If you missed the first part of my wedding recap, you can CLICK HERE to read it.
Considering how late Hilary (my BFF) and I had gone to bed the night before the wedding… we woke up obscenely early. I don’t even think it was 7am yet. Neither of us could sleep, so we decided to get up and ease into the day. Coffee was fetched, my mom soon arrived, and breakfast was ordered… but I couldn’t eat. I just stared at my food… I know I SHOULD eat, I’d be sorry later, but… it just wasn’t happening. Hilary and my mom stared me down, “You have to eat.” But mostly I just moved the food around to make it look like I’d eaten more than I actually had; like I was five years old.
Soon my little apartment was full of people. John’s aunt arrived with my dress; my dad stopped by to pick up some things and run last minute errands for me; and my bridal brigade descended (bearing prosecco – a sign I picked the right people for our wedding party, I think.) We all got ready and chatted about the day and they eased my nerves the tiniest bit.
We were supposed to head downtown to South Street Seaport at 3pm, but our car was nowhere to be found. I called John, he called the car service, nobody knew where the car was. We all stood outside my building waiting as the minutes crept on. John called me back, “The car broke down. They’re sending a hummer limo.” WHAT? “I can’t get in a hummer limo! It’s against everything I believe in! This is so embarrassing.” But before I could continue protesting, the monstrosity arrived, and we sheepishly climbed in… considering how late we already were, there was no choice.
We arrived at our venue – Bridgewaters – I had a quick look around, amazed at how gorgeous everything looked, and then our photographer whisked me away to meet John on the waterfront for our First Look. (And since I’ve already written about that experience, I’ll refrain from recapping it yet again. All I will say is: IT WAS AWESOME and YOU SHOULD DO ONE TOO!!!!!)
After about an hour of portraits, it was time to get married! John and I had a quick glass of wine with our officiant, Kathy – an awesome family friend who John has known pretty much since birth – and then it was showtime. The wedding party walked down the aisle to “Everyday” by Rogue Wave, and I walked down the aisle – with my dad – to “Northern Sky” by Nick Drake. It was perfect. All my nerves just melted away, and I was completely unaware of anyone else in the room except John. Our ceremony was only about 20 minutes, and then, magically, we were husband and wife. A year and a half of planning – and here we were.
Immediately after the ceremony, John and I went to the bridal suite – just by ourselves – for about 15 minutes to savor our new marriage. The venue coordinator brought us a tray of h’ors d’oeuvres, and we laughed and cried and ate and drank and kissed. A lot. After a while, we were ready to join our guests for cocktail hour, and we were definitely ready to party.
We couldn’t walk two feet without someone hugging us. It was the most incredible feeling in the world. All these people who had traveled so far just for us. My eyes kept welling up; I was just so overwhelmed and happy. After cocktail hour, we were seated for (a very delicious) dinner. Our friends and family toasted us – the best man (John’s brother) even sang a song. It was just magical. I tried so hard to stay in the moment, to savor every second. I knew it would be over soon, and I never wanted to forget this feeling.
After dinner, it was time to do some dancing. John and I opted against having a first dance, and instead our families started coaxing everyone onto the dance floor for us. Our DJ – who had jumped in at the last second when our original DJ had to cancel – was fantastic. He was so good at keeping everyone on the dance floor all night. John went from table to table, grabbing the hand of anyone who was still sitting down and not dancing and twirled them onto the dance floor, until everyone was accounted for.
At one point, someone instigated a “dance off” (what the heck?!), and everyone would showcase their individual dance moves one by one. It was hilarious, and I just remember shaking my booty a lot and laughing a lot. Our photographers set up a photobooth as a surprise, which was a HUGE hit. I am SO grateful they did that. The photos are amazing. We gave out lottery tickets as favors, which everyone seemed to love as well. (125 tickets and nobody was a big winner, though, which was kind of a bummer.)
John smoked a cigar on the terrace with our friends and my dad. I bonded with friends and relatives of John’s that I barely even knew. Everyone was loud and funny and (I hope) having a wonderful time. And then, just like that, it was midnight… party over. John and I headed to our hotel to start our new life together – and yes, we took a cab even though it was only five blocks away. (I could not take another step in my heels!) I felt the craziest mix of emotions – a little sadness that it was over, pure joy from the evening, excitement for our marriage, and love. SO MUCH LOVE!
My one piece of advice to anyone getting married would be to savor every second. Every moment. The good and the bad. Because you will only have this experience once, and it goes by incredibly fast. Try to laugh a lot, have a sense of humor about everything, and just remember why you’re doing this when things get tough or complicated in the midst of planning. And don’t just plan for your wedding – plan for your marriage too.
The next morning, we flew off to Italy and started a grand adventure. Almost six months later, and I still lay in bed when I can’t sleep, and think about our wedding, our honeymoon – this magical thing that happened to me. I truly love being married to John. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always perfect, but not a day has gone by when I haven’t felt so happy with this commitment we made.
(Photos by our labor of love!)