Getting Married, Part 1

A week before the wedding I thought I had it all figured out. If I had to do it over again I was confident with what I would ditch and what I would keep. I told my mom that a wedding was not worth it. It wasn’t. If I had to do it over again I would have had an ultra small wedding (parents, 3 best friends, ta da), a dinner at a great restaurant and a honeymoon. Bam. No fancy dress, no hullabaloo.

What I thought the week before the wedding was: how silly of me to believe I would regret not having aspects of the wedding I had imagined growing up – nothing happened the way I thought it would during engagement, and busting my butt for the reception and the favors and the details had not ended up making me feel awesome. The week before the wedding it made me feel like I just wanted it to be over. I didn’t feel at all the way I thought I would about the things I thought I would.

This is an excerpt from the post over at A Practical Wedding that’s running today. Go check it out for the meaningful, deep down feelings I had and the general goings on of the wedding + photos.

I had millions (10s of 10s) of photos I have been chomping at the bit to share because ZOMG wedding photos!!! So EXCITED! And I could only fit about a pinky nail’s worth of photos in my APW post. So today I’m going to share some of the other details not mentioned over there, with some other photos not shown over there. Dueling posts for the win! A little bit of this and a little bit of that. And so forth.

First, our photographer, Lauren Carroll, was one of the top 5 best decisions about the wedding we made. We met way back in 2005 when we were both interning (and simultaneously hating our lives) in Winston-Salem. She was rocking it in the photo-journalism department of the newspaper, and I was bored out of my mind in sales and marketing at a publishing company.

We had been keeping in touch casually, and I had always been a huge huge fan, so when Kamel also loved her photos, I jumped on her, virtually. And thank god she said yes, and thank god she was willing to fly all the way across the country. Because not only was I honored to have her taking our photos, I was honored to have her in such an intimate space. Loving your photographer and having a great relationship with them is key, they’ll be with you all day. And Lauren was a huge part of why our wedding was so fun. Seriously.

The above picture is for sure the, “is it going to close?!” scenario. It closed, despite my boobs.

Another amazing decision we made was to go with fake flowers. Fake! The jig is up! (There really was no jig in the first place.) I could not have anticipated, though I did believe it would happen, just how insane the week before the wedding was. We had travel, and appointments, things to wrap up, things to literally wrap, dinners and meetings and blahblablah. It was insanity.

Thankfully past Lauren had been looking out for future Lauren, and present Lauren (at that time) was hardcore grateful. Who has time to think about boutonnieres at a time like this?Β  At a time like this small details get shelved and you barrel forth.

But, luckily there was no shelving to be done because little details like bouquets, hair accessories, boutonnieres, chapel decorations, and gifts for my bridesmaids had all been purchased way in advance and had, for the most part, been kickin’ it in a closet somewhere in Seattle just waiting to be unearthed. I was ridiculously grateful for those months of foresight.

Crazy things about the morning that didn’t go at all as planned? Being very unclear on when our dresses (bridesmaids, mother and me) would be finished steaming, showing up to our hair/makeup appointments and standing in the rain with the stylists for 30 min because the opener never showed, oh and speaking of the rain …

… I picked a day that had not had measurable rain in 10, 15 years. I so wanted our out of town guests to experience the fab summers that Seattle truly does have. And what happened? It rained. And it was humid. And I definitely had to wipe boob sweat out of my dress before we went to the chapel. Straight up.

And then of course, there were no trusty anxiety meds anywhere to be found. Which was probably the number one thing I would actually go back and switch, whereas everything else just made the story richer.

If you are prone to “spells” or passing out or anxiety attacks, today is not the day to muscle through it. Do what you need to do and have what you need to have on hand.

Otherwise you’re not going to be present during the stressful bits. You’re going to be too focused on trying to keep it together (like I was).

We were married in my high school chapel and I am going to be forever grateful for that. It was my number 1 request about the wedding (aside from Kamel being there). I needed to be at Holy Names, I needed to have my 3 best friends in attendance (no maid of honor), and we needed our parents there. Wham bam a wedding. Everything else was (as Kamel says) icing on the gravy.

I don’t particularly like my dress. The day of, I was too happy to care and I could have been in a sack and still felt as awesome. But looking back I wish I would have gotten something that I felt super confident in. It’s not that I don’t think I look good in the photos, I do. I just don’t think I LIKE it as much as I wish I would. Does that make sense?

This is in my old physics classroom. I sat behind where I’m sitting in this photo and a little to the left. Kathleen and I used to throw notes across the room and I used to copy homework with Alena. It was a terrible class, but I did learn how to solder circuits together. Obviously, that’s come in very useful in my life.

This is going to have to be two posts because holy moley this is getting to be crazy town long. Tomorrow I’ll have all of the photos from the reception and everything we thought was fabulous and everything we thought were flubs. Yay I finally get to tell you all about everything!!

56 thoughts on “Getting Married, Part 1”

  1. I didn’t even notice your dress until you said you didn’t love it. I just saw the love and the happy and how stunning you looked. Can’t wait to see the rest!

  2. I can understand, in part of my brain, how you could not like your dress. but MAN. you looked so HAWT. I love the dress, but it’s ok you didn’t (I mean obviously it’s ok). LOVE that you are doing these posts with more photos, looking forward to seeing more!

      1. Yeah, I get it too. But you looked absolutely beautiful, and I think it was Sharon who wrote about it before, abut how, with time, she came to love the dress because it was the dress she got married in and nothing will ever change that. But yes I know what you mean… In the end though it is probably a girl thing, you know, as many dresses there are that I did not like, I think there are some in different styles that I also would have super loved, if that makes any sense…

      1. Damn. I wish Bellarmine had somewhere as pretty as that. Actually, no I don’t. Because then I’d be sad we’re not religious.

        But what a beautiful ceremony Lauren! Dress and all!

      1. Haha, you are really sweet to keep thinking of that – I haven’t gotten it yet, but it may be at my parents’ house (along with one of my credit card bills…). They’ve been busy taking care of their overflowing septic tank, so I think letting me know when my stray mail has come in is pretty low on their to-do list. But, when it does arrive, I’ll definitely let you know!

        1. well you know, Kamel addressed them which means they probably will all bounce back to us! ha. And I haven’t heard from anyone who got any so now I’m paranoid.

  3. Three things:

    1) whoa. Seeing the physics classroom is bringing back memories.
    2) I understand the confidence factor in the dress-strapless styles always leave me terrified. But you look SLAMMIN.
    3) Those are probably the most stylish bridesmaids I’ve ever seen.

    1. 1) THEY TOOK AWAY THE AMAZING ANTIQUE CHAIRS!!! WTF!
      2) Thank you!
      3) A big priority for me was to have the ladies feeling like it was a special day for them too. It was something we were all going through, just in different ways. I wanted everyone to look and feel awesome SAUCE. It was way fun.

  4. Ahhh! Lauren!! You’re MARRIED! I know you’ve been married for a while and all, but now we finally get to see all the photographic evidence. πŸ˜‰ And wow, that photographic evidence is smashing. The dress really did look lovely on you. And everyone looks so happy! And I love that you got married in your HS chapel, and the bridesmaid dresses, and Kamel’s amazing boutonniere, and those totally ROCKIN’ shoes. Congratulations, lady. Your wedding grad post was amazing, and then I got to come over here and read even more about it! And see even more photos! Lucky me. πŸ˜‰

    Congratulations to you and Kamel, always.

  5. I love the picture of your dad walking you down the aisle. Great angle of you two. Then you look at the top of the picture and see the huge smile on Kamels face and how happy he looks. Great photo!

    Congrats you two!

  6. I love you guys! I’m so glad I could be there with you on such a beautiful day. Ahhhh, love!
    -The other Lauren πŸ™‚

  7. Dear Lauren,
    It was so nice to meet you when you came to SoCal last new year’s eve. I knew you were a writer, but reading what you have to say, it is so much fun… I have not been able to read a complete books since some years ago, stress mainly, lost my power of concentration. Thanks for writing the way you do and sharing such a special moment, like YOUR WEDDING!! Besos. Marisa

    1. and way to go spelling solder correctly, I only know that bc of my engineer dad but would NEVER have guessed it otherwise πŸ™‚ three cheers!

  8. Physics classes were hard huh… they made me cry. But solding stuff together and making circuits was fun.
    And Lauren, it was said before but Your shoes. I admire you like crazy for being able to stay them more than half an hour, let alone your whole wedding. I am so happy for you, and so happy to finally see all the photographic evidence. Also, loved the boutonnieres and most of all the happiness that is just shining out of the screen !

  9. So beautiful Lauren. These pictures bring a big smile to my face.

    In an odd way, I relate about the dress issues. I loved and still love the back of my dress, but honestly don’t really like the front. I think I talked myself into liking it at the time because that seemed easier than getting it changed. But now that I’m post wedding, I wish I had. Oh well.

  10. Hi, Just got done reading both of your articles and really well done. I remember that we felt the same way when we got married. Can’t remember some, remember things that others can’t, and all in all, it was what it was. Do it over again? NEVER. Glade we did it in the first place? Always. You and Kamel look so great in all the pictures and truly, during the entire event, I have never seen a man be happier, to the point of shining light on all of us, then with Kamel. He truly is awesome. What a great son-in-law.

  11. Um, we had Mass in our high school GYM. Uber jealous. Also, can I be incredibly shallow and say that I LOVE the shoes. Yours and your girls’. So awesome. And like I said on the APW post – yay! Yay for you, yay for Kamel, yay for wedding awesomeness, yay for your marriage.

    1. The girls were absolute TROOPERS. And I had flats waiting for them at the table when we got to the reception. There was an audible gasp when Maris walked up to the podium to read in the chapel. Those ladies are badasses.

  12. As I mentioned at APW, LOVE LOVE LOVE. Also, Kamel’s boutonniere is awesome — the feathers! the baubles! Any other photos of your silk-floral handiwork to come?

    1. that was ALL etsy. Thank god for them. You should check out the girl’s hair peice vendor at the bottom of the apw post and the boutonniere vendor. They are gems. Even just for fun hair stuff.

  13. I almost passed out, too! At first, I thought about APW and asked myself, is this what they mean by feeling transcendent? Am I feeling transcendent? πŸ˜‰

    And then the black spots appeared and I realized: No, this is a lack of oxygen in your brain because you are nervous, didn’t eat enough earlier in the day despite your bridesmaids jamming hunks of granola bars in your mouth, and not breathing properly. Luckily, it didn’t hit me until 20 minutes into a 30 min ceremony. I have anxiety issues too, but oddly I felt fine until those last ten minutes.

    I fidgeted on my feet (my bridesmaids said they thought my shoes hurt), I dabbed at the corner of my eyes (folks thought I was crying), and I hesitated during my vows (busy thinking ‘don’t pass out, don’t pass out’) so folks thought I was feeling extra emotional. Nope, nope, nope. I was busy keeping my shit together and not vomiting all over my husband’s shoes. Yay that you had chairs and were in a church where that seemed totally normal!

    It made me really thankful that we wrote our ceremony script because otherwise I would have almost no idea what was said.

    1. awwww, thanks! i’m not going to lie… i cringed a little at the makeup-less photo on the internet πŸ™‚

      but for reals, it was pretty awesome (and a little surreal) to watch everyone get all gussied up.

      Yay wedding weekend!!!

  14. OMG THE SHOES! (all of them)

    You’re so beautiful Lauren. The photos are amazing and your words here and on APW made me feel like I was there with you on your wedding day.

  15. So many beautiful pictures! I’m glad we got to see one with you two sitting down–it DOES look totally planned. My own Catholic high school’s chapel holds not even a match to yours.

    And three cheers for the wedding hoodies. Not until my own wedding did I have any appreciation whatsoever for wedding-logo attire, but my awesome maid of honor made my bridal party T-shirts and now I treasure mine.

    Also love love the photo of you in a tank top and veil.

  16. Woah. Wooooah. Between this and your APW post, I am speechless and in awe of this whole experience that you had.

    Your description of the ceremony, especially, is so raw and sincere and as I read it, I felt like I could practically feel what you were feeling in those moments when you weren’t sure how you’d get through it. But you DID! Together! Yay! How awesome are you two?

    I love love love your revelation about the fact that your wedding made you better. That you saw yourself being a better version of yourself throughout. Triumph!

    And the photos? AMAZING. You are gorgeous and everyone looks so, genuinely happy πŸ™‚

    xo

  17. Wow, your photos are beautiful Lauren. Just stunning!

    I had a similar anxiety issue during my wedding ceremony, and I honestly thought I was the only person in the world who felt that way. Thank you, thank you for your honesty.

    Whilst I didn’t feel faint, I wasn’t really ‘present’ during our ceremony. I hate being the centre of attention, and I was so overwhelmed with everyone staring at me that I missed a lot if what was happening. I should have realized that I would be like that, but for some reason I thought I would feel differently just because it was my wedding day.

    Nearly a year after the wedding, I’m still upset about it.

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