The time we got married

Wedding portrait


Driving home in two vehicles from visiting my parents this week, I looked at a passing car — a very familiar passing car — and thought, That’s my husband.

I have a husband.

I wouldn’t say it was the first time I’d paused to consider that, but it was still one of those existential lightning-bolt moments. I realized Spencer and I got married, of course, but it’s only been two weeks. Little experiences — like changing my name at work — keep bringing it back to me, taking me back to that one gorgeous day.

It’s a great one to remember.

Our wedding day, November 10, was definitely one the happiest — perhaps the happiest — of my life. In the weeks and days leading up to the main event, I worried I’d be too “in my own head” to really enjoy the moment. I was so fixated on making sure my sister’s September wedding was perfect that I didn’t actually process my little sister was tying the knot until I walked down the aisle at her ceremony.

I didn’t want to do that, I knew. I wanted to be emotionally present. But there were lists to check, bills to pay, vendors to contact, guests to coordinate . . . I turned into a machine during that final push, honestly. I didn’t think or feel; I just did. A spreadsheet marked “THINGS TO DO” taunted me as I updated it every single morning.

It was daunting, honestly. And though I never quite approached a full-blown wedding freak-out, there were some tense moments. I never got cold feet, but I did feel overwhelmed by my two full-time jobs: the newspaper and the wedding. The stress got intense sometimes . . . particularly for a type-A worrier like me.

But by that Sunday, it had melted away. Dissolved. Evaporated. Disappeared.

One of my happiest moments the day of the wedding was actually after the salon, where my hair had been pulled into a side twist by a longtime friend. I was alone, driving myself from my parents’ house back to our apartment. I hadn’t been “home” in days. My brother-in-law was there, waiting to take me to the venue.

It was warm. The sun was miraculously shining. I was in my own car, manning my own vehicle — and though cheesy, it felt like I was truly directing my own fate. It was a moment of calm in an otherwise whirlwind of a day, and I will always treasure that quiet 20 minutes playing Ingrid Michaelson as loud as it would go with the windows cracked (can’t mess up the hair!), just singing and breathing.

I was getting married.

As I searched for the perfect red lipstick (L’Oreal Infallible in Garnet, by the way) at a drugstore earlier in the week, I struck up a conversation with a kind cashier. When I told her why I needed such a specific and long-lasting color, she leaned back and fixed me with a dazzling smile.

“Lady, you’re getting married!” she squealed, this woman with a face as open as the moon. “That must be a great feeling. Someone wants to marry you!”

It really was.


Wedding makeup

Spence with father

With bridesmaids

Tying shoes


After a morning of getting ready in our respective suites (hours that truly flew by), it was suddenly time for the Big Reveal. Spencer and I did a “first look” with our photographers, choosing to see each other for the first time in a private moment before the ceremony. It was one of the best decisions we made. Though I was actually pretty calm that morning, seeing my guy before 140 guests did immediately soothed any frazzled nerves.

And I didn’t even cry!

(That much.)


First look 1

First look 2


To get to our portrait location before the ceremony, we rode in a golf cart manned by our event-coordinator-turned-awesome-friend Jen — which felt a bit like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride! We waved to golfers on the course at Swan Point, our venue, and thanked them for their well wishes.

As we flew along the path with the wind threatening to whip up my fluffy dress, we laughed and laughed. I felt invincible. There was nothing I could not love about that moment.


Golf cart


The ceremony itself was perfect. The sky was crystal blue. I seemed to float out on my father’s arm, amazed that everything was happening so quickly, and barely registered the faces of friends and family around us. Spencer stood at the end of the aisle with a look of utter contentment on his face, and I had a flashback to the pair of us sitting at Panera years ago. The wind had whipped our hair then, too.

If I’d had to pinpoint something about which I was anxious before the ceremony, I probably would have said standing before a group to utter words precious, personal and dear. Despite the fact that I live a somewhat public life, I still consider myself a private person — and honestly, making declarations of public love made me feel a little queasy.

But at the right time, the right moment, I didn’t even think about that. So swept up in the moment with my hands clutching Spencer’s, I repeated the words and I felt them to the tips of my cherry-red toes. I could have shouted them. And I’ve only had tunnel vision a few times in my life . . . but this was one of them. It felt like minutes, but our officiant assured us the ceremony was, in fact, a half hour.

Fastest half hour of my life.


Ceremony entrance

Vows

Tear during ceremony

First kiss


Our reception was everything I’d hoped it would be and more: exciting, lively, energetic, fun. Before the wedding, many people reminded me to keep looking around to soak up the sensation of having so many people I love together in one room — and they were absolutely right. Spence and I ate dinner quickly so we could start to dance and circulate, and I’m proud to say we spoke to nearly everyone in the room. (We did miss a few folks, and I feel terrible about that!)

And the dancing. The dancing. If you’d told me I would spend most of my wedding reception kicking up my heels on a wooden floor, grooving to everything from “YMCA” to “MMMBop” to “The Chicken Polka” (which took the place of a traditional father/daughter dance), I definitely would have pictured myself cowering in a corner somewhere instead.

But our wedding . . . well, it did something to me. Made me stronger. Bolder. More confident. Super happy. I didn’t care if I looked silly or robotic or weird rocking one of the three dance moves I know and can successfully(-ish) execute; I was seriously just having the time of my life.

I was in a bubble. A very, very sparkly bubble.

Color my husband impressed, friends, because we’d talked for months about how I “wasn’t going to be dancing that much,” and he would basically have to live with it. Me? Not a dancer.

But I was that night . . . we all were.


First dance

Angry chickens

YMCA

Boys dancing


. . . So was it everything we dreamed of?

Yes.

Surrounded by friends and family from near and far, some from Florida and North Carolina and New York and even one special guest from Sweden, I’ve never felt so happy, loved and content. I looked at the dance floor at one point, so happy and shocked to see my coworkers breaking it down with Spencer’s friends alongside our families and our parents’ friends, and it was just such an awesome feeling. A feeling I will hold close forever.

That very evening some friends had to get back on the road, returning to their corners of the universe apart from ours. We gave them hugs. We thanked them for coming. We wanted to wrap ourselves up in their good wishes for as long as possible, but most of our guests were on planes or in cars by the following evening.

We were all together for one day — one perfect, crystallized moment in time. For the only time.

That’s why photography is so important . . . but that’s another post.

Spencer and I spent the whole day in a deliriously happy cloud, marveling at our good fortune to have the warmest, prettiest day in November for our wedding day . . . but more than that, just so happy to pledge our lives to each other. It’s been a journey — one y’all have taken with me! — but it was more than worth the planning, time, energy and . . . well, the money.

You can’t put a price on that kind of happiness.

I won’t even try.


Family

Cake tasting

Bridal party

Groom and shoes

Portrait bokeh

End of the night


I’ll be share the details — and decor! — in future posts, but just wanted to focus on the memories today. (This article on that very subject is a great read.)


All photos by Birds of a Feather Photography


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39 thoughts on “The time we got married

  1. What a wonderful and tender description of your wedding Meg!
    It is interesting that when I got married (38 yrs ago) and again when my daughter was married, there were friends living with their partners who said things like ‘ well we don’t need a piece of paper and an official ceremony to be committed to each other’, and good luck to them.
    But I KNOW that standing up before family, friends and colleagues and making a public promise IS different, being ‘married’ IS special and unites two people in a way that just living together (no matter how long and how loving) just doesn’t – I know you’ll understand what I am trying to say.
    I wish you and Spence a long and happy married life together.

  2. I am usually just a lurker on your blog, but I wanted you to know that you have captured every moment beautifully and I kind of felt like I was there, in a way. Has been so fun to read about all the moments leading up to the big day! Photographs were wonderful and you were so lovely. My best wishes to you for a happy marriage!

  3. What an amazing post. I so appreciate the time you obviously took to pull that together. It looks like it was a perfect wedding (of course it was). I would love to know what is going on in that one that Spencer has the microphone!

  4. This was such a lovely read first thing in the morning. So glad you let the joy of the moment intercept any stress planning such a big event can create. I absolutely LOVE your whole wedding look and you and your husband make a beautiful couple. Keep enjoying the glow, newlyweds!

  5. I’m so glad your day was perfect! Thanks for sharing the photos with us. They’re gorgeous. I think my favorite is the one where Spencer sees you for the first time. I predict years and years of happiness for the two of you!

  6. Awww! Love this post! Your pictures are absolutely stunning and you look gorgeous. I’m so glad the wedding went off without a hitch and you had a wonderful time–dancing!! Doesn’t it go by so fast? I couldn’t get over how quickly the day just slips away. Thanks for sharing the photos with us!

  7. Congratulations! I LOVED everything about this post. I felt like I was there, but at the same time, like I was back at my own wedding 14 years ago. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Beautiful! The look on your husband’s face in your first look picture is absolutely priceless.

    I know the first look goes against tradition, but I think it’s such a great idea. My mom gave me and my husband SO MUCH crap for doing a first look, since it’s supposedly ‘bad luck’, but it turned out to be my favorite part of the whole wedding. There’s nothing more intimate than taking that moment together to let it really sink in… you’re really getting married! (Not to mention the great pictures!) Congratulations!

  9. I absolutely loved reading this, Meg. I’m so glad it was a wonderful day, and I absolutely adore the photos you shared. As I’m getting closer to our wedding, some of those anxieties are starting to amp up, and to read about your wonderfully satisfying experience helps ease some of the jitters. Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

  10. Yes! I’m so glad it was everything you’d hoped! I especially loved the part about the woman at the drugstore – sometimes it takes someone else reminding us how blessed we are. I love the pictures!

  11. Oh I love it and I absolutely adore that picture of just your feet and you in those amazing red heels!!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing these. They’re a delight.

    Congrats again sweetie.

  12. Alrighty, I’m crying now!! Beautiful photography,beautiful words to take me on the journey of your wedding day. I know it’s odd to some, but I thought of you so much leading up to this day, missed you when you so needed your break and I’ve loved every little look into your very special day. Savour each moment, each day you have with Spencer, the love of your life makes such a nice partner in that journey of life. xoxoxo

  13. So beautiful! I love the one when Spencer saw you for the first time! And you are beautiful with a perfect dress with the most perfect red shoes! Job well done 🙂

  14. You look gorgeous!! I was really hoping you would post about this. I’m just so so happy for you and you’ve made me so excited for my own fall wedding next year!

  15. Beautiful! I can see the love in every single photo. Congrats to you both. Here’s to many wonderful years together.

  16. Congratulations!! You both look amazing and so happy. I’m so glad you got to live in and enjoy your wedding, and that it was the special day you’d hoped for. My favorite is definitely the one where Spencer sees you for the first time – the look on his face says it all. Wishing you years and years of happiness! 🙂

  17. Okay, OMG, tears.

    This is an insanely beautifully written post and I am just so, so happy for you and Spencer. I’m so thrilled that your special day was everything you dreamed of and everything you truly deserve.

    I’ll never forget when you told me about your first date with Spencer on the phone after you joined OKC. Amazing how far we’ve come since then!

    The third to last photo in this post is amazing by the way (all of them are, actually, but this one really struck me).

    Here’s to a very, very happy life together ❤

  18. Wow – what a great post and you are so beautiful. My niece is getting married in May and I just forward your to her. Congratulations and all the best to you and Spencer.

  19. What a beautiful post – it’s making me smile *and* cry! The look on Spencer’s face in the “first look” photo is priceless. Congratulations to you both and here’s to many, many happy years together!

  20. Almost two years later, I still wake up some days to thoughts like “I have a husband” and then a smile comes to my face when I realize that. I guess it’s something I could never fully get used to – it probably takes a while.

    Congrats, Meg! Read all your posts, didn’t know where to comment, lol. Loved all your photos, especially your dance photo from three posts back. 🙂

  21. So happy for you! You guys looked so happy, and I love that you danced a lot because I was totally the same way. I didn’t think that I would and I didn’t STOP dancing. It was a blast. 🙂 Can’t wait to hear more, so happy for your first holidays together as married people and ee ee ee you looked marvelous and I love how everything came together!

  22. Congratulations again! Loved hearing your thoughts on your day. I’ve been with my guy for almost 4 years and we’ve talked about marriage since day one of our relationship {now if only engagement rings weren’t so pricey!}. I often try to imagine what I’ll feel like on my day, and you gave amazing insight into the love, freedom, and happiness found. Thanks for sharing this experience!

  23. Wow, Meg! What a wonderful post – I rarely get teary over a post, but this was an exception – having quietly followed your journey to this day, it was amazing to be able to share it with you through your beautiful, happy and uplifting writing. Thank you for sharing! I loved the way you said of your freinds, ” We wanted to wrap ourselves up in their good wishes for as long as possible”. Bless you both for an eternity of love! You deserve it!

  24. I love that you had that moment where you were directing your own fate. Simply lovely … as are your photos (love the red shoes!)
    Congratulations!!

  25. Hi Meg! I am catching up on my blogging and I had to take a few moments to tell you how gorgeous and happy you both look! You pictures are really striking and will bring you wonderful memories for the years to come. Congratulations to you two!

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