Friday, January 9, 2015

The Wedding-Post Number 1

I have a million things to tell you, but I can't seem to string two words together.  I need to start somewhere so I'm just going to start and hope it all makes sense at the end.

Kinda like always here on this side of the pond.

There will be several wedding related posts in the next few weeks, as pictures roll in and I remember all the many bits I want to record here on my blog. I'm beginning in the middle because I can, but will definitely go back and add the rehearsal, the ceremony, the reception, the people, and the 411 on so many amazing little details the bride made come to life.

Right now I don't have a lot of pictures, other than the phone shots friends have sent (Keep 'em coming!), and it will be a while before we get the photographer's pictures back, so for now how 'bout some words?

The wedding was perfect. Seriously. My daughter said so, and she should know. It rained. A lot. Still perfect. Absolutely perfect. Here's a little lesson for anyone out there planning a daughter's wedding, or who will someday in the future plan a daughter's wedding-

Everything does not need to go perfectly in order for the day to be perfect. 

Did everything go perfectly on January 3rd? Almost. But here's the was the almost, the imperfect moment, that ended up being my most favorite moment of the entire weekend. It's the thing I have thought about the most, pondered over and over, and stored up in my heart as a treasure to pull out when I need to remember what real love looks like.

So let's get my little 'mishap' out of the way right off the bat. Y'all. My dress. I loved it so much. I might never love another dress as much as I loved this one. I don't have a great picture yet, but this one gives you some idea.  I did not wear my glasses all night, but put them on to help with the place cards, which is when this photo was snapped.

Yes, I needed to tell you that. 

The color, fabric, weight, the way it fell, the length, the cap sleeves, the v-back, the sparkle, the fit. Everything about this dress made me so happy. I wore heels because I always wear heels. I'm not a flats kind of girl, and I'm most comfortable in heels on any given day, so naturally I was in heels on wedding day.  And this is what I was wearing when the 'incident' occurred. Details matter.

The hair and makeup crew set up in our hotel suite bright and early, and all the super adorable bridesmaids came to our room to get ready.

Bless the maid who toted her steamer all the way from Georgia, because there was some serious dress steaming going on all morning long. We'd purchased yogurt and juice ahead of time, my mother-in-law had given us a loaf of her cranberry bread, and we relaxed and sipped mimosas.

It was sweet, semi-organized chaos while girls took their turns in the makeup chair or at the hair station.

FYI-false eyelashes are da bomb. Wish I had someone to do my hair and makeup every day.

Daughter1 had given all the girls a cute lightweight robe and fuzzy socks so they were all matchy matchy (me too!) and hours passed, and then we had a deli lunch delivered from McAllisters before getting the bride into her dress and veil.

Everything was going swimmingly. Daughter2 was looking gorgeous in her minty green maid of honor gown, and the bride was beaming. The bridesmaids were beautiful and all smiles, and I was in my dress and heels, with hair and makeup done, feeling all the feels.

In hindsight I guess the feels were bubbling up a little and they needed something to set them free, so I obliged.

The suite had two rooms, a living room and a bedroom. The bridesmaids were all in the living room, so they missed the excitement (although I'm pretty sure they heard it), but the bride, Daughter2, and myself-mother of the bride, the one who is supposed to be calm, cool, and collected so as not to upset the bride on her most important day, were all in the bedroom.

The photographer had just walked out of the room
thank goodnessafter capturing Daughter2 and I helping the bride into her gown.

Which was stunning.

She looked like a fairy princess and I mean that literally. Like a fairy princess. One of my friends said she needed a pose, because all the Disney princesses have their own pose. I will post more pics as I get them, with details because there can never be too many details when we're talking weddings.

Anyway, Daughter1's dress did not have a train, but her veil did and I was fussing with it to get it to lay just right as mothers since the dawn of time have done on their daughter's wedding day. I took a step back to get a better look without realizing (until too late) that there was a very large tote bag right behind me.

I fell over backward in a most spectacular manner. I mean all the way over.  Flat out on my back, one leg awkwardly splayed sideways. You know those chalk outlines on CSI? It looked like that.

I could not speak. I could not breathe. All I can say is I went into another dimension of time and space, totally and completely unnerving my girls. They were saying all the right things, patting me on the hand, telling me I was okay, which is exactly how every bride wants to spend those last five minutes they have with their mother before they climb into the limo for a ride to the church to get married, isn't it?

I knew I should pull myself together, but I felt incapable. I never feel incapable. I am a capable person, but in that moment I felt positively infantile.  I wanted a do-over. I couldn't believe what was happening, had happened. I wanted my own mother.

I was ridiculous.

I didn't feel injured, but I did feel like I'd ripped my dress. So daughter2, bless her heart, all dolled up with her perfect hair and ready to go in a freshly steamed unwrinkled long gown, got down on her hands and knees to check the seams. The two of them helped me stand up (eventually, because honestly I had to lay there for a second or two) and they worried just a little.

I was not injured. My dress was intact, not a single tear or ripped seam, but my heart would not stop racing and I just could not seem to shake it off. My daughters recognized that, and didn't miss a beat. Daughter1, the bride, the girl getting married in less than an hour, who had maybe imagined sharing a tender, heartfelt, even funny moment with her mother, instead had to take charge.

She said, 'We need to pray. Right this very minute.' We sat on the bed (okay, maybe they sat me on the bed), the bride on my left, and her sister on my right, and we all held hands, and the bride prayed the sweetest prayer I've ever had the privilege of hearing. Words I will remember all the days of my life.

I'm close to my girls and I know they love me, but in that moment, in that prayer, she articulated everything I felt she wanted to say to me, but that needed just the right moment to be said.

And my less than graceful fall over that bag created just the right moment.

So if I really could have a do-over of those minutes before we left the hotel, would I change anything?

No. Had I torn my dress or broken my ankle I'd probably answer differently, but since I and my dress were both unscathed,  I'll say no. I wouldn't take a do-over.

We've all heard of God-winks and God-smiles? Well I like to call this my God-trip. That fall reminded me His hand was upon these girls, my daughters, me. Upon this bride and her new groom, their ceremony and this day. That He made us a family and has bound our hearts together in such a way that all we can do is feel grateful.

And I am. Grateful for a God who takes even the imperfect moments of our lives and makes them perfect.


  1. How beautiful. That's about all I can say.

  2. Beautiful Joyce. Thank you for sharing. Joyce Solomon Hoff

  3. I'm tearing up and you haven't even left the hotel yet. :) And you're right. A princess. Looking forward to reading about all the things.

  4. Can't wait to hear about and see more! I am taking notes. I think this year is going to be a doozy at our house!

    You looked great in that dress! It IS so funny how God reminds us of his presence. Sometimes he DOES have to knock us off our feet to get our attention when we get caught up in trying to make things perfect.

    Glad you weren't hurt - that would have been awful! A friend of mine had to be pushed down the aisle in a wheelchair because she broke her ankle (very nastily) just a few days before her daughter's wedding. Can you imagine?!

  5. Awwww..beautiful..thank you for sharing. Blessings

  6. Oh goodness. I really should have known better than to read this at my (very public) desk at work. Giggling and crying are a surefire sign I'm not actually working. I love this story.

  7. Joyce I laughed and teared up as I read your 'trip' well said and such a lovely ending. I can't wait to see more pictures and recaps of the 'perfect day'.

  8. You know, perfection is over rated! Thank you for sharing this story. What amazing daughters you have. Must have learned it all from their Mum!

  9. OMG! Once again I have tears in my eyes after reading this. I can just envision you and your girls on the bed and Shannon praying. Have mercy, how did you make it through it? What a precious and tender moment to cherish. I'm waiting with baited breath to hear more.

  10. I read this to my hubby. He says he thinks we must be related as I do stuff like this all the time! LOL!

  11. There is no doubt in my mind that the trip was, what the lovelies and I always call, a God thing. Otherwise, the dress would have been ripped and/or you would have been hurt. No, this WAS a God thing. And it was perfect. I cannot wait to hear and see more!

  12. Your dress is just stunning, and it looks like it was made just for you! That day sounds just perfect...even you tripping over the was all meant to be!

  13. Love it! God is so Good! And what a heart-felt memory you will always cherish!
    until next time...nel

  14. Oh Joyce, what a sweet and precious memory. You all look gorgeous!

  15. Beautiful...when we are weak, then He is strong!

  16. A big kiss on the cheek from God!
    You all look lovely!

  17. I was soo excited coming on here this morning and seeing that you had posted. I have been so anxious to hear everything. First, your dress was just beautiful! And goodness, you looked just gorgeous in it. And the bride? Oh a princess for sure. But reading about your "mishap" had me holding my breath and the moment I read your daughter's words, "we need to pray" the tears came. What a special moment! Yes, your right.. you will remember that moment and those words and how you felt forever more. Those are "THE" moments in life that matter. Those ones you cherish and dwell on. God swoops in and reminds you that He loves you and He's right there. What a nice way to start my day...Looking forward to hearing about the rest of it.

  18. The fall was just what needed to happen, so that you could have that perfect moment with your girls:)

  19. What a story! My heart is feeling a little wobbly for having read of your fall and the prayer of your daughter. There is NOTHING quite like marrying off your daughter. It's wonderful and scary all at the same time. The pictures you have posted are beautiful! Thank you for sharing this most special time with all of us!

  20. Your dress is absolutely beautiful! I'm so glad nothing "horrible" happened during that horrible fall. You know I speak from experience when I say that those unscripted, even unwished for moments are the ones that bring out some of the sweetest thoughts, feelings, emotions ... You've raised two wonderful daughters who I think probably resemble their mother both inside and out. Can't wait to hear the rest of the details!

  21. Oh my gosh... wedding posts. I'm so excited. You look so beautiful. .. as your girls do too.
    sorry. I so laughed ... i laugh at people who fall. Just glad you were ok.
    It really is thr imperfect that makes memories
    can't wait to hear more.

  22. That was one of the sweetest stories of all time.

  23. I'm glad you weren't hurt, but gee, to have those daughters surround you with love and prayer. What a beautiful memory to treasure in your heart.

  24. God bless you, MOB. That's some story. Thankful you and the dress were both unharmed - shaken, but not stirred. You looked beautiful in that fabulous dress and your daughters are angelic looking. Can't wait to hear more details about this great day.

  25. Stunning. You all looked stunning, and what a great story about the backwards fall and all that followed. What a wonderful memory to have. Sometimes things just happen the way they are supposed to happen. You weren't hurt, the dress didn't rip, your hair remained perfect, your heels didn't break....that special moment with your daughters happened exactly as it should have.

  26. I'm happy to hear that the wedding was "perfect", and everyone survived :) It's good that your fall wasn't serious, and you were able to experience that very special moment, following it, with your daughters... Loved that!
    Kathy (from Reflections by Kathy)

  27. Hello,
    I am a new follower, I found you over at Cranberry Morning. Wow! What an amazing post to read. This story just makes my heart smile, I can feel the love you have with your girls.

  28. This was a beautiful post. Made me laugh and cry, and I'm not a crier. What a precious mental image of you and your girls praying.

  29. That was an amazing moment, so beautiful and I wouldn't have wanted a do over either. I'm glad you were okay and I had to laugh at the chalk lines reference!!!

  30. I soooooo loved this post. Everything about it. The honesty. The awkwardness (falling like that just cannot be done too gracefully). The way your girls helped you. You're an amazing woman with lovely daughters. I popped over to your now-married daughter's blog and thoroughly enjoyed her two most recent posts. She has a gift for writing. It echoes your style and sincerity. Thanks for being so transparent every time you write.

  31. Every wedding needs a funny story to tell for years to come :)

  32. Oh, and btw, you look like a young girl :)

  33. Good Morning, Joyce,
    I love the special memories that you will share with your daughters. I'm heading back to your blog to read the next post! ~Natalie