I thought I'd fill you in on my experience leading up to the wedding, so that if there are any of you out there getting married, maybe you can see that it's alright to have some feelings other than rainbows and butterflies. that's not to say that I didn't have those feelings too, because I definitely definitely did. but it wasn't totally a wonderful experience.
I'd scheduled blog posts for the 2 weeks leading up to the wedding, so I didn't have that to worry about, but there were plenty of other things to do. little, last-minute, running around things. there was nothing to cry about in the six months of our engagement, but with 2 weeks to go [exactly at the 2 week mark, actually], I was a big messy ball of tears. everything turned into A BIG DEAL and I cried at least once or twice a day for about 4 or 5 days. nothing was really wrong, but the stress of it all had finally caught up to me and I was like this different person, stressing out over the tiniest details, getting all worked up when the schedule for the day didn't go exactly how I had thought it should. my wonderful, wonderful fiance would try to console me with murmurs of "it's okay if it's not the prettiest wedding ever" and I'd lash out, probably with fire in my eyes, that it wasn't okay. it just had to be magical, OKAY?!
but, after a few days of being that crazy monster, Ben [God bless him] helped me transform back into myself. the self that let it go that i wouldn't have Ben's wedding gift done by our wedding day, and the one that when we realized the park address on our invitations brought people to the wrong park, just made a few signs to help people and then decided that whoever was supposed to get there would get there. divine appointments and things like that.
Wednesday of wedding week came, and with it, what I'd been hoping for all along. I completely and totally relaxed. I was me. I spent the morning getting all waxed up and the afternoon at the nail salon with my mom and sister. as my [awesome, unchippable] gel manicure was drying, I got a phone call from the bridal salon that my dress was in! glory glory hallelujah, two days before my wedding, my dress finally came in and it fit almost perfectly. we zoomed it to the seamstress, zoomed home so I could change and then it was out for my bachelorette party. we went out to this delicious brick oven pizza place, where we were served by a girl who was getting married the day after me in a park conservatory, in a gold dress, in front of about 20 people. she was hilarious and such a sweetheart and it just felt right that we somehow ended up having her as a server. then those of us who wanted to/were old enough to [ahem, little sister] went out. it was a Wednesday night, so nothing was too crazy downtown, but we found a place where it was just us and a men's kickball team and that was enough for us. what ensued was a fun, crazy, embarrassing night, but I guess if you aren't embarrassed to tell people about it in the morning, then it's not a bachelorette party, now is it?
I woke up Thursday a little bit thirsty, but so ready to go. it was the day before our wedding!!! a bunch of us met down at the park and spent the day getting the details ready: putting hearts on our mason jars, setting up the trellis that Ben had made, cleaning the bathrooms, just the usual. Ben and I realized that we hadn't figured out the ceremony yet; we'd written our vows together just a few nights before, but we didn't know what else was going to happen while we were up there, so we took a minute to sit down and do that. then after some relaxing by the creek, my almost sister-in-law and I went to go pick up my dress from the seamstress [which was perfect, but more on that another time]. when we got back to the park, almost everyone was there for the rehearsal dinner.
the rehearsal dinner is already one of the fondest memories I have of our wedding. finally, all 18 people in our wedding party were in one place, all of our parents were there, most grandparents, some aunts, uncles, cousins, and some extra friends. everyone we loved and was important to us was in one place. the night continued like a typical rehearsal dinner: waiting for certain people to come late [ahem my brother and his gf/now fiancee], introducing everyone to everyone else, figuring out how the rehearsal itself would work, and then dinner. seeing all of the people that we loved brought together was so special to me and I whispered to Ben multiple times throughout the night that I wanted to get married every week if this was what it was going to be like. granted, the wedding itself was even better, but I didn't know that yet. I just knew that I felt so loved and supported and I wanted that night to last forever.
but realistically, I didn't. we slowly wrapped things up after giving our bridal party their gifts, everyone helped clean up a little bit, and people trickled out one by one. Ben and I stuck around until park security came by to close up and then he drove me home, savoring our last 20 minutes together as just fiances. he kissed me goodnight and I went inside, got ready for bed, spent some time chatting with my mom/sister/college roommate/cousin who were all in my bedroom, and then wrote the final copy of my vows for the very next day. I went to sleep so peacefully, knowing that when I woke up, it'd be the day that I got to promise my life to my favorite person in the world.
mani/pedi time with my momma and sister
she had the most ticklish feet
mom obviously LOVED her first pedicure
bachelorette party dinner time with my girls
and bachelorette party drinking time with some of my other ones.
the mason jar crew on rehearsal day
all the thanks in the world to my sweet mom for taking care of all of the fabric bits
this is what a wedding party of 20 looks like
and this is what 2 excited almost-newlyweds look like [in front of an awesome, done trellis].