- 4 months ago
- Wedding: June 2019
Hi bees! Finally getting around to writing up our wedding recap! It was the absolute best day of our entire lives. We are finally, after years and years of working around a long-distance relationship, Army deployments, and other obstacles, married. He’s my best friend, and I am so lucky to finally call him my husband.
Unlike what most bees normally experience, I think, my wedding morning was so laid-back. I found it hard to be stressed out or even nervous. People were like “ARE YOU NERVOUS” and I was like “SHOULD I BE?!?!” and I think that made me more nervous than the actual wedding haha! But I was just so at peace, so joyful, and so happy, that it was impossible to be nervous. Everyone around me was so happy as well.
He had stayed away for the night, sleeping over at a hotel room with all his buddies so that I could have the house with my girls and get ready with them. And we didn’t have a first look, so I didn’t see him until I was walking down the aisle (funny story about that later!!) – which was fine! I was a bit in a daze I think. “I’m getting married today,” I kept thinking.
The day started out pretty laid-back, as I said. The ceremony didn’t start til 2, and we had reserved a salon for the morning so that all the girls (I had three mothers and six bridesmaids that needed hair and makeup, so it took a bit of time) and they slowly trickled in and out of the salon throughout the morning. I got to the salon at 11 and was done by 12:30. By the time I was all dressed and done up and ready, it was 1:15, so we had about 20 minutes to kill before we headed to the church. That was a bit awkward, because we had expected to be rushing there like crazy, but like I said it was just so…happy. We weren’t even nervous. We all drank a couple mimosas and just enjoyed the moment.
ON THE WAY TO THE CHURCH THERE WAS A TRAIN.
The railroad that goes through my town is infamous for its long trains, so the second that the train started coming through (we got there at the beginning, oh joy) I sank into my seat and for the first time that whole day got nervous. I didn’t want to be late! But, miracles happen, and it was a short train! My father was driving me and my brother alone (everyone else had left just a couple minutes earlier and didn’t see the train) and the three of us breathed a sigh of relief and got to the church. We were five minutes early.
I’ll never forget the look my Father-In-Law gave me as I climbed out of the car. He had been at the front of the church to greet us, and he helped my dad get me out of the car, and he was tearing up. My Father-In-Law never, ever cries. “You look so beautiful,” he kept saying. “You look just beautiful.” It was that moment for the first time that day that I got choked up, but I didn’t cry.
My father and I headed down to the basement to say a quick prayer with my other bridesmaids, but that prayer never happened, because as one of my bridesmaids went to hug me, a strap on her dress just…popped off. We all stood there in disbelief, and then my mother sprang into action with her mini sewing kit that she brought for emergencies. In two seconds, my bridesmaid was all set, and it was time for the show to begin. We all headed upstairs, laughing. Between a train and a bad strap, what else could go wrong?
The church we got married in is a giant Gothic-style cathedral with an enormous organ. I’ll never forget the moment that “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” started playing – it sounded so stately and elegant, as if my soul was gonna just fly away. My bridesmaids walked down the aisle to that song. Then, there was a moment of silence, and “O Spirit, All-Embracing” burst forth, my favorite hymn. Most of you probably know the tune – it was written by Holst and is a prominent part of his “Jupiter” piece from his “Planets” suite. “I Vow to Thee My Country” is the same tune, just different words. When that song started playing, I got choked up again and clutched my father’s arm tightly.
FUNNY PART: My husband was supposed to wear his Army dress uniform. He told me he would. I was in such a daze as I began to walk down the aisle that I DIDN’T EVEN SEE MY HUSBAND at first. I saw his brother, the Best Man, standing up on the sanctuary, and he was wearing a regular tuxedo, not dress blues. And I honestly thought that was my husband, for a split second, until I looked at the bottom of the sanctuary steps and saw him, my soldier, dressed in his dress blues and looking like he was going to cry.
The Mass was a blur. I wish I could remember everything, but I was just so joyful and so happy that it’s just a blur. Everything went so smoothly, though my long-ass veil was way too long-ass of a veil and it was a tad difficult to maneuver, but my MoH made it work just fine! From the church, one of our friends drove us to the reception venue in his 1974 Dodge Charger.
The reception was at a Victorian ballroom at an estate outside of town. We had a total of 118 guests show up, so it was a lovely, manageable crowd. We had either steak, chicken florentine, or eggplant parm (vegetarian) for food options, with the exception of a single vegan guest, who got a vegan dish prepared for her by the kitchen, but I’m not sure what they made her – she didn’t really have a choice in what she got though, but to be fair, she converted to veganism four days before the wedding (yup) so it was a last-minute thing haha.
The music was spectacular. Our first dance was to a song called “Roads” by Chris Mann. It’s not a love song, actually – it’s a folk song about journeys and the paths you take to get home. We heard it for the first time several years ago and we both started crying, because…well, we are each other’s home. And all this traveling, everything we have been through – they were the paths that led us home. It was so perfect that we needed to use it, and the whole room was in tears while he spun me around to this blessed song, singing along to all the lyrics while I cried in his arms.
The father-daughter dance, however, when I REALLY cried. It was the only part of the day where I was rendered completely immobile through my tears. My dad just held me while I cried, crying along with me, and the whole room cried more. We danced to Bach, surprisingly – his song “Air”. But it was the song he would play to rock me to sleep when I was an infant. So of course it was a no-brainer that this be our song.
Things lightened up a bit with the mother-son dance, and then the party REALLY got started with the cake. We did NOT smash cake in each other’s faces – it was totally civil and gentle, and that’s the way I wanted it! Glad he respected that!
Along with the dancing, the singing, the family time, the love, the laughter, so many people came up to us and said that it was hands-down the best wedding they had ever been to. I find that VERY hard to believe. But it did have a very personal touch that people resonated with a lot I think.
It was the best day of our lives. And marriage has been so fantastic. Truly, our lives have gotten 1000% better since we finally closed this LDR between us. And it can only get better from here on out!!
(You’ll have to forgive me on the lack of photos – we still only have a handful of them while we wait for the photographer! But don’t worry – I’ll be posting more!)