PART ONE: the one where we get married

Updated: Nov 9

2020 has been quite a year...for everyone.

While our lives thankfully aren't competition for some of the craziness going on in the world right now, it's been pretty wild around here.

I'll try to summarize our 2020 so far and maybe you'll get a picture of why I've been married almost 6 months and I'm just updating my last name on my website.

PART ONE - Let's start at the beginning shall we?

Flashback to New Year’s Eve circa 2019. I’m dysfunctionally two stepping with my super cute fiancé down in Luckenbach, Texas. All is right with the world and I can’t wait for 2020. We’ll be getting married in July and I’ve started wedding planning because we have a short 7 months to go.


Or so I thought…

A few days later, we head out on an 18-hour drive to Tennessee to visit Dusty’s parents. It’s late. I’m probably a little hangry. I’m stressing about wedding plans and really wishing we could just elope because once you decide you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone you want to rest of your life to hurry up and get started. Someone texts me with a wedding related question that I don’t have an answer for… Cue the tears and emotional breakdown.

I. Was. Done.

Keep in mind, we’d been engaged since July 2019. I’d been trying to plan for months and felt like I hadn’t made any progress. Our guest list was at more than 300 people and counting. Everyone had an opinion on what we needed to eat, centerpieces, colors, time of day, location, etc. In that moment, I didn’t actually care about any of it. I just wanted to be married to my person. That’s it. But I also didn’t want to hurt my family by eloping and not including them.

And then Dusty had a brilliant idea.

“Let’s just do it,” he said. “Let’s just pick a day, invite our family and best friends, and do it. Grab my calendar and see when my next free weekend is!”

His next free weekend was February 29, 2020. God and my gut said, "DO IT." So we did.

We spent the next 48 hours calling friends and family to let them know we’d be getting married in a month and a half, cancelling vendors, and knocking out our wedding planning to-do list. We took the wedding down to less than 70 of our closest family members and friends and moved it to a much more personal location.



It was a VERY stressful month and a half…

My bridesmaids’ dresses got hung up in China thanks to some bat flu or something, but Amazon saved the day. You can truly find anything on Amazon.

Our original pastor and friend realized he couldn’t preform weddings in Texas. Our second pastor had another wedding that day. And I was this close to finding a random sidewalk preacher to officiate when Dusty once again had a wonderful idea.

He suggested our good friend and his ex-roommate, “Doc” aka Tyler Mackey (now officially, Dr. Mackey, DVM), get ordained online and preform the ceremony.

If you have a best friend who is willing to get ordained online a few weeks before your wedding and officiate, do it. If this friend also has a truly majestic mullet, DO IT. (On that same note, if this friend has a Joe Dirt mullet, make them get a haircut. Only classy mullets allowed.)

Our wedding would be outside and you can’t plan around Texas weather so we had heaters rented and were prepared to move things inside a barn if it rained. Praise the Lord, we had perfect weather!

Two days before our wedding we headed to Rolke Ranch, owned by some sweet family friends. The beautiful ranch is a second home to Dusty and he basically grew up on the place, living on Camp Cooley right down the road. Plus, they have a cross on a hill overlooking pastures of cattle. Can you picture anything more prefect for us? I will forever be grateful for their hospitality in allowing us to get married on their place. It was beyond perfect and made the day that much more special.

Less than 48 hours before our wedding the flowers had not arrived. We drove all over College Station in search of baby’s breath and scared a few Sam's employees in the process. Once we had a trunk load, we went back out to the ranch where Dusty then assembled bouquets while I tried not to have another emotional breakdown. He also steamed all of our table runners and helped me get everything organized. I’m telling you, if that isn’t a keeper, I don’t know what is… Bless his precious soul!


The day before our wedding we spent most of the day decorating the ranch and getting all the details lined out. That evening, I found a nail salon and got my nails done just before we had to meet everyone for a big dinner in town. Bless that little nail lady for whipping out the fastest manicure you ever did see. Meanwhile, Dusty and his dad got haircuts and then picked me up to head to the restaurant.


We had a big dinner with our families and friends in town, visited a lot, and even manage to eat dinner too. I think I remember one of the groomsmen's wives ordering me food. (bless you) And my bridesmaids were excellent sources of calm in the room full of bustling wedding excitement chaos.


After dinner we recapped the plan for the next day and Dusty and I parted ways. He spent the evening with his family and friends. I headed back out to the ranch house with a couple of the bridesmaids (and my MOH’s husband and baby (aka my mini bestie)) to have a last hoorah slumber party. It was just like every slumber party I’ve ever had with those sweet friends, full of ridiculousness and lots of laughs. We didn’t get much sleep, but it couldn’t have been better.

We got up around 4:30 that morning and started decorating… No ones spoke actual words until a cup of coffee or two had been consumed. Leighton, my bestie for life, made a wonderful breakfast spread and one-by-one family and friends arrived as we all got ready. She truly kept me sane throughout the wedding planning and was my right hand the whole day. (I love you. ) Hank was actually the first to arrive and hung out in the living room while Erica did my hair and make up. That morning is mostly a blur of hugging people and crying every time I saw a new loved one’s face.

The ceremony was set for 11am on the hill under the cross.


Turns out everyone was confused and came to the reception area where we were getting ready first so that was a little awkward but also great because I got to see everyone and hug them before the wedding. Very freaking emotional, folks, let me tell ya!

Dusty and I had our first look. And turns out we’re both criers.

My dad and I had our first look. Also, an emotional thing.

Lots of crying at this deal.


If you’re wedding planning, I highly recommend making sure you make time to have these moments along with a moment with your mother and grandparents. I wore my mother’s pearl earrings a gift on her wedding day from my dad, Ma’s pearl earrings from Pa, and MoMo’s garter and bracelet. These little details were so special and gave us a moment of calm in the wedding morning craziness.

After our first looks, I marched back over to the reception area and announced it was time to head to the cross. I remember spit washing Joe Creed’s face (my little brother, our begrudging ringbearer), Erica putting lipstick on me, and Leighton helping carry my train, before loading up in Ma and Pa’s car to drive through the pasture up to the cross.

Once at the cross, I noticed no one was sitting down… Everyone was just wandering around carrying rocks. A little strange, but the last thing I was going to worry about at the moment. I later found out, the aisle runner had blown away and the wedding guests were putting it back and securing it with rocks. Thanks, guys.

Finally, after a little confusion, everyone was lined up, people finally took a seat, and the music started.

It was the wrong song…


So without thinking, I yelled quite loudly, “STOP!! Stop the music! That’s the wrong one!” Poor Tony, one of my bridesmaid’s husbands playing DJ, looked horrified and quickly started the correct song. Looking back, I might have handled that differently, but oh well.

The ceremony was truly perfect from that moment on.


From walking down with my dad who asked if I was ready and then muttered, “Oh boy, oh man, oh my…,” while taking deep breaths all the way down the aisle, to taking Dusty’s hands and everything around us disappearing as we realized we were finally starting forever… I don’t think I can even put that moment into words, but my bet is if you’re married, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Nothing can compare to making those promises to the person you love more than anything in this world while surrounded by your loved ones. Nothing.

I’m pretty sure everyone there was sobbing. I know I was. I almost couldn’t get the words out I was such a wreck. But that’s when having a dear friend perform your ceremony comes in real handy. Doc, with his mullet flowing in the wind, was a calming presence and did a truly fantastic job.

And with Doc’s official announcement, we were smooching and running down the aisle to forever as husband and wife.

With lots of hugs, lots of pictures (thanks, Sierra), TACO BAR (thanks, Rolando), coffee, a beautiful red velvet cake (thanks, Kristen), and a whole lot of sweet memories (thanks, everyone)… We’d done it.

We were married and it was the best day. Not because everything went according to plan; it didn’t. Somehow, we didn’t do a bouquet toss, or a garter toss, or a bubble send off, nothing was on time…. I almost ran out the door in my reception dress without a slip on, but thankfully the bridesmaids stopped me before everyone saw my underwear. You get the idea, it was a little chaotic.

But because I married my person surrounded by the people who love us most, it was truly the best day of my life. It doesn’t get any better than that. That’s what makes your wedding day, the best day ever. Not all the fluff.

And with that, enjoy these photos of our best day ever…




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Emily E. & Dustin J. Pendergrass

​​Tel: 405-501-1382

Email: info@extradimension.net

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