Christmas season weddings are nothing short of amazing. Beautifully decorated, an already festive time of the year is all the more celebratory when a friend or family member is getting married! Emily and Lamar tied the knot on December 23rd at the Chandelier of Gruene at sunset. I arrived early in the day, excited to see Emily, her mother and grandmother again (if you missed my blog post about Emily's bridal portrait session then you've missed the first part of my story of Emily's wedding, and you should check it out really quick) and even more excited to meet the rest of the family and friends who would be there. The majority of the early afternoon was spent in the bridal suite with Emily and her bridesmaids as My Makeup Movement worked their magic on everyone's hair and makeup. The reception hall and chapel were being set up beautifully with flowers, candles and lanterns, and garland with burgundy and gold Christmas ornaments and twinkle lights.
After a few bottles of champagne had been passed around (and if you haven't tried Messina Hof's almond champagne bottled locally in the Hill Country, you are missing out), Emily was ready to get into her wedding dress and have a first look with her father. With the help of her bridal party, her mother and a few other eager family members Emily was on the porch walking up to her dad, who was holding his breath before seeing his only daughter for the first time, on her wedding day, in her wedding dress. Anyone who knows Jeff, Emily's father, will not be surprised by the pure joy and love on his face in that moment.
The guests had already started arriving, and before we knew it, they were all sitting down in the open air chapel with an air of excitement and anticipation that not even the cold weather could distract from. Lamar, the officiant, and the parents and grandparents of both the bride and groom entered before the rest of the bridal party. Finally, there were only two more people to enter - Emily and her father. The guests stood and craned their necks, cell phones ready to capture that first glimpse of Emily on her wedding day. Lamar waited patiently (or at least, he looked like he was trying very hard to be patient) at the front of the chapel with a smile on his face he couldn't have hid if he had wanted to. Jeff walked Emily up the aisle to her groom, and the wedding ceremony was underway.
Marriage advice, prayers, and a poem written for Emily and Lamar were read before the rings were exchanged and they were pronounced, at last, Husband and Wife! I've never seen anyone so eager to kiss his bride, and the second he was instructed to do so Lamar had Emily's lips against his. He even took a second kiss, playfully flipping part of her veil over the two of them to much laughter, before they walked out of the chapel, hand in hand, ready to face this world together.
After a few quick family portraits, it was time to get the party started! Bride and groom entered the reception hall with a few twirls under the main chandelier on the dance floor, and the evening was officially started. Dancing, toasts, dinner, and the cutting of their simple, but perfect, cheesecake, took place in what felt like the blink of an eye. All evening, the room was full of good conversation and that atmosphere of "love" and "family" that is so quickly felt during the holiday season. I was amazed at the energy of Emily, Lamar and their bridal party - the dance floor was never empty. They were frequently joined by their parents and grandparents, as well as may other guests, as they celebrated the pure joy and excitement of the day. At last, the evening drew to a close, and it was time to send off Emily and Lamar in style, with a sparkler exit. Guests lined the path outside the reception hall, and for the last time that evening they cheered the newlyweds as they left their wedding day, on to the first day of the rest of their lives.