these are all snapshots from my family and friends, taken with love to help me capture the best day of my life. here are a few memories that I want to write down before I forget.
It was a restless night. Was it the nerves, the anticipation, the excitement? Probably a little bit of each. Andrew sent flowers to our hotel suite right before midnight, the last time he could address a card to me as Rachel Dillard. We all cried and laughed and hugged and got more excited for the next morning.
Bedtime came and I can remember seeing almost every hour on the clock; at one point, I was just delirious enough to think it was time to get up, but it was only 2 am. Sunlight couldn't have come any quicker.
The first thing I remember from that morning was my sister's exclamation: "Today's the BIG DAY!" It took me a moment to realize where I was and what was going on...hotel room. Sister in bed beside me. It was the wedding day. The day I'd been waiting on for months. I think that was the first (of many) time I cried that day. Happy tears, of course, but emotions, nonetheless.
The hair and makeup fun was perfect. Everyone was giddy and happy and couldn't stop smiling, me more than anyone. We had a blast watching each other's hair transform into a gorgeous updo, a beautiful head full of curls.
Makeup made us all really realize it was happening THAT day, it was as if we were just dressing up, rehearsing. The "Going to the Chapel" playlist streamed from the iPod, champagne and snacks were passed around, and some tears were shed. I don't ever want to forget those moments with all of my girls; getting ready, laughing at silly memories, giving random hugs just to say how much each other meant. The excitement was tangible and contagious--I couldn't have been happier.
We sat around a drank a mimosa or two and had the best time. I'll never forget that morning...it was a slumber party with my best girls and I couldn't have been happier.
I'm so thankful for the girls who surrounded me that day. On the day I married the man of my dreams, I can't believe how lucky I was to have those women around me.
My photographer was brilliant and wanted to get a "first look" shot of the bridesmaids seeing me in my dress. They, of course, saw it on the hanger, but only my sister had seen it on, so it was so thrilling to see their faces as they saw me for the first time, all dressed up in lace and sparkles. It was perfect; I can't wait to see the shots she got from that moment.
Andrew and I agreed to no wedding day gifts; instead, our gift to each other would be a couples massage at the resort in Jamaica. But, that sweet man of mine sent a precious letter for me to read a few minutes before I saw him...thank goodness my makeup artist was still around, because the tears were flowing. If only I had a dollar for every time I questioned, "Is this really happening??"
Finally, after a brief hot flash and my bridesmaids fanning me off and recurling my hair, I was ready. All dressed up and somewhere to go...it was time to go see my groom. You could probably hear my heart beating from across the room...I was so excited but so nervous. I just wanted to hug him and tell him how ready I was to be his wife.