Is it overkill yet?? Of course it is, but I’ll stop next week. There are so many moments from our wedding day that I don’t want to forget. So this post will be my little time capsule, where I write down everything that years from now, I hope I still remember like it was yesterday.
All photos are still by Daphne and Dean!
This was before I met Joe for our first look. I had given everyone their gifts already, but only saw my dad briefly in a hallway. I handed him his gift but had to walk away – it was socks with a cute saying and a card telling him how incredible a father he has always been. In his typical fashion, he didn’t read what the socks said and just asked me mom “why’d she give me socks?” A few minutes later when I saw him again he hadn’t opened his card still, so he did in front of me and then hugged me tight, telling me how proud he is of me and the life Joe and I have made together, and how good a daughter I have been. I silently cried while he hugged me as close as he did the day I graduated high school, and sneaky Erin grabbed the perfect photo of the moment when I didn’t even know she was there. Ten years after graduating, I’ve never forgotten how my dad hugged me that day and I hope I never forget how he hugged me and what he told me in this moment.
Our first look! My mom still talks about the look Joe had on his face when he saw me as his prom date way back when. I think it was the same look he had here. He told me he was trying to keep it together and not cry on camera but I actually choked up for a second in disbelief that the day was finally here and happening. Then he asked to see my shoes 🙂
The way our venue was set up, there’s a fountain pool right in the middle of the lawn, so I knew my walk with my dad down the aisle wouldn’t be a straight shot. I thought we’d have to walk around it but the way they set the chairs up, we walked arm in arm in until we got to the chairs, then it turned single file – so he took my hand and led me through the crowd. Everyone after the ceremony told me how impressed they were with how carefully he led me to the altar.
The first moment from the actual ceremony that got me going has to be explained with a backstory. We lost our original officiant three days before the wedding, when her mom sadly had a debilitating stroke. Sometimes certain things in life happen outside of anyone’s control and I felt so terribly for Jane on Tuesday when she called and told me. In one of the worst moments of her life she had to pause to worry about cancelling on me and I know how bad she felt doing that, but I also completely understood the situation and her heartache.
So the search was on for a new officiant and I was worried at first that we wouldn’t find someone in time. Then after putting out a public post on Facebook, the suggestions started flowing in and my worry that we wouldn’t find anyone turned to fear that we wouldn’t find someone that wouldn’t charge and arm and a leg, that wouldn’t be religious, that would be on time, that wasn’t crazy, and the list goes on. It’s such a special day that you want the person marrying you to be someone you can trust, and I didn’t know what to do. Our friends started cold calling people and trying anyone they could think of (something I’ll be always grateful for) and then, one of my oldest and best friends came up with a solution.
I met Tracy when I was 12, through my dad’s little league team. I babysat her twin girls starting when they were 4, and now they’re in their 20’s and taller than me. I grew up with Tracy and told her everything. She’s been present for every single important moment and milestone in my life – I even have a photo of her fixing a tear in my prom dress before I left with Joe senior year of high school. She was there on my graduation day. She sat with us while my mom had chemo. We’ve listened to each other cry about boys and men and family, she’s been so close to my family for more than half my life. A reassuring and trustworthy presence who would give the shirt off her back if you needed it.
She got ordained online and once I called the town hall to make sure it was legit for her to marry us, I wrote a ceremony and breathed a sigh of relief. Not only could I trust Tracy, it would be even more special that one of my favorite people would be marrying me to my absolute favorite person.
So the moment came, I got to the end of the altar, Joe shook my dad’s hand and led me to Tracy. We caught each other’s eyes and both just choked up. All those years flashed between us and we both had to fan ourselves for a quick second before we went on. It meant everything that she was there for me, yet again. And I can’t wait for her wedding in November!!
AND not only did she marry us, but she and her girls busted their asses setting up the tables, chairs and details of the wedding before the ceremony and cleaning everything up at the end. We literally couldn’t have gotten married without them.
The moment after our first kiss, “Signed Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder played, and we hugged all our friends and family.
Some more of my favorite moments:
When we were taking photos with the dogs and Jen and Greg pulled up, Jen squealed like only she can and the dogs attention immediately went to her, so she had to get out of the car and stand to get their attention to the camera again.
Getting overwhelmed with the heat, lack of food til that point and adrenaline and having to sit in the bridal room for a few moments to unwind after the ceremony. Joe was entertaining everyone like a pro, and Jen and Rachael came and sat with me waiting for the Ibuprofen and Tums to kick in, while Erin “stood guard” outside the door, like only friends can.
My mom’s smile all day. She just glows when she’s happy and I can see how happy she is that I’ve found my happiness. She didn’t cry once all day, just let her smile explain how she felt.
Dancing with Joe. I was a little worried I’d be nervous, but the world faded away while we swayed. We were forehead to forehead at one point and I swear the rest of the room disappeared.
Dancing with my dad. My Girl played and he moved me around the floor and I felt like his little girl again.
Just dancing. Just let me dance with my friends forever. One of my besties had to miss the ceremony because work wouldn’t let him leave and he arrived later at the reception, RIGHT at the moment that one of our favorite songs from high school came on. Apple Bottom jeans and boots with the fur forever, JZ.
And yes, I did an outfit change for the dance floor. The bottom of my dress got a little wet in the rain and the layers got heavy. I’m so happy I thought to bring my bridal shower dress as an emergency backup!!
And lastly, just so I have them preserved one more place, the readings from our ceremony.
Jen read an Apache Love Blessing.
“Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth. Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficulties and fear assail your relationship, as they threaten all relationships at one time or another, remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives — remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.”
and Rachael read a poem by James Kavanaugh.
To love is not to possess,
To own or imprison,
Nor to lose one’s self in another.
Love is to join and separate,
To walk alone and together,
To find a laughing freedom
That lonely isolation does not permit.
It is finally to be able
To be who we really are
No longer clinging in childish dependency
Nor docilely living separate lives in silence,
It is to be perfectly one’s self
And perfectly joined in permanent commitment
To another–and to one’s inner self.
Love only endures when it moves like waves,
Receding and returning gently or passionately,
Or moving lovingly like the tide
In the moon’s own predictable harmony,
Because finally, despite a child’s scars
Or an adult’s deepest wounds,
They are openly free to be
Who they really are–and always secretly were,
In the very core of their being
Where true and lasting love can alone abide.