Saturday, November 19

Our Wedding, Part 1

On Friday, October 7, J and I had our Rehearsal and Rehearsal Dinner at Centro, an Italian restaurant in downtown Des Moines. The Rehearsal went off without a hitch (ha), and the dinner was incredible! I've eaten at Centro so many times, but never had a catered or buffet-style meal there. Honestly, it was one of the best meals of my life. So many options for those who were vegetarian (portobello mushroom fries?!), and even though I'm not a huge meat-eater, I had a bit of the steak (which was equally delicious).

The funniest/weirdest part of the night was realizing (midway though the Rehearsal) how much I hated being the center of attention. I consider myself an extrovert, and honestly, I love being the center of attention in small groups - so I didn't think I would be uncomfortable in this big group of my closest friends and family. I ended up grabbing a seat by my girlfriends, at the end of a row near the back, which was basically the most secluded I could be, and I loved it. 

At certain points in the evening, I snuck away with J to the other side of the room, where no one could see us. I'd heard people say, "Make time for just the two of you at your wedding," and in theory, I was like, "Well yeah, no problem." But in the midst of the Rehearsal and Dinner, I finally understood. Just having a few moments to "hide" and be with each other felt like breathing again. 

That night, the wedding party all headed over to the East Village to go to Up-Down (this 90's themed bar). We didn't stay out too late, because the girls all had to be at the hair salon early in the morning, but it was fun to let loose and play some silly games together. As it turns out, I am pretty damn good at pinball and not so good at ski ball. We headed back to the hotel, but not after stopping by Fong's to get some late-night pizza!

The morning of the wedding my girls and I got up early to head to the salon, the Art of Life in Urbandale. Some of my girlfriends and family met us there, but most of us left from our hotel. When I got there, Jillian and Jeanna (my new sister-in-law and mother-in-law) brought me Starbucks, which was desperately needed. Chelsea, my hair stylist in Des Moines, cut my hair a few days before and styled it the day of. My high school friend, Lauren, did everyone's makeup, and the flowers and flower crowns were done by Maya at Plum Event + Design, our wedding planner. I was wearing this beautiful robe that Lauren gave me at my bachelorette party, my favorite Lululemon leggings, and a tank I had lying around.

All the photos below are by Liz Morrow unless otherwise stated. She did an INCREDIBLE job taking pictures of our wedding. We actually won a contest to have her take our photos, and all the begging and pleading we did to in order to win was totally worth it. Not only was she super professional, but she was also just a really, really great person. Funny, interesting, thoughtful, etc. I'm super grateful that we got to work with her, and I would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for a wedding photographer!

These pictures end right about lunch, before we headed out for pictures and to meet up with the guys (and the first look).

This photo is clearly by me and not a professional :)

Photo by my mom, I think?

Photo from my sister-in-law, Jillian

I was shocked by how nervous I was - not nervous to marry J, but nervous that something was going to go wrong or the service would be terrible or I would embarass myself in front of so many people. J and I created the ceremony ourselves two weeks beforehand (long story), pulling together services from a couple different sources, and with my mom's help with the prayers. Beforehand, I was super excited about it, because it felt so like us - this fun/weird hodge podge of athiest and Lutheran, punk and sweet: J and me! But for the Rehearsal and the morning of, all I could think about was what did we need to do next? Was everyone where they needed to be? Was I wearing the right underwear? Where was the right underwear? Did I plan everything out enough? Did I plan it out too much? Could J see my dress if the door opened too wide? The questions wouldn't stop.

I knew I needed to eat lunch, but I just couldn't bring myself to. I think I had like, two bites of a sandwich, but I just wasn't hungry. I was on hyper alert, and honestly, I was probably the most "bridezilla" at that exact moment. I apologize (deeply) to everyone in the room at the time. You are all saints for putting up with me, and I love you.

There's still a lot of wedding day to cover, so I won't bore you with an elaborate, mushy post about my feelings - I'll save that for another post. For now, I'll just say that I've never been so grateful in my entire life. I'm not used to being doted on or being the center of attention, and I basically had a week of pampering before the wedding. So many people gave their time and their talents to make me and J feel so special and loved, and I still can't get over it. So, thank you - from the bottom of my heart.


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