If you missed my first wedding recap post you can read that here. That post basically fills you in on what was going on in the days leading up to the wedding, including the rehearsal dinner, and also has pictures of most of the decorations, cake, etc. I know I left off the last post after the wedding day brunch but I want to back up a bit and talk about some more details of I left out.
I don’t remember much about the morning of the wedding, at least not while Ross and I were still at home. I do remember waking up with a smile on my face, feeling completely peaceful and happy (and excited!) but that’s about it. I know I wasn’t nervous at all, I had no doubts or second thoughts, I was just ready to go and do it! At the same time I wanted time to slow down because I knew the day would go by way too fast and I wanted it to last forever. I would give anything to be able to go back and relive that day just the way it happened, imperfections and all.
Ross and I went to Starbucks on our way to the venue and I really wished I could have gone in wearing my wedding dress so everyone knew we were getting married that day. I loved that dress so much I was also coming up with a scheme to convince Ross that we should go out after the reception, make the party last longer and let me enjoy wearing my dress just a little longer. Spoiler: that did not happen.
Our venue had a wedding going on the night before our wedding so we had our ceremony rehearsal the morning of the wedding. The plan was for close family to get there at 8:30 to help set up the tables for the brunch before the caterers arrived, have the rehearsal at 9:00 and the brunch at 10:00.
Ross and I were the only ones there at 8:30 and ended up setting up most of the tables by ourselves. I’m not going to lie; I was kind of irritated by this. I didn’t tell anyone (except Ross) because I didn’t want to be accused of being a Bridezilla, which is every bride’s worst nightmare. The best man was the next to arrive and he helped us finish setting up, but everyone else showed up just in time for the rehearsal. At least they were on time for that, right? Gotta stay positive!
I’ve attended my share of weddings and have been in four (Lisa, Cova, Tess, and Elaine!) so I thought I could handle this whole rehearsal thing. Elaine offered to run the show but I wanted to feel in control and be in charge so I politely told her that I had it covered. About five minutes later I realized I really had no idea what the hell I was doing so I turned it over to her. Luckily she spared me the, “I told you so,” and did a great job making sure everyone knew what was going to happen.
Confession: I sometimes get an idea of what things are going to be like in my head and then I get irritated when reality doesn’t live up to my expectations. Anyone else do that? Unfortunately, my wedding day was no exception. I pictured everyone just standing around patiently (and quietly) waiting for my instructions, but also intuitively knowing what I wanted them to do, where I wanted them to stand, and no one questioning how I wanted things done or why. Too bad real life doesn’t work that way.
There were no blow ups or anything crazy but the ceremony rehearsal was a good early-in-the-day reminder that I just needed to let go. Things were going to happen and I just needed to accept it and get on with the day. So I did. (at least I tried to…)
After the brunch my bridesmaids and I stuck around the venue for a bit to help get the ball rolling with the decorating. I tried to be really organized going in to this so I had my wedding binder that I handed off to Vicki, all of the boxes we clearly labeled with what was in them, I had a diagram of how I wanted to reception hall set up, and a list of what went on each table. I was pretty confident that things would turn out just fine! Alas, there were several things that didn’t go exactly as I had imagined (see the last post for a few of those details) but those things really meant nothing in the scheme of things.
I actually had a hard time getting some of my bridesmaids to leave with me so we could get to our hair appointment. They wanted to make sure the flower poms at the ceremony site were just right and what better way to make sure that happens than to do it yourself? I finally convinced them that it was okay for us to leave, someone else would take over, and everything would look great.
Our hair appointments started at 12:00 at Sandy’s house. One of my bridesmaids (Lyndsey) has an aunt and a sister who do hair and they did such a great job on all of us, and they were incredibly fun to hang out with! We sipped on mimosas and kombucha and ate pizza while we all fluttered around the house.
Travis, our main photographer, had arrived at 2:00 to take pictures of us girls getting ready and the other photographer headed down to the venue to get some shots of the decorating process and the guys getting ready. I was happy that Ross appeared to have a pretty stress free day!
I had a schedule for how the day was supposed to go, what needed to happen and when in order for the day to go smoothly and the ceremony start on time. We were running late leaving Sandy’s house and heading back to the venue to finish getting ready and I started to feel really anxious. Everyone kept telling me that it would be okay and we were fine on time, but what I really wanted was for them all to hurry the hell up!
Travis rode with us in my car back to the venue and we had a lot of fun on the drive back. We talked about marriage, having babies, stay-at-home moms, where we all went to high school, and all kinds of other stuff and it was really relaxing a midst the chaos of the afternoon.
Once we got back to the venue here’s what I wanted to happen:
3:45 – arrive back at the venue and finish getting ready (dress, makeup, etc.)
4:30 – pictures of me and Ross seeing each other for the first time
5:00 – 6:00 – group photos before the ceremony
6:30 – ceremony start time
I honestly don’t remember what time we arrived back at the venue but I know we were running late. This makes me more sad than upset because the afternoon didn’t play out quite like I wanted it to. I felt stressed out and rushed, which is not what I wanted to be feeling. I didn’t get to enjoy some of the little moments like I wanted, and I didn’t get all of the pictures I hoped for either.
Once we got back to the venue and headed to the bride’s dressing room I should have had all my bridesmaids get in to their dresses first, and then clear out some of the crap in there, or at least push it off to the side more.
We got some good pictures, of course, but I would have really loved for there to be less clutter in the background and for my girls to look all put together while helping me get into my dress, kind of like we were for Elaine’s wedding.
I felt completely flustered while we were getting me into my dress and while I was putting on my makeup, like I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing. I kept waiting for someone to step up and take charge and tell me what to do. That didn’t happen. As the bride I was in charge and it was a little overwhelming.
For a while we couldn’t find my shoes, some of the groomsmen needed us to steam their shirts before they could get dressed, I wasn’t sure if the boutonnieres made it to the groom’s dressing room, and the lighting in the bride’s dressing room really sucked. When it came time to put on my makeup I started with my eyeliner and mascara, and then remembered I hadn’t put on any eye shadow yet. I wear it so infrequently that I couldn’t even remember what order I was supposed to put everything on in.
With all of this complaining I don’t want it to sound like I didn’t enjoy the day. That was definitely not the case! I just want to present an honest recap of how the day went and what I was feeling. It wasn’t all smiles and sunshine all day long. I seriously had fun spending the day with my bridesmaids, Lisa, and Sandy…
…but there were still some stressful moments for me.
Finally, it was time for me to go out and see Ross for the first time. As I was getting ready to walk out the door I could hear all kinds of voices out there. I was confused because the only people who should have been outside were Ross and the photographer. I asked Lyndsey if there were people out there and she said yes, there were several people standing around talking.
This was another instance of me assuming that everyone else knew I wanted. This was supposed to be a special moment between me and Ross (and the photographer), where we see each other all dolled up for the first time, knowing that in just a couple of hours we’d be married to each other. Why in the hell would I want other people standing around chatting during this intimate moment?
Lyndsey went outside and it took her a few minutes to get everyone else to disappear. She finally came back and said the coast was clear and they were ready for me. Ross was ready for me.
That’s when I crumpled.
I had been completely composed up until that moment. Once I got ready to walk out the door and see Ross in his suit I became overcome with emotion. I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t having doubts, I was just so… Excited? Happy? Anxious? Emotional, for sure.
I got two steps out the door and my whole body started shaking and I started to cry. I turned around and went back into the dressing room. I just needed a moment to compose myself and catch my breath. My lovely maid of honor tried to calm me down by saying sweet things to me but I told her (hopefully not too harshly) that I just needed everyone to stop talking to me, be quiet, and just let me be.
I couldn’t believe that it was finally happening. Even though the ceremony wasn’t going to start for two more hours I felt like this was the moment. I was about to marry the most amazing man and I just felt so lucky. So happy. So in awe. Just completely overcome with emotion.
After a couple of minutes I walked out the door and I could see Travis standing there. He motioned for me to come forward and to stand on the side of the building. Ross was just around the corner from me on the other side of the building and we couldn’t see each other yet.
Travis told me to stand with my back to the wall and reach around and hold Ross’s hand.
“Wow, love, you’re shaking,” he said to me.
The Travis told us to turn and face each other for the first time.
I remember thinking he looked so handsome in his suit and hoping that he liked my dress. Leading up to the wedding I watched a lot of Say Yes to the Dress and Ross would comment on the lace dresses and say that they looked like doilies. I always wanted to punch him and tell him that my dress is lace and he had better like it, but I didn’t.
He told me I looked beautiful and we kissed. We joked about how emotional I was and how much I was shaking, and remember thinking how normal this all felt. And how right. As soon as I saw him I knew that I was doing the right thing, and while it took a few minutes for my body’s physical reaction to catch up with my mind and emotions, I felt so much calmer once I saw him.
Once we finished taking pictures of just us I went back into the bride’s dressing room and immediately demanded a paper towel so I could soak up some of the perspiration from my armpits! Then I made sure everyone else was ready and we headed out to do our group pictures.
I think this is a good place to end part two. Stay tuned for part three (and maybe a part four)!