going to the chapel
Before heading to the church we had set aside some time for pictures with immediate family and my bridesmaids and for T.J. with his groomsmen. First though, I had asked to have a "first look" with my dad. I still wanted to save my first look with T.J. for the church but I knew my dad needed to have a moment just the two of us before he had to walk me down the aisle. He had yet to see my dress so the photographer had him stand just outside our hotel with his back to the door. My mom and my bridesmaids gathered just inside the glass windows to catch his face and I went out to meet him. Tapping him on the shoulder I could see him bracing himself and I had to do the same.
Isn't my mom's dress fantastic? She found her dress the same day that mine arrived in to the boutique, which I think was fate. Have you ever seen a more beautiful mother of the bride gown? I love that it perfectly complimented our wedding colors but that she still stood out, as she should! Because how many times do your daughters get married?!
The trolley and limo pulled in just in time to take everyone to the church. This is where I had to be a little sneaky because I didn't want T.J. to catch a glimpse of me while he was getting on the trolley. So my parents sister and I hung back while the bridesmaids and groomsmen boarded the trolley (green of course, in keeping with the theme) but I couldn't help sneaking a peak myself and my mom caught me in the act.
And right about then is when the emotions, that I'd done such a good job of managing all morning, got the best of me. I surprised even myself with how calm I'd been up till then, how not nervous I'd felt even during all the excitement of getting ready. But the second I caught sight of T.J. my heart caught in my throat and the tears welled up. There he was, the boy I was going to marry. What had his morning been like? What was he feeling right then? Did he have butterflies like I did? I just absolutely could not wait to see him at the alter. While I had no idea what his morning looked like (though I know it involved a much later start time, and a lot less hair spray), fortunately our photographer captured some shots my very handsome groom and his groomsmen as they got ready and took their portraits together on the front porch of the church. (I just love the rocking chairs.)
Once the bridal party was on their way to the church and T.J. was hidden out of sight, my mom, dad sister and I got in our limo and headed off. I wanted to have this last quiet moment with just my family, just the four of us, before it grew one bigger and everything would change.