Update 28: 38 Days Past!

After a little over 5 weeks since our wedding, I felt sharing our stories needed to be a ‘now or never’ kind of thing. I have to start off by explaining why it has taken me so long to come back to the blog. The short response: we’ve been busy.

The morning after our wedding, we left first thing for our honeymoon (post to come on that, too). That trip took up the next two weeks; we left on June 10th and came back on the 22nd. That following Thursday was settlement on our house, so the week we got back was dedicated to getting back to work, battling jet lag, and getting ready for the move.

Since then, it’s been trying to get settled in the house. Every day has been filled with something to help us move in and get things situated—and that will be the case for a while. Of course, that’s all on top of our busy work schedules. So yes, finding the time to sit down and really dive into the wedding and honeymoon with anyone—let alone the blog—has been difficult. That said, for me to blog about this whole process for so long and not share details about what it’s all led up to would be annoying.

That all said, it’s time to get down to business. In short, our wedding was better than I ever could have imagined. I find myself on the other side of June 9th feeling so at peace with everything we did and with everything as it happened. We had a couple of frustrations that lingered for a bit, but our day was beautiful.

In the weeks leading up to the big day, I found myself really focused on my mindset. I know my personality and my tendencies, so I also knew they could be my downfall. We all know there are things in life (and on your wedding day) that you can’t control. I needed to accept that, as of 7:00am on Saturday, June 9, the day would unfold as it would and I just had to go with it. I worked hard to get the day set up the way we wanted and I had a team I trusted completely, so I needed to take that for what it was and roll with whatever punches came my way.

Anxiety Managed

The morning began very early with hair and makeup with my bridesmaids and mother. My parents and I did a Dunkin run so we could have some bagels for breakfast and my wonderful sister-in-law brought plenty of snacks for us to have throughout the day. One thing people always say is to remember to eat. Well, I definitely didn’t have that problem. I bought the bagels and was the first to tear into the snacks. Then for lunch, my bridesmaid’s husband arrived with pizza (which I refrained from eating) and salads, which I excitedly dove into.

Overall, the morning was great. It didn’t move too quickly and I was the bride I hoped I’d be: relaxed, excited, and eager to get married. Nerves didn’t have a place on our wedding day until I heard my music start and, even then, I was more excited than I’ve ever been in my life. Long story short, I’ve witnessed other brides overcome with stress and I knew my anxiety would ruin the day if I let it; so I started shifting my mindset early and it paid off big time—I had a blast.

The Dreaded Weather

For a couple of weeks leading up to the wedding—particularly the last week—many people thought it was a good idea to keep bringing up the weather as a talking point (sense my sarcasm here). There was rain in the forecast. I knew it. I was paying attention. I know my general luck. I also knew there was nothing I could do or say to change what the weather would be, so I paid it no attention. People were so confused when I said I wouldn’t even pray for good weather. If I gave it my attention, I would be setting myself up for disappointment, so I let it be whatever it was going to be (more to come on the day’s catch phrase later).

Well, the day came and we had a beautiful morning. The day before, we made the decision to set everything up expecting rain. I figured it was better to play it safe and just accept that rain was likely imminent—and it was. My coordinator came to me earlier on the day of and asked “what I wanted to do” about the rain, since our ceremony was supposed to be outside. I asked what our cut off time was to make a decision and told her that, when the time came, for someone else to make the call. I knew that, if it were up to me, I’d make a call that could result in everyone getting drenched. Well, the time came, she walked up to me and said they called it—we were moving inside. I nodded, said, “Ok,” and that was the end of it; I gave it no more thought.

*Insert comment on how insanely proud I was of myself to be so genuinely OK about my vision being derailed by rain haha.

That all said, it poured during our ceremony. It only started just before the ceremony and lasted until we were done with family photos. The rest of the evening was GORGEOUS (though my dress got insanely muddy and my hair was a goner). It took everything within me to not sneak in a joke DURING MY VOWS when I heard a loud crack of thunder. For those of you wondering, it would have gone something like, “well, that’s a good sign.” 🙂

So, in the end, the weather proved pretty great. Yes, the ceremony was moved inside, but we got all our pictures outside, the rainy-day photo lighting for family pictures, the “good luck” of rain on our wedding day (if I had a nickel), a sunny evening for an indoor/outdoor cocktail hour and reception, and we even got our long-awaited sunset photos. It was perfect(ly imperfect).

My Catch Phrase

I mentioned before that I had a catch phrase for the day. It was all related to things I couldn’t control. When someone asked for my opinion the day-of, I was difficult (sorry). Why? Because my phrase was, “I can’t care.” It wasn’t that I didn’t care, but I knew that if I had to start taking on people’s questions or making decisions I didn’t feel I had the emotional capacity to take on, it would stress me out. So out of self-preservation, I couldn’t care. I did everything I could for our wedding and decided it was more important for me to step back and leave it in capable hands, so I could simply enjoy it, than to stress about details that, in the end, shouldn’t break my attitude.

Now, that’s not to say every question was met with, “I can’t care.” I made decisions, but not ones that pertained to something going wrong hah. Inside or outside? You call it. So-and-so isn’t here, who should walk grandma down the aisle? Pick someone. Someone who wasn’t supposed to be touching it broke your custom laser-cut cake topper? Glue it; can’t care.

The Right People

With all that said—and to wrap up Part 1—surrounding ourselves with the right people was imperative. I can’t say that no one annoyed Nick or I. We had a vendor dig their way under my skin the day before and some guests that seemed to completely forget proper decorum and the should-go-without-saying “rules” for guests at a wedding, but our innermost circle was filled with people who made our day, and the days leading up to the wedding, incredible. Even the smallest of gestures made all the difference in the world to us and it’s important that people know it. Anything to help us out, calm us down, or just generally make things easier on us was so incredibly appreciated.

Opinion: it’s not all that easy to enjoy your wedding day. It takes a lot of focus to keep your eye on what’s important, when the day is literally swirling around you. Nick and I struggled with feeling pulled all over the place and had to work very hard to not let overwhelm take over. So to know we had vendors, family, and friends there to ease some of the burden was a game-changer and we are so grateful.

As an aside though, I will say that, when it comes to the typical “bridezilla” persona, there are some instances where brides (and grooms) can get a bad rep. There are situations where ANYONE would be frustrated, regardless of being a bride, groom, wedding party member, parent, etc. I felt eyes on me during moments of frustration and thought to myself that I must look/sound like a bridezilla, but when you have a vendor who refuses to let go of what you have already pronounced a miscommunication and insists on pushing the matter—to emphasize that you are wrong, when you’ve politely asked to move past the topic—you try keeping a calm demeanor (I was right, by the way, and I have a husband and a coordinator to back me up hah).

Even when people straight made me angry because they were rude and disrespectful at our wedding, I hated feeling like I had to suppress my emotions for the sake of not coming across like a bridezilla. The only reason I did it, in the end, was to keep my eye on the bigger, more beautiful picture.

I don’t know. I think there are true bridezillas out there, but there is a lot happening behind the scenes that I think people can be more understanding of. If I have to say, “get him/her away from me,” during the wedding, I think I deserve a moment of being visibly frustrated lol.

Hence my dedicated section to the people who made our day easier and more wonderful. To those people, you are wonderful and you are loved immensely!!

The Next Post

So I think this was the boring part of the wedding post, but I’m nothing if not detailed. In the next one, I’ll talk more about the day’s events, our thoughts, and what it was like to actually get married!


In Loving Memory

Family means a source of love and support; wherever you get that from, that’s your family.

On April 11, 1992, I was delivered into this world. I took my first breath and began what has been a challenging, but beautiful and blessed life. There to welcome me were doctors, nurses, my mother (of course), and a woman who would become a source of love and motivation—a pillar in my foundation of support: my Aunt Doris.

For the next 26 years, she was there through it all. She was a staple in my world and never missed an opportunity to offer words of encouragement or love. She saw things in me that, for the longest time, I couldn’t. At every step, when I got down on myself or felt I wasn’t good enough, strong enough, or worthy of something good, she was there to remind me of everything I was capable of and blessed with. She believed in me more than I ever could—I still don’t think I believe in myself the way she did. She taught me to embrace and celebrate my talents and, all the while, was there to cheer me on.

She once sent me a message on Facebook that read, “All those Saturdays at dance, you never noticed me… but I was watching YOU and it brought me such JOY!” The truth is, I always saw her… I knew she was always there, just as she always had been. I will never forget giving it everything I had as she sat in that doorway in between the studios and looked on—just to make her proud. I’ll say it now and I’ll say it always: she was my biggest fan and for that, I will be forever grateful. She never missed a show, she never missed a milestone… I mean, the woman never even missed a blog post.

On June 30th, my Aunt passed. Today, I am on my way to my hometown for one of the hardest goodbyes of my life. I’ve been struggling with accepting a world without her in it since I got the news, but am trying my very hardest to focus on all the incredible memories we’ve shared and remember it’s never truly goodbye.

One of the last memories I have of her is the look on her face as I married my best friend. I looked over Nick’s shoulder during the ceremony to glance at my parents’ table and saw her looking at me the way she has since the day I was born: a look of unconditional and immeasurable pride and love. I am so grateful that she was there to see that day. I do weep for the days she will miss, but I had an angel by my side for 26 years and I couldn’t have asked for more.

To close, I want to answer the question I’ve been asked countless times:

“Was she your mom’s sister or your dad’s?”

She was neither.

My aunt Doris was not a blood relative, but the bond she shared with my family went deeper and was stronger than blood. She is living proof that family is not measured by strands of matching DNA. She is proof that you can love someone as family without sharing a biological connection. She is proof that “family” means so much more.

To my beautiful Aunt, thank you for believing in me. Thank you for seeing things in me I had turned a blind eye on. Thank you for loving me and my family with such fervor and for opening your heart to us for so many years. You are loved, you will be missed, and I will do everything in my power to continue making you proud. My world will not be the same without you. Love you always.