It was somewhat remarkable the way it came full circle and the people who were left at the fire the latest, were my childhood friends and my immediate family, and we brought the night to a close reminiscing and telling the best stories that never get old no matter how many times you tell them. Todd and I gave each other a good bye kiss for it was the last time the two of us would see each other before we met at the altar. Todd stole away to an adjoining teeny bedroom with a twin bed, and after dropping off his wedding present and card where he would find it when he woke up, I snuggled into the luxurious bed of the master suite. I felt shockingly relaxed and calm, before drifting off to sleep around midnight, dreaming of what the next day would bring.
Just as I had planned, as part of my wedding morning safety plan (Michelle Clark, that’s for you) I set out for an early morning run in the trails behind the inn. I had not yet seen a soul, and from my perch high on the hill above the property, I surveyed all the beauty, love, and family below me.
After my run, I came up the walkway to join my family and friends in the dining room for breakfast. Todd had been whisked away to an upstairs bedroom so he would not cross paths with me. Later he told me that he was sitting in a chair in this bedroom right above the front door to the inn and could hear my uncle Lynd coming back outside to tell me that he went in and double checked, and Todd was truly nowhere to be seen.
After breakfast, I went up to the absolutely gorgeous suite in which I was staying, to get ready. What I can tell you is that this was a quiet, calm, serene, and essentially holy experience for me. It was one of the best pieces of bridal advice I ever received, to surround myself with people who possess the type of energy that you want to feel on your wedding day, so you soak it up like a sponge. I felt loved and supported in a quiet spiritual kind of way. Even my photographer fit right into that vibe. Think about the word chaos for a minute….what I felt while I got ready that morning was the polar opposite of that word.
When we were all ready and dressed, I looked out the window and caught a glimpse below of my husband to be, stepson to be, and brother from the back, walking out to the car to head to the church, and tears unwillingly sprung to my eyes. “Oh Lynelle! I accidentally saw Todd, and I’m starting to get emotional!” I said.
At 4pm, my brother Paul pulled up behind the house where no one could see us, and George took some more pictures of us before we went to the church. This private few moments in time I will treasure forever.
When we arrived at the church, as if arriving for your marriage ceremony is not surreal enough, there was fire truck parked out side, a huge bonfire, and gunshots going off in the field next to the church. To this day, I have no idea why any of those things were occurring, but it was funny and bizarre and a cause for many many laughs throughout the rest of the weekend!!
This beautiful sight awaited me at the door to the church:
Once everyone was settled. Lynelle fluffed my train, I heard Pachelbell begin, Maegan walked out into the congregation, I took a deep shaky breath and tried to compose the tears fighting to pour out, Lynelle smiled at me, then walked away and I was alone. Oh my goodness…. this ceremony…. this perfect ceremony for which no words are adequate.
When I turned around and faced this teeny church bursting at the seams with people who loved us, people literally started laughing out loud at the size of my smile. I did not know joy like this existed.
To be continued….