After a surprisingly restful night of sleep (my sister Elisa spent the night with me a la Anne-and-Diana and we watched Sense and Sensibility...obviously), I headed over to my parents' house to begin the getting-ready process. Elisa and I picked up NIcole, my dear friend and makeup artist for the day, on the way and prayed a rosary together as we drove across town. I couldn't believe how calm and joyful I felt; no jitters, no cold feet, just peace. God is good.
My bridesmaids were off getting their hair done at Blo, while I got the royal treatment from a Blo hairstylist in my Mom's bathroom (thanks, Mom!). Let me tell you: getting your hair AND makeup done with the knowledge that you're getting married to the one your heart loves is pretty freaking awesome. I loved that Nicole did my makeup, because she's a friend, and it made the whole wedding morning feel more intimate. I'm also glad that my hairstylist, who was a total stranger, got to be privy to all of the super-Catholic conversations in the bathroom re: not living together before marriage, looking forward to the wedding night, how excited we all were for the wedding Mass, etc. I think it's safe to say she wasn't quite used to hearing the bride (and bride's mother) say "Praise God!" every ten minutes or so. ;)
My bestie Simone (also Nicole's sister) came by to get ready with us and--in my favorite moment of the morning--lead us in a rousing a capella rendition of "Goin' to the Chapel" by the Dixie Cups. Elisa (aka my Maid of Honor) helped me put my dress on, my sister Lianna (aka Matron of Honor) made sure my ADORABLE flower girls got their dresses on, my cousin/honorary sister Rachel and SIL Maya both did their part to provide me with supplies like a super-cute day bag (which I used on my wedding day to tote all of my stuff around, and came in handy on the honeymoon as well), Trader Joe's 85% dark chocolate (aka the BEST DARK CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD), and all of the words of affirmation a girl could ask for. I can't tell you how thankful I am that all of my sisters were there to help me prepare for the Sacrament.
I didn't feel pressured by anyone to answer last-minute questions, we had plenty of time to get everything done, and all the while my sweet friend Susan took the gorgeous photos above for us. (I only had eight hours with my wedding photographer, so I asked Susan if she'd be willing to do the getting-ready photos, and she graciously said yes--and as you can see, she's super talented and totally spoiled me.)
All in all, it was practically perfect in every way; I can't imagine a more stress-free, smooth wedding morning. When I told Kristian this as we were driving away from our reception that night, he laughed and said, "Well, that explains my morning." He then proceeded to tell me that soon after he picked up my dad's BMW convertible/the getaway car, he had to pull over because the Beamer had a flat tire. Aaaaaand the spare was flat. Not only did he have to get the car towed to a shop, but he had to buy two brand new tires, get a groomsman to take him back to the house so he could get ready, come back and pick up the car, wash it by hand, and get to the church on time. At no point in the morning did he even give me a HINT as to what was going on, because he knew how much it would stress me out. What. A. Man.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't mention how incredible both of my parents were that morning: My mom not only let us completely take over her bathroom, she spent the entire morning making sure that I was happy and had everything I needed--all the while getting her beautiful self ready. It was such a blessing to get ready for my wedding with her, after so many years of coming to her with my hopes and dreams and disappointments and tears regarding relationships. I love you, Mom, and I'm so thankful for everything you've done for me throughout the years.
My Dad was, as usual, the most placid person in the house--keeping everyone calm, playing with my nieces so they wouldn't get into everything, letting us borrow his car for our getaway, driving me to the church...the list goes on. Thanks, Daddy, for your love and generosity. I love you!
If I had to distill my experience down to tips for a stress-free wedding morning, this is what I would say:
1. Pray before you do anything else.
2. Limit the number of people getting ready with you to family and your closest friends.
3. Make it clear to everyone beforehand that you do not want to be pestered with last-minute logistical questions (delegate that responsibility to your MoH or wedding planner, if you have one).
4. Sing "Goin' to the Chapel" or at least listen to it while you're getting ready. Trust me.
5. Give yourself PLENTY of time--like more time than you think you could possibly need--to get ready. Things will come up and you'll be so thankful you did.
Stay tuned for a recap of my wedding Mass and reception, and a series on Catholic wedding planning (which is in the works)! And if any of my married readers have tips for a peaceful wedding morning, please do share them in the comments!
Photos by Susan Reue.