First off, I can't believe it's already over! It is NO lie when people say their Big Day just flew by...it's a BLINK of an eye. I'll do my best to recap it all:
I flew out to Chicago on the 16th to take a week to finalize all the little things that still needed to be done. Gretchen and I went through everything to make sure what was sent to her was perfect, then took a look at her dress and the jewelry Diane (a friend of mine from work) made for everyone. It was a nice way to start the Wedding Week. ;)
The next couple of days I took to finish wrapping the bridal party gifts, finish making the "placemats" for the centerpieces, check in with all the vendors, went shopping for a groom's gift, and wait patiently for my fiance to show up! He flew in on the Wednesday before the Big Day, and we still had a few things left to do!
My friend Annie met us at the airport (I took the train there to meet him!) to help bring us to get our marriage license (FINALLY!) and to meet with the photographer. The marriage license was easy - but for some reason I was a little nervous! We didn't take a pic until we got back to Gretchen's. :(
Next was the final meeting with the photographer. Well, this was the third big stress for us (I'll get to the other two soon!). We walked in and saw a brace on our photographer's knee! :O No way...oh please God tell me he's kidding...um yeah...nope. :( Kurt tells us he blew out his ACL during the Chicago Marathon! NOOOOO! He said he was going in to talk to his doctor the next day and would let us know if he'd be able to shoot our wedding. I had a knot in my stomach and just knew he wouldn't be able to. (Needless to say, he wasn't able to do it...but LUCKILY he sent Maggie and Christian - they were AWESOME and I am seriously DYING for the pro pics!!!!!)
Thursday we had a couple of people starting to trickle in, but we still had things to do. That morning we finished our OOT bags and delivered them to the hotel...and while we did that, my AUNT PAT showed up!!! I love her to death, it was so exciting to see her! She flew in from Charlotte, NC. She went off shopping and Shawn and I ate lunch and then we grabbed our bags to move in to the hotel...yay! Later my friend Andy showed up from England! It had been 4 1/2 years since I last saw him so it was very cool and surreal to see him!! Some of Shawn's friends flew in that night, too, so it was a nice relaxing time for us.
Friday...now here's where time started to FLY BY...and I started to get overwhelmed! Annie (a bridesmaid) and I went to do the flowers that morning. We did my bouquet, the BM flowers (single roses), and the Moms coursages. After we got those taken care of, we drove back to the hotel to eat lunch and to finish up the last DIY - the favors/place cards! WOHOOO! EVERYONE seemed to be coming in that day! I had to take a few minutes after lunch to lock myself in the bathroom and chill! Shawn was getting overwhelmed, too! :/ People asking questions that they already should have known; asking where so and so was; etc....just crazy stuff! By the time I showered and got my dress on it was time to leave for the church and rehearsal!
That morning our priest flew in - our first stress was when Old St. Pat's called a few months before the Big Day to let us know the priest we had met with and lined up in Chicago would be out of town. OMG! Seriously!?!? Shawn automatically said it was a sign! He had wanted his priest (Father John) to do our ceremony. WELL, God is good because he was willing to fly out for us! And now, looking back, I can't even imagine our ceremony and Big Day without him!!
The second stress? The weather. I know. It's something we can't control. But the whole week the weather kept saying there was a 70% chance of thunderstorms all day of the wedding day. Say WHAT?!?! We didn't have an outdoor ceremony or anything, but we had big plans for outdoor pictures showing off Chicago! :/ More about the weather in a minute...
So back to the rehearsal. It went well...even though we had a ton of people! It was definitely real after walking up to the alter and realizing the next day I'd become a wife. The coordinator and Father John took control, which was good, because my head was swimming!
After our rehearsal we all headed to Murphy's Bleachers for a low-key, relaxing dinner. (It's where we met and got engaged, only fitting right!?) It was so great to have everyone there! I wish everyone would have mingled more, but what can you do. :/ Anyway, the funniest thing was the main bar was giving away tickets to the Bears-Patriots game being played in December...it's funny because half of our guests live in New England and the other half are from IL! :)
My bridesmaids made me leave...and some of the guests stayed to do karaoke. So yeah, I was jealous about that, but happy I left because Gretchen, Kari and I ended up bringing the favors/place cards to the reception spot - and we got to see the place all set up, which I did NOT think I'd get to see before we set foot in there the next day! Jaime, at Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, had everything ready by the time we got there. She did an AMAZING job...soooo happy with everything!!! We said thanks and drove back to the hotel to TRY and get some sleep...nighty night...
12/07/2010 at 03:12 am
Great recaps :)