My Wedding Story | June 14, 2014 (Part 1)
The day started early. I was anxious and excited. I should have kept sleeping but I couldn’t. At 7AM I put on my tennis shoes and crept out of the room while Dan was still fast asleep, tired after a long night of toasting and celebrating the night before. Outside the sky was bright and clear. A perfect summer day.
On my feet, I bolted from the front doors of The Mimslynn Inn, crossed the police office parking lot and made my way to a winding back country road that looped around the little town of Luray. Lime green weeds leapt from the gravel and brushed against my legs. The day was still quiet so I used the peace to assess the night before and what was about to come.
I realized that I was absolutely beaming from ear to ear.
Running alongside a brook on a narrow paved bike path, Luray’s Hawksbill Greenway, dog walkers were beginning to make their dutiful morning strolls. With the sun beginning to heat the day, I knew I needed to head back to the hotel. Eager to see what was going to unfold, I was nearly sprinting at this point, so excited I could burst.
I spotted two elderly couples walking in my direction on the path, I tried to keep my composure. I couldn’t. Passing them, I called out “I’m getting married today!” They all looked at me with surprise. I heard someone call out a bewildered “Congratulations!!?” as I kept running.
Back at the hotel, activity was starting to pick up. Friends were having breakfast on the big front porch while family members were unloading their cars in the front parking lot. Entering the front hall I felt like I had food all over my face while everyone stared and smiled. “Margo! What are you doing?!” I made empty promises that I’d immediately shower and get ready.
Returning to the room, as planned, Dan had already departed for the day to play disc golf with his groomsmen and our fathers. It was only then that I looked at the heap of papers on the nightstand and realized that there was still so much that needed to be organized. All the last minute items that seemed like they’d only take a minute to resolve – framing the seating chart, ensuring the flowers made it to the church, and where was my vail?
The next hour wasn’t my finest. My excitement for the day was temporarily derailed when I realized how incredibly unprepared The Mimslyn Inn was for the reception (having completely ignored our submission for place settings, tablescapes and location of the cake and DJ). Thank the heavens, my bridesmaids quickly jumped into action resolving all the loose ends – or knew when to lie and tell me that everything was taken care of, even if it wasn’t.
The vail was found along with a mimosa. This did wonders for my spirit.
I made a run (this time in a car) for the salon then met the girls and Moms at South Court Inn for lunch. We sat at a big outdoor table under the trees and I couldn’t help but discuss the significance of that exact moment. In my head I kept doing a countdown, “In 3 hours, I’ll be married. In 7 hours the reception will be over.” It all seemed surreal (and that’s probably why it’s still so vivid a year later).
At 12:30PM we piled into cars and rode back to the Mimslyn. While at the salon I’d got to talking to another patron (this is Virginia after all, salons could double as wine bars in terms of customer chatter) and was delighted to learn that she was a Mary Kay rep. She agreed to run home and grab her haul of makeup and arrived to my room while her hair was still drying from her cut. While I was getting my makeup done, my bridesmaids whirled around getting ready and our photographer and videographer attempted to make art out of our anxious energy.
Since I’d only visited Virginia once since expatriating, I had purchased my dress off the rack 6 months prior, during my holiday visit. I’d had time for one dress fitting but in hindsight I wished I’d gone for a second (especially one that accounted for my carbless pre-wedding diet). Most importantly though, it was comfortable and felt more like being wrapped in a big white sheet than a stuffy gown coated in beads. Channeling my ultra-practical budget, I opted to buy new white Sperry wedges in lieu of cute blue heels (albeit would have made for cute pinteresty pictures).
After what felt like slow motion and warp speed all in one, we loaded into an SUV and made our way a half mile down Main Street to the church, Luray United Methodist. The bridal party had been assigned the choral parlor while the boys were downstairs in the youth rec room, playing pool. It was only then that it dawned on me that HE was in the building. HE IS HERE! I had thought over and over. I wanted to race downstairs and squeeze him to pieces. “Look at what’s happening! Look, we’re getting married!”
Back in the parlor we could hear the organ begin playing and a commotion outside the parlor door. My mom peeked out and reported, “They’re making their way to the narthex!” I felt like I was in middle school again, trying to sneak a peek at a cute boy through the marginal crack in the door jam. No luck. My dear grandma scooted her way through the door, adorned with a beautiful corsage.
I squeezed her as she approached. “My mother gave me these on my wedding day, now I want you to have them on yours” she said as she placed a pearl necklace in my hands. “Grandma!” I didn’t have words as tears formed.
The more time we spent in the parlor the more energetic we all became. Singing, dancing, and fumbling with our bouquets. My sister, Liz, and I sneaked into a room behind the parlor where we could spy on guests entering the nave. I felt so mischievous!
…to be continued next week! 🙂