As life usually has it, June 20, 2015, the wedding day, eventually rolled around no matter how many times we uttered, "It's taking forever. I feel as if it will never get here." The events leading up to the wedding ceremony were spent in a nervous, psyched stupor as I tried hard to imagine how today could possibly be the "best day of my life" when I was about to face 100 degree heat, endless posing for pictures, and people gawking over James and me. To make it clear, I was very excited for marrying James and spending the rest of our lives together, but the actual wedding day left me in a jittery mess internally while I tried to maintain my composure outwardly.
Nonetheless, I am used to competition, having been a high school and college athlete in cross country and track. Quite humorously, I visualized our wedding and reception as another race and prepared for it in the same fashion by remaining focused and quiet while replaying "Lose Yourself" over and over in my head. However, much as my premonition of spilling sauce all over me suggested, James struggled the morning of the wedding. I cannot recall exactly what happened, but I know it involved a missing suit in a locked apartment, and a lost tie in a lost car. For me, on the other hand, it was smooth sailing. I made it to the church with my dad's arm in tow, awaiting the doors to open, and I was able to take a deep breath and momentarily reflect on how I got here largely thanks to my #squad (I can't believe I just used that juvenile term.).
My bridesmaid Jenn-She refreshed me with water, mints, food (and later on alcohol) whenever I needed it. Her talents of being a bridesmaid were on point. She was handing me things I needed before I even knew I needed them.
My bridesmaid Steph-She handled James' issues with ease and manned the phones whenever he called with an emergency. This is the reason why I cannot recall what exactly happened with him that morning. Steph also has a charisma about her that makes being around her a joy.
My bridesmaid Jane-Her mere presence makes me laugh. She came up with chants, like we did in college, to say before the wedding in order to keep things lighthearted.
My bridesmaid Kara-She led a prayer right before the ceremony, reminding us all the importance of keeping God the center of marriage. She was also my roommate leading up to the wedding.
My bridesmaid Alyssa-She is calm and levelheaded. I like having her by my side because I know everything will be all right when she's around.
My bridesmaid Kelly-She's the entertainer and keeps the mood fun. She was the one singing and having everyone laughing as we were getting ready. She also introduced me to James.
My bridesmaid Whitney-The only one married of my bridesmaids, she gave me much needed advice on weddings and marriage the day of the wedding. We can look at each other and know what each one is thinking. All she has to do is look at me from across the room, and I a huge smile lights up my face.
My bridesmaid Michelle-Having such a passion for God and the Catholic Church, her faith is a constant reminder of my desire to be a loving wife in the eyes of the Lord. She and I, also, can never stop giggling when around each other. And, no doubt, that day proved no differently as we both took great delight in the word "nuptials."
My maids of honor Amy and Sarah-These two have been by my side since I was a baby. The kept everything in order and led the group with such poise. They made me laugh when I needed it. They listened when I called. They gave me advice when I asked.
My Godmother and aunt Charlene-She had one of the most important jobs throughout the whole wedding planning and that is keeping my mom calm while also using her skills of organizing and planning to pull off all of the little detail and logistics.
And finally my mom-As evident in the pictures that I post, she did an amazing job of crafting, decorating, organizing, planning, and supporting me throughout this very important time in my life. Her loving guidance has shaped me into the person I am today.
Of course, I would in additionally like to thank my dad, my now husband, James, and all family and friends who traveled near or far to be at our wedding.
The doors swung open and "How Beautiful" rang out of the singer's mouth as I took the first step closer to my crying husband, and it was the best day of my life....
P.S. I did not elaborate on my wedding day because I do not want you comparing your future or past wedding to mine or anyone's wedding for that matter. Some good music, dancing, your family, friends, and spouse by your side, and God in your heart will make any wedding the best day of your life. :-) I will continue posting throughout the next few months a few more posts on life after the wedding and married life.
If the days leading up to the wedding were a sound, it would go like this: wshhhhwaaaaaahhhheeeeekkkksighsighsighoooooemmmmgeeeeeuhhuhhhuhhhhok. Thus, I do not recall much of what happened, but I do know that I tried to sneak in as much Parks and Recreation as I could.
Soon enough all of my family and bridal party had arrived to Raleigh, North Carolina, and the day that I thought seemed so far away when I got engaged was a day away. We all assembled at St. Raphael's Church where we practiced the wedding in speed mode. Afterwards, the bridal ensemble made out way to downtown where we dined at the Big Easy, the restaurant/bar where I first laid eyes on James.
The rehearsal and rehearsal dinner carried out in typical fashion. We laughed, we drank, we ate. I was thrilled to have my family, closest friends, and soon to be husband under one roof, but underneath the excitement I had some nerves on the amount of attention and busyness that the next day would hold. Anyway, the night soon ended, and I headed home with my mom. As I was walking into the door, I spilled sauce from my leftovers all over my white dress. Covered in sauce, I started to cry. And that is what I did the night before I got married, hoping that this was in no way any indication of what was to come….
It doesn't bode well for the wedding when you're nervous about the bridal shower due to the amount of attention you'll receive when opening the gifts. Yep, I was anxious days before the event even arrived. After all, all of these people I loved were taking time out of their days to "shower" me with love and gifts. I wanted to make sure I displayed the appropriate amount of enthusiasm when I unwrapped their presents, no matter how mundane the item may be. Therefore, being one who is always well prepared, I practiced changing my facial expressions, varying the pitch and tone of my voice to sound authentic, and responding with humorous quips to each unique gift. In all my wisdom and experience, I have gathered for all of those people who go through life rather awkwardly like me some advice on handling showers and other social gatherings that center around you.
Tips for being the center of attention