I remember crawling into bed the night before our wedding thinking, this will be the last night I sleep in my bed as a single woman.
It is a thought I’m sure many women have the night before they get married, yet it was a thought that was so heavy for me.
Not only was I entering into a covenant with Eddie but I would be packing up my essentials and moving 1,000+ miles away from family and friends to start our life together.
It was all very surreal.
As my eyes fluttered open on Saturday January 28, 2017 I traced the outlines of the glow-in-the-dark stars that were stuck to my ceiling. I pulled the covers up over my lips and let out a deep sigh full of excitement, nervousness, and a little sadness.
After taking a shower Maria and I jumped in her car to head to my life-long friend’s mom’s hair salon. Marianna has been my hair stylist forever and has seen me through many cuts and colors (oh blue, i’m coming back for you!) and I never even thought twice about who would do my wedding hair.
We ate some breakfast, drank some coffee and orange juice, and chatted about what all the day had before me.
When we arrived at the cottage all the girls were on time and dressed in the shirts I had made for them. I loved seeing my little plaid tribe. My Aunt Diane brought in some snacks for us to nibble on while we got ready and Lauren made these amazing nutella cinnamon rolls. I definitely made sure I ate one before starting on my makeup and getting caught up in all the details.
The day was feeling completely surreal.
It was truly an out of body experience, that’s the best way I can explain it.
I felt like I was in a dream, I found myself thinking “is this really MY wedding?!” It felt like it was for someone else, certainly not me.
When Eddie & I were walking through the details of our wedding and what was important to us vs what was just simply for celebration we knew that we wanted to spend time with one another before the ceremony but we didn’t want to actually see each other. So we chose to take a few moments of stillness to pray together in the quite area behind the cottage.
While I’ll be elaborating on this special moment in another post it was part of this timeline and I really didn’t want to leave it out.
A few details I want to really remember are the pieces I took time picking out for my Wedding day.
The scent I chose was Burberry Weekend and there was never a doubt that would be what I would wear on my wedding day.
I hold that perfume so close to my heart; it was my moms.
I wore her perfume and her ring as well as her vintage fur that she got at an auction with my aunts. I have so many memories that are connected to her whenever I smell the perfume or wear her ring. It was just another way for me to be connected to my mom on my wedding day. They were small reminders that while her and my father may not have been there physically they were, and always are, with me physically.
My outfit details are detailed on my bridal portrait post.
My makeup was done, the dress was on and there was this quite time to bask in before the other men (brother, uncle, granddaddy) came to see me.
It was in that moment that I remembered, I actually need to practice saying my vows out loud.
My Aunts were in the loft area of the cottage and my bridesmaids and grandmother were in the little sitting area with me when I pulled the envelope out and started, shakily, walking through the words that would echo my promises to Eddie forever.
Halfway through my cousin Jade starts just weeping and I get all teary eyed and laughingly yell at her to lock that stuff down. NO TEARS. If they start crying I would start crying. Needless to say I read through those vows another two times to get all of the weepiness out of my system and focus on the absolute joy that they meant. I was so happy that the real-ness was captured in this moment, the messy tears and the laughter and the things just CAPTURED. These were the types of moments that I wouldn’t want to forget but they would be easy to slip away. The whole day was a whirlwind, so seeing these sweet and tender moments between myself and the people who are so amazing helps to re-ground me and whisper small reminders of what the day held.
Soon after dabbing my tears away it was time to do a first look with the special men in my life.
I knew that while I did not want to have a first look with Eddie, I did want to have one with my brother, grandfather, and uncle.
These men hold a special place in my heart.
After my father died my Grandfather (moms dad) and Uncle Tim really helped to fill the gap; and my brother – well…geeze that kid is my heart.
I have such a close bond with them that I knew I would be a blubbering mess when it came time to the ceremony.
It was best to get the waterworks over with before entering into the celebration of marriage. 🙂
I was surprisingly nervous as I stood there waiting for them to turn the corner and get a glimpse of me in my dress for the first time.
Seeing their faces just put this sense of “man, this is real, this is really happening” into stone and I just sort of basked in the moment.
My brother was nervous about our dance together later and we kind of pranced around all while talking about nothing and everything.
My grandfather cried, of course, and if I’m being honest I’m getting a little weepy looking at these pictures and re-living this special moment with these three.
After the guys had their time with me I made sure my mom’s sisters were a part of our day too.
My grandmother (mom’s mom) and my mom’s sisters gathered around me and took turns praying over Eddie & I and our day.
It was a heavy heavy moment because my mom’s presence was really missed but also really felt.
I was holding hands with the women who knew her best and it was a great way to wrap up the morning and to prepare to walk down the aisle to my best friend.
And then it was time.
The girls left to get walk to the ceremony site and my uncle pulled the van around.
I stood in the cottage by myself soaking it all in.
I prayed to the Lord that He would bless our marriage, that He would give me solid steps and a bright smile.
I thanked my parents for raising me to be the woman I was and I wished they were there to hold my hand as I took a step into a new chapter of life.
I took a deep breath and walked out the screen porch door and heard my single life softly shut behind it.
Photography: Carrie Elizabeth Photography