FCTF: Recap and Photos (Finally!)

I am so incredibly behind on this recap it's not even funny! So much happened that I was overwhelmed at the thought of getting it all down, but I think a couple weeks away helped me put it in perspective. And with that said, here goes!


THE PLAN:


Attend the rehearsal and dinner, go to my parents' house, relax with a cup of tea and sleep aid, and go to bed early. Wake up the next day refreshed, hit the gym, and begin getting ready around 11am. Enjoy a carefree afternoon with my girls, have a beautiful outdoor ceremony, take some gorgeous outdoor sunset photos in the gardens of the estate venue, dance the rest of the night away.


WHAT REALLY HAPPENED:


I arrived at my parents' house after the RD around 10:30, incredibly nervous about the looming T-storms the weather reports were predicting for the next day and frantically completing DIYs that were still unfinished. Neither my parents nor I had gotten more than five hours of sleep on any given night of the previous week, and everyone was exhausted. At 11pm the phone rang - it was my godfather/uncle who really is like my second dad. He never married or had children, so he treats me like a daughter - we're incredibly close. Some of you may remember that I asked for prayers when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer a couple months ago. Well, that night he called to tell my mother that he had to get to the ER immediately.  Bloodwork results had just come back - he had bacteria in his blood. My parents rushed to his house while I stayed on the phone with him. He was going into sepsis and would forget that he was talking to me and even what year it was. I was hysterical.


I couldn't sleep that night and cleaned the whole house in between phone calls to the hospital. My father came home around 2am; my mum stayed until 4am. I slept a couple hours between 3 and 7, waking up constantly. The whole next morning I sobbed. No one knew what was causing my uncle's illness - not only would he miss my wedding, but we didn't even know if he would recover. My mother was so exhausted and guilt-ridden about leaving her brother but at the same time guilt-ridden about not being around for her only child's wedding.


Meanwhile the weather reports continued to show rain, and just as my wedding planner called to discuss the alternative to the garden ceremony I had dreamt of, a huge windy storm began. Plan B, having the ceremony on the covered wrap-around veranda, was also knocked out, and we were left with Plan C - a ceremony held in the exact same location as the reception. Dan and I were so disappointed.


However, in that time, we began to hear news that my uncle was stabilizing in the hospital, and he begged me to focus on my wedding, which I tried to do. DH had sent the sweetest letter and dozen ivory roses for me. The girls and I had a little fun drinking mimosas and bellinis and nibbling at the brunch food my parents had gotten for us in between hair appointments and make-up done by my fabulously talented friend (who ended up wearing my uncle's bout and becoming my "Man of Honor.") Later that day he became my savior, completely every little task that arose.


The photog came right on schedule and even brought an assistant (which should have cost more but didn't! Wow!) We took the getting ready photos, but the rest were to be at our venue. The limo was supposed to drop off the boys at 3:40, pick up us girls by 4:00, and drop us off around 4:15 so that I could get pics with my family and BM before the 6pm ceremony. But the boys were late. Really late. The weren't dropped off until 4pm. The limo driver took the longest way I've ever known (a 15-20 min ride took over 35 mins, and this was there and back - almost 40 minutes lost!), and we didn't get there until 5:15. Some guests were already there early, so we couldn't take any photos. However, a traffic SNAFU caused a major back-up, and even though we had to make up for an hour of lost photos PLUS take the photos we already planned to take during the cocktail hour, the ceremony started 20 minutes late because the valets couldn't get all of our guests in at once.


At this point, I was crying most of the day. My uncle wouldn't be there to escort my mother down the aisle or even see me get married, and I was feeling so guilty for not being in the hospital with him. I knew we would lose out on so many photographs, and there was rain all night - no chance to take pics outside (the main reason we chose our venue) or get any sunset pictures (the main reason we chose our photog). I was, however, so touched to see a gift from DH waiting for me in the bridal suite - diamond earrings I had wanted for years and the most loving card. Reading that, I decided that, no matter what, I was marrying my best friend, and that would make everything else okay. With that new mindset, here's how it went:

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm
fromcoldtofire
10
07/08/2011
fromcoldtofire

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(38) Comments

fromcoldtofire
10
07/08/2011
fromcoldtofire

fromcoldtofire

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The ceremony was perfect. Absolutely perfect. Our officiant was a rock star - everyone loved him and he made everything so personal and beautiful. DH got teary when he saw me at the end of the aisle, and I was teary through almost the entire ceremony. We wrote our own vows, and I fully cried when DH read his to me. (Most of our guests cried too, no joke.) We held hands the entire time, and he just kept whispering to me that I was so beautiful. I managed to take in the whole room, and it was beautiful too. You couldn't tell that it was the same space as the coming reception - the venue staff and florist fully transformed it with draping and candles and rose petals.


We did miss our entire cocktail hour and even pushed back the reception 20 minutes. We didn't get a lot of the photos that we wanted, and there was no sunset that night (I am still so disappointed about that), but our photog was such a professional and tried to do whatever he could to accommodate us. Although he was only contracted for seven hours, he stayed for nine (a nice tip is coming his way ;) Our videographer was sensational and never got in anyone's way all night (and he finished our entire video and highlight reel in FOUR DAYS! For real! And it's A.MAZ.ING.)


The harpist played throughout the extended cocktail hour without a complaint, and the DJ was phenomenal! We hired him to do one wall of uplighting, and he was already giving us a deal with nine lights for $250. However, "as a surprise" he did THE ENTIRE ROOM - 20 LEDs! - for the same cost. He said that he liked working with us and wanted to make it a gift. He also brought an unexpected assistant who gave out Michael Jackson props and led our guests in "Thriller" dance moves to open up the dance floor! It was awesome!


The food and drinks and dessert were incredible. Not a single person RSVPed "yes" and didn't show (aside from my uncle - totally different circumstances of course). Annnnd - DH's uncle who really hurt his family by RSVPing "no" because his young kids weren't invited, surprised everyone by showing up just for the ceremony. It meant the world to MIL (his sister), and with my uncle not there for his dinner, DH's uncle was able to attend the reception and make amends with the rest of his family, which was wonderful.


My father and I both got misty during our dance - it was really special. And DH and I had a blast dancing with each other and everyone else. The dance floor was almost always packed straight through to the end of the reception. The music was awesome, the guests were drama-free, the staff was exceptional, my bouquet and the BMs' were exquisite, our cake was gorgeous, and we even managed to get a couple fun photos that we never even expected. And most importantly, my mother was able to get my uncle on the phone and hear that he was improving. When the car came to pick us up, guests gathered around to tell us that it was the best wedding they had ever been to. And although I know they kinda have to say that, I'm kinda believing them ;)


So with that said, here are a few non-pros from friends/family and a couple teasers from our photog coming in the comments

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 5:00 pm
fromcoldtofire
10
07/08/2011
fromcoldtofire

fromcoldtofire

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fromcoldtofire

At My Parents'


At My Parents My photo 3060394-1


At My Parents My photo 3060394-2 At My Parents My photo 3060394-3At My Parents My photo 3060394-4


My Phillies garters match DH's Phillies cufflinks


At My Parents My photo 3060394-5At My Parents My photo 3060394-6


The Ceremony


At My Parents My photo 3060394-7At My Parents My photo 3060394-8


At My Parents My photo 3060394-9


At My Parents My photo 3060394-10


Trying not to cry during the vows


At My Parents My photo 3060394-11


After the Ceremony


At My Parents My photo 3060394-12 At My Parents My photo 3060394-13


The Reception


At My Parents My photo 3060394-14At My Parents My photo 3060394-15


At My Parents My photo 3060394-16


 


(Pokerface - get it? Haha)


At My Parents My photo 3060394-17


At My Parents My photo 3060394-18


 


Michael Jackson glove for me...


At My Parents My photo 3060394-19


MJ hat and dance for DH


At My Parents My photo 3060394-20


At My Parents My photo 3060394-21


He pretended to get icing on me - cake fight!


At My Parents My photo 3060394-22


At My Parents My photo 3060394-23At My Parents My photo 3060394-24


 


Whew - And there you have it! My wedding day!

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 5:01 pm
bjvalenz
3
11/19/2011
bjvalenz

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bjvalenz

wow.wow.wow. 


Your day sounds just beautiful. regardless of the rain, and no sunset, there was so much love surrounding you and your DH in your day. 


I teared up reading you recap. I am so sorry your uncle couldn't be there, but I am so glad to hear he is doing better.


Your pictures are beautiful, you are a gorgeous bride!!!


Congrat Mrs.!!! I cannot wait to see more pictures!!!


((hugs!!))

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 5:09 pm
mrssmith1282012
2
01/28/2012
mrssmith1282012

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mrssmith1282012

I am sorry to hear about your uncle, glad he is doing better. But glad your dh was there for you, and the wedding looked amazing, and you are a gorgeous bride!! There was a lot of love at that wedding!! Congrats Mrs!!!
Posted on July 24, 2011 at 5:18 pm
senoritashannon
4
11/13/2011

senoritashannon

Beautiful pictures & wonderful recap. My payers are with u & ur uncle.
Posted on July 24, 2011 at 5:19 pm
Kristen_Tater
10
08/20/2011
Kristen_Tater

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Kristen_Tater

Honey, you are an absolute INSPIRATION to me and to all brides out there!! Though everthing that possibly could have gone wrong did, you made it through and remained optimistic the whole time!! What a beautiful wedding, and an amazing now DH you have :) Congrats honey!!


 


So glad to hear he is doing better, he and your family have been in my thoughts/prayers!


<3 you!!

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 5:22 pm
jocemae
5
10/28/2011
jocemae

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What a beautiful wedding.  You were a gorgeous bride!

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm
june102011
4
06/10/2011
june102011

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You are such a GORG bride!!! love all your pics Lady!!

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 8:35 pm
BelgianInAustralia
3
04/15/2011
BelgianInAustralia

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OMG, I'm so sorry to hear you had such s cr*p cr*p cr*p start to your day. No one should have to go through that on such a special day. However, I'm really happy for you that everything else was so amazing and that you had such a fantastic day after all. Congratulations!

Posted on July 24, 2011 at 8:45 pm
Gatewood2be
3
07/15/2011
Gatewood2be

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Gatewood2be

I wanna be there! It looks like you all had a blast! Everything thing looks wonderful! Congratulations!

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 1:29 am
futuremrsg2011
5
05/21/2011
futuremrsg2011

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futuremrsg2011

Wow your recap was absolutely touching and made me tear up at work! I am so very sorry to hear about your uncle :( I am so happy to hear that you were able to make the best out of all the hiccups... Your wedding day was gorgeous and I am just so happy for you and DH!


Your pics are amazing btw!!! Love them!!!!

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 1:40 am
NicoleJuliette
5
11/12/2011
NicoleJuliette

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Such a great recap! Thank you for sharing this with us! It shows that even under bad circumstances the wedding day is about marrying your soul mate and getting through lifes obstacles together!


 


Congrats!!

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:08 am
carolinawedding
15
03/19/2011
carolinawedding

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Yay! So I hafta run to a meeting but just wanted to say how excited I am to see this!!

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:11 am
ChancesAre
20
06/29/2013

ChancesAre

Lauren, I am sorry about your uncle's health issues, I hope he recovers fully.


As I said in the other threads, you looked so radiant, the pictures do not show an ounce of anything that may have not gone according to plan.  Everything looked beautiful.

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:16 am
lorna247
4
07/30/2011
lorna247

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lorna247

Amazing recap, amazing photos, Amazing video (from last post). CONGRATULATIONS to you both. Your day seemed to be a dream . Sorry you had a bad start but I’m glad that everything worked out with your family and it added to your special day!!! Congratulations!!!

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:18 am
aswan87
4
07/30/2011
aswan87

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I'm so sorry about all of the stuff that happen leading up to your wedding. But everything sounded like it was beautiful the day of. THe pictures turned out great and i can't wait to see more of your pros!! Congrats my fellow July bride!! I'm soo happy for you and your DH!!! Big hugs and Cheers girlie!

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:25 am
adamsapple
10
06/05/2011
adamsapple

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adamsapple

OMG!  Your recap was just so... amazing!  And I love all the pictures you posted!!  I'm so sorry you had a really tough start to the day... but I'm so glad that your uncle is a bit better now!


HUGEEE congrats to you and your DH! xx

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:31 am
dodgercpkl
3
10/15/2010
dodgercpkl

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dodgercpkl

*hugs*  I hope your uncle is recovering!  I'm sorry you had such a crappy start to your day.  I can't imagine how I'd feel if that had happened to me!  I'm so glad the ceremony and reception went well.  Everything looks amazing!  If you didn't tell me that this was plan c, I would never have known that it was a spur of the moment change in plans!


Your dress looks like it was made for you!!!  :)

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:42 am
msdl
15
05/28/2011
msdl

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msdl

Wow! I have to echo Kristen and Kami (ChancesAre) -- from the pictures and videos I had seen before today, and the ones you included here, I would NEVER know that so much happened on your wedding day! I am so, so sorry to hear about your uncle. I can't even imagine how hard it must have been for you and everyone else to focus or enjoy that morning when you were so worried. But you, the venue, your bridal party, your guests, your details...everything looked beautiful!! You guys looked so happy later that evening, and I know your guests weren't lying about it being the best wedding ever ;-)


Congrats again, Lauren! I will keep you and your family in my prayers. {{{HUGS}}}

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 2:46 am
budzise.to.be1008
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budzise.to.be1008

Wow, wonderful recap. I'm so sorry to hear about your uncle, that must have been hard. Even when everything seems to go wrong, there's still something perfect about it and I hope you still made the most from it. The pictures look amazing, as do you!


Congrats (: Everything looks beautiful!!!!

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 3:07 am
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