THE BIG DAY is here! Well, here on the blog.

You’ve read about my logistics and choices and decorating and all my little tips or treasures. And here we are, at the last Wedding Wednesday. Thank you for traveling along this journaling journey with me!

The day started with me getting soap in my eyes, which I haven’t done since I was…oh I don’t know…eight. Seriously. The one day in your life that you really don’t want bloodshot crazy eyes…haha. So I added liberal amounts of Bath and Body Works aromatherapy body wash directly to my eyeball and waited for unintended results. It felt a little too invigorating. My eyes weren’t red or terrible looking post-shower, thank goodness.

My dad booked a hotel room for my cousins and I to share the night before the wedding, so it was nice to have Katie, Emily and Victoria get ready with me in the morning. I don’t know any three girls that I love more, or who has less infectious enthusiasm. Note to Anxious Brides: surround yourself with people who are genuinely happy, amazing people. Actually, make that a note to all people, anxious or not, brides or not. Just try to spend time with my cousins if you can. But not too much, because they are mine.

We all headed over to Salon E to get my hair done by Ella, the owner. We’ve known Ella since we moved here when I was in the fourth grade and she’s always done our entire family’s hair. It was extra special to have her involved on my big day. Her daughter did my braid, which was lightning fast. I was seriously amazed at her skill. Not only did I love my hair, but it stayed put perfectly for more than ten hours. That’s unheard of, at least to me.  After my hair was in place, Katie, Emily, Victoria and I all went to my mom’s house and they did their hair.

My mom planned a Bridesmaids Brunch so that we could relax and eat something before all the wedding craziness started. We met up at the Octagon Café in Fountain Hills, just a few minutes from our venue. We had fun laughing and talking and eating delicious food.

Next, to the venue. Everyone was running around setting up. My dress, contacts, shoes and rings weren’t at the house yet and we had a few hours, so I walked around the house taking pictures of all the details. I know it’s weird, especially since I had an amazing photographer, but I wanted some of my very own pictures of the things I had worked so hard to design and make. I wanted there to be some photos of that day that I captured myself.

When it got closer to the time, I sat down and Shelbi, a friend and co-worker, did my makeup. While I sat, one of my mom’s friends, and mine, Salby, brought me a fluted blue glass, some sparkling water and some special crackers to enjoy. How amazing is that? I felt so pampered as I held that gorgeous blue cup in my hand and sipped between foundation and mascara applications.

Meanwhile, Dustin and the groomsmen were already looking dapper so they had some time to relax and have some fun.

After we girls were all made up, I decided to give the bridesmaids their gifts. I loved watching them read the cards and open the boxes. My mom arrived and I finally got to put on my dress and finish getting ready. At this point, my heart felt like it was boiling. I didn’t really care if something broke or if we didn’t look perfect. Logistics weren’t on my mind. But as a shy girl, about to walk through a crowd of hundreds of people staring at her…oh man.

Also, and this may seem silly, but, I’m a very private person about my relationship. I don’t kiss D in front of other people unless it’s absolutely necessary. And I don’t know how to articulate this in a good way, but I like having intimacy with just D. I don’t want other people involved in our intimacy. So while a wedding is very much a celebration of love and excitement and marriage, it’s also a little terrifying to have a fishbowl effect on one of the most intimate moments of our lives. I haven’t ever read another perspective that feels this way, and maybe I’m the only girl around who feels a little bit shy about the actual ceremony. But if you do feel the same way, you’re not alone. If I can do it, you can.

During the ceremony, one of the bridesmaids fainted. While we were praying actually. My flower girl noticed it happening and gracefully sidestepped towards her and lowered her down gently. A child did that. Amazing. Luckily, there were like seven nurses and doctors in attendance, including Dustin’s sister Jodi. I was pretty much done with the ceremony after that, haha. I was like “Um. I need to go check on her now.” But since that wasn’t really an option, we finished. And I was trying so hard not to cry but little tears kept squeezing out. Obviously, I couldn’t collapse into Dustin and sob during our I Do’s. But he held my hands and he radiated so much comfort that I practically felt him holding me. And describing it is hard, but oh well. Two hundred people watched that totally intimate moment so I can’t really be private about it now.

My bridesmaid was ok, thank goodness. Once I knew that, I went in the bathroom with my dad and bawled my eyes out. All the hard stuff was out of the way and my girl was ok. Whew. Once I was composed, Shelbi came in and re-did my makeup for me. My aunt came in and comforted me and was absolutely exactly what I needed.

We headed out for our family and couples portraits, walked around and talked to everyone, enjoyed the photobooth and I even got to eat like three bites of cold yet delicious alfredo. Everyone says you don’t get to eat on your wedding day and I thought “Oh no, not me. I’ll definitely eat” Haha, they were right. No such luck. We had our bouquet toss, made extra exciting by the fact that I was on the upper porch and all our girls were on the ground level.

When it was time to go, someone turned on the bubble machine we’d purchased and everyone blew bubbles as we ran past and hopped in the car.

The day was perfect. I mean, yes, there were bumps in the road. There were quite a few actually. But it didn’t matter, because we were married, my guests were full and happy and it was perfectly gorgeous. If I won the Mega Millions, there’s nothing I would have changed about our day. I’m proud of everything about it. I’m grateful that I have so many supportive loving people in my life who wanted to be involved, who gave so much of themselves and their time to help me. As you can tell, my mom did so much for the wedding. I really could not have done it without her. And if you’ve actually read this entire post, I’m impressed. Thank you again for coming along while I detailed every single bit of my wedding planning process.