Day 3 – Friday, WEDDING DAY!
I had always pictured waking up on my wedding day to sun streaming in the window. Taking time to just let it all sink in before getting out of bed.
Wishful thinking. Instead, all of us in houses 11E and 11W were all jolted awake with a fire alarm at 6:30. We all grabbed sweaters and groggily ran outside to stand in the front yard. The sun was out and it was a gorgeous morning, but the screeching alarm was definitely NOT part of the plan. It was pretty obvious that it was a false alarm, but we had to wait for the fire department to come and reset the alarm. Apparently dust in these old houses trips the alarm pretty frequently. It sure made for an exciting story! And it got everyone up so we were not rushed!
Jacqui put on a pot of coffee, Richard made some great poached eggs, and we sat in the sunny kitchen rehashing tasks that needed to be taken care of. More cakes to bake, ladies to the salon, make sure grandparents were at the Battery by 3:30 for pictures, who has the USO hall key? Does anyone know where the iPad is? Does anyone know where the programs are??? Good chaos, but chaos none the less.
Luckily we were able to escape. My maids, the moms and I headed to the salon at 9:00 for 3 hours of pampering. We took over the whole thing, going from beautiful to stunning at the hands of our stylists. Mom had her hair and makeup done for maybe the first time ever, and looked stunning. All of our do’s turned out great. My makeup gal got my look exactly how I wanted. And the bridesmaids made the whole experience that much better with mimosas and cookies.
As the last girls finished up, I re-wrote my vows, painted my toenails and sipped on some throat coat tea (still trying to avoid going hoarse!). Then we piled into the car, and made our way back to the house for some last minute down time before pictures. We took tags off dresses, and hung them on the stairs for photos. The flowers arrived…boy were they cool! Succulents mixed in with really unique blooms. Exactly the kind of unexpected texture overload that I hoped they would be.
Our photographer, Ben, got there around 1:30 and it was go time. We slipped into our dresses, and then Jenny loaded me up for a drive down to the beach. Matt and I decided to do our “first look” on the beach away from the hullabaloo in the houses, which turned out to be a perfect choice. As we got down to the beach and Matt was waiting for me, a pod of orcas decided to show up. We just stood there, (seriously postponing our first look) to watch their beautiful dorsal fins pop out of the water. The sky was blue, the sun was out, it was the kind of day we Pacific North Westerners wait for all year. We had a great shoot with Ben, then headed up to the Battery for family photos.
I am not sure how to even write about the ceremony. I am going to use my favorite word again: perfect. There really is no other way to describe it. It felt natural and relaxed. Marty’s execution of the ceremony was flawless. He and Matt had spent so many hours drafting just the right words, and it was really special to hear them read aloud. We had some great improvised moments (like forgetting to have everyone sit down), and these just made it that much more personal. My mom read a poem by Senya, “Rise in Love”. Our vows went smoothly, and we both managed to get through them without crying. I think we were too excited and glowing with happiness to prompt any tears! The ceremony was just so fun. So natural. And so very us.
A big part of our ceremony was the seed necklace tying as our first act. Marty taught my family to make these necklaces with seeds we collected back when we were living on St. Croix, so we decided to add it into our ceremony. We asked every guest to put a seed on two necklaces. During the ceremony, Matt and I each added a final seed, and then tied the necklaces together in two linked loops. We each wore a loop around our necks for the rest of the ceremony, physically tying us together. We will treasure those necklaces for years to come.
Immediately after the ceremony, we took THE picture I wanted: one of everyone at the wedding, together, in one frame. We gathered in the next Battery over, and Ben got the shot. Then we took family photos off all of my relatives, then all of Matt’s. I cannot even express how excited I am to see Ben’s photos. He took so SO many good ones. There will be a massive post with his photos when we get them. Oh I cannot wait!
A collection of helpful hands had the ceremony site cleaned up in a matter of minutes, and our guests headed to the reception. Matt and I took more photos with Ben, and had a relaxing walk down the hill basking in the realization that we were MARRIED!
When we got to the USO hall, Josh (our good friend and awesome DJ/emcee) announced our entrance. We walked through a thunder of applause and cheering, seeing so many people we love. It was incredible. Seriously one of the best moments of the wedding. The hall looked stunning, and it felt so good to walk around, greeting people, and see all our hard work come together. When random things came up, like the cake melting, but we just went with it. So we will cut melted cake. No big deal! It is all part of the story. Dinner was amazing. And we actually got to eat (this was a major priority), then snuck out for more pictures.
Ben took us down to the beach again, and the sunset light was filtered through a thin haze. You could not ask for better light! Seriously, our time taking photos with Ben was more fun than any other part of the reception. It was beautiful, and relaxing, and most of all, just us. We were tempted to just stay out there taking pictures all night, but we eventually made it back to the USO hall to cut cake and dance.
The cake cutting was fun. Our cake was melting but it still looked great. Our moose and turtle topper was perfect. My aunt Linda had found us a cake knife at an antique store that morning, so we used that to cut our first piece. There was no smashing, but we made up for it with an icing filled kiss. The cake was yummy…Matt’s favorite: white on white from Safeway. And the cake buffet looked stunning. From there we moved on to toasts, then dances, then finally dancing the night away.
We had planned to dance till 11, but at 10:30 a park ranger appeared in the doorway and said the music could not be on after 10. Oh well, we were getting tired anyway so decided to take off. My mom arranged for a birdseed sendoff so we grabbed a bottle of champagne, our extra shoes, and ran through the tunnel. Oh and there was SO much birdseed! I had a handful shoved down the front of my dress, and Matt had it dumped down his shirt. Memorable to say the least!
Troy was our getaway driver, taking us to the Big Red Barn. Matt was in charge of finding this place and it was…you guessed it…perfect. One of the only non-Victorian style places in town, and it was just what we wanted in a retreat. We were floating on cloud nine, rehashing the events of the day and glowing in how well the whole day played out.