I was nervous and excited for our first dance as newlyweds. Nervous, because neither of us is very good at dancing. Excited, because our chosen song is awesome. At least to us. Maybe to you too? Let’s put it on to set the mood:
The song speaks to us on multiple levels and never fails to make me feel incredibly alive and inspired. It’s not your typical first-dance song, and it’s not even much of a traditional love song, but it is ours and it was perfect for beginning the next step of our adventure.
As a side note, I completely forgot to tell our DJ and photographers that I wanted soft, colored lights to set the mood and a spotlight on us during the first dance so our photos would look dreamy and surreal. Instead, we had the full lights of the venue on. It was a slight mood-killer because really”¦how romantic is dancing in a fully lit room? Not very. But I say it was only slight because we JUST GOT MARRIED! Not much can kill that ecstasy, as is evident in our super-happy expressions.
Now, I mentioned that Mr. Bunting and I do not possess any moves like Jagger, so to help alleviate some of the crap-all-we-know-is-how-to-turn-in-circles pressure, we asked the rest of our bridal party to join in on the floor during a particular crescendo of the song.
Safety in numbers, right?
Yeah, I don’t think I even noticed. I had eyes only for Mr. Bunting.
After our first-dance song came to an end, I paired up with Daddy Bunting for our daddy-daughter dance. I was never one to plan out my dream wedding as a little girl, but this was one of the very few moments that I had played through over and over in my head. My father and I have always been extremely close, and before I was even engaged I would get misty-eyed thinking about this dance. I love the tradition, but it made me feel incredibly sad to think of this as a last dance with my father. I remember dancing in the living room with him as a little girl, when I would put my feet over his and hold on for dear life as he twirled us both around. The implications of this dance had me believing that those days of being daddy’s little girl were officially over, and now I couldn’t belong to him because I belonged entirely to Mr. Bunting. I was both anticipating and dreading the daddy-daughter dance. I wasn’t ready to let go, yet I was still so excited to have this special moment with my father.
But then I realized that, even as a married woman, my relationship with my father didn’t have to change. I could still be my daddy’s little girl, and I always will be. Nothing can change that, no matter where life takes me or how much I grow.
We both got misty-eyed, but we both knew we would. Our song selection, bittersweet with nostalgia both in lyrics and personal meaning, certainly didn’t help. It was an easy choice deciding on this particular song. When I was little my father introduced me to the music of Collin Raye, who easily became my favorite musician. Now, when I think of my childhood and my father, Collin Raye’s music is one key element that always comes to mind.
And when I first heard his song, “Wish I Could,” in 1998, I knew right away that it would be the song I danced to with my father on my wedding day. And so it was.
The floor was opened up to all couples, and we got our second dance with each other surrounded by loved ones and many happy couples.
That’s Mother Bunting peeking over Daddy Bunting’s shoulder, looked pleased as can be.
*Marked photos are copyright Bryan and Mae Photography. Unmarked photos are personal or guest photos.
Follow the adventure:
- We had a fluffing party and rehearsed.
- I woke up and got ready with my girls.
- I step into the prettiest white dress I’ll ever wear.
- Mr. Bunting recounts getting ready at the Man Cave.
- Wishin’ and prayin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ for perfect weather.
- I received the most important Post-it note. Ever.
- We race toward one another for our first look.
- Mushy-lovey photos ensued shortly after.
- We strutted our stuff as one big happy Bunting Bunch.
- Our guests started to arrive: welcome to our wedding.
- I went into hiding”¦ and panicked.
- Our wedding party assembled on time, but the bride was missing.
- I arrive fashionably late in a horse-drawn carriage.
- We listen to a reading and turn to wave at our guests.
- We exchange our vows, which inspire both tears and laughter.
- Mr. Bunting slips on my wedding band, and I his.
- Collected sand and earth offer a twist for our Foundation Ceremony.
- Mr. Bunting just can’t wait any longer to kiss his bride!
- Our horse-drawn carriage takes us for a private stroll.
- Cookies were had by all, and they were as delicious as they were beautiful.
- Spontaneity hits and we throw all our poms into the air. Oh, and at each other.
- Our reception hall is filled to the brim with details, details, and more details!
- Our party marches in to the tune of Star Wars.
- Yeah, toast(s)!
- Unsurprisingly, there’s more kissing! This time our guests get involved.
- A slideshow chronicles the story of our romance.
- Grand Rapids, MI
- freelance illustrator
- Wedding Date:
- June 2011
- Spring Grove Park & St. George Banquet Center