The Wedding Experience - Wedding Day

Let's just begin by saying that I did not expect to be so NERVOUS! I wasn't nervous at all leading up to the wedding...I made it through the rehearsal with only one tear...but I hardly slept the night before and that morning I was a bundle of butterflies!

When I woke up at a ridiculously early hour, I went downstairs to check on the reception hall...we had to decorate that morning, but luckily I had some very reliable friends and family helping me out that morning! We were on a roll for decoration, and I had to scoot to get my hair done.

I also just want to add, that we had absolutely PERFECT weather. It was about 70 degrees on April 10th in Iowa; there were only a couple of clouds in the sky, and it sprinkled for about 5 minutes...how we were so blessed I do not know...but boy am I grateful!!

As I was sitting there alone getting my hair done, I became soooo nervous! I should have had someone come with me...but I made it!

I got to the Church where the rest of the girls were and the photographer (Jeff McMullen) was ready to take pics.

It helped a lot to be around the girls, they all looked so beautiful and happy! But they were showing some signs of nerves too, due to having to walk halfway down the aisle by themselves, so ultimately, I had to keep my nerves bottled up.

The moment I could finally see Ryan really made me more excited for the ceremony instead of nervous. We were so happy to see each other and I'm so glad we decided to do that BEFORE the ceremony because I just got so excited to see him again, and he made me feel so beautiful, I was confident walking down the aisle.

BUT....when the walking down the aisle part came, my nerves came back. Or maybe I was just emotionally overwhelmed. But as I stood outside the Church doors with my dad, I began to choke back some tears. Kelly's beautiful voice was flooding outside as she sang, "You Raise Me Up" for the seating of the grandparents and mothers and then the piano music of "Canon in D" began for the bridesmaids.

Lindsey, my PA, did a great job directing everyone down and preparing for my entrance. As the doors opened for my dad and I to walk down, I had a hard time looking up at everyone because I could feel tears forming. I alternated between looking up and smiling and looking down and choking back tears...haha. But that's pretty much the only part of the ceremony I remember besides the vows!

Maybe I was overwhelmed, or maybe it was because I hadn't eaten anything...but the ceremony flew by in the blink of an eye and I hardly remember it at all! Thank goodness for pictures...like the one below, just after being pronounced "Mr. and Mrs. Hackbarth." =)

The bridal party and some friends hopped on the trolley after the ceremony to take some pictures down by the river and enjoy some drinks at the Dubuque Star Brewery.

The reception was so much fun, but it happened WAY TOO FAST! We have some excellent photos to remember the best parts of the night and our wedding party made the night unforgettable.

Our cake was delicious, with the choice of chocolate with buttercream frosting, white with whipped frosting, or strawberry with cream cheese frosting. Andy, the best man, and Emily, the maid of honor, had unforgettable speeches that made us laugh, but were tasteful ;) My dad gave a great toast, and we enjoyed an absolutely amazing dinner.

Our first dance was to "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol and the wedding party danced to "You & Me" by Dave Matthews Band. The father/daughter, mother/son dance was "The Way You Look Tonight" by Michael Buble...it was a little too long, we should have cut that song down a bit.

We did the tacky, but tried and true dollar dance...which truly did provide a great opportunity to have some face time with the guests! Plus, we got some extra spending dough for the honeymoon =)

Ryan and I actually didn't spend a lot of time together at the reception...I spent most of my time on the dance floor, while he mingled, had cigars, and visited the bar a few times. I'm telling you, there truly was not enough time in the day, or the night.

In addition to the garter toss (Chicago Bears style) and the bouquet toss, we did a coed bouquet toss involving a bouquet of 20 scratch tickets and an anxious crowd of OVER 21 year-olds =) It was so much fun and we got a lot of compliments and it was a great way to get everyone out on the floor to make the traditional garter and bouquet tosses less awkward.

After all of the ceremonial traditions were completed, we were free to dance/drink/socialize the night away!

I went to bed that night with so many memories, a face hurting from smiling so much, and head spinning from the two drinks I had because I didn't eat all day!

I don't think I would have changed anything about that day, because as cliche as it sounds, it was perfect. As my bio says, I have the best husband, best friends, and best family anyone could ever ask for. I love you all!

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