A Storybook Fairy Tale Kind of Day

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Photos courtesy of Paul Retherford Photography

Today feels like taking the last sip out of your glass of a really smooth whiskey.  Bittersweet. Your mind is still reeling from the previous sips and yet, you have one more at the bottom of your glass, swishing around over what’s left of the ice as you wrap your head around the amazing oaky flavor and smooth texture that has left you feeling warmed from the inside out.

Today is that last sip for me. The last week and a half has been the craziest whirlwind of emotion for me, for us. All the preparation that we put into planning seemed to really reach its peak just a day or two before the wedding. At that point I took off work to strictly run around like a crazy person with a car full of mums, pumpkins and last-minute cocktail mixers. I found that if you preface your purchases of bulk liquor and 15 potted plants with “Wedding” or “bride” people accept it. If you don’t explain your intent, people think you are a crazy person. Thursday Steve and I had the most amazing group of friends and family that helped us in any way we asked. We had an army of people who I now refer to as my “heart army”, to borrow a term from a dear friend of mine. These humans are some of the finest humans in existence today, the type that would give you the shirt off their back before asking what happened to your shirt. We all came together and worked our butts off to set up, unpack and bring our vision to life in our gorgeous barn venue. Then we all got together and did what we do best, we ate. We relaxed. We enjoyed our new group of people together.

That night for the sake of tradition, Steve stayed at his parents and I went home. It was the first night I had been in our tiny apartment without my fiance’ OR our dog. I think I got maybe 2 hours of sleep that night? It was not a restful night. I was excited, my thoughts running away with me but most of all, I was ready. I was ready to promise my life to my best friend and see all our hard work and budgeting pay off.

The morning of the wedding came and it was raining. I had to leave before the sun came up for my hair appointment. So I loaded my car with cocktail mixers, my dress, my duffel bags, and anything I may have needed for the next 2 days. My hair didn’t take as long as we had budgeted for so I got an extra hour back in my day which I used to surprise my mom with a Dunkin Donuts coffee at her hair appointment. I thought we could use some quiet time together before her first-born walked down the aisle. I am so glad I used that time. These are moments that I will remember for years.

I ran into a traffic jam on the way to the venue, which set me back about 45 minutes but I had planned a chunk of time in the afternoon for specifically this reason. So no worries from this bride! Once the day officially got started it went so fast. All my girls looked absolutely stunning. We were all able to spend a little time together between hair and makeup. They commented on how calm I was. It’s true. I have never been more sure of anything in my life. Why would I be nervous? I get more nervous about trying a new recipe for dinner than I did about marrying the man of my dreams.

Finally the time came for our “first look” and it was perfect. He reacted exactly as I had hoped. He was speechless. No tears, nothing dramatic just speechless. That’s us though. This was the perfect way to alleviate any anxiousness we felt just before the ceremony. The nerves were gone. We were together and that’s all that mattered. The ceremony was performed by a close, personal friend of mine and it was heartfelt and personal. Again, perfect. From there, our reception went off without any snags or bumps and everyone had a blast.

After a day or so of chaos we were off to our honeymoon in Traverse City, Michigan. I didn’t know I could fall in love with a place until we were leaving and my heart was filled with sorrow. I told Steve, I wish something, anything would have gone wrong on our wedding day or our honeymoon so I could hold on to that one imperfection and be glad it is over. But everything was perfect, absolutely, stunningly perfect. Spending our first week as a married couple exploring a new town, new breweries, new scenery was magical. You know, it’s funny. People tell you things are “different” once that second ring is on your finger and as an engaged couple you think that sounds bad and you swear it won’t. But it does. And it’s not bad. It’s actually pretty awesome. To look at this person that you’ve committed your life and love to for as long as you live it’s really cool. We’ve been co-workers, friends, long distance acquaintances, girlfriend/boyfriend, fiance’s and now we are husband and wife. It’s really cool to have someone in my life as long as this loving and adoring man. He knows me inside and out, better than I know myself some days. He is a blessing.

Now, today is the last day of our honeymoon before the reality of life sets back in and we go back to working full-time. Both of us are trying desperately to hold on to what we have felt the last two weeks, freedom, excitement and spontaneity. We have already began planning our next trip to Traverse City, putting pins on Google Maps and including other Northern Michigan cities. I am so excited to see where this life takes us together. And I couldn’t be happier to have married my best friend.

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Photograph Courtesy of Paul Retherford Photography

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