I feel like no matter what I write, I’m not going to give this post enough justice. We got married. I got to marry my best friend – the person I’ve spent every adventure with during the past 11 years and plan to spend every adventure with moving forward. Chris gives me the confidence I need to do something new or the peace to stick with what’s comfortable, and on Sept. 5, 2014, I got to marry him. I’m a very lucky girl.
After an almost 2 year engagement, we decided to get married at Camp Ajawah – the Neville’s childhood summer camp. Combined between Ben, Jennie and Chris, they easily spent 30 summers at this camp. It’s a very special place to them (sorta like Camper’s Paradise is to the Wawras) and basically fit everything we were looking for in a venue. We 100% wanted to be outdoors and have a casual venue that people didn’t have to dress up for – not even us! I found my dress off the rack at Ann Taylor. None of that David’s Bridal fluffy stuff for me.
We had a small ceremony on the beach where Chris was the Beach Director for a few summers. We only chose to invite about 40 of our closest family and friends to the ceremony and wanted to keep it small. For those of you that missed it (and for me to reference when I look back at this post) here were our vows – we wrote them ourselves and really wanted them to sound like “us”.
I, Christopher, choose you Carolyn to be my wife. I promise to be true to you, to love and respect you, encourage and support you. In good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I promise to build an awesome life with you. This ring is a symbol of my love and commitment. Wear it on our adventures, and always be reminded that we are in this together.
After our ceremony, we had dinner in the Mess Hall provided by Julie – complete with little penguin shaped chocolate desserts that she and my mom made to surprise us.
Chris and I in front of Camp Ajawah wedding style. Kit made us that awesome banner.
A modified version of the sign into Ajawah.
Jen and Kit getting ready for the ceremony.
What a handsome guy! I get to marry him!
Penguin made the trip from Utah – she loved Ajawah so much. She must be a Neville dog. My mom made her a nice bow to wear, doesn’t she look fancy?
My friend Katie helped with our invites and overall look of our wedding. The theme of our wedding was “beer” – we found beer bottles from both Minnesota and Utah and put them in 6 packs as centerpieces on the tables and Katie designed the labels, like the Penguin’s Brew one you see here.
More on our theme – burlap table runners. We cut these while we were up at Camper’s Paradise!
We also cut the necks off some beer bottles here in Utah before we left. Notice the little beer bottles with flowers in them? That’s not as easy as you’d think! (or the directions we had make you think).
Chris and I weren’t going to do a “first-look” photo, and Catherine Cuddy our photographer suggested we do it, so we did. Here’s Chris and Penguin waiting for me.
I walked up to Chris, tapped him on the shoulder and Penguin and she jumped up on my dress! Notice the paw print near my left hip! See if you notice the paw print on the other photos. I bet you won’t!
Our “family” in front of the lodge.
We did a big photoshoot session.. I’m not going to caption every one.
After photos, it was time for the ceremony. I really didn’t want to walk down an aisle, so entered from the side with my dad. Notice Chris cheering in the background?
We asked Jen and Christian to do our ceremony and they made it more perfect than we could have ever asked. Jen became an officiant and they shared some important parts about marriage, some great stories and led us through our vows. We met with them a couple times throughout the summer to plan it out and talk about marriage and were really glad we did! Jen and Christian kept us at the core of how special this day was and how the start of our marriage isn’t something to be too causal about.
We didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmen – we had our siblings stand up and tell stories about us instead of readings or poems. Sharon and Paul talked about how there’s never a dull moment when I’m around (Wawra family circus) or how I take risks (moving to Utah) and Chris is always there backing me up. Ben talked about how he’s known Chris and I as a couple for a long time and knows we’re first and foremost a team and work together on big and little things.
We had a “buddy board” ceremony – At Camp Ajawah, when you go swimming you put your tag on this board with your buddy and keep a lookout for your buddy when you’re in the lake. Jen explained that everyone at our ceremony was our “buddies” and we were all in this together – everyone can help Carolyn and Chris to be successful in their marriage and not leave a buddy alone in the lake.
Enough of the wedding stuff.. you may kiss the bride!
Group photo. This was our wedding ceremony group. Lots of family plus a few close friends, even some that made the trip from Utah!
Another post wedding photo session- Here’s me with my two ladies.. Grandma and Auntie Loraine.
The “Olson” Ladies.
My Grandma and I. So happy she was able to make it to my wedding!
The Neville Ladies!
Ellen and Grandma Julie
Andrew, Ann with Chris and I. Ann was there the night we started dating.. it was her 21st birthday! She saw this whole thing through!
Hayden’s in the same boat as Ann. She was there from the start. Hayden was my roommate for most of college. I’d live with her again any day! Even with Finley and Avery – we’d figure it out!
Brian, Jana with Chris and I.
Brownie, me and Katie. These two made the trip from Utah to see us tie the knot. Couldn’t ask for better shopping advice, wedding planning advice and wedding crafting from these two. They kept my summer somewhat sane! So happy they made the trip!
Erica and I. Best Friends since middle school when we claimed we “didn’t really need a guy, what’s the point?”. We’ve come a long way – both pretty happy to be married.
Chris and the guys!
Me with my ladies!
After the ceremony and the photo session, we had dinner in the mess hall.
Here’s the cute little penguin desserts our moms made. Didn’t they turn our great!? So much better than a tiered sheet cake with plastic people on top!