Wednesday, August 25, 2010

part three: the big day

The morning of the wedding I got up early and sat at my parent's kitchen island to write. One of the special things we wanted to include in our wedding were letters. During our dating and engagement, I wrote a letter to Shea and hid it in his suitcase for every (almost weekly) business trip. Shea proposed to me through a series of letters. And that morning, we both got up early to write how we felt in the hours before we said I do. During our unity ceremony, we placed the letters in a wooden box that now sits on a nightstand until it's opened on our 25th anniversary.

Another one of my great memories from the wedding was sitting on my back porch with my closest girl friends. They told stories, laughed and just hung out.

After hair and makeup, we all met at the church I grew up in to get ready. We started to put on my dress; team effort!
Most pictures courtesy of Donnert Photography.
Check them out, they're cool.

Only to realize that a crucial "privacy patch" was missing. My superstar friend Johanna raced to her car and up the street to the shop who steamed my dress. Bridesmaid Edie, who is a gentle and quiet spirit, was on the phone with the store: "I don't care if you can't find it! We don't have it, and this wedding starts in one hour. FIND SOMETHING."

I got lost in my Black-Eyed Peas lyrics until Johanna came back, patch in hand. And the perfect day resumed.

We ate snacky things for lunch and I drank Gatorade until I got nauseated. I didn't expect the nerves at all. But I was shaking.

Shea and I originally didn't want to see each other before the ceremony. But slowly through the planning process, we realized the timing wouldn't work for us to still respect our guests' time. I never regretted the decision. We had our first look at the chapel across the street from our church complete with a a grand, red carpeted staircase. The emotion that was threatening to show itself all over my dress and make-upped face got to come out then and not in front of 300 people.  Instead, completely raw, unreserved emotion.

And of course followed by tons of pictures.

We spent more time planning the ceremony then we did the reception. And I think it showed. We wrote our own vows and then said the traditional ones.

Instead of a candle, we combined soil from Minnesota and Kansas. Both our dads work with agriculture, so it  worked. Plus it gave my dad something to do as he sifted the soil the night before the ceremony.

We had this CS Lewis quote read by my Grandma and this wedding poem by Robert Fulghum read by Shea's grandparents. Our friends sang this song. We danced down the aisle to Walking on Sunshine, and as cheesy as it sounds, I have never felt more alive.

After a shower of bubbles, we drove away in an old Cadillac complete with charming driver. We were lucky that our very close family friends (really, just family) are professional photographers. The hour between the ceremony and reception was ours to laugh and smile.

We arrived at the reception site to find our wedding party in their own holding party room feeling quite toasty!

1 comment:

  1. Such a sweet story and the photos are beautiful (well honestly everything was beautiful from what I could see)...I've always like photography! I love the idea of writing letters to be opened at your 25th wedding anniversary. And oh how I wish I could have gotten my emotions out before the ceremony!! I was incredibly excited (&giddy) until I turned to walk down the isle on my dads arm. I felt like I saw my life flash before my eyes and burst into tears...cried the whole ceremony. It's funny now--poor Tim just kept smiling and saying "it's ok it's ok". And it was soon as they said "I now pronounce you husband and wife" I hooted like a good ole country girl would!

    Thanks for the recommendation on the 30 day shred. Should be a good fit--we'll see anyhow! :O)