April 27, 2014

A Nearly Incoherent Recap of Our Wedding

Our wedding weekend was a whirlwind. I loved our wedding and when I think back, I love it even more. We got so many compliments about it being so easy going, which is exactly what I wanted. I kept telling myself all day "remember this- don't rush through this- remember what this exact moment is like", but still, I felt like I was having an out of body experience the entire time (but that may have also been the exhaustion I was feeling). SO much was going on, I still have a hard time remembering exactly what it was like to be there and take part in all the events.  I originally wrote this stream-of-consciousness verbal diarrhea 3 days after the wedding, hoping I wouldn’t forget how it all went. I’m posting this solely for my own preservation of memories- it was faster to type my feelings than write them in a journal. 

Thursday: I put in for a sub when I realized how BUSY I was going to be and took off work half the day to start getting things done. I went around to stores and bought a few last minute things I think- I honestly don’t remember where I went and why. So many things have happened between Thursday and today (Monday). Danny came home from Knoxville and brought Leondro.  We went over to mom and dad’s house after dinner and dad and I had to pick our dance song, so I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at song lists and playing clips for Dad. I do know I stayed up late working on things, too- what, I don’t even know.  It was our last night sleeping next to each other as an engaged, non-married couple, and I remember us talking about that, but can’t remember it!  We were both so flustered. 

Friday: Rehearsal day + day before the wedding. I took a personal day off work and was still up and moving by 6am. Vince had to get up early and go to class. I started doing things around the house such as painting our “wedding -->” sign for the road and designing our wedding programs. (Yes. I began thinking about our programs the DAY BEFORE our wedding.) I took a draft over to mom and dad's to have dad proof it (mom was at hobby lobby) and ate a bowl of cereal then went back home.  I tried to quickly print all 80 programs, and the kraft paper was giving me a terrible time and the printer kept stalling.  I worked frantically for a couple hours, then Vince came home early from his second class. I was still working on the printer when he and Wes came in.  Wes helped print the favor tags for the apples and Vince cut the wedding sign and made a stake for it. I showered because I felt gross and didn't know Wes would be there so early and went ahead and got dressed for the rehearsal-  the white dress I wore to the shower Kelli threw for me.    I also tried to put together the father-daughter dance song- Life During Wartime and Wildflowers by Tom Petty, and it took a long while to figure out how to splice them together and add fades in Garageband.   Vince and Wes left to go meet Kent at The White Room to pick up tuxes, and I eventually had enough printed out that I could get the bridesmaids gifts together and head out the door myself.  I went to Import Flowers and got a bucket of roses for petals for our exit toss, then went to the Brentwood Target to get food containers, underwear (somehow, laundry wasn’t on my to-do list for the week before the wedding), snacks, etc.  I went straight to Owls Hill from there and watched the guys put our wedding arch (which was awesome) together for a bit and laid tablecloths in the barn. We were frazzled because chairs and tables were supposed to be paid for to be set up, and NOTHING was set up.  Kelli and Allen arrived, then Elaine the wedding coordinator.  She's really very negative.  I had a moment of almost meltdown when she kept asking all kinds of questions and I kept saying I didn't care about table set ups, I just needed to be told what'd be best and for her to make it happen.  Eventually we ran our 5 minute "rehearsal" while the other husbands set up tables and chairs under the tent.  After that, we left and headed to Bucca di Beppo. Vince rode with me- our last time alone before getting married and it was SO NEEDED. I hadn’t talked to him all day and was freaking out.  It felt so nice to be with him and de-stress a bit. I'm not used to going through such a big, hectic, crazy, important day without him.  When we got to Bucca, we were put in a small room with two booths and a long table- the bridal party and spouses sat at the long table and the family sat in the booths. At one booth was Uncle Steve, Aunt Becky, Grandma, Danny, and Leon, and at the other was Mom, Dad, Marie, and Vince Sr.   Dad gave his toast.. it was longer than I expected and he talked about a range of things I definitely wasn't expecting-  about how when I was a baby he counted all my fingers and toes, and he mentioned fond moments through my life, including playing a card in drama in school. He kept leaning on my shoulders and I could tell he was a bit nervous, which was sweet. Then he talked about how great Vince is and did the same. He talked for quite some time about how listening is something we need to always remember to do. He really put a lot of effort into planning that speech, and it was very sweet and I mostly spent the entire time trying to think myself out of crying.  Afterwards, we ate TONS of food. Everyone really seemed to like it, which was good..   Adam and Vince talked for a REALLY long time about the way that they shave with soap and bristly brushes like old men.  After dessert, we went and got our bridesmaids/groomsmen gifts from the car.  Mine was a bit disorganized and I couldn't find the cards I'd written to them- found them after the wedding buried in the floor of the car.  My gifts had a button-down shirt for getting ready that I’d ironed their initial on, a bow bracelet that said "thanks for helping me tie the knot", and the hanger that I'd personalized for their bridesmaid dresses.  Vince’s gifts for the guys were coordinating ties and old fashioned shave set. We all sat and talked for a long time, then finally made our way out of the restaurant and stood there some more because we didn't know half of the family was out talking in the parking lot.  I was SO ANTSY to get home and get working- I was tired, overwhelmed, and knew we had a LONG night of work ahead of us.  I said I was leaving, so Kelli and I went to go. We drove back to my apt, changed clothes, picked up stuff we'd need to finish working on at mom and dad’s, and I cleaned out my nightstand so that Vince could take it for the sand ceremony. We headed over to mom and dad's, and got straight to work on folding/trimming programs and tying bags and tags on our apple favors. Danny, Mom, Leon, Kelli, a little bit Dad, and I worked quickly and knocked it out by after 11pm, which was way earlier than I'd expected!  Kelli and I went home and I worked a while longer on our music playlist and then was so exhausted I was getting nothing done, so I showered quickly and got in bed.  I kept thinking of things to do and freaking out and was nervous-excited and probably didn't get to sleep until after 1am.

WEDDING DAY: At 6am, my alarm went off and I was wide awake but felt TERRIBLY tired.  I sprang out of bed and went and sat on the couch and started writing thank you cards/checks to vendors and messing with our playlist again. I couldn't get anything to work on the laptop so I had to stop to go work on the big computer. Doing that meant I had to update my ipod, my iphone, and itunes on everything to get it to work. It took FOREVER getting that to happen and to figure out how to add songs on the new itunes.  We FINALLY left around 7:40ish after I packed an overnight bag REALLY quickly (and not so well) and the only thing on our playlist was songs for the necessary dances. I parted ways with my many years of plans for a GOOD music-packed wedding-  why I didn’t make a list in the year and a half we were engaged, I’m not sure, but I’m at peace with it because our reception wasn't all that long. (Actually, you know, I do know why I didn't do it before then-  I was eyeballs deep in the start of a new school year, teaching totally new-to-me material to a new class with a few kids that could most kindly be described as "a handful", and I spent most of the summer moving to a classroom and getting ready for that. Whenever I thought about doing wedding stuff over school stuff, I felt selfish and unprofessional, so school stuff always won on the to-do list.)  Kelli and I wore our new button downs with our initials on them. On the interstate I had a hot flash and suddenly got emotional about how huge of a day it was and cried a bit.  Kelli said that I woke her up during the night sleep talking and saying "Noooo!" in my sleep. That had never happened before. I’d always told myself that I’d plan ahead and finish things in enough time to be calm, rested, and collected on my wedding day.....HA. We went to the bank to get money to pay the officiant.  Then we went to Target. Kelli waited in line at Starbucks to get coffee for herself and a Passion Tea Lemonade and danish for me while I jogged quickly through Target for bug spray, sunscreen, and deodorant that never got used because they got lost in the mess of my car with those cards.  We went straight from Target to Merle Norman and pulled in at 8:40 exactly for our 8:45 appointment. It made me feel soooo much better to be on time/early after all the rushing the past couple days and that made me relax a little.  We started having our makeup done by Michelle and some older lady did Kelli's. About 5 or 10 minutes in, Shauna started texting asking if Carolyn was coming because they wouldn't start her hair until Carolyn got there.  At 9:15, Carolyn STILL wasn't there, so I called her-  she was still an hour and a half away. I honestly don't remember what else was said or how the conversation ended, but Kelli said I wasn’t particularly kind- whoops. I called Shauna and said that she wasn't coming...and they told Shauna that I'd still have to pay for her hair because she didn't call to cancel, so I told them that was fine so they could start on Shauna. We finished our makeup and were at Aquabella for hair right on time. I'd apparently not told Alex the Photographer the address for Merle Norman, so she was already at the salon and Timothy the videographer was too.  Shauna left to grab some things from home before our bridesmaid brunch at mom’s and Kelli and I got started.  It wasn't weird at all having Alex and Timothy around, which was so nice. They were both SO great at what they do.  Mom came by to see how things were coming along, and I had her get Vince's gifts out of my car- his "in case you get cold feet" socks, the “best day ever tie clip” I’d ordered, and then I wrote him a card about being excited to see him. Then, they took the gifts away to do creative filming things with them.  Alex kindly took Vince's gift over to his hotel room when they went to film his “getting ready”. They both left me around 10:50 to head to Vince's hotel across the street.   When I was done, we went over to Mom and Dad's for the bridesmaids' brunch.  Mom had decorated the table beautifully with pretty fall decorations and “we” had mimosas, bagels, and fruit.  "We" is an overstatement...I couldn't hardly eat I was so wound up and nervous.  I gave mom and dad their personalized handkerchiefs and dad his tie clip... mom cried a lot, and dad had a surge of almost crying.   Kelli and I left the house (a few minutes later than planned) and got on the road.  Most of the drive was quiet- I think I was freaking out about being late.  We got down there after Vince and the videographer/photographer.  Kelli called Vince and had him hide away so I could go in the building without being seen. I got changed upstairs, then Elaine came in and stressed me out about it being soooo hot outside and wanting to change the ceremony site. She barged in during the middle of my “getting in my wedding dress” segment being filmed, and I just couldn’t even handle it. I told her I could NOT make that decision because I had no idea what location she was even talking about and she just needed to DO it if it would be better, so Alex and Timothy went out with her to see if it looked okay for pictures. My "getting ready" footage was cut a bit short.  Wes brought my gift from Vince-  it was a nice card and a frame for a wedding photo.   Katie the florist came to drop off flowers, and then I went downstairs to cool off and wait for our first look.  Carolyn showed up.  Alex came in and said that the new site for the ceremony would be great and much cooler (it was a spot that really wasn't on the list of options from the venue managers, but they set up there anyway), which made me feel so much better. She said she had Vince out by the barn for our first look. When I was standing waiting in the visitor center for my time to go out, I got really emotional watching him stand there, back turned.  I couldn’t remember where I was supposed to tell him to turn around, but when he did he had a REALLY surprised look.  He chose to wear the fun socks that I gave him.  We went right into pictures. Then my family showed up.  I'd always thought they'd see me for the first time all done up inside before anyone else saw me, or that mom would help me get dressed too, but at the time I didn't even realize that was their first time seeing me all dressed up, or dad's "first look" with me. They’d been running a bit late getting out of the house, too. Vince and I took our pictures together, then we went into bridesmaids pictures.  Everyone else was running around frantically trying to fix things. I went inside and hid for the remainder of the time until the ceremony. The blonde coordinator-assistant who was much nicer came to get us for the ceremony and sent the bridesmaids and mom out, then dad and I followed.  I noticed Dad was still wearing his black tennis shoes instead of his dress shoes.  Apparently that wasn't supposed to happen. It made for a few giggles when we saw pictures later. Dad started telling the assistant again how he counted all of my fingers and toes as a baby.  He started to give me a meaningful look and tell me that he was proud of me, but that was going to make me cry so I said not to be nice to me or I'd cry.  I could hear a little bit of the “Heartbeats” song that I’d asked our guitarist to arrange playing while we waited, then it was time and she said to walk to Elaine. My parents’ neighbor, Jeff, and Leondro met us at the end of the aisle, and Jeff said he had to take the first photo. I remember seeing Cheryl, Shannon, and Rita and not really too many other people in the blur as I walked down the aisle.  When we got to the end, he asked who gave me away and dad said "her mother and I" and Dad gave me a kiss on the cheek and gave me to Vince.  We “listened” to the openeing message, and then soon it was time to turn to each other and say our vows.  Vince got through his and only barely looked like he was emotional once, and then I said mine and my voice shook and I had a really hard time getting through. I broke my goal of not having any Kim Kardashian-esque ugly cry photos I have a couple that every time I show to people, the burst out laughing. Ralph the Officiant was really good about making a joke about it and saying I 'might' make it through.  Vince's eyes almost got teary.  Apparently Shauna had a caterpillar on her leg and it was a big thing that made a silent scene off to the side, and we didn’t even notice. I so hoped it would be in our wedding video, but it wasn't.  We did our sand ceremony and I accidentally dumped the whole last little bit in and it went everywhere. We obviously hadn’t practice pouring beforehand.  We had our hand ceremony and finally it was time to be pronounced as man and wife and to kiss the bride!  We had our exit to “The First Day of my Life”, everyone clapped for us, and we went out past the rock wall out of sight while all the guests moved up to the barn. I finally felt like I could breathe-  SO much less nervous. 

When everyone was up at the barn, we went back to the ceremony site for family pictures, and knocked those out really quickly.  Vince and I stayed there to talk and be alone for a bit while we waited for time for our Grand entrance/first dance.  After a few minutes, Leon came down and we took some pictures with him. Then it was time for our entrance-  I gave my veil to Elaine, Wes announced us, then we went up for our first dance. I felt so tired and very dizzy, but I think we looked happy. And I WAS happy, but I just felt so tired, I remember wishing that I hadn’t been dumb and stayed up so late. After our dance we were directed to our sweetheart table and everyone ate.  Jessie and Kate were the first to come see me and we talked for a minute, then it was a blur of people coming to talk to us. At one point, Allen leaned down and gave me a hug and I inhaled a chip and almost died. I had to run behind the fireplace and gagged...the guitarist came back there and saw me and said "Uh..I'll give you some privacy" and went away. The thoughts "I'm going to die on my wedding day" DID cross my mind in a particularly bleak moment when I was thinking "if I throw up, can I make sure it doesn't hit my dress?" Kelli and Allen came to check on me, brought me water, I stopped almost dying, then Vince and I cut our cake. I do wish people had gathered around to see us do that- I’d thought Elaine was supposed to have Wes announce that we were about to start and the guests should come closer. Our cake was perfect- exactly how I wanted it to look. Then we had our toast time- Kelli's toast was great, and so was Wes's. I tried hard not to cry for the 40th time that day. The next little while was a mix of going to get more photos with Alex before the pretty light went away, visiting with people, then Dad and I did our dance.  It was a nice moment for us and he seemed really happy and hugged me really tight while we were dancing.  Then Vince and his mom dad their dance.  We’d scheduled in a much longer time for dancing, but I was just so exhausted and the sun was going down, so we called it and asked for the last dance of the night to be announced and had "You are the Best Thing" as our last song.  Danny danced with Grandma and I danced with Leon for a bit before Vince took me back. Mom and Dad even danced, which was the first time I’ve ever seen that. Then I tossed my bouquet and Tracy (David’s girlfriend) caught it, then Vince did the garter and David (Tracy’s boyfriend) caught that, which was a little funny. Then we had our grand exit and everyone pelted us with petals. I'd originally thought that we'd leave pretty immediately, but I went into the visitor center and sat down and Vince ended up running around trying to help everyone clean up. The guys decorated my car while Shauna, Kelli, and I just sat down and hung out in the visitor center.  We went out to the pavilion when everyone was just finishing cleaning up, then my family left to go home and then Vince and I were the very last people to leave around 7pm.  We originally thought that we'd go home, shower, get clothes, and feed Penelope, but I felt tired enough that we just went straight to the hotel because we figured Penelope would have a little food left over and wouldn’t die if she was a litle hungry. (In hindsight, I'm realizing that we’re totally not ready to have children- “meh, we’re tired. You can eat tomorrow.”) When we pulled up at the Opryland Hotel, the valet person loudly asked "Are congratulations in order?!?!" when we opened the door and we left our disgusting, packed to the gills car with them. Vince carried the bags, I carried the leftover cake. Priorities. Starting at the revolving door, people inside the hotel lobby started loudly telling us CONGRATULATIONS!  I loved it. Like, LOVED IT. I think I got a second wind and was on a high of really realizing ‘WE’RE MARRIED! YAY!”  When we got to the registration desk and were waiting in line, this tiny little girl gasped and said “youuuuu loookkk sooo prettyyyy!” and a lady in front of me talked about the wedding and asked a bunch of questions. A random man behind Vince in line started giving him manly advice about his new ring, and the lady in front of me thought it was precious and then talked for a while about that.  We lucked out and got a big room with a king bed (the website had said they were out when we booked it) and had to trek through the huge, busy Cascades atrium and down many hallways to get to our room, and tons of people congratulated us the whole way, which I still LOVED.  We got to our room, I stood there for about 15 minutes debating never taking my dress off or my hair down and told Vince to take it all in because that was probably the prettiest I'd ever look, and then I realized how badly I had packed my overnight bag- I didn't bring ANYTHING to sleep in, my bra was buried somewhere in the car, and I didn't bring any face wash to get that thick, professionally applied 5 layers of makeup off.  I found clumps of rose petals in my dress and stuck all over me, we showered, I washed my face with the bar of hotel hand soap, got in bed, Vince took all 82 (yes, I counted because we were AMAZED) of the pins out of my hair  :)  , ordered room service burgers, watched Modern Family, I ate cake out of the box with my hands, and we fell asleep early. Like, by 10pm, early. I was awoken at 6am to a crash of thunder, and I was wide awake. For a second, I panicked because I couldn’t remember a to-do list in my head, and then I realized everything was done and I didn’t HAVE a to-do list anymore! It felt SO GOOD. We layed in bed for a couple hours and just talked alot, catching up on the whole day before, which was great. I got showered and finally washed my crunchy, scary, no longer up-done hair, got as dressed as I could with those “necessary” items still being in the car, and went to check out.  Since I was carrying my dress (I’d  also forgotten the dress bag in the car and I was also hiding my outfit with it), even more people congratulated us on our way out (which I still LOVED), then we went straight to mom and dad's house. Our stuff was EVERYWHERE. Their garage was PACKED with flowers that were spilling out into the driveway, gifts were all over the kitchen, etc. We all caught up and talked a bit about our night, then went to Cracker Barrell to meet Grandma, Uncle Steve, and Aunt Becky for breakfast before they left town.  Breakfast was great, I was finally able to eat again because I was no longer nervous, we all talked a lot, then they left. Vince and I meant to make a couple trips back and forth to take all our things home to our apartment, but as soon as we got home, Vince fed Penelope, and we just sprawled on the couch and spent the rest of the day watching TV, checking Facebook for photos to pop up, listening to the rain and Vince napped.    

Monday it was back to normal- Vince went to school, I enjoyed my first weekday of fall break by going to mom and dad's for breakfast and starting our thank you cards.  All we talked about was how GREAT and special the wedding day was. I meant to clean the house, but haven't gotten there just yet...Just have a couple more days before we leave on our honeymoon!       I really liked our wedding while we were there, but was hot, tired, and nervous and didn't fully understand everything that was going on while we were there...but every time I think back to it, now that I’m not exhausted anymore, I love that day even more. We were oh so lucky that it didn't rain and it was a perfect day!  The only things I would have changed were making my playlist and programs earlier in the week so I could have slept more and not been as nauseous-tired feeling all day, not letting the tent people leave without setting up (which caused a lot of rushing around for some people and I felt bad for the guys that had to do the work), and wishing I had more time to really visit with the people that came to our wedding- especially those that had to come from hours and STATES away to see us.  We were so lucky to be surrounded by such love and support! 


  1. If it makes you feel any better, I had NO idea how stressed out you had been. None of it showed! You were just as fabulous as always, and you looked aaaaammmmaaazzzziiinnng! I'm so, so, so glad I got to be there.

  2. I was just exhausted reading this! You totally didn't show it AT ALL. So glad I was able to share in your day!!


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