Monday, November 7, 2011

The Wedding

I'm married. I've had a day and a half to let it sink in, and in small ways it's beginning to. I totally understand the importance of a honeymoon, though. If we were away somewhere, just the two of us, I think it would really give us a chance to absorb our new relationship status. People have called me Mrs. Dude, though I am keeping my name. The Dude's finger has a ring on it, which doesn't look natural yet. Thinking about the future has a slightly different sensation, in a pleasant way.

The day of the wedding, things were calm. I was in a great mood, I was excited and had some adrenaline going, but we all still managed to have a rather calm and charming day.

Lyn and I had breakfast, my maid of honour showed up around 10:00 and hair and makeup began around 11:30ish when my cousin arrived. McPal got there before 1:00 and we watched Bridesmaids. The photographer got there by 2:00 and we had a fun time, still relaxed and yet peppy. My planner got there around the same time, with flowers, and she helped us get ready, keeping us on schedule.

I was feeling really great. I knew I was marrying the right man, I was going to be surrounded by people I loved, my bridal party was supportive and happy for me, and I looked exactly the way I had wanted to.

We did our party shots prior to the wedding, because I didn't want to expose the ladies in their chiffon dresses to the November chill. We did a handful of good shots and the photographer left to shoot the groomsmen at the venue. The limo came not long after, and I don't remember how long the limo ride was. I had to text about our arrival, so people would be ready. It was so weird. I was en route to get married. I was in a wedding dress. Everyone was waiting for us to get there. It was a very surreal moment in time.

We were a little frazzled getting ourselves in order. We were about 10 minute late for the ceremony start, and the Dude's brothers zoomed past us to find their seats. Matt and the groomsmen had already taken their places. Music was starting. My high school friends were strolling down the hall. I was waving wildly at them and they waved back and smiled. I hissed, "Run! Run!" and run they did, clomp, clomp, clomp into the ceremony room, making a ruckus. It was pretty funny. Somehow all the confusion sort of suited me. This was not a perfect moment, it was a real situation that could not be controlled. There was a momentum and people were falling into it.

When it was my turn, my nerves instantly faded. It was a sense of being exactly where I was supposed to be. My fears of all that attention were gone and I felt like I was surrounded by positive energy. It was really warm in there, not in a temperature sense for me, but just very comfortable and natural. Walking myself down the aisle was a very gratifying experience. I felt like a grown woman making an important decision on my own. Which I am, which I was.

I cried, the Dude smiled and his mouth was twitching. He was so nervous and I could tell he couldn't bear to look at all the people. We held eye contact the entire time. My tears and his smile, and our officiant speaking so well and so beautifully. We had two poems, one at the start about the art of marriage, and another at the end about love.

We exchanged the rings we made, we said our vows, which were traditional, and said our "I dos", not in that order. After our kiss and signing the registry, we looked out to the crowd as we were announced as a married couple. The wedding wands were waving in the air, the ribbons flying, the bells jingling softly, and everyone was smiling. We went down the aisle, hand in hand, and I felt so happy, and just so contented.

A makeshift receiving line formed, one we hadn't planned on, but happened naturally as people wanted to congratulate us. It was very sweet and took a short time, as we had only 85 people to greet. Within 10 minutes, we had seen everyone and were ready for pictures.

Of course, my dad wanted his own pictures before the photographer could get in there. Actually, he took me away from other people and other cameras about a dozen times that night. He made something of a bad impression a few times, but otherwise behaved himself. My brother was full of smiles. I was so glad to see him so happy for me.

Outside our photographer, a friend of Matt's, got some lovely shots. I had a cute cardigan to brave the chill and we spent maybe 20 minutes out there. All of our other shots with our party were done, so we spent the rest of the cocktail hour socializing with our guests. It was great.

At 7:00, it was time for dinner, we didn't bother with any sort of special entrance, and things got going shortly. There were some nice speeches, from the Dude's dad, my dad, the Dude's stepbrother and his mom. His mom's speech was epic. I knew it was going to be good. It seriously rocked the room. The Dude capped off the speeches and he did really well. It was short, sweet and charming.

Then our first dance. Oh, I love the song we used, No One's Gonna Love You. It sounds terrible, but the second part of that sentence is, "more than I do." We had wanted people to join us, but my buddy didn't mention that when he announced us, so no one did. I can't recall if I told him about our wishes or not. Whoops. But either way, it happened the way it happened, it was sweet and we enjoyed ourselves.

Then it was dance time. But first my dear little aunt wanted a picture. She had wanted one in the receiving line and I had asked her to wait. So now the whole room waited while she took the moment to get her picture. It was actually kind of funny just how bad her timing was. Once the dance floor opened, it was open and people were on the floor.

The cake was a funny situation. My planner said it was time, and the Dude ran off to find the photographer. They disappeared for five minutes after the cake cutting was announced. It was so awkward and absurd. No one could find them and we were all standing around to background music waiting and waiting. When the Dude ran back in there was some applause and we got down to business. It was a damn fine cake. The fridge is currently housing a ridiculous amount of it.

The wedding went on till 1:00. Two thirds of the guests stayed till the end. The alcohol was flowing and people made good use of it, the dance floor had people up and on their feet, everyone had good things to say about the food, the party in general, my dress. I called a cab company and asked for pretty much every cab. People got going, I wrangled things I needed to get home, tried to make sure people had what they needed and, you know, I'm pretty thankful for daylight saving's time. Instead of getting in bed by 3:00, it was really 2:00.

I didn't drink any alcohol that night. I didn't want to make numerous trips to the bathroom, I didn't want to forget anything, and honestly, I just didn't need it. I couldn't eat much either. I think I was too full of energy, and with the corset on my dress, I just didn't have room. It was too bad, but I'd done the tasting with the Dude so at least I'd had the meal before.

When the Dude woke up the next day, he said, "Good morning, wife." And it was so lovely.

I had exactly the wedding I wanted. I never set out for a perfect day, but somehow that translated into me having a perfect day. I feel so satisfied.


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