The messiest memories are oftentimes the most treasured.

Messy memories. These things happen. It’s something unexpected– maybe an oddity, or other strange occurrence. Many of these messy memories are captured via text message or will show up on facebook status updates. These are typically the… I dropped my toothbrush in the litter box again… my neighbor knocked to ask for baking soda with no pants on… the girl next to me at the gym is practicing some spastic dance move while on the elliptical. Although each similar occurrence is memorable, it takes some large event…. like a wedding…. for it to be unforgettable. Not everyone handles these “happenings” in the same way. Luckily, Aric and I tend to embrace them. Laugh over them, even.

The Top 5 Messy Moments of Our Wedding (that of course we think are hilarious).

1. Dad goes to ceremony spot to make sure chairs are set up. They are not. In fact, not only are there no chairs, but there are two horses tied up to the tree Aric and I will be standing under in 4 hours.

2. This one is somewhat related to the first, and soon you’ll know why. Dad comes over while we’re taking some pictures. He asks, “Hey, where’s that wedding day emergency kit?” Oh great, someone is hurt, I think. Nope, he was in need of antibacterial wipes. Someone set the microphone down on the ground and guess what the horses left for us there?

3. While decorating the Pavilion that morning, my aunt and mom exclaim, “Ohhhh, Katie don’t look over there!” Here I’m thinking since they are still cleaning up from the evening before that there was some disgusting mess I would lose my breakfast over. I had borrowed a ladder from a local in town, but it was only 13 feet high. Since we needed a 15 foot ladder, our lovely helpers had pulled a picnic table inside and placed the ladder on top of it. Oh, Matt Johnson… at least you had health insurance. Luckily, I was confident in your light-hanging abilities, having watched from my living room two years in a row.

4. Aric and I had planned for our guests to “shower” us with dried lavender as we walked back down the aisle after being pronounced husband and wife. All of our guests took the carefully crafted vintage book page cones filled with dried lavender, but what we failed to do was tell them what they were supposed to do with it. We intended on making a sign, but of course we forgot. As our guests proceeded down the aisle behind us, all with cones in hand– my mom decided to spread the word that everyone would throw the lavender as we got onto our short bus (yeah, a short bus!). I spent the first 10 minutes of the bus ride picking lavender out of my crochet wedding dress, but hey– it was just what we wanted!

5. After only allotting myself 45 minutes to do my makeup after my hair was done, I of course was running late. I was to be meeting Aric for our “first look” in front of a great big tree at State Game Lodge. I threw my makeup on quickly and Aric text me as I was just finishing up. I still had to put on my dress. But hey, he knows what he’s getting into marrying me! I started getting my dress ready (not at all the easy-going, let’s take it all in moment I had thought– it was more like “I HAVE TO GET THIS THING ON… AND FAST!”) I tried changing in the closet (with no light on) as my mom, Sarah and Alina were ready to help. It was taking too long. I exclaimed, “You guys are seeing it all today!” as I ran out of the closet and jumped into my dress. Kelly was still helping at the reception site, so she missed the entire thing. Honestly, I think I missed the entire thing because I was in such a hurry. But really, what can you do 🙂

60% chance of thunderstorms. We considered changing our ceremony venue. After thinking long and hard, Aric and I decided we chose this place and the Black Hills because we love the ponderosas. Rain or shine, we would be married with ponderosas, our family, and friends all surrounding us. My mom, Kelly and I jetted off to Target the day before to stock up on umbrellas. They weren’t even needed. Apart from a sprinkle in the late morning, the weather was beautiful. One week later, I was at work and my florist came in for a beer. She said, “We just got done with some flowers for two weddings taking place today. We thought we deserved a drink!” As I glanced outside, I notice the sky beginning to darken. Soon it was sprinkling, then raining, then pouring, then hailing. “So, those aren’t outdoor weddings…” I started to say and she confirmed my fear. Why yes, they were. “You dodged a bullet, Mrs. Ping.” Why yes, yes I did. But rain or shine, horse poop or no horse poop…it’s still your wedding day and all those little moments only enhance the experience. It’s really just a matter of if you choose to pout about it or embrace it. I choose to embrace those messy moments. If everything went exactly as planned– how disappointing would that be. I like a little adventure, a little strategy, a little innovation.

I’m looking forward to all the messy moments to come, in my marriage and in other areas of my life. I want to extend a very large thank you to all of our friends and family who made the trip to be with us and a thank you for those who were thinking of us and couldn’t make it. So many of you helped in ways, both big and small, and every bit helped bring it all together into what I think was a pretty big success. It was so exciting to have you all there with us, in the place we’ve grown to love and the place we’ve come to call our home. It turned out to be everything we wanted– our guests traveled away from cable TV, sports schedules, demanding jobs, and house chores to enjoy nature and enjoy each other. We wouldn’t change how it went for anything. Alright, I’m going to go unsubscribe from all the wedding blogs and sites I’ve obsessed over for a year. Sure, the planning is over, but this marriage thing has only just begun.

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