Well, the wedding has come and gone, and I have to say, it was INCREDIBLE! I cannot express in words how wonderful and special it was for us, and also how much love there was in the air! There were relationships formed and strengthened that day and we are so incredibly blessed to have such amazing family and friends!
An so... a recap of literally the happiest day of my life!
Friday night we had our rehearsal and it went pretty well. I wasn't nervous, and I don't think Roger was too nervous... he did well practicing his vows. My dad was joking around a lot, and my aunt Bev was snapping away with the camera (thanks!!) as requested. Earlier that day I had been running around like a crazy person buying last minute items, getting my nails done, checking into the hotel, etc. But alls well that ends well, because by around 9pm or so there wasn't too too much to be done! My bridesmaid Becky ended up having a sleepover with Aidan and myself which was really nice. It was good to have someone to talk to besides my lovely 3 year old, and Becky is one of the most calm, positive people I have ever met.
Around midnight I started getting nervous. Weird, I know. I have been with Roger for over 5 years now, and although it is like we were already married, we weren't. Was I making the right decision?? I couldn't imagine my life without him, I love him... but eeks, marriage is a legally binding agreement! Just as I was wishing I had my leftover muscle relaxers from surgery, I fell asleep.
When I woke up, it was the wedding day and there was so much to be done on our tight schedule!!! Becky was kind enough to fetch me my morning Starbucks latte and take little Missy with her so I could take a shower and get dressed in peace. When they got back Aidan decided to not eat the bagel she had requested and then threw a fit because I told her that if she didn't eat her bagel she couldn't have her juice. Becky tried negotiations which were an epic FAIL. Stress level = 4ish. We had to hurry up and get across town so that my beautification could begin!
The downside of the beauty shop being across town is just that... it's across town. The upside: it is right by my parents' house! So, I was able to drop Aidan off with my dad and brothers while I got my hair done. Sidetrack a little: my dad is not my dad, he is my stepdad. But he has been more of a dad to me than my real dad. So, I skip the step and call him dad. He's earned it! Other side note: I have 2 brothers who are teen/preteen. Pain in the ass, right? Nope, not right. They are the two most respectful, well behaved, loving brothers I could ever ask for. So for whatever reason, whenever we go over to hang out with them, I leave feeling so much better! After I dropped Aidan off, stress level was down to a 1-2. Thanks guys! xoxo
I arrived at the beauty salon only to find my mother getting her hair blown out and looking like a british lady (kinda reminded me of that Susan Boyle or whatever her name is... the singer lady!). She looked good though and Sandra, our family hairdresser was kind enough to spruce her up with some foundation and makeup. More on that later. But of course, my mom Janet, started her appointment later than arranged and thus we were about 20 minutes behind schedule. Stress level - back up to 4. But I was confident Sandra could make up some time!!! haha Also, at that time I got a text message from Roger. It said how much he loved me and how excited he was to be marrying me. Roger is not very emotional most of the time so to get that text just put a little happy cloud in my mind. It felt good to know he was excited as I was!
I had had a practice hair run, which I showed you all in my last post, but with my new dress, I knew I wanted something close to what we had agreed on (a low chignon) but a little more exciting. The most important thing to me was having my hair OFF MY FACE. No wispies, no swoop, nada. Just a clean, elegant look. I had asked my mom to raid my grandmother's old jewelry and she definitely delivered!!! She showed up with a gorgeous rhinestone brooch that was PERFECT as my hair adornment. So with that and Sandra's hair skills, I wound up looking amazing....just a little tired without any makeup!
The agreement with my mom was that she'd get her hair done, get home and packed up with her stuff, and then when I was done, Becky and I would swing by and pick up her and Aidan to take back to the hotel for getting ready pics. Of course, she was lagging, and that's when Bridezilla finally reared her ugly head. Sorry MOM! Stress level = 7ish.
As it turns out my makeup artist Jennifer was running late as well, so ironically her tardiness made me feel better about my own! Let me just tell you that having her as my makeup artist was one of the best decisions I made for this wedding. I met Jennifer in 1st grade.... fast forward to now... we knew each other as aquaintances with the passing of time, but thanks to the advent of Facebook I knew that she was a MAC makeup consultant, so after emailing her we arranged a trial. It was awesome! My only complaint was that I got oily really quickly so she was kind enough to do a SECOND trial for me. God Bless her. And of course day of, she definitely delivered!!!! AND she even fixed my mom's makeup from that morning so that she looked perfect. So THANK YOU Jenn!!! YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!
Having my mom there for getting ready pics was important to me. It is tradition afterall. Plus it controlled her arrival time for the ceremony ; ) But really what it ended up doing most was having helping hands with Aidan and Kate. Again, a thank goodness! Not so much for Kate, but for my darling demon child.... Aidan is a handful! Thankfully she loves her grandma and my mom was able to somewhat control her while I started the getting ready process. The only thing was that I didn't know that the photographers were all taking pics of Roger and his guys getting ready so that was stressing me out, and Roger had sent Benjamin up to the room because he was getting unruly down in the guys room.... so I had 2 kids raising my blood pressure! Stress level = 8-9.... Bridezilla: IN FULL EFFECT! I think my mom and cousin and Becky and even poor Jenn who redid my eyes because I randomly thought they were not what I wanted, only to say "actually they were good the way they were", and my kids... they ALL deserve a bridezilla apology. Sorry guys, thanks for being patient with me! And kudos to my gorgeous ladies in waiting who didn't even snap back at me when I said that their hair looked like they just got up and said "im gonna be in a wedding".... yeah, bridezilla was DEFINITELY in effect.
Thankfully, before I could strangle anyone, my aunt Bev showed up. We had arranged for her to come to the hotel around noon to give Benji a much needed nap. She was running late, but got there around 12:30... just in the nick of time! But not only did she show up, she came bearing gifts, one of them being a gorgeous tennis bracelet that I decided to wear for the wedding! The other gift was so her.... I opened the card and it basically said that she loved me, and would always be in my corner cheering me on. Then I opened the gift and just about DIED laughing.
It was a book entitled "You're ALL THAT!" Love it!
At that moment, Barbara, my photographer, and her entourage showed up. Just in time to capture the gift exchange and my happy laughter. They also got a few shots of my makeup pretending to still be done, and Barbara also had the idea of doing some "bridal budoir" shots. Va va voom! I happily obliged, bright green granny panties and all ; ) Hopefully she positioned me so that they aren't noticeable, but we had a good laugh. Hey, isn't green good luck?!
After that it was time for my dress.... oh my dress. 4th time is more than the charm! My dress is and was absolutely spectacular! My aunt was wowed, as was everyone else in the room. I felt amazing! Then it was time for veil, jewelry, and then... SHOWTIME! I had decided that it would be best to do our bridal party portraits before the ceremony. I didn't want to be rushed and I love "first look" pictures. Barbara had asked each of us to write a card for the other to give at our meeting place. So, card in hand, we headed to the elevators to get the show on the road!
I remember feeling somewhat nervous, not about getting married anymore, but more about Roger's reaction to me. I know I looked good, but I wanted him to be just absolutely blown away. I went and tapped his shoulder and yup... BLOWN AWAY! He gave me a hug and a kiss and couldn't stop telling me how beautiful my dress was and how gorgeous I looked. He said that he was surprised at the intricate beading, and even the style. He said that he thought I would pick something more classic and plain... certainly not a glamourous mermaid style gown! (one of those things where you wanna go "HEY I HAVE STYLE!" but you're just too happy to even care) He also said that he loved my veil (his vision of veil was "white poofy thing on top of the head) and that he loved me.
We exchanged cards and I was doing fine until I got to the last line of his. Day 140 and I love you just as much as I did on day 1. I turned and asked him if he had really counted and he said that yes he did. The waterworks started! Oh how I love my husband and I love how when it really counts, he always comes through! You might be wondering why the hell day 140 is so significant, so I suppose I should explain. Get ready for some brutally honest admissions.
This past spring Roger and I reached a crossroads in our relationship. I was sick of waiting around for someone who I thought would never commit to me. We were always fighting. I was just done. So I told him I was done. I started talking to a guy friend who I care about, but am really not interested in. I just liked that he is a gentleman, and made me feel special. Roger found this out and immediately went into "I need to get her back mode". We had been down the road before and I swore I would not fall back into the trap. Said guy friend invited me to Vegas for a weekend trip. Roger said if I went, that it would mean the end of us forever. I said if I didn't go it would mean the end of us forever, so either way we were done, and I'd rather just go. Obviously this was a stressful time for us. Well upon my return from Las Vegas I went back to work and that Monday I received a bouquet of flowers with a card. I had received MANY a bouquet since dumping him so I was ready to just say "oh lord not again" but I opened the card and was stopped dead in my tracks.
Roger had been advised by one of the pastors at our church to rent and watch a movie called Fireproof, where a husband really isn't treating his wife as he should so she finally asks for a divorce. It is then that he realizes how much he loves her and his dad gives him a 40 day challenge of loving her as she should be loved, even if she doesn't show any love back. Long story short, he wins her back and they love each other, happily ever after. So, Roger too had apparently started his own 40 day challenge... ironically the day I left for Vegas was day 40. Sad times for RB.
Back to the card. I open the card and it reads "Day 43. I love you". WOW. I take off and go to Vegas with another guy and Roger still loves me and wants to be with me?! That is some heavy stuff right there. It was that card that led us back to each other, and made me really see and understand that although he has a hard time showing it at times, Roger does really love me, even when I am being selfish and hurtful. His wedding band is engraved with those words..."Day 43 forever. I love you".
So, now that you know the WHOLE story, you can see why that card was so special. We hugged, kissed, and were ready to head to Union Square for some awesome photography! This post is getting long, but let's just say that we were essentially famous for about an hour. We had a crowd of about 30-40 tourists standing watching and taking tons of pictures of us. People were honking their horns, yelling "Congrats!" o r "You look amazing!" and one guy even asked me to marry him! I had to let him know that I was already taken ; ) It was such a fun experience. And what made it even better was that normally Roger is pretty conservative with his PDA but he was giving and accepting kisses with pleasure the entire time. It just made me feel so loved and happy.
We came back to the hotel and quickly shared a bridal party champagne toast before heading over to the church... all smooshed up in a taxi cab! Truly a city wedding!
I will continue this later because it has gotten really long.... so... to be continued!