Note: My ex and I are no longer together, but I wanted to keep this post up because I have great memories with friends and family during the week of my wedding. I haven’t changed any of the text.
The beautiful pictures in this post are all credited to my wonderful photographer, Sydney Scott! She was so amazing to work with and captured so many memories that I will treasure forever.
Sunday, June 3rd was everything I dreamed and hoped it would be. The weather was perfect, the birds were chirping, and I was ready to marry the man of my dreams.
I got up early that morning to go have breakfast with my extended family from Oregon. We went to iHOP (ihob?) and filled our bellies with food. I ate some potatoes and an English muffin, but I was so nervous I couldn’t stand much more. Brenna and I left early to get to the venue and arrived to see everyone setting up. Bullskin Creek was the perfect place for us to get married, and we had so much to work with in regards to space and backdrops. There were sunflowers, tulle, and pictures of Shane and I everywhere. It was all coming together and everything was already so beautiful.
All my bridesmaids arrived, as well as Tiffany and Lauren! For the first time since December, my roommates and I were reunited and I was so happy to be with everyone.
After swooning over decorations and chatting with everyone, it was finally time to get ready! Shane and I were doing a first look before the ceremony, so I had to get ready extra early so we had time to take pictures and go back into hiding before the guests arrived. Rachelle’s friend Emma did my hair and makeup, and she did such a good job, I’m so happy with how it turned out. I felt so beautiful.
Then it was time to put on the dress, the veil, and my sparkly belt. I got my dress from David’s Bridal, and I don’t think it could have been more perfect. It fit me perfectly, and it felt so “me”.
Once I was fully dressed, with makeup and hair completely done, it was time for the big reveal. I was a bride. I was about to marry the man of my dreams in just three short hours. Looking at myself in the mirror made it finally feel real. Just like when I graduated two years ago, it felt like I was just a child playing dress-up, except this was really real. I was really getting married!!
Shane and I decided to do a “first look” so we could save time and take pictures before the ceremony. That was a perk, but honestly, seeing him before-hand eased my nerves so much. While getting ready, I was full of butterflies, but after spending some time with him, laughing and holding hands, I felt so much better; so much more ready to finally get married.
When he first turned around to see me in my wedding dress, I thought he was going to be a blubbering mess- he’s always been the more emotional. But when I saw him, with the realization that the man God had planned for me- my best friend- was about to be my husband, I couldn’t hold back the tears.
We spent about 45 minutes taking pictures with our photographer, Sydney. She had a bunch of pose ideas for us, and with the giddiness in our hearts, we couldn’t help but smile at each other the whole time. Here are some of my favorites:
Then our bridal party came out so we could take group pictures! The colors for everyone’s suits and dresses turned out perfect, and the sunflowers really popped!
Everyone was so fun to be around, and the energy was infectious and exciting. We were all laughing and having a blast just taking pictures and being together. I’m so glad Shane and I had such good friends with us to stand by our sides that day.
Then we said our goodbyes, and we separated into our dressing rooms. As people arrived, the girls and I spent time talking, laughing, and trying not to let the nerves come back.
Shane and I wrote each other letters that our photographer delivered to each of us. My bridesmaids gathered around me on the floor for “story time” as I read the sweet letter my future husband had written me.
Then we held hands as they prayed over me and my future marriage. It helped me to feel peace as I was about to walk into a new future. I’ve said it before, but I’m so glad I had my best friends there with me.
Then it was time. We could see all the guests through the small window in our dressing room, and then the music started. “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz led our family, and then my bridesmaids, down the isle while I stood alone trying to keep the butterflies in my stomach from flying out of my mouth if you know what I mean. Even now when I hear that song I get butterflies.
As Brenna was making her trip down the isle, I stepped out of the room to meet my dad. He held it together- barely- enough for me to grab his arm as he led me out the door and into the sunlight, where my handsome groom awaited me.
I managed not to cry- I think I got it all out during our first look- or trip, but I think Shane was a little teary eyed.
My dad walked me to the front of the isle, where Robert prayed over us. Then my dad handed me off to Shane, the man I was about to promise myself to for the rest of my life.
The ceremony is mostly a blur. I honestly don’t remember a ton of what was said, which I’ve heard is normal. I remember feeling butterflies and almost crying a million times and my face hurting from smiling up at Shane so much. We exchanged rings and said the vows we’ve quoted parts from since the beginning of our relationship- “in sickness and in health”, and especially, “I do”.
Then it was time to imitate Jesus and wash each other’s feet. Since we began planning the wedding, I knew I wanted this to be part of our ceremony. “Holy Spirit” by Francesca Battistelli played as we took turns washing each other’s feet and praying over each other. It’s safe to say that I sobbed as I prayed over Shane and our marriage.
Afterwards, our bridal party gathered around us as we all prayed silently- well, other than the sniffles from almost everyone around me. I felt so full of peace and joy as our best friends lifted us up to God, praying for our lives together.
Then came the part we were all waiting for- when Robert smiled and said, “You may now kiss the bride!”
I’m officially McKenzie Leslie!! Shane is my husband, we’re married!
“Island in the Sun”, which has been “our song” for three years started playing as we ran back down the isle, bare feet and holding hands. We stood by the doors into the reception area and hugged and welcomed our guests as they went inside. This is the point where I cried once again, hugging our families and friends.
We took some family pictures with our photographer, then danced back into the reception area to “Come on Eileen”! Shane and I sat at the head table with our bridal party and prayed over our food, and then it was time to eat!
We had a waffle bar with lots of toppings, as well as vegan cookies and cupcakes for dessert! The waffles were super sweet (yay vegan waffles) and delicious, and the almond milk went perfectly with it. It was all so yummy.
Then we cut our delicious vegan strawberry cake from the Frosted Cakerie. I was nice and gave Shane a cute little small bite, and then he cut the largest piece he could possibly fit in my mouth. I could barely chew, but at least it was super tasty!
Next for the reception were the toasts! Shane’s best man, Fernando, gave an emotional speech that had everyone in the room tearing up. Brenna’s speech was sweet and made me smile super big. We’re so blessed.
For our first dance, Shane and I chose “Perfect” by Ed Sheeran. When I first heard this song over a year ago, before we were even engaged, I couldn’t help but be blown away but how much it described our relationship. Every single word fits us perfectly- no pun intended. We swayed, laughed, sang to each other, and even twirled and dipped each other to the music.
I danced with my dad to “My Little Girl” by Tim McGraw, which probably would have made me cry if my dad hadn’t talked to me the whole time- probably to keep himself from crying. Shane and his mom danced to “Humble and Kind”, also by Tim McGraw (I guess he’s a master at wedding songs).
The rest of the reception was full of dancing to fun music and visiting with friends and family who traveled far to see Shane and I get married. I was reminded once again how blessed I am to have such loving and amazing family and friends, and it was so good to see those who I haven’t seen in over a year!
After a while, most of our guests had left and it was just a few friends and family left dancing the night away.
Shane and I decided it was time to head out- but not before running through a crowd of colorful ribbon waved by our favorite people!
We climbed in his car, which had been decked out in cans and paint, and I stuck my head out the sunroof and waved my own ribbon.
Shane and I didn’t really leave at that point- we took a few more pictures with our photographer since the lighting had changed and gotten better in different locations. Now that we were officially married, I was smiling even bigger, especially in poses where I got to look at my hot husband.
After taking our last pictures in our wedding get-up, we changed out of the dress and suit and packed up our stuff to head out on our honeymoon to Mexico!
Our wedding day was beautiful and magical and honestly the best day of my life. I still can’t believe it’s real and that all my dreams came true. God is so good, you guys. I married my best friend and now I’m living out my happily ever after with him. I 100% believe that none of this would have happened without God, and I owe it all to him. Thank you to everyone who made this special day possible- we definitely could not have done it on our own. I’ve said it a million times already, but I’m going to say it one last time- we are so blessed.