I’d spent the morning relaxed and not mindful of much else outside my little sphere. Any problems could be taken care of by my people without disrupting my zen. However, there is one thing you cannot control. Say it with me brides: The Weather!
The view from the venue’s rear terrace of the grounds and early afternoon sky
Our afternoon portrait session was the first time I’d been outside in six hours. Looking skyward, I noted an overcast haze, but more importantly, some iffy clouds in the distance. A stray raindrop or two landed on my exposed shoulders as we walked the grounds. It never occurred to me that we would be married under anything less than sunny skies. I spent the next 15 minutes fretting until Linda appeared to announce she had been monitoring the radar and the rain was very scattered and light and appeared to be moving quickly through the area. We were lucky, as it did pass without delivering more rain. For the brides who had a rainy forecast or even dealt with rain on your wedding day, you have my heartfelt sympathy. Those 15 minutes of worry were enough for me!
While I was preoccupied with the forecast, our DJ and officiant had arrived and begun setup. We only had time to meet and greet the officiant before the photographers whisked us away. No time for a quick run-through of the ceremony. We had more photos to take. Looking back, I am grateful our photographer tracked our progress relative to the time and spoke up if we needed to move a little faster. She kept us on schedule, which meant I didn’t have to.
Our venue a mere hour before the ceremony
One detail remained before Mr. PaC and I could part before the ceremony: signing the marriage certificate. It was a serious order of business and therefore required my most serious face. Our siblings witnessed our signatures, and the certificate was held by the officiant for safekeeping. It was time for me to make myself scarce before the guests started to arrive!
Back in the bridal suite, I retouched my lipstick and found myself with little else to do. Idle time and a bride are not friends. Although I hadn’t been anxious at all, this would be the perfect time for nerves to appear. Fortunately any nerves were held at bay for I did not feel lightheaded, pukey, or ready to bolt.
I peered out the sun porch window. The guests were arriving.
I felt a sense of excitement and happiness to see something that I’d been planning for so long coming together just as planned. The pre-ceremony music drifted up to the second-floor window. One of my favorites, “Sea of Love” by Cat Power, was playing, so I rushed to the window with all the excitement of a kid at Christmas.
Hand on hips and lips drawn together in mock-offense to being teased
The moms were summoned for their walk down the aisle.
Two kisses for good luck!
And I was alone. I returned to my leafy vantage point in the sun porch to secretly watch the wedding activity. Linda appeared in the doorway and indicated it was time. After a quick once-over, I grabbed my bouquet and began the surreal walk of a lifetime.
On my way!
My chariot, a golf cart driven by the general manager, awaited. Gathering my dress, I hopped on and held tight as we bumped along the lawn, hidden from view by the garden’s brick wall.
An interesting job perk: making conversation with brides as you deliver them to the ceremony site. (He later remarked he’d never encountered such a calm bride.)
In a sweet combination of music and hushed conversations, a palpable excitement lifted over the garden wall and found me. Our guests were assembled. The bridal party was tucked away in the shadows of the tea room. Everyone waited.
It’s almost time!
Don’t go anywhere—the ceremony starts next!
(all photos by Heather Fowler Photography, unless otherwise noted)
Catch up on our PaC recaps!