(doesn't that title bring back childhood memories? I always hated the assignments like this, but it's different when it's self-imposed...)
The most important, awaited, and stressful event over Christmas was not, in fact, Christmas. Or even New Year's Eve (or day). On December 29th, I got married.
It was wonderful. Of course, that's what everyone says - but now I understand why. Planning the wedding was ridiculously stressful, tiring, and frustrating. There were people to coordinate (and I cursed my early planning days when I had decided to have flowergirls, and a ringbearer, because why would I make my life more difficult??), and schedules to make (I hate scheduling and tend to procrastinate), and mothers to calm.
But time marched on, as it is wont to do, and The Day arrived. It all felt surreal, that I was actually getting married. Our engagement was rather long (almost 2 years), and I think I had adjusted to being engaged. I wasn't really expecting the wedding to really happen.
In retrospect, the rehersal was by far the scariest part (other than the half hour or so before the ceremony). Since the wedding was in a Cathedral (my church home growing up, but still an impressive building) the darkened, empty building was incredibly intimidating. It was so big! And dark! I could almost feel the dark spirits lurking in the corners. The practice walk up the aisle felt really long, and I was scared of the guests who would be coming. What would they think? (the eternal question, the question that has caused me so many problems!) Would everything work out?
I was scared, but we went through what to do, and then went home and drank lots of champagne. (And I made programs and folded place cards and fretted about scheduling. Did I mention that I tend to procrastinate?) One of the decision I am really happy about is that we held the rehersal dinner at home. Everyone seemed more relaxed, and we sat around and ate food and sipped champagne and shared stories. People met and talked and it was generally incredibly pleasant.
The day of the wedding, I essentially disappeared into a world of hairdressers (et al) and hoped that everything would work out.
The few minutes before I walked down the aisle were very stressful. I was remembering the rehersal, and how dark and imposing the church had seemed. I was scared. The kids, however, were adorable and funny, and eliminated any regrets I might have had about including them in the wedding. The ringbearer especially seemed to have a whole colony of ants in his pants (couldn't resist!) and was fidgeting and running around and exploring and jumping and driving his mother crazy. It was a wonderful distraction.
When the processional finally started, all the stress and worries just melted away. The church was gorgeous - all the Christmas decorations were lit, and the area around the altar and our guests was bathed in a wonderful golden light. And all those people whose presence was causing so much angst were there, and oh-so-happy to see me. I was staring into a see of grins (and winks, and waves) and there was so much joy reflected there it was unbelieveable. Walking down the aisle towards my husband-to-be, I couldn't stop smiling. And it was so nice to see him, too, with a huge grin on his face. What a glorious, glorious moment.
Part II will follow - I must run!