The big day. It's finally here. I couldn't believe it, it is crazy how fast those 9 months went by. You think that 9 months is a long time, but in reality, between parties and oh the fact that BOTH of my brothers were getting married within 4 months of me, which meant parties for them as well, it felt like those 9 months FLEW by.
I have bad anxiety and one of the ways I help to keep it at bay is to exercise, so the morning of our wedding, I woke up and went for a run. My parents thought I had lost my mind and that I needed to rest, but I just needed to get out of the house and not talk to anyone for a little while. Ha! That sounds bad, but it's just my place of "zen" (yes, eating cheeseburgers and fries is also my place of zen, but I didn't want to do that in the morning :) )
After my run it was time to eat some breakfast and start the process! All the bridesmaids were meeting at my aunt's house in downtown Charleston to get ready, so we headed that way around 11:30am.
We hung out, ate lunch, drank some mimosa's and got ready until about 3:30pm. We had SO much fun you would have thought the reception had already started! I had 10 bridesmaids, crazy, I know, but I love every single one of them and they are my people, and I couldn't imagine that day without them by my side.
Around 3:45pm we hopped in the van and headed to the church for photos. Harry and I chose not to do a first look, totally a personal decision! I am super superstitious, so we chose not to, and I wanted the first time he saw me that day to be when the big doors opened.
After photos, my grandparents came in to take photos with me and then my brothers and dad came around the corner of the church for family photos and I about lost it because this was a day I had been waiting for my whole life. My family and I are so so close, my brothers truly are my best friends in the world and my parents are the first people I go to for anything, so seeing them made me the most emotional.
I don't know about you, but I am one of those people who has seriously thought about this day since I was a little girl. I never planned every little detail, but I definitely had a vision of what I wanted and where I wanted it to be. I would get goosebumps when I saw movies with weddings in it, I would cry happy tears at friends weddings, so all around, I was that girl :)
This was a very special day because my dad's dad, who passed away a little over 2 months ago, it was his 89th birthday. I can't begin to explain how close I was with him and still am with my dads mom. For those of you who don't personally know me, anyone will tell you that my family is #1 in my life, when I go home to Charleston I spend 99% of my time hanging out with my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. We always have a family dinner when we come home (which is pretty much 2 out of every 4 weekends). My dad's entire family besides my brothers live in Charleston. So to have this last birthday with my grandfather be spent at our wedding, I couldn't think of a better way to spend it.
It was time for the ceremony.
Standing outside of the church, it's 6pm, the church bells begin ringing; it was the most beautiful sound. It meant the start of our forever, my dad and I walk in and they close the doors. Once the bagpiper makes his way down the roughly 100 foot walk to Highland Cathedral, my bridesmaids begin the trek (which my dad told them probably 100 times at the rehearsal to walk slowly, I'm sure they loved that). It was time for us to make our entrance.
I remember a lot of the ceremony, but I do this thing where I black out when big things are going on in my life, for example, I couldn't tell you what Harry said to me before he asked me to marry him. So I don't remember some of it, but I do remember how beautiful it was, I remember all of the people that were there, and I remember how special it was that all of these people were there for us.
Fast forward about 27 minutes, the ceremony is over, and it's time to boogie.
We were able to shut down the three blocks between where the church is to where the reception was, Hibernian Hall, so that all of the guests could parade behind the Charleston Gospel Singers who were singing "Oh Happy Day" while leading the pack of ~300 people to the reception.
After we finished the pictures at the church, the singers came back and got us so that we could walk with them as well.
Queue the official start to the reception. Harry and I danced to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered", then my dad and I danced, he and his mum (I'm not allowed to say mom, mother-in-laws rules ha!) danced, then we had did something completely out of the ordinary.
3 of the most important people in my life all had their birthday within 4 days of each other: my mother-in-law on August 31st, my grandfather on our wedding day, and my oldest brother turned 30 the day after our wedding, so we had the band get them out on the dance floor, give each of them a cupcake we had specifically made for this moment (we did a normal cake for everything else but had to have cupcakes for them to blow out, per my request ), and all 300 people sang them happy birthday.
After we sang them happy birthday, I had another surprise in store...I wanted a special dance with my grandfather on his birthday. I think back on this now and it makes me cry because I miss him so much. He was the most wonderful man and with our first anniversary, it was tough because of all of these special memories I had with him, but I also know that we will be together again one day so I have to hold onto that.
After all of this, we cut the cake and the dancing for everyone else started. 3 hours later, it was time for us to leave around 11pm and my godmother does an outfit change into what a limo driver would be wearing (I had no idea this was going to happen), and she drove us around all of downtown after we departed honking the horn making sure we stood out like a sore thumb
: ' ) It was absolutely hilarious!
We didn't leave for our honeymoon until Monday because I wanted some time to spend with my brother on his 30th birthday and with Harry's family in town from London, so we stayed in Charleston until about 6pm Sunday night then headed back to Charlotte to leave for our honeymoon in Hawaii (I'll have a post on that later).
I can't thank everyone enough who was a part of our special day, it could not have been more perfect. It's hard to summarize such an action packed long weekend, but I tried to cover as much as possible.
You can watch our wedding video HERE, and that will give you more insight into what our wedding day looked like :)
PS- if you are still reading, you are the real MVP.
Click HERE to view our wedding video by Adam Siegel Films.
Also, our wedding would not have been as beautiful as it was without the help of our friend & wedding planner Stacey, from RLE Charleston.