Exactly one month and twelve days ago we said “I do” in the mountains of Colorado. It’s funny how, out of no where, memories of our wedding day just pop into my brain.
My beautiful mother, Lana, with my handsome brothers.
For example, earlier today I was washing some leeks from the farmers market and BLAMMO – a vision of my mother from that day popped into my head, and it warmed me all over. I have never seen my mother look more beautiful than she was that day. She was utterly stunning. Perfection. Her dazzling pewter-colored dress made her look regal, chic, and frankly, pretty hot for a woman in her sixties! She floated about the day, doing more for me than I could ever imagine possible, with an elegance and grace that had me watching her in sheer awe.
That memory of her sparked a million others. Still washing the leeks, I remembered how the day began – and it wasn’t pretty. No, it wasn’t puppy dogs and rainbows like every bride wishes the morning of her wedding to be. In fact, it was the opposite.
After our wonderful welcome party the night before, Dan and I stayed up way too late, cramming to write the last checks for our vendors, calculating tips, sorting through a million last-minute details, and most important, perfecting our first dance surprise (more on that later). Dreams of getting a full night’s sleep at my parents’ condo were quickly squashed.
We hardly slept a wink due to nerves and over-tiredness, if there’s such a thing. We woke up to a monsoon the morning of our wedding. W….T….F…?!? After a perfect week of beautiful Colorado summer weather, I knew rain and a dramatic temperature fall were in store for us, but I sort of just thought it wouldn’t happen. Ha! It did. Bleary eyed, Dan drove me to my parents’ condo to get ready. He walked me inside, pulling my Mini Cooper-sized suitcase behind him. When he hugged me I broke down…crying on his shoulder. I was exhausted, and my spirit crushed by the persistent rain. The thing we all feared for 9 months was becoming our reality. Our outdoor wedding seemed more and more unlikely with every passing minute.
Our Plan B was to have the ceremony indoors in a tiny room with a very low ceiling. I knew in my heart our 97 guests and wedding party simply would not fit. So did everyone else involved. Rain was not an option.
We quickly went into crisis mode dreaming up master plans of moving the ceremony to my parents’ beautiful and spacious rental condo or to the lobby downstairs. My dear friend and her mom were plotting and scheming, trying to figure out just how we could pull this off. I called our amazing wedding planner. She calmly talked me down from the edge. We decided to forge on and hold the wedding where it was intended. Each of us secretly praying the rain would stop in time.
From that moment on, the fog in my head and heart lifted and I was like…”Bring it on!” Our hair and make-up artists began to arrive and I’m pretty sure I was dancing around the room like Monica from ‘Friends’ on her wedding day. We poured mimosas and my lovely bridesmaids began to arrive. Our photographer, Courtney, was snapping away, capturing the awesomeness of the occasion.
Sara's 2-minute chalkboard sign and tiny cake topper medallions on our pretty dessert table. Yes, those are whoopie pies!
Sara, my amazing and favorite sister, was a rock star. Like, big time. I’m sure this happens to all brides, but I really excelled at NOT finishing most of the DIY projects I set out to do, including: chalkboard sign, cake topper, table numbers, button pins for wedding party… and about 5,743 other things. Sara is a talented artist and with her paints and pens she got down to business. In a matter of minutes she whipped up a darling chalkboard sign, cake topper medallions, table numbers, and custom buttons for each of our 17 wedding party members. ROCK STAR!
Tissue Poms galore! I think I have a new chandelier idea...
While I was getting primped and primed, my amazingly helpful bridesmaids worked to fluff the tissue poms I dreamed about from the moment Danimal proposed. I just love me some tissue poms. However, I simply ran out of time during the week and figured they would be yet another wedding project casualty. But NOPE! Bridesmaids to the rescue!
At some point, my little brother corralled all 8 bridesmaids into the master bathroom and taught them the Lady Gaga ‘Bad Romance’ flash mob dance for the reception. How they all managed to learn this dance in 5 seconds still blows my mind! During all this commotion, the rain stopped and the sun squeaked through the clouds. Once two o’ clock rolled around, with one hour to go, they made the decision to have the wedding outdoors. Yesssssss!
And then, it was time for me to put on my wedding gown. We hauled it into the main room so I could have that dramatic dress-slipping-on and mom-zipping-me-up moment. My dad walked in and I screamed…’DAD!! DON’T LOOK!!” and he dashed away. Then I realized that it was okay for my dad to see me in the dress…just not Dan. Doh!
Flash Mob practice! I believe this move is called the 'light bulb'.
Once the dress was on, I took a moment for myself in the powder room. I inspected my hair and make-up and twirled in the mirror. Just as I felt about my mother, I too, never felt more beautiful than I did on that day.
Suddenly, it was go time. I was swept away to go meet Dan outside to have our first look. The photographers followed me like paparazzi as I made my way down the path to Dan. Even from behind, he looked more handsome than ever. Ugh, that suit just killed me! He looked incredible. (I have such a crush on my husband) With butterflies in my stomach, I tapped his shoulder and he turned around. We both just laughed and hugged and cried a little (me, not him…yet). We just reveled in the moment, knowing what was about to happen. We walked back towards the waiting cars and exchanged gifts. And then, just like that, we were off – Mom and my brothers in one car, the girls in a bus, Dan and the photographers in their car, and then just me and my darling father in the limo.
I sighed and looked at my dad, nervous and excited. He was stoic – hardly saying a word during our 3 minute drive to the lodge. Since no thoughts or jokes came to mind, we just looked out the window and breathed.
To be continued…