It’s done: I’m a married woman!
To anyone currently planning a wedding, I can now assure you that it does all come together, and yes, it is wonderful, even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned. It will probably be better than what you planned.
Mine was just that.
Here’s how it played out:
Family started coming into town on Tuesday afternoon. Robin Hood and I met my parents and grandparents for dinner that evening, and the celebration was on!
We still had a few loose ends to tie up, but with guests steadily trickling in, our immediate support network grew by the hour, and it was easy to go from “How is this going to work??!!” to “You know what? This is going to be great.”
On Wednesday night, with a lot of family from both sides having arrived, we had an impromptu group dinner at Sadie’s, a veritable Albuquerque institution. New Mexican food + loved ones we hadn’t seen in ages + mariachi serenades = joy.
On Thursday, I had lunch with the ladies of my family. It felt like an important thing to do, and it was a blast. We ate at St. Clair Winery & Bistro, one of my favorite restaurants, where we enjoyed delicious food and quality female bonding. And wine.
Before we knew it, Friday morning arrived, which meant: rehearsal! All the necessary parties showed up at the venue, we did a couple of run-throughs (with a break for water and application of sunscreen – gotta love New Mexico summers!). By the end, we felt confident that we would at least all be able to walk in the right direction.
What happened that evening I do believe could be called The Greatest Rehearsal Dinner Ever.
We gathered at El Patron Cantina, where Robin Hood and I had gone on our first date. The restaurant has live music on Fridays, and for our rehearsal dinner, it proved a splendid complement to an already-festive atmosphere. Add to that the magical combination of good food, good margaritas, and good people, and voila: it became a dance party! Now that’s the way to spend a Friday night, with or without an imminent wedding.
Saturday: WEDDING DAY!
Everyone says your wedding day flies by, but to me the pace felt just right. This is where all of that prior planning paid off ENORMOUSLY. After going for a run (a no-brainer) and showering, I gathered the stuff I’d need later in the day: wedding dress, overnight bag (we didn’t leave for our honeymoon till Monday, but we did spend Saturday night at a hotel), etc.
That didn’t take long, so I spent the next couple of hours just hanging out with my friend Hillary, watching TV and relaxing. Occasionally I thought, “Should I be worrying or doing something right now?” Turned out, nope! Soooo nice.
My sister/Maid of Honor showed up around 11 with sandwiches. We dug in, did a final house-check, then loaded up her car. It was showtime! Well, the beginning of preparing for showtime, anyway.
We drove to the hair salon, got our hair all wedding-pretty, and started making our way to Nature Pointe (the venue). Here it got funny, because Robin Hood was driving there at the exact same time [we didn’t want to see each other on the wedding day before the ceremony, so we exchanged a couple of texts in order to avoid that]. Luckily, our car made it there a few minutes before his, so I was able to hustle in without incident. Nothing like some Bridal Special Ops!
Events flowed from there. First came make-up, then a wee bit of downtime, then on with the boots, dress, and veil.
And I didn’t break out in a flop sweat or throw up from nerves or anything!
Before I knew it, my entourage was drifting out of the dressing room to go outside. I was left by myself briefly. Frankly, I got a little bored, but then….
The Nature Pointe handler (Ha. She was actually extremely nice.) beckoned to me. It was time.
I don’t know what to say about the ceremony, other than it was perfect. The sun was shining. We both said the right names during the vows. I baaaarely managed to avoid bawling; even that felt right.
I loved it. I loved having so many friends and family there. I loved seeing all the planning, all the anticipation, come to fruition. I loved that I was doing all of it with a man who I’m confident that God made exactly for me, who I’m crazy about, and who I can’t wait to share a life with.
As for the reception? It rained, but no one cared. The feast was inside, the music was inside, and the dancing was inside. Lots and lots of dancing. Oh, and cake:
Eventually, Robin Hood and I made our exit, but we made it in especially delightful style, with boisterous cheers and cowbells filling the air. I couldn’t have asked for a better send-off.
Or a better wedding.
Or a better beginning.
Thank you to all of our friends and family who helped – and yes, just showing up and being your fabulous selves counts as helping.
Robin Hood, here’s to many more years of dancing, cake, and love.
Finally, attention must be paid to the vendors. Thus, a gigantic thank you to the following:
– Hyatt Place Uptown for being stellar hosts to our out-of-towners
– Giovanni String Quartet
– Shirley Giron (hair)
– Jiji Hise (makeup)
– Jayme Parker (photography)
– Savory Fare Catering
– Lina Guzman (cake)
– Too Hot To Stop DJ Services
– Oriental Trading (party supplies)
– Lucky Boyz limo service
– And last but probably greatest: Nature Pointe and everyone who works there, for capturing our hearts two days into the search for a venue, and just getting better from there.