And just like that the two of us are a new family – ready to celebrate with the ones that love us! My buddy Christian played DJ for the night and Chris Shore was our totes cool MC – so happy they could take part! The reception introduction was awesome – and we went straight from that into a couple toasts and then an amazing dinner. To facilitate the backyard feel we wanted, we had a mix of round tables and long family style seating arrangements (so all my college friends could sit together) Muffie and Shirley arranged eucalyptus up the center and so many people helped set all the place settings while us girls were getting ready that morning. A huge shout out to the Lang Family for helping all weekend with a myriad of boring chores. It’s crazy that I used to babysit your kids when we first moved to the US, and now they’re helping set up and serve at my wedding 14 years later! (Menu cards and wedding programs designed by yours truly.)
The menu was out of control!! I don’t know if you can read this photo, but we had Tri-tip, chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, multiple salads and dinner rolls. Having a mum with dietary restrictions for arthritis has given me empathy for guests at parties and weddings. When we sat down with Cassie Shepherd to talk about the menu, I stressed the need to provide a spread that catered to everyone’s needs. No one was to go hungry at the Hawkins/Woodfield wedding!! We also made sure that three out of our nine desserts were gluten free and others were dairy free. (I know. It was insane to have nine… but we had a lot of people to sugar up!) Cassie did an incredible job catering and there was more than enough delicious food for everyone – she is a legend!
This photobooth shot is possibly my favorite photo of all of us!
We went back and forth on getting a wedding cake – if we did have one I wanted it to be simple and covered in sprinkles. Unbeknownst to me, a church friend – Serene Asire – makes incredible cakes for her friends and family. I was talking with some older friends after church one night and Darryl, a man who doesn’t even eat sugar, started raving about the cakes Serene makes. He convinced me that I NEEDED one of her cakes in my life – it was no longer a ‘maybe’. Thankfully she agreed, because it turned out to be the best cake I have ever eaten in my entire life. I can’t even describe how good it was. People were talking about it for weeks! Devin and I cut the cake and then served dessert to all out guests. A long line quickly formed as talk spread of how delicious the cake was.. and best of all, we got to serve all our friends and see everyone as they moved through. It’s so hard to find time to talk to everyone during a 4 hour reception, so I’m so glad we did this. (Even if we aren’t the best cake cutters in the world) Devin and I have a history of not dancing. (a miserably failed swing dancing class back in college that ended in tears – not mine. 😉 ) A few months after that disaster, Devin sent me a song through Spotify called I Don’t Dance by Lee Brice. It had the caption – “Heard this today and it made me cry. This is how I feel” (Thank you music for helping men express their feelings on the daily!!) It was only fitting then, that our ‘first dance’ would be that tune. Not a typical wedding song I’m sure, but it means a lot to us. <3 Devin and his momma danced to Boyz II Men ‘A Song for Mamma‘ – a fitting tribute for them. My Dad and I rocked out to Paul Simon’s ‘Father and Daughter‘. It has the best dancing beat and the sweetest lyrics. My Daddy is my hero, my personality twin, and dancing with him is as easy as moving around the dance floor by myself. We’re so in sync.
As the Father/Daughter dance slowed to an end, Christian flipped on another tune and my bold and beautiful friend Bonnie (alliteration for the win) jumped onto the dance floor with me… leading the way for everyone else to join us! And then the CRAZIEST thing happened. From behind the DJ booth, two dinosaurs appeared, ready to dance the night away! I was grabbing some water at the time and heard the roar of the dancers and the laughter everyone else as Devin and Trent appeared on the scene as a couple of energetic T-Rex’s. Every wedding needs a T-Rex to do the ChaCha Slide. Are you having a wedding? Get a T-Rex. Trust me. Best $100 I’ve ever spent! (Sorry to the little girls who we scared in the process) More than getting married, this wedding was a time for Devin and I to bring our families and friends together from all around the world! We were humbled at the distances that people drove/flew to celebrate with us. Julie Hughes was assistant photographer for the day, and the one thing I asked was that she got lots of pictures of our guests. I wanted a memory of the people who love us enough to sit in the hot sun and party on a homemade dance floor and fly halfway across the world to be with us on such an amazing day. I never wanted it to end… if I had my way, I’d want all these people to become friends because we happen to have the best friends in the universe! Thank you so much to everyone who celebrated with us! We love you all!! And these are my people – it’s been almost 10 years since we graduated college together and we’re still meeting up at each others weddings. TMC may be different things to different people, but to me it’s where I met most of my favorite people on earth. To those who have kids and lived a million miles away and couldn’t make it, we missed you all!! (Also, there are still 8 single people in this photo – so 8 more weddings to come!! Whoohoo – I’m looking at you Jon 😉 ) My parents made this giant H for me one night out of scraps they had in the garage. It was massive!! Seriously, I have the coolest parents!
To end all of this, I need to give the biggest shout out to Nauna Guttenbeil who came over from New Zealand to photograph the wedding. She brought her whole family of 8 with her for a once in a lifetime vacation in the US and her husband Darryl filmed a bunch of drone footage of the wedding. (It’s going to be awhile till I get to that, haha) I love this woman so much and was so glad she could be there, let alone that she would photograph the day in such a dreamy way!
Then Julie Hughes second shot – getting the most incredible images of my niece Rosie and the rest of my friends. She was a miracle worker – the friendliest person you’ll ever meet.
Finally – Mike of Resistance Photography filmed the day and was absolutely incredible! 10/10 would recommend him! I wasn’t sure what to expect, because videograhers can be a bit hit or miss, but Mike was quick, friendly, funny, and got some incredible shots. (His work really speaks for itself!)
Reception Venue: Hickman Community Church
Photography: Nauna Photography + Julie Hughes Photography
Videographer: Resistance Videography
Bride’s Dress: Mira’s Bridal
Dress Designer: Essence of Australia
Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Flowers: Muffie Farinha + Shirley Griggs
Makeup: Bitsy B Beauty + Marie Rojo
Hair: Rebecca Carnes
Luncheon Catering: Panera Bread
Reception Catering: Cassie Shepherd
Photobooth: Creative Smiles Photo Booth
Cake: Serene Asire
DJ: Christian Herrera