Thursday, July 24, 2014

our reception

After our wedding ceremony was over, it was party time!  The cool thing about our venue, Ashton Gardens, is that the reception ballroom is just a few steps away from the chapel.  While the wedding party and our family took some final formal pics, the rest of our guests went into the ballroom for  snacks and cocktails.

The wedding party was introduced, and then Austin and I came down some stairs and had our first dance.  We swayed along to Hunter Hayes' "Wanted".  Love that song!

By this time, everyone was pretty hungry, so Jimbo gave a really sweet welcome speech and then we chowed down on caesar salad and chicken parmesan with roasted veggies and garlic mashed potatoes.  

Following dinner, we heard from my big sister Fox and Austin's BFF Blake.  Both of them had great speeches!  We've all been to weddings where the toasts are too long, or awkward, or embarrassing for the couple.  Not the case here!  Thanks, guys! 

The mommy/son and daddy/daughter dances were next.  Austin and Dana danced to "My Wish" by Rascal Flatts.  So cute!

My dad and I started off dancing to "My Girl" by The Temptations, but then we transitioned into something a little more upbeat.

I can't wait to get the video back, but the pictures Amanda got are priceless!  I had so much fun, and shoutout to Jimbo for being such a trooper.  If you know him, you are aware that going out on stage and performing in front of a bunch of people isn't exactly his idea of a good time.  He was awesome though, and I think he secretly loved the attention!  

Cake cutting was next.  Austin and I were really pleased with the way our cakes turned out, not to mention they were delicious!  

Frosting smooches

Once all of the business was taken care of, it was time to start cutting some rugs.  And cut rugs our guests did!    

Some of our favorite party people

When Austin and I were planning our wedding, people (family, friends, potential vendors) would always ask us what kind of event we wanted to have.  Our answer was always the same, "We want a party!  We want everyone we love to be there, and we want them to have a great time.  We want music and dancing and eating and drinking.  We want to celebrate!"  And if I do say so myself, I think that's what we had!  I had the BEST time, and I will always remember how much FUN it was.  

Love this one of my sister and her hubby!

My gals

In addition to the dancing, there was also an appearance from DJ J-Me!  Check me out on the ones and twos!

Mandy, Caesar: you guys are next!

We ended the night with one more dance, just Austin and me.  While our guests got in exit formation, we had the whole ballroom to ourselves and Jason Mraz's "I Won't Give Up" played.  It was a special moment, and it was nice to just have a minute to take everything in one last time.  

We ended the party by walking (and kissing) through the sparkler line, and then we rode off into the sunset!  It was magical, the whole night.  What a way to start our lives together!  Thanks again to all of our friends and family for everything.  We had a blast!!

All of these photos were taken by Amanda Jameson Weddings.  She is just the best!

Monday, July 21, 2014

our wedding

About a month ago, Austin and I said our "I do"s.  Our photographer, Amanda Jameson, and her second shooter got some really awesome pictures of our day.  I can't say enough good things about Amanda.  We have been super pleased and impressed with everything that she has done for us, and I would highly recommend her for anyone getting married in the DFW area.  She is seriously the best!

We started the day by getting ready in his and hers suites at our hotel.  It was so fun to have all of my girls there to hang out with all day.  

I do remember feeling like the day was going by SO SLOW though.  I couldn't wait to just be ready and at the chapel seeing my groomie.  By the time my sister zipped up my dress, I was so pumped!

Austin and I did a "first look"...

Ta Da!!

...and I loved it!  It was so nice to be able to give him a big hug and kiss and just have some time to talk before the ceremony.  Not to mention, we were able to get almost all of the pictures out of the way before the ceremony, so we were able to get the party started ASAP.

Our wedding party was made up of our best friends in the world.  We felt so lucky that they were all standing up there supporting us on our special day.  We could feel the love coming from everyone!

Austin's getting a little too much love!

My cousin's son and daughter, Brycen and Payton, were the most adorable ring bearer and flower girl that I have ever seen.  They did a great job!

The actual ceremony was beautiful.  It was short and sweet, but I think it was definitely "us".  There were funny parts, sweet moments, and some serious stuff too.   

I will never forget walking with my dad down the aisle.  We stood outside of the chapel, and our cousins Josh and Kyle opened the big brown doors when our pianist started playing my song.  I saw all of our friends and family smiling at Jimbo and me, and I felt so overwhelmed with love and emotion.  I needed a tissue when we got to the end!

Austin and I decided to do a unity cross as part of our ceremony, and I am really happy with that decision.  The cross represents the two of us coming together, and then there are three pegs that hold the pieces together that represent the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  It is something that we will have in our home forever.

In the end, we both had rings, we said our vows, and we sealed it all with a kiss!

I was so happy to head to the reception as Mrs. Austin Harmon!

We did it!

(Speaking of the reception...more on that later this week!)

All of these pictures are courtesy of Amanda Jameson Weddings.  Thanks again for our lovely memories, Amanda!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

our honeymoon: the reading lists

Anyone who travels knows that books are essential for a successful trip.  How else are you going to fill the time on the plane?  What else will you do while you're sitting on the beach?  Austin and I both read a few books during our trip; some were great, some were meh.  So, without further ado, here are our honeymoon reading lists!


Austin definitely has a "type" when it comes to books.  He likes darker, suspenseful novels that focus on a trial or crime.  He started out with Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.

Austin said this was the best book that he read during our trip.  If you can't tell from the cover, it's pretty dark.  He would definitely recommend it though!

Austin read both of these appropriately titled novels while we were hanging on the beach.  They are both about a series of crimes that happen to people while they are on their honeymoons.  How romantic, right?  He said these were just okay.  They were good, quick reads, but they weren't anything to write home about.

The last book on Austin's list was his least favorite.  He enjoyed Stephen King's writing, but he hated the ending to this!  I hate it when that happens (*cough* Allegiant). 


I read a bit of a variety during our trip.  All three of these books have been on my reading list for awhile, so I was really thankful that I finally had some time to dive in!

I started with the book that I've been hearing good things about (particularly from my students) all year long.  In case you haven't heard, this is a story about two teens with cancer who fall in love.  I definitely enjoyed the book (it was hard to put it down!), but it probably isn't the best thing to read on your honeymoon unless you enjoy sobbing on the beach.

I decided to go with something a little lighter for my next read.  Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorite comedians, so I was really excited to read his book.  Jim has five kids, and this book consisted of a bunch of short essays about various topics centering around fatherhood.  The writing was funny, but there were a ton of jokes from his stand up routines.  So if you're like me and have listened to all of his material, this book may be a little redundant.  

This novel has been on my reading list for-ev-er, so I was stoked to finally jump in!  In case you don't know, Lauren Graham is an actress (mostly known for her roles on Parenthood and Gilmore Girls).  I LOVE Gilmore Girls, so when I found out Lorelai wrote a book, I knew I had to get my hands on it.  It did not disappoint!  Someday, Someday, Maybe follows Franny, a struggling actress, as she tries to make it big in New York.  The story is fantastic and I loved Lauren Graham's writing style.  It was a great read for the beach!

Well, that concludes my posts about our honeymoon.  As you can see, we had a fabulous trip, and we plan to go back to The Body Holiday to celebrate our 25th anniversary!  Stay tuned for some posts about our wedding!!