There was no wedding dress, the guest list was slashed, and the venue was changed. The bouquets were handmade and the backyard was decked out with twinkle lights and peonies. The food was all homemade family favorites instead of catered meals. The getting ready space was their future apartment instead of the church. Their favorite people were tuning in on zoom instead of exchanging hugs and toasts and cheers in person. But the love – the love was the same. Two sets of proud parents still watched their beloved children get married. Siblings still rejoiced with the official addition to their family. There was still dancing and long conversations and praising of Jesus. And Paiden and Chris? You couldn’t have taken the light out of them even if you tried.
When the stay at home orders were issued, when the world started to shut down, when weddings were being postponed left and right – Paiden was determined to see the good. She was determined to look for God in the midst of disappointment. Their wedding day was nothing like they’d been planning for. It was nothing like the 3.5 years of dating and waiting had told them to expect. But still, it was indescribably beautiful. Paiden’s dress was stuck out of state, so she found a perfect substitute. Her getting ready space was no longer an option, so she got to bask in the sweet slowness of getting ready in her future home with Chris with just her momma and her sister present. She wove a handmade hairpiece through her braid and carried store bought flowers they’d arranged that morning. And it was all imperfectly perfect.
Chris and Paiden both teared up at the end of the letters they’d written each other, both so ready for a future together. Chris and I agreed that he was going to be a wild card up at the makeshift alter…we had no idea how he’d react when he saw his bride. Turns out, he did all the things! A big wide smile and a surprised open mouthed grin, tears in his eyes and an over the top joyful laugh when she drew near! The day wasn’t what they planned, but they were still starting their lives together. They laughed and they cried and they held each other close. They committed their lives to each other and the Lord in front of the people who have watched them grow up their entire lives.
A year from now, we’ll do it all again. The vows and the dancing and the toasts and the cake. But this time, ALL their people will be there. It’ll be a celebration of their first year of marriage and their joy will be even more complete. But May 2nd, 2020, surrounded by their parents and siblings, will always be the day that their lives together really started.
Ya’ll knooooow that I love Chris and Paiden. We’ve known them for 5 years now and I can’t explain how lucky I feel to be one of the few to have witnessed their beautiful wedding day. I ached to know my fam and their wonderful friends weren’t there to celebrate…but gosh was this perfect. I’ve got a soft spot for their type of love story. David and I dated this same amount of time as them and also met through college ministry and I know how it must’ve felt to finally, finally get married! PT & Chris, you know how much we love you. God is writing an amazing story for the two of you!
In a time where Etsy is slower than normal…Paiden made her hairpiece :]
You’ll hear me say this a billion times, but…this isn’t the getting ready space she planned but how freaking sweet is it that she got married in their first home together?!
Paiden and her momma are the best of friends!
This was about the time I was getting hype to see Chris’s reaction to seeing her!
Her handmade bouquet <3
Meanwhile, on the Bowell front porch…
Reading Paiden’s letter! Such a good moment.
First look with her dad and her brother.
Loved this. Paiden gave her parents gifts and they locked eyes and started crying. What a legacy of love they have!
Paiden’s forever letters to her sweet parents.
Both of them got a little teary right at the end of their letters.
All the zoom friends tuning in!
Ahhh what a sweet sight it was to see people laying hands on each other in prayer during this weird time of coronavirus!
Waving to all their online guests!
About the moment that their families started serenading them with “Sweet Caroline” hahah.
It wasn’t what they had planned for, but their most precious loved ones still got to send them love on their wedding day!
Family pictures felt even sweeter than normal!
Just the siblings as bridesmaids and groomsmen and it was wonderful.
The best! PS: Paiden kept telling me she never knew she’d be getting married in her Rainbow flip flops she bought years ago :]
Walking up to their little reception!
And, of course, there were still portraits. A LOT of them!
Someone tell me how this was someone’s backyard when it looks straight out of a MAGAZINE!
Paiden, what gave you the right to be this beautiful?! :]
Their joy. They both just light up around each other!
Paiden, you’re stunning.
One of my absolute favorites!
And, my other favorite. It was dreamy out.
Thank you GOD for this incredible weather and incredible day!
I mean, we had to do this!
I love them!
Paiden’s jacket was decorated by her sister Jaelyn! It was perfect!
Love, in the time of corona.
Coming back to their sweet guests!
Paiden laughing at my apologizing over and over again because I kept them out so long for portraits…I can’t be trusted without David to stop me :]
Best day ever. Cannot wait to do it all again in a year!