Well, I'm back. Phuket was amazing, Hong Kong was a blur, and not one day has gone by since the 31st of October that I haven't thought about the wedding. They say that you barely remember your wedding day because it all goes by so quickly - well, that has pretty much been the case for every day lately, so I'd better get those wedding thoughts down while I remember them!
My first piece of advice as a wedding-day-graduate: Start earlier. I can't believe, knowing as I do that things ALWAYS take longer than expected, that I thought it was ok to have my hair appointment at 9am. If I could do this over I would make it 7:30 or even 7am, because by the time midday rolled around everything was starting to feel a bit rushed. I'm sure we needed more time for the "getting ready" photos, but there wasn't enough because I had to be at the chapel on time (and, after all that, apparently I was 15-20 minutes late anyway. Mr Ruby Slippers was getting very fidgety inside, I hear. Oh well, I didn't have a watch on, so I was blissfully clueless).
The biggest surprise of the day for me (and for Mr RS and Best Man RS, who apparently placed bets) is that I didn't cry during the ceremony. Seriously, I haven't a clue how I did it, and I don't think I could do it again if you paid me. Now you have to understand that I am a cryer. I will cry for anything. I don't only cry at sad moments (funerals, sad films, someone almost dying on a soap I don't even watch) or emotional ones (weddings, babies etc), or even happy ones, but at any kind of stressful situation. I even cried when I resigned from my old job, and not because I was sad I was leaving (though, actually, I did cry on my last day too), but just at the idea that I had to tell my boss. So the fact that this day - and especially the ceremony - was an amalgamation of a stressful moment, an emotional moment and a happy moment, meant that I was pretty much 100% guaranteed to cry. The bookies would have stopped taking bets on me because it was that obvious that it would happen. Except I reckoned without one thing; at least, I think this is what it must have been:
I had never been so happy and so excited in my entire life.
It's the only explanation. I mean, I'm crying right now just thinking about walking down that aisle. But in that moment, on the day, I was so unbelievably overwhelmed with happiness that it blocked out the crying mechanism. Like that pain gateway thing: find a stronger emotion and it'll take over the crying one. I really need to go back there and bottle that feeling. I'd make millions.
I did have a brief almost-sob moment when I neared the top of the aisle. The walk down the aisle was unequivocally, single-handedly THE best moment of the day, if not my entire life. The lovely staff at The Moon & Sixpence closed the doors after my bridesmaids walked in, and were ready and waiting to open them the moment I said "go". I heard my music start (Choosing the Father of the Bride theme was the best choice I could have made; seriously, it's just made for walking down an aisle. Go Alan Silvestri!), I told the guys to open, I paused as I waited for the right moment in the music to start, and we walked. I don't even remember how fast I walked, I barely even remember my Dad being on my arm, all I remember is a sea of faces smiling at me, and trying to take them all in, and then giving up halfway because there were just too damn many of them, and focusing on on Mr Ruby Slippers. It's not even a long aisle, but in that sea of faces I really had to concentrate on finding his face at the other end. I think that's when I had to stifle the near-sob. After that, all I know is I had a huge silly grin plastered on my face pretty much the rest of the ceremony. I learned later that we had a near-catastrophe because our officiant conveniently forgot that we had changed bits of his regular ceremony and added in stuff of our own, and therefore he hadn't brought the right pages to read from (I am not impressed with him, I can tell you) but in a stroke of luck Mr Slippers' parents had brought the print-outs from the rehearsal we'd had three days before, and he used that. Surprisingly well, I might add, because I didn't notice a thing, and nor did anyone else, but forgetting our special ceremony was a huge mistake, so I'm not at all pleased with him.
My huge grin stuck with me the entire time; I'm pretty sure we even did some funny "turning around and winking at the audience" type stuff. I know they laughed when I took the bitter wine in our Chocolate & Wine Ceremony, and I overplayed my shudder of disgust on purpose for them. In a stroke of genius I had left tissues on the front seats for the family, and when I was supposed to be crying but grinning like a mad thing instead, I could hear my sister, mother and best friend all sniffling behind me. Mr Ruby Slippers did his vows first, and when I turned around to hand my bouquet to Best Friend RS so that I could take the cue cards (and by cue cards I mean the entire vows typed out on a little piece of cardboard), she was wiping her eyes and mouthed "Seriously??" at me, which I took to mean "Seriously, could your vows BE any more awesome and meaningful? Look, they made me cry." :-)
I really want to wait for the pro photos to arrive so that I can do a whole series of posts on the rundown of the day (hint, hint, Tanja, if you're reading this :-P), but I just have to say that the wonderfulness, the happiness and the excitement of everyone there made my own so much more special. I loved how all my details came together, and even the one or two things that weren't as I expected honestly didn't matter. I was so happy it was unbelievable. I keep looking at my wedding band in disbelief, because I am just so bowled over by the emotion that went along with getting it onto my finger, and I'm just so lucky and thrilled and amazed to be MRS Ruby Slippers. I'll leave you with one of my favourite photos, taken by Best Friend Slippers. It's our entrance into the reception (heralded by the RKO theme - at least, I think that's what it is. It's in the middle of "Rose Tint my World" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show), and we stopped and kissed in the middle of the dance floor.
I love what my veil is doing, I love the positioning of the bouquet, I love how happy I look, and I love how everyone in the background is smiling (if this is too small to see, take my word for it; they are). The man in the white shirt right behind my veil is my friend Stan from Classic Film Society. He is 73 years old, but this doesn't matter because we both love classic musicals, Bette Davis and Oscar trivia. He told me as he was leaving that he hadn't been to a wedding in forty years, and that mine was one of the best he'd ever been to. I cried. THEN I cried.
37 minutes ago