Bradshaw Balloon Bride

I have loved hot air balloons all my life. The year I was turning six years old, I was taken on a tethered flight during our area festival known as Fun Fest. Ever since, I’ve been enamored with hot air balloons. Every home I’ve lived in has had some type of decor including hot air balloons; embroidered art, bathroom rugs, curtains, blankets, paintings, etc. More, though, is the way I’ve chased them around and gone to a multitude of hot air balloon rallies and glows. They are absolutely my favorite events to attend.

Tim had proposed to me just before Christmas and in the weeks following, we went back and forth on how we wanted to tie the knot: elopement out of the country, city hall, tiny ceremony with kids and friends….and then one day he says “we should get married in a hot air balloon”….

And of course, that was the answer. How had I not thought of it before?

A wedding in a hot air balloon. The perfect idea.

So locally, we have a wonderful balloon pilot who sells private flights and we called and discussed all options with him. Initially, my idea was to get married in the sky with an officiant present also and then land to our friends and family and celebrate. Well, landing is complicated and the location is impossible to pinpoint ahead of time. Then we realized our officiant was not a fan of the flying. So we decided to take off into the sky as we finished our vows and set a date.

Then the weather moved that date. Twice.
And we decided just to set a date when the balloon MIGHT be able to fly and have the wedding, flight or no flight. I ordered donuts and made plans, a friend even flew in from Texas (surprise!), I got my nails and hair and makeup done, etc. And a lot of stress of not knowing when this was happening fell away. We decided to roll with the flow, not something I’m usually really good at to be honest, but Tim makes me so much less anxious and after we made our pro-con lists (together), we decided this was the right call.

We met the crew and friends and family in a local parking lot and the weather and winds looked promising. Our pilot even did a wind test and it looked good. So we drove to our launch site fifteen minutes away (a gorgeous historic mansion and desired wedding site) and by the time we got there, the winds had changed drastically.
While we waited to see if the weather would cooperate, we took pictures and ate donuts and visited with our people. Eventually, the pilot had to admit that the winds would not allow flights that day, and in fact, it was too rough to even lay out the balloon! I was disappointed but only slightly (have I mentioned Tim makes me calm?) and he offered his basket for our vows, which I loved.
And it was an amazing day. He promised us a flight as soon as possible and vowed to be in touch anytime the weather looked right.

A few weeks later, he called us and said it was time.
We decided to wear our wedding clothes once more and invited a few family members to watch the launch. Thankfully it was my weekend to have the kids so they would get to see the balloon afterall!!!

I knew I would love flying off in a hot air balloon. I’ve known it all my life.
But I underestimated how wonderful it would really be.

The view from the balloon, the feeling of floating along, even the “cotton ball” landing….not one thing could have gone better. It was amazing.

And despite the change of scheduling, it was the perfect scenario: we spent extra time with our family and friends on our wedding day, we got more pictures, we said all of our (long) vows in the basket (we both like words, okay?), we got to bask in that moment…and still were able to fly in the balloon on a crystal clear day without worrying about timing or landing or fuel….we had a perfect ride. Having a hot air balloon wedding is the epitome of romance- but it’s also not an exact science and takes patience and flexibility. I’m so thankful we endured the hard part to get to this experience. I was meant to be a Balloon Bride.

And my sweet husband vows to take me on a hot air balloon ride every year. And this is one reason I love him; he knows me and sees me and understands me. Life is beautiful as Bradshaw’s Bride.

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