The two days before our wedding were two of the most intense, stressful days I can recall.
Nothing traumatic or tragic happened — not by any means. In fact, we were pretty much sticking exactly to the schedule we had mapped out, which is practically unheard of for both Brian and my parents. #goteampunctual
There were just all these emotions — happy! stressed! exhausted! excited! busy! — and all these people, and it all felt incredibly overwhelming.
Being so emotional made me nervous for our wedding. If I couldn’t handle all the excitement of the pre-wedding stuff, how was I going to survive the actual wedding day? (It worked out fine. We’ll get there.)
Brian had taken Thursday off from work, which was very helpful, because this was our last day to get shit done. We woke up early, I went for a run in the park (duh), and he went for a bike ride.
Then, we trekked over to our reception spot where we were planning to meet my parents, who were driving down from New Hampshire.
Now is the time to remind you — since everyone was constantly reminding me — that the weekend we got married was a pretty Big Deal in New York City. Not because of us. But duh.
No, we got married in New York at the same time the world’s three biggest power players were coming to town: the Pope, President Obama, and Beyoncé.
Now is also the time to remind you — because everyone was freaking out about it — that there is gridlock traffic every day in New York City. So we are unfazed by it. But everyone traveling to the wedding from out of town was losing their shit over the Pope being here. Even after sending an email to all of our out-of-town guests alerting them about additional traffic and street closures, and explaining exactly how to get from there to here, everyone was still freaking out.
And freaking me out.
That was the biggest source of my anxiety the week of the wedding: everyone else freaking out and talking about it nonstop. I must have received 45 different emails from various guests with links to street closures saying, “FYI!” And I wanted to be like DUDE I KNOW, but instead I wrote nice responses.
YES, everyone was trying to be helpful. But every email gave me anxiety. I just wanted people to relax and be happy and chill. Or email my dad instead of me. The good news is that everyone made it. I think.
Anyway. We weren’t worried about the Pope and All His Jazz, but everyone else was, and that was stressing me out in a big way.
My parents gave themselves something like 14 hours to drive down from New Hampshire, and they made it in like five minutes.
Turns out, the Pope being in the city the day before the wedding (he left the night before the wedding, which was perfect) was the best thing that ever could’ve happened! The crowds were contained to the areas he was in throughout the day, and everyone else was so scared to come to the city that it was empty. Everyone was making it to town in record time! That made me very happy.
Back to Thursday…
Brian and I met my parents to unload all of our stuff for the reception, and then we all drove downtown to the hotel where we would be shacking up for the weekend.
We got checked into my parents’ room and went to work assembling the welcome bags for guests staying at the hotel. We put together 40 of them, including: my homemade granola, my mom’s homemade Chex Mix, bottled water, NYC postcards, apples from my favorite orchard in New Hampshire, gold sunglasses to wear to the wedding, and a little welcome note/infographic designed by my dear friend Scott.
Then, Brian went to drop off the place cards for the rehearsal dinner, my dad met up with his family as they started to arrive, and my mom and I did the spa thing.
We had a lovely time getting manicures and pedicures, and then she got a massage while I “got a spray tan.” OR SO I THOUGHT. I had these horrible racerback tan lines from a summer on the run, and wanted them fixed. And when I made my appointment, the lady on the phone was all, “Yeah girl, we can fix that 4 U.” But then in real life, that’s not what happened at all.
Instead, I got a “Scrub and Color,” which meant I was hosed down and exfoliated (very nice) from head to toe, and then the dude used a paintbrush to use something to “enhance my natural color.”
And that is the story of why I still have visible tan lines in our wedding photos. I was not thrilled about this, but what can you do? Nothing. Namaste. My mom enjoyed her massage, and my nails didn’t chip until the honeymoon. Score.
By the time we got back to the hotel, it was later than I wanted it to be. My dad is a gem and the welcome bags were just about finished, and my dad’s family had started to arrive, so we spent some time visiting, and then I just got this feeling of “I need to go home and lay in my bed right now.”
We were planning to have dinner with my parents, but with everyone arriving, it got crazy, so Brian and I snuck out and got ourselves a steak dinner and a decent amount of wine. And then we slept.
And when we woke up on Friday, it was the most beautiful morning in all the land.
Friday is a blur. I remember a lot of waiting and some crying.
According to my calendar, I went for a run. I don’t remember doing that. Good job, though, Feller!
Eventually Brian and I packed our bags to move into the hotel for the next two days. I had arranged early check-ins for each of us (we stayed in separate rooms Friday night), yet when we got to the hotel around noon, neither rooms were ready.
“We’ll call you when they’re ready,” they said. So Brian went for a walk, and I hung around the hotel greeting everyone as they arrived, and no one ever called and no one at the front desk could ever help me find out when the room would be ready or what the status was.
Our rehearsal was taking place at the hotel at 4 PM. I still needed to shower, unpack all my stuff, go over my vows, and take care of a few other last-minute things. And frankly, I just wanted some quiet alone time.
At 3:45 PM, my room still wasn’t ready, and no one on staff was being helpful. So I had the meltdown of all meltdowns. In the hotel lobby. With a lot of people around. I remember crying and being embarrassed that I was crying, but also I really just needed to get into my room and yeah… (This sounds dramatic, but the truth is that the hotel was terrible from start to finish. That was our biggest complaint about the weekend. The views were divine and the rooms were lovely, but the staff was a huge disappointment. Not ideal when you have 100+ guests staying there for the weekend…)
Finally, we got into the room (after having to search the entire hotel for all of our luggage that was being held like, you know, our semi-important wedding clothes) and my bridesmaids leapt to action.
Michael shoved me down in a chair and started braiding my hair. L-One started hanging everything up and was handing me champagne by the bottle. Becky ran to get our wedding coordinator so I could have a moment alone with him, and Conroy (my former Craigslist roommate) was making me laugh and playing my favorite jams the whole time.
I will never forget that 15-minute period. I was so stressed and overwhelmed and anxious, and they just got shit done for me. Who run the world? Those girls, I’ll tell ya.
And then I was the girl who was like 20 minutes late for her own wedding rehearsal. I was still feeling emotional, but I got to the room where Brian and Coach Cane and everyone was waiting, and the best thing ever happened: Tyler saw me walk in and ran over and wrapped himself up in my arms.
So then I was great.
The rehearsal went fine. Coordinator Douglas walked everyone through how the ceremony would go, and we all mostly half-listened and laughed, and then Tyler said he had to go to the bathroom and he wanted me to take him, and he is my best friend, so I did. In the middle of our rehearsal.
Here are some pictures from the rehearsal, if you’re into that sort of thing…
Once we were done practicing marriage, we walked a few blocks west for our rehearsal dinner at Blue Smoke!
That was also a blur. I remember a lot of people (52 of them), and I remember trying to walk around and chat with everyone, and I remember these really buttery rolls that were amazing. Go get them. People seemed to be big fans of the food (it’s the best), and Brian gave a nice toast and gave me my Bride hat and toilet paper with pictures of a bride and groom on it. #crohnsbride
After a several-hours-long dinner, we made our way back to the hotel and I got a few moments alone with Brian, which we both needed.
Then, Conroy and I had a sleepover like old times. It was my last night as a Feller!
Except not, because I still haven’t legally changed my name. It seems like a lot of work. I’ll do it eventually.
Next up: The actual wedding day! No more of this “pre-wedding” crap!