Sigh.

I really don’t know where to begin this post.

Truly.

I want to be funny. I want to wax nostalgic. I want to express my heart. I want to cry happy tears. I want to share all the bittersweet emotions. I want to share my joy.

But most of all?

I want to tell you that it happened.

Yep.

I blinked.

And somewhere along the way?

My little t-rex grew up and got married.

You see?

I’m the mother of one of the most amazing young men ever to pretend he was a dinosaur. If I squint, I can still see him wearing his t-rex hat and glow-in-the-dark prehistoric shirt and light-up shoes on the playground.

I can still see him catching that fly ball in the outfield.

I can still see him standing on the dirt that taught him so many lessons.

I can see him teaching his sisters to drive and being there for his brother and watching over strays and letting Buddy follow him wherever he went and patiently explaining to his mother all about basketball and helping his father when he needed him the most.

And then?

One day I saw him fall in love.

It was kind of unexpected to all of us.

After all, Zack had never even brought a girl home before.

And now I know why.

He was waiting for the most perfect girl on the planet.

Our Courtney.

A girl so special and so wonderful that she took his breath away.

A girl that believed in him.

A girl that made him laugh and encouraged him and saw him with all his strengths and all his imperfections.

And loved him right back.

A week ago I had a front-row seat to this wedding.

I did all the things that the mother-of-the-groom is supposed to do. I got my hair and make-up done (Courtney did my hair). I put on my dress. I tucked my toes into 4″ high heels.

I picked up my bouquet and walked down the aisle with tears hovering on the tips of my fake lashes and sat in my chair.

And watched these two say the sweetest “I Do’s.”

We went to the reception after the ceremony.

It was incredible.

There was the yummiest food and the most beautiful venue with flowers festooning the tables and a timeless stone floor. We danced all the dances on that floor and ate and laughed and celebrated as the sun set over the lake and the stars twinkled in the night sky.

And then?

It was time for the bride and groom to leave.

You can see their epic exit here.

We watched them leave under a shower of sparkles in the Texas night sky as the band played with the saxophone leading the way. Someone took this picture as my husband and I watched them leave.

I love this picture.

The look on my face says it all.

I’m not really sure what mother-of-the-grooms are supposed to feel as they watch their t-rexs walk away?

I’ve never been one before.

But just know that right here, right now, at this exact moment, the emotion that filled my heart?

Awe.

Incredible, amazing, overwhelming awe.

A grateful, thankful heart full of awe at all the chapters that had gone before….

…and awe at all the new chapters just waiting to be written.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Wood.

We love you.

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Comments

  1. Image for Maggie Rowe Maggie Rowe

    Thank you for sharing your family’s very special day with us! You made the most beautiful MOG, and that photo of you with the twins? Oh my. It makes a mama‘s heart want to split with Joy.

  2. Image for Barbara Moore Barbara Moore

    Precious memories! So happy for you all. It's about to get reeeeaaallly crowded in that beautiful home of yours. Four become Eight..... then somehow you end up a party of 18. And become blessed to have more precious memories than you can count.

  3. Image for Connie Connie

    These moments will never be forgotten! Lovely visions in your head that will stay in your heart forever. It’s an amazing moment when the first child leaves the nest. All your pictures are so beautiful. You all looked amazing. Your son and his new bride are made for each other. I know you and your husband are so proud! Forgive my sentence structure. These are thoughts that started coming to my mind and I just wrote them as they entered my brain. Lol

  4. Image for Pam Pam

    What a beautiful post! You had me crying as I have two sons and I am praying for their future wives as I have since they were babies. So happy for them and all your family! Gorgeous venue, flowers, bride & groom and MOG! You look stunning in that dress! ❤️

  5. Image for Jan McKenzie Jan McKenzie

    And now you have a Daughter-In-Love, sounds so much better than daughter-in-law, right? I have 2 and I’m so blessed. Jan

  6. Image for Lynn Lynn

    Isn’t crazy how fast the time flys. Next weekend I get to be the MOB. It seems like yesterday she was climbing on the bus to start kindergarten. Your son and his bride are a stunning couple. I can’t wait to see what the future holds

  7. Image for JC JC

    So beautiful in every way....the venue, the flowers, the bride and groom, the family, and most if all your heart of love! Enjoy this next chapter and congratulations to all!!

  8. Image for Debbie Debbie

    Thank you for sharing this. I think Courtney looks like she could have been your daughter. They are a lovely couple and I wish them many, many years of happiness.

  9. Image for Nancy Sharp Nancy Sharp

    I love their exit! So fun. The flowers were spectacular! I’m thinking that what drew Zack to the lovely Courtney was her beautiful smile that reminds me of his Mama!❤️ I’ve been involved in 2 special weddings this past year. I was the grandmother of the bride in one and the grandmother of the groom in the other! Wow! Talk about memories going through your mind! I remember their moms as babies as well as my grandchildren. I can’t possibly be that old!😂 One of the fun parts at both wedding receptions was the dance of married couples. We won the longest married couple there. We just celebrated 58 years. I wish Zack and Courtney that many years and more.

  10. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Amazing! So beautiful and they look so happy! Love everything about the reception and especially the look on your face. Priceless!

  11. Image for Carol Carol

    Thank you KariAnne! Well done! What a lovely story, beautiful wedding and sweet memories!!!! I'm so grateful to see the pictures and the scenery and remember my family's progression to this same time. They are supposed to grow, mature and start their own lives. And all those those bittersweet stepping stones bring us such joy! I'm so happy for you, yet understand so well the history of getting there and where did all those days, weeks, months and years go??? Thank you for sharing your heartfelt experience as an awesome mother of the groom!!! Carol

  12. Image for Kris Kris

    Aww. I'm teary. And not just because of the thought of wearing 4 inch heels.🤣 Courtney looks like she has a beautiful spirit and they are a gorgeous couple. That picture of you with your daughters! Wowza! Thank you so much for letting us have a glimpse of a wonderful day.

  13. Image for Melissa Melissa

    Congratulations to the beautiful couple! Thank you for sharing their amazing day. What a joy to see your children happy!

  14. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Soooo beautiful! Everything! You and the twins look amazing- your blue dress is perfection♥ I bet Courtney fell in love with twinkling eyes which I'm sure Zach inherited from his Dad:) And she could be your third daughter with her contagious smile! Congrats to all!!!

  15. Image for Madeline Madeline

    Your posts make me feel better each and everyday. Thank you for sharing such a special day. You are truly blessed.

  16. Image for Hannah Hannah

    You knocked it out of the park. Lucky family to have a new member you all adore. The best to the bride and groom and you did the day so well.

  17. Image for Lisa Lisa

    Just gorgeous in every way. Your words have happiness just jumping off the screen. Courtney's dress is stunning and your handsome son looks so thrilled. Congrats on adding a new daughter to the family. And speaking of daughters, you're looking more and more like the third triplet (smile). What a lovely venue and decorations. I also love the picture of you and your husband with the sparklers. So joyful and natural. And his "I love you, forever" hand placement is so sweet and heart melting. Wow. What a perfect day. xoxo

  18. Image for Leslie Watkins Leslie Watkins

    Absolutely gorgeous! The flowers and setting are stunning. But, my favorite? The joy on everyone’s faces. Perfect! Congratulations to you all!

  19. Image for Tara Watts Tara Watts

    Absolutely beautiful! Everyone looked beautiful and the scenery is amazing! The flowers are lovely! I am sure it was a very special day! I don’t have a son but i have a nephew and he just got married and I do know that when you bring a sweet loving new girl into the family it is a true blessing! Anytime the family grows by adding a sweet soul that is a blessing from God! Best wishes!

  20. Image for Sharon Sharon

    I had goose bumps reading this. What a beautiful celebration of love - not just the bride and groom - but your love for them. Thank you so much for sharing!

  21. Image for Jeanine Kesey Jeanine Kesey

    So beautiful!! Thank you for sharing this special day! I too have two daughters and a son. They are all precious to me but sons have this way of capturing your heart in such a different way. To watch your son grow to be a loving husband is one of God’s greatest gifts. Well done mama.

  22. Image for PJ PJ

    I have a lump in my throat because I can so relate to this post. My daughter got married a year ago and my son has recently started dating a young lady that may be "the one". Thing is, he's 32 and hasn't dated in ten years. He says he just hadn't met anyone that seemed right. You're so right about how fast time flies. Blink and the next thing you know, you're sitting in the front row holding back tears. I see young mothers at the store with their little ones and sometimes I tell them to savor this time. I'd do anything to have Legos on the floor again and pushing my kids in the grocery cart. Congratulations to all of you.

  23. Image for Wendy Madden Wendy Madden

    Courtney looks a lot like you! So perky and smiley and blond! Congratulations to your son and his new bride and to your entire family.

  24. Image for Jeanine Jeanine

    Congratulations to all! It looked like a perfect day! I would love to hear about the rehearsal dinner as well. I'm quite sure it was beautiful also:).

  25. Image for Susan Johnston Susan Johnston

    Such a wonderful way of sharing my emotions!!! Having been in your shoes twice now, I’ve laughed and cried and watched as my little boys married God’s choice for them! But, down the road, you will watch as they welcome your grandchild into the world and, in the blink of an eye, those little boys make you the happiest person in the world ❣️

  26. Image for Marion Marion

    Congratulations to the beautiful couple and to your family, KariAnne! A daughter in love is a blessing! I became a mother in love too this past month! Our firstborn son got married and she is a treasure! What song did you dance to for your mother and son dance? Ours was "One More Dance With My Son" - still mulling over the words and humming the tune!

  27. Image for Jan Jan

    What a beautiful fairy tale wedding. Told perfectly thru a loving mothers eyes. Congrats and so many blessings to follow. The venue was amazing, where was it?

  28. Image for Be Be

    Just beautiful setting, bride and especially the Grooms Mom!! Zach is the cutest ever. We pray they will be happy forever!!!

  29. Image for Nancy Carr Nancy Carr

    Thank you for sharing the wedding. All of you radiated the beauty and joy of the day. Everything was perfect. I’m still thinking of you in 4” heels! Blessings

  30. Image for francis c moore francis c moore

    Beautiful wedding, and all the pictures are out of this world! I would loved to have seen a picture of the bride's parents.

  31. Image for Lee Stearns Lee Stearns

    Perfection! The bridal gown, the groom’s suit and beautiful smile, the venue, flowers, menu, KariAnne and the girls… but most of all I see LOVE! Every photo is full of pride, joy and love! We could ALL use a lot more of that right now! Thanks for sharing this special weekend with us- I , for one, am so in awe of you, for what you share with us and the things we learn and the joy you share! You’re truly a shining star! Keep up the great work- I wish I lived next door!❤️❤️🙏🙏

  32. Image for Linda Linda

    O my what a beautiful wedding. The couple is so nice looking. Those smiles at each other is precious. Just starting out their lives together. And you and your husband are so sweet with his arm around you. You look as young as your girls. Congratulations to all of you.. We only have one son and the Lord gave us a loving daughter in love and two wonderful grandchildren. Thanks for sharing such a special day with us.

  33. Image for Juliet Juliet

    Awe, KA ... I have tears in my eyes. So much love surrounding Zach and Courtney on their stunning wedding day. I love weddings, and never more than family weddings. Such joy, such emotion ... such love. Congratulations on gaining a daughter-in-law who will add even more richness to your life. Thanks for sharing this amazing day. xo

  34. Image for Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns Elizabeth@pineconesandacorns

    Kari Ann, this post made me cry it was so beautiful. How wonderful to have such a special son who waited for the most perfect woman to be his wife and to brig home to mom and dad. You are blessed to have such a special your woman join your family and we are so lucky to have a blog-side seat to the occasion! Congratulations! I LOVE THE picture of your with your husband, you are radiant!

  35. Image for Ginger Ginger

    Just a question: Is this the same young man who made the special book for you on Mother's Day? I am not surprised he never brought anyone home until meeting THE ONE. I am so thrilled that Courtney Is the woman for whom your sweet t-rex had waited!! Your stories are so endearing, and this one is no exception. Much happiness and good health to you and yours always

  36. Image for Teddee Grace Teddee Grace

    Congrats to the groom and best wishes to the bride. They could both be models, but also look as if they are very well-grounded and a lot of fun. What a beautiful venue...and her gown is amazing.

  37. Image for Sue Sue

    And "awe" that your son found a love just as special as the love you found when you married your husband. The venue was almost as beautiful as the new Mr. and Mrs. Wood.

  38. Image for Colleen Colleen

    Oh KariAnne..how wonderful and magical everything looked. (You kept that a big secret.) Your son is so handsome too! They looked so happy, I know the feeling.. My baby boy will be married 10 years this year and they have given us 2 beautiful littles. Congrats to everyone,

  39. Image for Mary S Mary S

    So tearful here. They look SO HAPPY!!! What a BEAUTIFUL bride she is. And your description of the day is over the top!!! Fantastic picture of you and your groom. Thanks so much for sharing with us. GOD BLESS THEM AND YOU ALL!!!

  40. Image for Dianne Miley Dianne Miley

    What a beautiful story! You have such a fine way of telling it. Your son is very handsome- he looks like both you and your husband! And his bride is pretty too and resembles the ladies in Zack’s family. 😉 And my favorite part? My wedding anniversary is June 4th too! 1983 - 39 years ago. Looking forward to the big 4-0 next year! We have been parents of the groom and parents of the bride and both are awe-inspiring and wonderful!!! Grandchildren are even better! Today our first grandson is 18 months old. Swoon! You have so much to look forward to! ♥️

  41. Image for Bonnie Bonnie

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful & beautiful wedding of your son. I loved reading the story & seeing the gorgeous pictures. I'm so happy for you & your family ❤

  42. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Simply beautiful and elegant. You and your girls were gorgeous and the father of the groom handsome too. What a beautiful bride and now you have a Daughter-in-LOVE. Both our sons didn't date their wives until their last years at Auburn and we were blessed to add them to our family. 7 grandchildren later life is still amazing and yours will be too. Enjoy the journey.

  43. Image for Lori Lori

    Hi honey, I was the Mom of a dinosaur boy as well, the boys at preschool called me the dinosaur Mom. Then on day he went to to college, moved far from home& met the best girl in the world. They have a beautiful child now& my joy is overwhelming. Keep smiling. It gets better every day❤️

  44. Image for Marcia Bidwell Marcia Bidwell

    Such a beautiful story!! Gorgeous bride!! Stunningly beautiful venue!! I absolutely love the way that the staircase was decorated!! Well!! Everything was just gorgeous!! Thank you for sharing!! 💜

  45. Image for June June

    Absolutely gorgeous❤️ Courtney looks like she could be a triplet to your twins. Love all the pictures and the one with you and your hubby is precious😍. Courtney’s bouquet is truly the most beautiful bouquet I have ever seen. Congrats to the beautiful couple❤️

  46. Image for Mary Anne Russo Mary Anne Russo

    Congratulations! Just beautiful! Love the way he looks at her and her him! Love the video and music! Such a cute twirl, and certainly could see how happy you and your husband are for them! It's such a blessing to watch our children's happiness!

  47. Image for Linda Scott Linda Scott

    Such a sweet couple off to start their new life together!! They and the venue are stunning. Love the flowers!! Glad to see your eyelashes stayed on!! Congrats to all of you!! ;)

  48. Image for MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!)

    Thanks for sharing Zack & Courtney's beautiful wedding day with us! What a lovely couple! We wish them every happiness in their new life together! KariAnne, your pictures are beautiful. The one of you with your girls is lovely! You look so pretty in your dress! The picture of you and your dear hubby with the sparklers is so beautiful, too! What a lovely venue. You did a wonderful job with all the flowers The flowers on the staircase and the mantel were absolutely gorgeous. KariAnne, you always do such a beautiful job with everything you do! You and your dear hubby will have many precious memories of this special day!

  49. Image for Jane Carver Jane Carver

    Congratulations KariAnne! Such a darling couple! The joy was evident in every photo. You looked gorgeous, as did your whole family. Thank you for sharing their special day with us.❤️

  50. Image for Marie Denise Bertrand Marie Denise Bertrand

    thank you for sharing , blessings to the bride and groom for now and the future, the venue looks beautiful ,and so do you and the your girls you do realize this is a domino effect with more weddings so start saving those pennies, if you think weddings cost a fortune, haha, wait for the little blessings of grandchildren , I pray you and your husband are blessed with all these beautiful special moments

  51. Image for Jolyn Jolyn

    I feel all the feels with you! I had my Power Ranger married off not so long ago. It's hard being the groom-mom; your supposed to sit back and not say anything until asked as the wedding is "the bride's day," but my Power Ranger's wife, Seena, was the most gracious and inclusive bride! She is all we could ask for and more for my baby boy. Congratulations on your new daughter-in-love! You all looked lovely!

  52. Image for Jaime Jaime

    Absolutely beautiful in every way! Congratulations to Zach and Courtney! How blessed your family is! LOVE that photo of you and your husband… so sweet.

  53. Image for Sally Sally

    I have always been told our sons marry someone who reminds them of their mom. I would say that is why your sweet t-rex never brought a girl home before his sweet bride. You have shown your children a heart of love and joy though the years. Finding someone with just the right heart doesn't come quickly. I am so happy he found his precious one and only. Thank you for sharing. It helps our momma heart to see our sons be loved like we love them. It only get better from here!! Blessings to your adorable family.

  54. Image for Linda Linda

    The answer to a mother's prayer is that their children will find someone to live a lifetime with, who will love them as much as we do. I'm sure the new Mrs. Wood fell in love with sparkly eyes inherited from the father that captured your heart so many years ago. My heart is so happy for you and your family. You look simply wonderful, and happy, and loved...is there anything better than that? So many blessings. Thank you for sharing.

  55. Image for Jan Jan

    How beautiful! I know your heart is so full of love and joy for those two precious young adults. Many prayers for a life long blessed life together. You look beautiful. And the twins...how special. Thanks for sharing this special day with us.

  56. Image for DeMarie Ingraham DeMarie Ingraham

    Beautiful bride. Handsome groom. The venue is lovely, and every detail looked like perfection. You and your daughters were gorgeous. May the happy couple be as in love 50 years from now as they were on their special day. Congratulations to the Wood family.

  57. Image for Sherry Walden Sherry Walden

    What a beautiful tribute to your son and his lovely bride. My eyes brimmed with happy tears for this couple, knowing that they are surrounded with amazing love. Congratulations to all and best wishes to the beautiful couple.

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Of course! I got it at Macy’s! Here’s the link: https://rstyle.me/cz-n/gki7mhb5nef SO comfortable! happy day, karianne

  58. Image for Calypso in the Country Calypso in the Country

    Wow, what a beautiful post and a beautiful couple! It brought tears to my eyes to see everyone beaming with happiness. Congratulations! Cheers! Shelley

  59. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    Sooooooo precious! How beautiful and sweet! Everything looked perfect. So glad it all turned out so well. May the Lord bless the new couple with years of happy togetherness! 😍

  60. Image for Carrie Carrie

    You’ve written their start to an amazing love story. What a gift they will have forever…. Keep on telling your stories of love and life. XoXo

  61. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Congratulations on gaining another beautiful daughter! I hope she understands just how blessed she is to have become a part of such a loving family. Much love to you and yours!!

  62. Image for Va in NC Va in NC

    So very beautiful....all. I wish them the very best. And many more special memories for you to come. Thank you for sharing.

  63. Image for Toni Toni

    So happy for you. What a lovely and HANDSOME couple! May God bless them with many years of joy and happiness! One down two to go!😉

  64. Image for MaryBeth Roberts MaryBeth Roberts

    This is just the most beautiful post Karianne! I so so so understand the unconditional love and joy you are feeling to see your son Zach and Courtney married. Your photos are beautiful, love the flowers, food, venue, wedding gown on and on. The photo of you and your husband, your twins and their mom, and Zach and Courtney walking hand in hand are priceless forever memories. I also share your love of Cape Cod as my parents lived in East Sandwich for ten years after I graduated college in the late 1980's. You are inspirational and I feel a bit lighter in my step after following your posts.

  65. Image for Libby Libby

    I love this story so much! My son never dated in HS, but brought home the most perfect piece to our family’s puzzle, they met in college. After 8 years, now she’s a neurosurgeon and he’s a military jet pilot - and they’re finally living in the same time zone. We love watching their story and can’t wait for their wedding someday! ❤️

  66. Image for Sara Sara

    I need to see a picture of your shoes! How beautiful-God’s plan, your written story, your family- old and new, and the wedding!

  67. Image for Barbara at Mantel and Table Barbara at Mantel and Table

    That was just beautiful Kari Anne - you are such a wonderful story teller - I was hanging on every word and teared up as you shared your mother's-heart. Congratulations to all of you, and especially you - the mother who taught her child how to love! 💛

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