Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Our Wedding Party

If I had to choose a single thing that made our wedding weekend absolutely perfect, it would hands-down be our wedding party! I truly believe that without them, our wedding would not have been nearly as fun, memorable, or special. We really have the best friends that have always been so supportive, encouraging, and loyal to us (they also know how to have a heck of a time!).

We chose to have a pretty hefty wedding party because we knew we would never be able to narrow it down to just a few people! To this day, we are SO glad that we kept it large! I wanted to allow all of my bridesmaids pick their own dress for a few reasons. Not only did I completely trust everyone’s sense of style, but I also wanted a more relaxed feel and for each girl to feel comfortable in what they were wearing! There's nothing worse than spending all day in a dress that you feel self-conscious in (on top of being in a million pictures in that dress!). I also wanted each girl to be able to decide what price range they wanted to stay in because the last thing we wanted was for our wedding to be a burden on any of our guests! Overall, I absolutely LOVE the way the dresses turned out and how well they photographed (I'm sure it helped that my bridesmaids were practically models :)!

Dakota decided that each guy would wear tan slacks, brown suspenders, and a peach or coral tie or bow-tie! He chose the pants but let each groomsmen pick out the suspenders, belt, and shoes for the big day. Dakota’s gift to the groomsmen was their ties/bow-ties and he had a blast deciding which one he wanted each guy to wear. In the end, I couldn’t be happier with how handsome these men looked!

Side note, I have about 15 pictures from this mock football game LOL!
I made a banner with a little “blurb” about each person in our wedding party for the other guests to get to know them a little bit better that was hung at the reception. Here's what each person's photo said!

Emily Odom
Emily is one of my very best friends and she has the sweetest heart ever! This fellow diva has been by my side for the past four years and I couldn’t be more grateful. Whether we were at a football game cheering on our hubbies, being lazy at the gym, or jamming to Taylor Swift, Emily and I were practically attached to at the hip. Her giving spirit and heart for the Lord inspires me every day. Though I’m so sad we no longer live together or even in the same state, I know she’ll be there for me forever and always. 

Caroline Belmore
Caroline has been my sweet roommate for the past two years! She is so bright and bubbly and can make anyone smile. It was so great to have her as a listening ear and shoulder to lean on! I could always count on her to have a positive attitude and put me in a good mood. Caroline is beginning graduate school in the fall for social work and I know she will help so many people through her career. Her joy is too infectious not to spread to every person she meets. I am so thankful Campbell brought us together and she’s a part of my special day! 

Jesse Smith
Jesse and I have been friends our entire lives (though I swore I would never ever, ever, ever see her again the day we met!) I have never gotten in so much trouble with a single person than I have with Jesse. From burying the neighbors shoes, making our siblings have fake weddings, and sneaking out of the house, Jesse and I have more than enough memories to last a lifetime! I know whenever we are together it’ll be a blast no matter what the adventure. I’m so thankful for all the memories and fun times we share and I can’t wait to make many more in the years to come.  

McKeller Normann
McKeller chose me to be her “little” in our sorority, Sigma Alpha Omega, and I am so glad and blessed that she did! Over the past year, she has become one of my very best friends and I don’t know what I would do without her! Not only does she have the BEST wardrobe with the cutest clothes that I borrow every chance I get, but she also has the sweetest heart and is a fantastic listener. She is also a great crafter and always helps with the crafty projects I can’t finish! McKeller will be attending graduate school at ECU next year and I’m so excited to see her succeed in all she does! 

Courtney Jennings
Courtney is also one of my sisters from Sigma Alpha Omega. She and I became best friends this past year when we served as Candidate Mom and Candidate Aunt within the sorority. She made this semester so much better with weekly Scandal dates, surprise oatmeal cookies, and never-ending advice when life got frumpy! I am so incredibly blessed to know that Courtney will always have my back and be in my corner. I’m so thankful for her friendship and her ability to find a bridesmaid dress in nine days!! I am so excited to see her succeed in her senior year at Campbell and as President of SAO! 

Alexa and Lauren Wolf
Alexa and Lauren are my brand new sisters-in-law! These two girls are so sweet and I’m so glad we’re finally family. Alexa is so witty and fun to be around. She has a heart for children and will be attending ODU in the fall for education. Lauren is the definition of a free spirit! She is so much fun and I know whatever she has to say will have me laughing. She also shares my love for watching makeup tutorials on YouTube! These girls are just as beautiful on the inside as they are on the outside and I’m so thankful they could be my bridesmaids! 


Heather Rhodes
Heather is not only my sister but also the best MOH ever. I am so thankful for her and all she has done for me. She planned the BEST bachelorette party I could have asked for! She has always been there to offer a shoulder to cry on, give sisterly advice, and be my best friend. I am also thankful for the time we shared at Campbell together and the fun memories that were made. I’m so blessed to have you as my sister and I love you with my whole heart! 

Samantha Sawyer
Sam was my freshman year roommate and I am so glad we met way back then! She has been there for me through thick and thin the past four years and for that I am so thankful. She is also kind enough to let Dakota and I share her wedding date (happy one year anniversary Sam and Troop!!). Sam is so much fun and can get absolutely anyone to have a great time. She and her husband are moving to Tennessee in July and we can’t wait to see the amazing things they accomplish and to go visit them in Memphis! 

Kurt Odom
Kurt is a member of the Fab Five aka my family away from home. He and I grew close during our freshman year while traveling for football. Kurt is one of the greatest influences in my spiritual growth and will always be an important person in my life. My go to competitor for any activity, Kurt has a way of bringing out the competitive fire in me. Whether it is football or golf, Kurt and I go hard in the paint against one another. Thanks for all the good times and allowing me to torture you with that spider sophomore year.

{PS- Did anyone else notice that Dakota and Kurt and Emily and I did the exact same pose without knowing it?!} 

Alec Armstrong
Alec is my brother-in-law now and I am excited to finally call him family. I have enjoyed getting to know him over the past four years and I am proud of the man he is becoming. I am excited to continue to grow our relationship and grow closer together as brothers. I am thankful that he is one of my groomsmen so that we can share this day together.

James Hamblin
Another member of my CU Family is James. James and Brandon made up the “Duo of Fun”. Every memory I have from CU, this guy is somehow involved. No matter the situation, James always found a way to make it memorable. I had to drag him to a few adventures (Myrtle Beach) but he was always the one that made it memorable for all. Thank you for all you’ve done, working through the ups and downs, running Pizza Inn with me, and coming from England just to be here with us today.

{James booked a flight from England the week of our wedding to come celebrate with us!!} 

Derek Sellers
Not only is Derek my brother from the same mother but he is my best friend. Somehow, after being the only one he could hit during football practice and all the fake wrestling matches, we’re still as close as ever. I’m so thankful and blessed to have this guy stand beside me as my best man on my big day.  

Tyler Gray
Tyler is my oldest friend and the first real friend I made when I moved to Stanley. Tyler is a good time waiting to happen and his personality is magnetic. He was my partner in crime throughout high school and always agreed to my ridiculous Halloween costume ideas. I can always count on Tyler to put his needs aside for anyone else’s. I am blessed to call this guy one of my best friends and thankful to share this day with him. 

Michael Rudisill
Rudi and I became closer friends during my last year at CU. His constant encouragement and faith is infectious. It’s impossible to be in a bad mood around this guy! As a huge influence on my spiritual life, I can’t thank him enough for his help along my walk with Christ. Late night cookout and doughnut runs were inevitable with Rudi (as long as you don’t ask him to drive). I am thankful and blessed for all that he has done in my life and the friendship we share.

Will Sawyer
Will, aka Trooper, is the last member of the Fab Five. Troop has had my back on and off the field and was one of my main support figures throughout my time at CU. His constant encouragement enabled me to continue my career for the Fighting Camels. He was always up for breaking out his guitar and having a good time. No one will ever forget him destroying imaginary Dwight Freeney on CJ’s porch freshman year. Regardless of the situation, I can always count on this guy to be there. Thanks for all you have done. 

Brandon Stegall
Another member of the Fab Five, Stegall (AKA Garon) was always the one we could count on for a good time. Whether it was seeing demons or late night runs to cookout, Stegall was up for anything. He also served as my running mate in our house for my last year at Campbell. Stegall kept me sane and made coming home not so miserable. Thanks for being one of my best friends and a good time for all occasions. 

Dalton Brown
Dalton and I share a special bond, one that only a quarterback and his center can understand. My protection on and off the field, Dalton has always been there for me. My fellow Dukie at CU, we shared the ups and downs of the season and spent every tournament game texting during this past season’s championship run. I am grateful for the bond that we share and the friendship that we developed during our time playing football together at Campbell. 

I also have to give a special shoutout to our officiant, Josh, and his wife, Tracy! We absolutely adore this Godly couple because they are so incredibly loving and caring and they have the cutest family ever! We were so blessed to have had Josh and Tracy agree to do our marriage counseling though they didn't even know us at the time we asked. A year later and they have truly become like family to us and they have shaped Dakota and I's relationship and marriage more than they'll ever know!

The Benfield's also just made the coolest pregnancy announcement video! Go check it out here

One more for the road :)

We honestly cannot thank every person in our wedding party enough for making our day so incredibly special! From busting out in T-Swift during the Maid of Honor speech (more of that to come :)), to dancing with us all night long, to sitting in the hotel hallway reminiscing on all of good times, we are forever thankful for all the memories made and stories to tell about our 18 best friends. We love and miss each and every one of you more than you can imagine! 

Be sure to come back for the next Wedding Wednesday posts! I promise, you won't want to miss seeing this good looking wedding party getting down on the dance floor!

**ALL photos are by Kati Rosado Photography**

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