Some girls do, and some girls don’t. But I’ve dreamt of my wedding day since I was a little girl.
I’ve saved wedding photos since the day I had my first smart phone (say, 2008). The day my husband proposed, I started gathering up those photos. This is a screen shot of the album. I still have it in my phone.
I had this visual dream of what my wedding day would be like. And it looked something like that. Magical. Outside. Rustic.
My wedding day was planned from start to finish a month or so before the big day. I’d walked around the areas we would be standing, picturing everything set up just right. I’d meet my husband for a first look, and 30 minutes later, I would meet him at the end of the aisle- on an island in the river that flows through my hometown. We wouldn’t be nervous.
This plan, however, required a sunny day. 3 days before the wedding, the forecast predicted a perfect day.
We did our rehearsal walk-through on the island I picked for the ceremony on the night before the wedding. Everything I’d pictured was coming together. I was so excited for this perfect and romantic set up to finally happen. The walk across this bridge to my soon-to-be husband was going to be the best feeling in the world.
The night of the rehearsal dinner, the forecast changed. Every hour, the next day had an increased chance of rain. At midnight, it said 50%. In my mind, 50% meant that it still might not rain. But…what if it did? My dress, hair, and makeup would be ruined. And that, would just be a disaster. My mind swirled with thoughts, trying to come up with another plan. But there was only one [sane] solution. And that was to cancel the outdoor ceremony, and have the wedding inside a church. I didn’t want to have my wedding inside. To me, it might as well have been the end of the world. Every beautiful photo I’d been dreaming of…ruined with the poor lighting inside the church.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned and a slow flow of tears stained my pillow. At 6am, I checked the forecast again. It was over a 65% chance of rain now, and I had to call it.
At 6am, I was very depressed. This was my wedding day. The heavens wanted me to have rain on my dream outdoor wedding day.
The day before, our backup church called to get a final answer on whether we needed them or not. I told them no. Today was my wedding day. And it was going to rain. The church had every right to tell me they could not open the church for me now. What if I really messed up, and I had NOWHERE to have my wedding?
Thankfully, my mother was able to get ahold of the church early that morning, and they agreed to open it for us.
Although this was a relief, I was still so down. I felt like there was a brick on each of my shoulders. But I had to go on with my day. So, I showered. I got dressed. My bridesmaids started to arrive at my home.
As I was getting ready, I looked down at some point, & noticed my “bride” shirt had a stain on it. My mood continued to decline. I attempted to wash out the stain, but with little luck.
My final bridesmaid showed up, and we piled into one car. Everyone was a little stressed out because we were running late already. As for me, all I could think about was how everything wasn’t going as planned, and that I hadn’t even practiced the wedding in the church.
As our vehicle started to back up, we heard a big crunch and halted to an abrupt stop. One of my bridesmaids had parked her rental car in the blind spot of my driveway. We smashed her car.
At this point, I got out of the car, went into the house, and sat on the chair in my doorway. We’re having the wedding in a church that we haven’t practiced in, my shirt is ruined, and we just had a car accident. I was having a panic attack. This is not how this day was supposed to go. How could I have this much bad luck before 8am?
Now let’s fast forward to getting ready at the salon. After my hair was finished, I realized my hair piece, veil, and foundation were still at home. I couldn’t finish getting ready without those. GREAT.
Luckily, we were able to arrange for those items to get to the salon before we had to leave, with very little time to spare.
When we did leave, it was pouring. Part of me was relieved that it was raining, because I knew I made the right call. The other part of me wanted to cuss harder than a sailor. Why does it have to rain on my wedding day?
My bridesmaids & I put our dresses on at my home. I’d planned to have a first look with my bridesmaids in the field behind my house after I had on my full look. Instead, because of the rain, the only place we could do it was my living room. The first look photos have my living room television in them. Not exactly what I’d imagined.
At this point, our party bus had arrived. It was time to head to the church. I had no idea what to expect. Did someone have time to pick up an aisle runner to cover up the red carpet? Did the unity painting supplies get set up? What happened to the pictures that were supposed to be hung in the aisle? How am I supposed to know where to go when we get there? What if guests see me before they’re supposed to?
The bridesmaids told Zach to go hide in a room while I entered the church. I had to walk through the church to get to my dressing room. Several guests sitting in the pews saw me.
The room that I was supposed to wait in before the ceremony started was…undesirable. Only a brown curtain separated me from the other room. Oh that brown curtain….
All I could think about was that I was supposed to be sitting in the party bus until my dad came to get me, and walk me down that bridge. Not sitting in this room. & then, a huge crack of thunder reminded me why I wasn’t walking down that bridge.
I was ready, and it was time. 2 o’clock struck, and our guests were waiting.
The cermony music started playing, and all my bridesmaids slowly disappeared out of the room. My dad then started to walk me out of the room, and my heavy veil dragged behind me.
The small U shape we made walking out of that room didn’t give me enough room to straighten out my veil. I was frantically trying to fix it…but the music kept playing and I had to keep walking. I just let it go and tried not to panic.
I was so nervous and freaked out from the whole day- that I ended up having very little memory of the majority of the ceremony. From the last turn I made to walk down the aisle, to the end of it, I don’t remember a thing. I had 200 faces looking at me, and I saw none of them. I don’t remember seeing my husband-to-be’s face until he was standing across from me.
Fun little note here: Right before I walked down the aisle, apparently my aunt tried to straighten out my veil as I turned the last corner. When she did that, the sequins on my veil caught on her dress. She was attached to me as I was starting my walk down the aisle. I was told she had to rip it off of her dress to keep from following me down the aisle. I was completely unaware of this until the reception later that night. Lol!
At the end of the aisle, I met hands with Zach. It kind of felt like a play. It didn’t seem real at all. I was stressed, and nervous. He was too, and I could tell from his hands and the look on his face. The ceremony felt like it was forever long, even though neither of us remember a word that the pastor said, or a word that WE said (of course, other than I do, and I pronounce you husband and wife).
When it was over, we kissed, and I pushed my huge veil around with my foot, and hoped that it would be alright as I walked down the aisle. Three steps away from the podium, I felt a tug on my head. My veil had fallen off behind me.
What do you do in a moment like that? I looked to my left, and saw my best friend holding my hand. We were married. I’d waited my whole life for this moment. And then I thought of the crowd in front of me, witnessing this day. I realized from their perspective, that this day was everything we’d ever dreamed of.
And they were right, it was the day we’ve been dreaming of. I literally laughed, and in my mind, said screw it. I pulled Zach forward and put my 15 pound bouquet in the air. We were married!
This is the moment I remember the most vividly from that entire day. Not until that moment, did I truly let go of everything that happened that day. The mishaps, and change of plans that stressed me out… I let it go.
There were little things that happened after the ceremony that didn’t go as planned either…not taking photos in my dream location because of the rain, forgetting our customized cake forks at home, not being able to eat because my dress was so tight when I sat down, and the pop machine going out at the reception. My husband also managed to misplace his wallet and phone during the day.
But when the night was over, we walked through a tunnel of sparklers and drove away, hand in hand…laughing. Zach & I hadn’t really had the chance to be alone and talk that day, and we talked about everything that happened on our drive to our hotel. We just laughed. We even stopped at Taco Bell since I hadn’t had the chance to eat. Yes, we got Taco Bell in our wedding attire. We couldn’t help but giggle about that too.
When we arrived to our hotel (after driving around town *from my aunts house, to his best mans house, to my house* trying to locate Zach’s phone and wallet), I was standing in the parking lot with a huge dress train in one hand, and my bouquet in the other. My dress was still soaked from traveling in the rain all day.
Our wedding day was over, and I looked down and let my dress drop. Walking toward the entrance of the hotel, I was thinking, what a day. But what a day it really was.
Not only did I marry my best friend, but I learned a lesson.
Have you heard that really cheesy quote, “It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”?
Well, all those unexpected things that happened- all the way from that fender bender at 8am, forgetting half of my cosmetics, guests seeing me before the ceremony, to the rain that poured all day-
I let them all go, three steps down the aisle with my husband.
I stopped waiting for the storm to pass,
put down my umbrella,
& I danced in the rain
(with my husband) 💕
Maybe it wasn’t exactly the day I planned. But I ended up with the one thing I really wanted. & in it’s own way, it was a perfect day. See for yourself ❤️