So today is our wedding anniversary. Ten (TEN?!) sweet years ago, we stood in front of the church (that eventually became "our" church) and spoke vows about love and honor and forever. We laughed and cried and danced and smiled for approximately 10,000 photos. The day was lovely.
I have so many fun memories from our wedding and the days leading up to it. Being surrounded by all of our family and very best friends was such a blessing and more fun than I could have imagined. I felt like a princess. But this isn't a sappy post about perfect hair and fancy dresses. This is the real story....the behind-the-scenes, random memories of the madness of getting married and throwing the biggest party of your life. Because sometimes it's not the picture-perfect memories that make you smile or laugh years later. It's the oops moments and things that seem important at the time and seem silly in retrospect. Much like marriage, even a wedding that appears picture perfect has it's share of snags and detours. But sometimes those are the best memories of all.
Our rehearsal dinner was at a venue that didn't have a liquor license. It seemed weird. It was almost a deal breaker. We stressed over picking this restaurant but ultimately did it because they had good food and we got to have the whole place to ourselves. We went with a Hawaiian theme and handed out leis and kazoos. I think everyone had fun....even the ones that ran across the street before dinner to grab a drink at the bar.
I had my vows memorized days before the ceremony. I was a bit anxious about that so I studied hard to make sure I didn't slip up on the big day. I was feeling confident and ready until I went to practice with one of my bridesmaids the day before the wedding. As soon as I said the words out loud for the first time, I got choked up and could hardly hold back the tears. I had been saying the vows over and over in my head. Speaking them out loud was a whole different experience. I started to laugh. And then panic thinking I would be a blubbering mess on my wedding day. So we practiced some more. And some more. And then I practiced alone in my hotel room that night. My word of advice to anyone getting married has always been, "Practice your vows out loud!"
It rained and dumped hail the morning of our wedding. The ceremony was scheduled for 4pm, and I remember sitting in the chair at the hair salon getting my 'do and watching sheets of hail pour from the sky. I had a bit of angst as to how I would get to the church without looking like a drowned rat. It all worked out. I think I used an umbrella. By early afternoon the sky had cleared and after the ceremony, we got some beautiful outdoor photos on the Diestelhorst Bridge.
My mom loaned me her pearl necklace to wear. It was her wedding gift from my dad when they got married many moons ago. She put them on me when I was getting dressed which seemed so special. Until hubby and I got back to our hotel room at the end of the evening and realized that we didn't know how to get those pearls off! The clasp was unusual and I had no idea how it worked since I didn't put them on myself. I tried and tried. I wiggled, pulled, pushed, tugged....nothing. Hubby tried to help but it was a lost cause. After a long struggle to remove the pearls from my neck, the strand broke. BROKE! I broke my mom's wedding pearls on my wedding night. I had one of my bridesmaids rush them to the jeweler to be re-strung while we were on our honeymoon. And I don't know that I've ever told my mom this story. So.....sorry about that, mom. Good news is that your 48-year old pearl necklace has recently been restrung.
There was a tablecloth dispute. I think they were supposed to be cream. The caterer used white. At the time it seemed like a VERY BIG DEAL. In hindsight, not so much. I don't even remember why I preferred cream. Surely there was a reason. Anyway, the tablecloths finally got changed to cream before we got to the reception. So after setting all the plates, cups, silverware, centerpieces and beverages out on white tablecloths, the waitstaff then cleared all the tables and re-set them in cream. Pretty sure they spit in my salad.
We tried to be somewhat conservative on spending for our big day. We haggled with the reception venue, bought flowers through a friend that had a re-sale license, and purchased all the wine ourselves at Liquor Barn. The one thing we were thoughtful about was selecting a photographer that we liked, not necessarily the cheapest one. In the grand scheme of wedding planning, that was the best decision ever. The pictures are one of the very few pieces of your wedding day that you take with you for the rest of your life. Unlike that very expensive dress collecting dust in my closet, we see our wedding photos displayed in our home every day. I'm thankful not only for the beautiful photos, but for the kind and gentle presence of Heidi K. Miller throughout our day. We found lots of photographers that did good work. We picked Heidi because she took amazing pictures AND she was fun to have tagging along with us all day.
And of course, some of my favorites aren't necessarily the posed photos....but the ones that capture the small details of our day. Perfect and imperfect.