Y’all will notice right away that this wedding is a little different. It has a lovely bride and a dapper groom and a gorgeous Southern setting, yes ma’am, but it also has a day-of timeline that went completely haywire due to unexpected weather, and a noticeable lack of “details” compared to our other features. However, what it may lack in pretty paper or fancy favors, it more than makes up for in heart. Ryan Price’s images tell the story of Laura and Micah’s emotional day well, so please, y’all, enjoy this look at a wedding that went “wrong,” but in the end was oh so right. As we all believe, truly love always, always wins… even in the face of torrential downpour.
I had checked the Farmer’s Almanac dating back to the last ten years to determine that November 3, 2012 was the perfect date for our wedding. It had the least likely chance of rain, and an average temperature of 65 degrees. It was the day before Daylight Savings Time and if we had the ceremony at 5:00pm we could be on the dance floor by 6:00pm, just as the sun was setting. I had done my research.
But things don’t always go according to plan, no matter how well you think you might have planned them. Our wedding was to start at 5:00. The storm began rolling in around 4:30. Torrential downpour began at 4:45. Hail, sometime around 5:00. People were outside scurrying, grabbing napkins and glass vases with candles. I was in the little farmhouse where the bridal party was getting ready, trying to keep it together. Micah, his mother, my mother and father, my pastor, and I gathered together to make a decision. Micah and I decided through tears (mostly mine) and disappointment that we were definitely getting married that day, and we wanted all of our people to be there with us. So we crammed everyone into the tiny farmhouse, wherever they could fit. The bridal party lined up on the staircase, and Micah and I stood at the bottom with our family and friends just a foot away. It was so intimate, and I honestly believe it was better than either of us could have ever imagined.
I walked down the “aisle” to The Vitamin String Quartet’s instrumental version of “Dare You to Move” by Switchfoot. The crescendo in the middle of the song still makes me tear up when I listen to it. After we exchanged our vows, we celebrated by singing a worship song to our God called “How He Loves” by the David Crowder Band. The song is about the incredible love God has for us, and it reminded us that His perfect love is even better than the love we have for each other.
Before my father gave me away and prayed over me and Micah, my brother read from Colossians 3:12-17: “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peach of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
You hear people talk about how family-oriented Southern culture is, and how close-knit communities in small towns can be. I am so fortunate that my family and my community are a classic example of those values. My little town of Lufkin, Texas has more Southern hospitality and just down right generosity than you can shake a stick at. One of my favorite experiences about planning my wedding was how willing and excited people were to help. My mother actually rounded up a little committee of five women, close friends from church and work, who met with us several times before the wedding to help plan. And heaven knows Mom and I needed help! I am so thankful for those women and all of the encouragement and advice they imparted. Not to mention the appointment making, detail managing, and decorating they did! I honestly don’t believe it would have turned out the way it did without the help from our community.
What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? Oh goodness, this is a hard question. Months before my wedding, I remember asking my mom about her own wedding. She said, “Honey, I was honestly so busy and stressed during that time that I don’t remember much of anything.” That made me so sad, because she and my father have been married for 33 years and I know that that was a special time for her. I didn’t want that to be my one regret: that I forgot to stop and enjoy every second. So that’s what I did. I took everything in, and I know this sounds cheesy, but every second was my favorite memory. Some of the memories that stick out the most in my mind were my mother putting on my veil; crying and holding my best friend’s hand as we watched the storm roll in before the wedding; Micah and I deciding together to move the ceremony into the tiny farmhouse, squish everyone in who could fit, and to go ahead with the celebration; seeing Micah teary eyed as he read his vows; dancing to “My Girl” with my daddy, and the look on Micah’s face when my bridesmaids and I performed our little dance number.
Our favorite detail of the wedding was: Micah and I both love to sing (although he is a much better singer than I), and we both especially love to dance. We like to say that we fell in love two-stepping on the dance floor. Our wedding reception definitely reflected our love for dancing, and much to my mother’s chagrin, it was even complete with surprise performances from both the bride’s party and the groom’s party. I surprised him by throwing on a leather jacket and performing a routine that my bridesmaids, house party, and I had come up with the night before to “You’re the One That I Want” from the movie “Grease.” Micah and his groomsmen followed, to my surprise, with One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful.” It was so much fun, and absolutely hilarious.
This is something I had to learn and continually remind myself of throughout the months of planning, and especially on our big day when nothing went according to plan: Please, please remember that it is not about the event, but about the precious lifelong commitment you are making to the one you love. When you keep it in perspective, you can handle any situation. What you view as the mishaps will truly become the best memories.
How did the two of you meet? Micah and I both attended Texas A&M University (whoop!), but our journey together began even before we set foot on campus as freshmen. Micah and I both decided to attend Fish Camp, which is A&M’s three-day freshman orientation at a nearby campground. It just so happened that out of 4,000 incoming freshman, Micah and I ended up in the same discussion group! Back then I was a little shy when it came to meeting new people, but not when playing games. Somehow, we wound up playing a card game together the first night. Needless to say, my competitive nature caught his attention. But our fate wasn’t sealed until the second night at the country dance mixer. Micah is a pretty good dancer — sometimes I wonder if he came out of the womb already knowing how to two-step. I remember that night he danced with all six of the other girls in our group first. After that, he just stood next to me for the next two songs. The third song happened to be my favorite at the time, and after commenting to Micah that it was my favorite song, he nodded and continued to stand exactly where he was, staring at the dance floor. The poor boy was afraid to ask! After a few seconds I turned to him, held my hand out and said matter-of-factly, “Micah, considering this is my favorite song, would you please dance with me?” I honestly had never been so bold in my life, but I think I just knew what I wanted. The rest, as they say, is history.
Describe the proposal. I love surprises, and fortunately for me, Micah loves to surprise me. I had absolutely no idea he was going to propose when he did. Now, I’ll be honest, I had dropped quite a few hints over the course of the two years we were dating. When I say “hints,” what I really mean is I flat-out asked him a few times, “When are you planning on asking me to marry you?” Micah always took it in stride and reminded me to be patient. Then finally, the fall of our senior year at A&M, we were both getting our Aggie rings, which is a momentous occasion for students of Texas A&M. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, family pets, everyone practically comes in for this event and everyone celebrates with a party. Micah and I had planned to have a little shindig at my college house with our families and friends. We had a karaoke system set up for entertainment. Micah’s dad called everyone over to where the karaoke was set up and asked for Micah and me to come up on the stage. As Micah dragged me by the hand up to the stage, I whispered to him, “Micah, I’m not going to sing. You’re going to have to sing by yourself because I’m not singing. Not doing it.” He took the microphone from his dad and got down on one knee as the song “She’s Like Texas” began to play. I remember seeing his hand shaking as he held the microphone. Looking back it was obvious what he was doing and so I feel silly for having said, “Micah, what are you doing? I’m not going to sing. Get up!” He laughed and then in the sweetest way he asked me to marry him. I don’t think I even looked at the ring because I was so excited he had finally asked me to be his wife. I fell to my knees and hugged him.
How many guests attended your wedding? That is a good question! I know that 350 RSVP’d but with the unexpected weather and hail storm that ensued that evening, and the temporary misplacement of the guest book, we never got a final count!
Did you decide to do a first look? After much debate, Micah and I decided it would be a good idea to do a first look. I think that was one of the best decisions on our part. It helped us calm our nerves and gave us time to talk to each other before the hustle and bustle began. That time was so special. We talked about how we were feeling and prayed together for our marriage. It also allowed us to have as much time with our guests as possible.
The wedding favors? Homemade blueberry jam. My cousins, aunts, friends and I gathered together one Saturday and canned 350 jars of blueberry jam. Micah and I had picked 11 gallons of blueberries at the Wood Blueberry Farm in Diboll, Texas.
Tell us about your wedding cake. It was absolutely delicious. Our baker even replicated a cake topper I found in a magazine of two little birds. I thought it was fitting considering our last name is Birdsong.
What range did your wedding budget fall into? We were shooting for around $15,000 but quickly realized that, with as many guests as we wanted to invite, we needed to increase the budget. I think the final number ended up being between $20,000 and $21,000.