Buckle up and get ready. This is a lengthy post packed with stories and photos from my baby sister's wedding weekend. On Thursday morning, we packed up the car (mostly Kris packed up the car), and we made the four-hour trip to my parent's house in South Carolina. Despite not actually growing up in that house, it's a place that always feels like home to me. We didn't have much room for error because only a couple hours after arriving, Hannah and I loaded up the car again (mostly Hannah loaded up the car with all her getting-ready things). Kind of kills me that she was finishing up her makeup on the way; kinda doesn't because I'm not surprised. And I can relate. We're kindred spirits. We had quite the time trying to decide where to go for their first look. AFTER getting in the car and starting the drive, we decided to meet Caleb at Bald Rock, so Hannah made the call to let him know where to go.
After running around trying to find the perfect spot, helping Hannah get her dress on (which wasn't simple), and moving and re-moving Caleb to the perfect spot, we finally set up. And then. As Hannah was about to go tap Caleb, she felt a bug in her eye. With an audible sigh from Caleb who had been waiting quite a while, I removed the bug from Hannah's eye. It's all perfectly on video. After all that went down, they finally saw each other.
Then in an intimate few moments, they read their private vows to each other.
I asked Hannah if she was happy they chose to do their first look and vows on Thursday even though their actual wedding was Saturday. She said, "Oh 100% yes. It was fun how it kicked off the wedding weekend...Because we did first look Thursday, there was honestly a sense of relief and not as much pressure heading into the wedding day. I looove that I didn’t feel like I had to hide with him [on wedding day]. We were able to just meet up in the morning and spend some alone time together. It was perfect."
She also mentioned that doing it this way gave us more time than we would have had on a typical wedding day.
From Bald Rock, we headed about ten minutes up the mountain to Ceasar's Head State Park. This is where Caleb and Hannah started dating so even though we were chasing daylight, and it didn't look like we'd have much of any light left by the time we got there, Hannah wanted to make it happen, so we did. And here's what she said: "One of my favorite moments of the wedding in general was when we were at Caesar’s Head at dusk just enjoying the time together. You captured that and then we had a few moments just the two of us talking. We spent time praying together too."
I'm glad we decided to do this because:
It was gorgeous.
Caleb and Hannah recreated the picture they took on the night they started dating (picture is above on the right)
It ended up being one of Hannah's favorite memories from the entire wedding weekend.
Aaaand then we made it home and got several photos with Ollie because...Ollie is important.
Friday was filled with wedding festivities including rehearsal and dinner. Then came Saturday morning. My sisters and I left the house while it was still dark outside, rain hitting the windshield, and we made the hour drive to Clemson, South Carolina for Hannah's wedding day.
Being a photographer herself, Hannah came PREPARED with details. It was fun.
Hannah wore a bracelet that Caleb’s great grandpa gave to his great grandma for their wedding. Then his grandma wore it for her wedding. Then the daughters and daughters-in-law all wore it on their wedding days, and now Hannah got to wear it.
Had to throw in a couple of the wildest flower girl around.
This moment. I was crying, they were crying, mom was crying.😅
THE CEREMONY + RECEPTION
Our girl is still talking about this day: "I be in Hannah's wedding." "I walk aisle with Dax."
Shoutout to Dax who smiled all the way down the aisle and got cake as a result.
Couldn't get the paci out of her mouth, but she walked the aisle and did great, so we'll take it. The other day we were having one of those conversations about her walking down the aisle, and she said, "And Abby and KK too?" Abby and KK are my sister and bro-in-law who walked down the aisle before Karis. I replied, "You saw Abby and KK walk down the aisle?!" She said, "And Hannah and Papa too?" Yep, Hannah and Papa too.❤️
Hannah had one of her photographer friends second shoot. He shot the bridal party photos, Hannah's family photos, and the ceremony on his own. There I am. That bouquet was heavy.
They had an absolutely gorgeous charcuterie table. I could've stood there and grazed for a long time.
And special shoutout to my other sister, Abby, who made Hannah's cake. Check out her work here.
I asked Hannah for any advice she'd give to brides planning their own wedding. Here are a few things she shared:
Ask people for help.
Have a short engagement - "I feel like because the engagement was short, I didn’t have as much time to just pour over wedding details. I wasn’t as consumed with wedding planning as I could have been, and that was a good thing. Because I didn’t meticulously decide on every detail, I wasn’t as invested in if it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. And I mean the point of the wedding day isn’t to be everything I exactly want anyway. I was with Caleb. We got married. I had my favorite people around me celebrating. And God was glorified."
Be flexible - "Everything isn’t going to go exactly how you envision it and that’s ok. I’d rather live the story and enjoy the day as it comes rather than have such a tight grip controlling every detail."
Build intentional time for just the two of you in your timeline - "I’m so so thankful we had time for just the two of us that morning [Caleb brought Hannah coffee, and they talked and prayed together on wedding morning]. One of my favorite memories of the wedding day. Super comforting, relieving, and sweet. Also fun."
Phew...and there you have it. Yay! We love you, Caleb and Hannah. The biggest congrats❤️