I know I promised this entry late last week, but there’s been lots to manage around here since then, and sadly, the blog has had to wait. It’s one of the last things I’d like to put off, but also one of the few I can cross off the list if sleep is hard to come by and Henry is finally down for the count. All parents understand this, I’m sure. I wish I could say I was totally adjusted to the idea, but I digress. There’s always a lot to learn about sacrifice (even if it’s just your blog) as a new mom.
Although it’s been a week and a half, I still want to capture some of what took place on Bridget and Teddy’s wedding day waaaay back on Saturday, the 25th. There’s a lot I’ll remember about the day for years to come, but it’s good to have reminders and to record the beautiful things in life–no matter how memorable they may be…
(All of the wedding photos in this post are courtesy of my dear cousin, Beth. So thankful for her sweet spirit, AND her camera! For some reason, I did not attempt to juggle a camera, a wedding gown and a baby. I’ll get better, I promise 😉
After a week of wedding prep side-by-side with Bridget (who had worked at long last before then), the day she and Teddy were waiting for was finally here. If you could go back in time and spend a few hours with Teddy or Bridget (or both) since their engagement, you’d know just how deeply and expectantly they’d longed for their wedding day to arrive. To see Bridget that morning and the days leading up to it was to experience her joy right along with her; it was–and still is, I imagine, written all over her face. When the alarm went off at 6am, I got up and ready, then fed Henry and left our hotel room to meet up with my mom and step-mom, Jane. Together we drove to the hair salon for bridal party hair appointments, which began at 7:30am. I thought 7:30 sounded early, but it felt even earlier following a week of nights sleeping in a hotel bed with a two month old. It felt earlier still when we arrived to a salon with a locked door and no stylists in sight. We took advantage of the small window of time to grab a cup of coffee and something to eat, then headed back to get things rolling. Bridget and a few of the other bridesmaids arrived shortly after, and stylists trickled in over the next hour or so. Mine came around 8:45am, so I tried to make the most of the time in between by visiting with the girls, coordinating a few last minute details and picking out a hairstyle. As things got rolling, the busyness of the day kicked in; we were taking turns in various chairs, writing notes to the bride- and groom-to-be, snacking on smoothies and applying makeup as we went. The photographer came at 9am and stayed with us as everyone got ready.
From there, a few of us raced back to the hotel for dresses, bags, shoes, etc. Jason, Jane, Dad and my step-sisters (Cassidy and Sammie) were on Henry duty, and were keeping him fed and happy in my absence. (Thank goodness! Without extra hands that day, my roles as new mom and Matron of Honor would have been a harrowing mix.) After a quick gathering of items, we all piled into the car and headed to the church to get ready for Bridget’s arrival. Despite things lagging a bit at the salon, timing fell into place as best it could. The beauty of it? A wedding never starts without the bride, so we made do with the schedule changes and adjusted as we went. The next hour or so was a whirlwind…I pumped bottles for Henry, got into my dress, and enjoyed every minute of helping Bridget with her makeup, dress, veil and shoes. As I buttoned up the very last tiny buttons, I couldn’t help but get caught up in the moment. Everything about Bridget that day was bright and sophisticated, gracious and poised. She has never, ever been more beautiful–never more radiant in her whole life!
The few hours that followed were the kind I mentally bottle up, then trickle out slowly over a string of days for as long as possible. As we took pictures outside on a perfect backdrop of rolling farmland, mountains and sunshine, every interaction with Bridget was a bursting-at-the-seams-with-love kind of sister moment for me. I would have trailed after her, clutching the train of her gown, for days in that space. Together with all of the bridesmaids and flower girls we took pictures, then circled up and prayed over Bridget and her new life with Teddy before going back into the church. She and I waited for the “all clear” to get her inside before Teddy might catch a glimpse, and once tucked into the stairwell we were all to ourselves, just waiting for the ceremony to begin. If I looked at her once, I looked at her a thousand times that day–my little sister, a brilliantly spectacular woman with every bit of little girl anticipation in her heart as she waited to become Teddy’s wife. When Dad came back to join us before escorting Bridget down the aisle, we told silly jokes and laughed together to lighten an otherwise teary exchange. In that few minutes, I couldn’t possibly have said all that I wanted to tell her about the amount of joy welling up inside of me as I got to share hers. It was lovely and personal–one of my very favorite snapshots in all of the memories we’ve created together as sisters and friends.
The wedding ceremony began, and we all made our way down the aisle, two by two. Even Henry made it to the front of the church in J’s arms as the teeny tiny ring bearer, ring pillow tied around his waist (courtesy of his Grandma T) and all! When the doors opened for Bridget and Dad to enter the church, she was simply beaming. I glanced back and forth from Bridget to Teddy and watched as they both grew even more excited, and they joined hands at the front of the church as Fr. Luke opened with a greeting and prayer. Sacred Heart of Mary in Boulder is Teddy’s family’s parish, and it was a beautiful setting for the Mass and wedding. Every element of the ceremony was reverent and celebratory. As Bridget and Teddy exchanged vows, neither could stop smiling. God’s presence in each of their lives is so evident, and He was certainly present as they became husband and wife together. I’ve said it multiple times already, but the word I return to each time I think about the day is “joy.” As a couple, they radiate a most drawing and welcoming sense of it, and the light they shine into the world together is exceptionally bright.
From the ceremony, we headed back out onto the church grounds for more photos with the wedding party and family while other guests enjoyed cocktail hour across the way in the reception hall. Afterwards, we were announced at the reception and made our way to sit down for Bridget and Teddy’s first dance to Dave Matthews’ “You and Me.” Dinner was served shortly thereafter, and everyone dined on a most delicious spread of gourmet bacon cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, grilled veggies and salad–yum!! Years ago, Bridget said she’d someday serve bacon cheeseburgers at her wedding, and thanks to her vision, we all enjoyed them:) True to form, she made sure that every detail about the ceremony and reception thoughtfully reflected “Bridget and Teddy” in the very best ways.
The rest of the night was peppered with great moments, LOTS of dancing, cake cutting and cake, and a few toasts. I thought and thought about what I wanted to say, but reflecting on a lifelong friendship with your sister is hard to do in just a few short minutes! I hope to have honored both Bridget and Teddy in some way. Henry met a number of new great aunts and uncles, cousins and friends throughout the evening, and was one tuckered little ring bearer each time that I snuck him away for a feeding or some mommy and Henry snuggle time. It was so wonderful to be celebrating the new Mr. and Mrs., but I missed my little bug SO much all day! As the evening came to a close, Bridget and Teddy were whisked away in a bright blue Ford Galaxie 500 (’67 or so) as we all poured out of the hall to hug and wave them off to their honeymoon. I had a deja vu moment in reverse as I snuck in one last goodbye to Bridget–the same way that we found each other in the very last minute before Jason and I headed off on our own honeymoon four years ago. The night wrapped up with a little cleanup and organizing, followed by lots of goodbyes to family and new friends before we all piled into the Expedition and made our way back to the hotel for one last night. Henry blessed us with his longest night’s sleep to date…7.5 hours! His exhaustion was a welcome end to a very busy week–I slept as long as I have since early in my pregnancy, and it felt SO good!!
The next day, we packed our bags, said more goodbyes and then drove to Boulder for brunch at Teddy’s parents with everyone who was still in town. It was grand to see my glowing sister and new brother-in-law once more before we had to leave for the airport, and to have the chance to chat sans reception background noise. Leaving was bittersweet after spending so much time with some of my favorite people on the planet! I was very ready to get the little man home to his own crib and routine, excited for a few quiet days around the house, and sad to be saying goodbye (again) to our family. It’s a rare occasion that Bridget and I are in the same town for a week at a time, and I soak up every opportunity I get. (Plus, Henry looooooves his Auntie B. and misses her whenever she’s far away. Who could blame him?)
And there you have it. Colorado 2011 and Bridget and Teddy’s Wedding Extravaganza. I’m sure it won’t be the last family trip we take to visit the beautiful mountains and the beautiful people who go with them! On a detour before the airport, we made one last little trip to get a mini-fix..Boulder Canyon and a stop at Boulder Falls for a few photos and some fresh mountain air. Divine. We picked up a stowaway (bridesmaid:) as we headed out of town, checked the car in to the rental company and took the shuttle to DEN on our way back to GRR. And the airport experience/flight home? A story for another day and post to be sure. Looking back, it’s worth at least a laugh…or six.
as she would say herself, my sister is officially murried (yes, murried, for fun!), and we’re back at home missing the landscape already. love, love, love to one of the most meant-to-be couples on the planet!