Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Wedding Day Revisited

I thought it was time to write about the wedding day, before too much time has elapsed. Here's my recount of the wedding day--

Despite lack of sleep, I woke up early in the morning to start final preparations for the big day. I think before I was even truly awake, I made a trip to the window to check on weather. General grayness. Definitely potential for rain, but it didn't look like there was going to be a downpour either. Could be worse, I'll take it.

I hopped into the shower to wash my hair...then ate breakfast and drank some diet coke (the fuel to get me through the day). Around 9 Julie came over from the guest apartment. The few hours at the apartment were a blur of final preparations & gathering up all the stuff to take to Forepaughs. I spent a good amount of time preparing the vases of flowers for the ceremony and reception. I know some might have thought it was crazy that I was doing that stuff...but really it kept me sane (reasonably). Joel kept the mood light by coming out in his red clown's nose, hawaiian shirt & suspenders, saying he was ready for the ceremony (Julie took a pic--I'll be sure to post!)

Of course, we headed to Forepaughs a little later than I had wanted. No one's fault--it was just busy! Joel & I were a bundle of nerves and I think both of us were wondering if we would be able to repeat our vows! We got to Forepaughs about an hour before the ceremony! Julie and I quickly set up flowers in the lower level room where we were holding the ceremony. Since the weather threatened rain, we decided to not risk it and so we held the ceremony indoors. In the end, I think that was the best decision...staying indoors made it easier for Joel's parents to attend the ceremony and it was probably easier for everyone to hear the ceremony. The peonies on the mantle made it look wonderful.

After we dressed up the mantle, Julie & I scurried upstairs to set up flowers, placecards, and favors at the tables. When Reverend Maverick showed up close to 11:30, I think he was a little surprised to see the bride still not in a wedding dress!

We had our hair and make-up done (we're low-maintenance women), but Julie & I still had to get into our dresses. Forepaughs was wonderful and gave us a room on the third floor to dress in. My first really emotional moment came when my daughter Ana arrived. She looked so beautiful. It was sort of one of those reverse moments. For me as a single mom, it's knowing my kids are ready to be on their own, that makes starting this new life more possible. I know they don't need me in the same way. It's a bittersweet realization. It was also fun in those final moments...just the girls--Ana, Hannah, Mary, and then Julie & myself--all together making sure I was ready. At some point, Joel came upstairs (but wasn't allowed past the curtain/screen) to get the rings I think and let us know the guests had all arrived. Show time!

Since the ceremony was taking place on the first floor, I got to make my entrance down a staircase...I had to keep my wits about me, because my dress was long and my heels were not made to go down stairs with plush carpeting. I didn't want to make my entrance by taking a tumble! But my eyes teared up (again) when I looked down and saw both my children at the foot of the stairs. It was the first time I saw Cyrus that day. My entrance was really simple--no music. The important part was having both my kids walk me in. I have to say, I'm tearing up just remembering it.

The ceremony itself is a bit of a blur...lots of nervous energy and emotion swirling around. The Rev started out with a little baseball talk and then read parts of a poem (titled "The Invitation") that I wanted to include as part of the service. Throughout the ceremony, Joel & I would look at each other and we would both be tearing up. Somehow, we managed not to completely break into tears. I knew that if I broke into tears, I would have a hard time reciting my vows. Joel did a wonderful job reciting his vows. My voice cracked, I'm sure, as I spoke these words--

"What have I to give you, Joel? The promise to take you as my only love from this day forward, to stand by your side, to listen when you speak, to comfort you when you cry, and to join your laughter with my own. Take this ring, and be my husband."

The best part came at the end when The Reverend declared,

"By the power vested in me by the Great State of Minnesota, I am honored to declared you as husband and wife. Joel, you may kiss your bride."

Fortunately for my nerves, it was a short ceremony. Once it was done, we were able to relax with our guests, take pictures, and enjoy the day. We were able to go upstairs and enjoy the 2nd floor patio. The space was beautiful and very intimate. Although Forepaughs was open for business, I felt like we were the only ones there. The brunch was delicious. The tables looked great. It was a good time.

Before the day ended, I got to take part in two time-honored traditions. First, I tossed my bridal bouquet. Then Joel removed my garter (with his teeth!) and tossed it to the single men. I was thrilled that my daughter, Ana, caught the bouquet and Adam, her boyfriend, caught the garter. Hmm...

After everyone was gone, my kids went with Joel & I to nearby Irvine Park to take a few more pics (see previous entry) and then we headed home for a quiet afternoon. In the evening, we headed to Loring Cafe for a romantic dinner. Our server was excited when she heard we had just been married and finished our meal with a free dessert. Thank god, I no longer have to fit into that wedding dress.

It was the day that I wanted. Right now, I only have pictures post-ceremony. I can't wait to see the pics that my brothers took during the ceremony and reception. I'll be sure to post them soon!

So far, it's been a week of wedded bliss!