I looked around at the chaos of the room. Makeup and flowers were strewn on the table, sweaters, purses and spare pairs of shoes lay all over chairs and the floor; it looked like a messy bedroom, where no thought was given to neatness or organization. Through the small window nestled next to the room's ceiling, I could see the guests beginning to trickle in. Water bottles were stacked on the table, which was odd, because I didn't remember buying any. It seems that in the planning process, we forgot that the wedding party might be interested in bottles of water during the day, so Sister Goodlaff's boyfriend--Fender--went to the convenience store up the street and negotiated (really--he talked the store owner down to a lower price) for a case of WAT-AAH!
I dare you not to laugh...
I stood, hands on my hips, shoes off to the side, chatting with everyone before the ceremony. Steam rose up through the layers of tulle in my skirt, and I struggled to take it all in--to remember these final moments. Friends and family members popped into our little hideaway, curious to see me before the ceremony and offer me compliments and a few words of congratulations.
As I was standing there, Groomsman D came in, hoping that one of us had a needle and thread. There was an errant suit button that needed fixing, and Sister Goodlaff, who had packed all kinds of supplies in her emergency bag for just such an occasion, came to the rescue. Hot on her dad's trail, Flower Girl Dee followed Groomsman D into the room. She stopped dead in front of my skirt, and in that classic cartoonish style, slowly let her eyes drift up. She took it all in: my hair, makeup, jewelry, dress, everything. In that breathless way that only a three year-old in complete awe of something can manage, she said shyly, "You look so pretty!" It was almost too much, because I had just been thinking the same thing about her. There Dee was, in her kelly green dress, sparkly shoes, and delicate tiara, and she was so precious, that I just had to bend down to see her more closely. I told her she looked beautiful, and tried to talk to her about her glitter shoes, but she was still too awed to say anything. It was so sweet, and it's one of my favorite memories of the day.
Later, Houdini (our officiant), poked his head into our room: he was in need of boutonniere assistance. My dress was still in sauna mode, but I pinned on his boutonniere, trying not to stab myself or Houdini, and thought how funny it was that what he had helped Mr. Goodlaff and I start all those years before was about to morph into something so much greater, again with his help.
After he left, there were a few more minutes of fussing, but our guests were settled, and it was finally time for us to line up to head into the ceremony. I reluctantly put my shoes back on, grabbed Daddy Goodlaff's arm, and got ready to head down the aisle to see my soon-to-be husband!
Miss something? Catch up here:
The First Look that Almost Wasn't
It's All About Me
Sharp Dressed Men
Girls, Girls, Girls
My Chariot Awaits
Beginning the Bridal Transformation
Calm Before the Storm
All photos by Niki Ross Photography