You know those weddings that seem to just radiate off the page (er computer), full of so much love and joy, you can practically feel it? This is one of those. The traditional wedding in a big beautiful white barn will capture your heart with more than it’s pretty details. Thanks to the sweetest first look, private exchange of vows, and a wonderful love story, Blake & Rae’s special day will make yours.
We Had Chemistry. Blake & I both started our college athletic careers (he with football, me volleyball) at different universities before transferring to TAMU-Commerce our sophomore years in. Looking back we even had a class together that year, with me sitting behind him all semester…but that’s not where we met! It’d take another nearly 3 years for our paths to really cross. Fast forward to 2011 and the both of us saving the chemistry II as our last class needed to graduate that summer. So here we are in our last college class before we’re supposed to go off into the real world, and there he was: the cute, quiet, football guy in my chem class.
It took a week or two of us casually passing each other in class and at the rec (I worked the front desk and Blake just ‘happened’ to work out during my shift) until Blake finally stopped by the front desk to chat. After that, I asked for his help on a review and we ended up staying up until the wee hours of the morning talking about everything under the sun (and nearly falling asleep in class the next day). We only had such a short time together there in Commerce, but I knew when we walked that stage a few weeks later at graduation that I had found the love of my life.
Blake and I love to go on “Little Adventures” for special occasions and for my 27th birthday we headed to Ruidoso, New Mexico. We stayed at a beautiful resort in the mountains, in a suite with a lakeside view. The next day Blake took me to the ski resort where we were set to go zip-lining for the first time. I was a little terrified but knew I couldn’t back out. And I’m sure glad I didn’t because it was at the bottom of the last run that Blake had a sign hanging with, “Rachael, Will you marry me?” It was our perfect proposal: outside, in the mountains, on an adventure. Of course, I said YES!
Each of my 6 bridesmaids was a best friend from a different phase in my life: My sister, a high school friend, 2 college friends/teammates, a graduate school friend and a new sister-in-law. Friday night before the wedding the girls joined me for a bridesmaid slumber party at my family farm. This is the place that is most special to me. It is where I grew up as a kid, where our biggest family moments have taken place, and where I already have so many cherished memories. I was so happy to be spending the night at the farm in the most special of company before one of the biggest days of my life. The girls also had a special surprise for me that night: a scrapbook where each of them, as well as my family, had written me a letter filled with fun memories and advice as Blake and I were about to begin our new chapter together. My mother had even included a letter that I had written to myself in college, right before I met Blake. Tears spilled as a read a letter from a girl who was still trying to figure things out, but I already recognized how fortunate I was for my loving family and the friendships that I was developing that would be everlasting. That night, those moments and memories are some that I will cherish forever.
There were so many small planning touches to our wedding that most likely no one would recognize, but meant a lot to me as they each carried their own family sentiment. I chose October 7th in part because my parents were also wed the first weekend of October (Their anniversary is October 5th). I could not have dreamt for a more perfect venue as not only is The White Sparrow barn just breathtaking, but it is located in the area where I grew up, right in between my parent’s house and our family farm house. Blake and I made sure to have a table showcasing photos of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days as they have all set an example of what it takes to have a long, loving marriage.
Finally, something old, new, borrowed, blue: ‘Old’ was a small end table that my gracious cousin let me have. It was the first piece of furniture that my Grandmommy and Granddaddy bought together as a married couple. I also had a bonnet that I had worn as a baby in my baptism that my mom had saved to be used as a hankie on my wedding day. ‘New’ was my beautiful wedding band. ‘Borrowed’ was the veil, borrowed from my sweet bridesmaid, Brittany. And finally, ‘Blue’ was a ring of Blake’s grandmother, tied to my bouquet.
Our wedding was the perfect day filled with so much love and joy through time spent with family and friends. It was truly the best day EVER!