When we arrived at Megan's house, everyone was so relaxed. There was an air of eager anticipation and excitement, but none of the stress that you might expect, considering the scale of things to come. Megan would occasionally say, randomly, "I can't believe that I'll be married in X hours," or "Two more days!!" but she was not stressed out. She had the calm grace of someone who knows she's making the best decision of her life. She and Trey are so much in love, and it rolls off of them in waves. They are radiant together. It warms everyone around them, to be in the presence of such a beautiful relationship.
Trey's dad and step-mom took Trey and Megan's dogs to their house. Tev came over to help me get my dress just right (strapless dresses can be dangerous!). We had a little food, talked a lot, laughed a lot, drank a lot of wine... It was a fun evening. My mom arrived later, and we hung out with her, my step-dad, and their friends John and Barbara.
Eventually the girls were asleep on their feet, so I took them to my mother-in-laws, where we were staying, to meet BJ and get some rest. Claire got a weird second wind and was up late, but she was cute and funny so we just went with it. If she had been cranky, I might have worried, but she was just so excited. I think she could feel all of the energy around her, even though she probably didn't have a clue why everyone was so jazzed.
Friday came, and I went to Kohl's for a strapless bra. The universe smiled upon me, and I was able to find a reasonably comfortable one in my size (miracle!!). Then I met the girls in the bridal party and Megan to get manis and pedis, while the boys and some of the parents went golfing. My wonderful mother-in-law took the kids, so that BJ and I could enjoy the activities. It was wonderful to not have to worry about them being bored.
After manis and pedis, we ran a few errands (dropping off the hospitality baskets at the hotels, mainly), while Megan and my dad visited the golfers. Then we went to lunch at Applebee's (where they gave us free dessert shooters when they found out Megan was getting married! Yay Applebee's!)
I returned to Diana's house to get the kids dressed for the rehearsal dinner. BJ was still at the golf outing, so he met us at the chapel. The girlies were not at all thrilled at being awakened from their naps, but by the time we got to the chapel, they'd chilled out. Of course, it helped that many of their favorite people were there. Claire beelined straight for Grandpa Bob.
We rehearsed a couple of times, and then proceeded to the chapel's basement for the dinner. The nice thing about it being a chapel that is strictly for weddings, rather than Consecrated Religious Ground, is that we could have beer and wine! Mom's chefs made a ton of tapas (Spanish appetizers, which, if you haven't had before, you need to run right out and try right now, particularly at Don Quixote if you're in Grammaland, and tell Carlos we said "hi"!). Megan and Trey gave out the prizes for the golf outing (longest drive, best putt, winning team overall, etc.) and gave out the gifts for the wedding party. The guys got Cubs shirts and engraved pocket knives, we girls got our jewelry for the wedding, a really cool bag with a W (of course) and the date of the wedding and lots of pockets, and a note saying that we were getting our makeup done professionally for the big day. Ironic, because I've spent the last year trying different products and perfecting my make up skills for this wedding. Oh well. It came in handy at Amanda's wedding last December!
It was nice to have a chance to visit with friends and family before the Big Day. Mary Grace was so cute - the servers were plating dessert, and MG played waitress. Of course, that meant that you got dessert whether you wanted it or not, occasionally with tiny fingerprints, but she did the best she could.
After the dinner we returned to Diana's for a good night's sleep. Before we knew it, it was Saturday! I got up early and headed to Mom's for one last dress adjustment - wonder of wonders, it fit! Of course, that didn't mean that Connie didn't have to sneak up behind me and hike me up every 45 minutes or so, but I didn't expose myself to anyone, and that's really the goal when you go strapless. We had a nice lunch while Maria did our make up, then we headed to the salon to get our hair done.
And then my camera died.
But that's ok, because there were plenty of other cameras, and it really would've been beyond tacky for me to stand up at the front of the church shooting pictures. With our hair completely sprayed and pinned and immobile, we headed to the chapel to get dressed and do some pictures.
Here's my favorite:
That's me, my beautiful sister, Megan, and my awesome brother Chuck. We clean up well, don't we? Far cry from my usual jeans and a t-shirt look.
We had the opportunity to walk around and look at the beautiful decorations that were literally everywhere. I have never seen Mom's ballroom look so elegant. I mean, it's normally beautiful, but this was beyond amazing. There were flowers and candles everywhere. Over 4000 red roses. It was stunning; jaw-droppingly beautiful.
But it paled in comparison to the bride. I know I'm biased. I know she's my baby sister, but seriously... Never in the history of weddings has there been a more beautiful bride. Just look at her:
I can hardly look at her without tears coming to my eyes. She was radiant. Absolutely stunning. I was managing the girls when she walked in, so I didn't get to do my favorite thing, which is watch the groom's face when she entered the chapel. I can't wait for the pictures and the video. I hope someone got a good shot of Trey.
For those of you who haven't met my sister, I have to tell you that her insides are every bit as beautiful as her outside. She is the kindest, gentlest, most fun, most lovely person... Trey is a lucky, lucky guy. We're all lucky to know her.
Anyway, back to the narrative... So before we knew it, it was time for the main event. BJ showed up with the girls, freshly napped and bathed, around 4:15 and I got them dressed as quickly as I could. The wedding started at 5 pm.
We managed to get through the ceremony without any ugly crying, without messing up the stepping-up-for-the-photo-op part, and without messing up the candle thing (you'll just have to wait for the video to see what I mean). The girls did exactly what they were supposed to do, without any crying, running, nose picking, or sticking of hands down my dress. Uncle Doug performed the ceremony, and he did a great job. Trey was a bit nervous, and he dropped the ring, but I hear that's good luck.
They used some words that I helped write during the ceremony, which meant a ton to me. My aunt Julie read a poem. Trey's aunt read 1 Corinthians 13. "The greatest of these, is love..."
And they were married, and everyone cheered. We walked out of the chapel and the bridal party handed out balloons to all the guests, while Mr. and Mrs. Trey W. released their guests inside. Then, when the last guest had walked outside, the doors to the chapel were closed, Megan and Trey rang the bell, and they emerged to thunderous applause and released their balloons, and we released ours.
Then the newlyweds took a little ride on my uncle Stu's antique firetruck (which even matched the wedding colors, how coordinated are we?) to have their photos taken by the fountain, while the guests had hors d'oeuvres in the garden.
I need to get some pictures of the garden. It was lovely. The music and food were terrific. When Megan and Trey returned, we took a few formal posed pictures in the chapel, and then it was time to party!
We were introduced, then the bride and groom were introduced, and they cut the cake. After that, they were seated and the DJ gave the microphone to Paul, the best man, for his toast. Then it was my turn. I was so nervous, my knees were knocking, but I managed to spit it out without any ugly crying...
"A couple of years ago," I said, "Trey and Paul came to our house to help us work on our roof. After they left, my husband BJ said, 'Trey is such a great guy. If Megan doesn't marry him, someone in this family really needs to!' Trey, the good news is that you get to spend the rest of your life with Megan. The bad news is that you're stuck with the rest of us, and our leaky roofs.
"And that is pretty much all I've got! It's so hard to write a toast for (and here I started to choke up, and I felt the ugly cry coming on, and I had to deeply breathe through my nose to proceed) my baby sister. How can I express how much you mean to me, how much I love you both, and how happy I am for the two of you, in a short enough time that no one's drink gets warm? How can I choose just one embarrassing story to tell in front of everyone you know?
"No, I haven't had enough to drink to tell embarrassing stories... Yet. So I'll stick to my other specialty. Advice.
"When I was writing this, the thing I kept coming back to was the way you dance. If you've never seen Megan and Trey dance together, you are in for a treat. It occurred to me that if you can do in your marriage what you already do when you dance - if you can move together, smile, laugh, look into each others' eyes, and hold onto each other - then we'll all be back here in 50 years celebrating your love again.
"Congratulations. I love you both so much. And Trey, welcome to the family!" and as I finished speaking, I handed Trey a hammer that I'd had monogrammed with a "W". The W was kind of a running joke. His last name begins with W, and Megan and Mom kind of went crazy monogramming everything... Including the cake and the lawn! Think I'm kidding? Here:
So, the W thing was kind of a running joke.
It took me a good 15 minutes to stop shaking, and by then, the prayer had been said by my "bonus mom" Susan, and we were digging into the dinner (an amazing salad, filet, shrimp and scallops on a kabob, garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus...) Then Megan and Trey danced, and just as I had predicted, it was spectacular. Those kids really know how to cut a rug. Normally I don't like all the first dances (let's just party, already!) but it was really fun to watch people who not only know how to dance, but enjoy doing it.
After that, Carol started serving me cosmos, and things get a little blurry. I know there was a lot of dancing, laughing, dancing, drinking, and dancing. Mary Grace had an excellent time standing in front of the colored lights and watching the patterns they made on her dress. She didn't stop until midnight, believe it or not, when she finally passed out on the couch in the lobby. I got to see people I don't see often at all. I got to dance with my gorgeous husband. And before we knew it, my baby sister was riding off to her honeymoon with her new husband, and the night was over.
BJ took the kids back to his mom's, and I went to close a bar with the bridal party (too fun, but what happens at the bar stays at the bar!!). I didn't get back to his mom's house until 3:30, and even then, I was too jazzed to sleep. Megan and Trey will be back Sunday, and I'm going up with the girls on Monday to help open presents, look at pictures, and re-live it all over again with them. (And MG is going to spend a couple days with Grandma! YAY!)
I guess I should explain why I'm writing about all this in so much detail, because I know that my average reader scrolled through the pictures and then clicked "next." This is for the family members who couldn't be with us, and for me and my terrible memory so that I can re-read this in a year or ten when I've lost the details, and for Megan and Trey, so they can see what their special day looked like through someone else's eyes.
It was the most wonderful day, and I want to go back and live it over and over again. What are we going to do next? Mom? Megan?? We need a project!! I feel like I have post-wedding depression. I just can't believe it's all over.
Congratulations Megan and Trey!