I got married!
Here's a video of the nuptials-- part of them, anyway (Click the link if it won't play below):
Everyone kept saying what a whirlwind it would be, and that I wouldn't remember anything-- they were mostly right.
But, I also remember quite a bit. I remember the nerves kicking in while I was getting my hair and makeup done. I would go through waves of calm followed by intense bouts of nausea. I remember checking the weather because it was overcast and seeing "0% chance of rain" in La Canada, and hearing news approximately 10 minutes later that it was, in fact, raining in La Canada. I remember everyone telling me it was good luck if it rains on your wedding, to which I promptly responded 'that's just what they say because it's raining on your wedding day!' I remember thinking 'oh well, there's nothing I can do about it.' and letting it go (but also pushing for a backup plan--thank you Deb, for finding those clear umbrellas just in case!). I remember the drive to the venue, listening to rap music to calm me down. I remember sitting in the bride's room with my dad trying to keep from crying because I was nervous, scared, happy, and sad. I remember telling him that I don't want to grow up, but also knowing that was an impossibility. I remember getting ready to walk down the aisle and realizing that I'd forgotten my bouquet and RUNNING through the venue to grab it.
I remember walking down the aisle, and my dad singing along. I remember Katie, my maid of honor, reaching into her dress to pull out my vows. I remember some of our vows, though I was so nervous, I have trouble remembering that part. I remember walking down the aisle and stopping at the end to take a picture. I remember taking pictures and getting grumpy because it was pretty humid. I remember our grand entrance, our first dance (which morphed from a slow love song into a group rick-roll featuring some fabulous dance moves). I remember sitting at the sweetheart's table, and everyone coming up to us congratulating us--I remember biting in to the In N Out burger (after months of dieting and abstaining from In N Out, I have an especially vivid memory of this). I remember the toasts from my parents--my mom trying not to cry during hers. I remember the father daughter dance and how that's the hardest I cried the whole day. I remember cutting the cake, and instead of feeding the first bite to Tom, I ate a bite myself, before proceeding with the tradition. I remember jumping in and out of the photo booth all night. I remember dancing, and having the time of my life. I remember being too full to eat our delicious cupcakes (but having a few bites anyway). I remember the impromptu send off, and the silly chants from everyone. I remember the limo ride, which was supposed to stop at In N Out for milkshakes, but which we bypassed because we were so exhausted we just wanted to go home and see Cash. I remember how excited Cash was to see me, and how sad I was to give him to my parents.
I remember, I'd say, quite a bit. When I was first planning this wedding, I was concerned with the details-- with custom painted, hand stamped (each individual letter), laminated, bookmark escort cards. With how to display those--with DIY centerpieces. As time went on, I got less concerned with the DIY aspect, and was just struggling to finish everything. During all of that, I never really stopped to think about what the wedding would actually be like. I don't think the thought ever crossed my mind--but, even if it had crossed my mind, I don't think I could have predicted how much fun I would have. People kept coming up to us telling us that it was the best wedding they'd ever been to--and maybe they were just being nice, looking for something to say--but I had so much fun at my wedding, it was more than I ever could have anticipated, ever could have expected. When the day came, I was surprisingly calm about all of the little details--somehow recognizing (which is in-congruent with my personality) that it wasn't the little things-- the book placement for the centerpieces that would make the day special. Instead, it was being surrounded by family and friends, and dancing like no one was watching (even though everyone was) that made the day special.
Advice for Brides:
1) Listen to other brides. Seriously. I heard the same thing from so many people/so many blogs, and I kind of ignored some of it. Do not do this. They are right.
2) Easy on the DIY. It sounds like a really good idea when you fill your Pinterest board with stuff, or even when you think of your own ideas--and I'm sure they're all great ideas. But decide on a few that are really important to you, and go with those. Forget everything else.
3) DIY is not cheaper. In fact, it's possibly more expensive if you consider your time. There's the cost of supplies to make the stuff, and then the cost of making extra because you know you're going to mess at least one or 2 up.
4) If you ignore this (which you will), don't wait until the last minute. Unless you craft often, this stuff will take a LOT of time. Decide what's worth it. (for me, it was the custom bookmarks).
5) Don't sweat the small stuff. Seriously. There's no point-- it will all get done, and if it doesn't it honestly won't matter on the big day. Checklists, for me, became pretty obsolete. Just make sure you have everything you need for the day of (dress accessories, jewlery, wedding rings, lipstick, deodorant--then you're good).
6) Find good vendors. Use sites like weddingbee and yelp, and look for bad reviews. On Weddingbee and Weddingwire you have to go to the end of the reviews to see the bad ones. This can be helpful for giant companies that have thousands of reviews. At first it seems like they have great reviews, and then you go to the end and you see nightmare stories. Don't book anyone with nightmare stories. If possible, use my vendors. (Tanori Photo, DJ Keelez, Light Up Video, TheBooth by NealPost Photography). I can't sing the praises of my vendors enough-- everyone was fabulous from beginning to end (not just of the day, but of the whole process, and I cannot recommend them highly enough).
7) Go on a honeymoon. Do not skip this-- I repeat, do not skip this. You've spent so much time and effort planning, and getting away for awhile is important--and getting away together as husband and wife is important as well.
8) Have fun. This is a once in a lifetime thing. After the honeymoon is over, the post-wedding blues will set in and you'll realize how much fun you had, even if you spent the whole time being stressed about the custom matchbooks you decided to DIY.