December 11, 2012

One Year…

Posted in Life as a Mrs., Wedding Wonders at 2:15 PM by goingbeyondzebra

The day dawned bright and crisp, exactly what you would hope for from a late autumn morning. I awoke earlier than intended to a text concerning our music and the DJ that required an immediate response. Telling myself that I wasn’t going to stress, I answered the texts as calmly as I could whilst remaining in bed for a few minutes longer. Eventually, I arose and took a shower whilst bridesmaids and mothers came in and out of the room to check on everything. Once I was clean and dressed my troupe of bridesmaids and I headed downstairs for the hotel-provided breakfast. Everything was decked out for Christmas, which only added to the festive atmosphere surrounding our party. All of the excitement and nervousness was beginning to set in, meaning I was only able to nibble at a few things for breakfast. Finally, it was time to go.

The sky was bright blue with a few clouds and the air was cool, but not cold. While I happened to see one or two groomsmen on the way out, my entourage made sure that the groom was kept away from our location. I couldn’t be seen by him yet, after all. We climbed into our cars and headed to the wedding venue, where some last minute details awaited to be completed.

Upon arrival we all rushed upstairs and put down our things before dispersing to separate locations to finish the decorations and anything else that needed to be done. I began sorting and displaying name cards and answering the various questions posed to me before eventually getting called upstairs: the hair/make-up artist had arrived.

Feeling slightly beauty-queenesque, I was deposited onto a chair in front of a large mirror located in the luxurious bridal-suite bathroom. For the next couple of hours I was curled, pinned, braided, rouged, and mascaraed. Eventually I emerged, locks flowing and skin glowing from more than just the make-up. The photographer had arrived, and it was time to don the dress.

My bridesmaid Jessica and my mother held the dress as I stepped in and attempted to get dressed without revealing too much of myself to the room, which is harder than it may sound. Finally, the dress was on, the buttons were all hooked, and I was ready.

We all headed downstairs and outside to take our part of the pictures. We posed, walked, giggled, and smiled for another hour or so while the photographer cataloged the afternoon. The air was still cool, and there was a slight wind, but the sun helped keep the temperature from becoming unbearable. Once we finished outside and took the final few inside photos, located mainly on the large staircase, I was whisked back into the bridal room so the groom and his men could take their turn at pretending to be famous.

It wasn’t long before one of the coordinators came knocking on our door. It was time. After a few hugs and kisses, my bridesmaids and mother headed downstairs to begin the procession, leaving me alone in the room. I took a few deep breaths, gave myself a last look in the mirror, and awaited my cue. Not long after, there was another knock on the door, followed by the entrance of my father. We had a few moments of quite together, but soon we were being summoned. It was my turn.

With the help of my father, I navigated my way down the stairs, heels, train, and all, without falling on my face. We made it out the doors and to the bridge, where I could see the guests all seated and the last few bridesmaids and groomsmen making their way down the aisle. As the last of the bridal party stepped into place, the music changed and my father and I started our own walk down the aisle. I saw my groom, and my face broke into a huge smile. He was handsome as always, but looked particularly amazing in his brown suit and vest. My heart beat a little faster as it finally settled in; I was getting married to the most wonderful man in the world.

Pastor David made his opening comments and when it came time, my father gave me a kiss, placed my hand in Mark’s, and traded places with the pastor. Mark and I walked carefully up the stairs and stood before my father as he went through the ceremony. Everything went smoothly and beautifully. Intermixing the Irish traditions of the oathing stone, silver coin, and bell of truce, in with the other parts of the ceremony made it even more special to us. One of my favorite parts was when we asked all of our parents to come up and join us in prayer, and then bestowed handkerchiefs to both of our mothers, which was another Irish tradition. Mark’s brother sang and played a song for us, then, after the last few details of the ceremony were completed, we were being pronounced Husband and Wife and Mark was told to kiss the bride (which he did, exuberantly).

We walked back down the aisle to the Irish song “Haste to the Wedding” and met up with the rest of the wedding party once they made their exit. It was then time for more pictures as the guests went inside to warmth and appetizers. More posing, smiles, pictures, and fun moments later we all snuck upstairs to make our grand entrance into the reception down the large, lovely staircase. Mark helped me navigate them this time, and again I managed not to fall. We headed straight into our first dance where we waltzed to the Celtic tune “Louise”. It was a lovely moment together, though the song lasted a little longer than we remembered from our practices in Mark’s living room. Once finished, my father and I had our own dance and then it was time to eat!

Much feasting and revelry occurred throughout the rest of the evening, including some wedding staples such as toasting, the cutting of our delicious cake, and the tossing of the garter and bouquet. The moon rose large and beautiful, providing even more opportunities for photographs. Then it was upstairs to change and say some private goodbyes to our bridal party and parents.

Looking way too cool, me in my silky black dress and grandmother’s mink stole, him in his blazer and black hat from London, we stood at the top of the stairs one final time to pose for pictures and wave goodbye. Then it was a rush out the door amidst a shower of bubbles and sparklers. We threw out a few more hugs and kisses before stuffing ourselves into the balloon-filled car, and off we went, alone and together for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Toole.

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