Tuesday, May 17, 2011


People and the internet tell you that your wedding day should be the best day of your life. Leading up to my April 30th wedding, I hated the pressure to HAVE AN AMAZING TIME OH MY GOD and couldn't fathom how it could possibly work out that way. This day? This one day that involves so much planning and fretting and waking up in the middle of the night worrying that your guests will starve or that you're accidentally going to forget you're wearing your old backpack as you walk down the aisle*? This is going to be that day? That day that is better than any other? No way. That is unrealistic and a bit insane.

There were many moments of the wedding planning process that I thoroughly enjoyed. These included making strawberry-rhubarb jam with Phil and my mom to give as wedding favours; wedding dress shopping; my bachelorette and shower; all the free cake at all those wedding shows.

See? There were a lot of positive things about wedding planning.

But mostly it stressed me out. It made me feel anxious. It frustrated me. It drove me to drink. Two months before our day, I felt how I imagine a very pregnant woman feels when she is terribly uncomfortable and can't sleep through the night, and JUST WANTS THE WEDDING TO BE BORN ALREADY.

And I waited. And I forced a smile when people said, "Are you excited???" and I replied "Yes! I just want the day to be here! I can't wait!...YAY!!!" and my insides clenched a little more as I remembered I still needed to write my speech and get the centrepieces to the venue and find someone to do my makeup and ask people to bring video cameras and and and...

But Phil was a champ, and as I took the fetal position and waited for it all to be over, he printed programs and placecards and ordered the booze and booked the rehearsal dinner venue and was generally a fabulous wedding-planning partner.

Then the day arrived. After a week of rain, we finally had clear skies and sunshine. I spent the morning at the salon with some of my favourite people, and we enjoyed relaxed conversation while being pampered and made to look beautiful. In the afternoon we continued the beautifying at the hotel, as makeup was applied, dresses were put on, and fake eyelashes were secured.

A flurried photography session which included several shots on the roof-top of the hotel, thanks to the perfect weather, was followed by our heading over to the Berkeley for the ceremony, arriving 20 minutes later than we'd intended, but 10 minutes before we needed to be there. Somehow I got a big stain on the back of my dress from the car to the venue, but my trusty bridesmaids, after helping me hoist the gown over my head as I used the ladies' room, assured me that it was barely noticeable and that they could arrange the train so that it wouldn't be seen. (Truth be told, I couldn't have cared less about the stain - it makes a good story. Especially because it looked strangely like a tire track, and I don't recall being run over at any time that day.)

Our fabulous on-site coordinator, Liz, gave me a glass of water and let me chill out for a bit before telling me it was time to head up to the balcony for the ceremony. I stood up, and that was when it hit me: this was my wedding day. For really real. Phil, who I hadn't seen or spoken to all day, was upstairs waiting for me. This was it! And I got a little happy-woozy and looked at Nicole and said "whoa" and she smiled encouragingly and we headed up the spiral staircase to the balcony.

The walk down the aisle was a happy one, mom on my left and dad on my right. As I approached Phil we beamed at each other and said with our eyes, "We did it! It's happening! How great!"

The evening was full of family, friends, kind words, music, dancing, and poutine. Without realizing it was happening, I took off the wedding planner hat and put on the bridal veil and really, truly enjoyed myself. The year and a half leading up to the day was about details, but the day was pure celebration.

Phil came into my life and I knew he was my future husband, so I figured I'd better marry him. He has changed my life in the best of ways, and I feel lucky to be his wife**. He makes me laugh, he holds me when I cry, and we both feel so fortunate to have found one another.

And yes, it was the best day of my life.

* I actually had a dream about that.
** I'm a WIFE!