One beautiful year

Wedding

Monday marked one year of marriage — and in my typical fashion as of late, I’m behind the times. Eternally behind the times. But I’m here! And I certainly haven’t forgotten!

You know, we really thought we lucked out with the weather that day: mild, bright and breezy, with temperatures in the mid-60s and plenty of warmth in the sun. As I’m obsessive-compulsive even when I’m not planning a life-changing event for 150 people, I’d checked the Farmer’s Almanac average temperatures like a lunatic in the months leading up to our wedding day. An outdoor wedding in November? Who does that? But their warm predictions held true.

What I remember most about that day was my anxious excitement to see Spencer. And the way that I managed, after months of planning and obsessing, to actually stay in the moment. That elusive idea — that I enjoy the now — is something I’ve tried to cultivate for years. It’s very easy for me to agonize about the future and analyze the past, leaving me clinging to little in the present.

The seconds that come back to me clearly are the times I was actually alone: driving myself from the hair salon to our apartment, then getting my brother-in-law to pick me up headed to the venue; nibbling on a sandwich in the bridal suite when the entire crew went outside to rehearse the ceremony.

I just kept thinking, I’m getting married! And it was all surreal until the moment I stepped out in my gown and red shoes to see Spencer, waiting for me on a shady veranda where we glimpsed each other for the first time.


Dance floor kiss


And we danced. We danced so much. I remember joking with our photographers ahead of time that they were going to be hard-pressed to get any shots of me on the dance floor. Unless under, you know, extreme duress.

But that is . . . not exactly how it played out. Of all the surprises, our endless cutting-a-rug-ness surprised me the most. Not because of my groom, of course — Spence loves to break it down — but me? I’ve never danced so much — and with such reckless abandon — as I did that night, and I love remembering the silliness and happiness that propelled us over and over again. The feeling of having all your loved ones around you, cheering and clapping and smiling, really was intoxicating.


Cake cutting


So what have we learned more than 365 days into this beautiful, crazy thing? For me, I wondered if marriage would “feel different” — like waking as one person and emerging another. Almost immediately after the ceremony, I was greeted as “Mrs. Johnson” . . . and I thought, That’s it? Just like that: in one way, out another?

Though it was strange at first, I love being a Mrs. — and rarely slip up and sign the old name. After 28 years as a Snider, I figured the transition would be rocky. I’d have moments of uncertainty, moments of longing to perhaps return to what was familiar and “normal” and true.

But I haven’t. Spence and I quickly developed a new normal — a normal for us — and often laugh at what feels like our “never-ending sleepovers.” After living at home until the ripe ol’ age of 28, I thought I would panic at the idea of changing residences . . . but we’ve actually moved again, of course, and I’ve adjusted. Very, very well.

Spencer and I are a team. Marriage does feel different — because I know someone is constantly in my corner, always waiting with the porch light on. Asking about boring things like what I had for lunch. Sipping coffee next to me, still in pajamas, and happily wandering grocery store aisles on Monday nights.

Together.

The past year has been filled with laughter and challenges, joy and a little stress. Buying our first home (and renovating said home), moving again, vacationing in California, celebrating our first holidays as a married couple . . . and heading into 2015, life will change and evolve and expand again.

Though we can never know what’s in store for us, I know one thing for sure: I wouldn’t want anyone else by my side. It really is a beautiful thing to know, deep in my soul, that I’ve married my best friend. I look forward to the months and years and decades to come . . .

. . . one popcorn-filled, hot chocolate-swilling sleepover at a time.


Wedding


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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


The new normal

Megan and Spencer


Well, I had high hopes for today’s post.

I was going to sit down and craft some gorgeous words on Sunday evening, weaving in so many of the tales from our wedding day — now more than a week ago! — so they’d be etched into my mind forever.

Of course, by Sunday, we were busy restoring the condo to its previous state of almost complete chaos (versus absolute chaos) and just trying to get ourselves into a mental space to return to work after almost two weeks off. I started working on a few scarf orders, pored through our many wedding photos already back from our fantastic photographers (small sampling here), hit a craft fair with my mom and sister and basically ran around doing everything and nothing.

It was glorious.

But none of that got me to where I wanted to be: writing a wedding post, which I desperately want to do. So I’ll have to tease you with a few photos now with the promise of more to come, then offer assurances that write meg! will get back to its regularly scheduled programming shortly. Surprisingly, I have been reading — much more than I expected — and am looking forward to slipping back into “normal life.”

Of course, “normal” is different now.

But it’s super lovely, too!


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