Picture Perfect: The Very Last Dance

After the last song, there was the very last song. Our DJ cleared the guests out, getting them set up for our farewell send off, but I knew I wanted to have a special last dance that was just Cam and I. We had been surrounded by our friends and family all day, which was wonderful, but we had just gotten married and I knew I wanted to end our wedding the same way it started – just the two of us. 

When we were picking out our first dance song, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out which would be best, and had a list of 10 songs at one point. In the end, we narrowed it down to two – Ray Lamontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing,” which we ultimately chose, and also “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. We love us some Van Morrison. When I brought up the idea of a last dance for just the two of us, the choice was easy. 

Our guests made their way out of the tent and into the front of the house, while Cam and I headed back under the strings of cafe lights. Van Morrison began to play. 

“I can hear her heart beat for a thousand miles,
And the heavens open every time she smiles.
And when I come to her that’s where I belong,
Yet I’m running to her like a river’s song.”

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She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love.
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love”

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She’s got a fine sense of humor when I’m feeling low down,
And when I come to her when the sun goes down.
Take away my trouble, take away my grief,
Take away my heartache, in the night like a thief.”

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She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love.
She give me love, love, love, love, crazy love”

 

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Yes I need her in the daytime,
Yes I need her in the night.
Yes I want to throw my arms around her,
Kiss her, hug her, kiss her, hug her tight”Image

 

And when I’m returning from so far away,
She gives me some sweet lovin’ brighten up my day.
Yes it makes me righteous, yes it makes me feel whole,
Yes it makes me mellow down in to my soul.”

It was a perfect ending to a perfect day. I buried my head in Cam’s shoulder and cried. Tears of joy for our new marriage, tears of sadness the wedding was over, tears of relief that nothing went too terribly wrong, tears of exhaustion. We headed out front for the sendoff. 

Initially, I wanted sparklers. Then I wanted Chinese wish lanterns. But as it turns out, there was no fire allowed at The Island House. So we went with the old standby – bubbles. 

Our guests lined the pathway to our awaiting limo buses, which by the way, was supposed to be one long limo bus but they brought us 2 shorter ones instead, and Cam and I made our way down through a sea of bubbles. Mostly I was trying not to cry. 

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We hopped onto our party bus, but it was already full. Too bad, because this is what we were missing:

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GM Sailor was doing his best Miley impression on BM FUN. It’s okay. They got married a month later. 

Off that bus and onto the next one, we took the last photos of the night. Here they are in their sweaty, exhausted glory.ImageImage

And thus ends the Camera wedding. As I alluded to in the first recap, everyone gathered in our hotel room (that’s normal, right?) where the after party went down until 3am when we got shut down by the fun police, I mean the hotel staff. All in all, it was an amazing weekend. 

I miss it. 

But you don’t have to miss me yet! I’ve got a couple more posts before I hit the road. 

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Previously on Picture Perfect:

Picture Perfect: The Other Photos

We interrupt your semi-regularly scheduled Camera recaps (I know they’re taking forevvvverrrrrr.. Sandlot style, but I’m almost done) to bring you some other fun things that happened! As you might remember, we were fortunate enough to find a Groupon for a photobooth company, Carolina Fun Booth. It ended up being a really fun addition to the wedding! Even though they’re heading out of wedding style currently, a lot of our guests had never been to a wedding or party with a photobooth and really enjoyed it. My only issue was that it was put on the back deck of the house, not out of sight, but out of the way of the general party traffic, so some people didn’t even know it was there! Luckily, word spread, and everyone got a turn in the booth. Here are the highlights. 

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My cousin, in the top left photo, is a professional photo-boother. 

 

ImageCaptain hats and mustaches? You can’t go wrong. You just can’t. 

 

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Remember the Most Interesting Man in the World? Well here’s where he was hanging out all night. My dad had his sights set on a life size cardboard cut out of the Dos Equis spokesman forever, and one day finally got him. He ended up cutting him in half for “easier transport” but he screws him back onto his legs (weirdest sentence ever) at home for special occasions. They dress him up for Christmas, Easter, you name it. Dads are weird. But everyone loved him.

 

 

 

 

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Who needs Ellen’s Oscar selfie when you have the bottom left photo? 

Christian, the Carolina Fun Booth attendant, came and found Cam and I late in the evening, telling us he was getting ready to pack up and head out, and did we want to get some pictures? Of COURSE we did. We had been too busy dancing and mingling that we totally forgot. Luckily, we snapped these. Complete with the almost offensive ring finger shot. 

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Did you notice everyone’s drinking glasses in these pictures? Remember when we said part of our wedding favor was going to be personalized mason jars? They were a HUGE hit. I still get texts from people saying “look what I’m drinking out of!”

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All the photos above are guest photos from Instagram. And speaking of Instagram.. the hashtag was a semi-success. Some people used it a lot, but a lot of people didn’t use it at all. I guess our friends just aren’t the Insta-types! But we still got some gems:

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I’ll never get tired of looking at those sunset photos. 

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Previously on Picture Perfect:

Picture Perfect: Rock Me Mama

All the music that was played at our ceremony and reception was carefully planned by Cam and I. From the beginning, we felt like it was kind of our soundtrack. We spent hours and hours crafting a list of “Must Play” songs, including some with specific times. We wanted “Dixieland Delight” played late in the party so people would drunk dance, we wanted Miley Cyrus played about halfway through so all the girls would still be there to sing it with me, and we wanted our very last song to be something memorable. That one was a no-brainer. 

“Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show. 

Yet another tried and true tradition, we play this song everywhere. I know, I know. So does everyone else. But it still is a pretty great song for our friends, and we could think of no better way to end the reception. 

Similar to Apache, everyone instinctively formed a circle. 

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My photogenic-ness never ceases to amaze me. 

As the song began, everyone started taking their turns dancing in the middle of the circle. Well, really, I creepily tried to entice BM Hamster to dance, and it became our show for a few minutes.

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Oh and she kissed my forehead in what may be one of my favorite photos of all time. 

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Wagon Wheel is kinda mine and BM YW’s jam. We take every opportunity to dance in a circle when it comes on.

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But what’s Wagon Wheel without a little newlywed dancing?

 

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… and a dip!

ImageWhat was/will your last song be? 

pictureperfect4

Previously on Picture Perfect:

 

Picture Perfect: Brotherhood and a Bride

Cam was in a fraternity in college. Scratch that – Cam was a founding member of a fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, in college. I was in a sorority, but sadly after moving 500 miles away, have lost contact with a lot of my sisters. In fact, none of the 7 that I invited came to our wedding. Understandable as it was 8 states away, I haven’t seen most of them in 3-5 years, and I hold no hard feelings. Luckily, all that greek spirit that was missing from my side was more than made up for by Cam’s fraternity brothers. 

His brothers are his best friends. We see them all the time, and their girlfriends/wives have become my good friends (and bridesmaids). In the last several years, a huge number of his brothers have gotten married. And let me tell you – their weddings are the best. They’re not pretentious fraternity brothers (I know, I know), they’re genuinely passionate about brotherhood and take their pledges very seriously, and it spills into their “wedding ceremony.” 

During the dance party, our DJ (also an Alpha Sig) announced it was time for all Alpha Sigs to report to the middle of the dance floor, where a single folding chair was set up. Cam took my hand and led me to the chair, asking me to sit. For a brief moment I was alone in a chair in the middle of a dance floor with 150 people looking at me. Forget walking down the aisle, that was a nerve wracking moment. Luckily, I’d been to enough weddings to know what was coming next when I was surrounded by a bunch of dudes.

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Friend J, seen off to the left, is their chapter’s alumni advisor and runs all of the fraternity meetings at App State, so I guess he was the best man for the job of reading the ceremony. 

Friend J: “Brothers of Alpha Sigma Phi, let us celebrate the joy of the marriage of Brother Cam and Mrs. Camera. The flower of old Alpha Sigma Phi was the cardinal rose, symbolizing the deep and abiding friendships fostered.”

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what a ridiculous face I’m making to Friend M

Friend J: “The flower of Alpha Kappa Phi was the yellow tea rose, symbolic of the fragrance and the purity of life that is lived in honor and fair dealing with our fellow man.”

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Friend J: “Alpha Kappa Pi and Alpha Sigma Phi joined to become one Fraternity. We bind the cardinal rose and the yellow tea rose together, with the colors of the fraternity – Cardinal & Stone – forming the twin roses of Alpha Sigma Phi. Together the roses are a symbol of endless life and emblematic of the continuing vitality and heritage of our Fraternity.”

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Friend J: “As our history has taught us, a good union results in special and lasting beauty. This is the wish of Alpha · Sigma · Phi for the both of you.” 

And as GM Ry finished tying the ribbons, the group started clapping.

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They started singing their celebratory song “For he’s an Alpha Sig..”

 

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Followed by my personal favorite, their sweetheart song.. an all male acapella version (with terrible harmony) of The Righteous Brothers – “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” Top Gun style.

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And you know what? They did get down on their knees for me.

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It’s always a crowd pleaser, and my mom laughed so hard she cried.

Once they finished and the applause died down, the DJ headed back to his booth to start up the next song. But there was no question what it was going to be, because it’s always the same. 

Sugarhill Gang – “Apache.” It’s a big deal. Like Fresh Prince big deal.

First, we make a circle.

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And as the song plays, you know what comes next. A lot of hip swaying.

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“Tonto.. jump on it.. jump on it.. jump on it..”

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As an added bonus, you can see me getting attacked by a paper lantern off to the right. 

During the verses, we take turns dancing in the middle of the circle. 

Ladies first, of course.

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Work friends E and A got in on the fun.

 

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BM FUN. and I doing the “Cam.” Because for some reason, he really enjoys strutting across a dance floor with high kicks. Image

 

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My uncle wanted to show off his “skills” by attempting to break dance, we think.

 

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Cam gave everyone a taste of his sweet moves.

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And the always spectacular grand finale, GM Art did his signature move entitled “Fish out of water.”

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It’s just one of those quirky traditions we have, and it’s seriously the best. Everyone looks forward to it and cheers like crazy when they hear Sugarhill Gang come on. 

Did/will you have any fraternity/sorority traditions? Or any exciting things that your group of friends does?

Picture Perfect: First Dance :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Raise Your Glass :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Hamming It Up for the Camera :  wedding charleston humor pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridal Party Posin’ :  wedding bridal party charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Let’s Get Married! :  wedding Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: The Longest Yard :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: We Process :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Camera Family Values and What Cam Does When I’m Not Looking :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridesmaids by a Tree :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: A Veil Made with Love :  wedding charleston pictures recap veil Pictureperfect4 pictureperfect4

Previously on Picture Perfect:

Picture Perfect: Tossin’ Stuff

At some point during the dancing, our DJ announced it was time for the bouquet and garter tossings. We, as a lot of people do these days, went back and forth on whether or not we wanted to do this. Most of our friends are married, and we didn’t want to force a few single people out on the dance floor in front of everyone else. Unless they wanted to, of course.

I was completely fine with skipping these traditions, but once again, was completely surprised by Cam. He had seen something online, which led to me having to listen to how much he “reaaaaally really wanted to do it.. come on.. pleeeeeease?” I begrudgingly went over our guest list, and realized that there were in fact more single people than we had originally bargained for, about 8 ladies and 10 or so guys. So we opted to do them. 

First up was the bouquet toss. Our florist included a free toss bouquet that was similar to the bridesmaids’ bouquets, so I grabbed it and headed to the dance floor. 

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Instead of the more popular bouquet tossing songs (“Single Ladies” or “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”) I have had it in my head forever that I wanted to toss my bouquet to a different song – “Hey Ya” by Outkast. It just seemed right. So first, I danced around, like you do when Outkast comes on.

 

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The ladies assumed the position.

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I wound up.. 

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Let ‘er rip, and turned around to see what happened.

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BM FUN. snagged the flowers. She’s a pro at catching bouquets. This was her 9th bouquet she caught. She caught a 10th a few weeks later.. the week before her wedding.

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“IT WORKED!”Image

 

ImageThen it was Cam’s turn. He spent hours agonizing over the right song to play for, you know, feeling me up in front of our friends and family. In the end, he chose “Legs” by ZZ Top. Yes. ZZ Top. 

He danced his way over to me

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And started lifting up the layers of my dress.. ImageBut there were more than he expected.

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ImageAnd finally he found the garter. I was wearing 2 – one for my alma mater (Penn State) and one for his (Appalachian State), and the App State garter was the one we used for tossing.

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Cam’s big exciting idea that he saw online? Putting it around a football. I know, it’s been done. But he was so excited about it, we’re such big football people, and so are all of our friends, we just had to do it. 

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And what better music to throw a football to, than a college fight song? Appalachian State’s “Hi Hi Yikas” started playing, and the guys went wild. Except Friend LJ on the left, who didn’t go to App and is clearly confused about what’s going on. 

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When they were done cheering along, Cam finally got his turn at Center. 

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He yelled some random numbers to try and fancy it up, and off it went.

Image… directly into Friend T’s hands. 
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Funny enough, the guy to his immediate right, GM Sailor, married BM FUN. the next month. So he missed his chance. Must be the flip flops.

But all’s well that end’s well. We’re all friends here, and Friend T is getting married to Friend A this September.

ImageDid you have/will you have the bouquet and garter tosses? Are you incorporating a football or other fun thing?

Picture Perfect: First Dance :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Raise Your Glass :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Hamming It Up for the Camera :  wedding charleston humor pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridal Party Posin’ :  wedding bridal party charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Let’s Get Married! :  wedding Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: The Longest Yard :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: We Process :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Camera Family Values and What Cam Does When I’m Not Looking :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridesmaids by a Tree :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: A Veil Made with Love :  wedding charleston pictures recap veil Pictureperfect4 pictureperfect4

Previously on Picture Perfect:

Picture Perfect: Shake Your Groove Thang

With dinner done, cupcakes eaten and speeches spoke, it was time to really get the party started. Truth be told, once everyone was done eating dinner, the dance floor was immediately packed. One of the only really important things to me during the wedding planning process was that I wanted our guests to have fun – and dance like fools. Check and check. 

We wobbled.

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And wobbled some more. 

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serious wobble faces on, people.

 

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There was some pointing and a lot of sweating.

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There were lots of people dancing with their arms.
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… and man hugs on the dance floor. No shame.

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Shout out to myself gettin’ down in the background.

But we never stopped believing

ImageBecause what’s a wedding without Journey?

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“Woahhhh we’re halfway there..Image
…woahhhh living on a prayer!”
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As mentioned frequently before, Cam was in a fraternity in college. He truly has remained incredibly close with his brothers, and in the past few years we’ve attended more fraternity weddings than I can count. In my next post I’ll describe all the fraternity stuff that went down, but I had to show these pictures off. At some point, we decided to start playing “Now That We Found Love” by Heavy D & the Boyz. I’m not sure when or why, but I’m glad it stuck.

That song has been played at weddings in movies since, well, it came out, and the dance is always the same. 

We formed two lines, and couples danced their way between. 
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More on the Most Interesting Man in the World Later.. He’s one of my dad’s prized possessions and made an excellent last minute addition to the guest list.
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Even MIL Camera and Flower Girl M Got in on the fun.
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ImageBest. Dance Party. Ever. 

Picture Perfect: First Dance :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Raise Your Glass :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Hamming It Up for the Camera :  wedding charleston humor pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridal Party Posin’ :  wedding bridal party charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Let’s Get Married! :  wedding Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: The Longest Yard :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: We Process :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Camera Family Values and What Cam Does When I’m Not Looking :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridesmaids by a Tree :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: A Veil Made with Love :  wedding charleston pictures recap veil Pictureperfect4 pictureperfect4

Previously on Picture Perfect:

After the cake and champagne, it was time for speeches. 

Somewhere during the planning process, Cam decided that instead of having only the best man and matron of honor do speeches, as tradition would dictate, he wanted to let them speak, and then open the floor to the rest of the guests. I was horrified. What if 15 people want to say something? What if NOBODY wants to say anything? What if someone is drunk and wants to ramble on for 20 minutes? 

I hadn’t thought it was a great idea when he told me, and I never really warmed up to it, but when Cam didn’t ask for much, I had to throw in the towel and give this one to him. I was nervous for months about the possibilities, and when the DJ announced it was time for speeches, I felt my nerves creep back up on me, despite having just had a delightful bite of cake. Sadly, I don’t have the transcripts of the speech because we didn’t opt for videography (one of my regrets, I’ll touch on this later), so you’ll have to just use your imagination.

First were the usual suspects – the father of the bride: 
Having already had his emotional speech out of the way when he was introducing our father-daughter dance, he took this opportunity to tell his usual party story. It’s a long, drawn out story that usually gets the room rolling with laughter and I would never do it justice. It ends with him saying “… and I look DAMN good.” Oh and there was some mention of him welcoming Cam to our family and also a little jab at me saying “all sales are final.” Love that man. 
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Next up was BM Mich, Cam’s older, and only brother. 

A man of few words, he kept it short and sweet, welcoming me to his family and saying how glad he was that his brother found someone to make him happy.

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Third, was MOH JJ, who is quite shy by nature. I actually told her that she didn’t need to make a speech if she didn’t feel comfortable, but she powered through like the champion she was. 

She talked about how different we are, but that we compliment each other well. I’ve known her for 7 years now, but it feels like it’s been my entire life. I miss her, now that we live in different states. 

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This was when Cam announced he was opening the floor, and I felt my anxiety rising. 

GM App would have been Cam’s Best Man had he not had a brother, and he had apparently planned a speech all along. His wife told me that he would wake up in the middle of the night, scribble down ideas on a notepad by his bed, and fall back asleep. Like a dream journal. 

Ultimately, it was a pretty fantastic speech. He and Cam have been best friends since freshman year of college, way back in 2000. He recapped their entire friendship with some funny anecdotes, and a man hug. 

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Not to be outdone, GM Sailor was right behind with a smirky smile and a quick “I love you man, and you too Mrs. Camera.” 
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GM Doc chimed in with a quick congratulations and some sort of fraternity reference I didn’t understand, and quite frankly, probably wasn’t allowed to understand. Quite the secret bunch they are. 

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Last but certainly not least, Cam’s mom took the microphone and very simply said “Mrs. Camera, you’re part of our family now, which makes you my daughter. I’m going to give you something I gave to both of my other daughters – a key to our house.” It was such a sweet gesture. 

A quick tidbit – while I was getting dressed in the bridal suite, she came by to say hello and asked if we had any ribbon to wrap a gift. We had just trimmed my sash, which was way too long and draped about 10″ behind me on the floor, and gave her a piece of the cut sash. She used it to wrap the box that the key was in, ha!

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All in all, we had 7 speakers. SEVEN. But everyone kept their speeches to a minimum, and ultimately, I did think that it was a nice of Cam to let a few of his other close friends speak their mind at our wedding. 

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How many speakers do you plan to have/did you have? Can you beat 7? 

Picture Perfect: First Dance :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Raise Your Glass :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Hamming It Up for the Camera :  wedding charleston humor pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridal Party Posin’ :  wedding bridal party charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Let’s Get Married! :  wedding Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: The Longest Yard :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: We Process :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Camera Family Values and What Cam Does When I’m Not Looking :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: Bridesmaids by a Tree :  wedding charleston pictures pro pics recap Pictureperfect4 Picture Perfect: A Veil Made with Love :  wedding charleston pictures recap veil Pictureperfect4 pictureperfect4

Previously on Picture Perfect: