The rehearsal dinner was a hit- so big of a hit, in fact, that we had about twenty more people than we were expecting! Some of the guests ended up sitting in other places in the restaurant instead of the room we had reserved. It all worked out very well, though. There was lots of catching up with friends and relatives, lots and lots of food, and even a cake for my grandparents, who were celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary that day.
A couple of my good friends came into town for the wedding- one from Chicago and another from Minnesota. I hadn't seen either of them in more than a year! After the rehearsal dinner, I went over to the rented apartment suite they shared with Zeke and Zeke's cousin/groomsman. All the ushers (Zeke's close friends) came over, too, and we all had a great time catching up and laughing. It started to get really late, like, past eleven late, and with needing to get up so early the next morning, I had Zeke take me home.
We pulled into the driveway and I started getting really nervous. I told Hunky Husband, he smiled at me and gave me a hug, and I felt a little better. We talked about the wedding, what we were excited for (seeing one another, finally being married) and what we weren't very excited for (trying to find time to say hello to everyone, all the crazy personalities of our families smushing together in one place), hugged some more, and then said our goodbyes for the night. As I got out of the car, HH said, "Marry you tomorrow!"
I had planned on waking up at 5:45 the morning of our wedding. Instead, after going to bed at 12:30 the night before (I couldn't sleep to save my life), I woke up at about 4:15. I tried to convince my body to relax and my mind to slow down, but it didn't work so well. I finally got out of bed at 5:15, and took a shower. I was nervous. Very, very nervous. I felt like I was nearing panic mode. I ate a good breakfast, but it didn't do much to calm my nerves. I pretty much ran around the house like a crazy person, writing notes on things, putting things in bags, double-checking on stuff... until the hairdresser arrived.
She did a great job with my hair and makeup, and she didn't even drop the curling iron once, even though it was 6:45 in the morning, and I wouldn't have blamed her if she had. My sisters/bridesmaids were all up and moving, showered, doing their hair, so I didn't have to worry about them, which was wonderful.
And then, all of a sudden, it was 8:30 and time to go to the church. Boy, my nerves really took off then. I had to use the bathroom like, twelve times between when the hairdresser finished and when we left. Full disclosure- I had to poop. A lot. The nervous poops.
Everyone made it to the church just fine, and went into the nursery where we were getting dressed. My flower girls arrived, too, and they were a little nervous as well. There were tears that morning. I tried to be reassuring, even though I really felt like I had to go to the bathroom again.
I got my dress on, with the help of all three of my sisters, and waited. I had been worried about everyone being on time when I planned out the timeline of the day, and allotted plenty of time between arriving at church and the actual ceremony. Way too much time, if you ask me. All I could do was sit there and imagine the pretty colors of the butterflies ricocheting around my abdomen, and think about how much work it would be to go poop now that my dress was on.
Finally, after like, forty-three hours (actually about 45 minutes), Zeke's aunt came to the nursery and told my sisters that it was time to go. So then I was all alone in the little room, freaking out. Butterflies going nuts in the stomach. And then after another forty-three hours (about seven minutes), Zeke's aunt came back and got me. And I stood up. I'm not sure how, because I could swear that the butterflies slamming into my insides were now visible to people standing three miles away, despite the huge poofy dress, but I stood up.
And then we snuck into the fellowship hall. From my little hiding spot sort of behind a wall, I could see just about everyone in the sanctuary, and got to watch my Hunky future-Husband seat my grandparents. He looked so handsome in his tux, so confident, which was kind of the opposite of how I was feeling. Just seeing him, though, made me feel a little better. My dad met up with me, then, and we talked a little. I have no idea what we talked about.
Suddenly, it was my turn to walk. I gave a quick smile to the nervous-looking flower girls before they waltzed down the aisle. They looked so cute. At least, I think they looked cute. I don't really remember. I was too busy trying to keep those butterflies from doing a whole "Alien" thing and erupting from my corseted, beaded, bedazzled torso.
Everyone talks about what an emotional moment it is to lock eyes with your groom, who is all verklempt seeing you for the first time in your pretty dress... and so that's exactly why I avoided making eye contact with Zeke. I knew I'd cry and I wouldn't make it down the aisle without sobbing majorly and very, very unattractively.
In hindsight, I totally should have looked at HH. He later told me that he was getting all choked up seeing me walk towards him, and boy, I would have loved to have seen that. I was just so nervous, though- I couldn't do it.
Somehow, I ended up standing next to my Hunky Husband, and my dad was hugging me and shaking Zeke's hand. Zeke helped me up the stairs to the altar (with me whispering, "Slowly! I'm gonna trip!"), and we were standing in front of the pastor, listening to his words to us about love (although I don't remember much of what he said, again, too nervous) and then saying our vows. The look in Zeke's eyes as he promised to love and cherish, honor and serve me for the rest of our lives... I'll never forget that look. I got a little teary during my vows, but I held it together. And then the pastor told Zeke that he could kiss me.
Man, that kiss. I think if I could live in that kiss, I would. It was like he'd been waiting to kiss me for his entire life (to be clear, he hadn't- we'd kissed the night before, too).
Then at exactly 10:33 a.m., the pastor pronounced us husband and wife. We walked together, to applause and smiles from our loved ones, down the aisle and toward married life together (again, "Slowly! I'm gonna trip!")
We had a quick receiving line and hugged and smiled as our family and friends congratulated us, and then headed out to our "get away" vehicle- the motorcycle. I was a little worried about this part. If the dress touched the tail pipes, the dress could get pretty scorched. Or I could just go up in flames, which would be a sight to see. It would probably be on YouTube. Don't look it up, though- it didn't happen. (Although it apparently has to lots of other brides. Look it up- "Bride goes up in flames." There are several videos.)
Zeke picked me up completely, and swung me over the back of the motorcycle so I could get on, and then my sisters tucked in my dress so it wouldn't touch the pipes in transit. Then Zeke got on, and away we went!
|There we are! Bride and Groom, riding away on our motorcycle!|
I gotta head to the beach now (I know, tough life for me, right?) so stay tuned for the Reception Story!