For those with some morbid curiosity, but mostly for myself when I want to remember the details, our wedding in five parts.
Part Two: The Morning Of
I remember waking up the morning of the wedding because I woke up quite suddenly from a dream. I do not remember anything about the dream except that C showed up out of nowhere and when I saw him, I thought to myself: “The next time I see you, we're supposed to be getting married.” The intensity of this thought was so strong that it jolted me awake, quite confusingly so, as I forgot I was in a hotel room. Even though I had probably only slept four or five hours, I felt very energetic. I got out of bed and had washed my face, brushed my teeth and was working on changing when my sister got up. She stayed behind in our room while I met with bridesmaid H and headed to Reading Terminal Market to find breakfast items.
Four breakfast sandwiches, two orange juices, an assortment of pastries and a connolo later, we were back at the room. My mom, aunt and fourteen-month-old cousin, R, had arrived in our absence and were setting up beauty shop it seemed, with N's hair tools and R's dress laid out. At this point, I felt like my stomach would eat itself, so I chowed on a sandwich, told bridesmaid M to get her butt downstairs for her gluten-free breakfast (miracle of miracles, H pointed out that we could get a breakfast sandwich with a gluten-free roll. Awesome!) and tried to answer my mom's questions. At the same time, the photographer was trying to my room, R was not showing any sign she recognized me (womp womp) and the cranberry orange scone was making eyes at me from the corner.
|R helping N with her makeup.|
Eventually, I sat down, brewed a cup of tea (I even brought my own tea bags: check out that genius move right there! No rubbish coffee or boring hotel tea for me) and sat back as my sister started on my hair and my mom worked on my nails. My mom gave me a gift one of my aunts had sent her, saying my aunt wanted me to wear it that day. I opened up a long thin black box and inside was charm bracelet with something to remind me of my birth month (May: an emerald charm), the place we got engaged (Paris: an Eiffel Tower charm) and my wedding day (a heart charm with bride written on it). I actually started getting a little teary-eyed at the gift because it was such a sweet and sentimental thing (my aunt is a professional at such gifts).
H and M caught up and tied ribbons around the bouquets (a Rosary was wrapped around mine as well, and it thankfully stayed all day!). Overnight, one of the hydrangea bouquets had drooped past any chance of saving. It ended up being okay, as we had the bouquet of lilies for my bridesmaid to carry instead, but it was still annoying. The photographer snapped pictures of my dress both hanging and spread over the bed, my crazy hair and R, who was grabbing and running with everything in sight. Hair and nails done, N and I moved to the huge window (which provided views of fancy Philly alleyways. Ha.) in the bedroom area so she could do my makeup. The morning had been incredibly relaxed up to this point, but my mom was keeping an eye on the time and ended up finishing my makeup so my sister could do hers. Requesting that my mom do my eye makeup as she had done hers probably only increased the “You look exactly like your mother/daughter” comments throughout the day.
|One of my favorite pictures: I love the three of us here.|
|This is real!|
I also took this time to give the bridesmaids their gifts (crystal lace-like hair pins) and my mom one as well. I know it isn't conventional to give your mother a gift, but I thought it would be nice. She liked the earrings, though her ears didn't for very long. Buck up, ears. Any time my mom disappeared from view, my sister and I kept up the “do you think she's crying?” game, but I think that shows just how much we care about her back. I don't envy her emotions from that day—I can't imagine what it's like to watch your daughter get married; maybe one day I will—but they were also kind of nice to see. Is that sadistic? Haha...
My step-dad told my mom he was leaving his hotel to pick us up with the car, so we all rushed around in the last half hour. I applied mascara (no clumping, yay!), bridesmaids adjusted their pins and my mom helped me into my dress. It started to feel more real at the point of getting dressed. I mean, it isn't every day that you wear a fancy wedding dress, is it? R had been changed into her dress and seemed utterly confused about the ensemble, but looked a saccharine level of cute with her white flower clip. When she saw me dressed up, I think she recognized, "Oh, you're wearing a dress too," and was taken in by the sparkles. The checklist was dwindling at this point. Veil, hair comb, lipstick, flowers. Does everyone have everything? Where's the baby? Do you have my purse? Is my lipstick in there? Okay. Let's go.
|But first, let me take a selfie.|
Out the door, down the hall, down a very crowded elevator, across the lobby, out the revolving doors and face to face with our bright orange car and my step-dad who looked like he'd been holding back any signs of emotion all morning. Poor guy. At the point of running out of time, though, my family piled into the car quickly as my maids got cabs. “Okay, I need directions,” my step-dad said, and my brain went, “Uhhhh,” for a second. I guess one gets used to having GPS in their car. But after months in the city, directing really only required half a dozen turns and we were soon in front of the church. At some point earlier in the day, my mom and aunt had asked if the trip to the church was a walkable distance. LOL. Cars are your friend in Philadelphia, FYI. But also, consider guest transportation to venues if/when you plan an event like this.
|Can you see our car? It just blends in with everything else, right?|
During the drive, one of my best friends, S, from home texted asking, “Are you married yet?!?” I laughed and told her not yet, but I was excited. She told me to soak every moment in and wrote a prayer that had me nearly messing up my makeup. Eek! Though I was technically early by three minutes, we waited outside to wait for everyone to arrive and convene in one place. My mom and step-dad got out of the car and I exchanged a glance with my sister as I saw them brace themselves for the day ahead. Separated from thinking about how huge a thing it was, I found their close, quiet conversation cute. Soon, H and M walked around the corner from what was apparently a weird cab ride. The photographer descended the steps (he had gone in ahead of us to get familiar with the space) and the lot of us walked up the steps.
What happened then? Next post.
*For anyone interested in the beauty side of things, here are the products and tools we used that morning to make me look fancy:
Heat tools: Remington 1 ¼” curler
Hair spray: Tresemme Two Spray Extra Hold #4
Makeup tools: Beauty Blender, Real Techniques face brushes, Sephora eyeshadow brushes
Foundation: Covergirl True Match in C1
Concealer: Maybelline Age Rewind in Fair (highlighting), Revlon Revitalift Miracle Blur (eyes)
Powder: Elf HD Powder, Covergirl Pressed Powder in Tawny
Blush: Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Magic
Bronzer: Hard Candy So Baked in Tiki
Setting Spray: Nyx Dewy, Mario Badescu Rose Water
Eyeshadow Covergirl Eye Enhancers palette in Shimmering Sands
Eyeliner: Maybelline in Black
Mascara: Tarte Lights, Camera, Flashes in Black
Chapstick: Burt's Bees Refreshing Lip Balm with Pink Grapefruit
Lipstick: Rimmel London Lasting Finish by Kate Moss in 08
**Another note on beauty: I usually do not wear much makeup, let alone this huge list I've made. In fact, for about two months leading up to the wedding, the most makeup I wore was lip gloss, mascara and maybe a lipstick for color. My wedding was rather a big event and I wanted makeup to cover up some redness, emphasize my eyes and give me a bit of a confidence boost. The makeup was all natural in color, as you'll see by names like “tawny.” I do not think that makeup is something that a woman must have to look beautiful. At the same time, I also enjoy dressing up with makeup. Stay beautiful, but remember that beauty is about much more than concealer.