Well...we are married. Finally. I do not encourage anyone to have a 14-month long engagement because although I thouroughly enjoyed my wedding...I was certainly excited to have it OVER so that Craig and I could return to our normal lives without this huge monkey hanging on our back.
The week of the wedding, as fate would have it, I came down with an awesome sinus infection so I ended up taking off Tuesday before the wedding so that I could go to the doctor and plead my case for some serious medication. I got on some antibiotics but they also drew blood to test for an underactive thyroid as well which could be the culprit for weight gain (ha!) and my frequent exhaustion and lack of energy. I still haven't received the results from that test so I called this morning and I guess I'll just wait for them to return my message!
On Wednesday, March 10th, I drove out to north Ft. Worth and picked up my Maid of Honor Amy from her sister's house and we came back to my side of town where I gave her a tour of my house, fed her Mexican food and we got our nails and toes done. Afterwards we did a little bit of shopping for the rehearsal dinner and wedding night. ;) It was really nice to have an opportunity to hang out just the two of us since she does live in Maine and I hardly ever get to see her. The following day, I drove down to my parent's house and dropped off Angie and picked up my mom to head out to the hotel for our meeting with the events coordinator. Craig and his mom met us out there with the rest of the decorations and such for the wedding. We were all able to sit down at a conference table and go through step by step the order of events from the rehearsal dinner all the way to the end of the reception. I was able to leave the meeting feeling very prepared for the wedding weekend. That night, Craig and I packed our stuff up that we needed for the wedding as well as put together MOST of our luggage for the honeymoon in Antigua.
On Friday morning, Craig and I both had massage appointments at 9:00 at a spa very close to our house and it was nice to be able to drift off blissfully and in (almost) solitude before I was to be surrounded by massive amounts of people. I also had a facial to give me "glowing" skin...at least I hoped it came across as "glowing" and not "oily/greasy." Either way, by the time I headed out to the hotel around 2:15, I was a little nervous, but also anxious to just get the show on the road. I'm a planner and I like to be prepared for major (and minor) events, but I'm just a wee bit impatient as well so I was frustrated for many months when I had my plans completed...but couldn't put them into action. Our rehearsal dinner started at 5:00-ish and it was SO WINDY and a little bit chilly outside but the task was accomplished quickly and we all headed to the golf course clubhouse for a fajita buffet for dinner. During the dinner, we spoke about each of our bridal party and gave out our gifts but there was a special gift for me that I did not know about - in her speech, Craig's mom spoke about how I was the "missing piece" in the puzzle of Craig's life and in honor of that, she gave me a necklace with a puzzle piece charm engraved with my name and our wedding date. Afterwards we...well...I can't really remember what we did because I was so exhausted. I think I just wanted to go to bed but I do remember having a hard time actually falling asleep in my suite by myself without my puppy dog or Craig.
I woke up that night at 2:00 am, 4:00 am and finally gave up on sleep around 6:30 and played Sudoku for almost an hour before getting up to take a shower. Saturday went by pretty quickly...I was on the road by 9:00 to go pick up Amy at her sister's house so that we could go get our hair done at 10:00. We were headed back to the hotel by one (I think) and met up with the other bridesmaids and my mom to hang out and eat before the wedding began. It was nice to have four of my closest friends (and my mother) just relaxing in the room, drinking mimosas and snacking on cookies and crackers. I did get one big surprise delivered to my room in the afternoon - the Best Man Ron and Craig's little sister Sherika dropped off Craig's wedding present to me which was wrapped in a very well-known and unmistakable robins egg blue box. I opened the box and inside was a Tiffany's silver chain heart charm bracelet with the Tiffany's logo engraved in turquoise and our wedding date engraved on the back. Good job Craig. By 3:00 though, I was forced to get my rear in gear because the photographer arrived and I had to start putting on make-up and getting into my dress. At no point during this time did I feel anxious or overwhelmed or even a little sappy. I was a little frustrated having to put on my dress so early...but that's just because I don't like wearing big dresses and I was much more comfortable in my sweatpants.
My dad arrived in the room shortly before it was time to go downstairs to line up...but still...no emotions rose up in my body. But then my bridesmaids were getting ready to head down and I took a glimpse out my window at the ceremony site on the ground - the chairs were full and people were ready. Oh crap. All of a sudden, it got VERY warm in the room and I sat myself in front of the air conditioner with my dress hiked up around my knees. I wasn't nervous about the ceremony and the "I do's" but more about the BEING THE CENTER OF ATTENTION. My dad didn't bat an eye but instead just told me that I looked beautiful and all those people down there love me and were excited to see me marry Craig. It didn't help my slight panic attack, but I appreciated the gesture.
As far as the ceremony itself, I didn't cry and neither did Craig and it was over rather quickly which was fine with me. I didn't like standing up there and knowing over 150 people were staring at my backside. Our minister was the husband of a bridesmaid (Beri) and he did a great job creating vows and a sermon that was personal and meaningful to Craig and myself...which means there were lots of U2 references and our pronouncement as husband and wife was "Mr. and Mrs. Coach Nelson!" I loved that part and I especially loved my clever take on "in sickness and health" which I turned into "in knee surgeries and in health." As we walked away, Craig told me that I was beautiful and I think that he was pretty proud to be married to me. I, on the other hand, was still a little bit shaky from the whole experience.
That's all I can write right now...stay tuned for the next installment!