the luckiest

first_dance

Last week Tanner and I listened to the song that we danced our first dance to at our wedding last year, and beautiful memories began to flood back…

As with most weddings, music was a very important part of our wedding.  Music not only creates a mood through rhythm and beat, but it also shares sentiments through words.  Tanner and I spent a lot of time putting together the song list for our ceremony and reception.  Also, because we didn’t hire a DJ, Tanner spent a lot of time creating a playlist for background music during the entire reception.  I loved it, because we specifically picked music to set the mood and tone we wanted to share with our friends and family. Below are some of the most important songs we picked and why.  (Check out the playlist at the end of this post to listen as you read along.)

Ceremony:

Pre-Processional: “Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop,” Landon Pigg

pre-processional

This song is very special to me, because it was “our song” while we dated.  One night, when Tanner and I were talking on the phone when I was still in high school, he told me to go to my computer and look up this song that he had heard, because it reminded him of me.  I went and listened to it, and I fell in love.  It is a beautiful song, both the sound (it has a cello, which is one of my favorite instruments) and the sweet words.  It was so special, because it was at the beginning of our relationship, and the song talks about falling in love.  One of our favorite lines is this…

“No one understands me quite like you do / Through all of the shadowy corners of me”

 

Processional: “Light Up,” Sucré

processional

The background behind this song is a little different, because we had only become aware of it one year prior to our wedding.  We heard it at a concert we went to in Dallas around the weeks surrounding our engagement, so it holds very precious memories of that time for me.  The most important line in this song to me is the chorus, and it’s the line I loved to walk down the aisle to as I prepared to be joined with Tanner forever.

“You light up the world for me…”

 

Recessional: “Something in the Water,” Brooke Fraser

recessional

This song is so fun – it’s sweet and light-hearted, perfect for our first moments as husband and wife.  I love the line…

“Give me something fun to do like a life of loving you…”

Reception:

First Dance: “The Luckiest,” Ben Folds

first-dance

I only heard this song months before our wedding, but I immediately thought, “This has to be our first dance.”  It captured our informal wedding vibe, and expresses so eloquently the feeling of love shared between husband and wife. “I am the luckiest” perfectly captured my heart on our wedding day.

 

Father Daughter Dance: “Because You Loved Me,” Celine Dion

father-daughter

Growing up, I never really gave too much thought to my wedding.  I definitely thought about being married and having a husband, but I didn’t really start picturing what I wanted my wedding to be like until soon before Tanner and I were engaged.  However, I actually imagined this song to be played for my Father Daughter Dance as a teenager, ever since I saw the movie “What a Girl Wants.”  I first heard the song during a beautiful  wedding scene in the movie, and I immediately fell in love with the words.  My dad and I considered other options as we were planning the wedding, but in the end no other songs compared.  

brother

My Father Daughter Dance was somewhat unique, because my brother cut in to dance with me at the end.  It was a lovely way to get a few moments to share my special day with him, and it was so sweet and thoughtful that he and my dad planned it to surprise me!

 

Mother Groom Dance: “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Taken by Trees

mother_groom

Tanner really liked this song because of the vibe – the classic song with a modern twist really captured our vintage-inspired wedding with an untraditional touch.  It’s also a beautiful description of the relationship between a parent and child that captures his close relationship with his mom.

 

Anniversary Dance: “This Magic Moment,” Jay and the Americans

anniversary

Although we didn’t have a DJ or dancing at our wedding, we decided to have an Anniversary Dance, where all the married couples are invited to the dance floor and asked to dance until the number of years they have been married is called out.  One of Tanner’s groomsmen made the announcements, starting with one and counting up until the last couple remained dancing.  My maternal grandparents won – it was so special to celebrate their marriage on my wedding day!

 

Exit: “All is Love,” Karen O and the Kids

exit

I couldn’t resist incorporating this song into our wedding in some way, and our exit from the reception was the perfect moment!  Not only does this song crack me up, but it is also fun because it connects back to how Tanner and I first met over six years ago.  When we were in high school, we both volunteered at an event at our school where we played games with a group of orphans who were being adopted from Africa by American families.  Tanner and I, who didn’t really know each other at the time, were assigned to read “Where the Wild Things Are” and act it out as a skit.  It was really silly, and that is the moment I first remember being attracted to him.  We didn’t start dating until about a year and a half later, but we both consider that one of our first memories together.  For our first dating anniversary, Tanner gave me a ring and a copy of “Where the Wild Things Are” with a precious note written inside.  When the movie based on the book came out later that year, we had to see it together!  And finally, here is the connection -“All is Love” is part of the soundtrack of the movie.  After that, we would sometimes sing the song to each other to make each other laugh.  It was the perfect exit song, because it is so giddy and fun!

We put a lot of time and thought into choosing our music, and I’m so glad we did, because I can distinctly remember every song, and each of the beautiful moments associated with it on our special day! And I am reminded of why I am the luckiest…

Photo Credits// Brad & Rebekah Photography

cheers to 2013

Tinsel-2013 This year has been one of enormous blessings and huge transitions.

In January, I began student teaching freshman and learned so much about applying my college education about teaching to actually interacting with students in a real school.  It was a wonderful experience, and I still miss many of the students I met there.

student_teaching

Then, in March I married my best friend and the love of my life during our Spring Break wedding.

Tanner and Meagan Wedding

We went on the perfect honeymoon to Oregon that Tanner planned completely by himself as a surprise for me.

honeymoon

Next, I graduated from college in May!

graduation

In June, Tanner and I made the most spontaneous decision of our lives and adopted our precious puppy Poesy from the Humane Society.

poesy

We went on many adventures in the summer, from traveling to Arkansas and Austin, to celebrating birthdays with friends and teaching summer school.

arkansas

pool_party

My summer vacation ended in August with the start of the school year and my first real job teaching English III and ESL at a local high school – which has been one of the most difficult challenges in my life so far!

For our first married fall, we started some new autumn traditions, and Poesy graduated from her Puppy Class!

puppy_class

This winter, I’ve had the blessings of spending so much time with family, and Poesy experienced her first snow!  Tanner and I also celebrated our first married Christmas!

family

snow

tanner

It has been one of the most difficult, yet also the most beautiful and most fun year of my life! I’m sad to say goodbye to such a wonderful year, but I’m already thanking God for the blessings of 2014.

What are some of your favorite memories from 2013?

our first noel

first_christmas

As always, it’s so hard to believe that Christmas is already here, and that in just another week it will be a new year.  After celebrating my birthday this month and thinking about the year to come, I’ve been reflecting on the past year of my life.  It has been filled with so many adventures – getting married, renting my first apartment, graduating from college, starting my first job, getting a puppy, and more.  I’m constantly reminded of the idea that the older you get, the more challenging and busy life becomes, but the more new blessings God brings.

This winter season, I’ve loved celebrating the holidays with my new little family for the first time.

christmas_tree

One highlight of the month has been creating a Christmas tradition with Tanner inspired by A Beautiful Mess – 12 Dates of Christmas.  Instead of exchanging presents, we each planned six dates that we would open every day.

12-dates

It’s been a special time of being together and making memories.

PHOTO CREDITS// MEAGAN HEARNE

until death do us part

As Tanner and I planned our wedding , we both agreed that our vows were the most important part of the ceremony.  For this reason, we decided to write our own (we read from the books pictured above for the ceremony).

First, we both researched wedding vows individually and collected our favorite lines and added some of our own.  Then we shared with each other the words we had recorded.  (This was probably the most interesting phase of the process, since Tanner’s closing line was “You are the droid I am looking for.”)  Next, we decided on the major themes – yes, I am an English nerd – that we found in both of our vows.  Because we still wanted to share the words through our own communication styles, we each worded our vows a little differently, while still expressing the same ideas.

Through his research Tanner had come across couples who intermingled their vows by each reading a phrase at a time, instead of the complete vows separately.  We both loved the idea, so here are the final words we spoke to each other as the promise that marked the beginning of our life together:

I, Tanner, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, take you, Meagan, to be my wife, my bride, and my best friend. 

I, Meagan, in the presence of God, our family, and our friends, take you, Tanner, to be my husband, my partner, and my best friend. 

You are a gift - a gift that I receive from God and your family.  And I acknowledge all of your strengths and weaknesses, just as you acknowledge mine.

I am so excited to receive you as a gift from God, acknowledging your faults and your strengths, as you do mine. 

I vow to give you the absolute best of myself in poverty and wealth and in sickness and in health.  I will seek God humbly and be led by Him as I lead our family. 

 I commit myself to you from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, and I vow to seek God by your side in each of these circumstances.  

I will lay down everything for you, to serve you.

I will try in every way to be worthy of your love and to serve you with grace and humility. 

While today I dedicate myself to you formally, every day in the future I choose to dedicate myself to you in every act, every word, and every thought.  I will fight for our marriage until the day we meet our Savior.

Today I dedicate myself to you formally.  For every day of our future, I choose to dedicate myself to you in each act, each word, and each thought, and to fight for our marriage until the day we meet our Savior.

As I reread these words, I am reminded of what a challenge marriage is and will be, but also how beautiful a gift it is that God created and has given me to experience.

PHOTO CREDIT// BRAD & REBEKAH PHOTOGRAPHY

wedding bliss

I experienced one of the most beautiful and life-changing days of my life almost three months ago, on March 9, 2013: my wedding day.

Our wedding, as probably all weddings, did not go exactly as I had planned or imagined, but it exceeded my expectations in how beautiful and special it was.  It was meant to be an outdoor wedding to take place under a gorgeous oak tree next to a lake, but it rained all day (although it did pause long enough for us to take some pictures outdoors!).  We moved the ceremony indoors to the building on the property where the reception was planned, and the best word I can think to describe it is perfect.

I’ll share more about the details in future posts, but what I want to share today is what most surprised me about that day.  As my newlywed husband, Tanner, and I were driving away that evening, the overwhelming emotion we both shared was GRATITUDE.

Gratitude for the love for each other that God had placed in each of us to share, gratitude for our families who all shared in the joy of our union, and gratitude for our amazing friends who served us wholeheartedly in the months, weeks, and days all leading up to our wedding.  Because of how grateful we felt, as we drove away from our reception, we both shared our excitement of coming back from our honeymoon to in return serve our friends and family.  

Although I had expected to experience love, joy, and laughter on my wedding day, God surprised me by teaching me a lesson about selflessness and servanthood.  I feel so blessed that my wedding serves as an inspiration – an inspiration to love and to serve as Jesus taught, and as He did.

PHOTO CREDIT// BRAD & REBEKAH PHOTOGRAPHY