After my sister and I came home from the bachelorette on Friday, we got right to work getting everything packed up and ready to go downtown. My parents were so gracious in loading up the cars with luggage and décor boxes while I showered and repacked my bag for the next two days.
And Benjamin, you ask? Ben was HUNGOVER AF. Apparently, his ex-coworker had pulled the ol’ “when you see his drink empty, bring another” trick with the server the previous night.
Great idea! Not. | GIF via Tenor
He somehow managed to rally and we set off for the city at 2:00 PM. Three hours to drive in, drop everything off, and check into the Drake, where I would finish getting ready. Plenty of time!
Enter: Chicago traffic. Of course, everything took longer than anticipated, and I may or may not have changed into my dress in the car. In spite of this, we arrived at the church 15 minutes early (#irony) and gathered with our various family members and friends in the foyer.
At this point, I was kind of a mess. I was anxious and uncomfortable, and nobody knew each other yet so that made me MORE uncomfortable and the rehearsal before us ran late and I was just a hot little ball of nerves.
We are not, in fact, being arrested here.
We got through the rehearsal with minimal drama, though, and it was a strange and exciting thing to be up at the altar, anticipating the next afternoon. Best of all, we emerged from the church to a lovely, delicate snowfall.
I felt the need to stomp around immediately.
The party headed over to Tandoor Char House and proceeded to have a delightful and elaborate Indian feast. Everything was delicious, and a 3 Floyds Yum Yum took the edge off. After appetizers, Ben and I took turns reading little statements of thanks for each person in attendance, and concluded with a toast to each other. Here’s what I said to Ben:
Benjamin: It wasn’t long after meeting you at BC that I could see this day down the line…and I thank God regularly that I did not, after all, get in to Notre Dame. We are so similar in conviction and lifestyle that I marvel at the fact that we found each other at all. You are a man that I admire, trust, and respect, and I am so excited to do this thing with you tomorrow.
As one of the many ways I’ve blessed YOU recently is by getting you into reading fiction, I’ll conclude with a Madeline L’Engel quote: “Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”
I was introduced to that quote in Mrs. Feather‘s recaps, by the way! And here’s Ben’s toast to me:
My bride-to-be: Sixpence, from the outset of our relationship, you have continually challenged me to be a better man, teacher, friend, and colleague than I ever thought possible. I look back on our lives, and I am amazed at what the two of us have accomplished together. It was your beauty, sense of humor, and adventurous spirit that first caught my eye in Boston. What kept me around were your other qualities: your faithfulness, your honesty, your intelligence, and your integrity. You bring joy to my life every moment of every day. I am so blessed to have met you, and so blessed to be able to share our lives together. I can’t wait to grow old with you.
I would definitely recommend doing this, especially if you aren’t writing your own vows. After dinner, most of us headed over to the pub, where we got to hang out with a good number of our out-of-town guests. Such a lovely way of catching up with people before the wedding-day madness!
Still anxious, but a Guinness and my dearest college friends helped.
And with that, our last day as an engaged couple came to a close. Ben dropped me and my sister off at the Drake, and we headed to the room to try to get some rest…and to deal with the flower situation—next time, on Sixpence recaps!