Well, I have become quite sub-par at updating this blog. I'm contemplating whether or not I want to continue writing it or not. Maybe a shift in purpose for it is in order... I don't know.
Anyway, the wedding...
Saturday morning, J and I got up and showered and what not, and then drove to the church together. We didn't really see the need to do the whole "not see each other the whole day of the wedding" thing. We didn't want to see each other after we started getting ready, but had no problems seeing each other that morning and driving over together. It was actually kind of cool.
So, we got to the Church and went our separate ways; him to his Sunday school room, and me to mine. We did talk about lunch at one point in the car though, and he decided he'd go to Subway and get some sandwiches. I was wearing my Lucky Charms shirt, which several people thought was amusing to wear on our wedding day.
When I got to the church, I didn't have to wait long for Diane, the Mary Kay lady to come. I am absolutely inept at makeup, and Diane, being very talented, was willing to help me out. YS used to sell MK, and Diane was the person who got her into it. Diane had done a test run a while back to figure out colors that would look good, so all she had to do the day of the wedding was slap the stuff on my face. She did an absolutely WONDERFUL job, in my opinion, and I especially appreciated that she didn't treat me like a moron for being so ignorant about makeup (since I don't wear it on any sort of regular basis).
The photographer and his wife (they're a team) got there around the same time as Diane. Bob did a lot of photography for the guys and his wife, Pat, did a lot of our photographs. They're both delightful people with a ready smile, and a nice sparkle in their eyes. I was incredibly happy with the service they provided.
So, YS, Sis, and SiL came to the church and we all were getting ready. SiL tried putting some bronzer or something on my arms and stuff to hide the ridiculous tan lines I had, and I was okay with it, regardless of what it looked like. Sis also "did" my hair, which didn't involve much because I have really short hair. Pat took all sorts of photos of us getting ready, and Bob took photos of the guys. Also, J's dad was there taking some "candid" pics of us, too, which was also delightful. He took some really good pictures.
After a while, J brought some lunch and his dad (I think) brought it over to us. I was a little bit nervous (Not because I thought I was making some huge mistake or anything, but because I'm not huge on being the center of attention when I'm out of my element. Dresses and makeup are DEFINITELY out of my element). Because of this nervousness, I was only able to eat about 3 bites of my sandwich, which made me even more nervous, because I didn't want to faint! Lol. At some point, Pastor M came in and we got a couple of pictures taken together. She's really cool and I am SO THANKFUL that she was a part of the day.
So, we finished getting ready, taking lots and lots of photos before the ceremony, and hanging out. Oh, and I forgot to mention... The florist we used was the hometown florist. I hadn't actually told her what kinds of flowers we wanted, because we didn't really care. I just told her what our colors were, and I think I may have mentioned that my favorite color is orange. When we got there on Saturday morning, I looked into the sanctuary and was definitely NOT!! disappointed in the slightest! K did a BEAUTIFUL job at putting together our flowers. I was mucho excited.
After a while, it was time to get that show on the road! Interim had come back to kind of get us all ready to go, and we all walked out and the bridesmaids and groomsmen lined up. The music started playing and they started walking in. Oh, and we had a procession, so Pastor M and Interim started the procession with the cross and the big Bible. They walked in to "Lift High the Cross." After all the bridal party went in (no ring bearer or flower girl...J and I just said "no" from the get-go), I walked out to join J because we had decided to walk in together. My dad has been gone for several years, and J and I had talked and decided it'd be cool if the both of us got to walk in. And so we thought, "Heck, why not walk in together!" So, all the people in the sanctuary were looking back, and as "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" started to play, we started to walk in. I had a huge smile on my face the whole time, to say the least.
We got to the chancel, went up the couple steps, and took our place in front of the pastors. The service started and went pretty well. However, when it came time to exchange vows, I started sweating a little! Not because I didn't want to say it (again, that was DEFINITELY not the case), but because J went first, and then my turn came where Interim gave me about twelve words to say at once. For J, he took it nice and slow, but Interim forgot to give me a pause! I freaked out for a nanosecond, but then thought, "I can do this!" So, I did! A friend after the service said, "We were wondering about all those words he gave you at once!"
Pastor M gave a FANTASTIC sermon that spoke to the reality of our lives, but that also shared the Gospel. She acknowledged that we grieved the absense of our parents (Ma was not able to be there because of her cognitive state. It would have been way too much for her). J's mom and my father are also deceased, so that was a void. But, Pastor M talked about many wonderful things regarding married life and the love of Christ. J and I would have loved to have a copy of it.
J and I, being the "religious" type, also decided we wanted communion at our wedding. Interim was supposed to do the words of institution, and then J and I would serve the congregation. However, Interim said, "Sister M will now say the words that make this the body and blood of our Lord!" and J and I just thought, "OH NO!!!!" Why, "Oh no?" Well for two reasons, really. 1. What we SAY OR DO does not do some magic that changes the elements into the body and blood. It is GOD'S action ALWAYS that comes to us, and 2. Pastor M. is not familiar with the setting that my home church uses and did not BECOME familiar with it because that was one of the things that we gave the interim to do. Oy. But thankfully, Interim realized his mistake and then did it.
We served communion to the people who came forward; family, family friends, friends from childhood, friends from seminary. It was so cool for us to share in that on our wedding day. And, Oldest Brother CAME to the wedding! I was excited.
As the wedding ended, we walked out so that we could walk back in after the rest of the bridal party exited. On our way out, I looked to my right and saw a whole group of my seminary friends with a giant orange feather boa wrapped all around them! I got a huge smile on my face and nodded happily. Hehe. It was freaking awesome! AND, some of my friends actually wore orange. One of my good friends dressed her little guy in an orange shirt. Older brother the younger also wore an orange shirt, and another good seminary friend (a man) wore an orange shirt. These "small" actions just made me feel even more special because they did these things in an intentional manner to make the day even better for me. I'm a big fan of color (thus my happiness that the paraments on the altar were red for Pentecost Sunday the next day), and was glad to see such vibrance as we exited the sanctuary. I have great friends!
When the whole bridal party came out, J and I went back in and we ushered people out. We gave and received many, many hugs and well wishes. We saw again, exactly who was there to celebrate with us (though during the service, the pastors had us turn around a couple of times to look at who was there, and we also saw at Communion). It was great!
One of the ladies we invited (a recent widow) said, "This was one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever been to. Thanks for inviting me." I was humbled to hear that. She's a special lady, and I'm just glad that she could find some joy in the day, though I'm pretty sure that she also felt some grief, considering her relatively new situation.
We then walked outside. One of my absolute best friends and one of J's absolute best friends served as ushers for us, and they passed out the bubbles that we had bought. Neither J or I wanted bird seeds because I have a tendency to get things in my eyes. So, we walked outside and people blew all these bubbles at us. Someone (I think J's dad) took a great picture of us where the bubbles were all around us (mostly me, but some were around J, too, I think). We actually ended up using that picture on our Thank You notes.
After we visited outside (the weather was gorgeous!), the guests all headed toward my home town to the reception hall, while our families, bridal party, J and I stayed to finish taking pictures. That took a little while, and then we finally got to head north. As we were driving toward the edge of town, the clouds opened up and downpoured on us! Thankfully, though, the sky was partly cloudy/mostly sunny by the time we drove the five miles to the hall. It was gorgeous. We ate good food, talked to friends and family, and then started the toasts.
THE TOASTS! Ha. Sis was my matron of honor and YS was my maid of honor (how do you pick between your two favorite sisters? Note, they're my ONLY two sisters. LOL), and they had been wigging out about having to get up and make a speech. But when they got up there, they did a MARVELOUS job. They told a little story about me when I was a little kid about how Sis shoved me out of our house naked and then took a picture of it. Then, they talked a bit about our various adventures as sisters and how they were glad J would now get to be a part of our goofy randomness. And then they said, "She could have been a stripper (they harkened back to the naked picture), but she ended up going into the ministry, which is good for you! So may your marriage always be filled with love, laughter, and wasabi surprise!" (or something like that).
What's Wasabi Surprise, you ask? Well, earlier in the week, Sis, YS, J, and I went to a sushi place in Peoria and while eating, at one point, I stopped, and got red faced and teary eyed and went, "WHAT WAS THAT?!" It turns out, the sushi chefs put some wasabi in between the fish and the rice bed. Since I always dip my sushi in a soy sauce/wasabi mix, the extra was a bit excess (although still delicious!). We all got a good kick out of it. I was so impressed with the speech they gave. It was well thought out, not embarassing, and very heartfelt. Muchos gracias, sistas!
J's best man did a pretty nice job too, but since my sisters and I have a special bond, I just have to give them mad props for theirs. :)
Then, J and I got up. We thanked the people for coming, which I thought was the purpose of our getting up. However, all of a sudden, J said some things and I realized I was in for a surprise! He had worked with another good friend of ours and had worked out a way to surprise me by singing one of my favorite songs! J burst out into singing Michael Buble's version of "Moondance." He changed a few slight adjectives and added some personal touch to the song. J has a great singing voice and I was surprised. He did a great job, and I am so fortunate to be married to such a caring guy! The little schpiel I gave afterward wasn't nearly as cool as that, but I hope I was able to convey my gratitude to the people for coming, as well as my thanksgiving for being so blessed by love. It was great.
And afterwards, we danced and talked, and the night progressed. J's brother, at one point, ended up giving a long, drawn out, drunken speech trying to embarass J. And thankfully, the DJ and one of J's groomsmen cut him off in a relatively tactful way. Haha.
So, the night eventually ended, and we went and relaxed and giggled at the fact that we were now married! And the day is wonderful to think back on and remember. Those of you who were there, thank you! And those who weren't, know that I would have invited EVERYONE if we could have. Time/budget/space constraints aren't the greatest things in the world, but if I know you, chances are, I am appreciative for who you are in my life. Thanks for being friends.
Here ends the tale of my wedding day...Well, the public part, anyway. :P