Our wedding photos are finally here, which means I get to share some of my favorites and write a little more about the day. Fair warning: I have far too many photos I love and this post is guaranteed to be photo-heavy without my even sharing half of my favorites. So. Ahoy!
On our wedding day, CW and I woke up in our own house alone after having spent the previous couple of days with our friends and family who had come into town for the wedding. The rehearsal and dinner the night before had gone perfectly and we’d had a wonderful time getting ready for the wedding, but I really appreciated waking up in a quiet house, just the two of us, and having a little coffee and breakfast and such before heading out for the day.
I packed up all my things and headed to the hotel where we’d be holding the reception (and then spending the night). Claire and Melissa, my two BFFs and bridesmaids, were staying there already, and we took care of a couple of odds and ends and then headed around the corner to my hair salon where Lyndsay, who has been doing my hair for 6 years, was going to do all of our hair for the day. We drank mimosas. Mel’s BF, Mike, brought us bagels from a nearby downtown shop. We took turns getting our hair done by Lyndsay and doing our own makeup. It was a really nice morning.
Above photos are by Claire — thanks, Claire!
(Makeup Sidebar: I decided I’d do it myself rather than having someone else do it, and, because I was saving money in that way, I allowed myself to buy a few higher-end items: Tarte clay foundation, Benefit Fake-Up and Gimme Brow, and a couple of other things. I am so glad that’s what I decided to do, because not only was I happy with my makeup for the wedding, but now I can keep using my new products, which I love.)
After we were done at the salon, the girls and I had a little more time than we probably needed to get dressed back at the hotel, so we got into our dresses and just chilled out a bit. I was thankful to have some nice time with them, relaxing and just hanging out before everything got going.
We had to get to the chapel (our university’s non-denominational chapel and the oldest standing building in our town) about an hour and a half before the ceremony to start doing photos. Originally we’d thought we wouldn’t see each other until the 3:00 ceremony, and we’d do photos after, but with the 4:45 pm sunset we thought better of it and decided to get some time with the photographer in beforehand so we wouldn’t have to be racing the sun afterward. It was a good decision.
One of my favorite moments of the day, actually, was when I was standing around on the chapel steps with the girls and some of my other friends and family and I saw CW across the street, waiting for the light to change. I had a good minute or two to just watch him and wait. There he was!
Actually, with all the family and wedding party — everyone who needed to be in photos — almost everyone was there early.
We did family and group photos and some couple photos all before the ceremony started, and at about 2:45 I made Claire and Mel come inside with me to hang out in the bathroom while the rest of our people (a whopping total of 32) showed up and got seated. CW might have already seen me in my dress before the wedding started, but I would be damned if everyone else got the same chance.
Soon enough, it was 3:00, and the wedding party folks gathered at the back of the church to await our music. Our officiant and friend, Derek, was standing at the front of the church and gave the cue to CW’s nephew who was manning the music in the wings. The Proclaimers’ “Let’s Get Married” started playing, and it was time.
This was the first moment I really felt nervous butterflies in my stomach. Even though CW and I had already seen each other beforehand, this was the moment things started to feel really real. It was happening! RIght now!
CW’s mom and dad walked him down the aisle to the front of the church, then his brother Connor and Melissa came in, then Jason and Claire, then my dad and my brother Peter walked me down the aisle. I really loved the way we did it. It wasn’t as if my dad was “giving me away” to become someone else’s property, but rather as if the people who raised us — our closest family — were walking us into the next phase of life.
Our friend Derek had helped us put together a really lovely ceremony and we’d asked my brother, CW’s friend Troy, and our mutual friend Becky to read selections: an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres, Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII, and Robert Fulghum’s “Union.” It was really moving to have each of these people involved and to hear their voices during the ceremony.
Then we read each other our vows, which we’d written ourselves. We’d agreed to write a series of promises, the first promise being the same from each of us and the others being individual. This was probably my favorite part of the ceremony. I hope I never forget how it felt to read mine and to hear CW read his.
An exchange of rings, a kiss, a pronouncement, and we were done! Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes sang us out of the church.
A few more photos, and we were ready to head to the reception at the hotel across the street — but we were about forty minutes early. The ceremony and even the photos afterward hadn’t quite taken as long as we thought, so we wound up stopping in the hotel’s cocktail lounge for a glass of champagne. Like my first view of CW waiting on the other side of the street, this was one of those funny, unplanned moments of the day that we both think were so lovely.
The reception was just tons of fun. The food turned out well, the seating charts worked and people enjoyed talking to ther neighbors (or so we think!). Our dads and the other members of the wedding party made their toasts, which were so sweet and maybe made some people cry just a little. I admit nothing.
We had our first dance to Tom Waits’ “Little Trip to Heaven,” which was the first song we picked for any aspect of the wedding. Months ahead of time, we just knew we wanted to use that song. I loved it because it is the sweetest, prettiest song — and also it is Tom Waits, which I think is such an us thing to do.
We had plenty to eat and drink and good music. We had made playlists for the night, and occasionally we just went over to the computer (which was connected to the built-in sound system in the event room where we were — so easy) and swapped between the chill playlist and the more dancey one. At one point I even bought a song from iTunes because it was apparently needed. This worked out fine, in spite of my many pre-wedding music-related worries.
People shook their asses a sufficiant amount, the children were adorable on the dance floor, and there was really good cake.
Publix, you guys. White cake, vanilla buttercream, and a layer of lemon filling. SO GOOD. And of course we kept it clean with our eating and did not smush cake in each other’s faces. (He would never have done it. He’s too sweet to me to smush cake in my face.)
Claire bought us the coolest present: a Fuji Instax 8 and a bunch of film to use during the reception, plus a little keepsake box for the photos. It was so fun, seeing all the fun candid photos people snapped all night and reading the little messages they wrote on them. By the end of the night, a few folks had to go, and the crowd was small enough to fit around just one table, so we all sat around and had one more drink before we said goodnight. That little circle was one of my favorite times of the night.
Another of my favorite memories was the next morning, when we got the chance to read through the guest book and flip through the Fuji prints while eating leftover cake in bed. If I could somehow arrange to do that with CW every Sunday morning, I feel certain I’d have a very happy life indeed.