We Ate, We Drank, We Got Married!
09/14/2012 § 2 Comments
It has finally come and gone! One week ago, today, I married my best friend… and the most amazing man I have ever had the chance of knowing. I have been a wife for exactly one week, and this first week has been one of reflection and of awe and of thankfulness for so many things. Planning and preparing for a wedding can be one of the most daunting tasks you will ever encounter, but in those carefree moments of your well anticipated day… all of the stress, and worry, and anxiety of things going wrong… just melt away and are replaced with love, and family, and friends. None of the planning truly matters anymore, minute details you may have dreamt of no longer hold any importance.. because whatever the day turns out to be, becomes the exact thing you never could have dreamt of… it becomes perfect, no matter what.
I don’t even know how to start talking about this day… so many happy memories flood my mind and my normally articulate voice is silenced with emotions. I suppose I’ll start at the beginning… and attempt to keep myself on track.
I fell asleep the night before my wedding day secretly texting my soon-to-be-husband, and woke up more relaxed than I have ever remembered. My childhood home was bright and warm, just as it has always been. My mom left to run some last-minute errands, and my dad left to… well I’m not sure what he was doing, but I had the house to myself. I showered in peace, and sat outside to enjoy the gorgeous Friday morning that it was. My phone rang and it was Jeff… we talked, we were calm, and it was probably the only moment we were truly alone all day, and it was wonderful.
My beautiful and absolutely amazing bridesmaids started showing up one by one. We changed into our thrift store t-shirts, with floppy hair and excited grins… we had breakfast (bagels for some.. a screwdriver for others!) and we waited for the arrival of our trolley!
I could not ask for a better group of friends… that are all truly more like family… than these girls right here. Throughout the whole wedding planning process, they have been and are the most kind-hearted, sentimental, loving women a bride could have. Each one of them knows me so well, and they are each unique in friendship and in life. It is hard to come by friends like these.. and sometimes I wonder how I ever became so lucky or worthy to have acquired such amazingness in my life.
The trolley arrived! Larry was our driver, and he was the sweetest man. He drove us to the hair salon where we all got pretty and pampered and prepared for the ceremony to come! The ladies at the salon were unbelievably nice… I can’t imagine that a hoard of women taking over your place of business can be an easy task, but these ladies welcomed us with open arms and had helped make our morning even more fun than anticipated!
After we all finished up, Larry escorted us back to the hotel room to meet with the photographers.
We arrived at our hotel for the night, and the craziness began. It was dresses flying, wasps invading, bobby pins, and make-up, and modeling all in this one tiny room filled with the best people ever. The ridiculously talented photographers had their way with us (“Crotches back, boobs forward ladies!”)… and we were one step closer to walking down the aisle.
Jeff and I, at the well given advice of our photographers, decided to do a “reveal” before the ceremony. We were massively crunched for time between the ceremony and the reception so it only made sense to do most of the wedding party photos before hand. One might imagine that this takes away from the actual ceremony… but it doesn’t. Again, credited to the wise advice we were given, we ended up having 2 emotional “first look” moments and our stress levels were nowhere to be found. Things were all taken care of, and we could enjoy our well-planned day with our friends and family.
It was finally time. The wedding party sat in the trolley, watching all of the guests walking over to the beautiful garden of roses that was our ceremony spot… and well in truth, we all took a celebratory shot. The boys left us, and us girls made our way to the garden entrance. Each girl walked down one by one, followed by my maid of honor & adorable ring bearer hand in hand. The guitarist who sang for our ceremony did an amazing job. We met him and his fiance for the first time only a few nights prior and are so unbelievable grateful to have done so.
My dad walked me down the aisle to “Marry Me” by Train, and gave me away to my future husband. The ceremony was tailored to us perfectly. My childhood friend, and my sister for all intents and purposes, acted as our officiant and spoke the most heart-felt words as she walked us through becoming husband and wife.
The boys… or brothers, I should say,… were all standing there looking handsome as ever. All so different, yet all so unique, and loving, and devoted to each other and their family. For a girl who has grown up an only child… I have so much family, and I am so very lucky.
And then Regina finally let us kiss!
Oh, I love that picture!!… Sorry, I’m getting sappy. We walked back out of the garden as husband & wife for the first time ever! We strolled towards the trolley to the awesome rendition of “Always Love” by Nada Surf, and we met up with our loved ones for hugs, and kisses, and congratulations, and thank you’s all around! It was surreal to say the least.
Larry drove us all back to the reception, where we hooked back up with our photographers to do some formal family shots and officially start our reception! We were announced for the first time as Mr. & Mrs. and our entire wedding party came in to “New Shoes” by Paulo Nutini (at Jeff’s request for everyone to have new shoes for the wedding!) We danced our first dance to “More Adventurous” by Rilo Kiley, took to the dance floor with our parents, and were then completely blown away when our DJ went above and beyond our expectations and gifted us with a live singer for a few Frank Sinatra songs! We danced, we ate, we celebrated; it was truly an amazing night.
As you know, if you’ve read this blog before, Jeff and I are not strangers to loss. We have very many key people in our lives who couldn’t be there to celebrate in the joy of our wedding day and it was very important to us to do something in honor of those people. So we snaked an idea from an old friend and decided to hold a raffle for the two witnesses that signed our marriage license. Each ticket was $1 and all of the proceeds were split between two charities that are particularly close to our hearts. The American Heart Association for Jeff’s father Vince, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention for my Uncle Kevin. We raised $500 total and were blown away by the generosity of our guests. It meant so much to us to be able to give back to these two charities in hopes of ridding the world of loved ones lost. ❤
We spent the rest of the night dancing and enjoying our time with the people we love and appreciate most, and it was more than one person could ever hope for. The Best Man showed off some perfected dance moves after his ticket selling duties were through, we cut our cheesecake, ate whoopie pies, said our goodbyes, and eventually found our way to bed. We owe so much to the wonderful people in our lives, and to the amazing people we’ve met along the way, because at the end of the night… it was all of those people that made our wedding a day to remember.
So once again, here’s to love… family… friends (old & new)… and all of the moments that make life worth living.