I never could have imagined how magical our wedding day would be. I can’t find the right words to describe the event, other than to say that it was truly the happiest day of my life.
I remember the weekend that Mike and I got engaged (June 2011), we celebrated with friends and family for about 36 hours and then suddenly it was time to plan. When would we get married? What city? What venue? How many guests? What was our budget?
These questions were not all easy to answer and even Mike and I had different thoughts on them sometimes. (It’s not fun to disagree with your brand new fiancé about your wedding, but I’m pretty sure it’s normal.)
I wasn’t the bride with the three-ring, color-tabbed binder for planning. I didn’t pore over dozens of bridal magazines or make a million Pinterest boards. I didn’t really care a lot about details. I just wanted to marry Michael and have a fun, joy-filled celebration with the people in this world we love the most. Sometimes I felt like I was a “bad” bride for not fretting over my colors or invitations, but then I realized that as long as I was over-the-moon excited to marry Mike (you bet I was) that’s all that mattered.
We got married in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. As July 5 got closer, and I realized how many moving parts were involved with making the day come together, I worried that I would never be able to just relax and soak in the day. Then, a few weeks before the wedding, I got an email from Mike’s cousin Annie that made perfect sense. She wrote,
I think the best piece of advice I was given is that if it isn’t done by Wednesday of wedding week – just leave it. Stop and enjoy. It is going to be an amazing day no matter what and you don’t want those final days to be a frenzied mess of tiny details.
So the day before the wedding, when the church wedding planner asked me whether I wanted the pew bows placed on every pew or every other pew, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “You know, I really don’t care!” 🙂
The day of the wedding, I woke up to the sound of pouring rain. I laid in bed and told myself it would still be OK, none of our events were outside, we could find good spots for photos inside, rain is good luck. But I didn’t believe any of that, apparently, because I walked downstairs and practically cried to my mom about the weather and said, “Why me?” and other embarrassingly dramatic things.
Sure enough, the pitter-patter of falling rain disappeared by noon. My parents’ house was full of the voices of my family and bridesmaids as we finished getting ready.
We left for the church, and then all the big moments, the ones I know I’ll remember for the rest of my life, were suddenly happening.
Mom and Maggie helping me put on my dress and veil. Seeing Mike in his tuxedo on the front lawn of St. Andrew. Standing arm and arm with my dad, right before the church doors opened, taking one deep breath before it was ‘go time.’ Looking out into the church from the altar and hearing Mike whisper to me, “Never forget this scene, of all these people here for us.”
I could have wept through the entire ceremony, I couldn’t believe it was actually, finally, our wedding day. But I said my vows without a tear, keeping my eyes on my new husband, the guy who stole my heart in South Bend.
Then it was off to the reception — a blur of hugs and hellos and dancing and music and laughter and the most amazing, heart-felt toasts. Basically, the best party of our life!
The night ended with all the guests forming a circle around Mike and me as we danced to "I got you babe" by Sonny and Cher.
We are now three weeks in to married life and it's pretty great. Team Mike, MK and Larry.