The day after we got home from our honeymoon in August, Ryan and I dove headfirst back into Real Life. I began school/work/externship, Ryan went back to work/fixing up the house/being incredibly supportive as I make my annual descent into school-related badditude. And suddenly, it's October and we're already approaching our two-month anniversary. When did that happen? It seems like yesterday that the days were steamy hot, every night was spent in frantic wedding-prep mode, and we (okay, I) buzzed with anticipation that THE WEDDING IS COMING, THE WEDDING IS COMING!!! Now, the weather has turned chilly, we're adjusting to life as husband and wife (which, truthfully, is not too much different, except that we have much nicer things), and I'm struggling to hold on to memories of our wonderful day. In one sense it feels like the wedding was years and years ago, and in another it feels like it was yesterday.

I was reading one of my new favorite blogs the other day (the same one from which I took the gorgeous invitations pictured below) and I was inspired by this post. Holly captured the day after the wedding perfectly - it really is an odd day, and I remember feeling so off. Is this how a bride should feel the day after her wedding? Should we really just go about our business when yesterday at this time we were seeing each other for the first time, I was walking down the aisle, we were eating dinner, dancing, becoming husband and wife? And I guess there is nothing to do on that day except go about your business, open the gifts and throw away the boxes, say goodbye to family, and hang up your dress and veil and remember the wonderfulness of the day.

So here is what I remember about my wedding day.

I remember the night before the wedding, after the rehearsal and dinner, back in the hotel room with my bridesmaids, feeling a strange sense of calm, and feeling like that was not the appropriate feeling. It felt so normal - me with my sisters and best friends - but every once in awhile I got a flash of WAIT, we're all here together because tomorrow is MY WEDDING! And then I would get mildly nauseous and spend the next few seconds fighting that down. And was fine again for a couple of minutes, until the next jolt.

I remember, that night, how I couldn't sleep - the hotel bed just wasn't my bed and my darling sister in the bed with me, while wonderful, wasn't Ryan. So I snuck out and went home, where Ryan was also awake, in bed with the TV on, unable to sleep. We laid in bed for a few minutes and talked, and eventually both managed to fall asleep. In the morning when my alarm went off, there was Ryan, and the cats at the end of the bed, and it looked like any other day, except I had fake nails and next to the bed was my bride hoodie, and our house was really clean in preparation for the gift opening the next day, and oh my god, it was WEDDING DAY. So I kissed Ryan goodbye, said "happy wedding day", got in my car and drove back to the hotel. I remember shaking, just a little.

I remember getting back to the hotel and the girls were already up and showering, because they are so wonderful and cooperative, even though I made them get up at a crazy early hour. And I think it was when I stepped back in that room that I started smiling, and I don't think I stopped for the next 24 hours. And then my mom showed up with coffee and snacks, and she began crying as soon as she walked in the room, and then I cried a little with her, and then we were done crying and she began smiling. She smiled so much that day, and I remember being happy that she was so happy.

I remember stressing out about everyone being ready on time, and my god, the photographers will be here soon and I don't have any makeup on, but it's my turn for hair so the makeup will have to wait, and it's chaos everywhere, and why did I have to break out two days ago, and you, get your hair done, and it's your turn for makeup, and then my hair is done and looks absolutely perfect, and the phone rings, and it's the photographers and videographer, and if I thought it was chaotic before, I was so, so wrong. The three of them walk in, the photographer immediately starts snapping photos, and I'm trying to hide because I still don't have any makeup on!!!! And then I remember that it's my wedding day and that is silly because there will be literally a thousand pictures of me WITH my makeup so what's one or two without. So the hairstylists get paid and leave, and then I settle down for makeup, and although we had two adjoining rooms, all of us are crowded into one room (13 people at one point!) and a sort of calm descends upon all of us. Until, however, the dance party begins. To Christmas music and the Sister Act II soundtrack. My friends are my friends because of times like these. And the chaos begins again.

I remember while my incredible friend and bridesmaid was doing my makeup, I had my bracelet in my hands, and I couldn't.let.go. of it. Suddenly I had butterflies, and my mom was trying to get me to eat, and all I could do was sit and twist that damn bracelet through my fingers. And then makeup was done, and my sisters had gathered my things, and we went down to the lobby and there was my dad checking into his hotel room, and he, too, looked so happy. And then we were on the shuttle to the church, and do we have everything? Yes, we do. And then we get there and go into the bridal suite, and there are all of the dresses, and oh my god, it's time to put the dress on, it's time, it's time, it's time.

I remember waiting to put on my dress - okay, is everyone here? are the photographers ready? okay, now, go. I step into it and manage to get my hoodie off without giving everyone a free show, and then my sisters go to work zipping and buttoning it up, and oh my god, what if it doesn't zip? but it does, and my sister goes under it to get my pants off (thanks, Ali), and she puts my garter and my shoes on, and I step in front of the mirror and someone puts my veil on my head and holy god, there is a bride there, and she is me.

I remember seeing my dad, and then going out to see Ryan for the first time and thinking wow, it is hard to walk in the grass in my shoes and dress and veil, but here I go, and I come behind him and say his name, and there he is, and here am I, and it's our wedding day, and we're both unsure of how to act in this moment, but that's okay because we only get a moment and we're off to take pictures. And we're both smiling and laughing and kissing and snuggling, and we walk down the street and cars honk, and we're feeling love from people we don't even know, it feels like everyone in the world is so happy for us, because it's our wedding day!

I remember pictures, but only because I've looked at them so many times. Actually, I barely remember them, except that it was so hot and humid outside and I couldn't wait to get back inside, but I shouldn't be thinking that, because it's our wedding day!

And then pictures were done and I was back inside the bridal suite, and I didn't even say goodbye to Ryan, I hope he's not too nervous. And then I got nervous - I remember sitting in my chair with my feet up, and I feel like I'm in a movie and everyone around me is in time warp and I'm in slow motion, and people make me eat, so I eat a granola bar and drink lots of water, and I'm looking at the clock and oh my god, time is going so quickly, 3:45, 4:00, 4:15, 4:25, and it was time to line up. I stood at the bottom of the stairs with my cousin/personal attendant who kept me talking, and then there was my dad, and he told me bad jokes to keep me from freaking out, and I saw a glimpse of Ryan as he walked the moms down the aisle, and then the bridesmaids and groomsmen went, and the doors closed, and I have never been so nervous in my entire life. I started crying, for no apparent reason. The song ended, a new one started, and the doors opened, my dad and I looked at each other and started walking. Slower, I remember thinking, slower. I tried to look at the people in the pews as we walked down but I couldn't do it so I just looked at Ryan, and I didn't even look at my mom or Ryan's parents or anyone but him and suddenly we were there. Do we do the hand-off now or wait until the end of the song? We didn't know so the three of us kind of stood there awkwardly, giggling, until the song ended, then I hugged my dad, took Ryan's hand, and went up to the altar.

And then it was over, and we kissed and went down the aisle, and hugged a bunch of people, and then hid in a chapel so as to avoid the masses until the bus got here, and it was here, and we ran for it, and drank champagne, and went to the museum to take pictures on the stairs, but it was raining hard, so we left after only a few, and went to the reception site, where the rain had forced everyone inside so 220 people were crammed inside a foyer and small room, but there was wine and beer and music, and I remember being relieved about that, because as long as there was that, everyone was okay. We said hi to a few people, and then went down for our private dinner, and we sat and talked and ate like any other day, except I was in a wedding dress and he in a tux and we were married, and I remember thinking, shouldn't we be talking about something more than the weather?

I remember going up, and we went into the hall, and everyone was sitting, and they all looked and clapped and cheered as we came in, and then we went around to tables and talked to them, and everyone was so gracious, and I can't believe you all came all the way here for our wedding, and suddenly they were all done eating dinner and there were speeches, and then dances, and the dance, and what time is it? And suddenly it was over, and chair covers were being pulled from the chairs, and please, no one flush the goldfish, we'll find someone to take it, and I don't know where my shoes are, and where is the shuttle? We got a ride back to the hotel with my parents, and I remember saying goodnight to them and suddenly, it was over, the wedding day was over.

And it was perfect. The whole day was perfect.

(all photos taken by the amazing and wonderful Spencer Combs)


Traycina said...

Awwww good story! I need to do this before the memories are gone.....

Anonymous said...

Beautiful story! :)

Jessica F. said...

Wow Erin! This is great and so close to how I was feeling too. I feel like I related completely to the voice on the blog page.

Anonymous said...

Reading this brought back a lot of memories from my own day, too. Thanks for sharing :D

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