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Wedding Rewind: The Big Day (Part I: Getting Ready)

I got into bed the night before, refreshing the weather forecast over and over again, trying to anticipate which hour the rains would hit again the next day.  I didn't really have much optimism for sunny skies.  I somehow drifted off to sleep thinking about our back up plan and different scenarios, over and over again.  It's almost a miracle I got any slept at all.  Rest.

I woke up the next morning well before my alarm went off - not entirely surprising on your wedding day.  It truly was unreal that it was the morning of my wedding day.  My sister heard me stirring and woke up as well.  She climbed into bed with me and we enjoyed a few minutes of sister time before we got moving.  I looked outside and the skies looked gloomy, but that wasn't going to change anything about what was officially going to happen today.  I was going to marry the love of my life rain or shine!  It's here. 

My Aunt Sue generously threw me a wonderful bridal shower that morning at the hotel in my parents' hospitality suite.  We had breakfast tacos, fruit, granola and mimosas.  I sipped on my mimosa, but couldn't eat much - butterflies!  We also had a chance to do one of the traditions that I have seen some of my older cousins do at their weddings.  Each girl pulled a ribbon out of the (beautiful!) wildflower themed cake to find a unique charm. I got to read the meaning of each charm to each girl as a special "wish" to them.  It was a sweet time to be able to honor my bridesmaids and house party and toast them for all they have done for me to make this special day possible.  My mom was teary as she thanked all of the girls as well for the roles they have played in my life and how they are truly some of the closest women to me.  I loved having so many special women in one room: grandmothers, aunts, cousins, moms, sisters and friends.  Overjoyed.

We wrapped up breakfast and the hair and make-up ladies knocked on the door shortly after.  "J" set up in my parents bedroom and Nisa and her assistant took over the tables in the suite.  Each girl got primped and beautified.  It was so fun to see everyone get all made up.  While we waited, we had a relaxing morning sitting on the bed chatting, laughing and just being girls.  I felt so loved and celebrated and the day had just begun! We were running a little behind schedule, but I knew there wasn't too much I could do about it, even though I checked my watch and schedule over and over again. Everyone was looking so pretty.  Looking back on pictures - I really think I have the most beautiful wedding party.  Each girl looked incredible! God's beauty.

It was finally my turn to get my hair done. J and I had practiced once before for my bridal portraits, so I wasn't too worried at all. I asked her to give it a bit more volume this time. I loved how it turned out. I felt so glamorous! I also had practiced make up for my portraits with Nisa. I trusted her completely to make me look my very best. I think she did a fantastic job with my smoky eyes, rosy cheeks and natural lips. She was just a joy to work with. I had all of the girls except for my mom and my sister go ahead to the venue while I finished up. We quickly got all my things together as Kathryn was snapping a few pictures here and there and then headed to the Wildflower Center. I was trying not to stress that it was raining the whole way there (okay, I was stressing and so was my mom). The skies looked a bit scary actually. Regardless, I had confidence that everything would get taken care of and the back up plan would turn out okay if we had to go that route. Still trying to breathe.

I met all of my bridesmaids and house party down in one of the class rooms that would serve as our bridal suite for the day.  The flowers had already arrived and they were beautiful.  I loved all of the different textures and dimensions - they were just what I had invisioned!  I asked the girls to start getting into their dresses so they could help me after they were done.  They looked fantastic in their navy.  I loved how they tied their bows all different ways too.  The yellow shoes were so striking too against the gloom of the rain.  I loved how each pair of shoes showed off their personal style. Proud

Kathryn and her assistant arrived and we decided it was time to get into my dress.  I loved being surrounded by all of my girls as they helped me primp and climb into the layers of silk taffeta and tulle.  They pinned in my veil, touched up my lips, strung on my pearls, sprayed the perfume I had picked out for my big day, slipped on my heels for me and oohhhed and ahhhed over me, making me feel so special!  I really did feel my very best that day.  It's amazing how a gorgeous white dress can make you feel like a million bucks.  My mom tied my bow and slipped my garter on.  I was ready to go. Ecstatic

We headed upstairs to take some portraits before the ceremony.  The parasols we had ordered definitely came in handy to shield us from the drizzle outside.  We started insight taking a few individual shots and then went outside to utilize the beautiful surroundings of the venue.  Everything was fully in bloom - bright greens and beautiful, vibrant colors the flowers were a gorgeous contrast to the grey skies. Striking

I got to see all my flower girls and ring bearer before hand.  They looked adorable in their yellow dresses and ballet slippers and Carter in his tux.  He looked so grown up!  The flower wreaths on their heads made them look like little princesses!  They looked excited to be all dressed up.  I was honored to have them as a part of my day. Adorable

My dad did not want to see my dress or even a picture of it before wedding day.  It was a really special moment to have him see me all dressed up before the ceremony.  Tears welled up in his eyes.  I got a bit teary too - but somehow managed to keep it under control.  We took a few pictures during the last few minutes as a family of 4.  It was a really special moment for me and for him.  Next, my family and bridal party prayed over me before the ceremony was set to begin. Cherishing the moments. 

It was show time.  Time for what we were here for.  Time for what Blake and I had waited so long for.  I headed up the stairs, the girls grabbed my train, time to line up so we could walk down the aisle, just like the song says, "here comes the bride".......

To be continued....

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Amanda said...

what a great day! love you

Katelin said...

love you manders! thanks for being a part of it :)

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