But I'm back at it today. Here goes.
I was worried that having our wedding so close to Christmas and even closer to New Years would be a problem for our guests or that it would create issues with booking flights and hotels. I figured it could go either way. Either guests would already have too many holiday travel plans and they wouldn't be able to squeeze in one more thing at the busiest time of the year, or it would be easier for guests to make the trip since they were already off work anyway.
One of the things about our wedding that really made my heart swell and the tears come more quickly was seeing all the people who made the effort and travelled from near and far for us. It was one of the most overwhelming parts of the entire experience that I wasn't prepared for. Sure I knew who all would be there since we'd been obsessively tracking rsvps and the changing headcount every day, but when I started meeting T.J.'s extended family, and when my friends started pouring into town, and when people we love but hadn't seen in years started to arrive I just felt so blown over.
We had done this! We had made this amazing reunion happen. I wanted to see everyone, talk to everyone, make sure everyone knew how amazed and grateful and blessed by their presence I was. We had gathered up all the people who love and know us best and gotten them into the same place at the same time. I don't think there is ever another time in our entire lives when that will happen.
Having our wedding the weekend after New Year ended up being perfect timing, in my opinion, because almost all of our wedding party came in to town early to celebrate New Year's Eve with us. It meant that we got to have almost an entire week to celebrate with our friends instead of just a Friday/Saturday sort of deal. Plus having this extra time before the day took a little bit of the pressure off us on the actual day and gave us time to greet those we hadn't seen yet. We had a big group dinner downtown and bought tickets to a NYE party at a local spot which was great because we made up the majority of the crowd. (Yes, it almost the end of January and I am just now blogging about New Years. So sue me.)
We got to drag out the party as long as possible, much like I used to drag out my birthday celebrations for at least two weeks as a kid, much like I'm dragging out these blog posts...
The next phase of festivities took place on the Friday before our wedding. I planned a little luncheon for my bridesmaids, my mom, and soon to be mother in law (who unfortunately couldn't make it as she was setting up for the rehearsal dinner later that night). I knew the rest of the weekend would be a blur and I didn't want it to go by without telling each of these girls how truly madly deeply I love them, need them and appreciate them in my life.
Sweet Pea Sunday etsy shop. (Unfortunately it looks like she doesn't offer these anymore, thought she still does pretty print work.)
I also had a necklace made for each girl from L Rose Designs' etsy shop. They were dainty gold chains with a gold pine cone, a smoky brown quartz, and a gold disc with each girl's initial. I liked that they weren't huge or distracting and that were a nod to our wintry "theme."
Finally I included a plaid robe and warm fuzzy socks for the girls to wear while we got ready in the morning. I also got my mom and MIL a small packet of tissues to wipe away happy tears. While the girls opened their gifts I went around and shared a little something that I love about each one of them. It was hard to share just one thing thing, but I knew if I said all the things I love, we'd still be sitting there today.
After lunch I headed back to my sisters apartment, where I had been staying during that wedding prep period, and we loaded up her car, and our parents' car, and her boyfriend's car with all the wedding things and made our way downtown to check into the hotel that we'd be staying in on my last night as a single gal.