Saturday June 23

I woke up still sick, and I was just crying and miserable. Scott took mercy on me and went to Walgreen’s to pick up some meds for me (deja vu, for sure). He then left to hang out with Utz and give me some down time.  I was drinking 2 tbsp of Pepto every 2 hours, which seems excessive, but I knew that for short term dosing it was OK. I was desperate to feel better. I met my family for beignets and coffee at Cafe du Monde, but for me it was 1 beignet and a Sprite. Oh well. After a little hanging around, I made my way back to the room to rest for a couple hours. The alone time I got that morning was priceless. So many people get so bombarded and stressed out the day of the wedding, but those last few hours alone to myself really helped keep me calm. I felt rested and in control, yet incredibly excited.

At around 12, I took a cab over to my mom’s hotel (where most of our family and some friends were staying) and walked w/ her to go get lunch. That was also special, because we could just spend some time together, leisurely taking our time. I hung out in their suite until 2:20, when the hair and makeup people showed up (40 minutes early…yay for them!) and got to work on me. The photographer showed up an hour later and began taking shots of my makeup and hair being done. They were done with my nails, hair and makeup by about 4:00 (they also did my mom and aunt’s nails) and then I was free to hang out in the hotel for about an hour with my family. It was special. I worked to put the finishing touches on our photo book that we had on the guest book table. There were pictures of us as kids and then some photos of us together over the past 2 and a half years. I hope people liked it.

At 5:00 sharp, my mom, my aunt, and my dad left for Rosy’s. My dad hung out downstairs for a bit while my mom and aunt got me into my dress. It was truly a 3 person job, since I had a 6 foot train in the back. They did great to get me in and all hooked and zipped. The dress admittedly was very comfy. Yes, comfy. The hoopskirt made sitting an interesting task, but I got used to it. At a little after 5:30, we started taking pictures with family and bridal party people. I hate posed shots, and we took very few. I was able to hang out and relax for nearly 30 minutes before the wedding, before we lined up to walk just after 7:00. Most weddings I’ve attended have started at least 15 minutes late, so for mine to start within 5 minutes made me very happy.

The ceremony was absolutely beautiful. I really felt the sacred in those moments and our officiant did a great job. She wore a stunning lavender robe, and I’m so glad she did. The night before she asked what I preferred and I told her that whatever she liked best was fine w/ me. She looked absolutely amazing. Scott didn’t cry once during his vows (he worked hard to practice them so that he wouldn’t), but I did during mine. Oh, well. We both thought he was going to be the one to lose it, but we were wrong. I recovered very quickly and there were no ugly crying pictures of me, so all is well. We were so excited at the end of the ceremony, and we were immediately whisked outside for some downtime and a few pictures of us. Scott talked to his grandma on the phone, which was sweet, because she desperately wanted to be there. After 10 or so minutes, we came back in and did our grand entrance into the reception. Our first dance was “Stars Fell on Alabama.” We never had a chance to practice, but I think things were OK. We didn’t make complete asses of ourselves! People were still in kind of a reverent mood from the ceremony and I just had to laugh. I told a few people, “Go eat! Go drink! Have fun!” It was kind of funny.

The band was great. Worth every cent. When they started in to “Tipitina” I was like “Eff it…no one else is on the dance floor, but I loooove this song.” I think after people got comfy (and had a few) they felt like they could go dance. I danced with Scott, my mom, my dad, a few family members and sometimes with just myself! It just felt so good to be able to enjoy ourselves. The food was also amazing. I tried not to eat too much, given that the most I’d eaten in 18 hours was mashed potatoes, but it was hard. Tons of cheese, veggies, spinach dip, veggie pasta, ratatouille…the cake was good, too. Our cake cutting was funny, because Scott tried to give me a huge bite, and I did my best to not spill it all over my dress. I had a mouth full of cake for like 5 minutes afterwards. It was like that “Milk” commercial from 10 years ago.

Seeing our friends and family all together and having a great time was the best part. We felt so loved. I feel good that I managed to talk to every single person there. I can’t imagine having a huge wedding. We knew everyone there and we were able to just mingle. A few people gave toasts and they were so sweet. (As an aside, I think my MIL was drunk when she gave hers. Nice.) Uncle Cody said to Scott, “You cut the mustard, buddy. Welcome to the family!”

We left at around 11:30 and the plan was for people to see us out w/ sparklers. They put off a hell of a lot of smoke and it was all we could do to get out of there! It was kind of comical, actually. I wish I could have said good-bye to every single person there, but we were ready to go.  Our driver was really nice and took us back to our bed and breakfast and helped us unload our things. The coordinator packed us a huuuuge tray of food to take with us and we wolfed it down like there was no tomorrow. Soooo good.

Looking back, all of the drama and the stress seems so inconsequential now. The very people I thought would sabotage the whole thing (or just not show up at all) became my strongest sources of love and support in the days before the wedding. The things I worried about happening or not happening really didn’t matter. The details melt away when you think about the big picture. What matters is that we have love and happiness, and that we were able to share that with the people who mean so much to us.