If you ask any couple about their wedding, most will tell you that it went by way too quickly. Despite the many warnings from our married friends, ours was no exception. While much of it seems like a big blur, I can recall most moments down to the finest detail.
My wedding day began waking up next to Lynn Gilmartin cheerily chirping, “Good morning bride,” still with the tired, rasp in her voice. While Andrew and I decided on a few non-traditional aspects to our wedding, we liked the idea of a built up anticipation before the ceremony, hence me sleeping in Lynn’s hotel room (no, this wasn’t a last hoorah hookup, sorry if I may have burst your girl-on-girl daydream).
I smiled at her, feeling calm, but just as the grogginess cleared my head I instantly got out of bed and walked up to the closed curtains. It was the moment of truth. The moment all brides stress about who plan an outdoor wedding. The weather had been rainy all week, but the day before was perfection. I didn’t know what to expect. I took a deep breath, and opened them. I squinted as the sunlight hit my eyes, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather. It was blue and sunny with just enough cloud cover to make it a comfortable temperature. Thank goodness. I had been stressing about the unpredictable Indiana weather all week. Plan A was an outdoor ceremony next to a gorgeous flowing waterfall followed by a reception beneath the stars at the Fort Wayne Botanical Conservatory. Plan B was a less dreamy ceremony and reception inside. I wanted Plan A, and I wanted it bad!
First up was a lunch with my bridal party which consisted of my two younger sisters- Lindsey and Olivia, my two best friends from college- Nicole and Shannon, my best friend from High School-Maggie, and of course, Lynn. I am willing to bet I had the most gorgeous bridal party of all time! So, of course I know how beautiful they all are, but I guess it didn’t hit me until someone genuinely asked me if they were all supermodels… I think implying that maybe I had hired them!
We had a lovely lunch (and one dirty martini that went straight to my head), and I wish shipped off to get my hair done. Afterwards, we all met at the Botanical Conservatory. There was a room reserved for all of us girls to get ready together. I hung up my dress, removed the garment bag, and my heart sunk. It was wrinkly. Andrew’s sister, Tiffany, (who threw my bridal shower and single-handedly put my anxiety at ease by taking care of so many loose ends) had already gotten my dress steamed,
but somehow, in two car rides it was creased everywhere. We tried to steam it with an iron Lynn brought from her bunk hotel room, but it ended up just dripping water on the dress. Meh, minor set back. Nothing we could do about it.
We all continued to get ready, and without my realizing it, my bridesmaids were distracting me from the window… distracting me from the looming, grey clouds that were ready to burst with raindrops at any moment. I curled my sister’s hair, put her make up on, and then hastily started whipping colors onto my face. Then, all of a sudden, it hit me. I’m getting ready for my wedding! MY WEDDING! Holy balls, I’m getting ready for my WEDDING! I should take my time… haha.
As soon as I was ready to step into my wedding dress, my bridesmaids couldn’t hide the weather any longer. It was officially raining. I opened the door that lead to a private courtyard outside and reached my hand out. Well, it wasn’t cold rain. My maid of honor, Nicole, looked at me, smiled sympathetically and said, “It’s your call. If you want to do this outside, we will stand in the rain with you.” I chocked up a little, considered the options, and said, “EF, it. Let’s do it in the rain.”
At five minutes to start time, Lynn and Nicole were still working together to lace me up, but for some reason, they couldn’t figure it out. (Insert blonde joke ☺) Finally, just as the bow was to be tied, Nicole uttered, “Oh, my god,” under her breath and screamed, “I just got blood on your dress!” Somehow, Lynn scratched her with a nail. I started laughing, and I told her not to worry about it! It was my honest first reaction. Her eyes welled up and she ran to the bathroom. I yelled, “Stop crying woman! It’s no big deal.” I was just thinking, the dress is just a dress. Yes, an expensive dress, but not worth me getting mad over and making one of the most important people in my life feel bad. After a bunch of a commotion, it ended up wiping off just fine. Who knew wedding dresses were blood proof?
About 15 minutes late, we finally walked outside and into the garden. We hid behind a wooden shed with just enough of a roof to keep our faces from getting wet. This is the point where I started regretting our decision to write our own vows. I was so scared I would forget them that I just repeated them over and over in my head. It seemed like ages that we were waiting for the cue. Then, I heard it. Canon in D began to play.
Ever since I was a kid, I loved the song. As I grew older, and I began to picture myself getting married, I knew thatI wanted to walk down the isle to that song. It was just so beautiful. That’s about as far as I got in my wedding fantasizing, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t a romantic…
I used to fall asleep listening to “Easy Love Songs” with Delilah every night. I knew lyrics to every heart wrenching, sappy love song that was popular in the 90s. I’d lie in bed, and picture my perfect man. He was tall, handsome, and he adored me. He was going to be like the love songs. He was going to love me, treat me like a princess, and even cherish my imperfections. (I actually remember writing in my diary that I hoped I’d find someone who would like my gross boy legs with scabs, shin guard tan lines, and circle birthmark).
He’d understand me without speaking, he’d comfort me with just his arms, and he’d miss me when he closed his eyes. He’d be someone that I’d love without fear. I had found that person, and he was waiting for me at the end of the isle…
One by one, my bridesmaids kissed me, and filed out from underneath the shed and into the rain. Once my maid of honor was gone, I took a deep breath, and began my walk as well. I met my dad, and my stepdad to walk me down the isle, a decision I am so happy I made. I looked up, and saw Andrew. As I inched closer, I felt the world fall away, and it was just us. I’ll never forget his face, and the way he looked at me. Whatever strength I had left in me to hold back tears was demolished when I saw him cry. At the end of the isle, I hugged both my dads as they prepared to give me away, but lost in the moment, I had to remind Andrew to come take me from them. He laughed, and took my hand.
The ceremony began, and our good friend Shawn Green began speaking. To be honest, I can’t remember the first few things he said because I was so overwhelmed. I just stared at Andrew as we smiled at each other, saying everything we needed to in our faces which, which were romantically covered in water droplets. I remember laughing a bit when Andrew’s grandfather came up to hold an umbrella for us. Eventually, I got my wits about me, and began listening to his words on love, friendship, and marriage. He was funny, honest, and completely encapsulated everything we wanted in a ceremony. We also had Andrew’s mother speak, who of course, captivated everyone with her heartfelt advice to a successful marriage.
When it was time to exchange vows, I tried not to think of forgetting them, but rather, to just remember all the promises I wanted to make to him. I figured if I could do that, somehow the words would come out of my mouth. He went first, and was soincredibly cute. I knew he’d be a bit nervous, but I could feel every word he said. I hope he felt the same when I recited mine as well. It’s funny, I was so nervous about forgetting my vows, but I can easily recall them now, a month later. I thought about posting them in this blog, but I think I’ll save that for the 1-year Anniversary blog…
We exchanged rings, and KISSED! Weeeeee
“Ladies and gentleman, may I present to you, for the first time, Kristy and Andrew Moreno!”
We walked down the isle together, hand-in-hand, dragging my wedding dress through the puddles. We saw the faces of everyone who was there, and truly happy to have witnessed the happiest day of our lives. It was perfect, rain and all.
… to be continued – Part II (The Afterparty)
And here are some more wedding pictures taken during the ceremony and just after… (Will Thomas and Tennille Olsen, you are amazing!)