It's been over six months since one of the greatest, defining days of my life. On this day, friends came from near and close and my family celebrated the addition of one more. My whole, crazy, big, confused and loving family all came together at one time to wrap us in their warm embrace and shower us with such love. It was literally overwhelming and to this day, I can't quite wrap my mind around all the hands that pitched in and everyone who showed up to tell us this:
We Love You.
What a wonderful day, which I have yet to recap in words that fully do it justice. I probably never will be able to tell everyone who was there how much their presence meant to me, to us. I know I'll never be able to give thanks to everyone who was there to help in their own ways. Hands that pulled weeds in the yard days before, friends who moved furniture, grandparents who fought battles to make it to our celebration, parents who lovingly contributed everything that parents can contribute. It was such a great day.
I always wondered how a girl goes to sleep the day before her wedding. It's been a question I've literally thought of for years. How can you go to sleep knowing the next day is The Day you've been dreaming about your whole life? For me, it was a couple glasses of wine, a warm shower and two kitties who kept my company in my big lonely bed and helped soothe me to sleep. And my sister in the next room. We had been gifted with an amazingly generous and beautiful rehearsal dinner the night before by a dear friend who offered us her home and the night as a gift to us. Our view overlooked all of Seattle and as we watched the sun go down and sipped on Walla Walla's finest wines, we anticipated the next day with cheers and hugs for all our fabulous friends who had arrived to begin the celebration.
Saturday morning I woke up and - true to my type-A personality, had made a list the night before of every small detail I had to remember before leaving the house. With my big sister and our very oldest friend, we excitedly headed to Starbucks to get some breakfast before meeting up with the rest of my bridesmaids to have our hair and makeup done. And to take our youngest bridesmaid to get her ears pierced on my big day. :)
The day went by in such a blur, but I can literally remember every minute of it. The thousands of pictures taken certainly help with any details I forgot.
My wonderful friends and sisters headed back to the lake and dressed at Auntie J's house. We clinked glasses of sparkly champagne, danced to a little Bruce Springsteen and headed to meet my man and his crew at the clubhouse for pictures.
The clubhouse blew me away. My mom had not forgotten about a single detail and after working tirelessly for weeks before, had set up the room and created a masterpiece. Warm chocolate tableclothes, white chairs, magnificent handmade centerpieces, candleholders waited to be brought to life with flickering golden flames.
I was poised and arranged on the back deck. My girls spread my dress so it was perfect and I had a realization - "The pictures we take today will forever hang in our home and our grandkids will see these." I was blown away - this day had finally come and yet it was already going by so fast.
Petesie was beckoned and we greeted each other with enthusiasm and awe. Everything was in place. He says he's never seen a more beautiful bride, and it didn't hurt that this bride was all his, forever. My dress (lovingly donated by a great friend) was the perfect dress for Petesie's bride and every detail was perfect for him.
We flew through pictures, freezing cold on the last sunny day of the fall. We were ushered to the church, where we flew through more pictures. At one point I literally thought I was getting cheek cramps from smiling so much. When pictures were done, I was corralled downstairs with my girls and promptly removed my dress so I could breath just a little easier.
Eventually it was time to start the ceremony. I quickly got dressed. We crept up the stairs and sat and listened - like kids listening in on a grown up dinner party we overheard the music which I had dreamed would play on my wedding day. A piano version of Edelweiss filled the small church and I realized that this was actually minutes away from happening. And then I heard the familiar opening chords of Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken and before I knew it was walking down the aisle on the arms of my Dad.
I must confess here - the one small, minute detail I have pretty much forgotten is the wedding ceremony. Yeah, the entire thing sort of eludes me. I remember being almost completely unable to breathe (me being such an easy going bride the week prior to the big day, I'd scarfed down a huge cheeseburger for lunch the day before... among other deep fried fatty foods throughout the week....) in my supertight corset and dress. Between the breathing issue and my feet which had chosen this moment to remind me that the heels I'd picked out were a little too high, I gripped Petesie's hand for dear life and repeated the words when I was asked to speak.
Then we were married! Yay!!
The reception went off seamlessly. Petesie's BIL John was our Master of Ceremonies and did a fanstastic job - so funny and effortless. I'm sure that all the beer and wine served encouraged our wonderful friends and family to forget if they were nervous and stand to give toasts. The toasts were great. Poignant. And sweet. And hilarious at times. And my fabulous big sister brought down the house with her perfect comedic timing and emotional rendition of Shakespeare's Sonnet #116
Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.
Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.
Our good friend Ricardo rocked the house all night with his one-man band and the whole crowd danced until we'd reached the time limit of live music. At which point (I think - this is where the night gets a litte hazy) we continued dancing and talking and hugging and kissing.
Old and new friends alike told us it was the best wedding they've ever been to. It was definitely the best wedding I've ever been to! (Didn't hurt that halfway through the night I'd decided I'd had it with my tight corset like contraption holding me together under my dress and did away with it...)
We left with such happy hearts that night, feeling so full of love and so darn thankful. It was without a doubt the funnest, greatest and most fabulous day of my life yet!