Bethany & Greg Got Married!

Bethany & Greg are the first of my Contest couples to get married! Once we met in person I just felt like they were a totally great fit! We discussed their plans for their quiet backyard wedding. I was so excited! I love small, intimate weddings. 
As the day drew closer Bethany let me know that they had added a few more people but it was still going to be a small, intimate gathering filled with their closest family and friends.
I arrived on Friday afternoon to find their house very relaxed yet an exciting energy filling every room. 

Bethany's Mom and Brother buzzed about, finalizing small details throughout the backyard. Their sweet kitties, Dora and Phoenix would wander out to survey the room for someone to pay them a little attention.

I made my way upstairs in their charming Lakewood Foursquare home. I found Bethany in her creative suite with a few of their friends. She was painting her nails a very beautiful pale pink color, while her friends were finishing up a few last minute items for their reception. They talked and laughed together like it was a Sunday afternoon at a cafe. 
I found Greg shortly after he got into his suit, just as he was struggling with his bow tie. He was in his office which is decorated with art handcrafted by Bethany. I found a photo of them from what must have been early in their relationship because I almost didn't recognize them. 

It was time for their friends to head home and to get ready for the wedding. Bethany's Mother joined her upstairs to help her step into her dress. I love being a part of these moments. It's a day we dream of as daughters and eventually as mothers. Not once did she seem nervous or anxious. She went about her routine with such joy and ease. We chatted like friends as they placed her necklace delicately around her neck. Greg had given her the pearls for Valentines day a few years prior. When she opened the box she knew she would wear them on her wedding day. She turned and looked in the mirror. This is usually the time when brides fill with nerves, not Bethany. She looked overjoyed, it had all come together. No matter what, at the end of the day, she and Greg would be married. 

Bethany and Greg chose to have a first look, and they thought it would be special to do it in their home. Greg was dying to see her. We positioned Greg and called Bethany down stairs with the explicit directions not to look to her right. As her feet touched the landing we counted down, 3,2,1. They both turned to one another. Such a special moment for me to witness. They enjoyed talking with each other for a few moments and complimenting each other. It was all happening today!

I took them for a walk in the park. Literally. We headed out to Rocky River park and walked the trail they like to hike along the Rocky River. Bikers whizzed by and a "ding, ding-Congratulations!" as they passed. (I consider this the cat call for bike riders) It was hot and humid outside, but Greg and Bethany were such troopers. Being with them is so laid back. They make it easy.
We headed back to their house, where their friends and family were gathering for the start of the ceremony. They lined the sidewalk and Bethany and Greg walked thru them and up to their front porch. Everyone gathered around them to witness their ceremony. Now they prepared me, they said this will probably be the fasted ceremony ever. But it wasn't. It was perfect. Their words were perfect, their time was perfect, their love was perfect. 

After the ceremony and some photos in the brightest July evening sun, everyone settled in the backyard under the tent. The tables were covered with cute plaid tablecloths. Mismatched yet coordinated china plates were placed with envelopes containing cards for guests to write advice for things like "holiday traditions", "things to do on cold days", "projects for the home to do together" written on the front. 

Bethany's Mom gave a very heartwarming toast while everyone waited for dinner to arrive. Music played from the speakers in the garage at just the right volume. The Beatles came on and Greg's mom commented on what a great song this was. Everyone agreed and chatted about the couple and how well they fit together. 
After dinner, and another toast by a dear friend, it was time to cut the cake and dance the first dance. Traditions. Bethany and Greg did a great job collecting cute plaid tablecloths and sheets that they placed around the walls of their garage. On the table sat the cutest cake. Bethany is a baker at the Root Cafe in Lakewood. She baked and frosted their carrot cake herself. I actually got to have a slice and it was so delicious!

Her Mom and brother surprised her with a slideshow of her and her dad who passed a few years ago. While the images changed the song "My Girl" played on. As one picture would fade to another the group would laugh or ooh and ahh. It was his way of being a part of her special day. 

As most of their guests left, we all hopped in their car to head to the beach to catch a quick sunset. It was stunning. The sunsets in Ohio are magical. It was Independence Day weekend so the beach was a little crowded. They again got a lot of congratulations from passers by. But there in the warm glow of the sun as it slipped below the water, were two people so in love, filled with the joy of knowing that today was just another day, but tomorrow was the beginning of a new chapter. I wish you the freedom and love to write a novel filled with your love and kindness for the whole world to marvel.
Congratulations Bethany & Greg!