{One of our goals at The NotWedding is to encourage solid and committed marriages, and in an effort to do just that, we’ve decided to start posting Sappy Wedding & Love Stories. As you relive the wedding day with former brides, we hope to excite you about your own wedding while also reminding you that it’s the MARRIAGE that’s really worth planning for!}

The boy and I got married on January 28, 2006. The weather was perfect for groomsmen…maybe not quite as perfect for bare armed bridesmaids (oops). I’m entirely too emotional and an unfortunate looking cryer, so we decided that we would see each other before the ceremony. I remember waiting for him in this little hallway off of the sanctuary and I’m not sure that I’ve ever been so anxious to see someone. Most of the day was totally surreal, but that moment felt just like him and me. Eyes met, got teary and then we laughed a lot. It was a perfect start to a super fun evening.

After we took a few photos with the wedding party, we all headed back to a classroom to finish getting ready. My aunt let me use her lipstick and we put on fake eyelashes – a great solution to a cryer’s nightmare. Oh and my something blue…fun story. I realized (much too late in the game) that I had left my brand new, pretty bridal undergarments at home. My dress didn’t quite fit without some extra help in the top, so luckily my soon-to-be sister-in-law had her cop costume from halloween still in her car. Yes, I wore a royal blue bra from a halloween costume under my wedding dress. Again, nothing could have been more perfectly, clumsily me.

Once I was dressed, I took a few minutes to write notes to my mom, mother-in-law and step-mother-in-law. (That’s what our flower girls carried instead of flower petals.) It was time to go. We lined up in the lobby of the church and I’ll never forget peeking through a window in the back of the sanctuary and looking out over all of our friends and family. Then, I was giddy.

I grabbed my dad’s arm, walked down the aisle and met this boy (who looked about 14). My grandfather married us. His awesome Jamaican accent was a fun touch to the beautifully worded ceremony. It’s always a joke with our family that Papa only loves you if he screws up your name at your wedding. He called both of my uncles the wrong name and he didn’t disappoint when he called Josh, “Jess”. It was much needed comic relief as I sobbed through the entire thing especially during “Great is Thy Faithfulness”. It got so bad that at some point, Josh pulled his handkerchief out of his tux and passed it over to me…everyone laughed.

We walked out to “All You Need is Love” – a little nod to my Beatles loving dad. And really all I remember after that was eating my favorite food (my mom’s roasted potatoes) and dancing…a lot. We were the first of our friends to get married, so I had no idea what to expect. I’m pretty sure I have the best friends in the world though because even without alcohol (most of our friends were underage) our dreams of “Club Whitlock” had become a reality.

I think what I loved most about our wedding was the music. Our ceremony music was carefully selected and beautifully played by some buddies of my dad’s who happen to be fantastic musicians. And of course the crazy dance party that happened at the reception wouldn’t have been without our dj believing in us enough to play ridiculous songs that would typically fail.

If I were to go back and do it again, I would change my hair and my shoes. Neither one were very me – I just didn’t really know that there was another option. Otherwise, everything just fit.

-Michal Whitlock, Director of The NotWedding Atlanta

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