I suppose that it is no real surprise I woke up well before my alarm was set to go off. Really, who on earth thinks they will actually need their alarm clock on their wedding day? Your wedding day is basically all of those childhood Christmas mornings wrapped into one glorious day.
I actually only woke up about 30 minutes before my alarm clock went off and I’d slept remarkably well, unlike the night we got engaged (how many times did I wake up thinking of different options for a flower girl?!). I woke up and laid in bed, pulled out my phone, opened the YouTube app and promptly started listening to “Goin’ To The Chapel” and grinning from ear to ear. My mom came down to make sure I was awake and we talked for a few minutes. I stretched just like I always do before I get out of bed, and showered. I remember being specific about which song I wanted to listen to in the shower, though I can’t recall now which song I picked. I finished my shower and put on one of my dad’s button down shirts so I could get my hair done. I headed downstairs only to be greeted by a cacophony of friends who had brought over breakfast treats, complete with mimosas. I have trained my stomach not to be hungry until after daily Mass, so I wasn’t exactly hungry yet, but I ate a few treats (chocolate covered strawberries!) anyway. I sat down in the living room while a woman who is near and dear to me did my hair. (Not only is she half of our mentor couple, she was also the wedding coordinator!) People were buzzing about the house, and I was sitting there, enjoying getting my hair done.
My maid of honor and bridesmaid, who had spent the night after the rehearsal, woke up and were hogging (duh) what is normally my brother’s bathroom. Showers were to be had, ties were to be tied, and everyone was getting ready. Once my hair was done things kind of turned to a blur as we packed up the last of the things we needed. My maid of honor and bridesmaids were getting into their dresses when…the zipper on my bridesmaid’s dress got stuck! Tried as we all did, nothing worked. My mom got pliers. The zipper broke completely. Pressed for time, we climbed in our cars and headed to the church – needle and thread in tow, prepared to literally sew my bridesmaid into her dress.
We pulled up to the church and unloaded my car, but we had to be sneaky so Anthony wouldn’t see me. Thankfully there is a side entrance to the church that basically goes straight into the bride’s room, so I was ushered into the room where I’d stay until the ceremony started. The buzz at the house that morning was nothing compared to the buzz in the bride’s room. The photographer wanted pictures of everything, my shoes, my necklace, me doing make-up, the dress, everything. The bride’s room isn’t very big, and when you add a wedding dress, me, my maid of honor, bridesmaid, and my mom, it gets cramped. Then add in one or both photographers, my dad, and the florist…and I got a little overwhelmed! My mom was helping my bridesmaid get sewn into her dress, I was trying to get my makeup done, and trying not to freak out about how I wasn’t in my dress yet – I just wanted to be in it already! When most things were said and done I was amazed that we still had half an hour until the ceremony started. Time started to s l o w l y tick by.
My spiritual director and one of the celebrants of the ceremony showed up and kicked everyone out so I could go to confession. Those moments of soul-cleaning peace and quiet were so needed as I re-grouped for the day ahead.
Then I got word that Anthony wanted to pray with me before the ceremony – something we hadn’t planned at all. I heard his voice from around the corner and started to get choked up. He reached his hand around the door and I gripped it tightly as I started to cry. I knew that there were a myriad of people on his side of the door, but it was just the photographer, my parents and I on the inside. His voice began and asked for prayer. I don’t remember much of what he said, but I remember praying the Lord’s Prayer with him and weeping openly, clinging to his hand. At the end, my dad put his hand over Anthony and I’s hands and the tears flowed freely. Anthony left and people began to take their places.
My brother came in for a brief moment and, again, the tears came flowing. My mom and did kissed before my brother took my mom to walk her down the aisle. From the bride’s room, there is a small window that peaks into the sanctuary and I watched the altar servers and priests walk down the aisle. I closed the window in the hopes that I could stop crying. I turned around and it was just my dad and I, alone in the bride’s room. Those precious daddy-daughter moments of hugs, love, and plenty of tears are moments I wouldn’t trade for anything. There was so much love and joy in those final moments that I’ll never forget. Then the wedding coordinator came in and told us that it was time to walk down the aisle…
I have no idea who actually wants to read my recollections of my wedding day, but I don’t want to forget them, so I’m blogging them. It was everything I’d dreamed of and more, so why not share the joy? Come back Wednesday for my memories of the ceremony itself (and more pictures!).