Justin and I for almost 2 years had openly discussed our wedding plans. It took us that long to figure out what we really wanted because as many people know planning a wedding is not only stressful, but it is also very consuming having to consider making everyone happy. To make things harder, we had to pay for everything ourselves.
We went from venue to venue looking for the perfect place to say “I Do”. One was in downtown Chicago, another was his grandparents first home. We searched high and low for something perfect, but nothing seemed to appear. We thought about running away and eloping by ourselves, but I quickly learned I didn’t want to do the getting ready part alone. Not only that but I really didn’t want his side or my side of the family to be upset they weren’t included.
About 3 months ago, we decided to do a small family only ceremony at the place we had our first date… The Chain O’ Lakes State Park! We were hoping for a beautiful sunny day full of God’s light and a little more warmth than Chicago normally allows for at the end of winter. Everyday leading up to our wedding was blue skies and beautiful! As March 9th got closer the forecast showed rain and high winds… ya exactly what you want on your wedding day!!
The day before our wedding we went to The Chain to scoop out the different places we could say our vows. Birds were singing and not a cloud was in sight! The weather still showed rain in the forecast but we were hopeful.
The morning of our wedding arrived and as I’m anxiously watching the news and checking my phone constantly, we finally called it. Justin and I decided if we can get everyone to be there by 2:00 pm, we should be good to go!!! From my understanding the weather was going to turn sour by 3:00 pm. With our wedding originally being set for 4:00 pm I knew our window for no crazy weather was better at 2:00.
As we were approaching the park and getting set to start the wedding it began drizzling. I was praying praying praying as hard as I could!! Then my family all went to the seats and suddenly it started pouring right as I’m supposed to walk down the aisle!
It was cold, raining, and no one could sit since the chairs were wet hahaha, but at the end of the day Justin and I said our vows and we got married!! It was the most imperfect, perfect day I could’ve ever imagined. Shivering or not we are now Husband and Wife and I couldn’t be prouder to call him my Husband.
People don’t lie, your wedding day happens so fast! In the end I’m glad we didn’t spend $10,000 on decorations and things because it really does begin and end in a literal blink of an eye. I got to walk down the aisle with the song I always imagined, and Justin gave me his coat so I wouldn’t be cold. His phone died during his vows, which is a very Justin thing to happen! We were surrounded by our family and we all for a few minutes got to enjoy being in the presence of God.
Weddings, in my opinion, shouldn’t be perfect! If you think about it, life isn’t perfect nor is a marriage. Imagining and making a wedding perfect, I fear, makes people believe that’s how life will be everyday. I found that my heart was satisfied and overcome with joy after our wedding. Even though the day before and the day after our wedding was sunny and beautiful we will never forget the rainy windy weather we faced in the first moments of our new life together.
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Remember always, “Your struggle is your strength”
– Kaitlyn Ariel Vander Meer –