Wedding Whirlwind (Part 2) – We’re Hitched!

I was so surprised at how NOT nervous I was the morning and day of the wedding.  My friend, Colleen, just got married last summer, and I remember her telling me that you are just so anxious to see your (future) husband that whole day!  It was so true.  Although, it was funny, he kept calling me to ask where the dog’s vaccination records were, and for something else that morning.  🙂

So I was kind of stranded at the hotel that morning and didn’t want to wake up Chris or Megan.  I ended up showering and calling a cab to take me to my parent’s house.  Calling a cab anywhere in the suburbs means one thing, generally – waiting.  So I ended up going down to the hotel lobby and waiting for about 45 minutes.  Chris Dolan ended up coming down for breakfast and seeing me there, and suggested I call Mary and Katie to see if they could take me home.  They had their hair appointments at 8 a.m., and sure enough, they sweetly offered to take me back.

I remember getting to my parent’s house and having about an hour until I left for the day.  It was such a strange feeling!  I was there by myself (well, everyone was asleep at first) and I just remember thinking, “I feel like I should be doing something right now?”  I was just so anxious to get the day started!  We got to my appointment around 9:15, and when I was finished there, I headed to the church (after a necessary stop at Starbucks).

The next two hours flew by.  It’s funny how when I first heard we had to be at the church at noon I thought, “Well…what’re we gonna do for two hours?!”  When in reality it felt more like 15 minutes!  My dad kindly brought us Subway and all of us girls got dressed and relaxed with a beverage.  🙂

The whole time I still was not nervous.  I was just SO excited to be marrying Brian.  Today was finally the day!  All of my worry about how the day was going to go went out the window.  It was a little rainy that morning, but I really didn’t care.  I just wanted to see him and hold his hand.

After we took some pictures in the church, we came back down to the bridal room for a bit.  Finally it was time for my sisters and I to hang out in the room in the back of the church.  I remember being worried about being back there for 30 minutes.  What were we gonna do, after all?  🙂 Thankfully my sisters supplied me with LOTS of laughs, and they even started to fan me when I started to get a little nauseous.  I tell you – they were the BEST that day and I wouldn’t have made it through without them!  (Or maybe I would have…but possibly with vomit on my dress).


Then came one of my most anticipated moments of the day….my dad came back to the room and it was just me and him.  I can’t tell you how special it was to have that time with him…just me and him.  He helped to calm my nerves and cracked a few jokes to put my stomach at ease.  Then it was time!  I really, truly could NOT wait to just see Brian and to hold his hand.

I joked with my dad that we needed to try to go slow (we are both fast walkers), and then we were off.  All this time, I think I was most nervous about that moment; ALL eyes are on you, and that is a very scary thing!  I still was nervous as I walked down the aisle, but honestly I was more excited and felt like I was going to burst with happiness.  This was it!  Not only did I meet my guy…I found the best guy I’ve ever known.   I feel like a better person just BEING with him, and I really, truly can’t believe I am with this very special person!

I’ll never forget the look on Brian’s face as I walked down to him.  I tried to look at faces in the crowd, but I really just wanted to focus on him and how incredibly happy he looked at that moment.  I got to him and reached for his hand (our hands were both shaking for the first several minutes), and the rest of the ceremony itself was a blur.  The one moment I will never forget is when it was time for me to say my vows….of course I messed up and said “I, Brian, take…-um, I, HOLLY, take…”  I laughed right away because it’s just something I would do 🙂

And then it was time for the fun to begin!  As soon as we walked out of the church I couldn’t stop smiling.  We did it!

Wedding Whirlwind (Part 1) – Let’s Rehearse, Shall We?

*Let me start off by saying that I’m doing lengthy wedding posts because I have an incredibly terrible memory, and I needed to get this written down somewhere so I’d have it to look back on in the future.  Not because I’m extremely narcissistic. 🙂

I had Tuesday through Friday off before the wedding, and looking back, I couldn’t be more thankful that I did.  I spent every bit of those days finishing up last minute wedding details, and it helped even more when Mary and Brian came into town Wednesday evening.  They came over that night and hung out with me and Brian, and it was so nice to have some time along before the whirlwind weekend began.

Mary presented both me and Brian with gifts that evening.  She gave Brian a knife that had belonged to her father when he was in the Navy.  And she gave me a charm that her father had given to her mother on their wedding day.  It is a beautiful charm with an engraving on the back.  It meant so much that she would give these treasured items to us!

The next day a small group of us went to Barley Island, the location of the Rehearsal Dinner, for lunch.  Brian had to work that day, unfortunately, but we all were able to meet up later that evening at the Nickel Plate for drinks.  (There was a very important hockey game on, too).

Then came Friday….I felt like I blinked and this day was over!  Of course me being Last Minute Lucy, Brian and I finished up the centerpieces that morning.  I’m sure it was a sight; trying to pull off all of the leaves off of branches, and then spray paint them silver in our front yard.  Meanwhile, Brian worked on cutting the table number holders (?).  I have to say, he did a fabulous job on the centerpieces!

I made it up to the Mill Top with Chris and Katie around noon, and my sisters and mom had been there before us setting things up.  It looked fantastic already!  We set up the branches and were on our way.  The owner of the Mill Top, Rocky, saw us on our way out and asked what we were planning on doing next.  I said with relief that now we were onto the fun stuff!  Now it was time to get our nails done and then get all dressed up for the rehearsal.

Me, my mom, Katie, Mary, Megan, Kelly, and Kristy all met at the salon, and Chris Dolan kept us company.  She is just the funniest lady!  It was so nice to have this time with all the girls, just to relax and tell jokes.  I mean – who isn’t relaxed when you’re getting your nails done and feet rubbed?  (Okay, maybe Katie and Mary, who are quite ticklish). 🙂

Afterwards we all went our separate ways and I went home to straighten my hair.  It was humid and starting to look stormy at this point, so you can imagine what thoughts were going through this curly haired girl’s head.  But honestly, I was just ready to get the evening started!  I was so excited to see everyone at the church, and especially afterwards.

We all arrived at the church around 5, except for Stan – who knows where he was?  It was actually pretty funny because there were several moments when we were all looking for one or both of my parents and couldn’t find them (like after they announced the Father/Daughter Dance).  I joked that our parents like to run away from us.  Honestly, I can’t say I blame ‘em.

My dad arrived shortly after and we got down to business.  Everyone went smoothly – although a little longer than we thought – but it was so nice to have everything in place for the next day.  Honestly, the Wedding Coordinator, Dianne, was a lifesaver.   She took care of everything – finding people when they were needed, making sure people knew what to do, and she was even funny to boot!

We wrapped up the rehearsal and headed to Barley Island for dinner.  By the time we got there, the party was already hoppin’!  Brian’s dad gave a fantastic speech that brought tears to many people’s eyes.  I won’t attempt to recreate what he said, but there was an analogy about love and a sailing vessel that was very sweet and appropriate (and I’m sure made my dad’s day).  Then Mary got up and asked for me to come to the front.  As I sat down, she knelt before me and asked if I would be her daughter-in-law – it was one of my favorite moments!  She tied a string around my finger that I will keep forever and ever.

She then asked Brian and Katie to come forward and read out loud two notes they’d written each other when they were little (see below).



I love reading these so much!

Finally, she talked about two things that summed up Brian perfectly – his hiking boots from when he was a baby, because he has always been a traveler and nature lover – and his Care Bear blanket, because he has such a warm heart and soft spot.  I couldn’t have agreed more.

So the night continued with several drinks and MANY laughs.  I originally planned to sleep at my parents’ house that night (Brian was so surprised when I told him that; “Do all brides sleep at their parents?” he asked), but decided to go back to the hotel with Brian to see a few people who’d just come into town.  The staff of the hotel was fantastic!  They let us all hang out and party in the lobby until the wee small hours of the morning.  From what I’m told, we were very loud and also a tad bit messy, too.  But WHAT a fun way to start the weekend with everyone!  I got to meet so many people I’d heard so much about.  I think my FAVORITE part of the evening was when Brian came to my side and asked if he could introduce me to a couple more people.  We walked around the fireplace and into the other side of lobby, and there stood Anne and Liam!!!  I could NOT believe my eyes!  We’d been told initially that they couldn’t make it, and I was so sad (although I completely understood).  I’d loved meeting them and hanging out in Maine the summer before; they are just the most special people with such kind hearts.  I am pretty sure I screamed and I know I cried as I went in for a hug right away.  I am still to this day SO honored they traveled so far for our wedding!

(Anne and Liam in Acadia National Park, 2012)

I ended up crashing at the hotel that night with my cousin, Megan, and her husband.  Going to be at 2 a.m. and waking up at 6 a.m. miiiiiight not have been the best idea ever.  Ce la vie!  It was the perfect day before the best day of my life.