Things are finally kinda quiet for the first time in a week. A feminine little diamond chevron band has now joined my pretty engagement ring. *looking down at the sparklies* I just want to jot some things. (After I wrote this post, I discovered that Mike [“Wilco“] is insanely prompt in his photo processing, so here are some shots I snagged from his collection. The first shots I’ve seen of our wedding, period. Thanks, Mike! Rest mouse pointers over photos for captions.)

1. I can’t imagine how hard the wedding would’ve been if I hadn’t had the help I didn’t ask for. Bridesmaid Sandy made sure my skirt was held up all night (I didn’t have a train, but the back still dragged a bit), sometimes in addition to MOH Vicky and bridesmaid Diana. Jordan did all the wedding day box/stuff migration from the house to the car for me because my nails were still wet after my very first manicure/pedicure and I was a helpless little piece of veal in a box. Lots of people pitched in in unexpected ways, like photographer Josh giving us a ride from the hair/makeup place to the venue, with his wife in tow driving his camera equipment to the venue. MOH Vicky was always there to help me find earrings and do my dress changes. Bridesmaid Diana ran around in circles collecting people and handing out corsages and boutonnieres. Every time I turned in the dressing room someone handed me blotting paper. The dressing tent was cleaned up and dresses hung and bagged as if by bridesmaid-dress-wearing wood sprites. The list goes on and on.

2. Like I expected, no one in the spectator side of the attendees knew anything was different, wrong or changed. No one knew my judge messed up on a pivotal point in the vows, no one realized the Garden neglected to have fish food at the pond edge for our after-vow presentation (but someone did belatedly run the fish food up to us), but everyone DID notice when the DJ weirdly announced me, at our grand re-entrance into the Garden for the reception, “Sandy [last name].” According to lots of people I’ve talked to today, there was a collective gasp in the crowd, a sort of, “No he DIDN’T just say that…” But everyone will forget that in a few days. No biggie. And he did correct himself.

3. The presentation of the wedding was SEAMLESS. I was so impressed with the Garden and the DJ. They coordinated with walkie-talkies and every piece I picked for the procession played perfectly, the DJ fading out and changing pieces. Everyone oohed and aahed at the singing sensation that was Daughter opening and closing the processional and recessional. The speeches were funny and touching.

(Why do I look so obese? Good grief, I’m only 118 pounds right now. And now I’m terrified to see other photos.)

4. The ONLY thing I was unhappy about going into the wedding was that we were totally unprepared for our first dance, and for the father-daughter dance. I didn’t want to do the cliche hold-and-sway for four and a half minutes, so we planned for a fast waltz to “I’ll Be.” Without knowing what we’re doing! We’d paid for a community class that’s supposed to choreograph our 1st dance song for us to the music of our choice, and the lady TOTALLY didn’t do that. All the entire class of 10 couples learned was the stupid foxtrot, just cuz there were more couples that were doing foxtrots than other stuff, even tho the 2 most imminent weddings coming up were ours (waltz) and this other couple’s (salsa). I’m totally gonna write a scathing email. BUT, we were rescued by the fact that the Garden had limited electricity output and therefore had very dim lighting over the dance floor. Nobody really witnessed us not knowing what we were doing. And because the Garden seating was circular around the pond, most people stayed put instead of gathering around to stare and scare me. And my dad couldn’t dance, and had never danced before (according to him), so we just walked around the floor in a pseudo-waltz pattern (my parents wanted me to do a waltz here, too) to the orchestral slow waltz father-daughter song I selected, and nobody could tell we didn’t know what we were doing here, either. At least that’s what they all claimed. Even though the low visibility was a common complaint among guests, I was grateful for this. My mom told me today that the darkness was the only reason my dad had the nerve to go up and do the dance with me.

5. I have, as I knew I would, the most beautiful bridal party I’ve ever seen. So there.

6. Everything coordinated themselves perfectly. The centerpiece matched the napkins sitting in the water glasses on the tables, my guest wedding favors lit up the night beautifully. Our theme-matching 3-D cherry blossom wedding cake was GORGEOUS displayed on the romantic chiffon-draped cake table, surrounded by the shockingly feminine and eloquent bridesmaid bouquets. I need to send my florist a thank-you card for the designs, also timely delivery and installation of the bridge garlands. I’d just told her, “You’re the professional, I trust you, go with it.” My bouquet was beautiful as well.

7. As I said in my impromptu thank-you speech immediately before the dinner started, I’ve discovered that my favorite thing in all this wedding planning stuff is not the pretty dresses (3, in fact) I get to wear, or the pretty flowers I get to hold. It’s having so many people I love, from places as close as next door to as far as Florida, Nevada, and Northern California, be surrounding me at a beautiful venue smiling at me and having a good time.

8. I spoke to a bunch of wedding guests today, and 4 out of 5 female guests agree, Dwaine and Andrae are hot. One chica said my photos on this blog do not do them justice. The 1 female guest who didn’t agree didn’t see them.

9. I spoke to a bunch of wedding guests today, and 5 out of 5 guests agree, the wedding was a raging success and everyone was in great spirits, mingling went well, and overall guests loved each other and made a bunch of new friends. Chemistry was in the air. Grace’s widower husband Justin had said to me, “One of the best things about being with Grace is being around her friends. She surrounds herself with really good people.” I felt like that last night. And others felt it, too.

10. It’s really, really odd to see that many people there for me and taking photos of me. I feel something resembling guilt that all these people went to such great lengths to travel to our wedding venue, just to see me and Mr. W get married. When I was walking down the path to the bridge with my dad (to Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary, i.e. The Prince of Denmark’s March…no way I was gonna do the cliche “Here’s Comes the Bride”), I kept looking at all the people standing and snapping photos and had this conversation discreetly with my dad:
Me: Wow, look at all these people looking at us.
Dad: Walk slower.
Me: I really wanna do something.
Dad: No, I mean your footsteps. You can take make slower motions. We have 3 minutes for the entire procession, the Garden coordinator told us.
Me: I wanna wave at them. Can I wave?
Dad: I don’t know. Can you?
Me: Is it inappropriate?
Dad: I don’t know. I’ve never done this before, either.
Me: What if I wave? What could happen?
Dad: I don’t know, probably nothing.
Me: I REALLY wanna wave.
Dad: …
Me: *waving at crowd*
Crowd: *snap!* *click!* *wave!*
Me: Hey! A bunch of them waved back! *giggle*

Meanwhile, I learned later that this was happening on the bridge as my bridesmaids and maid of honor waited for us to join them:
MOH Vicky (thinking): She looks so happy with her dad. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look so happy. Eep! I’m gonna cry! Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. *wringing her hands*
Bridesmaid Diana (thinking): I’m gonna cry! Funny thoughts, funny thoughts, funny thoughts… *wringing hands*
Bridesmaid Sandy (thinking): Awww, look at her walking with her dad, she’s so beautiful and happy… Oh no! I’m tearing! Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts, la-la-la… *fanning hands over face*

What is it about a wedding that makes people cry? Everyone said it was a hugely successful, perfectly choreographed and visually beautiful wedding, and I made a point not to have sappy crying moments put in. I didn’t cry. Nobody else should. They can save the tears for the funeral.

11. One last thought: I missed the entire wedding that happened before my entrance with my dad, and whatever was going on in the courtyard during the cocktail hour. I kinda wish I had a videographer now. I could hear what was going on, the music playing exactly as I had arranged, classical as the guests were arriving, then Daughter singing “A Moment Like This” to open up the procession, the separate classical pieces I’d selected for the parents’ entrance, the men’s entrance onto the bridge, the women’s entrance and long walk to the bridge to join the men, and then my and my dad’s entrance. And the DJ hit my requested period of music on the nose during cocktail hour, mellow stuff, Michael Buble, rat pack, no cussing or rap or hip hop, as we stayed behind inside and did a quick photo session. I wish I could’ve seen the guests’ reactions to the courtyard hors d’oeuvres, sake bar, brushed silver signing photo frame in lieu of guestbook, arrival into the Garden before the ceremony, and especially their re-entry after the Garden was transformed into a glowy wonderland for the Reception. (It was daylight when they left for cocktail hour, and dusk/night when they re-entered and all the rope lights and candles danced in the dark.) I guess I’ll have to wait for the photos.