I’m at a loss for words on how to begin this post. How do I even BEGIN to put to words all that I experienced in the last eight days? *Deep breath* – Here goes!
[ NOTE ] – I have no plans for this post and am going to ramble as thoughts come to mind about the WEEK of my wedding. I am confident this may be the most lengthy post yet. Enjoy (if you have time)! As I’ve said before, this blog is more for ME than any other person or purpose – I am loving keeping track of all that life is throwing my way! So again, I apologize for the length. 🙂
The last time I posted was the Sunday before the wedding. My parents had just left for the beach and I was looking forward to ONE day off of work due to snow. I’m sorry, but did I just say ONE day off? TRY A WHOLE FLIPPING WEEK! For those who do not live in Huntsville, WE GOT SLAMMED with snow. My backyard was measuring 8″ by about lunchtime Monday. Grandma lives in an apartment “off” of my house “next door”, so we camped out together as I got tons of last minute stuff down.
Monday, Dad had a panic attack because he realized that my car was parked in the garage. Well, of course, Dad. “HOW IN THE WORLD ARE YOU GOING TO GET OUT?!?! GET A SHOVEL AND GET YOURSELF OUT!” We live in a house that is a two-story with a third story basement and garage, so the hill that dips down to the garage is very steep. Since my parents lived in NYC for 25 years, they know that 10″ of snow doesn’t just go away, and I was scheduled to leave Wednesday. Let’s just say that Tuesday morning was terrible. I shoveled snow alone for over three hours and nearly killed myself. Got the car up the hill after about ten tries, but got the car up nonetheless. As soon as school was cancelled for Wednesday, I hit the road. I definitely wanted to escape the ice that would cover everything Wednesday morning. I crashed at Mary E’s in Birmingham, which is always a pleasure. I stinkin’ love her family! Her mom cooked dinner and gave me a back massager for the couch since my back was hurting soooooooo bad from shoveling! We caught up on the bachelor and hit the sack. I picked my brother up at Birmingham Southern after his class and we hit the road for the beach, baby! It was great to join my parents and our road trip was a lot of fun!
Mom joined me for my hair and makeup trial and I HATED IT! The girl did my hair “loosely” since it wasn’t the actual wedding and that really didn’t give me a good idea of what it would look like. I also hated my makeup (waaay too dark!), which put me in a super bad mood for a while. Sounds petty, but I just wanted to be happy with my look. We were paying ENOUGH for it! We then skipped on over to a nail salon that we found and got a great mani/pedi. It was really nice to just enjoy a breather with mom for a while. After that, we waited for our guests to arrive!
The big mishap of Thursday was the freakin’ GROOMSMEN TIES! Jamie ordered the guys their ties to match the bridesmaids’ dresses THREE WEEKS AGO, and by Thursday they still had not arrived. I was furious, to say the least. The guys weren’t wearing coats so I really wanted them to wear ties. My fantastic and incredible MOH Jennifer immediately ran to JCPenney in Tuscaloosa and found exactly seven striped teal ties for the groomsmen. LIFESAVER! I just kept telling myself “If this is the biggest problem I have two days before the wedding, I’m lucky!” 🙂
The Ameys, five bridesmaids, the DeSpains, two groomsmen, and some family from Pennsylvania all got to town Thursday, so most of us hung out in our massive game room until one in the morning. We had a blast!!!! It was such a fun kick-off to the wedding weekend.
I woke up with Ashley next to me saying “Erica!!! Happy Wedding Eve!”. It was awesome. 🙂 We opted for a casual PJ “bridal luncheon” (AKA big breakfast at the house) instead of getting all fancied up and going to breakfast. My mom and aunt prepared a ton of fresh fruit and a fabulous breakfast casserole for me and five of my bridesmaids. The Ameys (preacher, photographer, and two daughters) also joined us and it was great! We literally rolled out of bed and enjoyed a meal together. Jamie flew into Destin at 9am, so on his way back to his parent’s beach house he and two of his groomsmen came to hang out for a bit.
The rehearsal went well, but was freezing! Okay, not freezing, but definitely not extremely comfortable for a 30 minute ceremony. We knew that people could bare it, but we were ready to get off the beach. Ted allowed for everyone to stand together and open up prayer time for us, and it was beautiful. Of course when my mom started praying I starting bawling. My aunt was video taping the whole thing, and she said sun rays kept shining right across me and Jamie the whole time. She showed me, and it was incredible. God was so present.
The rehearsal dinner was amazing – way to go Tonya DeSpain! It was at Cafe 30A, and about 40 people were there. Everyone enjoyed an incredible meal. Jamie’s dad gave the toast, and me and Jamie followed him. After our “speeches” we handed out gifts to our family and bridal party. I made my parents a scrapbook and of course they boohooed. I also had mom and Tonya a special note monogrammed on a hankie. I gave my bridesmaids a beautiful necklace, pink earrings (to match my wedding colors), a cream pashima shawl (if it was cold at the wedding), and Victoria’s Secret pajamas to wear as soon as we got home from the dinner. Can you say slumber party? 🙂 What could be better than snuggling with THE most beautiful and fun bridesmaids in the world the night before your wedding?
Ted suggested that Jamie and I go take some time after the dinner and spend some time alone. We were so glad he suggested that because it was really nice to go sit alone with Jamie and sort of soak up and talk about all that had been going on and what we would experience tomorrow during our wedding day. We had been having so much fun with our guests that we hadn’t focused much on each other. One reason (out of a million) that I know J is perfect for me is because we could sit and shoot the breeze for hours, talking about who knows what. That’s how that night was. I will always remember spending that time with him as his fiance one more time.
In a nutshell:
– woke up around 8am
– opened my gift and card from Jamie (GORGEOUS pearl and diamond earring and necklace set! I was shocked he gave me something because he’d already given my the blue topaz Yurman ring). The card was worth a million bucks. Sweetest thing ever.
– steamrollered my bridesmaids to wake them up 🙂 🙂 It’s wedding day, get up!!!!!!! We laughed. It was fun.
– Light fruit breakfast and out the door with mom and Jenn for hair and makeup. It was great to get out of the house! The hair and makeup turned out great for everyone.
– Vendors and coordinator all started arriving around noon, and dad and my coordinator did a fantastic job receiving them and getting everything set up.
– Put my dress and jewelry on a 2.
– Jennifer and Hannah led prayers over me with my bridesmaids and mom.
– Pictures with my girls.
– Wedding time!
– Jamie and I chose NOT to see each other before the wedding. Jamie was adamant that he didn’t want to see me until I was walking down the aisle, and I could tell that was important to him. It’s not that popular to do it that way anymore, but I AM SO GLAD WE WAITED! 🙂
It was incredible! Jamie wrote me a facebook message one day back in July that was the sweetest thing ever, and I saved it because I knew immediately that I wanted it read at our wedding. Everyone said that was the part that made them cry the most!
To every person on earth love has a different meaning. Well this is mine: Love to me is waking up every morning and knowing that the person you’re thinking of is also waking up thinking of you at the exact same time. Love to me is having a dream about our wedding and even getting weak-kneed seeing you walk down the aisle in my mind. Love to me is while knowing that you are thinking of me, my heart still has giant hole in it because you’re not there next to me. Love to me is seeing you cry tears of joy when i put that ring on your finger and you finally having that peace of mind that we WILL be together for the rest of our lives. Love to me is knowing that when we are 60 years old and have a whole mess of grandkids….that I will still get butterflies whenever i kiss you, much less hold your hand. Love to me is having somebody that drives you nuts, to tears, and to smiles every single day of the week. Love to me is not just being with you, but I know without a doubt that love is you, Erica. I love you more than you could ever know.
We had a beautiful violinist that played our music and it was great! Have I mentioned the weather yet? HOLY SMOKES, I don’t have a clue how anyone can deny that there is a powerful God. He was so present to me, my family, and my guests on Saturday. There was NO wind, NO clouds, and the weather was truly what you would call PERFECT. In January. When it had been cold and cloudy the rest of the week. INCREDIBLE. I think it was Lesley that said “You know, this just confirms that this was right for you guys!”. I couldn’t have said it better myself! 🙂 It was pretty Sunday and Monday, but NOTHING like Saturday. It was just amazing. I can’t even explain it. And FORGET the sunset – OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!! Thank you Jesus! Truly!
While we all took pictures, our guests enjoyed appetizers and drinks for about 45 minutes. We all made our grand entrances and started the party!
Oooooh, it was a BLAST! And I’m not just saying that because I was the bride. EVERYONE appeared (and said) that it was ridiculously fun. The food was insanely good (thank you dad!), DJ was phenomenal, and our guests were just a blast. Everybody was dancing, hanging out, and just having a ball. The cool thing about this type of wedding is that NOBODY LEAVES! Where are they going to go? They’re down here for the wedding!
Jamie and I left at 8:30 after a good solid five-hour reception. We left with everyone blowing bubbles as we climbed into an Escalade for our 40-minute ride to The Emerald Grande. Perfecto. Best day of our lives. Hands way down. 🙂
Here are some of my favorite pictures that people have tagged on facebook:
Jamie planned a great mini-honeymoon for us. Our suite was outrageous (complete with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries and a hot tub 10 feet from our balcony). He scheduled a 60-minute “unwind” couples massage that was exactly what the doctor ordered after such a crazy (but fun!) week.
As most of you know, we are know currently apart. He has 3.5 weeks left in Arizona before moving to Clarksville, Tennessee. I also have to go back to work to my students. The goodbye was a tough one, but we are making plans to see each other next weekend. We find strength in knowing that we are MARRIED and that we have one incredible future ahead of us. We know that getting married now was exactly God’s plan for us, without question. There were so many things that fell into place for our wedding.
After Jamie moves to Fort Campbell, we will be back and forth between there and Huntsville (three hour drive) until he deploys shortly after. After that, I won’t see him again until our honeymoon (his two week break from deployment) in September/October. Does it STINK being three days into my marriage and being alone? Yeah, but we are dealing with it and know that the best is yet to come for us. The love we share for one another is something I’ll never even TRY to put to words, and that its an incredible feeling to love and be loved so much and know that it’s a forever thing, no doubt.
Aaaaaaaaaand here’s to the adventure of marriage! Thanks for reading!