No matter how hard I try, I can't quite find the words to adequately describe what our wedding meant to me. Amazing? Not quite. Extraordinary? Nope. The best day of my life? Yes, but still not enough.
It was a day of laughter and overwhelming peace.
I am a cryer by nature, so it came as a real shock to me that I didn't shed a single tear the entire day. I'm going to chalk that one up to the calm that settled over me. I think it was God's way of saying, "Don't worry, you're doing the right thing. Now sit back and enjoy yourself."
So I did.
I didn't sleep much the night before. I tossed and turned til about 3 am, slept for a few hours, but by 6:30 I was wide awake and figured I might as well be productive. Family and close friends began arriving to load the cars to drop off the hall decorations (the staff at the hall did the actual decorating-huge weight off our shoulders the day of). By 9:30 my sisters (maids of honor) and cousin (one of four bridesmaids) and I were off to meet the rest of the girls at the salon. The photographer didn't meet up with us until later in the day, so you can recap (crappy iPhone pictures included!) the salon and bridesmaids getting ready here.
We got to the church around noon to get the girls ready while the photog/videographers did their thing with my dress, jewelry, etc. Once they were done doing their detail shots, the girls and my mama helped me get into my dress.
One of our favorite parts of the day was our first look. Cam and I met just the two of us (plus two photogs, one videog) in the sanctuary where in just a few hours we'd be married. We met half way down the aisle and pretty much just stared at each other. We talked and gaped and giggled, then we brought in Trig. Duh. You know how obsessed I am with this dog.
|(We faked all these kiss shots before the wedding. We decided it'd be more special if we waited that day.)|
It was the most beautiful time. It was our only alone time until we left the reception and having Trigger be a part of our day was so special to me. He's really our baby so of course he needed to be there.
Something I really, really hate is waiting forever for the bride and groom to arrive at the reception. Pictures, schmictures I'm hangry by 7 pm! We decided we'd do all our bridal party pictures before the ceremony to attempt to combat that and it worked really well. Right after our first look our group took off and wouldn't you know it we were back within an hour. It was cold, I mean, reallllly cold in Ohio that weekend, hence my cardigan in all the pictures :)
|Fake laughter, in case you couldn't tell.|
After group pictures was the waiting game. We creeped through the blinds to watch people coming in, but I pretty much just chilled in a rocking chair that was in the room we were getting ready in. It was warm and cozy in the room and I honestly started to get tired rocking back and forth. I wasn't kidding when I said I was calm.
The only moment when I came close to crying came between the pictures and the ceremony. Close family friends (whom we refer to as cousins) were planning to come up from Georgia for the wedding. Unfortunately, a big ice storm paralyzed the South two days before the wedding. I prayed and prayed but they said it wasn't going to happen. Much to my surprise, there was a knock at the door as we were chilling in the room. I jumped up and hid, worried it'd be someone who wasn't supposed to see me before the wedding, but literally shrieked with joy when I saw my "cousin" Hannah open the door. We hugged for probably a good five minutes and I asked a million questions. Turns out the day before they knew they had to come, ice storm be damned. They drove most of Friday and all of Friday night to be there for me. If that doesn't make you tear up a little I don't know what will.
That was my "bridal" moment, the moment where the gravity of the whole day just settles on you. These people traveled hundreds of miles for me, for our wedding. It felt like the love of our family and friends immediately enveloped me in that one hug. I was so, so blessed.
After what felt like forever, it was time! Fun fact: I don't wear contacts and usually require glasses to see more than about 10 feet from my face. Walking down the aisle I had my eyes fixed on Cam, but he was out of focus until we stopped walking. From there, I really don't remember much. I remember my bouquet was a lot heavier than I thought and I remember focusing on not locking my knees because it would have been a disaster if I passed out.
Before I knew it the ceremony was over. Dismissing people took ages, but I was glad we did it because I didn't make it around to every table at the reception. Since we dismissed everyone I got to at least say hello and thank them for coming.
We headed out to the car and drove about a mile to a gas station where we bought Mt. Dews. Classy, I know. We had to go somewhere and we were so thirsty after waiting all day for the ceremony! We headed back, did family pictures at the church, and then headed for the reception. Quick and easy.
|Monogram is backwards, but you get it.|
Another fun fact: Cam's dad gave us a surprise toast, singing to us included, that we had not known about our planned for in our schedule. I exaggerate not when I tell you he talked/sung for almost 40 minutes. This was between cake cutting/dances and it was a little awkward. People weren't paying attention and we were worried about timing. Finally someone cut him off when I realized it was close to the time our photog was supposed to leave and we hadn't even danced our first dance! Yikes.
But bless her, our photographer stayed almost two hours extra. I apologized up and down because like I said I had no idea he was planning on speaking. I had allotted like 10 minutes for my dad's toast, my sister's and the best man's. Oops?
Probably the biggest bummer of the night was my dress. My sisters bustled it perfectly which was what I'd been worried about. Those little suckers are complicated. What I had not foreseen was the unfortunate event I'd like to call the Big Boob Fold, kinda like the Big Bang Theory. You see, when a girl who is a little, ahem, chesty wears a strapless dress, the front of the dress does this weird fold and ceases to support anything. Since I got a lace-up dress (actually had it tailored from a button-up to a lace-up) and I felt totally supported in it at all my fittings, I wasn't worried about it.
Boy was I wrong.
|Big Boob Fold...exhibit A.|
The night rolled on and despite our schedule set-back, our amazing DJ caught us up, smushed all our planned dances into a few minutes and we got on with the party. He announced the final dance and it was bittersweet. I didn't want to leave our party and go home to change and head to the airport right away. I mean, I had family come all the way from Georgia and I was so disappointed when I realized I'd be leaving. Alas, 11:30 was the last dance and we said our goodbyes and hit the road. We changed, hung my dress and started our two hour drive to our hotel by the airport. We checked in around 2 and set a wake-up call for 4. Wheels-up at 6:30 and in Miami at our cruise port by noon.
What. A. Day.