Weddapalooza: Saturday, August 20, Part II

14 Sep

I could see droves of brightly colored bridemaids and groomsmen as JoAnn drove me up to Club Paradise in Crandon Park. We dropped Katie, Courtney and Emily off at the site’s entrance, and I tried to bury my head as much as I could to prevent Addam from seeing me before the ceremony. Once we were in the clear and Ana, my wedding planner, had handed me my bouquet, JoAnn drove me around the corner so I could enjoy some air conditioning while waiting for the ceremony to begin.

At that point I hadn’t had a chance to check out the set up, but Ana really did a great job. She tied bushels of baby’s breath around many of the palm trees and a few of the chairs. She added little touches of jade wherever she could and, since it was such a hot day, placed handheld wooden fans at every seat. With the ocean backdrop, I don’t think anyone who came could deny that it was a beautiful ceremony.


After about five or 10 minutes everyone started lining up, and the ceremony began.

Ryan walked first and played the guitar throughout the ceremony. We chose to walk to Florence + the Machine’s You Got the Love, which we both love and which does a good job of summing up what we mean to each other. We just saw Flo at Bonnaroo, so we thought it was fun and fitting.

John, our notary, followed Ryan. Then Addam escorted Judy, followed by Ben and my mom, and the rest of Addam’s groomsmen — Winston, Matt, Andrew and Chris. My maids came next, with Danae followed by Stephanie, Tati, Courtney, Katie, Heather and Emily. At that point Kim, Katie’s mom, released Yoga from a few rows back. She was our ring bearer and wore a cute little veil around her neck to better celebrate to occasion. (She looked like a little circus dog, but she was so cute that she stole my attention during the ceremony.)




By the time Emily had made most of her way forward, I hopped out of the car and headed to Steve, who graciously agreed to walk me down the aisle. He’s been like a dad to me for eight years now, so I thought that it was only fitting that he lead me to Addam.

I could barely breath, but Steve helped me stay on my feet and kept the pace. I didn’t think I was going to get very emotional throughout the ceremony, but as soon as I looked into the crowd and saw the faces of all the people who came out to support Addam and I on our big day, I almost lost it. I’ve never felt so lucky. Especially when I saw the handsome man waiting for me at the end of the aisle. 🙂






At the end of the aisle Steve handed me off to my mom, who gave me away to Addam. (Brides get passed around so much at weddings.) After a brief introduction, John asked us to recite our vows, which we both wrote ourselves. We kept it short and simple, which was kind of the tone of the entire ceremony. We spoke about the transitions we’ve made together and vowed to dedicate our lives to each other before handing things back over to John.

He had prepared some vows for us, which we took turns reciting. (We have both sets stored away so that we can always remember exactly what we said to each other.) As serious of a moment as it was, Yoga kept popping her head up from around Addam’s shoulder in an effort to get to me, much to the amusement of both myself and Ben. Addam and I kept things light hearted and moved to exchange rings, which was pretty tricky.

The rings were attached to Yoga’s veil, and she kept trying to jump into Addam’s arms while he was removing them. It was taking too much time, so he ended up taking the entire thing off and reattaching it.



Exchanging rings was pretty sentimental, because I was using the rings that my mom and dad wore throughout their marriage. We plan on getting our own rings tattooed on, but I was glad that were were able to incorporate them into our ceremony. My dad wasn’t here long, but he was a significant part of my life, and I wanted him to have a place in the wedding. Emily wore a cross that he gave my mother on an anniversary, so he was present, in memory and in spirit.

After we were officially husband and wife and had shared a smooch, we made our way back down the aisle as Mr. and Mrs. Addam Evans. ❤ We walked out first, followed by Ben and Emily, Chris and Heather, Andrew and Katie, Matt and Courtney, John and Tati, Winston and Stephanie, and Ryan and Danae. Ryan played the guitar as everyone walked back down the aisle, where Addam and I greeted friends and family.




Once we had exchanged hugs with everyone and were properly congratulated, the bridal party headed to the beach for a photo session. We took a ton of photos, which I’ll post as soon as I get them from Edé, our photographer, next week. After taking a few shots by the water, we headed to a lifeguard tower for few more.

Katie saw the tower and suggested that we take a photo of all the maids and groomsmen cascading down them, with Addam and I standing at the bottom. We set the couples up in the order they walked down the aisle. It kind of reminded me of an episode of The Brady Bunch, but it looked really cool! After that we took some shots of Addam and I with each color couple, as well as some family photo combinations.

I haven’t seen any of those photos yet, but they must look absolutely amazing. I can’t get over how bright and vibrant our wedding was. It was so much better than anything I could have possibly imagined or expected.




After group photos Edé took Addam and I over to a more secluded part of the beach for some solo shots. We took some sitting by the water and standing near some palm trees, which we still haven’t seen. We’re supposed to have all the photos by next week, and I cannot wait.

After photos all our maids and men piled into the few remaining cars and headed to our Jungle Island reception for a kicking cocktail hour.

I never imagined that the ceremony would come out as beautifully as it did, but I feel so fortunate that there were so many people in our corner. I can’t look at a single photo without thinking about how blessed Addam and I were to have our friends and family with us on big day.

“To love and be loved it to feel the sun from both sides.” — David Viscott, psychiatrist, author, businessman, media personality (1938-1996).

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2 Responses to “Weddapalooza: Saturday, August 20, Part II”

  1. judy evans September 15, 2011 at 9:06 am #

    My favorite lines:

    “It (the wedding)was so much better than anything I could have possibly imagined or expected.”

    “how blessed Addam and I were to have our friends and family with us on our big day.”

    ” He’s (Steve) been like a dad to me for eight years now, so I thought that it was only fitting that he lead me to Addam.”

    “as soon as I looked into the crowd and saw the faces of all the people who came out to support Addam and I on our big day, I almost lost it. I’ve never felt so lucky. ”

    “as Mr. and Mrs. Addam Evans. <3" (sniff, sniff……….)

    God bless you and your marriage.
    I love you,
    MomEvans

    • hopkinar September 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

      Thanks, Judy ❤ I love and miss you!

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