Blogger's note: This will likely be long; sometimes cheesy, maybe a little emotional. It will also be a rambling mess with no chronological order. Psh, chronological-schmronological.
When you're a little girl, you dream of wearing a long, poofy white dress and having your daddy walk you down the aisle with a big smile on both of your faces.
A little over two weeks ago, I got the long, poofy white dress and I had my hero -- my dad -- put his arm out for me to take. He didn't smile as much as he just stared -- at me, at Scott and at all our loved ones, with tears in his eyes. I had a silly smile on my face, staring at the man who was about to become my husband. That guy who puts the toilet paper on the holder the opposite way that I do and who, speaking of toilet paper, can clear out a nuclear power plant with his... anyway.
Let's back up.
Scott and I were together a little over three years when we got married. I knew I would marry him -- well, I certainly hoped -- on our second date.
I called Nicole, who became my Maid of Honor, at 2 a.m. one night after Scott and I could barely part hands (or lips!) and told her she'd be wearing a bridesmaid dress at our wedding. It came full circle when that story became part of her speech at the reception.
Scott is without a doubt my best friend (sorry ladies!). We have as much fun on our road trips as we do with a large group of friends and then when we're all by ourselves doing nothing at all. Walking down the aisle toward him was one of my favorite moments of the day. My bridesmaids were all red, blotchy and teary and the groomsmen all were smiling the sweetest smiles. Other than glances to those two groups, it was as if Scott and I were all alone in the church. He was watching me watch him watching me.
We took a moment at the start of our ceremony to think about my mom and others who weren't with us anymore and it wasn't a terribly sad, difficult moment that I envisioned it to be. My florist made a gorgeous memorial bouquet for my mom, complete with a little framed photo of her hanging from the ribbon and one of her pins in the branches that we placed on the front pew of the church. I was in such a good place that day and I am certain that my mom was with me. I felt so comforted by the pastor saying her name that all fear, anger, sadness and sorrow just disappeared. It was perfect.
I thought Scott was going to pass out entirely for about the first five minutes. All that calmness I somehow found in the aisle did not reach my hubby-to-be. He had cold, clammy hands (but no cold feet, he swears!) and was totally pale. It didn't last long, but I did find myself wondering if I should try to hold him up or just count on the best man to catch him. He didn't fall, thank goodness, although it would have added to the humor of the afternoon... I mean, with the flood watch in effect and non-stop downpour, oh and both me and Scott forgetting the marriage license at the house... and that unity candle that would.not.light. It was memorable. We got through them all just like we get through all of our hurdles big or small... with a smile, a laugh and a shrug of the shoulders.
There was this moment in the upstairs waiting room of the church, about 15 minutes before we went downstairs for our big march that everything hit me.
I had been pacing from window to window peeking at guests pulling in to the church and waving like a little kid. Then I tried sitting to calm the nerves. But I had some gas, so that wasn't too pretty. (hahaha!) So I found my way to a full-length mirror and 'had my moment,' as Nicole called it. That was another one of my favorite moments. I think a lot of my girls saw it happening and I just remembered knowing they were all there, behind me, literally and figuratively all at once, with so many loved ones piling into a building hours away from their lives just to celebrate with us. It was incredible.
Everything was perfect.
The girls all looked STUNNING in their dresses.
I was absolutely in love with my flowers.
The ceremony service was exactly what we wanted, even with the funny moments. Our pastor was such a good speaker. I know he touched a lot of people that day by incorporating things we had told him in our meetings with him during the service.
The little personal details, whether my mom's bouquet, my favorite color, photos or a song that we played at the ceremony, made the whole thing that much more perfect.
A receiving line with 130 people actually goes by a lot quicker than I had imagined. I think I was on auto-pilot, just saying "thank you so much for being here" to most of them, but I hope they all knew that there were special messages I would have liked to write across their hearts if given the opportunity.
We had people from New England, tons from Jersey, then some from Florida, Chicago and Arizona. How lucky are we?! We had people in wheelchairs and in their 80s; an uncle who just had a heart attack; cousins I only see once a year.
We had some bubbles (which was so cute, even when I stole a container and accidentally blew bubbles into a child's face) and some photographs and then we were off -- in the rain of course -- to the reception.
The reception hall blew me away with the set-up and with how they took care of everything. I didn't even recognize the room, despite touring it at least half a dozen times and seeing it for several other occassions throughout the years. The flowers were just where they were supposed to be, the tables were set up perfectly and I just loved it all.
My dad and I danced with our eyes closed and our heads on each other's shoulder, squeezing tight, and him rocking me back and forth nearly to the point of seasickness.
Scott and his mom danced to Racal Flatts' 'My Wish,' although I don't have much to say about it because I was chatting with my uncle and Godfather about my mom. He was telling me about the telegram he got in Somalia the week I was born and how that was the happiest day of my mom's life.
Then my HUSBAND (!) and I danced to a song he picked out, which made it super-special to me. We didn't really talk about anything, just enjoyed the moment. I didn't want to let him go!
Then it all sort of turned to a blur.
I met my half-brother for the first time since I was two years old and spent a considerable amount of time with him and his wife and my half-sister and her husband. That was so special to me. He handed me an unexpected present from someone I hadn't thought about in a long time, but that's a whole other post.
We danced, well, wait, I danced.
We enjoyed good food, a fun slideshow we slaved over for quite some time and listened to two really thoughtful speeches from Nicole and Bill. There was no Chewbacca call from Bill, but I guess we'll let it slide.
I can't think of anything I would have wanted differently. Well, maybe more time. Or shoes that were comfortable even 10 hours into wearing them. And probably another glass of wine.
But really, it was just perfect.
Scott and I spent our wedding night here, which, sad to say, wasn't as exciting as we thought it would be, although, really, what place would be when you arrive at 1 a.m. and have to check out at 10 a.m.???
And, because I'm a married woman now, we can officially talk about this on the blog.
Yes, yes I did have married/wedding night sex.
Smiley face, smiley face, smiley face.