The Best Anniversary Present Ever

When Chris and I were married five years ago, we got traditional wedding proofs from our fabulous Pensacola photographer Barrett McClean.  And, of course, we ordered a ton for ourselves and our families.  But we have never had the electronic versions of the photos so I have never been able to share them with anyone (unless you count the ones we scanned in, but those are pretty crappy quality).

On our fifth anniversary last week, my mom surprised Chris and I with the perfect gift.  She had tracked down our photographer and bought the rights and the digital photos from our wedding.  A lot of the photos were film and we haven’t had those digitized yet, so some of them are still missing – like my bridal portraits.  But I am too excited about them to wait and I thought I’d share a few with you today.  All this talk about our marriage and our family and our relationship, I figure you should see where we started.

The room where the bridesmaids and I waited in the church didn’t have the air conditioning turned on for some reason, so all the girls danced to air out and keep from sweating through their dresses.  It’s one of my favorite memories from that day.

My bridesmaids (left to right): Emily (my BFF), Abby (my cousin), Annie (Chris’ sister), Ginny (my sister and the Maid of Honor), and Sarah (one of my closet friends since 6th grade)

After the wedding guests had been seated, we moved over to the sanctuary and slipped into a large mirrored bathroom specifically designed to hold waiting brides.  We waited here while the groomsmen and Chris came into the church.  And this was where my mom and sister helped me adjust my veil before I headed down the aisle with my dad.

And before I knew it, I was walking down the aisle of my hometown church towards my hometown sweetheart.

See those big plants on stands up there?  We moved those closer together for portraits before the ceremony and no one moved them back afterwards, so through the entire service, the wedding party had to peer around these giant plant stands.

See what I mean?

20-minutes later, they pronounced us husband and wife and we were off!  This is my favorite picture from my wedding day.  I just love how happy and hopeful we look walking out into the world together.  Since my wedding, this is the picture I love from all weddings.  Such happy, happy people when you walk back down the aisle together.

After the ceremony we waited around the church while formal portraits were taken.  Most of those were done in film and so we don’t have those yet, but we have a few…

See that handkerchief in my hand?  That was carried by my mom, my aunt, me, and my sister on our wedding days.  We each have our monogram on it with our wedding date.

This one is almost a good one of the groomsmen, but they cut off Gary on the right. The groomsmen are (from left to right): Joe (one of Chris’ college roommates), Scott (another college roommate – the three of them lived together for a long time), Justin (the best man and Chris’ best friend since elementary school), Brett (one of our closet friends since high school), and Gary (another close friend since high school).

After pictures, the wedding party took a trolley over to the wedding reception.  Our reception was at the Pensacola Cultural Center in the lobby and banquet room of the theater where Chris and I first started dating when we were 15 years old.  We were both in a school play and we started dating during one of the rehearsals for the show.  It just seemed like the perfect place to get married.

That’s my Mom and Dad being announced at the reception.  Don’t they look so good?!?!

That’s the Best Man and the Maid of Honor coming in together.

That’s me and my Mom celebrating that the wedding planning is OVER!

We ran out of the reception and into our getaway car through a sea of sparklers.  Those pictures are gorgeous, but they are on the film so we don’t have them yet.  But I do have this one last cheesy picture taken of us as we were about to drive off.  I would say that my smile is just ridiculously corny, but that is the same smile from all of my pictures when I was a little girl – just perfect, complete happiness.

When we get the film pictures digitized, I’ll do another post with all our formal portraits.  But at least you can see what our wedding day looked like.

It’s been five years since then and I think I still have that corny, ridiculously happy smile on my face.  Even on days when I’m upset or mad or homesick or frustrated – that smile is never far beneath the surface.  I guess that’s what you get when you marry your best friend.


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41 thoughts on “The Best Anniversary Present Ever

  1. Thank you for sharing, you looked gorgeous! I also am a fan of the photos of a couple walking back down the aisle. =)
    In the picture of you right before you walk down the aisle your sister is holding her pinky up in the background. I’m guessing she was holding one of the rings? hehe.

  2. They are so gorgeous! I am so glad you shared. You guys truly look so happy.

  3. That is SUCH a great anniversary gift. The pictures are absolutely beautiful! I do love wedding pictures as couples are walking down the aisle. The very first steps of a new life together!

  4. Beautiful pictures, you make such a wonderful couple and I wish you nothing but the best!, Keep on spreading the love you guys have for each other and your family. God is always by your side and I know your having some difficulties, but that’s the way God tests us so we realize how strong we are

  5. I forgot: Thank you for sharing!

  6. Dyanna

    Thanks for sharing!! Love your dress. It’s not often these days that you see a nice dress that isn’t strapless and shows off your “assets”. Lol!!

  7. kk

    Thanks for sharing. looking back I noticed that Chris is more tanned before than he is now.

  8. Jenny J.

    Oh, what a great present! I love your dress and all the pictures! I love weddings so much!

  9. Kat

    I love love love these pictures! By the way, the picture of walking out as husband and wife is my favorite too! I have a copy of ours from our wedding day framed and hung up in our bedroom where I can see it every morning when I wake up. It makes me smile.

    1. Katie

      I have mine framed next to my bed for the same reason – I love waking up to that!

  10. Amazing photos! That is an awesome present. I especially love the one of you and Chris dancing. You both look amazing. Heck you look amazing in all the photos. Oh, and what the heck is your bridesmaid doing with her pinky in the background of the photo of you with your veil on just before you walked down the aisle? haha

    Cabin Fever in Vermont

    1. Katie

      haha – that’s my sister and she is showing my mom that she has Chris’ wedding ring!! 🙂

  11. Sarah H.

    Yay for wedding pictures! Everything looks so lovely! We bought the CD of all of our digital pictures after our wedding–and I would highly recommend it to anyone! And you’re right- that picture of the ladies dancing to air out really is a classic 🙂

  12. Thanks for the wedding tour! It looks like a beautiful wedding and such a wonderful day, full of great memories. I really like the photo showing your mom arranging your veil. What an emotional moment for a mother and daughter! =) As always, Katie, thanks for the peek into your life. I feel like we’re friends even though you don’t know me.

  13. Tressa

    LOVE LOVE LOVE these pictures! Thank you so much for sharing! I believe I asked about yours after you posted Ginny’s 😉
    You both look amazing! So happy and in love.
    Can’t wait to see the rest of them.

    My grandparents celebrated 65 years of marriage in February. He was 15 and she was 13 when they started dating. Been in love every single day since. We lost Grandma May 18th. I believe you and Chris will be another couple together for that many years!! You just don’t hear those big marriage numbers much any more.
    Keep at it Chris and Katie!!

  14. What a fantastic present! And thank you for sharing the photos – they are beautiful, you are beautiful – everyone looks so filled with joy and love.

  15. This was a great idea from your mother.

    It really is true that sometimes we do get frustrated or homesick or remember the “easyness” of life before marriage… but when I look back at photos from our wedding day, I remember why we’re in it and how much happier I am than I could ever have been without my husband.

  16. Ahhh! I LOVE wedding photos. Everyone looks so filled with joy!

  17. So beautiful! My favorite moment at weddings is watching the grooms face as he first sees his bride walking towards him… and as for that cheesy smile? I feel ya on that one… I’ve only been married a year but I glow everytime I think of our wedding day and marrying my best friend!

  18. I love the color of your bridesmaid’s dresses. Sage? That was one of my colors at my wedding. So pretty!

  19. Your dress is gorgeous! I get so tired of everyone having a strapless dress. Yours is beautiful and so flattering.

  20. You two look so happy, it seems like a beautiful wedding.

    And just to throw this out there… doesn’t moving around, like, for instance, dancing, make a person more sweaty?

    Now, I’m not a sweat expert, so I could easily be wrong. I’m just throwing it out there.

  21. You look so pretty! I love the photos. the flowers are amazing!

  22. Ah, what a beautiful wedding! Looking at your pics makes me all reminiscent of my wedding day… My hubby and I are coming up o our 6th anniversary on June 19th. 🙂

  23. Thank you for sharing! LOVE your dress!!!

  24. As a part-time wedding planner, I just LOVE looking at wedding photos. Girl, you looked positively radiant! I cannot wait to see the ones on film. Get on that, asap 🙂

  25. Wow, those are some pretty impressive wedding photos! What a great anniversary gift. You both look amazing and so happy!

  26. Ginny

    And these were taken during my fat years… haha! I’m looking rough. But I digress — you look radiant, dahling!

    1. Tressa

      Holy crap….those were “fat” days!?!?!
      Well, you rocked “fat” days, cause you look HOT 😉

  27. I’m so glad that you got your wedding photos in digital format! We just celebrated our 5th anniversary, and my photographer had just switched to digital, and we bought our rights to our photos. He dropped the discs with our pictures on them off at my parent’s house the morning after our wedding, before my husband and I had even checked out of our hotel! I’ve been so happy with them ever since that morning.

    Next, you stole my wedding! Okay, not really. But a red-haired bride, green bridesmaids dresses, and the same EXACT cake topper do look suspicious.

  28. Carlene

    this makes me so happy! I have only 4 months to wait until my own PLT wedding!

  29. Looks like a beautiful wedding! Your dress was beautiful! And I LOVED your colors…probably because I had the same ones. Sage green and pink…no joke. AND…Farm Boy and I will have been married 5 yrs on June 25.

    5 years seems like yesterday to me. But in some weird way it feels like we’ve been together forever. Sometimes I feel like my life truly began when we started dating.

    Congrats to you both!!

    Megan

    http://reddirtandcrazy.blogspot.com/

  30. Ashley

    Awww….I love wedding pictures! I got married last month and our photographer just blogged our pictures today! It brings back such wonderful memories 🙂

  31. Sooo fun! I love looking at other peoples wedding photos. You were a beautiful bride!

  32. Heather

    Beautiful pictures!! I have all of my wedding pictures on film (negatives), and I have no idea where to take them to get them digitized. Are yours on film as well, or do you have the prints that you’re having scanned? I’d love to get mine digitized as well.

  33. Just beautiful…so fun to see them! Thank you!
    And, as others have said, your dress is gorgeous…simple, elegant. You were an absolutely radiant bride!!

  34. Laura

    What a beautiful wedding! If (when?!) I get married, I hope my wedding is that classy! I laughed at you and your mom celebrating the end of planning! Cute!

  35. Diane

    The most beautiful bride ~ EVER!
    Your mothers dress was also beautiful.
    My favorite photo is the one of you, framed on the gift table, standing on the sidewalk with your arms stretched open.

  36. Happy 5 years! We celebrated ours in April and have our first baby on the way (14 weeks along…). We always sit around and ask each other – is this normal to be this happy? We truly think we are the happiest couple in the world.

  37. Jessica

    so adorable!

    “I guess that’s what you get when you marry your best friend.”

    I will marry my high school sweetheart/best friend in 4 months and I could not be more excited 🙂

    Thanks for sharing these!

  38. Angela

    I love this post.

    Have you done a post with the other pictures?

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