I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging lately, and I apologize for the long over-due update, but I thought I should hurry up and post the story of our wedding day while the details are still fresh in my mind.
And all in all, everything went well. The rehearsal the day before went according to plan. The weather was lovely, everyone had a good time, and the rehearsal luncheon at Gordon Biersch turned out perfectly (and under our budget!). I was still struggling with the last of a cold / cough that I hadn’t quite shaken from the week before, but I was mostly recovered by then.
Sunday morning arrived, and with it, a steady rain. I knew there was a chance for it in the forecast, and had prepared by buying several big umbrellas a week before, but I really hoped I wouldn’t have to use them. Around noon, my lighting guy, Craig, called me and said we’d likely have to move things inside. Even if the rain stopped before 5, the ground outside would be too wet. I told him to do what he had to do, but I really didn’t want to use the butterfly house for the ceremony if there was any way we could help it… The butterfly house is beautiful, but a bit cramped for 130+ people, too humid for my string quartet, and one of my ring bearers revealed during rehearsal the day before that he is terrified of butterflies!
My bridesmaids and make-up artist arrived at my apartment around 12:30. We ordered a pizza to share, and Tai got to work. We decided to give Tiffany and Sara up-dos, and to leave my hair down. The plan had been to get the girls done up at my apartment, then move to TDG and do my hair and make-up there. But we were moving a little slow, and decided it’d be a more efficient use of time to go ahead and do my hair and make-up at home. I was starting to get a little anxious towards the end because it was getting late and I didn’t know what was going on at TDG. I was texting and emailing back and forth with my vendors, and learned that my coordinator had made the decision to have the ceremony in the Grand Hall, and that they would quickly flip the room between ceremony and reception. This was a vast relief to me, as I knew this would be a better option for my musicians and my lepidopterophobic nephew. I knew it’d be harder on my catering crew, because they wouldn’t have as much time to set up as they’d like, but they were up to the challenge.
Tiffany, Sara, and I arrived at TDG at about 4:15, an hour later than I’d hoped, but still with enough time to get ready. The bridesmaids were good to go – they’d dressed at my apartment, so all that needed to be done was to get me in my dress. I had my crew scrambling when I came in, because all the favors, programs, photos and guestbook were in the trunk of my car. My parents came to meet me in the bride’s room, I gave my car keys to my dad, and he and Courtney and her team quickly took care of getting all the stuff out of my trunk and into the ceremony space. After that I could relax a little bit because there was still about 45 minutes until I was to make my appearance.
Shawna met us in the bride room and took a few pictures of us and of the dress on it’s hanger and then the ladies helped me finish getting dressed.
On the other side of the building, the men were just arriving. They were a bit delayed because they didn’t take into account how long it’d take to shuttle all the alcohol from Rich’s condo to the TDG, check into the hotel, and get dressed. But they did arrive by 5:00, so, like us, they were in time for the ceremony, but didn’t really get much time to relax before show-time.
I don’t know how long I could have stayed cooped up in the bride room, though, if I had arrived early… it didn’t quite hit me until I got there, but I finally realized that once I was there, I couldn’t leave the room. I wanted to go out and see the ceremony space, to help direct the placement of my photos and guestbook and favors; to make sure my cake was there, and the string quartet was set up. It was hard for me to let go of control, but fortunately my mom and photographer were there to assure me that everything was in place just like I wanted, the cake was beautiful (Shawna showed me a picture she’d taken), and the quartet was setting up. So all was well.
A few minutes before we were due to move to the hallway, Mito the caterer showed up at the door with a glass of ice water, which I was most grateful for (somehow none of us had thought to bring water in our rush, and my throat was starting to get scratchy).
The ladies assembled in the hall, and my dad joined me to escort me down the aisle, and it finally started to hit me what I was about to do… Panic finally started settling in when I heard the music start, and Tiffany and Sara left me to walk down the aisle. I was hyperventilating a little, but Dad managed to calm me down and assure me that everything was going to be ok. Before too long, it was my turn to go… I was so grateful to have my father at my side, with his arm to hold onto.
I don’t remember much about the walk down the aisle. I honestly don’t know if I did the bride walk correctly, or if I shuffled my feet… but I do remember the warm, smiling faces all around me, and feeling like I was surrounded by love and support. My fear quickly dissolved, and I knew that everything was as it should be. And I remember seeing my groom up on the stage. He and his groomsmen looked so handsome in their black suits and hats (which they graciously removed as soon as I entered the room).
Somehow I made it up to the stage, to stand opposite my groom. My dad gave me a hug and slipped me my iphone, which he’d carried for me in his pocket. I hid it behind my bouquet, and no one noticed until I passed the bouquet to my sister and read my vows off of my phone. 🙂