On the day of our wedding, I woke up around nine o'clock, told Mom to stay in bed for as long as she wanted, and started pulling together some last minute details. Seating chart in hand, I ran over to the country club to set up the table name signs. While I was there, Dad wandered in to say hello on his way to breakfast, and then I ran into Dave. Haha, so much for not seeing each other! Everyone else headed to the breakfast buffet, but I ran down to Margaretville to pick up the things I had forgotten, like lip gloss. On my way back, I got a call from the friend that was doing my hair and makeup, saying that she was on her way. So far, everything was right on schedule.
I ran into Mom on her way to get breakfast as I walked into the hotel, so I had the suite to myself for a little while. I went over all of the details quickly, to see if we'd forgotten anything, but it all seemed to be in place. So, feeling awfully calm considering, I hung out on the couch with a book for a while. At one point, the maid came in to make the beds, and was laughing at me about how easygoing I was. Eventually, Mom came back from breakfast, and Erin arrived to do my hair and makeup. She did an amazing job, and then we just hung out waiting for the photographer to arrive. I suddenly realized that we hadn't marked the favor boxes to indicate which person took home the centerpieces, like we had planned to do, so we called Brian's fiance Melissa up to the room and asked her to take care of it by writing an M on the bottom of one box at each table. (A bunch of us had gotten together at Mom's house a couple of weeks before to put together the favors. Aunt Marsha complained that all of the ones she did were terrible, and we had joked that we would put an M on the bottom of all of hers, so that everyone would know who to blame.)
The photographer had a slight equipment issue that morning, and so was a little bit late, but everything was fine. Once she was there and ready, we were able to get my dress and shoes on. Everything came together perfectly, and my 6-1/2" heels were just the right height for the dress, even though everyone who saw them thought I was insane. We brought Brian in for some initial shots with me, and took a couple with Mom, and then the flowers arrived. My bouquet was made up of all different shades of red roses, and a few Stephanotis mixed in for contrast. I knew that trying to match the red in my dress would never work, so I showed the florist a picture of my gown, and they did a fantastic job finding lots of different shades.
Finally, we were all ready, and set off downstairs to take formal shots with our families. Dave was right outside our door when I walked out, and the look on his face when he saw me all done up was priceless. We were breaking tradition by seeing each other before the wedding to take pictures, but (as some of my family members had rudely pointed out many times in the past) we had been "living in sin" for three and a half years anyway. After some cute wedding party pictures with the golf cart that had been provided for us, we went around to the back of the hotel for some formal photos with the woods as the background. Dave's mother, stepfather, sister, and brother-in-law had not come up the night before for the rehearsal dinner, and were quite late arriving for pictures, so we did not get as many pictures with them as we would have liked. However, standing around waiting for them produced some great candid shots of those of us that were there.
Everyone went their separate ways to get ready for the ceremony, and I went back up to our suite to kill some time. Dad and Pete settled in on the couch to watch some television, while Brian hung around waiting for me to tell him what to do. Eventually, I asked Mom to get the guys to leave, and she found things for them to do. She and I sat out on the balcony, smoked a few cigarettes, watched the guests arrive and find seats, and tried to relax. Dad came back to tell us that the aunt, uncle, and cousin that had backed out at the last minute were there, and I scrambled to re-seat them at tables and find their place cards. We got everything taken care of, then everyone was ready, and Mom and Dad escorted me over the little wooden bridge to the country club.