I used to think it was hyperbole when I’d hear people say that their wedding day was the best day of their lives. Sure, I’d think. It must be a lot of fun, and obviously very exciting, but the best day of your life? That’s a bold statement.
Turns out, it’s not as hyperbolic as it seems. My wedding day was, if not the best day of my life, definitely one of the most overwhelming, surreal, incredible experiences I’ve had in 29 years.
I went into our wedding thinking it would be a little bit stressful, but mostly a lot of fun. We were throwing a party for 120 of our closest friends and family! With great food, slamming music, and an open bar! That’s like the clearest recipe for fun EVER.
And yes, the wedding day was definitely fun. The food was incredible, our DJ kept the dance floor packed all night, and the open bar was…effective (hah!) But it was so much more than that, too. The closer we got to the day, the more emotionally overwhelmed I felt by the prospect of all of these lovely people traveling from near and very, very far to come celebrate us; the whole thing really hit me, however, the night before the wedding.
About 90 of our 120 guests were staying at the same hotel, so Nick and I spent the night before in the hotel lounge, hanging out with everyone who already made it in to town. Near the end of the night, I looked around and realized how surreal the entire thing was: how did all of these people end up in the same room? When would my dad’s best friends from childhood be telling stories to Nick’s best friends from grad school? When would my cousins from Arizona ever be sitting a table away from Nick’s family from Maine? When would I ever bounce from a conversation with my best friends from home, to a conversation with Nick’s best friends from college, to a conversation with family friends who I’ve known since I was born, to a conversation with my grandmother?
It was like the coolest, most wonderful dream ever. Except better, because it was REAL.
Our actual wedding day was more of the same: so overwhelming, so surreal, and so, so happy.
As for the ceremony, my big brother officiated, and Nick and I wrote our own vows (two of the best decisions we made in the entire planning process), which made the whole thing feel so much more personal and emotional and, ultimately, “us.”
And as for the reception, well, the pictures speak for themselves, don’t they? So much dancing. So much (bad) singing. So much joy.
Several of our guests have told us after the fact that our wedding was one of the happiest they’ve ever been to, which makes me feel pretty awesome. I read this quote on A Practical Wedding a few weeks before we got married that said something to the effect of: “If we can remind people why they’re at our wedding in the first place, we’ve done a good job.” That sentiment resonated with me because it was exactly what I was hoping for; I wanted people to walk away from our wedding having a great time, but ultimately understanding how much Nick and I love each other.
Cheesy, but true. And I think we succeeded. I know I, at the very least, walked away remembering exactly that—with the added benefit of knowing how much we are loved by our family and friends as well. And while I’m so very happy and so very relieved that our wedding day was everything we hoped it would be, I’m even happier that, at the end of it, I was married to the very best guy I know. It doesn’t get better than that.
(All photos courtesy of our incredible photographer–and friend!–Dani, from Dani Leigh Photography).