Wedding Wonderland

We got married! March 18, 2017 was the most perfect day, beyond our wildest imaginations – and trust me, we have wild imaginations!  The entire week prior to the wedding was incredible, with friends and family arriving early to ski and spend time with us.  Those days involved some awesome spring skiing and delicious meals.  Right now, I’m going to focus on writing about the wedding day.  Because there are oh so many details that I never want to forget.  But I will say this… I got to ski with Nate and Drew!  Tom, K. Michael, Joe, Claire, Patricia, Cat, Erin, Brandi, Meredith, Lindsay, Troy all traveled to be with us on our special day.  I love you all!!

My bridesmaids and I were up until 1am steaming dresses and making sure we were prepared for the next day.  What an exhausting process!  So the day really began before bedtime :).  Tess and I had a sleepover and she swore she’d be up before 7am …. did not happen haha.  I slept like a rock, which everyone said isn’t possible the night before your wedding.  Liars.  I was up at 7:15am, feeling relaxed, and was making sure final details were set.  I also had a perma-smile from the minute I woke up.  We had hair and makeup appointments starting at 8:30am, and my wonderful stylist, Ashlen was there and ready for me.  My hair seriously took no time at all and it was absolutely beautiful.  She’s a rockstar.  My face broke out the week before, and I was very nervous about my makeup even after it was done, but so far the photos look good, so I am happy.  The makeup artist, Erin, was wonderful and dealt with my nerves/lack of self confidence very well. We enjoyed mimosas and a light breakfast while getting pampered, and I even got a visit from Sarah on her way to the gym (she’s crazy – she clearly didn’t understand what I meant by A LOT of dancing coming up :D).  Our videographer, Don Garrett, was there getting some salon clips too.  He was incredible – more on that later!

We finished in the salon early (!) and made our way back to the bridal suite to meet up with our amazing photographer, Melissa Kelsey, and get our “getting ready” photos.  Brandi (bff) was also in the suite and I almost cried when I saw her.  We took a bunch of photos, got me into my dress, and then Melissa took a ton of bridal photos.  I cannot wait to see them!

Once those photos were all set, Tess gave me Jackson’s wedding present.  He gave me a beautiful pendant necklace with the coordinates of Snowbird on one side and our wedding date on the other, so I will always remember the time and place of our day.  He also wrote me the sweetest note that I will cherish forever.  Such perfect words from his heart.

I gave my mom her wedding gift – a glass frame engraved with a poem that I (partially) wrote.  We enjoyed a moment and got some photos, then I gave Brandi her gift.  I got us matching necklaces with interlocking infinity symbols and our birthstones at each side.  She cried, I cried, we hugged, and all felt right with the world in that moment.  The time then arrived for my dad to join us and finally see me in my wedding dress.  I hid behind Tess, Ashley, and Erin when he came in, then I had him turn around for a “first look”.  I gave him his gift- a handkerchief with a poem- and he gave me my “something old” – a dime that he retrieved for me when I was very young – and we took some more photos.

The time to leave was approaching, so I took the time to finish getting ready.  I peed with the help of my wonderful sister-in-law, Ashaleeee. Ash taught me how to pee in a prom dress, and now she was teaching me how to pee in my wedding dress.  Sisters.  Love that girl so much.  I also brushed my teeth so I would feel fresh.

We made our way down to the lobby and saw a sign for the “Harostock Arvidson Wedding Shuttle” – WOOOO!  We waited just a few minutes for the bridal shuttle and then we were on our way to Our Lady of the Snows.  We arrived at the chapel and Kasey from Harvest Moon Events was waiting with her sidekick, Daniella.  The bridesmaids and my mom got out of the shuttle and made their entrance.  My dad and I hung back and shared the final moments in our typical fashion- laughing so we wouldn’t cry.  The time finally arrived.  Daniella opened the shuttle door, handed me a perfect bouquet, helped me over a puddle, and up the stairs.  This was it!!  The very first person I saw as  I approached the entrance was a dear family friend, Kevin.  As I entered the chapel, I was so overwhelmed with happiness from seeing people – Patricia and Catherine were the next two in my sights, then Jackson’s coworkers.  We turned the corner to look down the aisle, and I saw Jackson for the first time.  I was already smiling (see aforementioned perma-smile), but wow, I was so filled with joy.  And his hair had gel!  He looked so handsome, I wanted to just run up and kiss him.  I looked around more and saw Barb and Mazz, Marissa, then Brandi and Sean, then Lorrie and Chris, Tom and Catherine, Benson.  My dad was FLYING down the aisle.  This man doesn’t move fast anywhere, and I felt like he was running to give me away haha, so I tugged on him and told him to slow down.  I wanted this moment to last forever and get a good view of everyone!  Alas, we were at the altar.  I gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek, and Jackson took my arm.  I looked over and smiled at the groomsmen- Nick, Stefan, and Tom- they were becoming my family too.  YAY!

Jackson didn’t let go of my hand the entire time, and was gently stroking his thumb over my hand throughout the ceremony.  Our moms lit the family candles, and then it was Lorrie’s turn to read.  She did a wonderful job.  I also hadn’t seen her yet and oh my goodness, I loved her dress!  Jackson’s mom, Jill, then got up to read the responsorial psalm, and Jackson and I led everyone in the longest response ever.  Then Brandi got up for her reading and I cried.  Like seriously, Christina?  She opened her mouth and said one word and I all the sudden needed my “something borrowed” – the handkerchief my mom lent to me.  She was perfect.

Fr. John followed with the Gospel reading and his sermon highlighted the thought that we put into our reading selections and how they weren’t the standard choices.  I loved that he recognized that.  It was also about that time that my throat got a ridiculous tickle and I had to avoid breathing so I wouldn’t have a coughing fit.  A look over to Erin and my mom, and before I knew it, a bottle of water was in my hand saving me.

After the homily, it was time to exchange our marriage vows.  They were the most fulfilling, joyous moments of my life.  Erin and Nick were standing as our witnesses which meant the world to me.  My perma-smile was in full effect as I put Jackson’s ring on his finger (most of the way, I didn’t want to shove it over his knuckle).  After six and a half years of growing together, the time arrived! We were officially married!!  We then went to light our Unity Candle, and it took FOREVER to light… my candle almost went out in the process.  Everyone had a good chuckle about it as we struggled, then our candle finally lit.  Whew!

We made our way back to our seats for my mom to read the Prayer of the Faithful.  She got choked up when she said our names – it was a sweet moment.  One of the prayers was also for those serving in our military and I looked back to search for all of my people – Erin, Drew, K. Michael, and Joe- who are either active or former military. Love them all.  We also recognized family who couldn’t travel, and those who have passed on.  Following that, we stood for the Our Father, and then the ceremony was over.  The ceremony was so perfect.  It exactly what we wanted, with the most picturesque setting looking out at Alta.

We had our guests head down to Snowbird for hot cocoa and cider, while we stayed behind to get some photos as the chapel.  After that, we loaded into the shuttle with our skis and Jackson, Melissa, and I started getting our ski boots on!  This was happening.  I was going to ski in my wedding dress.  AHHH!  Finding our way to get on the chair was a bit of a cluster, and we ended up on the Snowbird patio where the stage is …. and without realizing it, we were suddenly standing between a stage with a band and a large crowd.  I immediately turned around to go around behind the crowd but it was too late.  Everyone was cheering for us.  I realized that my only option was to own the moment, so I looked back for Jackson then started waving to everyone.  It was so overwhelming.  And awesome.  I was on Snowbird’s deck, in a wedding dress, ski boots, and the most awesome sunglasses (courtesy of Erin), waving to a crowd of total strangers as the cheered us on.  My heart was racing.  We finally found the secret way to Chickadee and Don caught up with us just in time with his telemark gear.  Can I possibly emphasize enough how amazing Melissa and Don were?  They shot our ski run, skiing with us down Chickadee.  Incredible.  Surreal.  All of our guests were watching us from the tramdock as we took Our First Run.  Best Day Ever.  We stopped a few times so Melissa and Don could get into new places for their shots.  It was tough to get up enough speed on the bunny hill to make really good turns so I felt like I was skiing poorly, but the videos from our guests looked pretty awesome so no complaints here :).  Also, the weather was PERFECT.  We were so fortunate.  It was also wonderful to have the time alone together on the chairlift- our first time alone as a married couple and first time to actually talk to each other all day.  Also the only few minutes alone until wayyyy later.

While we got out of our boots, our guests took the first tram up to the Summit for cocktail hour.  The wedding party followed and I had arranged for champagne on our tram as a surprise.  It was awesome.  Drinking champagne on the tram. Yes, thank you!  The temp was a little bit cooler up at the summit, so I wore my fur stole for almost all of our photos.  I cannot wait to see them.  It was beautiful up there.  Drew was on point with bringing snacks and drinks to us which helped us get through the hour without getting hangry.  Before we knew it, the time for us to be introduced was there.  We were downstairs in the lodge and did a quick practice of our big lift, giving the wedding party a preview of what was to come.  I think they were impressed :).  And like that, we were off!  The band introduced us for the first time and Mr. & Mrs. Jackson and Christina Arvidson as we walked in to Kickstart My Heart and danced around!  It was Epic.  We got into place and the music made a quick switch into our first dance- In My Life by the Beatles.  We had taken lessons starting in January and we had rearranged all of our living room furniture so we could practice, but there were still definite nerves.  We hadn’t practiced in several days so I was sure I’d forgotten everything.  The steps came back to me literally as they were happening haha, and we laughed as we successfully completed steps that we had repeatedly messed up during our practice sessions.  We got through the first half and then all the steps with spinning started.  I didn’t get too dizzy, and could just hear our guests cheering.  Step after step was perfect.  Lift after lift, dip after dip.  All perfect.  Jackson picked me up for the final lift and then the music was over.  We did it!!  Jackson exited stage left and my dad joined me on the dance floor for the father daughter dance.

We danced to Butterfly Kisses, a song meaningful to both of us since I used to dance on his feet to it when I was little.  Thank goodness I couldn’t hear any of the words because my dad and I were talking and laughing through most of the song, otherwise I would have been bawling.  Close to the end of the song, the conversation slowed as we both got teary eyed.  We act like we’re tough but we’re both sentimental saps at heart.  We walked off the dance floor and the first two people I saw were Sydney and Casey – two of the toughest people I know – and they both had tears running down their faces.  It was such a perfect, beautiful moment. I didn’t think it was possible for those two to cry (outside of work 😉  ).

Jackson’s dance with his mom was a blur, I don’t even remember seeing it.  I was hugging people and saying hi to some friends that I hadn’t seen yet.  Their dance was super high energy though and the photos looked like they were having a great time.

Michael got up to say the blessing for dinner after the final dance.  I rarely see emotion from him and when his voice cracked, my heart was so full. His blessing was so heartfelt.  I keep saying things were perfect, and this was up there at the top.  Dinner was served and Jackson and I took our seats at our table to eat.  I looked around and soaked it all in- our people, the view, the decor.  I loved all of it. I barely ate my soup and didn’t bother with my salad, because I wanted to start visiting with our friends.  I also wasn’t super hungry and wanted to make sure I got my steak & cake :D.  So glad I saved the room for that too because it was delicious.  At one point of stuffing my face, I looked up to see Drew and Joe creepy staring at me.  It was hilarious and awesome.

When dinner was wrapping up, my dad kicked off the toasts.  Erin got up next and I basically started crying as soon as she started talking.  It was so Erin & I.  ❤  I tried to get up to give her a hug after, but I couldn’t get to her fast enough and all the sudden Nick was up there.  He gave such a thoughtful speech and at the end I lost it when he said he spoke for everyone in the family about how happy they were I was officially becoming a part of it.

Now that all the tears and sentiment was covered, it was cake time!  Jackson and I cut the cake together.  He fed me my bite, then I ate his bite as a fun tease (yes, we planned that).  Everyone laughed then just stared at us… I had no idea what I was doing, so I proclaimed, “Let’s party!”  The Salamanders kicked up the music and we all headed to the dance floor.  Where I remained for like the next 4 hours with almost no break.

They crushed it with the music, playing such a good variety.  Everyone (almost) was on the dance floor, singing along and dancing.  The band only took one break and I planned to break when they did… but then they even put on good music for their break.  Sooo that didn’t happen.  I did break long enough to eat 2 pieces of cake :).  During Pour Some Sugar on Me, the guys all surrounded me – can’t wait for those photos.  I tried to dance with everyone and made my way from group to group.  They sang Cupid Shuffle, and Ashley and I led everyone in the dance moves.  They played Happy, and even my dad got on the floor!  It’s been a long time since I’ve seen him smile that big.  That was a fun time with my parents.  Sean, Brandi’s husband, promised to not dance unless they played Shout. So obviously, I made sure they played Shout.  EVERY person was on the dance floor for it.  It was AWESOME!!!  They also played Just Dance, which I made sure happened because (1) I love that song and (2) because Mama H loves that song.  K.Michael, Tom, and I did our play calling dance moves.  Drew and Nate picked each other up, and Troy slid under them… I seriously hope that got caught on film.  I turned around just in time to see it and it was the best.  Matt and Meredith were out there with Lindsay and Troy and I LOVE dancing with them!!  Casey and I belted some classic rock with Patricia, and I even got in a dance with family friend, Kevin.   Brandi and I were the only 2 people on the dance floor for a moment, which is totally us and I loved it!!   That was during the band’s break when they played Usher and took it back to the Prep days for us.  I had a moment with THE MARRIEDS!  Nate and Cecilia can dance, oh wowww.  Everyone was so much fun out there. Loved every second.

Suddenly, Kasey was telling me that it was 10pm. Ahhh, it was time!  Joe’s birthday is March 19 and Sid’s birthday is March 18.  So at 10pm, it was March 19 on the EC where Joe lives and therefore his birthday and also still Sid’s birthday in UT.  I took the mic and tripped over my words, but I gathered everyone to sing happy birthday.  I huddled with the two of them as we sang and was so grateful that they were spending their day celebrating us.

The dancing continued, and then the band made the announcement: it was time for the final two songs.  I sprinted to Jackson because we had specifically requested these two to be last.  They started playing Shut Up and Dance and Jackson and I danced like crazy and sang like nobody else was there.  YEsssssss.  After that perfection, they segued into the final song.  People started gathering around me as it picked up, and I formed them all into a circle around us.  Jackson and I were in the middle of a massive circle of our guests.  Don’t Stop was playing.  We were dancing like fools and singing at the top of our lungs, circling around to see everyone who was around us.  I felt so loved, humbled, and honored.  Our perfect day culminated in the perfect moment at the end of our reception.  I wanted that song to last forever.  Our wedding was a total success.

Following the best possible ending that was beyond what I could have imagined, everyone started making their way to the tram.  It was quite windy so the tram operator gave us instructions to stay toward one side to help stabilize and prevent the tram from swinging too much.  Once he got us going and it was clear that we were in good shape, someone (I’m still trying to figure out who) BRILLIANTLY started singing For Boston.  My BC peeps all joined in and we remembered the words without missing a beat- as if we were back at The Heights watching Matty Ice do his thing.  PERFECT ENDING TO A PERFECT NIGHT.

We got to the base and said goodbyes to everyone as they got on the bus for the Hyatt.  We got our shuttle back to the Cliff and met up with Nick, Tess, Tom, and Sarah in our room to relive some of the highlights immediately. They eventually headed out and the night was truly over.  We went to bed. Mr. and Mrs. Arvidson. ❤


I would like to again say thank you to all of our guests for attending.  Thank you for choosing us as your family.  We are humbled and honored and we love you all so very much.

Thank you to Melissa Kelsey Photography, Don Garrett of Hobble Creek Media, Kasey and Daniella of Harvest Moon Events, Christena and Chelsea at Snowbird, and all of the people who worked to make our wedding perfect.  We are incredibly grateful.


Wedding 1Wedding 2Wedding 3


One thought on “Wedding Wonderland

  1. Sounds as you titled, a wedding wonderland. You and your betrothed must have enjoyed a day without much down time. A tenet comes to mind of which you seem to be blesed: not to have what you want but to want what you have. And it seems you enjoyed every moment and now every memory of it. May God grant you an eternity of health and happiness in the radiance of each others’ love.

    Liked by 1 person

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