Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Day Has Come

The day Brad and I had waited for for over 13 months was here! October 16th, 2010.

I woke up early that morning, thankful I didnt feel TOO exhausted having not slept as many hours as one would deem necessary to make it through such an important day. I was excited, but not nervous (but the more and more people asked me throughout the day if I was nervous, it made me nervous that I wasnt).

I showered and got ready. Put on my white sweatpants and my white hoodie sweatshirt that I had embroidered with "Mrs. Homan" on it, and headed downstairs to see my daddy. He and I had big plans that morning. We were headed to eat at Ozark Mountain Smokehouse. Some of the best breakfast food in town!

Before we got in the car, I had something I wanted to give him, and I knew that if I gave it to him at the restaurant he would cry...and it isnt nice to make men cry in public, especially on their daughter's wedding day.

I gave him a picture frame (without a picture in it) that said "My First Love. Father of the Bride". Yes, he cried. And I have already picked out the perfect picture from the wedding day that will go in it!

We headed to eat. It was so packed when we got there, but we found a booth and took a seat. He and I took a few minutes to look over the menu, placed our order and then just started talking. I am so lucky to have such an easy relationship with my dad. It isnt always rainbows and butterflies, but he is such an amazing dad, it makes up for it!

We talked, we laughed, we teared up a little bit, and then he or I would crack a joke to change the subject and stop the tears. It was a wonderful meal with a wonderful man on a wonderful day!

After breakfast, he drove me around while I ran some last minute errands (Walgreens, bank, etc) and cracked jokes about being my driver/chauffeur. After we got home, I realized that for the first time in 13 months, I had nothing to do. No checklists to go over, no phone calls to make, no payments to mail in, no Funkins to carve or anything to paint...NOTHING. So that is what I did...NOTHING! I laid in my bed for about 15 minutes and just collected my thoughts. It was great.

I then got myself up, made sure I had everything I needed for the wedding day (shoes-check!, veil-check!, overnight bag-check!) and I headed to meet my mom and our out of town family for lunch. We were originally going to eat at MiMi's Cafe, but they were PACKED due to the Race for the Cure, so we ended up at Applebees (Ironically, this is my LEAST favorite restaurant, but it was the only place reasonably priced that was near the church).

Lunch was mediocre, but time with my family who I never get to see was amazing! My uncle, his girlfriend and his youngest son (all from Kentucky), my cousin Jason and his girlfriend (from Virginia), and my cousin Laura, her baby Amanda and my Aunt Linda (from California) all came in early to the wedding. Later that day, my great aunt and cousins (from Kansas) and my aunt and her husband and son (from Oklahoma) drove in for the wedding so they couldnt make it for lunch.
After lunch, we all headed to the church. My mom, Grammy and myself so we could start getting ready, and the rest of the family followed so they could know how to get to the church later for the wedding. I carried a few more things in to the brides room and just about the time I was washing my morning makeup off of my face so my wedding makeup could be done....Kirby and Jessica arrived! They were life savers!

Kirby did my makeup for the wedding, as well as my mom's and my mother-in-laws. Jessica did my wedding hair and helped my mom with hers! Like I said....LIFE SAVERS!!! They both did AMAZING jobs!

Wedding hair and makeup began and then slowly my bridesmaids began to arrive. Trisha and Ashley got there first and brought me some sugar cookies. Some were shaped like pumpkins and two were shaped like Razorbacks!!! They also brought me a cup that said "Bride" on it and had already filled it with champagne. They are so sweet!

Then Steph got there, followed by Andrea and Lish, then Jessie and Cara Beth. Hey Hey, the gangs all here! (My great grandmother used to say that).

I dont have many specific details about that getting ready part of the day. I sat in a chair, Jessica did my hair, then I moved to a different chair and Kirby did my makeup. There were people moving all around me, touching up makeup, tying sashes on dresses, talking to me and to each other, taking pictures with one another, etc. At one point I know we tried to listen to the Razorback game (kick off was at 2:30) but it had a lot of static in the radio, so we turned that off.

I remember feeling very Zen. Like it was an out of body experience. I wasnt nervous or anxious. I was calm and happy. The happiest I have felt in a long time. All of my hard work had paid off and it was THE DAY Brad and I had waited for.

I remember the girls helping my mom get in to her dress and then it was time for me to get in mine. Brad and I had alone time at 2:45. This allowed us to see each other and share that special moment with just the two of us. It really took away the nervousness of the actual ceremony and allowed me to really relax and just take it all in. We were in this together!!!

After mom was in her dress, she helped me get mine on. Zipped me up and hooked all of my buttons with the elastic loops. I had worn that dress dozens of other times for fittings and such....but this time was different. I felt beautiful and special and like a princess who had finally been rescued by her prince. I felt like that dress was made for ME, designed with ME in mind (although it wasnt)...but it just felt perfect on me. I think I saw myself in Brad's eyes.

I hoped he saw what I saw. I was on my way to see my future husband for the first time in my wedding dress!

I put on my shoes, opted to not carry my flowers, grabbed some tissue, and met my handsome daddy in the hallway. He was going to walk me in to the chapel and give me a kiss at the end of the aisle and leave. I was still calm.

They opened the doors, we walked in, Dad gave me a kiss and then disappeared. It was Brad and myself (and our photographer and videographer). I could tell he was excited and anxious by the way he was standing and shaking his legs. His back was to me and he was at the front of the church. I walked down the aisle. I started to tear up. Getting excited but nervous. What if he didnt like my dress? (silly thought, I know).

I came to the end of the aisle and he slowly turned around to face me. We both teared up. He told me I looked beautiful, I told him he looked handsome. We just looked at each other, smiled, whispered, held hands, laughed, gave little kisses. It was very special and it was very us. The photographer and videographer disappeared after a few minutes, leaving us by ourselves.

I did a spin for him in my dress, made him do a spin for me in his pinstripe tux. I asked him how his golf game went that morning (he and some groomsmen had played golf together). He said they didnt keep score (which means they either were all terrible, or some were terrible and no one wanted to find out who). He asked how breakfast and lunch were with my family. We just chatted and caught up on our days.

We exchanged gifts on the alter. He got me a bible with my new name on it. I love it!!!! I got him a carry case for his cigars. On the front it says "My Husband, My Hero, My Best Friend. October 16, 2010". We spent a few more moments together and then walked out of the chapel, hand in hand.

It was picture time!!!

This will be continued on a later date...its almost time for me to get off work!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wedded Bliss (and the days leading up to it)

It has been entirely too long since I blogged....but I have been so so so busy with wedding planning that I didn't have a free moment to write down my thoughts...much less make it through a complete one!

Now the wedding is over and it was the most perfect wedding Ive ever been to (isn't every bride supposed to think that about their own wedding?), i wanted to blog about the experience so i can come back to read about it later.

Wednesday before the wedding, my Grammy came to work with me. I ended up testing her hearing and getting her the best hearing aids money can buy! I was super excited. It was also the day my flowers I ordered from Sam's came in to work. I spent much of the morning making bridesmaids bouquets, mother of the bride and groom clutches and the flowers the grandmothers carried. Yes, I made all of the bouquets by myself!

I spent the Thursday before the wedding running around like a crazy lady getting errands done...picking up programs, packing boxes to go to the church, burning cds, buying usher's gifts, buying Brad's gift, pedicure, bikini name it, I was doing it....and loving every minute!
Brad was such a life saver that night....when i was sitting in the floor of our apartment, frantically wrapping wedding party gifts and having an emotional breakdown because it wasnt going to all get done...he was searching for the perfect song for he and I to dance to, and my dad and I to dance to.....what an amazing man I married.

He made the best selections and if I could figure out how to play them on here, I would. He chose "Beautiful" by Jim Brickman (sung by Wayne Brady) for he and I to dance to and he chose "I'll Always Be Your Baby" by Natalie Grant for my daddy and I to dance to.
On Friday morning, I woke up, got ready and remembered to look for my passport...WHICH WAS NO WHERE TO BE FOUND!! i had another emotional breakdown while I tore apart my room and dad's living room. I called Brad, sobbing, and told him to have fun in St. Lucia, because I wasnt going to be able to go. The exact words of "I guess we will just have to go to Branson for our honeymoon" came out of my mouth. We love Branson, and actually have plans to go in the next few weeks....but after planning to go to St. Lucia, Branson is kinda a let down. (I found the passport later, in a random bag, at Brad's apartment)....crisis averted.

After the passport fiasco, Brad and I headed to the courthouse to get our marriage license. Talk about waiting until the last minute! We had no other time though! We both work and the courthouse wasnt open when we get off Friday before the wedding was our only option. On our way there, we stopped by the Community Bakery downtown to pay for the pumpkin and pecan pies that were to be at the reception and to get a quick bite to eat....notice I said quick. Community Bakery had other plans. We ordered our food and waited, and waited and waited...people who ordered after us got food...not us. Then they came up to us (almost 45 minutes later) and asked us what we ordered. SERIOUSLY?!?! Then when we told them, they said they were out of half of the stuff we had asked for....needless to say, we were NOT happy with them and/or nice to them about it.

We headed to the courthouse, still hungry and feeling like an hour of our precious time was stolen from us....but we were still so excited because we were headed to get our MARRIAGE LICENSE. We filled out the appropriate paperwork, cracked jokes with some of the other couples doing the same, and then had the clerk take our picture with our unsigned marriage license. So cheesy but we love it!

After the courthouse, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at Back Yard Burgers and headed to Conway to pick up our rental stuff from A Southern Tradition. We loaded up in record time, called Trisha and Rosie (Brad's mom) and told them to head to the church for decorating!!

On Friday, I also got to spend time with my best friends from high school Trisha (who is a blog stalker) and Ashley! They helped me and Brad decorate the church, along with Brad's parents, Brad's aunt and uncle from Texas, and my newest AMAZING friend Kirby (she was such a support system and life saver during the wedding planning). The menfolk (Brad, Brad's dad, Uncle Bob, and Jeremy-Ashley's boyfriend) carried all of the boxes in with the help of some of us girls (Me, Rosie, Aunt Betsy, Kirby, and Ashley). My mom and Grammy were there and they did a great job of helping too!

We got it all moved in and started to unpack and arrange. Aunt Betsy was such a help! She is an interior designer, so she made it so easy! Trisha, Ashley and Kirby helped set up the picture/guestbook table and opened all of the colors and coloring books I got for any kids that came to the wedding! They were such a help too!!! Trisha's mom (Peggy) and Ashley's mom (Frenchie) also came up to the church to help/hang out. It all went so smoothly!

After decorating was over, I showed Trisha, Ashley, Peggy and Frenchie where the bride's room was....and that is when Trisha and Ashley surprised me with a fun gift. Ashley had made me a bag that has Razorback stuff on one side and says "Mrs. Homan" on the other! Inside they had put a cute white bikini that says "wifey" on the butt (I wore it on the honeymoon), some peacock flip flops, some cute white Bride panties and a white hoodie sweatshirt that Trisha had made that said "Mrs. Homan" on the back and had a peacock feather on the front!

Due to the passport fiasco earlier in the day, I was running a little bit behind schedule, so Trisha and Ashley took all of my stuff (pictures, toasting flutes, cake serving stuff, etc etc) to the reception site for me! Such lifesavers AGAIN! It was so sweet of them to take some extra time to go and do that for me so Brad and I could leave and get ready for the rehearsal and dinner!

Rehearsal: Was so much fun! I wanted to make our ceremony very personal and show our guests who we are as individuals, and most importantly as a couple. We love each other deeply, but we never take each other too seriously. Since Brad is in the Air Force...I edited the Top Gun Theme Song so it could play when he, the groomsmen and the pastor walked out! It was a hit and so perfect. (During the actual wedding ceremony, the groomsmen actually walked out with Aviators on...I had no idea they were going to do that...and I love that they did!)

I had already burned all of the music selections for the ceremony onto a cd and had given it to the church a few days prior. I was torn about what the bridesmaids should walk down to. Either an instrumental song or "Wave on Wave" by Pat Green. My first choice was the instrumental, but at the last minute, I made the choice to go with Pat. I love Pat, (some of the bridesmaids and I have been to see Pat a thousand times) that is not a secret...and Wave on Wave has always made me think of Brad. "You know I always had you baby, just waiting for you to find what you were looking for" I went with my gut and it was AWESOME!!
All of our wedding song selections were so us and so personal and I hope our guests got that feeling too!

My dad kept teasing me about how he did a test run down the aisle and counted how many steps he would have to take from the back of the church to the front...he was so nervous!!! He did great (all three times I made him practice). We walked down to Christmas Canon by Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I edited out the beginning when they sing "Merry Christmas" over and over.

Back in June, I went to New Orleans with Leah and Trisha to stay with Ashley and spend the weekend together. It was great! We hung out, talked, ate, drank, went on a vampire tour, etc. At one point in the weekend, they through a mini-shower for me! Leah got me a gift card to Victoria's Secret and Trisha and Ashley gave me a pair of high heels. These werent just any high heels. They had enhanced these heels themselves for ME. They had put glitter on them and attached peacock feathers to make them as fabulous as myself and my wedding! They were a little big, so we knew I couldnt wear them the whole day of the wedding....but I promised to wear them at some point!

Well, I had done a trial run with my dad down the aisle once already and we were going to run through the rehearsal one more time. I did a quick costume change and switched from my black and gold wedges to my white heels with glitter and peacock feathers that Trisha and  Ashley had made for me! I was so excited to finally get to wear them, and so touched that they would think so far in advance to make me wedding shoes in JUNE!!!

The rehearsal went well. No one really seemed to pay attention except for Brad and I and a few of the bridesmaids that had jobs....but I didnt really expect anyone to. It can get pretty boring when your job is to walk down the aisle and stand there. I hope they all had fun though!

Then it was time for dinner!!! Last November, I drove myself crazy trying to locate as many Funkins as I could so I could carve them and use them as centerpieces at the rehearsal dinner. After I bought them all, I realized how hard it was gonna be and got distracted. When I started my new job in Conway, the office manager, Kellee, was asking me about the wedding and I showed her the one Funkin I had done. She loved it and wanted to help me. So, Kellee and I carved Funkins for the next 7 months so they could all be done for the rehearsal dinner.

Brad and I gave the Funkins to Rosie (his mom) and Aunt Betsy earlier in the day so they could take them to Trio's (the rehearsal dinner site) and decorate with them. They did an AMAZING job!!

The food at the rehearsal dinner was AMAZING too! Rosie did a GREAT job planning that meal! I am not sure what exactly was on the menu...but it all tasted amazing! After we all ate...we watched a slide show that Brad's dad had made for us! It was so good! I, of course, cried like a baby. Chuck and Rosie (Brad's parents) and my dad and my mom all said a few words. Jordan and Stephanie Verdell (the couple who introduced us) also made a very sweet speech. The whole night was perfect!!!

After the slideshow/speeches we passed out gifts. The groomsmen's gifts hadn't arrived yet through the mail, so I printed out pictures of what they were getting and wrapped those (it was a lot lighter and easier to carry than all of their fire pits/grills or fishing rod bags we got them).

I also got to FINALLY give my bridesmaids their gifts. I had been working on these gifts for almost 2 months. The unmarried girls got wine glasses that I had painted with their names on one side and their favorite sports team on the other...and the married ones got serving platters that I had painted with their last names on them. (and yes, they are dishwasher safe and food safe). I also got them a string of pearls to wear on the wedding day. I didn't take pictures of them all, so I had to steal a picture from Cara Beth's facebook and the second picture I took with my phone.
After gifts were opened...or maybe it was as gifts were being opened....Andrea managed to set fire to her tissue paper by throwing it onto a candle. There was a tiny moment of panic...but fire was extinguished and the night went on beautifully!

After the rehearsal dinner...Brad and I helped to clean up the site a little bit and then we headed to Cajun's to hang out with some friends. Backstory- July 2007 my friend Trisha (who has already been mentioned) was the first to get married out of all of our high school friends. Her rehearsal dinner was at Cajuns. Her wedding weekend also happened to be the same weekend as our Ashley's bday. So we could have separate celebrations of Trisha's wedding and Ashley's bday we set up a gathering on the deck of Cajun's with our high school friends for Ashley's bday party. It was so much fun!
Fast forward to October 2008. Another high school friend, Amy, was getting married. I am not sure where her rehearsal dinner was, but Brad and I got invited to a gathering on the deck at Cajun's so we could all hang out with my high school friends and Amy's fiance and friends. We had a great time.
So it only seemed appropriate to send out an invite to my wedding party and high school friends to hang out on the deck at Cajun's after our rehearsal dinner.
There was a small group of us, but I wouldnt have wanted it any other way!!! It was great to relax, catch up, and remember how goofy and fun we still are when we all get together!! Amy, her husband G, Ashley, Jeremy, Trisha, her husband Patrick, Jonathan, and one of Brad's groomsmen Brett came!
Amy's husband bought me a shot of Patron to celebrate! I am not a shot taker at all...but I was a team player!

After that, Brad and I headed to our separate homes so we could get a little bit of sleep before our big day!!!
I will try and blog about the actual wedding day tomorrow...hopefully!!