Christian is at M.I.T without piano access, and not sure that he would be able to finish my song. He wasn’t even sure he was going to be able to come out to my wedding. However, this is why I am thankful for the corona virus – M.I.T sent their students home for the rest of the semester, and Christian arrived the morning of my wedding. What I didn’t know was that He was going to be playing my walk down music – until I heard him.

The doors were shut, and I was standing there with my brother wondering why it was taking so long for the sound guy to play my music. I began to wonder if he was given the right time to start it, or if maybe no one was aware that I was ready…but then I heard the first note, and I knew. “He didn’t tell me he was going to play!” It was through tears that I even tried to tell Chelle, my wedding planner, to not open the door yet because I wanted to get my face together and didn’t want to let anyone seeing me cry. “This is what the people want to see” is all she had for me in response. HOW RUDE! (only kidding).

It meant so much to me to have my Christian playing my song for me to walk down the aisle. And to find out that he learned it quickly over night just for me. He got off the plane, practiced at the church without me knowing, and played – through all the sleepiness. My heart was, and continues to be, so full.

The ceremony

Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness…

Matthew 6: 33

Andrew and I decided that we wanted to take communion together as part of a our ceremony, as we begin our life together. God has always been, and will always be, the center of our relationship. We would not want to go into this without putting Him first, and joining together with him. Having some important people to share that with was for sure a plus as well – our pastors.

His pastor, Mirek, led the ceremony and my pastors, Rich and Paula, led our time of communion. Andrew and I talked about just how great Pastor Mirek’s word was for our wedding day, but not only for us but for all of those listening. Our prayer, going into this day, was that many lives would be impacted; we prayed for restoration in relationships, re-connections, for new relationships to be started, and for people to come to know God through us coming together. I believe wholeheartedly that all of those things were accomplished.

I loved being able to reconnect with a family who I first knew as my youth pastor when I first came to North Carolina. When I began to think about my wedding cake, I was reminded of Tina Martin, and I remembered just how DELICIOUS her cakes always were. God opened that door for us to reconnect with PT (pastor Todd) and Tina, to be able to have my cake made. There were many other re-connections that took place that night that I continue to smile about just thinking about the night.

Since I can remember, I have always wanted my mom to sing in my wedding. When the worship pastor from my church, Jackie, approached me about helping with the music elements of the wedding, and offered to sing the communion song, she reminded me of that desire. Knowing my mom, I asked pastor Jackie to ask my mom to sing with her, and well, just like that I had my mom singing in my wedding. Having my mom sing in my wedding holds a special place in my heart; I am such a big fan of her. And having Pastor Jackie’s heart of worship as part of my special day, for sure will always be a beautiful memory of mine.

Then there was the kiss; the kiss that was our very first kiss of our relationship. We talked at the beginning of our relationship about wanting to remain pure in our relationship, not only sexually but also in kissing. However, I didn’t necessarily want to share my first kiss with EVERYONE, so I told him that we could have our first kiss the week of our wedding – but that he could choose when. Well, as the days went by that week, I became very anxious. When the day came, and we still hadn’t even kissed yet, I knew that I’d have to share it with everyone – I was nervous! The moment right before the kiss happened, I just remember thinking, “this man made me wait all this time!!”, “wait, we’re about to kiss!”, “oh my goodness”. Then it happened.

In the end of it all, I am happy that we will have this story to tell our kids – how we waited until our wedding day; how we went into our marriage pure. I look forward to being able to share with our kids how every detail of our lives has been, and is, woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives [Romans 8: 28, TPT], and just how He made everything perfect for us on our wedding day. I look forward to telling our kids about just how involved God was and has been in our lives, from before we even became one. One day. One day.