Wedding Recap – Festivities

Brandon and I got married on Sunday, December 29, 2013. It was a beautiful, simple ceremony and was everything we wanted.

We had planned on taking pictures together before the ceremony, but it turned out there was too much setup to be done beforehand. So after the ceremony, our photographer snapped a few pictures of the newlyweds.

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We hadn’t planned on having a long reception (we just served cheese, meat, and cupcakes for dessert), so we wanted to squeeze in some time with our guests before beginning the after party.

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Me with my girlfriends Noelle and Roseanne.

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Brandon with Jaime and David.

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My coworker Jena (who was so kind to offer to do my makeup for the big day!), her boyfriend Sean and their adorable daughter Avery.

After making the rounds, we sat down so the Best Man, Brandon’s brother Michael, and Maid of Honor, my best friend Sera, could make their toasts.

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Brandon’s Dad also said a few kind words. I look terrible in this picture, but love that our photographer captured this special moment:

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 It wasn’t long before we were saying our last goodbyes to the guests who wouldn’t be joining us afterwards and taking last minute pictures. I especially love the below picture of me with my two best friends, wearing our significant others’ jackets to stay warm.

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After we had cleaned up, we headed to the Hopmonk Tavern with a smaller group of close friends for an after party. Besides the ceremony, this was actually my favorite part of the whole day! Everyone was in such a fantastic mood and our group had a great time savoring the moment!

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I’m so grateful for our friends and family who made the day truly special. The love and support of our friends and family mean the world to us!

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Hamm Party of 2 – The Ceremony

Our ceremony was unique and sentimental, and I know I will remember the feeling I had during it the rest of my life.

We chose our venue because it was a beautiful and intimate location for an outdoor ceremony. The church resembles a Spanish mission, and it has a courtyard in the middle covered in trellis’ and flowers, with a gorgeous fountain in the middle. Since we wanted only our closest friends and family there, we knew the fountain would be a perfect place to have our ceremony and fit our 20 guests.

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When we decided to plan a small ceremony, one of the venues we were considering was San Francisco City Hall, which is absolutely beautiful. It was while I was looking through their website that I saw a person who is not a member of the clergy can apply to be “deputized” and perform a single ceremony. My dad is not a member of the clergy, but I knew it would be very special to have him perform the ceremony. I asked him a few weeks before the ceremony, not knowing if it was something in which he would be interested in doing. I could not have anticipated how excited he would be that I had asked him to perform the ceremony. He wholeheartedly agreed and put hours of effort into making it flawless and special.

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Since my dad was marrying us, I asked my mom to walk me down the aisle. It was such a nice way to incorporate both my parents into the special day. Two of my musician friends, Claudia and Scott, lent their talents and played the guitar and viola as my mom walked me down the aisle.

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My dad began the ceremony by telling stores from our childhood. He talked about how I was adventurous, energetic, and spirited as a child, and told how Brandon was a bundle of energy and curiosity. He then told about the early days of our relationship and read statements we had written about how we knew we had found the right partner.

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My reflections:

My favorite thing about our relationship is that we’ve taught each other how to be better partners. Every day we learn from each other, and we’ve worked hard at creating a beautiful relationship. I know that Brandon will continue to be committed to working at our relationship which gives me great hope for the future. We encourage and support each other and are true partners.

I love that Brandon is thoughtful, caring, and sensitive. His affection is always heartfelt. He is intelligent and driven. He is endlessly entertaining and makes me laugh at least 15 times a day. He has an optimistic outlook on life that balances my own. Oh, and he’s definitely not hard on the eyes!

Brandon’s reflections:

After our first few dates, I soon realized this relationship had what I had been looking for. She saw past my quirks and was very understanding and supportive of my goals and hobbies. Everything was so natural, we could be ourselves together. She even laughed at all my jokes. I never wanted to be away from her. I feel this is what love should be like. I look forward to making her happy for the rest of my life.

Then, we repeated our vows:

I promise to always treat you with kindness and respect.
I promise to be faithful, honest, and fair.
I promise to listen carefully to what you are saying.
I promise to apologize when I am wrong and to repair any harm I have done.
I promise to cook and clean for you.
I promise to be your partner and best friend in the best and worst of times.
I promise to bring my best self into our relationship.
I promise to live these promises as a daily practice.

 

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We chose vows we felt represented a realistic marriage goal – to try to be the best partner you can be. I felt each word deeply as I spoke my vows, and I believe Brandon did the same.

Before we knew it, my dad was pronouncing us husband and wife and telling Brandon he could kiss his bride!

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I couldn’t have asked for a sweeter, more perfect wedding ceremony. It was simple, personal and completely reflected Brandon and I as a couple. The fact that my Dad performed the ceremony and told personal stories from both sides of our families made it that much better!

Getting Ready – Hamm Party of 2

As Brandon and I prepared for our wedding day, we knew we wanted the day to be relaxed, fun and stress-free. We wanted to enjoy the day! We didn’t even really discuss our plans for getting ready before the ceremony but instead just went with the flow.

My best friend, Sera, and her boyfriend flew in from Las Vegas late the night before the ceremony and stayed with us for the next few days. Sera and I woke bright and early to fuel with coffee and head to the hair salon. We relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company while at the salon and I really enjoyed sharing that special time with my best friend.

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After we got back to the house, things became a bit more hectic. My other bridesmaid, Allison, arrived to get ready with us. A close friend of mine offered to help with makeup (which was such a help!) and the four of us relaxed and drank champagne while doing our makeup.

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The boys returned to the house (they had been picking up a suit for one of the groomsmen…nothing like doing things last minute!) and we all hung out together for awhile. The hubs and I aren’t superstitious, so we didn’t mind seeing each other before the ceremony.

Eventually the boys headed to the venue to start setting up, and I prepared for an exciting moment – stepping into my dress! Sera, Allison and Jena helped me get into my dress. We were actually SO relaxed while getting ready we didn’t realize we needed to get dressed until about 20 minutes before we had to be at the venue. There were a few hectic moments trying to pull last minute things together, but soon we were on our way to the venue.

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Once we arrived, we went around the back to the bridal suite. The photographer met us there and began taking pictures of my mom and two bridesmaids.

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I love this picture with my bestie –

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And this one with my Kindergarten friend –

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And of course, the picture with my mom. She’s so small, I feel like I tower over her!

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Meanwhile the boys were also getting ready.

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And doing very important things like this:

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Eventually, the two girls headed out to check on the setup progress. My mom called my dad into the bridal suite so he could see me, and he seemed blown away which was very touching. He told me I was the most beautiful bride he’d ever seen. I think he may be a bit biased, but it made me feel beautiful nonetheless! Pretty soon the girls came in and told me we were ready to go. I felt nerves start to creep up – I was about to get married!