Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Fairy Dust Sparkles, or The Morning of our Wedding

We woke up at 7:00 the morning of our wedding, already mentally grasping for my to-do list. Until it hit me that the list was short: Set up our venue. Get prettified. Get married. As I found myself holding only the barest of task list wisps, I finally let something go.  I understood that our wedding day was going to unfold on its own, revealing itself along the way.  The only thing I could do was breathe deep and jump in.  So I joined Jason for breakfast of strong coffee, mango and plantains over a view of the Topanga Canyon hillsides from our bed and breakfast. We took it in for a moment: the lush green hills, the crisp air, the morning of our wedding. And then we drove over to the venue, ready to begin decorating. Ready. 

We arrived to find two carfuls of friends already at the venue. The rental delivery men were already there. They were all early. They were all eager and enthusiastic and ready to work. They were noisy and boisterous and excited about the wedding. They hugging and laughing and clamoring to help with whatever we needed.  I was flustered. I hadn’t expected so many people. I hadn’t expected people to arrive so early. I hadn’t sorted out task delegation yet. But as I looked around at a sea of 8:00 am smiles, my calm finally hit. We had enough help. We had enthusiastic help. I finally knew in my core that everything was going to work out. 

By the time the uhaul and another carful of friends arrived thirty minutes later, we were already pulling out tables and chairs from the storage closet, stringing papel picado from the ceiling, and laying out the reception space. We started unloading the uhaul, making sangria, setting out linens, arranging decor, stringing white lights, and cutting flowers. Some friends peeled off to pick up ice and some “oh shoot - we need this” items from a nearby Target. Other friends set up the ceremony site. Everyone was chattering and smiling and throwing themselves into whatever needed to be done.

I stood back at one point to just take it all in. My brother, Jason’s sister, my college best friend, Jason’s college friends, our local friends, and various partners were practically buzzing with focus, enthusiasm, and camaraderie.  My heart expanded. The morning was the embodiment of the emotional world Jason and I had created together over the last four and half years. The love from our friends and family was palpable. It tangibly came alive as our community jumped in, sleeves rolled up, to make our wedding happen.

Our wedding morning was fun. It was easy. In fact, it was the first easy moment we’d had in the last few months, and it started to heal things. The singing and laughter and joy lodged in my heart, helping me finally set aside any worries about the day or questions about the value of our wedding. There wasn’t any room for doubt as I allowed myself to appreciate our incredible friends and family and everything they were doing for us. I let myself believe in our wedding. I let myself know, really and truly know, that I was getting married and that our wedding would be sparkling with magic. Our community brought fairy dust magic with them and sprinkled it throughout our wedding day, with the glow of their love illuminating the essence of our life more clearly.

I could see the wedding we’d built actually coming together before our eyes, because of the community we’d built. I could see the point of it all reflected in their powerful friendship and love. It was better than wedding morning champagne and nail appointments. It was the best part of my wedding weekend. It was the moment that calm descended.

All photos taken by Jason and friends in giddy early wedding morning excitement.


  1. Can I trade my wedding morning for your wedding morning?

  2. How nice that your wedding morning was more than you hoped for. And Sangria - I haven't had a good Sangria since I lived in Miami and used to frequent a beautiful Cuban Restaurant.

  3. This made me cry. I am such a sap. But truly, it reminded me of how I felt the morning I woke up and looked out my window to sunny, beautiful skies and the peace of knowing that I was about to marry The Candyman with our best friends and family there to support us. It's such a great feeling, no?

  4. Yay for friends and family and a sea of loving helpers!

  5. Yay! Having loving people around you makes all the difference.

    I know it isn't even on the same scale, but when I was helping with my sister's wedding and doing a lot of it myself, my absolute favorite time was the evening before, when my girlfriends came over and helped arrange all the flowers and we ordered pizza. It felt like coming home after several days of feeling very, very lonely.

  6. It was so nice to read this. As someone at the point of thinking things like "DIY flowers - will I drive everyone mad, will my friends hate me?" - it is great to hear that not only were your friends super keen to help, but it was a highlight of your day too.

  7. @annotherringcoming - It was a complete highlight, but I was really careful to not abuse my friends and to go out of my way to appreciate them. I think there were a few key factors to making everyone happy:
    1. We had a small army of help, so no one felt all the pressure to do everything in a limited amount of time. Also, it added to the camaraderie.
    2. I gave everyone specific, discrete, easily accomplishable roles. People feel happy when they finish tasks as opposed to getting bogged down in huge stuff.
    3. We brought lots of tasty snacks. Food bribes and effusive appreciation are good things.
    4. The couple has to remain calm. If you're stressed, other people feel it and get stressed and anxious too.
    5. Along those same lines, I had to totally let go of control. However they cut flowers were fine, since thank goodness someone was doing it. However they mixed up the sangria was fine. I just had to be happy we had help and let go of my perfectionism/how *I* might do it if it were all me. Because *thank g-d* it wasn't all me.

    But yeah, it was pretty darn magical all around.

  8. I am so glad the set-up worked out so well! I got teary at the thought of all your friends cheerfully helping...


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