Two years ago today, hubby and I tied the knot. We'd been dating for more than five years, and we'd been friends for ten. Needless to say, we got a lot of, "It's about time."
Well, when the time came, hubby and I had a few rules, the most important of which was it was going to be our time.
Before getting engaged myself, I'd been involved in more weddings than I can remember. I'd seen just about every kind of bride, wedding disaster or family issue, and I had decided a long time ago that when my time came, I wasn't going to freak out, spend a fortune or let anyone ruin the day.
Right after getting engaged, an over-zealous co-worker gave me a panic attack thinking about playing "pretty, pretty princess" in front of a bunch of people. As many weddings/events as I'd ever done, I'd never been the center of attention at one. Dear God, I lost it. That's when the "rules" started.
- I will not wear a white dress -- or anything in the white family for that matter.
- I will not get married in a church.
- Jesus is not invited to the wedding (i.e. A judge will be doing the honors, not a minister, and he won't be talking about Jesus either.).
- Any family, friend or random passerby that starts anything will immediately be forcibly removed.
- If the rules aren't taken seriously, we'll elope to Vegas, get married by Elvis and send everyone postcards from our honeymoon.
Our bridal party was relatively small, and we didn't want anything fancy. Since I'd be the one wearing the color in the wedding, I considered making the bridesmaids wear some shade of white, but hubby said wearing a khaki suit in his own wedding wasn't what he had in mind, so the boys wore traditional black tuxes and the girls wore charcoal gray with cream accents. We bought straight ties from Vineyard Vines with each groomsman having his own pattern that fit his personality. Hubby's was pale pink with green shamrocks. I picked the color, fabric and designer for the bridesmaids, but told them to pick whatever dress within those parameters they wanted. They'd be in it all day, so what did I care. I'd rather them be comfortable. My sisters wanted to go barefoot -- fine -- and the other two bridesmaids wore flip-flops -- sure.
As for me, I wore red. Well, I believe they called it "Poppy."
One of Hubby's aunts suggested at a shower that I might want to have paramedics at the wedding in case any of the older guests were so shocked at my choice they went into cardiac arrest. Ha!
We got married at my Dado's house under the big tree in the back yard. Two days before the wedding, an 8-foot long snake was hanging out, wrapped tightly around a limb right over our heads. (In case you haven't read my 10 things page, I am more afraid of snakes than anything in the world.) Thus making my Uncle Preston my hero for the rest of my life because he showed up and shot the snake. Best. Wedding. Present. Ever.
My sisters got into a wrestling match at the rehearsal. (Sorry, no picture of that.) I did ask the two groomsmen who are legally certified -- one is legally obligated -- to carry a weapon to please shoot either of my sisters if they behaved that way during the ceremony.
The morning of the wedding, I found out the people who were supposed to do my hair and makeup weren't coming. Now, I'm a pretty cool customer, and there are few things I can't figure out, but "hair" isn't something I do. Panic. I present exhibit A.
Luckily, a good friend came to my rescue! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, Jen! She did a beautiful job with very few tools to work with. I don't even own a curling iron or hairspray. OK, so Jen is a miracle worker.
I could work out the makeup part. I went to art school and figured it couldn't be any harder than painting. I also had my friend Alison there to direct, thankfully, or I wouldn't have had nearly enough on. I was convinced I'd end up looking like a hooker in my wedding pictures, but Alison was right.
Just before I came out dressed and ready, my aunt brought in a pan of brownies she'd made for me. It was just what I needed!
My mom had not handled the rehearsal well. We didn't have the usual procession for the wedding. I had my parents walk down together just before me. I couldn't stand the idea of being given away. Getting married doesn't mean you lose your family. I see it more as growing. I wanted to walk down the aisle TO my family, my new family that includes my husband. When it came time for them to walk down the aisle in rehearsal, mom got to the back row of chairs and did an about-face like no other! I caught her, turned her around and sent her right back down. The day of the wedding she seemed entirely to calm. I found out later why ...
We didn't have the usual music for the wedding either. I walked down the aisle to Coldplay's Fix You. Not knowing what the song was about, the lyrics would sound a little morbid for a wedding, but I found an instrumental version (I think it was for karaoke!). It was perfect. As I've said, being the center of attention isn't comfortable for me. I have no problem speaking in front of a group, giving presentations, directing an event, but just walking along with everyone staring, standing in front hoping I get my "lines" right. I could have panicked. I looked toward the front for Hubby and couldn't see him for all the standing guests. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, listened to my song and remembered this was OUR day.
Just as the drums started at the last segment, I stood up straight and stepped off the back patio. I walked tall and proud in my red dress and custom-made converse. The rock-n-roll bride. The song played; I breathed deeply, and the joy washed over me like waves. It was surreal. I'd never imagined myself getting married. I was convinced no one would ever love me that much. But there he was, waiting for me under the tree. I was elated (and comfortable).
I got to be me.
I was happy.
I wore red.
It was the happiest day of my life.
And they lived happily ever after.