July 23, 2016

Still the best day of my life! Our wedding day.. It was a dream. Honestly, way way way surpassed my expectations! It was sweet, memorable, and FUN. We were surrounded with those who we’ve known our whole lives and those who are new friends. It wouldn’t have been the same or nearly as special without all of our family and friends there. Thanks so much to all who came.

Unlike me, the groom was lucky enough to sleep in and enjoy his morning. His best man was staying with him, and he and his mom told me that despite the time he had to relax, he spent most of it being nervous. He hardly ate his breakfast, and if you know him, he hardly ever doesn’t eat everything edible put in front of him. Haha. I asked him later and he said he wasn’t worried-nervous, but instead he was excited-nervous and is-this-really-happening-nervous.

My morning started out way too early, but fatigue was the last thing on my mind. I rushed to finish up the last bit of honeymoon packing (I know, I should’ve had that suitcase packed and zipped up a week before), made sure I had everything for the day, and grabbed a banana to eat on the road. Oddly enough, my first stop was to UPS to drop off a package that I needed to be shipped asap, ahah. I purposefully got to the hotel pretty early to make sure I had everything set up. I also stopped by the church to see the reception room and was stunned at how gorgeous it was. I set up the last few things to bring the picture in my head to life. It was so exciting! I finally headed over to the hotel. They were soo gracious and accommodating and made my morning so smooth. I set up the BM’s gifts on the couch in the living room, and hung up their robes in the closet. I will be talking later about my bridesmaids gifts, including the DIY mugs and hangers.

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The rest of the morning was so fun. The girls opened their gifts, and I was so happy to thank them for all of their much needed help and love! My lovely makeup artist and hairdresser made us all look so good, and we had such a fun time hanging out and getting ready together. My mom also came over to check up on us (everything’s better with mama there!). In the last hour or so, the photographer arrived and took pictures of us finishing getting ready and snapped some really cute, memorable bridal party shots. I am so glad I have those! Here’s a few.

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We headed over to the church about an hour before the ceremony. We changed into our dresses, took more pictures, and enjoyed the last few minutes. Donovan and I planned to give each other a wedding gift before the ceremony with a door between us. While the photographer went to go take pictures of the groomsmen, I sat in a quiet place to write Donovan a letter moments before getting married, to accompany his gift. When finishing up getting dressed, my Maid of Honor brought me my heels, and I saw a sweet surprise. There was a cute message written on the bottom of my shoes from my sweet groom. Ah, love him!

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Minutes before walking down the aisle, we exchanged gifts around the door and got to talk to each other for a little bit. Don’t worry, we didn’t actually see each other! I gave him a GoPro with a note saying, “Here’s to starting our new adventure!” and he gave me a personalized door mat that had “Rooks” big in the center and across it read the verse, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Underneath it read, “Est. July 23, 2016” So thoughtful! I love it, and it currently sits on our front porch. I get compliments on it all the time, and I love telling the story behind it. We then held hands and prayed together. We prayed for God to be with us on our special day and thanked Him for bringing us together. We love Him so much, too.

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The next special moment was seeing my Dad. Then all my family, siblings, and my adorable nieces and nephews as flower girls and sign holders. They did so awesome!!

As for special moments, the next one tops the list. The moment Donovan and I locked eyes, he bursted into tears and covered his face with his hands. I really wasn’t expecting him to cry. He told me later that he didn’t know where it came from, so many emotions hit him as soon as he saw me. Awe. (If anybody who was in attendance at the ceremony happened to have caught his reaction in a picture, I would really love to see it.)

The ceremony was beautiful! We said our vows, exchanged rings, and did a sand unity ceremony. We put white sand at the bottom, to represent God as our foundation. (One of my favorite scriptures, Helaman 5:12 reads, “It is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” This was also one of the references for our wedding hashtag #RooksOnARock.) We then poured white and blue sand atop the white representing two becoming one. After that we signed our marriage certificate, with our best man and maid of honor as witnesses.

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After the ceremony we got in the car and were like what just happened?! We’re married!! It doesn’t feel any different! Hahaha. Suddenly, within 30 minutes, we were married! Crazy how life changes so fast. We headed off to go take pictures with our wedding party. We set apart an hour and a half to take pictures, but somehow it still wasn’t enough. I look back and wish I had way more pictures. Maybe I’d feel that way no matter how many we took, just not the same as really being there! We did get some really great pictures though, despite it being HOT…like 112 degrees hot.

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We then headed over to my church for the reception. It was even more beautiful all lit up, music playing, and filled with food and people. We started with a receiving line to talk to each guest as they came in. It was so nice to hug and talk to all of our guests. We really wanted to make a point to express our love and gratitude to each guest for sharing our special day with us, and I’m so glad we did. As for dinner, we did a buffet bar of barbacoa, beans, rice, cole slaw, roles, and of course cake. We served iced water, lemonade, and horchata for drinks…at least I think we did! (It’s crazy how many details and things that you never really see as the Bride, haha). Thank you for all the wonderful, wonderful people who helped cook and serve the food! Amongst all the joyful surprises of our wedding day, our guests are pretty awesome and way more showed up than we had expected. Within 45 minutes, our 32 tables were completely full and we quickly filled up the dance floor with more tables. We guessed about 300 would show, and happily welcomed an estimated 330-50 guests. We felt so loved and grateful to have so friends and family join us. Isn’t that awesome! It really did make our day that much more special. In case you’re wondering, we decided not to do RSVPs for a few reasons. 1. Our engagement was fairly short (4 months), and didn’t feel it was a big enough window to sent them out and get them back in time. 2. We weren’t hiring caterers so we didn’t need a specific head count. and 3. If anybody is like my family, we totally forget about a wedding, then remember a few days before. We didn’t want anyone to feel like they weren’t welcome because they forgot to RSVP…Once everybody had arrived, we and our parents got some food, ate, and mingled before cutting the cake. I wish I had had more of an appetite, because dang that cake was good!!..I literally craved it multiple times on our honeymoon. Our cake was made by Goldsboro Bakery in Yuma, AZ, and it was marble with a buttercream frosting. I chose to do a “naked cake” which is basically half-frosted, aka crumb cake. It definitely went along with the shabby style I was shooting for. You can’t tell in these pictures, but the table it’s sitting on was also a shabby blue side table. It all died in perfectly!

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Next we did the garter and bouquet toss. You never would have guessed Mr. Rooks played college football and had good coordination. Apparently he isn’t as good throwing as he is catching. He managed to toss the garter up into the ceiling drapes and got it stuck, haha. Luckily, his height was in his favor and he was able to jump up to get it. I, of course, must have a much better arm than my husband. I landed it right into the hands of my lovely, lucky girl!

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One of the favorite things we did at our reception was the shoe game. We sat back to back, each holding one another’s shoe and one of our own. We were asked questions about us as a couple and raised the shoe correlating to the person who was the answer to the question. A few of my favorites were, “Who’s the better driver?” “Who’s the person most likely to sleep their day away?” “Who farts the most?” “Who’s most likely to hog all the covers?” (Mr. Rooks was the answer to most of those..except maybe the first one ;)) If anybody recorded this, please share your spoils!

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Dancing!! We had our first dance (I was not fully prepared for the super awkward moment of all eyes just staring at you while you dance lol), then father & the bride, and mother & the groom dance. Afterwards, everybody came out and joined us and we had a blast! There were toddlers to grandparents dancing, and it was so so so much fun!

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Our send-off ended the night perfectly! We ran through a long line of sparklers and cheering friends! It was so cool. (Again, please share any pics/videos!!)

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I can’t even describe the happiness we felt once we got in that car and drove off. I was so ecstatic to be my best friend’s wifey and had just had the best day ever. The best part was I knew that that day was just the beginning of it.

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