So apparently I am an unreliable narrator just like Sansa Stark, because as I was writing the last post about mangling our wedding cake, I totally remembered sitting down right after our cake-cutting and chowing down on that cake. But that isn’t what happened. We went right from cake-cutting to our first dance. Whoops. Now that I look at the pictures, I do remember being bummed because someone took the cake away from me and forced me onto the dance floor instead. It was only later in the night when I was sweaty from dancing that my Auntie grabbed me and forced me to sit down and eat chocolate cake with her. My memories are all jumbled from that night. Too much excitement, I suppose!
Anyway, so yes, we went from the cake-cutting to our first dance. I was a little apprehensive about this, because I’m not a huge dancer and, as I’ve mentioned, I don’t really like everyone’s eyes on me. Well, me and Mr. CA, but you know what I mean.
We decided that we would do our first dance to Ben Harper’s “Forever.” I love the song, and it just seemed fitting. However, since we didn’t want to sway there for over three minutes, we told our DJ to cut the song off after one minute.
We swayed and swirled a little on the dance floor, and it was lovely. I felt very in-the-moment, and while I knew people were staring at us as they were eating their cake, it was a nice feeling, because I was just clutching Mr. CA and telling him what a handsome husband he was. It was a nice intimate moment between me, Mr. CA, our photographers, and 115 of our family and friends.
We swayed for a while. And then a little longer. And longer. And I realized that our DJ had totally forgotten to cut the song after one minute. So. We just kept awkwardly swaying. And Mr. CA and I were laughing at each other.
Me (through clenched teeth): Wasn’t he supposed to cut off the song??
Mr. CA: Yep.
Me: Why isn’t he doing it?!
Mr. CA: No idea.
Me: What do we do? Should we stop?
Mr. CA: Just keep swaying.
So we kept swaying.
We didn’t have a videographer due to our budget, which I don’t really regret too much. What I do regret, though, is not having someone (anyone, really) take a few video snippets throughout the day. One of my family friends sent me a little 10-second video clip from our first dance about a month after the wedding. It’s super short, and it’s only Mr. CA and me swaying to “Forever” (which you can clearly hear in the background), but it made me cry. I love that little clip, and I still watch it every once in a while.
So if I have any advice for planning your wedding, it would be to have someone take some video snippets. They don’t have to be long, and they don’t have to be professional, but you will love being able to look back on the little video clips of that day. I promise.
I think we love each other.
Still laughing, because we had no idea what to do. This is one of my favorite pictures of the night. Are we done yet?!
Eventually, the DJ shut off the song. I can’t remember if it played all the way through or not, but I imagine people got bored of watching us sway. Oh well. My hair had also died a painful death by that point.
Then it was time for the father-daughter dance! You guys, my dad was super excited about our dance. I let him pick the song, and he chose James Taylor’s “How Sweet it Is.” It was perfect.
Nice and upbeat. He thought that would be a great song to dance to. And it was! My dad forced me to take a dance lesson with him. OK, he didn’t force me—I was actually really excited about it. I have secret dreams of being an amazing dancer in another life and going on So You Think You Can Dance. But alas, not in this life, as I am the worst dancer in the world.
Honestly, the lesson was really fun, and I loved spending the extra time with my Daddabongo. We kept the choreography really simple, and my dad proceeded to ignore all of the pointers the instructor gave us to keep his elbow down and not dip his shoulder when he spun me. But it was still fun. And I loved twirling around in my poufy dress.
He’s totally singing along in this picture. He sang the entire dance. When he wasn’t singing, he was saying Get ready! And SPIN!
I always laugh at this picture because the instructor specifically told him not to dip his shoulder before he was going to spin me. And what is he doing in this picture? Dipping his shoulder. Haha.
We had so much fun, and my dad was so excited about it. Honestly, I didn’t really care if we messed up the choreography at all—it was really just fun to get up there and dance with him.
And because none of us are really big dancers and we didn’t want to just be up there forever while people gawked at us, we decided beforehand that Mr. CA and his mom would come join my dad and me on the dance floor after about a minute of just me and my dad, rather than doing a separate mother-son dance. So they danced to the same song. And you know what? I really loved that we were up there together.
I adore these pictures of Mr. CA and my adorable mom-in-law.
Aren’t they twins?! I mean, seriously.
She looks like she could be his sister.
More laughter and shoulder dipping. Seriously. It was so fun.
And evidence that I twirled. And even though my dad didn’t lift his arm up enough like the instructor said (she wanted to avoid pictures exactly like this one, with my armpit exposed for the world—sorry, dance instructor!), I still love this shot. Our parents are amazing (all of them!), and I am so grateful that we are so close with them.
What song did you choose for your first dance? Anyone else dance to “Forever”? Did you do a father-daughter and/or mother-son dance? Did you take a dance lesson or just wing it?
- Recaps commenced. Sort of.
- I got over my dress regret.
- We made it official. Legally.
- I stressed out big time.
- We did some last-minute prep.
- We rehearsed.
- Our wedding day arrived!
- The little details fell into place.
- I got all gussied up.
- The guys got ready.
- We had a first look.
- Mr. CA and I took “formal” portraits.
- We took pictures on a dock.
- After some mishaps, we made it to the church.
- We walked down the aisle.
- We said our vows. Voila! Married.
- We took tons of family pictures.
- We relished our alone time.
- Our reception details were amazing.
- We did lots of hugging. And ate food.
- My sister memorized Shakespeare and we mangled our cake.
**All photography by Sarah Rhoads Photography unless otherwise noted**