APRIL 22, 2016: THE DAY I MARRIED MY FOREVER LOVE.

"Our Wedding"  ❤  A Five-Part Blog Series


  • Part I – The Preparation (Click HERE to view!)
  • Part II – Our Ceremony
  • Part III – Our Reception
  • Part IV – Our Honeymoon
  • Part V – Photo Favs (a collection of my favorite wedding photos)

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out my wedding blog series! Such a beautiful story that I love looking back on. If you missed "Part I – Preparation," make sure to click HERE! For this particular post, I focus on the ceremony. And, if I do say so myself, great timing (as this is the week leading up to our first year wedding anniversary)!  ❤ 


PART II: OUR CEREMONY

Note: Extended vendor reviews will be at the end of each blog for my "engaged" readers!


THE CHAPEL

I wanted a place that reminded me of two major things I remember back that the church I grew up in had before they remodeled: A center long aisle and a cross or symbol of my faith on the stage that was a focal point...

 Grace Chapel, Scottsdale Bible Church (interior)

Grace Chapel, Scottsdale Bible Church (interior)

 Grace Chapel, Scottsdale Bible Church (exterior)

Grace Chapel, Scottsdale Bible Church (exterior)

Need I say more? :-)


THE PASTOR & PRE-MARITAL COUNSELING

We were please to have my children's pastor from back in the day as our officiant (and as our premarital counselor)! Note to engaged / single / dating couples: we highly recommend Christian counseling prior to getting married, as it opens your eyes to items of marriage you may not think about, or need to hear a "real" perspective on tough subjects to confirm or clarify your decision. We also did premarital group counseling through the church itself. It felt a little bit more broad vs. one-on-one counseling, but I'm glad we did both.

Lenny Christie and Bryan - Wedding.jpg

THE WEDDING DRESS

Unlike other gals, my story wasn't the magical "...walk into the Bridal Boutique, tried on my first dress and viola! My dress of my dreams!"

....yeah, no. Not my story.

It was more like: try on 1,012 gowns, and still couldn't find it. Until...

I remember surfing the web one day, trying to find the type of dress I was looking for: form-fitting on top, flowy with a long train on the bottom, jeweled ever so delicately (NOT Disney princess...but ROYAL princess-elegance-look).

I saw it...I just knew it was the one! Sophia Tolli's Egret – Style Y11565.

Now all I had to do was hop in the car and go try it on, right? Sure! I mean, the closest location I could try one on was next door in...

San Diego, CA....say WHA?! (Can you say, "road trip"?!) :-D

That's exactly what I did! Candace and Jennifer (two of my bridesmaids) equally came along for this last-minute excursion to the west coast (as well as Jennifer's little girl)! So, was it THE ONE?

Lukes Roshau Wedding Finals-Christie and Bryan-0157.jpg

Yes. It truly was my dream dress!!


ACCESSORIES

Christie and Bryan Wedding – Accessories
Getting Ready-Christie.jpg
  • The Shoes – Dilliard's
  • The Bracelet – Charming Charlie's
  • The Necklace – Dilliard's
Accessories – Christie Lukes 1.jpg
  • The Additional "Heart" Ring – My 'something borrowed' Grandmother's ring
  • The PerfumeA gift from my handsome husband ;-)
  • The PurseA gift from my beautiful mother!
Accessories – Christie Lukes 3.jpg
Accessories – Christie Lukes 2.jpg
  • The Garter – Hobby Lobby (wedding items go on sale every so often, so if you have time to plan, just wait and keep an eye on their promotions!)
  • The Veil – CraigsList! Originally a David's Bridal veil, but I snagged this deal and it TOTALLY made my dress C-O-M-P-L-E-T-E!

THE GROOM'S ATTIRE & ACCESSORIES

My wonderful husband looked ever-so dashing in his tuxedo from Celebrity Tux and Tails. His socks were a gift from me and read, "Fire It Up!" – (to compliment his firefighting career)! And of course, that dashing-smile makes his look complete ;-)

Bryan Getting Ready.jpg
Bryan's socks.jpg

HAIR & MAKE-UP

I loved the fact that I got to get my hair done in an intimate, small studio by a woman who has done my hair for about ten years now! Linda, you are an amazing person, and I'm so glad you were the stylist to keep my hair from blowing everywhere in the wind later on that day :-) ... My mother was there with me, too, which made it equally sentimental to spend time with her before heading over to the church to finish getting ready.

Bryan Christie Wedding
Bryan Christie Wedding
Bryan Christie Wedding
Getting Ready-0061.jpg
Bryan and Christie Lukes Wedding

I found my make-up artist on Thumbtack, a wonderful outlet to compare and find local vendors. I use it for my own business, so it was great to find Julie to do my makeup. FABULOUS work and comfortable to be around (let the photos be the proof of her work)!


THE WEDDING PARTY ATTIRE

Bridesmaids: My bridesmaids wore beautiful off-the-shoulder Mori Lee blush long gowns. I wanted something unique, but also elegant and sophisticated (and the ladies look fabulous)! The colors are so on-point, too! :-D

Christie Lukes – Bridesmaids 3.jpg

Flower Girl: My lovely little flower girl wore a dress I found at Dilliard's – her mom (far left bridesmaid) did a fabulous job tweaking the look to take out some of the gold so that more blush pink showing. She also sewed fabric petals to replace what would have been flimsy "fake" flowers (the chapel did not allow real petals to be thrown). Also, I had EKG hearts and sheet music hearts cut out that would equally be tossed down the aisle (to match the invitations and "theme").

Flower Attendants 3.jpg

Junior Attendants: These wonderful girls wore dresses I found at Diliard's (that – how cool is this – matched as an older version of the flower girl's dress)! They came down the aisle holding signs that help tell "our story". My aunt is the artist/master tracer when it came to making the signs. LOVE THEM.

Flower Attendants 1.jpg

Groomsmen and Ring Bearer: Moving onto the men's wardrobe...what an amazing group of guys! They all looked awesome in their tuxedos (and, yes, I secretly want the ring bearer to marry the flower girl)! ... :-) ...

Family and Bridal Party-1430.jpg
Bryan and Joel.jpg

PRE-CEREMONY MOMENTS

Bryan and Christie Lukes Wedding

Moment with Mom: This is the moment it all started to sink in. I'm. Getting. Married. I know not every girl can say this, but I'm fortunate to have a mom that has been a best friend throughout my life. A strong pillar of reflecting who Christ is through her walk and encouragement. Through the good, she's the behind-the-scenes cheerleader. Through the bad, she's the shoulder to cry on and encouraging word. As I was about to marry my new forever best friend, Bryan...having mom there for me meant the absolute world. This picture captured all those emotions in one moment.

 
Bryan and Christie Wedding
Bryan and Christie Wedding

Dad's First Look: I thought it would be a neat gesture to give my dad a "Daddy First Look" since we have such a close relationship. He's been there through so many life trials, and has taught me so much about hard work, fun and what it means to being a supporting father. I loved this opportunity as "Daddy's little girl" to spend a precious moment with Dad before he gave my hand to the most incredible man that has traits that remind me of what I look up to in my own father.

Bryan and Christie Wedding
 
Bryan and Christie Blind Look1.jpg
Christie and Bryan Lukes Wedding

Bryan's First Look: Bryan and I didn't want him to see me in my gown before the ceremony, so we went with the idea to do a "blind" first look! It was great to be able to share one more moment with Bryan before we would part ways, and not see each other again until the ceremony. Don't ask what was on my mind. Probably happy, scared, excited, nervousness:-) 

Bryan and Christie Blind Look 4.jpg
Christie and Bryan Lukes Wedding
 
Bryan and Christie Lukes Wedding

Prayer with Nan: This moment is such a neat example of the core of my family. When I came back in from photos and getting "last minute" details together, I open the door to find my Nan (that's what we always called my grandmother on my Dad's side). It made me break down in tears yet again, as she travelled her 87-year-old self from Oregon to be a part of our special day. She led our group prayer together, and the prayer was passed on to others in the circle. The shot of our hands holding below is incredibly special to me, because it includes both my grandmothers in one picture. I wore my Grandma's ring who could not be there, and would pass away about seven months later. No words to express what this prayer time meant to me before I'd walk down the aisle.

Getting Ready-0336.jpg
Bryan and Christie Lukes Wedding
Bryan and Christie Lukes Wedding
Bryan and Christie Lukes Wedding

CEREMONY MOMENTS

 The Music: Each song had a special meaning as to why it was chosen, timed out and either was a recording, or performed live. It made it that much more personable!

The Music: Each song had a special meaning as to why it was chosen, timed out and either was a recording, or performed live. It made it that much more personable!

 Coming down the aisle with Dad. At the end, we did our traditional "noses" that he would do when tucking me into bed as a kid.

Coming down the aisle with Dad. At the end, we did our traditional "noses" that he would do when tucking me into bed as a kid.

 Bryan's "Hand Kiss" – A tradition he would do every time he dropped me off at my door.

Bryan's "Hand Kiss" – A tradition he would do every time he dropped me off at my door.

 We wanted to take a moment and look out towards the audience to soak in the love and support of family and friends.

We wanted to take a moment and look out towards the audience to soak in the love and support of family and friends.

THE RINGS & UNITY CROSS

Christie and Bryan Ceremony 5.jpg
Christie and Bryan Ceremony 6.jpg
 The Unity Cross is sitting on top of an old family Bible. Hidden special moments everywhere! :-)

The Unity Cross is sitting on top of an old family Bible. Hidden special moments everywhere! :-)

Christie and Bryan Ceremony 8.jpg
 Communion & Prayer

Communion & Prayer

 Live singing , piano, acoustic and acapella moments throughout the service were so intimate and special for us to hear.

Live singing , piano, acoustic and acapella moments throughout the service were so intimate and special for us to hear.

 Singing the papers – A new tradition was started. We had both families come up on the stage as a symbol of two families merging together. Also, my grandma signed as her witness for my mom's wedding – so I had mom continue this by signing as my witness.

Singing the papers – A new tradition was started. We had both families come up on the stage as a symbol of two families merging together. Also, my grandma signed as her witness for my mom's wedding – so I had mom continue this by signing as my witness.

 The Kiss!

The Kiss!

Christie and Bryan Ceremony 14.jpg
Christie and Bryan Ceremony 18.jpg
Christie and Bryan Ceremony 16.jpg
 Mr. & Mrs. Lukes have left the building!

Mr. & Mrs. Lukes have left the building!

 Back in the Bridal suite before we head out to celebrate!

Back in the Bridal suite before we head out to celebrate!


OTHER DETAILS

There are SO many details that I could go on and on about during the ceremony: the Bride and Groom gifts, bridesmaid gifts, signage, flower girl petals...guest book, flowers from bouquet, flowers on the ceremony stage and reception floral designs. If you want any specific details of any of the above, let me know! I'd be happy to help guide your ideas in the right direction. Until the next post, have a great week (AND HAPPY 362 DAYS OF MARRIAGE TO MY FOREVER LOVE, BRYAN LUKES!)


COMING UP NEXT... OUR WEDDING (PART III) – RECEPTION


VENDOR REVIEWS

[ CEREMONY LOCATION: GRACE CHAPEL, SCOTTSDALE BIBLE CHURCH ]

The on-site coordinator we were assigned to have was definitely flexible with our needs leading up. However, when it came to the rehearsal, she was not proactive to get things moving, and didn't seem to have review the thorough outline(s) I provided (I come from a background of production run sheets, call times, etc. and know I had a plentiful of information for her to get the scope of the order, etc - and it sometimes felt like a waste of my time based on the questions she was asking, etc). In addition, we specifically hired the sound crew to be there during the rehearsal to do what anyone would think a sound crew would do: a sound check. Well, they did not have mics set up or ready, and it was handled unprofessionally. The chapel itself was so incredibly gorgeous, and the Bride's room was so relaxing and inviting to get ready in. I thought a bit pricey being a church, but I definitely saw venues more expensive that weren't as nice.

  • Product Itself: Excellent
  • Customer Service: Fair
  • Costs: Fair
  • Overall recommendation: 4 ♥/ 5 ♥

 

[ WEDDING DRESS BOUTIQUE REVIEW: TOUR OF ELEGANCE, SAN DIEGO ]

Erin was AMAZING to work with, and the store itself was such a comfortable setting to be able to try on gowns. I knew in advance that it would need alterations, so it didn't bother me how the bust "cup" size was about 2 sizes bigger than you'd think in proportion to the dress size I ordered. My dress was more expensive than others, but not over-the-top. It was very good fabric and quality, and I was happy with its final look.

  • Product Itself: Excellent
  • Customer Service: Excellent
  • Costs: Fair
  • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

 

    [ ALTERATION #1 REVIEW: VALENTINA'S ALTERATIONS, PHOENIX ]

    Valentina was professional and reliable with her deadlines and level of experience. The one thing I appreciated most was that she was honest when she couldn't do something that I wanted done to the dress, and instead of "trying," to make something work, she knew that she didn't want me to take that chance on my wedding dress, so she respectfully declined to do the service. She was able to accomplish majority of alterations, however, I took it to a second alterations location to finish the job that was needed. 

    • Product Itself: Great
    • Customer Service: Excellent
    • Costs: Fair
    • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

     

    [ ALTERATION #2 REVIEW: HELENA'S ALTERATIONS, SCOTTSDALE ]

    She has been a God-sent since pageant years, and I'm so glad I went back to her to finish my dress! "Mama takes care of you!" is something she always says, and she means it. Professional - experienced – passionate – caring...she NAILS it. She was able to accomplish what the first alterations was not able to, and then went above and beyond to make sure all other aspects were checked and double checked. If you want to feel at ease and that your dress is taken care of 100%, then go see Helena. Hands down!

    • Product Itself: Excellent
    • Customer Service: Excellent
    • Costs: Fair
    • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

     

    [ HAIR & MAKE-UP: LINDA GIGUERE & JULIE MARTIN ]

    Each woman provided me with CONFIDENCE in their professionalism and talent prior to the big day, so that when April 22 came around, my hair and make-up was the least of my concerns. If you have any questions on the work, just look at the beautiful photos!!! :-)

    • Product Itself: Excellent
    • Customer Service: Excellent
    • Costs: Reasonable
    • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

     

    [ FLORIST #1: TAMI TISDALE]

    Tami is a wonderful soul. She was my "primary" florist, if you will. I won auction items that were certificates for the bouquet and centerpiece for the ceremony, but Tami took care of the rest. The reception centerpieces looked amazing! I LOVED the flower girl's headpiece. The only hiccup was that the groom, groomsmen, and mother of bride/groom had very large roses to them that I thought were supposed to be the smaller rose look, so they were at times overpowering. Not sure if that is a flower-seasonable thing, or could have been fixed. Other than that, she was incredible to work with! I'd recommend her hands down. Very reasonable, professional and understanding during our monumental event! :-)

    • Product Itself: Good
    • Customer Service: Excellent
    • Costs: Reasonable
    • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

     

    [ FLORIST #2: RITA VANEK]

    Rita took care of the Bride Bouquet. I won a certificate at an auction that allowed me to get my bouquet preserved, so I knew I wanted it to look amazing since I'd be keeping it years down the road. She did a fabulous job (and even was able to add these cool lights I brought in for her within the bouquet)! 

    • Product Itself: Good
    • Customer Service: Good
    • Costs: N/A (It was an auction item, so I cannot comment on prices)
    • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

     

    [ FLORIST #3: CARTE BLANCHE DESIGNS]

    Carte Blanche Designs was wonderful to work with, and did a beautiful job bringing my vision for the centerpiece to life! We were able to equally use the flowers they desinged for the ceremony into our reception decor.

    • Product Itself: Excellent
    • Customer Service: Excellent
    • Costs: N/A (It was an auction item, so I cannot comment on prices)
    • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

     

    [ MUSICIANS: PIANIST, ACOUSTIC GUITAR, VOCALIST]

    All of the musicians were incredible to work with – a mixture of friends and new acquaintances. Please contact me for more info on any of the musicians used, and I'd be happy to forward their information.

    • Product Itself: Excellent
    • Customer Service: Excellent
    • Costs: N/A (individually worked out costs, as it varied per person)
    • Overall recommendation: 5 ♥/ 5 ♥

    Comment