Daron proposed after he took me skydiving. We joked for years that he scared me into saying Yes. Since we had already been going through marriage counseling & slowly planning the wedding, it was just time to put plans into motion for our October 26, 2002 wedding date. I asked my friend Angie to be my Maid of Honor, my sister Christi to be my Junior Bridesmaid & my sister Becca to be my flower girl. All of them said Yes & started looking for their dresses. I decided to just give them the colors I wanted them to wear & let them choose their own dresses. Daron asked his friend Dave to be his Best Man, his brother Bryan & my brother Jon to be our Ushers. I decided to give them something easy to wear -- a white or cream shirt with khaki pants & a tie.
I started looking online to get ideas for my wedding dress. I found a lot that I like, but ended up finding my dress in the most unusual spot -- the clearance rank at Banana Republic. It was a simple white sundress that I fell in love with. My friend Angie mentioned that she had a white lace shawl that I could borrow. I found my jewelry at Wal-Mart - a sapphire (my birthstone) & diamond (Daron's birthstone) heart necklace with matching earrings.
I spent a lot of time at Michael's picking out flowers for boutonnieres & corsages for the Best Man, Ushers, Daron's parents, my parents, Daron's grandmothers, my grandparents & my Aunt Karen (who played flute for the ceremony). I also got the flower girl rose petals & basket, my bouquet & the bouquets for the Maid of Honor & Junior Bridesmaid. I found the paper for the invitations as well as the programs so I could make my own.
We decided that we would do a buffet style reception. We had a turkey & a ham in our freezer from Daron's work that we would use. Daron's mom offered to make sides & two women from his parents church offered to keep the buffet table filled. Another woman from their church offered to make our wedding cake (which was amazing). Another woman at the church loaned me her wedding decorations since they were the same colors that I was using - Red, White & Pink. When all was said & done, I think Daron & I only spent about $300 out of our pockets for the entire wedding. It was going to be a simple wedding, but we were couple with simple taste.
I spent the week before the wedding getting everything together & packed for the drive across state. I double & triple checked everything. We pack everything in my car & Daron's car on the 24th of October. On October 25th, we started the two and a half hour drive to Utica, MI (near Pontiac) & only stopped to pick up my Maid of Honor. My mom, Angie & I drove in my car & Jon rode with Daron in his car. We got to Daron's parents house & started unpacking so we could jump right in on decorating & setting up. I had the guys set up the tables in the basement for the reception, while Angie & I decorated the sanctuary. After the guys told us the tables were set up, Angie & I went downstairs to decorate them -- once we had rearranged them to meet my plan. Once everything was done, Daron went to stay at his Best Man's house for the night & I went out to eat with Angie. After we got back, we started putting the silverware together & wrapping it in napkins. Remember how I said that I double & triple checked everything I packed? Well, I discovered that I still forgot something -- all 100 programs I had printed for the ceremony. I realized it at 10pm the night before the ceremony. I laughed about it & still laugh about it.
The morning of our wedding was crazy busy. I had a hair appointment which ran longer then it was supposed to. That led to me frantically running around to get the rehearsal going - we just did a super quick run through so everyone had an idea of what was going on. After that, I had to get dressed for pictures. Daron's Uncle John was willing to be our photographer & we were grateful for that. Daron had his pictures first & then we had our first look pictures. I love those photos of Daron tearing up when he saw me for the first time. We had our wedding party photos, our couple photos, family photos, grandparent photos, etc taken. I was so thankful that my grandparents were able to be at the wedding. I found out the night before that my Grandpa Orr had a stroke & we weren't sure if he would be able to make it. The smiles in all of the pictures with him are precious to me because of that.
When all of the pictures were done, Daron & I went to different parts of the church before the rest of our families started arriving. My dad & I spent a little time talking & I touched up my makeup. Then it was time for the ceremony to start. I still remember how I was feeling while waiting to walk down the aisle. My heart was racing & I had butterflies in my stomach. I was so happy to be marrying my best friend & I couldn't wait to get to the front of the aisle. My aunt starting playing & everyone was seated. My sisters & Maid of Honor walked down the aisle & then it was my turn. As my dad was walking me down the aisle, I locked eyes with my Grandpa Orr. He was tearing up which made me tear up. I whispered I Love You & he whispered it back. I am the oldest of the grand kids & the first to get married. Plus, I always had a special relationship with my Grandpa & Grandma Orr.
My Dad gave my hand to Daron & his Dad began the ceremony. We exchanged our vows - I still have the book that our vows are in - & rings. We lit the unity candle & were pronounced Husband & Wife. There was one thing I missed when we decorated the sanctuary -- a small piece of carpet that covered a plug on the stage. Because of his MS, Daron's foot caught this piece of carpet & he almost knocked me down when we kissed. When we watched our wedding video we both laughed about it. He said he was just trying to show everyone that he was literally head over heels in love with me. I told he was just trying to see how if I was really going to hold me up & take care of him. Either way, it led to a fun part of our wedding ceremony.
After the ceremony, we greeted our family members & had a full group picture taken with everyone there. Everyone went down to the reception so Daron & I could take a few more pictures. When we got to the reception & everyone had gotten their food, we showed the video of our skydive where Daron proposed. Everyone loved watching it & we enjoyed sharing it with them. Because I forgot the wedding programs, we introduced the wedding party to everyone. We cut the cake & smeared some on each others faces & laughed about it. We spent time mingling with everyone & then decided it was time to leave for the hotel. My mom, brother & Maid of Honor drove my car back home that night & took all of our wedding gifts with them.
The next morning, we started off our marriage the right way -- in church. We went to his parents church & then had lunch with them after the service. We then headed back home & stopped at my mom's to pick up my car & our wedding gifts. Since it was October 27, our one year anniversary, we decided to recreate our first date. So we got Hungry Howie's (Hawaiian pizza) & a movie (The Mummy Returns) & went back to our apartment. We opened wedding gifts while we watched the movie & laughed about funny things that happened over the last few days. I even laughed about finding all 100 programs still sitting on the computer desk where I left them. I took Monday October 28 off so I could get something done - go to change my name at social security, secretary of state, the bank & then write out all of our thank you notes so they could go in the mail right away. We didn't go on a honeymoon right away, but we were okay with that. We knew we would take one at a later time when finances allowed.
Like I said, our wedding was simple, but we were a simple couple. All that mattered to us was that we were surrounded by people who loved us. We talked about having a vow renewal later on & having a larger wedding then. Once again, looking back, God's hand was in everything we did. Our plans were not part of his plan & that's okay. I'm going to take another break from the story. I'm including some of my favorite wedding pictures....enjoy!
|Our Wedding Party|
L to R - Angie (Maid of Honor), Christi (red dress, Junior Bridesmaid),
Becca (pink dress, Flower Girl),
Dave (Best Man), Jon (my brother, behind Daron & I)
|I wanted a crazy picture & told my Dad & Daron to pretend that my Dad was "forcing" Daron to marry me. This is what I got. 😂|
|I hold this picture close to my heart these days. Daron & my Grandpa Orr are both in Heaven.|
It is one that is hard to look at without tears.....knowing that half of this picture is in Heaven now.
|I don't remember what Daron was telling me, but it must be something funny considering the giant grin on his face.|
|The look of love|
|Everyone who attended our wedding|
|Being polite with the wedding cake.....but not for long|
|I smeared the cake first & then he smeared it on me. We couldn't stop laughing after this.|