Funny how our wedding was only six hours long, but I've managed to turn it into a saga here on the blog ;) We've already covered the rehearsal, getting ready, the first look, and that brings us to the good part: Saying I do!
We got married on a sunny but slightly chilly and breezy Saturday evening. I mentioned in my last wedding post how seeing Joe before the ceremony got rid of most of those pre-wedding jitters. After our first look my mom, my sisters, and I rode up to the reception site and waited it out until it was time to walk down the aisle. The anticipation of waiting brought those jitters back full force. My mom rustled us up some snacks since it was almost six and none of us had eaten since breakfast. My sisters calmed down a minor freakout I was having over my windblown hair and put everything back in its place, and then before we knew it it was time to head down to the ceremony site!! Yes, there was more screaming in the car. Hopefully we paid the driver a little extra to deal with all our madness. But we couldn't contain ourselves. It was just so surreal that it was finally happening.
We got out of the car and I could see all the guests seated. Joe, Ez, Declan, and the rest of the family that would be walking down the aisle were all gathered at the beginning of the walkway. From that point on things went by in a blur. Thank goodness for our wedding coordinator because I couldn't do much else than follow simple instructions by that point. Stand here. Wait. Wait. Wait. Go! But slowly!
These pictures of my brother walking Ez and Declan down the aisle are some of my favorites. I wish I could've been at the other end of the aisle watching because I think their walk down the aisle probably topped mine as the highlight of the procession. Brett (my brother) said it was like herding cats. Declan kept staring forlornly back toward me. Ez was in charge of the ring box which he alternated between driving like a car, complete with vroom sounds, or trying to open. Despite it being a rather slow walk, it all went so much better than I was anticipating. I thought for sure Declan would hurl the wooden sign around his neck at someone's face, since that's what he did during the trial runs at home. I thought Ez would freeze at the sight of all those people and just plant his feet and not walk. Also, we got married on a cliffside, and I was definitely second guessing the wisdom of that decision with two toddlers in the wedding party. But in the end they were little rock stars and did a great job, and Uncle Brett was amazing for herding them along so efficiently.
Once Ez and Declan were safely at the other end of the aisle it was my turn! My dad and stepdad both walked me down the aisle, which was 212 feet long I might add. It looked like a mile when we were standing at the other end. I remember as we were walking along we'd speed up a little bit because it looked like we had so far to go, and everyone was staring at us, but then one of us would remind the others to slow down. I also remember that as we got closer to all our guests I saw so many friendly faces staring at me, and it was like it dawned on me for the first time that I wasn't just up there in front of a crowd of people (which is scary) but that I was surrounded by my closest family and friends. And I don't think there's ever been a situation before where all these people I love so much were in the same place at the same time. As I was walking past everyone it dawned on me how special it was that all these people showed up for us, many from long distances, and that's a moment I'll never forget.
I also remember getting closer to Joe and seeing him standing there looking so handsome and just beaming. That's another moment I won't forget as long as I live.
After a few minutes that simultaneously felt like an hour and no time at all we reached the end of the walkway and our Pastor asked who gives me away. Both my dads said we do, and it was time to hug them goodbye (which hopefully wasn't awkward after our wedding coordinator made us practice over and over at the rehearsal). From that moment on it was just me and Joe, and I wasn't aware of too much else around us. I wasn't sure if we'd be emotional or nervous, but we were both just beaming from ear to ear and so happy. No tears at all. Not from us, anyway ;)
Another thing I was slightly worried about with the boys was whether they would actually sit through the ceremony, or if they'd see mom and dad up there and want to join in on the fun. During the rehearsal Ez sat himself on the ground right between Joe and I and couldn't be dragged away, yet miraculously he sat perfectly content on Grandma's lap the whole time. Even though neither of them look too happy in these pictures, I was still pleasantly surprised that they sat quietly still.
When it came time to say our vows, the Pastor told Joe to repeat after him, and then, at the end, when I was supposed to say I do, the Pastor said it first, so Joe repeated him, which was pretty funny. He basically married himself. Other than that, the only parts that really stood out to me were that I realized I've never stared into someone eye's for a full ten minutes before. Especially not with an audience. I'm not sure if those are the thoughts you're supposed to be thinking while you're getting married, but Joe said afterward it felt like a long time too, so at least we're on the same page there. The other thing I remember is that right when Joe said I do a huge gust of wind blew past us, which seemed like a sign of some kind. Not sure exactly what that sign meant, but we'll assume it was good luck.
When it came time to kiss we made sure to do a nice long ten second one, for photo purposes, and because we just got MARRIED, but mainly because that's what the coordinator told us to do. I think we knew it was long enough once people started laughing and the pastor said "I think you'll get a good photo out of that one." Mission accomplished.
The photographer asked for one more kiss, "because obviously you guys like kissing.":
This little guy could not wait to see mommy. You can tell by his walk he meant business. Joe tried to bend down and intercept him for a hug, but nope. He just wanted mommy. And he may have been slightly intrigued by the giant bouquet of flowers. Love this kid so much.
My mom had shuttles take all the guests up the street to the reception, and while most of the guests were leaving we managed to snag a few more photos just Joe and I, as well as some with the family. As much as I love each and every one of these photos, now that the blur of the day is over and I've had time to think there are so many more group shots I wish we'd gotten. I definitely wish Ez and Declan were in more shots. I guess you can never have too many wedding photos, right? But thankfully all the ones we did get are lovely and I'm pretty sure my face muscles would have frozen in place because I was smiling so much anyway. My jaws and cheeks actually hurt the next day.
Before we look at all the lovely bridesmaid photos I just want to point out that my sisters all bought their dresses separately, in two different countries, without any consultation other than some texts to me, and following my vague "peachy" color instructions they somehow all managed to match perfectly. And I mentioned before they all did their own hair and makeup and they look absolutely gorgeous. Thank you ladies, I couldn't even imagine the day without you by my side!
Now that the formalities are over with, it's time to PARTY!! So many fun photos coming up next week.