Here I am, one week after our wedding. Our ceremony and reception were beautiful. They were everything I wanted them to be. Slightly nerdy, incredibly elegant, classy and whimsical. The weather was absolutely perfect. I truly could not have asked for a better turnout – the friends and family who came to support us were incredible. My parents and Andrew’s parents put in so much work to make the day special. So many people put in so much time and effort for us, that I’m simply overwhelmed. It was the public declaration of our marriage on our one-year anniversary, as we’d had a simple quiet courthouse wedding the year before to make it official before the birth of our son.
I can tell you there are some things I was unprepared for with this whole wedding deal, and I’m going to share a few with you. I wish someone had prepared me adequately so that I wasn’t blindsided.
Shit is going to go wrong. I can guarantee it almost 100%. If you had a wedding with absolutely no complications, I applaud you. That was not my experience, and the more I spoke with people the more I learned how common it was. I had this idea in my head that everything would go so smoothly – we had over a year to plan. We hired a planner. We got our venue early and picked most of our vendors months before our son was born, to make it easier to get things done as the day drew closer.
We had to fire our planner 5 weeks out, find a new officiant 2 weeks out, find a new groomsman four days out and get him a tux, and I had to get my dress altered again the day before. And during the ceremony. Thank God for giant safety pins.
Miscommunications happened literally all weekend, and I lost my voice. Things will go wrong. What matters is how you handle it when it does. I managed to maintain my composure and level head until my dress didn’t fit – our wedding was out of town and I needed it fixed in hours. And ya know what? Everything worked out. Seriously. Through every crisis, every mix-up, every miscommunication and every hiccup, everything worked out. I didn’t snap at anyone. I didn’t take my frustration or fear out on others. I didn’t point fingers or blame anyone. I just tried to invite my higher power into my day over and over again and it worked.
When I met up with my dad in the reception barn to walk down the aisle, and the music played over the speakers, I couldn’t help but tear up. It was a dream come true. I’m 32, and I’ve been thinking about getting married since I was a teenager. My tastes have changed over the years, but in the end everything came together beautifully. Because I managed to take a few deep breaths, pause and ask for acceptance, I was able to enjoy the day.
There will be an emotional hangover. This one I’d been somewhat warned of – people told me that I’d get the blues when I didn’t have anything else to plan for, which I can’t say for certain won’t happen but I’m fairly certain if it does, it will be short lived. That being said, I saw a lot of loved ones in a short time period and it felt like a whirlwind.
I cried when my son was brought up to the room we were getting ready in, because I missed him and I wanted to spend time with him and I had a brief moment to make him smile and laugh and hold his sweet face next to mine, and then he was off again. I cried when it was my turn to get make-up put on because I was sick and sweaty and I was sure it would all sweat off and I’d look like I’d been standing in the pouring rain (This was my one pre-wedding day of meltdown, which overall I think is pretty good). I cried because I didn’t have a voice. I cried when I saw my dad for the first time, when I heard the song I’d wanted to walk down the aisle to for years, when I heard the vows Andrew wrote for me, and when my dad and I danced. I had some tears of sadness, but for the most part, they were happy.
Today, I am exhausted. My eyes are red and puffy, my nerves are frayed, my body hurts and I just want to sleep. We had a lot of drama in the hallway that night and I hardly slept.
Life will go back to normal in a hurry. I had two days off after the wedding to recover, got my name changed in a few places, and Wednesday it was back to work like nothing was different, except the last name on my signature line. To me, it has been a huge relief. We actually have some days on the calendar where we don’t have something to do. We can focus on being parents. On each other. On getting the house cleaned up. On relaxing.
It will all be worth it. When I saw Andrew waiting for me at the arch, all the drama, the chaos, the craziness and emotional ups and downs faded into the background. It was just us, celebrating our anniversary with our closest family and friends and we had a wonderful time.
If I could give one piece of advice, it would be to remain present in every moment possible. The day does go fast, and by the end of the night, sheer exhaustion took over and all I wanted to do was sleep. I’m grateful today that I made a conscious effort to take everything in. There were plenty of people I didn’t have as much time with as I had wanted, there were dances I didn’t get to have and I barely ate any of the food or cake. But a week out, I can tell you it was the most magical, wonderful evening of my life, and all the things I fretted over ended up being perfect. Also, the cake was just as delicious the next day.
Becky is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.