Let's talk about a party. I'm not sure which beginning to begin with but this post is way overdue.
I'd start with waking up but despite being under the covers by 10, I doubt I got much sleep. I finally gave in sometime around 6 and climbed out to straighten a few things and let my hair lady into the room. I'd been honored to have one bridesmaid stay with me and the other two arrived earlier than I had any right to ask (but I asked anyway!)...my mom had probably been up for hours too.
Prepping went way too fast. My hair and makeup ladies helped make my loved ones even more beautiful and made me feel pampered. A minor hiccup felt major when we couldn't get my mother-in-law-to-be to the room but they helped solve that too (a side room off the Inn lobby). My officiant amazed me with his understanding of brides (well, he HAS done 2,000+ weddings and isn't called the Marrying Mayor for nothing) when he knocked and just passed word through the busyness that he was there, the groom was too, he had the papers he needed (including my uber-detailed schedule and thoughts), and he'd see me at the end of the aisle. Somehow it was suddenly on the later end and, being me, I ran across the parking lot in "wedding hair/makeup" and my PJs (late isn't me, but PJs definitely are)....running past a good dozen guests and letting them know it never happened.
More blur....and then I was standing on my step-dad's arm and two staff members were waiting my okay. I remember giving a subtle nod and the doors opening. I must have moved, but that's all a blur (thanks for getting me there, Jim!) until I was holding Bill's hands and looking into his "allergy eyes" (or so he says). We'd decided that we'd exchange matching vows but also read a previously-undisclosed message to each other. I'm told I was brave for trusting him but that never occurred to me. My words, however, had gone through a million iterations in my head before spilling onto the page the week before. I'm not sure how I managed to read them, or how anyone understood through my tears, but I did and they did. I listened to Bill and was glad I went first...I told the officiant I wanted to kiss him then and he kindly told me to take his hands instead. And then, it was done. Well, not really, but that's all I recall till we got the nod....the first kiss was practice, the second was perfect.
Pictures, appetizers, announcements....and the man I never knew to dream of singing to me as we danced. And then the FOOD. Worthy of its own post but we know I'd never get to it. We'd picked a brunch for a myriad of reasons including money and convenience (just about everyone had a two hour-ish ride so going in and out was an option for those who wanted it), but also because we love the mixed meal. We weren't disappointed with the spread that stretched from bacon to raw oysters (with lox, quiche, and house-made pastries in the middle!).
There's more I could say but I can't imagine more detail without MUCH more detail. But I must take the moment to thank all our guests. I was beyond honored to have such a wide range of people join us, from friends I made at age 8 to college classmates to people I'd only grown to know and love in recent years. From family, blood (who've been there through so much) and marriage, to friends-like-family and sisters of my heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. For the generosity but so much more for your presence. I'm truly blessed (and there's no better word, even for someone who had never been religious).
Of course, the best "guest" is the one I get to sleep next to every night.