Monday, December 19, 2011
After a quite stressful week leading up to the wedding, I finally had a bit of time to relax. My awesome aunt, who traveled down from Idaho for the wedding, pulled me aside, handed me $35 and said, "Go get a pedicure, relax a little bit." It was exactly what I needed. After finding a little hole in the wall salon and getting a pedi and mani, the inner girl in me (and the cause of all my Bridezilla outbursts) was finally given what she needed; a good foot rub.

Stress with the band/van ordeal, and general money woes, had made the week leading up to the wedding nearly unbearable. (I'll post all about that soon.) After that magical foot rub, I was able to just take a deep breath, be okay with the chips falling where they may, and focus on the fun part of my wedding.

And just to clarify (and toot my own horn a little bit) I was stressed out about the wedding. For over a year now, Husband (I love calling him that!) and I have been introducing each other as husband and wife. We've been referring to the wedding as "A Big Party and a Piece of Paper." Because that's really all it is. Marriage is a state of mind, one that has existed between Husband and I almost from the beginning of our romantic relationship. In my stressier, pre-pedicure moments, Husband would hug me and say, "We're getting married. This wedding is happening. We have a suit and a dress and the rings and a license. That's all that matters." What I was stressing out about was the wedding. Orchestrating a big party on a tiny budget and a tiny amount of time. The marriage is what was able to get me through it all.

Sunday evening I went flower shopping, found all of the flowers I wanted/needed, and headed back to the big, pretty rental house my parents had for the week. The Bestest, her Boyfriend, and my family were all hard at work, preparing the cake, the zombie figures (yes, you read that correctly), the favors, the candle holders, the food; everything. My Bridezilla melt down (which involved tears and an indulgent door slamming) after some bad van news on Saturday morning had made everyone come together to help me pull off the last details. My dad made a miniature Thanksgiving dinner, since we wouldn't be able to travel for Turkey Day, since it so nearly followed the wedding.

The bottles were candle holders for the reception. Tom Selleck up there went on the cake.

Everyone stayed up pretty late that night, but by 4am it was just Husband and I, the Bestest and her Boyfriend. That was when we decided it was time for a burrito run. Oh, how I already miss that shady but delicious Mexican fast food.

I finally passed out at 5:15am, but Husband stayed up all night, since he'd woken up permanently at 3am. I got back up at 6:30am to start my wedding day. A quick shower, a cup of coffee, and the running around began. We loaded up the car that Husband's parents loaned to us for the weekend, and took the decorations down to the reception hall to pick up the key at 9am. We quickly set up the tables and chairs, ran back to the rental house for the forgotten decorations and our wedding clothes, picked up the champagne from the liquor store, and came back. At noon the hairdresser (a girl I grew up across the street from and sister to my oldest friend) and the make up artist showed up. Husband (wisely) ran out to grab us some lunch from a little Greek joint around the corner, while my preparation for cuteness began.

Everyone else began trickling in, and after my face was properly painted, Husband took a break from decorating the reception hall and we were able to eat. After that it was a whirlwind of hair doing and decor approving for me. As the time for photos neared, I had to silently pat myself on the back for telling everyone the time for photos was 3pm, when it was really 3:30pm. Go me! Planning for tardiness.

By 4pm, though it became apparent I hadn't budgeted enough. Husband and I ran over to the venue to decorate that, too, before getting pictures started. We hid upstairs and did a few more photos while the crowd began to gather down in the courtyard. (We also snuck a little airplane sized bottle of Jim up with us, to help us get rid of the nerves.)

The time came to line up and get ready to walk down the aisle. Husband and his father started out first, and stood up front. The music changed and my bridesmaids got ready to go. My dad took my arm and I was only able to blurt out, "I have to pee."

Everyone laughed, and my father said, "Too late for that, honey!"

Then my cousin Jinx, my Oldest Friend and the Bestest were all walking down the aisle. My Oldest Friend had recorded a song for me, and I couldn't even hear it. As hard as I tried, I couldn't hear the music over my own nervousness and excitement. Then the flower girl walked down the aisle. She's nine years old now. I've known her since she was only four. And there she was, walking with straight posture, carefully scattering the artificial leaves I'd given her.

She scattered artificial autumn leaves from a plastic Jack O'Lantern trick or treat tub.

Then it was my turn. I was straining over my own nerves, trying to hear the music. It had been so important to me, and now I couldn't hear it. It felt as though everyone there at the wedding was cheering for me... cheering for me and Husband, and I couldn't hear the delicate piano arpeggios being playing over the sound system.

As my Dad and I reached the front of the aisle, Husband joined us, and he took my other arm in his. And as the officiants (my Mom and the GBF) began the ceremony, all I could think about was the tear that had run down my nose, and was now hanging on the very tip, refusing to just drip off. I was hoping that the Bestest's Boyfriend (who served as our primary photographer) wouldn't be able to see that dangling tear with his super awesome camera. (It didn't!)

My nerves took hold of me, and it took all of my energy to not cry. I was at that stage of nervousness/excitement where I can't stop smiling. Seriously. I tried, at it resulted in a strange little twitchy smirk that made me look like a crazy person. So I just smiled. I realized, halfway through the ceremony, that I had been so worried about locking my knees and passing out, that instead I had been doing an awkward, pseudo-pee pee dance. I haven't seen any video yet, but I just hope it wasn't too obvious to everyone else.

Then it was time for the vows. I was most worried about bursting into ugly cry face during this part, but strangely enough, it was the most calm I felt during the entire day. Husband held my hands, and looked me right in the eye, and recited the words we had carefully crafted together in July. We wrote our own vows;

I, Husband, take you, Lori, to be my wife, my constant friend, my partner for life. I promise to love you without reservation, and to be open and honest with you always. We will stand together in times of joy and times of sorrow, in times of plenty or times of want, in sickness and in health; to love, honor and cherish unconditionally. I will be faithful to you. I will love you alone all the days of my life.

The ceremony only took eight minutes. It felt even quicker than that. It was strange that all of that planning, fussing over all the weird little details, were over in eight minutes. I knew going into it that there were certain elements that no one would care about or remember but me (like what my bridesmaids were wearing, and our flowers, hence the $7 dress for my 'flower' girl and the grocery store flowers.) I remember that when it was over, I was thinking, "Already?"

But then it was over, we were Husband and Wife, and that was that. Time to party!

The Reception was at an old building just two small blocks away (most everyone walked). My parents and the Bestest's Boyfriend did almost all of the cooking, with help from one of my Aunts. They also made the cake. While the ceremony was mostly Autumn themed (we had tiny Jack O'Lantern lights on the arch), the reception is where we went spooky. There were fake spiders and skulls all over. Candles were sitting on top of the wine bottles I had made labels for (potions and various potion ingredients.) It ended up feeling like a slightly spooky, whimsical family meal. There was almost no dancing, as people were too busy eating and talking. The food, by the way, was Penne with Meat Sauce, and Rotini with Spinach Alfredo, a veggie tray, a meat tray, and fresh bread made my the Bestest's Boyfriend. (He seriously saved the day. The wedding wouldn't have come together like it did if it weren't for his tremendous amount of help.) There was also a desert table, with Pumpkin Cheesecakes supplied by one of Husband's fans, who became a good friend of mine, a bowl of jelly beans with Bertie Bott's mixed in, and a plate of cream puffs. Each table also had a trick or treat tub full of candy. I wanted to make sure that if people gave up their Halloween to celebrate with us, they still got their sugary goodies.

I suppose the rest of the story I can tell in pictures;

By the time the reception was drawing to a close, Husband and I had managed to eat one plate of food each (over the course of the night, which is more than a lot of bride and grooms get at their weddings), and said hello and goodbye to everyone that had come. It was hectic, and as the center of attention, we were pulled in many directions at once. But it was lovely. The Bestest caught my bouquet, and her Boyfriend caught the garter.

The best part of the night, I do have to say, is how everyone just suddenly pitched in and helped us clean up and put everything away. It wasn't even coordinated. It started with my Oldest Friend and her sister (the one who did my hair), and it just spread from there. Once all of the decorations were packed up and the tables and chairs folded and away, everyone stood around and socialized, and even got a little bit of dancing in. I was blown away by how everyone came together to help us make this little shindig happen. If it hadn't been for the generosity of my creative and talented friends and family, I don't know how we could've done this. It truly moved me to see everyone pitch in to help us out.

After the night was through, we piled back into the cars with all of our decorations, and went back to the rental house (a gorgeous 4 bedroom with a giant back yard, pool and tiki bar) to crash. We brought in what needed to be refrigerated or would melt in the sun, and everyone collapsed in bed, asleep. Except for me. I had to take off the false eyelashes and the professional make up and all of the curls. It took almost as long to undo all the pretty as it did to heap it on. By the time I finished my shower and got into bed, Husband was sound asleep. I didn't have the nerve to wake him, so just crawled into bed and fell asleep next to him.

I figured we had the rest of our lives to do 'husband and wife' things. You know, now that we'd had our big party, and signed that piece of paper.


Unknown said...

This makes my heart soar! I'm so happy I was able be there on your special day, and catch the bouquet!

Sara Louise said...

You look beautiful. Just beautiful.
I'm so very happy for you, that you got your party and piece of paper, because you're right, that's all it is. You too were married before that night :-)
And how cool is it that you have a wedding photo with Han Solo and Princess Leia?! So freaking cool!
And... how cool is it that you were at my wedding, and I was at yours... via blogs but whatever.

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During this course of study, you will come to learn much about the strange eating, sleeping and mating habits of the Instrospective Lori under stress. We will observe as she moves halfway across the country to start a life with her own Captain Wentworth, takes a year off of work to pursue a writing career, and incessantly references Jane Austen.
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