Protip for wedding morning: Mimosas. Lots and lots of mimosas. I hate public speaking, and the idea of saying my hand-written vows had my stomach in knots from the second my eyes snapped open way too early that morning. (Though my sister commented that she was surprised I was able to "sleep in" until 5:30 or 6.)
That's my "I can't cry because mascara" face, which I made a lot throughout the course of the day. Not that it stopped me from crying, but I had to at least try, amiright?
Something old (my great-grandmother's bridal belt), something new (earrings), something borrowed (my mother's earrings) and something blue.
The flowers my friends and I slaved over for months. They turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!
Traditionally, the bride gets the groom a gift for their wedding day. Matt had been wanting a dress watch for a while, so I got one engraved for him. I also picked up a box of cigars for him and his groomsmen, 'cause I'm a cool bride ;)
Hayley, my friend and bridesmaid, made this beautiful cake (and all the guests' cupcakes) as our wedding gift. And my sister, Anna, made the cake topper. Aren't they talented?
Matt and I are both so lucky to have parents who are still together. It was on my mind all day, and that fact was a huge source of comfort to me every time I started stressing about the whole public-speaking-in-front-of-everyone-I-know.
Because our ceremony and reception were in the same location, and our cocktail hour was only an hour long, Matt and I decided to do a first look and photos before the ceremony. I'm actually really glad we did; it was such a relief to just see his face in the last hour or two before the ceremony. The first look was so special and wonderful; I couldn't have asked for anything more. We even sent the photographer away for a few minutes and spent some time alone, just the two of us, which might have been my favorite part of the entire day.
This photo of Matt might be my favorite from the whole day. It was taken just before the bridesmaids started walking down the aisle. Meanwhile, I was overheating out in the hall. May 9 was, I think, the hottest day of the year thus far — temps in the 90s and humidity to match. My ball gown skirt was suffocatingly hot, and when I get overheated and nervous, I tend to pass out. So I was sitting on a bench in the hall, fanning myself and thinking about how embarrassed I'd be in a few minutes when I fainted in front of everyone I know. My parents — they both gave me away — told me it was time to go, the last bridesmaid had just made her entrance. And I panicked and mumbled, "Tell them to wait! I'm fainting! It's so embarrassing!" My hands were tingling and my ears were ringing and I thought there was no way I'd make it down the aisle.
Then my parents, bless them, each picked me up by one arm and carried me to the door. I don't think I was supporting my own weight and I was still mumbling about how mortified I was already. Then the doors opened, someone gave me a gentle push between my shoulder blades, and I stumbled through the entrance.
I wavered a little, and then everything tunneled down to one sight: Matt at the end of the aisle.
I'm not 100% sure what happened after that, because the only person I was aware of in the whole room of 200+ people was Matt. I guess my parents each took and arm, and we started walking, and the whole time I saw no one but him. I don't know if it was adrenaline or something else, but all thoughts of fainting were completely out of my head. I knew I was going to be fine, as long as I was with him. (Strangely enough, that's what my vows were all about. Funny how that happens, isn't it?)
We had a knot ceremony, as an homage to our mutual love for climbing. Matt's sister's husband officiated our ceremony, and he did such a beautiful job. He helped us write a lovely ceremony, though in the moment Matt was pretty much all I was aware of. Someone told me later that the ceremony lasted about 15 or 20 minutes, though if you had asked me I might have told you it was only 15 or 20 seconds.
My sisters are so goofy. I don't know if they were doing this because it was so hot or what, but they laid on that bench giggling for ages after the ceremony while I cried and hugged everyone :)
Have I ever mentioned how big my family is? Matt's family is just the two of us, his sister and her husband, and their parents. My family consists of eight biological children (of which I'm the oldest), plus Matt, my sister's husband and my other sister's husband-to-be. (They're getting married in the fall.) The two families couldn't be more different; the Henterlys are quiet and reserved, and the Frankarts are loud and obnoxious. It's actually awesome; like having the best of both worlds. I couldn't ask for two more wonderful families!
Classic "three generations" photo with my mom and her mom.
My sister/maid of honor, Abby, and Matt's best man, Omri, gave amazing speeches. Abby's was about the first time she met Matt, before we were even dating, and how she could just tell we'd end up together. Omri's was about how Matt and I took his girlfriend out on her birthday when he couldn't make it out till later, and how that reflected us as a couple. (It was a weeknight and we disregarded having to get up early for work the next day to make sure she had a good time.)
A friend choreographed a Matt's and my first dance as a gift to us, and it was wonderful. We danced to "Hard to Concentrate" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and I think people really enjoyed it. Everyone was just sitting around when the song began, but when we started busting out spins and dips and lifts, everyone got really into it. By the end, folks were all standing around us and cheering. It was really awesome! We're still waiting on our videography, but when it comes back I'll post a video :)
My first dance with my dad was pretty wonderful, too. He started off complaining that he couldn't possibly follow Matt's and my dance, so I told him I'd lift him — aka, he jumped and I pretended to "lift" him at the waist (hence the laughter in the first picture). Then he got seriosu and said some really sweet, lovely things, and I scolded at him for making me cry again.
My bridesmaid Kate caught the bouquet, which was really cool because about six weeks after the wedding, the Supreme Court made their marriage ruling. Kate and Chasity (another bridesmaid, in fact) have been engaged for a few years, but were waiting until their marriage would be recognized here in Ohio before having their wedding. They're looking at doing it next year :)
My brother, David, caught the garter and ripped his pants in the process (as you can probably see). I told you our family is nuts, haha!
After the reception, we held an afterparty at a nearby bourbon bar. A bunch of our friends and cousins came out and I forced a huge box of leftover cupcakes on the bar staff. We closed the place down before walking back over to the hotel. It was such a perfect cap to a perfect day.