Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It is Official

At the moment, I have the shakes from an overload of coffee. I should probably postpone my blogging until my brain slows down and my eyeballs stop quivering, but I am feeling literary. Last time, I left the blog hanging at the end of the night when I first met Will. I promise to continue that story soon, but not right now. Right now, I will tell you about our wedding, when I became officially, Bri Jackson.

It was truly a whirlwind weekend, beginning with my crazy bachelorette party in my most favorite of cities, Charleston. I had the best bridesmaids in the entire world and they saw to it that I had the craziest, wildest and most entertaining last night of singlehood, complete with naughty gifts, a light up crown and a cucumber. I will leave it at that. It was awesome and I love all of them very much.

We had to be in Florence the next day by 1 for the bridal luncheon. Perhaps, not the best plan, but we all made it in one state or another and ate and pulled off a great little celebration, I think. My mom has been nothing but awesome throughout this whole process, as she provided an excellent lunch and accommodations for all of our guests. It was just a fun time, a happy time for all as the girls and I sat and recounted the previous night's adventures and my aunts tried to figure out just what had gone down. Mum's the word.

Next, was the rehearsal at 6. It was a bit stressful for me. I was almost sick with worry that I would ruin the entire ceremony the next day by blubbering through it all, and this worry pricked at me throughout the whole rehearsal, while my knees shook, the only rational part of my body that realized what was about to happen 24 hours later. Thank goodness that Addie was there to be my stand-in bride. I think I would have lost it had she not been. My bridesmaids were loud and kept getting yelled at by my dad, which distracted me in a good way. The rehearsal for the most part went very smoothly. The dinner followed at Bazen's with delicious country cooking. The slideshow that Addie and Georgiana made was wonderful! It was embarassing at parts, but sweet and perfect. I loooved the music! I will post it on here as soon as I get it.

The Chapmans threw us a little cocktail party after the dinner in their backyard that was surely fit for any party. They were nothing but hospitable, housing a few of my bridesmaids and hosting us for cocktails by the pool. It was wonderful. I am so thankful for everything that they contributed. Mrs. Chapman did my hair for the wedding and gave us such an exciting gift! I can't wait to make the recipe's that she included.

I don't know how, but I slept that whole night through. I even left the party early--probably the best decision I ever made. I needed sleep more than anything and was worried that I would be anxious and toss and turn, but sleep claimed me almost immediately. I awoke feeling refreshed and ready for my big day. I couldn't eat anything, but I was ready.

The morning was to begin with the bridesmaids' gifts, manis-pedis all around. BUT, the nail salon apparently forgot about my appointment and left us stranded outside their shop for 45 minutes until we finally deserted for Nail Pro. Thankfully, they were able to squeeze us in and make us all happy! Crisis averted.

I went home and showered, still not quite believing that I was about to marry the only man I have ever loved. Georgiana picked me up for my hair appointment that was a nice time to laugh at my teased bangs and forget about my worries for awhile. My hair looked amazing. Then, the butterflies set in.

Georgiana and I drove out to the Columns, and all that I could think was "you are not going to cry, you are not going to cry." But, I did, just a little. It was go time when we got there. Will had written me a note that I read and cried over and then Georgiana with the help of Hannah read it out loud. And, we all got a little teary eyed.

Then, it was all makeup and dresses and hair and thankfully, an excuse to think of something other than the wedding. I needed to be distracted and thanks to Georgiana's hair clip and Hannah's oil-stained dress and sparkling wine, I was able to forget about my nerves for awhile.

Steven, our wonderful photographer, was there throughout it all. It was actually nice to have a male presence in the bridal suite. I think it kept the mushiness to a minimal, plus we all had to be clear-complexioned and not puffy for the pictures! The delicious smell of his Chik-fil-A was surprisingly comforting.

We took pictures of just the girls before the ceremony. It was fun and distracting and added a little comic relief as they all picked me up and almost dropped me in my white, white dress for the sake of a picture. I can't wait to see how that one turned out. Apparently, Will was made to sit on the floor during our shoot so that he wouldn't see me out the windows. It is crazy to think that we spent the majority of that day just a room apart. He said that he could hear me talking. We couldn't see eachother--that was absolutely forbidden.

After the shoot, we went back to the bridal suite and took off our dresses and baby-powdered up for the ceremony. At this point, I was short of breath and on the verge of freaking out,but I somehow remained calm and with the code word of "cucumber!" made it to the ceremony without breaking down.

I couldn't see the ceremony from where Dad and I were standing behind the gigantic Magnolia tree waiting for our turn to walk, but I'm sure that it went exactly as I planned. I was so nervous, standing back there waiting, threatening my dad that absolutely, under no circumstances were any tears allowed.
As we walked in between the trees and came out into the yard, I saw Will standing there waiting for me and was instantly calmed.

"This isn't so bad," I thought to myself. "What is there to cry about? This is the beginning of everything. And, I love him more than life." That was when the biggest grin of my life set in, not to be disturbed by anxiety or nervousness or even tripping over my dress the whole way up the steps. I don't know if Will and I were supposed to hold hands for the entire ceremony or if I was supposed to be looking at Aunt Pat instead of him as she performed it, but I couldn't have done anything differently if I had tried. I just wanted to look up at him and smile and be happy with him in front of everyone, so that is exactly what I did.

The tears that I had fought off so hard for the past two days were nowhere to be found, until of course we recessed back down the aisle to the wonderful sound of the trumpet. Once there, realization dawned and the tears rimmed up and overflowed. Will was there with a hanky to wipe them away, and so began our life as Mr. and Mrs. William Carrington Jackson.

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