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September 2, 2006...

Three years ago today Dave and I got married. In celebration of our third anniversary, I thought I'd share with y'all some memories of The Big Day. To be frank, I have never been one of those women who had been planning her wedding since she was a little girl. In fact, I'd given it little thought up until Dave and I got engaged in January of 2006 and even once we got engaged, I didn't really morph into a bridezilla. All I knew was that I wanted something elegant, gracious, and personal.

After a very traditional ceremony at my childhood church, we held a reception at The Richmond House, a Southern-style plantation home situated in downtown Richmond, a once rural (and now suburban) town about thirty miles southwest of Houston, Texas. As soon as I saw The Richmond House, with its gracious wide porches, white Ionic columns and giant oak trees covered in Spanish moss, I knew it was the perfect place for Dave and I to get married. It exuded a gracious Southern hospitality that felt both elegant and warm.

Our wedding party consisted of four bridesmaids (my sister and three college friends), a junior bridesmaid (my cousin's eldest daughter) and four groomsmen (Dave's brother, high school best friend and graduate school housemates). I kept things simple with strapless a-line bridesmaid dresses in navy that were similar to the cut of my own dress. I went a bit bolder though in my flower choices, and I still love how bright and happy the bouquets turned out.

My father-in-law and his granddaughter (my niece) with her beautiful mother looking on. Who can resist a little redhead in a green Tinkerbell dress?

My flower girls were the youngest daughters of my cousin. My longtime hairstylist weaved these flowers in their hair in lieu of them carrying any and I just think they look darling. This photo is, perhaps, my favorite of all my wedding photos.

My mother and I. It's been said (many times) in my family that while I look like the second coming of my mother, my personality is 100% my father's. Both somewhat overgeneralizations, I think, but I'll grudgingly admit that they do have some merit. I actually really loved my mother's outfit here -- the color and cut were gorgeous on her and it was eminently appropriate for the occasion without being overly matronly. As for my dress, I do wish I had pressed on in the wedding dress search a bit longer as I wasn't completely in love with it. But since I don't really plan on wearing it again, I suppose it just doesn't matter that much in the end.

Dave's one request was that he not be required to dance -- and since The Richmond House is, in fact, just a house, there was little room for a dance floor anyway. As a result, we decided to hire groups of classically-trained musicians to serenade our guests on both floors.

Dave and I were blessed with friends and family coming from all over the country to spend the day with us. I was particularly touched by the high turnout of college friends I had in attendance -- many of whom were poor graduate students at the time and had precious little money and time to trek across the country for the occasion. And yet, they did it anyway.

The all-important cakes. Because our reception venue was a one-stop shop kind of place, I had to use their in-house baker. Fortunately though, the cakes were both beautiful and delicious.

My father is, without question, one of the best public speakers I know and his toast was both humorous and touching. On a less touching note, his blackberry (which he had somehow managed to get a hold of after it had been confiscated at my mother's orders) went off during his speech.

The ritual of newlyweds feeding each other cake always struck me as a bit ridiculous, but it certainly makes for entertaining photos.

After I threw my bouquet (straight at my sister, as it turned out), Dave and I made our exit, surrounded by well-wishers waiving sparklers.

Our getaway car took us to the Magnolia Hotel in downtown Houston where we spent the night before returning home the next day. Because of our schedules, Dave and I took a delayed honeymoon in early October to Banff, Alberta, where we had a wonderful time taking in the breathtaking views, hiking, and eating our weight in fondue.

I look back on my wedding fondly, though much of it is a blur. While the day marks the official date that Dave and I began our lives together, in truth it began much earlier as we became inseparable within weeks of meeting. Today, the past four and a half years together feel like a lifetime and I sometimes have trouble imagining my life before Dave -- and I hope that I won't have to live with such a future. Dave is my best friend, my confidant, my rock, and my biggest cheerleader and I am so thankful that we met. In short, he keeps me on my toes and Lord knows I need that!

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