Our Wedding • Day 3

December 8, 2015


Oh my goodness gracious, after 3 months I suppose its time I finally share our wedding photos. I have been blogging bits of our wedding weekend and day 3 was the day of our actually wedding. I think I have been putting it off because I am not sure how to put the best day of our lives into the right words. This is bound to be a long post so I apologize in advance. But thank you, sincerely, for hearing my story.

Looking back at these photos makes me feel overwhelmingly happy. There was something about that day. The perfect weather, everyone we love standing together, the endless laughter… our hearts, bellies, and souls were full.  We got married at Bailey’s Palomar Resort. Sam and I wanted a wedding that was truly “us” and that ended up being on a very dirty campground three hours from home with 120 of our favorite people. And it was perfect. I’ll explain more as this post progresses… I’ve also added a few of our wedding music selections, so feel free to press “play.”


Our invitations were hand-painted by an amazing watercolor artist and calligrapher I found online. I wanted them to set the tone for the entire weekend.

Sam+Jess-MLP40Sam+Jess-MLP35Sam+Jess-MLP49The morning of our wedding day was surprisingly peaceful. Our friends and family helped us set everything up (following my 4 page, super detailed timeline) and we ended up being done hours ahead of schedule. Sam and I gave our gifts to everyone at the same time, and we all just cried and laughed together. (Well, except me, I swear I did not shed a tear the entire day because I was too busy begin the happiest bride in the world.) Then we all sat on the front porch of the Bailey house. Barefoot, mimosas in hand, and just enjoying the “before.”

Sam+Jess-MLP50Sam+Jess-MLP54Sam+Jess-MLP59Sam+Jess-MLP421Sam+Jess-MLP73The guys snuck off to one of the yurts to get ready. Sam and I were only apart for an hour that entire day, just the way we wanted it.


Meanwhile the girls got ready in one of the home’s beautiful rooms. My incredibly talented aunt did my hair and makeup, we listed to Motown, and my mama zipped me up and then told me I needed to put on more deodorant (LOL!)

Sam+Jess-MLP153Sam+Jess-MLP162Sam+Jess-MLP642015-12-08_0001Sam+Jess-MLP169Sam+Jess-MLP175Sam+Jess-MLP184Sam+Jess-MLP186Sam+Jess-MLP188Into the woods to find myself a husband…

Sam+Jess-MLP194Sam+Jess-MLP198Sam+Jess-MLP205Sam+Jess-MLP207Sam+Jess-MLP230After our First Look, we spent some time roaming the property along with our amazing photographer Michelle. Some guests caught a peek of us from their tents & cabins and we couldn’t help but laugh at how relaxed the day already felt. It was a dream. As we hiked, my dress gathered leaves, twigs, wildflowers, even a 4-foot branch at one point. I started referring to myself as “Mother Nature” and I loved every. minute. of. it.

Also how Michelle made us look so cool and confident I will never know…


Sam+Jess-MLP556Our ceremony. Our beautiful, beautiful wedding ceremony.

Sam’s dad officiated.

There were no ‘sides.’

We served otter pops.

My dad and I made a surprise entrance.

We wrote our own vows that mentioned casseroles and dog fur.

The ceremony took places under Bailey’s 100 year old walnut trees. We placed wind chimes throughout them as a way to honor those no longer with us. It was amazing how they seemed to chime at all the right moments, as if they were laughing, crying and cheering with the rest of our family.

Sam+Jess-MLP4302015-12-08_0004Sam+Jess-MLP452Sam+Jess-MLP460Sam+Jess-MLP464Sam+Jess-MLP466Sam+Jess-MLP473Sam+Jess-MLP475Sam+Jess-MLP476Sam+Jess-MLP480Sam+Jess-MLP483Sam+Jess-MLP486Another favorite element of our ceremony was an old Irish tradition called the “Ring Warming.” Instead of having a ring bearer, the rings were passed around the seated guests (starting with my mom and ending with Sam’s mom) giving everyone the opportunity to pray over them and bless our journey into marriage.


And we danced into marriage with this song…


Sam+Jess-MLP566I ten-million-percent adore our wedding party. We gathered people from all walks of our live, from family members, neighbors, middle school friends to college friends. They were incredibly supportive and helpful as they’ve been our entire relationship. So much love for this group.


Our cocktail hour consisted of a DIY flower crown station, a kids teepee, cuddling on Mexican blankets, silly Polaroids and signature drinks. We wanted everyone to have the opportunity to act like kids again!


Having everyone seated family-style was so important to me.  We assigned seats but mixed everyone up so that they could enjoy company both new and old. I wanted it eclectic and elegant, even though the scenery was more “rustic,” and since we were on a major budget I DIY’ed basically everything. I can’t believe how beautifully it came together… I’m so grateful to our day-of coordinator Nichole and our caterer Anne Taylor.

2015-12-08_0005Sam+Jess-MLP413Sam+Jess-MLP736Sam+Jess-MLP742Sam+Jess-MLP745Sam+Jess-MLP758Sam+Jess-MLP765Sam+Jess-MLP768Sam+Jess-MLP770We snuck away for a few sunset portraits, and I insisted on grabbing one with our photographer. Love her to pieces <3


My dad, mom, and father-in-law gave some sweet speeches. But then Ben just absolutely destroyed his speech. Sam asked his 15 year old brother Ben to be his Best Man and he had been stressed about this speech for months. What a big, fat faker! From his first sentence Ben had every one of the guests and vendors laughing, crying, and then crying from laughing too hard. It was RIDICULOUS and I’m so lucky to have him as a brother.


If you don’t believe the pictures, here is a video of the amazingness.


My sweet little cousin asked if she could give a speech too. I love everyone and I love how they love Sam and I.


My friend Kristen baked some incredible goodies for us, and we surprised everyone with a vintage ice cream cart from Sweet Lucies. Would it be bad to say that was my favorite part of the day?



Our friend George was a groomsman AND DJ. Well, until Andrew took over… But when George had his reign, the dance floor was packed all night long. The old wooden flours were bouncing and shaking as we lost our voices and danced way too hard.



BEST DAY EVER. #CampHickerson forever!