Hi ladies!!! I missed you all so much!!! I have been so busy since we got back from the honeymoon...
Let me start by saying that I'm so happy the photographer came to the church, after we set up Haskell, the reception site. Which was good because we don't have any photographs of the chaos that when on in the morning. My bridesmaids (my daughters 19, 11, 11, and 9) and MOH were amazing. The Day-Of Coordinator came and helped us knock things out within 2 1/2 hours. But I want to send a shout out (yes, a shout out) to the security guard (Maria) at Haskell, who helped turn the vision in my head into a reality! She knew how to set up the tables, what we needed, where everything was and where it needed to be. She even helped us move tables and chairs. She was the first person on my "Thank You Card" list. It wasn't pretty, but we got it done. And for once I never wished a photographer was there to capture the moment - LOL (inside photographer's joke)
When I arrived at the church we found the wedding party from the day before left a mess. I knew it was a chance I had to take because when I booked the church on a Sunday, Saturday would be open and the church caretakers are only there during the week. They kindly left us beer bottles strung about, and didn't vacuum the church aisle. Same as the reception site, we had to clean before we started, but only about 5 minutes worth at the church, so it wasn't too bad. *** Flashback at Haskell, my eldest daughter had to go and clean the restrooms. I owe her for that one (Saturday wedding there too - another post to explain that one under wedding blunders) *** Shortly after we got my SUV unpacked, the make-up artist arrived and it was time for me to get ready. So I left the day-of coordinator to set up the church with my 11 year old daughter. Not a big job, just big topiaries. I wanted simple, clean elegance and not too much fuss. I even had an inspiration photo that I printed out of how I wanted the aisle to look. Glad I did because it was my daughter who ended up carrying out my vision.
I left the church and started prepping with make-up in the cottage next door. My make-up artist, Gloria, was so wonderful. Our consultation went well, although Mr. C. didn't like the first make-up attempt, she was able to adjust everything to his liking and to my sensitive skin needs. She even stayed for the ceremony and refreshed my make-up for pictures. (If you are in Jacksonville, you NEED her as your make-up artist. Message me for her info)
Slowly, the girls started to trickle in and also started to get ready. The photographer came in and started shooting and there I was just sitting there at the mirror reflecting on all the preparation and was living in the moment. Funny, I think I realized that I was in the moment and agreed with myself that this is what I should be doing. That's not my typical for me. My mind is usually going a million miles a minute thinking on what's next, what's needed and trying to make it all happen, but not then. I was at peace. I decided that everything was going to be wonderful, no matter what happened because we were getting married.
After going outside that morning and seeing tropical storm Beryl headed our way, I prayed and asked God to allow us to go forward with this day, the wedding, our union and not let anything overshadow it. He listened. Rain came and went through out, but never too much to keep us from getting what we needed to get done. It wasn't raining when we got to the church. In fact it, didn't start to rain until we were all inside and the ceremony had started. AND the sun was still shining.
Back to the "getting ready" the girls came, the photographer was shooting; I was just looking in the mirror and answering questions as they came my way. We were the cottage, which was just too adorable for words. But 9 people in one room less than 400 square feet and one restroom was a tight and a hot. I'm not complaining, it just made things a bit more interesting is all. Everyone chipped in and helped with hair, make-up, tying up the infinity dresses. Side note - for anyone going with the infinity wrap dress, bring the direction sheet and photograph each person in the dress and style they want, because with all that commotion, their preferred styles went out the window and we went with the ones we remembered. My MOH was in Ohio and flew in for the wedding. Somehow she never quite understood how to tie her dress, so she and a neighbor cut the dress and sewed it into something else - I'll leave it at that :-/
When it was time for me to get into my dress, everyone had to move back and clear the floor to make room for it. Gloria and my new daughter, Tiana helped me step into it without stepping on it. Then began the fluffing of the crinoline underskirt. I felt like the woman with all her children underneath her dress - lol. I know it was work, but no one complained. They just pitched in and helped however they could. I think almost every woman in the room tried to close the fish-eye hook on the top of my dress. It was almost closed and incredibly hard to get, but one of my BFFs came in and saved the day. Then, I couldn't get my necklace clasp to work or my bracelet on. I think I was too excited to concentrate on such tedious tasks. The ladies all came to my rescue and got me put together before turning the attention on themselves.
For just a little while I let the attention fall on me, which I never do. This was something that I wanted and had planned and prepared for over the past 6 months. I usually fly through things on auto-pilot as a mother, employee, daughter, etc. But not this, this moment had come full circle. Yes, it was about me, Mr. C., the kids, us becoming a family, overcoming all the struggles and adversities that we have all gone thru over the past 4 years of losing our spouses and the kids losing their parents. We were about to start a new chapter as a husband, wife and blended family. So it WAS perfect, no matter what happened that day, because it was a part of God's plan for us.
I stood there for a minute or so and just looked at myself in the mirror. Sure I was checking to see how I looked, but it was more than that. I think I was giving myself the OK to live a happier life. I know that sounds weird, but this past year had been a whirl wind. So much has changed for everyone. I never imagined I'd be getting married a year ago. But there I was in a white dress (ivory) with the man of my dreams outside and we were going to get married, even in the midst of a storm.
Want to see all the photos from Getting Ready" - click here for a slideshow: http://sarahdial.zenfolio.com/p710027927/slideshow
I know it was kind of long, but I want to tell our story and make this a keepsake for me to look back on for years to come. I saw the ceremony photos were posted this morning. I'll have to look at them and post something on them too.