News And Views
My Catholic Marriage
Wedding Weekend: Part 3, The Big Day!
When the alarm on my cell phone went off at 6:10 on Saturday morning, I sat up immediately and swung my feet to the floor. I didn’t hit snooze at all, which was a surprise to both me and my friends even though it was my wedding day.
I showered, brushed my teeth, and put on capris, flip-flops, and a button-up shirt that I would be able to change out of without ruining my up-do. With a Quaker breakfast cookie and a cup of chamomile tea from the hotel’s continental breakfast in hand, I rode to the hair salon for our 7:30 appointment; all but two of my bridesmaids were getting their hair done there. And since I had already had my hair consultation two weeks prior, I knew exactly what I wanted and the lady was able to get started right away. The food I forced myself to eat while she was working tasted so dry—stupid nerves. The butterflies in my stomach were stronger than ever.
Luckily, I guess, having a morning wedding meant that I didn’t have to spend all day being nervous. There wasn’t time for that. By the time my beautiful up-do was finished it was already after 9:00, and we planned on leaving the hotel by 10:15.
While Marie and Laura were still having their styles done, the rest of us rushed back to do our makeup, get dressed, and pack up our bags. I did my own makeup, which took me about fifteen or twenty minutes, and got dressed with the help of my bridesmaids. Once every detail was in place, I felt like a princess… but there wasn’t time to stand around feeling beautiful, either, so we grabbed our bags and hurried out to the cars again.
When we arrived on campus, the parking situation was horrible because of the fire department picnic going on that day. We had to park in the grass next to the chapel, and a few raindrops were beginning to fall. As I was unbuckling my seatbelt, horror of horrors, I looked down and noticed that the chain of my necklace was broken! That put me over the edge, and I started to flip out.
With my necklace hanging in two pieces from my neck, I made it into the vestibule on the right side of the chapel that was serving as the bride’s room. My cousin and bridesmaid, Maria, went into the sanctuary to bring back her sister, my cousin Catherine. She is the one that made my jewelry for the wedding, and that wonderful girl even thought to bring her tools with her to the wedding just in case! So she took my necklace out to her parents’ car to fix it and had it back, good as new, in less than five minutes. Crisis averted.
I saw my parents, all of my siblings, and a couple of aunts while I waited in the bride’s room. Caroline had left to fulfill her groomsmaidenly duty of ushering with the boys, but of course my bridesmaids stayed with me. Our photographer took some pictures. And the figurative clock kept ticking (there was no clock that I could see, so I had no idea how quickly time was passing). When someone announced that it was around five minutes to 11:00, my bridesmaid Michelle suggested that we pray a Hail Mary. I’m so glad she did; I had been thinking during the drive from the hotel that when we got to the church I would pray a whole bunch of Hail Mary’s to calm myself down, but since we had arrived I had completely forgotten. So, my bridesmaids and I stood in a circle, joined hands, and prayed. I can’t say that my nervousness instantly disappeared, or anything like that, but I did feel better knowing that I had at least looked in the right direction before I walked up the aisle to my beloved.
The next thing I knew, the girls were all lining up in the back of the church, with my Dad and me in the rear. The organ processional began and I caught a glimpse of Daniel as his brother walked him up the aisle, but it was not until everyone else had gone and my dad and I were the only ones remaining in the back that I could look up and really see him. I told myself as we started moving forward that I was just going to look at Daniel the whole way up; if I looked around at everyone who loves me staring at me and smiling, I would be too overwhelmed and I knew I would cry. I think I did tear up, but only a little. I just kept looking at my very, very soon-to-be husband and smiled (a very nervous, non-toothy smile, but still a smile).
And I’m really sorry, I honestly did not expect to have to drag this wedding story on for another week… but I’m going to! To be continued yet again… be sure to take a look at our wedding photo album!