-it was so amazing to walk into my parents’ house and see things getting set up for the reception, bridesmaids and family members buzzing about, my incredible cousin lindsay (who did the flowers) directing many of them. the tent was up and glowing and my bridesmaid dani was putting the final touches on the cake she made for us (which iloved, especially because you could tell it was made by a friend) and flowers were hanging from the rafters in the house and the macaron baker was arranging her gorgeous creations and the caterer was constructing the luscious spread. it was just all so exciting!
-it was a bit of a rush getting my makeup done and dress on, my mom and sisters and i all using the same mirror to get ready and multitasking because we wanted to talk about the awe of the sealing and the magic of the dinner the night before, but it was such happy rush.
-seeing our family members and my bridesmaids all dressed up in their wedding stuff, just a portion of everything (all my planning, hopes, ideas, etc) that was coming together, was so so fun. everyone looked so good! pictures were pretty chaotic, like at the temple, but the same still, intense moments of joy kept the frenzy part of the magic of everything.
^^ i love how baby shelby is eating her flower crown and zara is just dying to get out of there! ^^
^^ we decided to just make the most of the chaos :) ^^
^^ photographers and parents trying to get the kids to look and smile! ^^
-due to limited parking at my parents’ house, we had a shuttle from a nearby parking lot to the reception. when the first of the shuttle vehicles took off to pick up the earliest guests, we knew the party was officially about to start. the van took off right in front of where we were taking pictures and i was just positively bubbling over with excitement.
-i just remember thinking all night – oh my gosh everything is so pretty! and also – oh my goodness this is so much fun! i could hardly believe how much i love love loved every detail and that unique brand of satisfaction and joy that comes from something you envision and then create filled me right up.
-after we cut the cake, we asked our guests to join us in singing happy birthday to the boy’s baby sister, who turned nineteen on the very day of our reception. we stood on either side of her with our arms around her as everyone sang together and gave her a little cheer. i really loved that moment, and i really love that girl! she is moving to brazil in january to be a missionary for the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints. we are so excited for her!
-seeing so many friends from so many different parts of life was wonderful. my face ached from smiling. i loved introducing people to my husband (or pointing him out across the crowd if we weren’t right next to each other).
^^ these are my amazing cousins from both sides of the family who helped sooo much with everything: lindsay (third from the left in the top picture) did all the flowers and her sisters were her assistants. my eyre cousins in the bottom picture took a polaroid of every one of our guests for our guestbook !^^
-it was pretty sweet dancing with my dad while the boy danced with his mom. i am pretty attached to and feel tremendously tender about my dad, and he has always been a bit doting over – and quite protective of, i will add! - his baby. so when he gave me away to dance with the boy, it was this teensy sliver of mortality that was somehow so significant and so beautiful. our first dance as a married couple was just glorious. i was deliriously happy – floating.
-we got lots of couples dancing for our second slow song, and there i was with my true love, in the center of created dreams and so beloved friends….it was the best. the song ended and then the familiar first sounds of chris brown’sforever (a favourite of actually both of our families!) came on and in this super awesome suspended moment, the dance party began. i thoroughly enjoy dance parties, but i definitely have never had that much fun dancing, and i know the same is true for the boy. we just had a true blast with nieces and nephews and siblings and friends. the boy told me later that when he stopped dancing for a few seconds, he could feel the ground moving under his feet (i just never stopped dancing!). my brothers suddenly showed up through the crowd with a chair, sat me down and lifted me in the air at one point. my nieces insisted on making dance trains. the boy brought his moves. we encountered different people on the dance floor. gosh, it was just really really really fun.
-my sisters helped me change out of my wedding dress in my mom’s bathroom. they helped me get everything together to make our exit. it was just sweet to spend that couple of minutes away from the crowd with them. it happened so fast, but i was full up with love and tenderness.
-it felt like all of a sudden our guests were lined up with sparklers down the driveway and we needed to run through the tunnel before the sparklers ran out! we each got to sneak a hug to our moms – my mom in the house and the boy’s mom in the middle of the sparkler tunnel. it happened so quick but that few seconds in the middle of fireworks and loved ones and cheers is emblazoned on my heart. it truly felt magical. we got into my dad’s old red alfa romero convertible – a car that i have lots of happy memories in – and waved goodbye. i’ll never ever forget looking back on all those people and sparkles. we started driving away, and my brothers noah and eli chased after us for a few yards holding their sparklers and cheering so loud – i loved that.
-as we drove away, we were just giddy with delight and pure happiness. we both were wanting to feverishly tell each other how perfect and awesome and fun everything was. when we got on the main road, we realized we could see the stars above us, glittering in the dark black sky. i amazingly wasn’t cold one bit. holy cow i was happy. we parked near the other car and just looked at each other for a couple minutes – just freaking out with excitement and joy. the culmination of something that huge - in lifelong anticipation, in planning and work and anxiousness about how things will come together, in significance and sacredness and excitement - it was just an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime feeling of triumph and joy.
when i hugged my mom goodbye, she said, "your dreams came true, babygirl!" she was right.