(Continued from our engagement story posted here.)
Our wedding day was perfect.
But before I get to that- It was December 19, 2007 when Brian Adams (our good friend, photographer, mentor, and future wedding officiant) and I were chatting on Google Talk. I don’t remember what time of day it was, but if memory serves me right, Orlando was in the 70’s and I hadn’t been around snow in years. Brian was visiting his mom in Connecticut for Christmas and told me it had just snowed, and I got the craziest idea- Or, maybe Brian suggested it? I honestly don’t remember! But somehow our casual conversation turned from “Hello! Merry Christmas!” to “So you would be totally ok marrying us in the snow next weekend?” in maybe 15 minutes flat.
Basically, it takes us 30 minutes to pick a restaurant for dinner, but 15 minutes to pick a wedding date, state, and location. :)
My favorite day of the year has always been Christmas Eve. *Cue dramatic violin music* On Christmas Day, someone was always crying or fighting or left out (yes, I have middle child syndrome, ok?!), but not on Christmas Eve! Everyone was so happy and excited and on their best behavior. I love that the day purely consisted of spending time together and looking at holiday lights and waiting until the end of the evening to open that one present we scouted out all month. Christmas, on the other hand, could go either way. Soooooo, if we were to get married on my favorite day of the year, we had 5 days to figure something out! Nate was totally on board and before I knew it, plane tickets were bought for December 23rd.
The next three days were crazy- First, we told our Moms the plan and asked them to keep it a secret. Nate made sure the logistics were settled- Like, you know, making sure we can get a same-day marriage liscence in Connecticut and more importantly, that the office would be open on Christmas Eve! We went to the mall and spent a whole $75 on Nathanial’s wedding band, and Mom gave me one of her rings to use.
Brian suggested we have the ceremony in a state park near his Mom’s place that would involve a little bit of a hike in some snow, which meant my wedding gown was a no-go. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you know about my Lorie (you can read about her wedding in Africa here!) However badly I felt about our parents not seeing us get married, I felt a hundred times worse not having my best friend there. I thought she’d be furious, but she couldn’t have been more supportive! Lorie helped me track down my wedding ensemble- I wore a simple cream colored sweater and pants. The evening before Nate and I flew out, Lorie and I scoured a very crowded mall for a wedding-appropriate coat. We couldn’t find anything, and then at the last minute (literally- the manager had started pulling down the security gate to close the store), we rushed into White House Black Market and found my perfect wedding coat. Dad had sent me $200 for Christmas, and I think my coat came to $200.11. Their credit card machine was down, but the manager even waived the $0.11 that neither of us had on hand!
Mom drove us to the airport and after a teary goodbye, we were off to get married! Landed in New York, took a train to Hamden, and spent the last 30 minutes of daylight driving around with Brian to find a specific wedding location. We were driving around the edge of a park when I saw the cutest little bridge in the distance and said, “That’s it!” Brian laughed because that was the exact spot he was going to suggest. :)
Then it was our wedding day! We woke up together and had breakfast and mimosas with Brian’s family. I did my own hair and makeup in the same room as Nate while he shaved, I put on my sweater and we had a little impromptu first look in the hallway; it was my favorite because it wasn’t planned at all! Brian happened to be in the hallway with his camera. :)
We got our marriage license and drove to Sleeping Giant State Park. Nathanial had never looked so handsome. <3
I was acceptable. :)
The biggest item on my list I never had time to do? Find my wedding shoes! These were my “something borrowed” from Lorie, which she since let me keep and now they’re the most special things I own. <3
We walked out to our little snowy bridge, Brian set up a tripod, and we started our ceremony. I asked my Mom to “give me away” over the phone. She was so sweet- I didn’t know until after our ceremony that in the midst of saying her speech, she was so focused and emotional that she accidentally locked herself out of the house! :)
We had the most fun ceremony ever- I cannot recommend enough having someone you love (and who loves you!) officiate your wedding. :) We had nothing scripted, but Brian had letters from a couple friends and family members to read. Between the three of us we’d seen just a few weddings, so we kinda knew the jist- Vows, rings, kiss, etc.
Brian stepped back and let us privately exchange our vows. <3
My favorite photo of us, ever. Brian, I can never thank you enough.
Final (and much less interesting) chapter coming soon. <3