Location: The Beach, Southern Shores, North Carolina
Wedding ceremony start time: 6:00am (shortly after sunrise)
There I was, hair halfway done, stomach in knots and I didn't even have my dress on yet. The ceremony was starting soon and I felt certain that my hair and make up looked insane. I said loose curls on the bottom, but had a sneaking suspicion that I had tight spirals all over my head. I felt as if nothing was going according to my long laid out plans and I was totally stressing out.
I had no question about the man I was about to marry, he's the best thing that ever happened to me. But that morning I was more nervous than I had ever been in my whole life. Was I going to cry? Maybe I was going to laugh. Maybe I was going to yell at people! I don't know, I just felt crazy.
My girlfriends helped me with my dress and other final details and I walked out of the little beach cottage with my grandpa feeling like I was having an out of body experiencing. (I'm told that for some people this is totally normal)
In that next hour or so (an hour that I will remember for the rest of my life) there were two things really helped to make me feel better and the first was our officiant, Rev. Jay Bowman.
There was something calming (and happy) about him as soon as he arrived. Right before the ceremony started he met me at the entrance to the beach. He looked me right in the eyes and told me everything was going to be okay, that this was about me and the man of my dreams and he was going to talk me through everything.
When the ceremony started he reminded us to take in every moment, to feel the sand in our toes, remember the sound of the waves and the light orange and pale blue color of the sky and to look around at all of our friends and family there to celebrate our love.
He made the ceremony feel just right for us. The sunrise (and the moon setting at the same time) belonged to us that morning and Rev. Jay Bowman made it all happen.
All of our guests agreed that he was amazing. He was loud enough over the crashing waves, personal enough that it seemed as if he had been there from the moment Nick and I met. It wasn't too long or too short. He made me laugh even when I was crying. (I am so thankful that Ericka captured this important moment for us!)
The other thing that made me feel better (of course) was looking into Nick's eyes and holding his hands and knowing that our love was beyond anything else. All the little details that didn't work out or the plans that didn't go my way, the hair that I thought looked crazy, my chubby arms or the way my dress fit or stuck in the sand, none of it mattered anymore in that moment.
This was what it was all about.
If you are getting married in the Outer Banks and are looking for the perfect officiant for your wedding, I can't recommend Rev. Jay Bowman enough. He was the best thing that happened to our wedding and we are forever grateful for the memories he gave us. Visit www.obxbrides.com or www.myouterbanksweddings.com for more info.
More details and photos from my sunrise beach wedding (with a mimosa and donut reception after) here.
All photos taken by the amazing: Julie Dreelin Beach Productions