The Wedding Day Diary

 

The curtain has closed on our big day…

I’ve been procrastinating, being down-right lazy, not wanting to write this final wedding blog. I’m sad it’s over…no more planning, no more color swatches to toy with, no more decorations to make, no more food & cake to sample…

I at least have gorgeous pictures from Kris Arnold and Nikki Dahl (now, Nikki Arnold congrats!) to keep the wedding memory fresh. They did such a remarkable job documenting the whole thing from start to finish.  I think you can tell by the photos that the day went smoothly, but to satisfy my need to re-live the moments, and to keep my story a bit better organized than normal I’ve formatted the day’s events into a diary entry – enjoy!

9:00am: Rise & Shine!  My brother calls to see if I want to eat breakfast.  GD-it, no!  I want to sleep!  My mom can’t wait to get out of the hotel room, so she joins him.   I sleep in a while longer…

11am: I’m up and at ’em, with not too much to do.  Nothing on my itinerary started before noon (smart cookie, eh?), so I watched TV and painted my nails.

12pm:  I’m nervous that I’m not getting any calls…
Mr. M and my long-time beloved friend Mr. Chad are busy starting their day wrangling the home-made decorations and other wedding paraphernalia from my house and lugging it to the reception site.

1pm:  Bridesmaids start to arrive to my hotel, with tons of munchies, including my all-time favorite cookie that bridesmaid Monica’s Grandma makes.  But I’m too nervous to eat much.  A couple of grapes here and there.  I’m mostly nervous because there’s nothing for us to do but wait.

2pm:  Things get rollin’ around this time.  My AMAZING hairdresser Megan from A ‘Do Hair Salon arrives.  Megan gets my hair.  She just *gets* it.  And she gets it right every time.  She’s the first hairdresser I’ve trusted in a long time.  She helped me grow my hair out longer than it’s ever been…and she’ll be the one to shear it all off when I’m ready!
It’s also around 2pm that I realize I forgot to put “Pick Up The Wine!” on the Leading Man’s ‘To-Do’ list!!  I had ordered wine from Easley Winery downtown, and was supposed to have someone pick it up earlier that day to take to the reception to set up at the bar.  I was freaking out.   I called Mr. Chad, and he was amazingly calm.  One thing that I under-appreciated that day was that he was the buffer between me & Mr. M all day.  He never let me get hysterical, and probably more valuable, he never let Mr. M hear me get hysterical or stressed out.  He was soooo caalllmm.
I also called my Mighty Mouse of the day, Natalie Hinton, owner of La Vida Dulce Events.  Natalie was busy getting the lay of the land at the Harrison Center for the Arts.  She assured me that just in case Mr. Chad forgot to tell Mr. M, or Mr. M didn’t get my text, she would be sure that it got done.  Sigh. Of. Relief.  Natalie — and her incredibly all-in husband — did an amazing job for me the entire day.  You’ll see their importance throughout this blog-diary, but I have to tell you right now, it was THE BEST purchase for my wedding.  Yes, the food was amazing;  Yes, the cake was the best cake anyone has every had at a wedding – or elsewhere;  But none of it would have been possible, and would have in fact all fallen apart, had Natalie not been there to sew together the final stitches to make it all happen.

4:30pm My Mom, Bridesmaids, and I leave the hotel downtown and head to the Harrison Center.  This was one of the more acutely planned details of the day.

4:30p – we leave hotel room
4:45p – we arrive at Harrison Center to take a pre-view look around
5:00p – Shuttle arrives; Bridesmaids, Mom, and I take shuttle to the Wedding Site
5:30p – Guests start to arrive at Harrison Center to take shuttle to Wedding Site
6:30p – Wedding Starts

But, here’s how it went down.
4:45pm: We arrive at the Harrison Center, and all the bridesmaids park their car, and we slip into the Harrison Center to take a peek at the gym to see how the decorations turned out.  Natalie meets me and gives me an update.  All the vendors have been paid, and the cakes have just arrived, and everything has gone very smoothly.  I stepped inside the gym, and I am now kicking my arse that I didn’t take a picture then.  “Smoothly” was an understatement.  The bar was completely set up.  The DJ was already set. The Jazz Kitchen was ready to set out appetizers for the first arriving guests.  And from typed out notes and hand-written messages on boxes filled with home-made crafts, La Vida Dulce created my big-picture artsy reception right down to the last detail, totally exceeding my expectations!  Fabric bows on every-other chair?  yes.  Tissue Poms in the bird cage with a tree stump in the middle?  Yes.  3-4 fabric flowers around every Tree-Stump centerpiece?  Yes.  I am about to cry at how perfect it is, then the cakes start to arrive, and my bridesmaids are telling me we have to go, so we scoot out the back door where I’ve told the Shuttle driver to meet me.

So can you tell me why guests are outside the Harrison Center at 4:45pm waiting for the shuttle!!??

5:15pm:  After side-stepping Shuttle mayhem, we arrived at the house (wedding site).  Us girls ran upstairs, avoiding the guys, and took refuge in our “suite”.  It was SO HOT.  I can only imagine what the guests downstairs and outside in the sun were feeling.  I finished getting dressed (too early, probably), so all there was left to do was wait.  And wait.  We noticed our flowers had already been delivered and were set up in the corner for us.  McNamara Florists did a wonderful job.  I had originally wanted Peonies for my bouquet; but they advised that July was very rare for them to be in bloom, since it was the very end of their season.  So as my back-up I chose Anemones.  About a week before the wedding, McNamara’s let me know that their growers did not have any Anemones.  Crap.  So I really had no choice.  I just said go with Garden Roses.  McNamara said that if there was any possibility of getting either of my first choices, they would do it…but not to get my hopes up.  These things happen.  It’s just a bouquet, and really, any of the 3 flower choices would have looked gorgeous, so I was very much NOT stressing about it.  But, I was elated to see that they did end up finding the Peonies!

And I completely left the bridesmaids’ bouquets creation up to McNamara.  I just told them I wanted a “rustic, fresh-picked from the field” look, and they nailed it.

6:00pm: 6pm arrived so quickly, yet came so slowly at the same time.  The bridal party swished downstairs and I exited the room last.  This was it.  I was waiting at the top of the stairs (waiting to be summoned) and I could hear the din of voices downstairs.  I was so acutely aware of everything going on around me:  the shuffling of feet as the bridal party paraded out the door;  the violin playing outside (courtesy of our lovely friend Lauren Eison {of Sloth Pop});  the butterflies in my stomach;  the feel of how perfectly my dress fit;  the smell of the peonies in my bouquet.

Finally, it was time for me to walk out.

This was the first time on this day that I thought of my dad.  Dad died 8 years ago from lung cancer.  Eight years ago, a wedding was the furthest thing from my mind.  Even in my imagination, my dream wedding wasn’t a formal show of any sort, and I honestly didn’t envision walking down the aisle with ANYONE.  But, now, years later, I was wishing he was here.

I met my oldest brother at the door, and he escorted me down the steps, through the crowd, and into the hands of  Ben.  Our “Master of Ceremonies”, Jim Poyser (esteemed editor at NUVO Newsweekly) harnessed all the nervous and static energy that was running through me and Ben, and everyone watching and just brought it all magically down to a quiet focal point.  We all took a collective breath;  then we sang “Thank You for Being a Friend” – yes, from Golden Girls – at which point I could no longer hold in all my feelings anymore and I started to cry.  I really really really wanted to sing that song.  But I couldn’t get out two words without choking up.  The rest of the ceremony – the prayer, the tree planting, the vows – went by so quickly, and before I knew it we were headed out the gate to our get-away bike!  This was one of my most favorite things about our wedding.  My friend Scott from  DG Bikes lent us a tandem bike and it made for an awesome trip around the block, and some awesome wedding pictures!
I’ll pause here so you can enjoy a few pics; tune in tomorrow for the continuation:  Wedding Day Diary – The Reception, where we enjoy food, cake and plenty o’ drinks.

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