This is week two of the 8-week challenge, and this week the blogger assignment is to remember our wedding day, share some photos and tell the story of when we got married.
It seems strange and amazing and altogether awesome to say that Sean and I will be celebrating our 5 year wedding anniversary this year. Never in my life has anything come more naturally to me than being married to my best friend. Sure, we had some adjustments to make (I am an only child and sharing my room was a BIG change for me), but all in all, there was never anything more *right* than coming home to my bestie.
Thinking back to our actual wedding day (which came 4 months after the proposal!), I can honestly say that while it was an honor and a privilege to share our day with those we loved so much, we'd both be the first to tell you that if we had to do it all over again, we'd definitely elope. It was obvious that neither of us had ever planned a wedding. I, being somewhat of a control freak, wanted to do absolutely everything myself. The invitations were self-designed and assembled, right down to the metal grommets and hand-tied ribbon. We did all our own church decorations, reception decorations, I designed the bridesmaids dresses... You get the picture. And we did all the actual decorating the night before ourselves as well, immediately after the rehearsal dinner, which was held at our very favorite date spot, a little Italian restaurant just north of the city. So you can imagine how stressful the day before the wedding was. We had some amazing people helping us, but were still short-handed.
I don't remember much about the morning of the wedding, except that my mom took me over to a local salon who was doing my hair for free because they had botched a perm job badly a few months before. The owner did my hair and it was really beautiful. There was no sign of how it had been falling out in chunks just weeks before. The veil looked just perfect. I'm pretty sure that's when my mom started crying, and we still had hours to go.
We arrived at the church really early because my dear friend Doug, a movie makeup genius, generously offered to hide my arm tattoos for the wedding. That process took maybe 2-3 hours, but was totally worth it. I had to squeeze into my dress because frankly, I had put on a few pounds in the last few weeks of our engagement. Yikes! Incidentally, one of the things I love about my mother-in-law is that now, when we look back at the pictures from our wedding and I complain about how much the dress didn't fit me, she says "well that was the style then." God bless her heart. It really never has been the style to look like a stuffed sausage in a white dress, but I love her for saying that anyway.
This whole time that I'm prepping and squeezing and nervously chatting with my two amazing matrons of honor (hi Tink and Tracey!), Sean was outside posing for photos in his tux and a hard hat, pretending he was too dressed up for working on a construction site.
I love that guy.
Anyway, cut to the walk down the aisle. I didn't cry. I thought for sure I would. But no, instead I just grinned from ear to ear and enjoyed staring at my soon-to-be new husband (who, incidentally, was tearing up). Our pastor, Kelvin, was also really weepy. So much so that he had to take a couple minutes to compose himself before he could begin the ceremony. It was a really touching moment. And then he started with the classic line "you never know what you're going to find at the Home Depot."
We were both really focused during the ceremony and enjoyed reciting the vows that we had chosen ourselves, worshiping and taking our first communion as a married couple. And when we kissed, I just wanted to squeal! He's mine, all mine! :: happy dance ::
As we walked out of the sanctuary, I heard a familiar song, and not the one I had requested to be played as we left. No, my dad had played sneaky sneaky and convinced our musician friends to do an acoustic rendition of "Puff the Magic Dragon," a song that has long been a favorite and which never fails to make me cry. I just turned around and looked at him, catching his eye just long enough to see him wink at me.
I love my daddy.
If the ceremony was perfectly magical and focused and serene, the reception was exhausting and chaotic. We loved it and loved seeing everyone, but we truly underestimated how hard it would be to mingle and have a chance to see and thank everyone. Still we had a good time, and even managed to get some cake (although no dinner).
We stayed late into the evening, even helping to tear down some of the decorations.
By the time we arrived at the hotel for our 2-night honeymoon a half hour from home (we took our real honeymoon 2 1/2 years later once we had saved the cash), we were completely wiped out. I peeled myself out of my Spanx and dress and took a long hot shower. I may even have fallen asleep in there.
And to round out a perfect (albeit crazy) day, the love of my life, my best friend, my husband, took my hand as we knelt at the side of the bed, and he prayed for our marriage and for each of us. How could I ask for anything more.
Well, okay, we could be praying somewhere in the Caribbean after a fully-serviced destination wedding, but this was somehow even better. At the end of the day, we were married, whether we got to enjoy dinner or not. Whether we got to personally thank everyone at the wedding or not. We were together. Forever.
And I've never regretted it for even the briefest moment.
Love you, Sean.