On the day of my wedding, June 18, 2016, I had eyes only for Jim. I can’t wait to see the photographer’s pictures, mostly because I want to know what other people at my wedding were actually doing there. All I remember is looking at him (or looking for him), dancing with him, eating with him, kissing him, thinking about him.
It was the best day of my life, and it was absolutely perfect.
I could regale you with 16 pages worth of details about the wedding, because that’s what I wrote down after we got back from the honeymoon. I was and am determined not to forget a single moment. But I’ll spare you and just give you the highlights, the parts that made our wedding special to us.
Like I said, it was perfect. It was actually unbelievably incredible how perfect it was. They tell you that no matter how much you plan, something will go wrong on your wedding day. Maybe that’s true a lot of the time, but not for us.
We got married in Buffalo, New York, where Jim’s family is from and where most of them still live. We had long discussions about where we would have the wedding, but in the end, I think we made the right choice. Not to mention, pretty much everyone who travelled got to make a vacation out of it and visit Niagara Falls while they were there.
The ceremony was held at Jim’s parents’ Catholic church, just down the road from their house. The priest had known Jim almost his entire life and when I met him, it felt like I was truly joining the family. He was so kind and welcoming, and very accepting of our requests (wanting to write our own vows) and our schedule (having to travel up from Pittsburgh to meet with him). We chose to have our wedding in their old, original chapel, even though they have built a new, air conditioned church next door. The chapel is used primarily for weddings now and it is beautiful, traditional and intimate, albeit hot in the summer months. (Sorry, family! You all survived though, right?)
I had five bridesmaids and Jim had six groomsmen, two of which were best men. They’re twins, how could he be expected to choose? We didn’t mind having an “uneven” number – it mattered more to us that we had the friends and family members who would stick by us through thick or thin to stand by our side.
Both of my parents walked me down the aisle. My mom and dad are equally important to me and I wanted both of them to be a part of this experience and to have that moment where they are lovingly sending me off to start my family and my life with Jim. It was so special to me to have both of them on either side. Also I was a tad nervous throughout the morning so it was probably good to have that extra support. 🙂
When Jim asked me to marry him and we decided to spend our lives together, I knew that I wanted to make promises to him that meant something special to us. I wanted our vows to be more than the standard, traditional, repeat-after-me lines. Luckily, our priest was amazing and let us write our own vows, even though that is pretty rare in the Catholic church. Jim memorized his and I read mine from my typed piece of paper. I can’t even describe to you the emotions I felt as I looked him in the eye, held his hand, and watched him recite the promises that he’d made the effort to memorize. When I read mine to him it felt like the world had stopped. All that mattered were those words that I had so carefully crafted in my attempt to explain the depth of my commitment to him in our marriage. I feel that sometimes words are inadequate and they fail us, but I think we did a pretty good job with our vows.
After our jubilant recessional as husband and wife, we greeted our guests as they exited, and I am so glad that we did. We were able to see each and every one one of our friends and family, hug them, and thank them for coming. A wedding truly is all about the people who love and support you, and being able to see everyone and thank them individually was what mattered most.
We walked down the steps of the church to a flurry of bubbles and clapping and cheers, and hopped on a bus to take us to the next part of the celebration.
There’s more to come! I’ll have a “part 2” in the next day or so to tell you all about our special moments at the reception.