Well, we finally did it. I've been MIA for over two weeks now in preparation and on the honeymoon and let me just say, I am so glad to return to normalcy. This will be a lengthy post so TLDR; we got married on December 27, honeymooned in FL, and now I'm sick and at work.
I had 8 BMs and FI had 8 GM. We did not have any attendants stand by the guest book, no wedding coordinator to tell people when to walk (they are smart adults and could listen for their musical cue), no bouquet or garter toos, and no honeymoon jar. We asked the BMs to buy a "rose" pink floor lenth dress, any style, from a certain company. We asked the GM to wear a navy blue suit and any tie they wanted, that could be a suit they already owned or borrowed. One of H's best friends could not afford a suit but owned a black tux. I insisted that he wear that and you know, you could barely tell a difference and it meant so much to us that he was there for us.
THE WEEK BEFORE
I am lucky that since I work for a municipality that I get three days off for Christmas plus New Year's Day so four days total. I decided to take the whole week of Christmas off to get last minute things in place. We had to get our marriage license (yes, we waited until the week of) and wedding bands, I had to get my hair and nails done, clean the house, do laundry and pack, and get all the decoration stuff together.
Getting the marriage license was easy. I was worried because H and I both couldn't find our social security card but we were allowed to use tax forms even though it didn't have our full name. The wedding bands on the other hand were a hassle. We ordered our wedding bands from the same jeweler that H has gotten all of my jewelry and we placed the order in October. H is close with the jeweler because H used to mow his yard. The jeweler called two days later and the rings were in, neither of us got anything complicated so it was easy peasy. We told him we would pick them up closer to the wedding to get my ring cleaned at the same time. No big deal. Well the Monday before the wedding we go to get the rings and being so close to Christmas and the store unfortunately having an employee commit suicide, they were super busy. We waited an hour before he could get to us and when he did he couldn't find our rings. He still has no idea where they went and thinks an employee gave them to someone else.
Anyways, I was determined to not lose my cool so I asked how we could fix it. He said he'd rush order them and they would be in the next day and he would bring them to our house. He brought them by Tuesday night and put them on our porch. We weren't home so FI went by Wednesday morning to get them. He brought them over to his parents' house and we took them them out of the boxes and looked at them. H's was perfect, exactly what he wanted. Mine, OTOH, was not. My engagement ring was custom made. It is not anything fancy but the band, setting, diamond, and halo, all came from different designers and rings and made into one. I wanted a plain white gold wedding band that match the band on my e-ring. The e-ring band is 2.5 mm and I wanted a 4 mm wedding band. The only thing that makes it more difficult is that the bottom of my ring in flat, so it is squared off on the bottom and I insisted that the wedding band be the same. Well instead of the bottom just being flat, the whole fucking thing was square. It was a square ring! It also would not go over my knuckle. I entered panic mode. I yelled, "I am not wearing this fucking ugly ring!" We're going to get this shit fixed. Now."
We go back to our jeweler on Christmas Eve and I had calmed down at this point but I guess he saw the panic in my expression. He told me that I could pick any other ring they had in store and have it for the same price as what mine would have cost or he could fix it. I didn't wanted a band with diamonds in it because I would lose them and I was set on a simple band. He sized it right there so that it fit and H told him that only the bottom was supposed to be square. He said to give him an hour while he "grinded (not sure if that's the right term but that's basically what he did)" it. We come back and it was perfect! We high fived and he gave me a hug and apologized immensely for everything and told us to call him in February about payment (he gives us a hell of a deal already and said he would make it right). As soon as we walked out, I burst into tears from relief.
With all of that going on, I didn't get to clean the house for my little brother and his girlfriend who were staying to take care of the animals. I also didn't do programs because I lost track of time and I knew they weren't necessary.
THE DAY BEFORE
So Friday of the rehearsal, we get to the reception venue to start decorating. H and my older brother strung lights across the banisters and set up the table and chairs for me. Then SIL and I started ironing the tablecloths (which I suck at because that was taking forever). We get a call and MIL was at the ER with the flu, she has COPD so the flu is serious for her. They drugged her up and sent her home even though we insisted she at least stay over night. MIL's sister and family handled the rehearsal decorations and it looked beautiful.
The reception venue was a log house that was built specifically for events. It has a huge glass porch with heaters and two balconies inside, a full service kitchen, and five bedrooms. We set tables up surrounding the dance floor for seating for 150. I used navy blue table cloths on them and that was the best decision I ever made! The deep color didn't look to bright and stark for a winter wedding. Even though it was two days after Christmas, I did not want a "Christmas themed" wedding. The centerpieces were clear mason jars (yes, I know, most hate those, but hey I grew up on a farm and we literally had to wash the jars since they are used for canning), with a medium and small copper colored candle holder, and arranged on and around a tree cookie (cedar cuts my brother did and sanded down, again I know, eye roll from most of you). We used white and light pink roses, baby's breath, and mixed greenery in all of the centerpieces and bouquets. There was a counter at the back of the room facing he dance floor that we made a mason jar collage on. We used my dad's antique blue mason jars and crate to create a multi-level showcase and put lots of baby's breath around it.
At the church for the ceremony, we took out all of the poinsettias leftover and greenery from the windows. We did minimal decorations with baby's breath on the window sills and alter railing and lots of tea lights in the window. We made two huge arrangements for the vestibule and the front of the church.
I had forgotten ceremony music until the day before so we did the rehearsal by music on youtube and BIL made a CD and pressed play at the wedding.
Okay, down to the nitty grittty. The day of I woke up and promptly threw up from nerves. Had my coffee, shower, and chit chat with my MOH who stayed with me at the venue. My hair dresser came and did my MOH's hair (as part of her gift from me. Hair was not required and her lady was closed) while I did my make up and then she did my hair. The rest of the BM's got there shortly after and let the chaos commence. 9 girls in one room (even though we had 1 more to use) was a madhouse. H and the GM arrived and started getting dressed downstairs (and tapped the keg).
H and I did a first look. Best decision ever. I was a ball of nerves and just needed him to comfort me. It was great to be able to spend time with him and just enjoy each other. H did not cry, he swore he wouldn't, but was speechless. We took pictures beforehand and with the WP.
We then went back to the reception venue until it was time for the wedding. When we got there I realized the marriage license was in our car, which was 45 minutes away because H's Uncle and Aunt got us a driver and hotel for the night and took our car there. Ensue another panic-y moment. H's uncle went and got the marriage license and walked into the wedding right after I came down the aisle. I was also freaking out because the reception venue was not finished. There were random chairs and trash and the bar table hadn't been set up. All the GM noticed I was moving tables in my wedding dress and jumped in to help. Then they gave me a shot of whiskey and shotgunned a beer with me.
My dad refused to come to the wedding. I had known this since we got engaged. He gave us his blessing but said he couldn't handle being around my mom
(they had a nasty divorce 6 years ago after 28 years of marriage)/. While immature, I understood but it didn't make it any easier on me. But at one point a few months ago I realized I was just stressing myself out over something I couldn't control. I think he will regret missing his only daughter get married, but that' son him, not me. I also know that he loves me and supports our marriage.
My little brother walked me down the aisle as my older brother played Cannon in D on his acoustic guitar. He then met us at the alter so I had both brothers to give me away. It was such a special moment with them and I will cherish that forever.
The ceremony was beautiful. I cried a little but not too much and H didn't cry at all, but he knew he wouldn't. We did the traditional Methodist ceremony and didn't add any extra music or vows or "unity ceremony." We wanted it to be about our vows with each other and God and that's what we got.
We did a few pictures with just us afterwards and our family pictures. For those of you who remember, H's grandpa fell off the roof and broke his back a few weeks back. He got out of rehab on Christmas Even and walked into the wedding on a walker!
We had good ole NC BBQ at the reception. We told everyone to go ahead and eat while we did pictures. It timed out perfectly because when we got there they had just finished. H and I did our first dance to "My Best Friend" by Tim McGraw (Our song), he danced with his mom to "Sweet Baby James" by James Taylor (his lullaby), and I danced with my brothers to "Just Fishin'" by Trace Adkins. We cut the cake and fed each other a bite, no cake smashing, and it was delicious but that's the only bite we each had. Then H's dad (BM) and my MOH gave their toasts and they were so sweet.
We had two kegs, a light beer and a heavy beer, champagne, and wine. One of the kegs floated early and the other was about empty when we left. Our crowd likes to drink and get rowdy.
THAT NIGHT AND HONEYMOON
We stayed a the hotel that night and they had rose petals and champagne there for us. We definitely weren't too tired yet to have sex right on the rose petals. Then we ordered pizza and watched TV. We woke up to drive to FL the next morning. Traffic was awful. The weather in FL was beautiful but I got a terrible cold that FI swears is the flu while we were there. But hey, being sick on the beach is better than being sick anywhere else. We drank so much rum and lots of beer and ate some good food. We got home last night around 6 and cuddled our puppies and kitty so much. I had cried telling them bye and I cried as soon as I saw them.
Thank you to all the ladies here for advice and keeping me sane through this whole process. Everyone kept complimenting how nice the wedding was and how effortless it felt.
1. Some of my favorite bridal portraits (at the winery near the house)
2. Some of my favorite bridal portraits (that's my dad's truck that I learned to drive on)
3. Some of my favorite bridal portraits (over lookin gone of the pastures at my dad's farm)
4. Bridal portrait I took for H in his hunting coat for him to keep (I gave his a close up as a teaser before the wedding).
5. Rehearsal dinner (not FI)
6. Rehearsal dinner (with FI)
7. Some of the people from the rehearsal dinner
10. Shot of whiskey before the wedding and beer in the other hand
11. First dance
12. We were all in the same class in elementary school, best friends ever since.
13. Some of my BMs (my MOH on the end, eyes closed...
15. Picture on the honeymoon
16. One last bridal portrait
ETF: Pictures and change FI to H, that's going to take some getting used to