If there’s one thing that’s utterly out of every bride-to-be’s control, it’s Mother Nature. That meant as soon as “Fri May 6″ made it onto the 10 day extended forecast display, I was habitually staring at my computer screen, trying to unleash my dormant Jedi powers to will those numbers up. It had not only been a rather squishy spring in Michigan—it had been downright cold. Tiny, lime green buds were warily emerging from winter-beaten branches while underneath people still hunkered down in their heavy coats. The temperatures were yo-yo’ing anywhere from a pleasant 72 down to a brisk 50, with an occasional frost advisory thrown in for good measure. In retrospect, perhaps I should have placed an order for my light saber, because this is what greeted us on Thursday as we caravanned to the Royal Park Hotel:
I’m pretty sure I dashed outside at one point, did a double fist pump and shouted “blue skies, b*tches!!!” Four cars worth of charger plates, out-of-town bags, votive holders, glass cylinders, candles, and paper products later we were ready to make the 60 mile trek up to Rochester.
Although our wedding paraphernalia were carefully packed in well-labeled boxes, there was one container that became an appendage over the next couple of days:
This ribbon adorned case was dubbed our “oh sh*t” box, because that’s what we’d be muttering if we ever lost it. Inside were irreplaceable/necessary items: wedding rings, marriage license, my mom’s pearl necklace, final payments, tips, thank you cards for our vendors, and so on. Rather than packing these essentials away in multiple places, we kept them all in one tidy container that never left our sight (unless it was locked away in our room safe). The staff at the Royal Park, smartly dressed in black suits, briskly wheeled trolley after trolley to our cars and readily distributed goods between the venue coordinator’s office and our hotel rooms. Before long everyone was checked in, my dress was hanging on the closet door in our beautiful suite, and we spent the next two hours relaxing before heading downstairs to greet friends and family.
GM Alex, Mr. Tartlet, Ring Bearer Rowan (so. CUTE!), and GM Michael
Unfortunately, that lazy Sunday feeling was short-lived. Although Mr. Tartlet had carefully scouted out the route to the hotel for construction and potential traffic delays earlier in the week, we failed to realize the full effect rush hour traffic has at a particular highway intersection. As our watches ticked closer and closer to our scheduled start time of 4:30 PM, cell phones started ringing followed by a deluge of apologies and inquiries for alternative directions. Eventually the crew was assembled, and our fabulous officiant (Reverend Brian Tuttle) and day-of-coordinator (Ana Skidmore of Twofoot Creative) took the reins to efficiently run the show and make up for lost time. At this point I was suffering from a severe case of Dazed Bride Brain, which made me especially grateful to have both of them present. It would have been a trying time for all parties involved had I been the one in charge of organizing our chatty, camera-happy families: whenever someone asked me a question (and they were plentiful), I would blink at them owlishly and turn to Ana or Reverend Brian with a deer-in-the-headlights-look. Thankfully, they promptly took care of everything in a friendly and professional manner.
Me: “Do we go now?” Ana (who had quickly learned that my default pace is “Speedy Gonzalez”): “Yes. Walk. S-l-o-w-l-y.”
Reverend Tuttle expertly walking us through the ceremony sequence
Without warning as we stood facing each other in our mock ceremony setup, I began to tremble uncontrollably and tears began to well up in my eyes. Leading up to the wedding, there were a number of moments when things seemed very “real:” finding the dress, mailing our invitations, getting our marriage license. Although each of these events gave me pause, it wasn’t until this instant that the weight of what we were about to do hit me: we’re getting married. The last time I was on this much of an emotional high was the night that Mr. Tartlet proposed over two years ago. We ran through the elements of our ceremony until everyone felt comfortable about what they were supposed to say and do, including the proper way I should hold my bouquet. I was so unreasonably excited to see the flowers from my bridal shower again that I kept squishing them up against my face as if there was a scent buried deep within the paper petals. Apparently that’s a big no-no in Bride-land.
My bridesmaids did a beautiful job preserving these delicate flowers and combining them into bouquets!
I’d like to think those present witnessed a growing romance (besides our own, of course): our little ring bearer and flower girl met for the first time this afternoon. There were a few watchful moments while they sized each other up as their moms gently placed them into the jumbo red wagon we had procured from my cousin.
Quite the stylish pair, no?
Both of them made it through a processional run without incident or tears, which—with two then-20 month-old toddlers—is no small feat. As all kiddies their age are wont to do, though, they soon tired of just sitting and spent the remainder of the rehearsal actively entertaining themselves (and keeping my cousin busy) in the marble-floored hallway:
With confidences boosted and stomachs beginning to growl, we quickly snapped photos of the wedding party before everyone dispersed to make their way to the welcoming dinner. It was just past six o’clock, the sun was shining, and already we felt so lucky to be blessed with amazing friends and family.
My lovely ladies!
A seriously good lookin’ bunch of guys
Did your rehearsal stay on schedule? Did the emotion of the event hit you like a ton of bricks like it did me?
Up next: families are reunited, old friends catch up, and new friendships are made!
*All photos courtesy of family and friends