When we got outside, my brother and his girlfriend (well fiance, but that is a story for a different day!) were hanging out at the front of the limo. I think I said hey to him, but I couldn't go near him because I felt emotional when I saw him and didn't want to cry! So I sort of ignored him (oops) and gathered with the girls beside the limo for a few pictures. People kept honking and a few yelled when they passed by and it was another one of those "oh my gosh, people I don't even know are excited about my wedding!!!!" moments.
The girls all got in the car and then I backed in lol. It was sort of hard getting in and out with the dress. When we were on the way to the church (about a 10 minute drive), I got really excited about being in the limo. I thought I wouldn't even be able to absorb it, but I actually really enjoyed being with my bridal party in a fancy limo. It made me feel like a million bucks. I'm glad I had never been in one for prom, because I think it would have made it less exciting. When we got to the church, I saw a few friends from high school outside the church and had a "oh my gosh, I see out of state guests arriving for our wedding!!!!" moment. We had to wait for a few minutes in the limo while the photographer went to see where my groom was. I saw him at one point and my bridesmaids sort of freaked out, but I actually really liked it. I just didn't want him to see me, but I loved seeing him. It was a feeling of "there is the man I'm about to marry!" and it really made me feel calm. She came back out and got us, and we walked to the church. I got to smile at my high school friends, which was a sweet little moment. When we got inside, I was super calm. We did all the family pictures and bridesmaids pictures, and I actually really enjoyed the process. It was another moment that I was surprised I was able to absorb, and I had way more fun with it than I thought I would. One part that had me laughing was that my photographer asked me to sit down, and I was a little nervous about my white dress, so she swiped the floor with her butt before I sat down. Now that is dedication to the job!
I was really excited to see the altar flowers (though I never got to REALLY look at them, and there aren't any close up pictures of them which is a little sad), and saw that the Easter lilies were still out. We also had pew bows on the first two rows. The church was just so gorgeous. At some point, one of the wedding committee ladies came in and told us to finish up because guests were getting antsy, so we did a few last shots and then at around 1:30 (I think), they hid me in the little room that's a stairwell to the choir loft. It has a window in the door so I kept peeking out to see guests and family. They put Rachel in there with me because I didn't want to be alone!
I love this picture! I was to the right, hiding. I love Rachel's expression here, and there are my in-laws right outside the window, with my dad off to the far right.
A few minutes later I realized that we had never done the only picture I had requested- the one with us on either side of the door. So they had to get Steven and put us back to back around the door to the choir loft, because otherwise I would be out where all the guests were. It turned out to be one of the best pictures, in my opinion, and holding his hand for a few seconds was SO nice. We kept squeezing each other's hands, and I could feel us saying a million things to each other through those squeezes. It was a moment shared with a lot of people (bridal party and our parents), which was different than how I thought it would go, but I think they all really loved sharing it with us.
Buttercup was officially at my wedding in that scratch you see on my hand.
After I went back into hiding, I heard the cantor practicing Ave Maria and got a little emotional, because that song just does that to me, and because I really didn't know if I would get to have it sung at my wedding or not. (It got me choked up again when I heard her singing it for real later, during the seating of the family, because it was so beautiful and because I knew I was moments away from getting married!) Rachel and I talked a bit, and she stole a bulletin for the next day for me (thanks, MOH!) since it had our names in it for donating our altar flowers for the masses that weekend. Then it hit me... the videographer wasn't there! I would know, because he would have to pass me to get to the choir loft, where he had to shoot from. I sent Rachel out to ask about it and she came back saying that they were trying to get a hold of him.
Me hiding out and yapping to Rachel.
I later found out that there was much panic and flurry because the coordinator called him and he had driven to Oxford, about an hour away from Raleigh, by accident. I mean... GPS, mapquest... REALLY? The coordinator and our photographer were calling everyone they could think of, but no one could get there in time. The coordinator talked to my dad and Steven and everyone agreed it was best not to share all the details with me. They did end up getting someone there for the reception, and my sweet photogpraher and coordinator took video with their cell phones from the loft so we would have something. Does it matter that he didn't show (and that he said he was heading home instead of coming to do the reception because he was tired from driving...)? No, it really doesn't. But we got the videographer in the first place for the wedding, and having him at the reception was just a bonus, and it's obviously something we can never get back. I took it like a champ, though. I knew we were getting married, videographer or not, and wasn't going to let ANYthing ruin the day. I just told them that if he arrived (they knew he wouldn't but smartly didn't tell me that) to make sure they mic'ed Steven who was out in the limo. Then Rachel and I went back to our waiting. At some point, Steven's mom peeked in and I made her come in and give me a hug. Then I did some more peeking out and fanned myself so I wouldn't be shiny before the wedding! Rachel did a good job of talking to me and keeping my mind busy, because I felt pretty calm.
The deacon also came in at one point to check on me, which was really cute. He was wearing this super fancy cope and told me Steven had picked it out. I laughed, thinking he was joking, because it is totally something Steven would have picked out. But he told me, no, he was being serious lol! He said he had taken Steven and the best man, Rob, back and given them a whole history lesson on what priests and deacons wear, and that he could either wear something really simple, or the cope, and Steven chose the cope. I thought it was super cute that he let Steven pick! Then he went out to introduce himself to my dad, since he hadn't been at the rehearsal, and by that point, I think, we just had a few minutes to go before show time!
Ok, this has gotten very long, so you will just have to wait to hear about the walk down the aisle :). On a side note, today we have been married one month, which I can't believe! How in the world has it been a month already???!!!