photo by jodi mckee
So um, guys? We’re MARRIED. And I have to say that it was the happiest, most love- and joy-filled day either of us has ever experienced. I don’t know if I’ve ever smiled so big or felt so happy, ever. Everyone said the day would fly by, and that we should remember to breathe and stay in the moment, because we’d forget it all so quickly… but neither Dan nor I felt that way on Sunday. The day felt long and full and slow and so very clear. And everything went so smoothly from start to finish. Maybe that eerie calm I felt leading up to the wedding was my heart’s subconscious way of moderating my bad habit of setting expectations so high that I’ll only end up disappointed… because even though I know I’m sounding gushy, I don’t care, but things went BETTER than I could ever have expected. I mean, we thought the ceremony would be meaningful, and that our vows would be personal, and that a brewery reception would be cool… but the ceremony was like an arrow through our hearts, and our vows made everyone (including ourselves) tear up, and the brewery was AMAZING. I never expected it would be SO GOOD.
I have a million things to say (obviously) but since Dan and I had the same five favorite moments of the day, I thought I’d share those instead:
- Our first look. We decided to see each other before the ceremony, and to have the photographers take a picture. It seemed like it would make the day go more smoothly, even if it’s not as traditional, and I am SO GLAD we did this. I think it made us both infinitely more relaxed… and I’ll never, ever forget that nervous, shaky, excited feeling of seeing him for the first time, talking in hushed tones with tears in our eyes, kissing Dan and having him holding my hand, “dude we’re getting married” “you look so beautiful”.
- Our vows. We were nervous to write our own vows, to capture that balance between personal, heartfelt, funny, and full of the real promises. We wrote them for each other, of course, but I never could have predicted how many people would tell us afterwards how meaningful they were to them. I read mine without crying, somehow, and hearing Dan’s wonderful-sounding voice say his to me was just one of those once in a lifetime moments.
- Looking down from the balcony during cocktail hour. Right after we got to the cocktail hour, we went up to the balcony to take some pictures of the two of us. The brewery has a long balcony that overlooks both bars (and the area they cleared out to make our dance floor). Leaning over that railing with Dan’s arms around me, seeing the brewery we both love filled to the brim with the PEOPLE we love – laughing, talking, music playing, beer flowing, food being passed around – it filled us both with such joy.
- The speeches. My sister and Dan’s brother gave AMAZING speeches. Lindsey’s was three pages of awesomeness, and she made me cry and made me laugh… and Dave said his from memory and told stories of the three brothers as kids, and talked about me and Dan from his perspective as Dan’s roommate for much of our relationship. It was so heartfelt and made us both feel so loved, both by the two of them, but to know that others notice how happy we make each other.
- The brewhouse photos. The brewery has its own brewhouse, of course, and the vats are behind glass on a raised platform behind the bar. We got to go in there with our photographer for pictures, and it was SUPER fun, not just to get the secret tour, but also to be behind the glass above/behind the bar and wave like fools at all of our friends who were AT the bar.
So yeah. I’m riding this wave of happy like there’s no tomorrow. I knew it’d be awesome, but I honestly had no idea it would feel like this, and for that, I am infinitely, forever grateful.