Everyone will tell you while wedding planning to not expect everything to be perfect on the wedding day. I think this "something will go wrong, so don't worry about it" cliche is an effort to ease a bride's anxiety and nerves about all the little details she's spent months (years?) preparing. That phrase stuck with me, and it was a comfort ... until the actual wedding day. At the point, I was so braced for something to go wrong, that it actually made me incredibly nervous. I hardly noticed when something actually did go wrong - like a bridesmaid's necklace falling apart, the aisle runner malfunctioning, or being incredibly late to our own reception. All of that barely phased me, up to a point.
However, when we arrived at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel for the celebration to start, I hit my low point. I think a lot of brides experience this - some event or moment in the day when you are not quite floating on a cloud of love and glitter. People are quick to call it a bridezilla moment, but really I think it's just a build-up of a lot of nerves and high emotions without the ability to really release it. That's what it was for me, at least. I was constantly winding up all day, and this was the first extended period of time when I wasn't "on."
We snuck into the ballroom through a side door. My first thought when we walked in was that the florist had delivered someone else's wedding flowers. The colors were right, and there was the right number of tall and short centerpieces, but the arrangements themselves were just ... wrong. To this day, I have an irrational sense of anger over the whole thing.
Flowers had been a detail very important to me. We wanted lush, colorful arrangements to help fill the white room with color. We did very little other decor because of the emphasis we thought we placed on flowers. I had an inkling that something with our results might have gone sideways when the bouquets arrived at the church, undersized and underwhelming. Mine was half the volume I expected (what we thought the girls would carry) and rest were basically nosegays instead of full bouquets. Pretty? Sure, but not what we paid for. I should not have been surprised to see sparse arrangements on the tables, but I was still shocked. And angry. And irrational.
Walking over to the cake table and seeing that our four-tiered buttercream wonder was missing half the decoration I had ordered didn't help. I really wanted bows on the damn cake (and had taken ribbon to the bakery for them). But there were no big ass bows on the cake, as promised. Not cool.
End of the world? Ruined wedding? No. Not even close. But for a girl with emotions strung taught, it was really disappointing. I almost cried ... on my wedding day ... over bows. I am embarrassed to admit it now, but at the time it was a really big time and it's taken me almost a year to get over it.
Super fake smile. And a coordinator I had never met before and I was sort of like "WTF. Yes, I want champagne. Gimme."
She's not happy. What do we do? Crap. Where's the champagne?!
Since we were short on time before dinner was to be served, our planned quiet time while the guests were enjoying cocktail hour was a mad dash to bustle my dress and change out my veil. Not to mention, one of my bridesmaids had to sew one of the sashes back onto my dress from being pulled off during pictures while my mom and sister were trying to get 42 color-coded ribbons to match up properly in dim lighting. If I recall correctly while I was swigging my champers and quelling an outburst, there might have been a heated discussion somewhere around my left butt cheek about the difference between lavender and baby blue, and why if crossed, it would be like cutting the wrong wire on a bomb diffusion mission. Thankfully, the SWAT team of dress-bustlers figured it out in time.
When you hit your low point, champagne helps. Keep it coming.
At this point, in spite of being surrounded by happy and laughing friends, I was over-heated, pissed off, and just plain cranky. I am not proud of how I felt or how I reacted, but if there is a moral to this story, it's that it is okay. Things will go wrong, and you are allowed to be unhappy about it. It doesn't make you a bad person or a bridezilla, just a girl who wants her wedding day to be as awesome as she pictured it.
We'll just call it Meagan's Happy Bubble Juice.
I knew in my head that it wasn't the end of the world that the cake didn't have extra ribbon or that the flowers looked kind of naked. I wish I could say that I let it go after that, but I didn't - much to Mr LikesIt's dismay. Regardless of this less-than-awesome down point during the day, things picked back up soon after and I was able to get back to cloud nine. The flowers being what they were still bothers me - I sort of rage blackout when I see photos to this day, but in the end, it's trivial. We still threw a great party and we were all ready to get it started!
At least the food was good. Cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres consisted of spanikopita, mini shepherd's pies, BLT bruschetta, and boursin cheese tarts. OM NOM NOM NOM NOM.
Note: if something goes sideways, champagne helps and so do appetizers. Got it? Good. Just pile them on.
Apply to bridesmaids too. And then take awkward photos of them.
Bridal Bomb diffused. Thanks Bustle SWAT.
My dress was finally successfully bustled, sashes intact, and I had likewise regained my complete composure. Three glasses of champagne in 15 minutes will do that for you. Azeza was procured from the rest of the cocktail hour outside of the ballroom and the bridesmaids were shuffled out to find their dates and mingle for the last few minutes.
Thankfully, a few of them even signed the guest book.
Peace out, poof.
If you learn anything from me and my long-winded wedding recaps it is this: bad things might happen. You might be so nervous you almost vom. You might be late to your own party. You might not get all the photos you want. You might hate your flowers or have part of your dress ripped off. And it's okay to be upset by all of it, at least for a few minutes. After that, after you process the irritation and huffy feelings for a moment, look around. Take a deep breathe.
You know what the best part of all the "wrong" things are? How right they make everything else.
Like the perfect favors that your sister slaved over.
The hilarious table photos of your dog in Mizzou costumes.
The escort cards and calligraphy that turned out exactly as you wanted them to.
The menu cards that your mother thought you didn't need, but you insisted on making anyway.
The fantastic, school-spirited groom's cakes.
The sweetest sweetheart table ever.
The photo collages of your family and bridal party that people commented on all night.
Not to mention the pair of kindergarten portraits of you and your five-year old would-be-future-husband in matching outfits. And the guest book you agonized over, full of the engagement photos you loved so much.
And all the Mizzou touches and details.
And lots and lots of champagne at your disposal. Bottomless bucket, for the win.
You know what actually makes everything perfect? The people who came to support you.
They are the best part.
Love conquers all. Even bad flowers (rage!!)
In case you missed it ...
I bought a dress and completely changed it. We had a marathon final week of engagement. I giggled my way through our rehearsal. Mr LikesIt got grilled at our rehearsal dinner. The groomsmen ran amok in downtown Springfield. The girls got gorgeous. We exchanged mushy wedding-day gifts. The guys got fancy and then got dancy. I became a Bride. There was a first First Look. I shared my Somethings. The boys made the most of trolley-time. And did their thing on the Capital grounds. The girls took photos at the hotel. Everyone arrived at the church. We walked down the aisle. We declared our intentions and my cousin preached. We exchanged our vows. Our hands were blessed. Mr LikesIt put a ring on it and kissed his bride. We were pronounced Mr and Mrs! We left the church in a blizzard of confetti, and took a "just-married" trolley ride. We made it legal. We took pictures with our families, followed by wedding party portraits.