Well, dear hive, it’s about that time.  Before I get into my goodbyes, let’s get some music on in the background:

Ready?  Yeah, me neither.

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Photography: Mark Hayes Photography

As you may have already seen from the Husky Recaps, we hired Mark of Mark Hayes Photography to capture the meaningful moments of our wedding day.  I cannot speak enough praise for Mark’s professionalism, unique eye, and genuine passion for his craft.  After our pool hall engagement session, we had high expectations for our wedding photos, and he more than delivered!

(Mark Hayes Photography)

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The band had packed up and headed home, and many of our guests had retired to their rooms.  But those of us that clung to the night just weren’t quite ready to let go.

(guest photo)

We had asked Neighbor-B to create one of his infamous dance mixes to get the after-party started off right.  And boy, did he deliver…

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After the bouquet toss and a bit more barn-stompin’, Mr. Husky announced that he would be enjoying a bottle of Basil Hayden’s and an Ashton maduro cigar on the front porch, and welcomed any interested guests to join.

(Mark Hayes Photography)

Yes, that is a baby bottle nipple atop the bottle of whiskey, but I can assure you the baby did not imbibe.

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So you all convinced me that suspenders on the men would look great, and you were right!  They looked downright dapper:

(Mark Hayes Photography)

But you should know that the route from point A [deciding] and point B [wearing] was not exactly straight.  In fact, it it was quite squiggly.  What follows is a word of caution about using Etsy’s Alchemy process.

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I feel obligated to explain my prolonged absence, lest you fear I’ve abandoned my regular recaps. Without going into too much detail, 2011 has not been off to a great start for the Huskies. We have endured family, financial and career hardships that I never would have expected to be compounded into just two short months. Mr. Husky has been everything to me and for me since the year began, and I am so very fortunate to have unending love and support from him. Thank you for being patient as I come back around to blogging.

My oh my, where did we leave off?  Oh yes, the dancing!  The band prepared for their next set break, and I prepared to toss my bouquet.  All the ladies, regardless of marital or relationship status, were invited up to the dance floor.

(Mark Hayes Photography)

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I just wanted to take a second to apologize for my extended absence.  The last several weeks have been the most difficult I’ve had to endure, and blogging was not at the top of my priority list. 

I spent 3 days, from dawn until dark, fixing a crashed server.  When it finally recovered from its massive failure, I jetted off to spend a week with my father who has been very ill in recent months. 

The morning after I arrived, we had to take him to the emergency room, and he spent the following 4 days in ICU.  I called my sister and my husband in for support.  My dad was moved to the regular floor for another 3 days and then came home.  Enter: Flu. 

I went down first, and it was miserable.    My dad’s condition makes common illness become very serious, so Mr. H and I checked into a hotel to keep me quarantined.  My flight back home had to be cancelled.  Then my cousin - who has been caring for my father over the last several weeks – went down too.  And then my dad spiked a fever, and back to the hospital we went.  Turns out he (and most likely we) had come down with H1N1.  Another 3 days spent in ICU – this time in the isolation room.  We finally got him back home, and then had to fly out the following day.  I’m hoping to avoid hospitals for a while. 

Two full weeks later, I returned home to my puppy (who had grown exponentially during my absence), and tried to decompress in time for my birthday. 

This long, drawn out story is all to say that I’ve had a good reason to ignore my blog.  But I will be back soon.

After our spotlight dances, it was time for the real dancing to begin.

(Mark Hayes Photography)

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The toasts were over, and the band was ready.  Mr. Husky and I prepared all four of our left feet to dance.

(Mark Hayes Photography)

Our band played an amazing rendition of our song, and I must confess to a major wedding regret here. 

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As darkness fell across the ranch, we headed back to the barn.  It was time for the toasts.  Best-M started it off:

(Mark Hayes Photography)

I think he was nervous.

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Big happy sigh.  These are some of my favorite photos from the day.  I’ve already shared one of them, and now it’s time to show you a few more from our Sunset Session

(Mark Hayes Photography)

After we finished eating, Mr. Husky led me toward the hills for our “couple” photos.  Our window of opportunity was quickly closing, and we were down to the last half-hour of useable daylight. 

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While the wedding party was hanging out and being photographed, our amazing chefs were hard at work preparing our wedding feast:

(guest photo)

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Catch up with Part I

When it was finally time for the first fitting, I gathered up my shoes and my courage and paid a visit to a local seamstress.  I slipped into the dress, and she pinned the sides of the gown.

(personal photo)

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I have received so many kind compliments on my dress – Breanna, by Caroline DeVillo -that I was inspired to take a break from recaps and talk about its journey from this:

(personal photo)

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The wedding party and our families gathered beneath the tree in the side yard.  Our candid “photo session” produced more frame-worthy photos than I had hoped for. 

(Mark Hayes Photography)

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Mama Husky was so awesome throughout the entire wedding planning process – she was always supportive of my crazy ideas, gave her feedback when requested, and kept her mouth shut when she knew my mind was made up about something.  But she did something in the days before the wedding that I have a hard time looking back on.  We need some good, fitting music to go along with this:

She sent me this article.  If you’re not up for clicking over there, I’ll summarize:

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The ceremony was over, and we made our way to the side yard. 

(Mark Hayes Photography)

It had been our intention to have a sort of informal receiving line in the side yard between the ceremony site and the happy hour area.  Unfortunately, this was not announced at the end of the ceremony, and I think most guests were confused and just headed straight to Happy Hour. 

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The time had come for our Wine Box Ceremony.  Officiant/FIL Husky introduced the concept:

Mr. Husky and Miss Husky are very thoughtful and serious about marriage. Mr. Husky told me “They weren’t all good times. I am under no illusion that our relationship will always be easy, but I know that it will always be worth it.  We had one particular rough patch that ended with our first trip to Austin.  It was during that trip that I realized Miss Husky was the one for me, but it took me another 3 years to propose.

(Mark Hayes Photography)

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After the Wine Box ceremony, Mr. Husky read his vows to me:

(guest photo)

From this moment forward, I promise to give my best efforts to being the best husband I can be.

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After Step-Husky finished, FIL-Husky took the mic once again. 

(Mark Hayes Photography)

He wrote a beautiful and touching ceremony for us, full of tears and laughter.

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Choosing my old-new-borrowed-blue items was one of the easiest decisions I made throughout the entire wedding planning process.  Too many new things to count (but I would count my dress), and the Old, Borrowed, and Blue were all rolled up into one beautiful piece of jewelry:

(personal photo – I am obviously not nearly as skilled at ring photography as many of you!)

My grandmother’s sapphire ring is one of the few pieces of jewelry that my mother and aunt have of their mother’s.  Both of them love it so equally, that every few years the carrier of the ring will wrap it and hide it beneath the Christmas tree for her sister.  Every time this happens, it’s one of the most touching moments of the day.  I asked my mom if I could wear it on my wedding day, and she agreed.

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I stood facing my handsome groom with tears in my eyes and a quiver in my lip. 

(Mark Hayes Photography)

FIL-Husky, also our officiant, welcomed everyone and began by introducing my stepfather to come up and say a few words.  I’ve written before about his struggles with Shingles, and we were both so happy he was able to stand and speak to us.

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The processional music was nearing the crescendo where my entrance would be made.  It was time to go:

(Mark Hayes Photography)

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As the ladies made their way to the wedding site, the men were putting the final touches on their attire:

(guest photo)

They were then relegated to the garage, so we could take over the house to put on the dress. 

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My alarm went off at 7am Saturday morning.  The girls would be arriving for beautification around 8, and though I had written my letter to Mr. Husky, I still needed to pen the final copy on some nice paper.  Even as I finished up the letter, my eyes brimmed with emotion.  This was it!  Today was the day I would marry the man even my dreams had never dreamed of.

As I’m sure you’ll soon realize, Mr. H and I decided not to have a photographer with us as we got ready, for a couple of reasons.  For one, I felt the morning of the wedding would be a very special time with my closest friends and family.  It felt like a very intimate event, and the thought of having the photographer there didn’t quite feel comfortable to me.  Particularly because both shooters were men.  The other reason, and perhaps the more important one, is that we hired our photographers for a 5-hour package.  As we figured it, that would give us enough time for the ceremony, happy hour, toasts, first dances and bouquet toss.  If we were to have them there while we got ready, there wouldn’t have been enough time to capture the rest of the day.  In most ways, I’m happy with this decision.  My only regret is that men aren’t quite as inclined to photograph this process as women may be.

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