I had to leave you guys on a cliffhanger yesterday to introduce some drama into what was almost a completely dramaless day! All of today's pictures are courtesy Elena who did a great job photographing lots of moments throughout the day that I missed and I really appreciate it! --------------------------------------
It wasn’t that I had cold feet, though I was freezing without my pashmina to keep me warm. Nor was it the enormity of the decision to be married. No, it was, in fact, just simple stage fright. It was a particularly intense form of stage fright since I knew that I was going to get emotional and I really wanted to hold it together in front of all those people. Plus, I didn’t want to ruin my lovely makeup! I knew that I could hold it together if Eric could, so with that thought in my mind, my dad and I made our way down the aisle.
When we reached the end, I gave my dad a hug and turned to Eric. I could see that his lip was quivering and I felt mine start to quiver in response. Our friend and officiant, Mark, welcomed everyone and got us right into the thick of things. Eric and I had decided several weeks before that we both wanted to write something in secret to read to each other about how we met. As he read his paragraph to me, my lip quivering stopped and I started to smile. It was touching and sweet, and help me calm down enough that I was able to read my piece to him with a strong and steady voice.
And then there were the vows.
Oh dear, let me digress for a moment and say that I had no idea how overwhelmed with emotion we would both be that day and that it’s profoundly difficult to remember more than three words at a time in that state. With that said, I think you can see where this is going.
I heard Mark say, “Secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend and faithful partner in life.” And I knew as soon as he said knowledge and then kept right on going, I was screwed. I sheepishly turned to him and asked him to repeat it. He did, and I still didn’t get it. It garnered a laugh from the crowd, because it really was quite funny. I asked him to repeat it once more, and this time he broke it down into chunks my overwhelmed brain could handle. We finally made it through the line and I could see a smug look in Eric’s eyes. I knew he was thinking he wasn’t going to mess it up, but as soon as it was his turn? He did the exact same thing.
So, the ceremony was funny, touching and meaningful. It was also only 15 minutes long, which was good because I forgot to have Mark ask the crowd to be seated. They stood the whole time. Oops! After Eric and I exited, we headed straight out to take pictures with Tara and our wedding party. We finished with 20 minutes to spare and headed back inside to prepare for our first dance.
Now, since I hadn’t really been blogging about the wedding that much, you probably don’t know that we spent the last six months working with an instructor at Arthur Murray to perfect our first dance. Our song, A Thousand Years by Christina Perri (yeah, I know it’s a Twilight song), turned out to be a Viennese Waltz. For anyone who hasn’t seen a V. waltz, all you need to know is that it’s fast and it moves across the floor. Which is why for the second time that night, I started to feel the nervousness pool in my belly.
I wish I could tell you I remember everything in detail, but I don’t. I think that was the point at which my brain decided it had had enough and wasn’t going to remember anymore. However, since we were smart enough to have two of our friends video the dance, I can tell you that we acquitted ourselves beautifully and I am particularly proud of the dance. The rest of the night went well also, and all I can really remember at this point is the feeling. The feeling of being truly ecstatic, madly in love with my husband, loving the fun and enjoying my friends at what was the best party of my life.
A month ago today, Eric and I got married. It's taken me exactly that long to write the story in the way I want it told. It's ended up being two parts because it was (obviously) an eventful day. So, without further ado, here is part one. -----------------------------------------
It's hard to find a starting point to describe my wedding day. I could start with the stomping feet of the tiny hockey players in the room above mine at 4 A.M. But I'd be lying if I said that was what woke me up.
The truth is I slept fitfully that night, filled to the brim with excitement and nervousness. I went over the steps of our first dance endlessly in my head (step, step, step, step, step and turn) and tried to memorize one particular piece of my vows. I gave up on sleep at 7 A.M. and went to find the complimentary breakfast buffet, which had rubber eggs and plastic bacon. I settled on a packet of pathetic instant oatmeal and sat down to eat with my Dad.
Shortly after breakfast, I sent my dad out on an errand to retrieve snacks for everyone and began to arrange the room for the arrival of the bridesmaids. The hotel room was significantly smaller than I'd anticipated and had no sitting chairs. I ended up shoving some of the furniture into the Jacuzzi tub and generally rearranging the entire room. By the time my bridesmaids arrived the room was prepped for hair and makeup.
Amy and Lisa of Special Event Beauty arrived shortly after 10 A.M. and got right to work. Lacey and Tina went first, while Meaghan and I sat around chatting and observing. Tara arrived shortly before noon and set about taking some detail photos. From that point on, hair and makeup went so efficiently and easily that we were done a couple hours earlier than expected. Tara and I were able to get plenty of glamour shots of me made up in my dress. Best of all, we were able to get some photographs of my adorable ring bearer and flower girl before we even left the hotel.
After we finished up with the pictures at the hotel, Tara headed off to Wedgewood to see Eric and his groomsmen. I waited patiently with my lovely bridesmaids for the limo and town car to arrive. And then promptly, at 4:30 we set out for the venue. We arrived with significant time to spare and so we were herded up into the ready room. As I was waiting for the elevator to go up, I heard Eric’s voice in the hallway and had a momentary panic because I didn’t want him to see me all fancied up beforehand. Fortunately, he didn’t come near me and the elevator allowed me to escape.
While we were waiting in the ready room, I turned to my now-niece, the flower girl, who I was in charge of looking after, and asked her if she was tired of standing up. She nodded and shyly said yes, so I told her we were just going to sit down on the floor. I slipped out of my flats, pushing them in front of my dress and sat down with my train around me. My niece, being the cutest thing that day, slipped out of her own little shoes and sat down with her dress puffed up around her. I think it had to be one of my most memorable moments all day, but alas there are no pictures to prove it.
All day long everyone, from Amy and Lisa to our driver, kept remarking how calm and collected I appeared. And I was, up until the moment where we had to line up for the ceremony. It was that moment that everything felt real and I realized had to go stand in front of a bunch of people and recite our vows. As my wedding party disappeared around the corner to prepare for walking down the aisle, I started to shake.