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Our Wedding Day: Getting Ready + Our First Look


When I was thinking about how I was going to share our wedding day with you guys, I imagined one very long blog post. When I received our wedding photos back from our photographers I quickly realized there was no way I could narrow down the 670 (!!!) pictures into one post! I then planned to break it down into three posts, but now have decided it will take four. 😂
Today I am sharing the very beginning of our wedding day, getting ready and our first look!

One of my favorite parts of our venue was the cottage we were able to rent out for the bridal party. I love that we could arrive Friday afternoon and not worry about leaving the whole weekend. I was worried if we had to spend the night somewhere else and get ready then go to the venue I would be so stressed. It was so nice all being in once house together the night before, waking up to mimosas and getting ready all in the same spot! It also didn't hurt that the cottage was adorable and the perfect backdrop for photos!! 

The night before the wedding was so crazy. I felt so many different things, excitement that I was about to be RJ's wife!!! Disbelief that God had chosen someone like RJ for me and that this was the beginning of our own family, our whole lives together. Nerves for how the wedding would go. Sadness that everything was almost over and wishing I could freeze time. Anxiety about traveling to Italy in two short days and wondering if I had everything I needed and of course I was missing the pups, but RJ brought them to the venue the next morning. I honestly didn't get much sleep that night, but enjoyed being up listening to the quiet in the house. 

The next morning we woke up to cold!! SO COLD! It had been gorgeous all week and an overnight storm had brought in winter weather and rain. Luckily it stopped raining around 8 am, I was happy it rained a little because that means good luck! The rain also made the venue look insanely gorgeous and romantic. We ended up having to flip flop our wedding plans (I'll tell you more about that next week) but everything turned out perfect. Hair and make up started at 8 am and the day was already in full swing! I could not believe it. 

After a morning filled with laughter, some tears, mimosas, Chick fil a nugget trays, Beyonce and a visit from the Doodlebug, it was time to put on my dress and head to my first look! 

 I originally had mixed feelings about a first look. I hated RJ seeing my dress before I walked down the aisle and I also hated breaking traditions of not seeing the bride on the wedding day. We ultimately decided we needed a first look due to having a winter wedding and needing to shoot most of our photos before the ceremony to not lose light. This worked perfectly thought with my dress, since I wanted to have two I was able to wear my dress for the first look and then afterwards I slipped away to add my ball gown skirt for the ceremony! 

The dress. I was so excited because I had officially tricked Babe! If you know me, I am hooooorrible at surprises. Not telling him about my dress was so hard. I knew he thought I had chosen a huge ball gown (which I originally didn't but added a ball gown skirt later!) and when my family brought my dress from Nashville the week of the wedding, the garment bag looked HUGE. He definitely thought he knew what my dress was going to look like. 
During our first look he was so surprised that I had a mermaid dress on! He kept laughing and touching the fabric, saying how I tricked him. He loved the dress, which made me so happy too. 

Our whole first look was gorgeous, we were right by a tiny tree house surrounded by gorgeous Chattanooga fall leaves and a tiny creek. We did our first look on a wooden bridge, it was so hard for me to walk on the bridge haha! RJ ended up carrying me off of it to make sure I wouldn't fall. The whole morning was incredible and I'm so happy I was able to spend some alone time with RJ before the craziness of the day began! These were some of our last moments of calm really until we landed in Rome. I felt like from this moment on everything was a loud, fun, crazy but perfect chaos. 

I cannot wait to share our ceremony with you next week! xo

Bridal Robe: Nordstrom
Bridesmaids' Robes: Etsy
Hair: STYLEBar [ Website | Facebook | Instagram ]
Make Up: Kim Satin [ Facebook | Instagram | (704) 402 2444 ]
Wedding Dress & Veils: Arzelle's Bridal
Wedding Shoes: Nordstrom
Wedding Jewelry: Earrings, Bracelet  
Venue: Homestead at Cloudland Station 


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