Tim and I just returned from our honeymoon to find that our wedding photos were mailed to us! It was such an incredibly meaningful and emotional day for many reasons, much more meaningful than I ever thought it could be. And going through our photos seemed to bring everything back about that day. So I wanted to take the time to share some of my favorite photos along with some backstory about what made our wedding so very special.
The week leading up to the wedding was in fact the hardest week of my life. My dog, Bailey, passed away just days before we were to say our “I dos.” And what was supposed to be the happiest time in my life quickly became the saddest. I hate to share such a sad experience within such a happy one, but the two are so entwined with each other that it is almost impossible to separate them.
Bailey had been sick with cancer for some time, so the wedding planning almost had become a chore for me at times. When I was supposed to be enjoying dress fittings and decoration planning, my mind wasn’t completely there because my main focus was caring for Bailey. And on top of that, Tim and I were in the middle of planning a cross-country move. So leading up to the wedding, I was worried about a lot of things. And the worst of those worries came true when Bailey passed away. I knew that he was getting weaker in the weeks leading up the wedding, but I also held out hope that he would make it past the wedding. He was my best friend, and I truly couldn’t even picture my wedding day without him there (we even had picked the venue with him in mind). I honestly think that Bailey knew how badly I wanted him there with me, so he tried to hold on as long as he possibly could to be there for me. But he was suffering towards the end, and I knew that I had to let him say goodbye.
Despite trying to prepare myself for Bailey’s death, it still came as a shock of sadness. Needless to say, I was a basket case of emotions the week of our wedding, and I didn’t know if I would even be able to enjoy our wedding day. Tim was incredibly supportive through the whole thing, letting me cry and breakdown as I needed to. We even thought about postponing the wedding, but we decided it would be best to move forward with it.
In the end, I am glad that we had the wedding when we did. We felt such an outpouring of love from our family and friends, and I think that was exactly what I needed when I was aching so much from the loss of Bailey. It was almost surreal how Tim and I could actually feel the positive energy of love flowing from our guests throughout the day. We also had the perfect weather for our outdoor wedding, something that I like to think Bailey had a hand (or paw) in. I still had a few moments of sad tears for missing Bailey (I teared up before walking down the aisle because I had always envisioned Bailey with me there at that moment), but luckily the day was overwhelmingly a joyous one. And reminding myself that Bailey was still with me in spirit also helped me feel better.
Most importantly, it felt unbelievably wonderful to officially marry Tim. It was such a special moment to stand together and say our vows to each other. We wrote our own vows, and when Tim read his vows to me, I actually forgot about everything else for a moment. They were touching and from the heart, and he made me feel so lucky to get to be his forever person.
There were too many happy moments throughout the day to count, so hopefully these pictures help sum everything up. But I really need to thank our family and friends for helping make the day such an extra special occasion. In addition to Tim’s amazing support, I especially have my parents, my brother, and my sister to thank for helping me with a lot of the planning and decor leading up to the day. Also, I need to mention that our wedding officiant and his wife, Michael and Evelyn Cobb, were a great support team for Tim and me in the months leading up to the wedding. The rest of our wedding party rocked, and we are so thankful for all of you. And, of course, all of our guests were wonderful. I also want to give a quick shout out to my hair stylist, Jen Skladanek, our photographer, Jessica Quist, and our venue coordinator, Whitney Sleiter. All these ladies helped make the day essentially stress-free.
Tim and I had such a special wedding day thanks to everyone’s incredible support and love. What could have been a really sad and difficult day became such a heartwarmingly joyous one.
Photos by Jessica Quist Photography
Most of you know that I am getting married to my amazing fiancé later this month! With that comes a lot of change, but one thing that I will not be changing is my name. Because I have already had a lot of questions and even some pushback surrounding this decision, I wanted to take a moment to briefly explain why I am keeping my maiden name when I get married.
I first want to start off by saying that this is an individual choice I am making. I am not trying to convince anyone that this is what all women should do when they get married. I am not trying to say that a woman who takes her husband’s last name is not for gender equality. Both my mother and grandmothers took their husbands names when they got married, and I do not see them as weaker women because of that decision. After a lot of thought and consideration, keeping my birth name makes the most sense to me. And here are a few of the reasons why:
- My name is my identity. I like my name. I have built a “name” and a career for myself, and my name is even directly attached to my business. Given all of that, it seems silly to me to alter that identity now that I am getting married.
- Knowing what I know about the history of the women’s rights movement, I personally feel proud to even have the right to maintain my birth name. Many women have fought throughout history for the right to maintain their last name, just as women have fought for the right to vote, the right to own land, etc. We are still a long ways away from true gender equality, but, personally, I feel that keeping my birth name after getting married is a step in the right direction, made possible only by women who championed for that right.
- I am not planning ahead in case of divorce. I love my fiancé dearly, and I hope that we will be spending our entire lives together. Me not changing my name is not an indication that I have any reservations about our union. I am not demanding that my soon to be husband change his name, and I appreciate and highly respect the fact that he is not demanding that of me either.
So that is basically why I feel it is important for me to keep my birth name even after getting married. I know that not everyone will agree with this reasoning, but I do hope that you can respect this decision that I have made. Thanks for reading, and I appreciate you for hearing me out!
PS- For a sneak peak of some of my wedding decor for the big day, follow along on my Instagram account here :)