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Wedding, part 2: The hours before, and the ceremony

Getting all pretty
I woke up the next morning with all the stress of the previous day (/week/months) either gone or transformed into a giddiness that had me smiling over everything and nothing. Whatever the hell, we were going to have a good time today!

Mellie's parents dropped her off at my house the next morning, and we girls all went over to the salon, where Kel (maid of honour) would meet us. Ma was already there getting her hair done (we share the same hairdresser), and I had convinced her to actually have some makeup done. That had been something of a fight, but it was agreed that she have no eye makeup (since she's paranoid about getting it in her eyes), just some foundation and such to even out her skin so that she would look nice in the photos. And it did look nice, and she may have truly been convinced of that fact! Doesn't mean she'll ever wear any again, though. XD

Paul's sister Angie dropped off her daughter, who was my flower girl and who was also getting her hair done. So my hairdresser was busy busy busy doing my hair, Kel's hair, two bridesmaids, a flower girl, and Ly (because Ly asked and it turned out we had time). Angie was supposed to have her hair done too, but she was running around at the last minute because the groom cake topper she had ordered had never arrived (she had the bride--a gorgeous gothic-fairy-winged one for me). Oh, yeah, Angie was providing the cake, and we had no idea what we would get. I had requested a white cake with white icing, but beyond that I had no clue how it would turn out. After all, Angie is not a professional baker...she is a hard-ass customs worker XD. Thankfully, when she returned later to pick up her daughter, she had managed to find a cake topper, so all was well.

So we each had our hair and then our makeup done, and when I went to pay my hairdresser announced that the nearly 3 hours spent doing everyone's hair so beautifully was on her as a wedding gift to me. So sweet! And my bridesmaids' hair looked so nice (I gave them and the hairdresser pretty well free reign to do what they wanted as along as NE, who always wears her hair in a ponytail, had at least most of it down...and look at those gorgeous curls!). Kel wasn't too fond of her hair at first--it was really cool in the back but stuck up a bit too much on top for her liking--but as the day progressed and it went down a bit, we agreed that it did in fact look quite nice. ^_^

I wanted to still look like me, so my makeup was done in such a way so that it still looked like the dark makeup I usually wear, only classier so that it was closer to a smokey eye. My hair was left down, but somewhat teased and sprayed up in order to give it volume and to allow somewhere to attach the veil (not easy in hair as fine as mine!). I was all set! However, my veil (rented from the bridal store, BTW) was a bit too long to allow me to drive comfortably, so Ly had to drive us back to my house.

We ate a quick lunch, and BC got picked up by the guys to go to the hall with them. Then we girls realized the time, and figured perhaps we'd better start getting ready! The ceremony was to start at 3:30pm, I was supposed to be at the all by 3:00, and it was after 2:00! I got into my nylons (black...I couldn't find white, "nude" never works on legs as pale as mine, and who would see them anyway?), my boots, and my already-pretty-tight bustier while the girls got ready, and then Kel had the not so fun job of tying me into my dress.

This scene was like the old-timey scenes of women getting tied into their corsets, and actually reminded me more of tying skates. Kel had to pull and jerk so hard that at one point I lost my balance and stepped back--with my heel right onto her bare toe, bringing her to tears. I felt so bad!! But thankfully it didn't bleed, and she's a trooper, so she finished up. We ended up with one end of the lace much longer than the other, but figured meh. Goddamn, was it ever tight, though! I was unable to take a deep breath while in the dress O_o. At the end I put on the jewelry set generously lent to me by one of the students, and attached the Autobot pins where the straps met the dress.

Getting there
Since the hall is only a 5-minute drive from my house, we decided to completely forgo getting a fancy car. And so it was that my bridal party left my house to walk down the street to where my sister's car was parked (a brand-new white car, so we figured it would be good enough). I was a giddy fool by this point, and NE and Ly and I were all yelling "PACKERS!! WOOO!!" (an MST3K in-joke) while Kel and Mellie and likely the neighbours thought we were nuts. But being nuts meant being silly-happy and not nervous!

Luckily we had a nice day, albeit a bit cool, so walking outside wasn't a big deal. I had rented a wrap for myself and bought wraps for the girls, but none of us could actually wear them because we were so laden down with our bags and supplies that we had to bring with us. Once I had tucked myself into the passenger seat of Kel's Elantra (not a very big car to fit a bridal party into!), a neighbour ran up and knocked on the window...apparently that long tie from my dress was hanging outside the car door! We thanked her and fixed it, but this would be a reoccurring problem for the rest of the day every time I got into a car XD.

So Kel drove, wearing sunglasses along with her fancy dress, and we made it to the hall on time, where I had Ly scout ahead to make sure Paul wasn't going to see me before we hurried into our ready-room. The flowers were there waiting for us, as was the ring cushion with the rings already attached, and both our families were there too. My family kept poking in to check on me and have a look at me, and I loved seeing their faces when they got their first look at me...for some reason it was the quiet smile on my bro's face that stands out the most to me.

So we hung out in that room, and the flower girl was all over me in her excitement. She had been a flower girl in a wedding two weeks earlier, so she was spending the whole time telling me "At the other wedding, we did/didn't do this" and "Why are you doing ____ this way?" and "Will there be _____ at your wedding?", and some things were judged to be better ideas or to be not as good as the other wedding. She tended to interrupt when I was trying to talk to other people, but she's eight years old, she was all excited, I love her anyway, and I was too giddy to let anything bother me at that point.

At some point in there I was informed that the DJ somehow did not have the music I'd requested for the ceremony (I had sent him the files a couple of weeks earlier), but luckily he had told us to bring a USB key with the songs on it as a backup, and I had, so the music was saved!

I had no idea who was there or if we were missing anyone. However, Paul’s friend Andrew was going to be late because he was taking an exam that afternoon (he was going to go to the exam dressed for the wedding and finish it ASAP), and since he was the one who saved the wedding by finding the officiant for us, we had made it a rule that we would not start without him. He showed up only a couple of minutes after 3:30pm, so we were good to go!

The ceremony
Everyone else went and took their seats, and we entered the hall. The music I used was "O" from Cirque du Soleil...I did not want to use Canon in D because everybody uses that, and this song is just as pretty while being just different enough. No dancing or anything…the flower girl and ringbearer entered together, then my girls went single-file. Of course it was impossible to keep the kids from walking too fast, but minor details like that don't mean anything ^_~. Da walked me down the aisle. I actually felt a bit shy with everyone staring and taking pictures of me. I'd always imagined I'd be starting to cry by that point (since I get teary over just about anything), but I didn't. Go me! It was kind of a short aisle (only 4 or 5 rows of chairs) but once I got to Paul all nervousness was gone...well, there was always the "everyone is watching you" feeling, but getting married itself? A breeze! When you're that certain of something, there's no room for nerves.

The officiant was really awesome. The ceremony that she performed was a civil one even though she was an officiant on the behalf of a church, and although she spoke of love and commitment and other such things which make me teary, she would include lighter bits that would make people giggle so that things never got too solemn. I am quite pleased to say that although I wibbled a bit at one point, I never actually let any tears escape! Every once in a while I would glance into the crowd and the faces of friends and family would kind of jump out at was weird, like a different face would draw my attention each time. And of course they all had these broad grins on their faces :D.

And so we were married! We got teased about how long we kissed there, but I was doing it on purpose because I knew everyone in the room was taking a picture, heh. Then we signed the papers (while a track from a Jablonsky-scored movie played...darn right one of the Zimmer team's music would be in my ceremony somewhere even if I didn't end up using a Transformers track!) and the officiant gifted us with a long-stemmed rose each, and the ceremony was over. Time to party! "I Got A Feeling" began to play and we walked back down the aisle to the beat. ^_^

Upon exiting the hall into the outer room (a nice area whose walls were entirely windows and mirrors where the cocktail hour would take place), we came upon a couple of Paul's friends who had arrived late due to traffic, and my friend and former teammate Laila, who was attending her first non-Muslim wedding and didn't know that when the invitation says 3:30 it means the ceremony actually starts at 3:30 and you're not supposed to show up fashionably late >_o. One of my co-workers also missed the ceremony due to traffic :(. However, said co-worker definitely made up for it by being the only person to record both the best man's and the maid of honour's speeches, and these are lovely things to have.

While the caterers set up the cocktail hour, we said goodbye to the officiant, and then I stuffed my dress into Paul's car and we drove off to our photo shoot with the wedding party in separate cars. Since our hall had no grounds to speak of, we had to choose somewhere else for our official photos. Along the water would have been nice, but the south end of the island was too far away to fit our schedule and the few nice places on the north end have absolutely no place to park nearby. So the place we actually chose was a cemetery..."memorial gardens", actually. At the front there is this nice pond with a fountain in the middle that has trees all around, and it's easy to take gorgeous photos there without getting graves or flowers in the background. According to the people who run the funeral home there, it's actually a popular place for wedding photos.

As I mentioned, although it was a nice day, it was a bit chilly. The guys were all right in their tuxes, but we girls got cold pretty quickly. I don't know about the others, but my wrap wasn't doing me any good at was made of material that actually made me colder wearing it than not wearing it! Anyway, the wedding party only stayed for part of the time, then headed back to the hall to make sure that everything would be ready for dinner. Paul and I worked with the two photographers (one specializing in the posed shots, one better with the candid stuff) until I was utterly frozen, and then headed back to the hall. The photographers haven't put up an online album yet (and we don't get the full DVD until February), but they sent us eight photos to tide us over until then. The best three are this one, this one and this one. I think they're gorgeous and can't wait to see the rest!

To be continued in part 3…
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