Sunday, June 30, 2013

Our Wedding

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The day has finally come!  Mike and I got married on June 1st. 

All day long, I checked the weather report.  The sky threatened rain, but no drops reached the ground.  We planned an outdoor ceremony at our venue, the Danada House.  The chairs were set and the scene was ready to go.  The music equipment was outside.  Then, it happened.  It absolutely poured.  For a few minutes I was in shock that my willing the rain away wasn't working.  After all, I was the bride and wedding magic MUST happen!  After a few minutes alone sitting on the cool blue tiles of the bathroom floor, I came to terms with the fact the the wedding would, in fact, be inside.  My bridesmaids and sisters in law scrambled and directed the waitstaff to arrange a ceremony that was absolutely magical.  In the moment, though, it was a bit hectic!  Individually, each person came up to the bridal suite, frantically ensuring that it was going to be just beautiful.  I panicked.  But I also trusted.

The moment that I put my dress on, the day started moving in double time.  With each photo snapped, I felt the adrenaline pumping faster and faster.  When I couldn't take it anymore, it was time.  I made my way down the beautiful winding staircase and waited at the bottom.  A mirror across the hall confirmed that I was, in fact, a bride.  My grandpa walked into the room to escort me to my ceremony and we both choked up.  It ended just as soon as I joked that the Cubs had just won the world series.  Comic relief: powerful in many situations.

As we entered the room together, I was taken aback at all the faces looking my direction.  I locked eyes with several friends and family members, reassuring myself that this was not a dream.  In the speed of the day, those few minutes felt suspended in time; a special capsule of life that I'll treasure.  Reaching Mike at the end of the aisle felt like home.  Every apprehension faded away as soon as his hands met mine.  The whole ceremony was the most intense experience of my life.  We didn't break eye contact.  It felt so intimate.  Our officiant was our friend Angela, and her words were soothing and empowering.  Mike's sisters read a Whitman poem that inspired me.  My aunt Jeanne read a passage about friendship that reassured me.  Mike's words ignited a space in my heart that I'll never let grow dark.  My wedding was magical.

As soon as we were pronounced husband and wife, Mike and I stole away to a small room to share the first few moments of our marriage.  Looking into each others eyes and holding one another, we soaked up the peace of it all, knowing that the rest of the night would be over before we knew it.

And it was!  The photographers took us outside to an arch that just barely sheltered us from the rain, but I was so thankful that we were able to get outdoor photos.  Danada is too beautiful to just stay inside!  When the rain became too powerful, the umbrellas popped up and a few of my favorite photos of the day were snapped.  My photographers both had such a sense of the moment, snapping photos that truly captured the essence of the moments that passed.

Our reception was so surreal.  Sitting at the head table, I attempted to "take it all in," as so many urged us to do.  I was amazed at the mashup of people in my life, all brought together into one single space.  I felt so lucky and blessed to have such a treasure trove of loved ones coming to witness my marriage. 

One of the highlights of the night happened on the dance floor.  Mike and I love the Rascal Flatts song, "Banjo."  When it came on, we both lit up and danced like no one was watching.  But everyone was.  He and I shook it like we'd never dance again and I felt so FREE!  And thankful that my dress didn't fall down.  ;)

I tried to connect with as many people as I could.  The overwhelming sense of the night was happiness.  With every person I saw, I felt more and more happy.  My face hurt from smiling. 

At the end of the night, as Mike and I danced together, slow and exhausted, it started to sink in.  This is my husband.  This is the beginning of our story.  This was a beautiful day spent with beautiful people and I'm so glad we did it.

Special thanks to our photographers, Sheena and Javier.

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