This Saturday, March 29th, Mr. C and I will celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary. In honor of making our marriage work over a decade I decided to dedicate this week to sharing our story. This week I will share how we met, the proposal, our wedding, the honeymoon and life today.
When I think back about our wedding day I always, always smile. It was the most perfect, imperfect day of my day life. Sure I had to do all the planning with my soon-to-be ten-year old step-son in tow and baby on my hip and we decided to buy new build house out in the middle of BFE during our engagement, closing two months before our wedding but that’s what makes our story so special.
We went shopping for rings together. I picked out mine and he picked out his. Both rings are simple and platinum, or simple because platinum is expensive.
This was my least favorite part of the planning because I had to do it without Mr. C. I have never been the most girlie of girls. I blame nurture and not nature but it is what it is. I am most comfortable in jeans and T-shirt but I knew on this day I wanted to look like a princess but the process was overwhelming.
I went with my maid of honor/best friend in the universe to a family owned bridal shop, the first time around. I ended up picking a ridiculously traditionally puffy Mexican style dress out of haste. In that moment all I could do was miss my daddy and curse my mom for leaving me. I just wanted it done.
My sister convinced me to go looking again. This time with her at a different dress shop. She is the fashionista in our family and I am thankful for that. We browsed the racks and we each selected a few. I walked into the dressing room and hanging up was the perfect dress.
I called my sister in and asked if it was weird to want the dress the person in front of me didn’t. She made me try it on. I knew it was the one but she made me try on all the others before I made my final decision.
She spent the day shaking her head in a no, yes or maybe each time I came out of the dressing room. She gave me the experience I almost missed out because she understood my anxiety and made me deal with it anyway. Sure I lost my deposit on the other dress but it was worth it. She made me feel like a princess. I picked the dressing room dress because it was perfect.
This was the most exhausting search known to man kind. If there is a non-church wedding venue in the Metro-City area of Phoenix we have toured it. Every place we said no to was because it was either too big, too small, too many restrictions, too desert looking, Vetoed from the parking low or unavailable.
We finally found and reserved The Ocotillo Golf Course. The ceremony would be outside with the reception inside with sparkly lights mimicking stars. (Okay! I might be a bit girly) The food and liquor options were fabulous. But what really sealed the deal was getting half off golf fees for up to four people from the date we reserved until the wedding day.
All of these guys were on the referred vendor list from our location. I walked into the photographers office and he was playing the Eagles DVD and I knew he would be the one to capture our wedding in photos. He recommended the videographer because they had worked together countless times before so I booked him too. I love the one million wedding photos we have and we watch our video every year. The DJ, well, we all had a great time.
The Food and Drink:
We served a salad, swordfish and filet mignon with garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus and chocolate covered strawberries for dessert. We offered an open bar (beer and wine) and a cash option for all other liquor.
For obvious oinker reasons this was my favorite, and easiest part of the planning. I went with a simple tiered vanilla w/strawberry’s cake and opted for the top to be spiced vanilla. Our florist and good friend decorated it with roses.
I am a bit of a traditionalist and went with red roses. A family friend made all of the things that required flowers, including the decorating the venue with some. I am thankful for her because I had no clue.
Mr. C and I attended one of those huge bridal shows at the Phoenix Convention Center. Aside for the free samples, we were about to call it a bust when I found our centerpieces. They were these tall candelabras. We had them painted silver and our florist decorated them beautifully with roses. We also had little votive candles everywhere, inside and out.
The Wedding Party:
Mr. C has remained friends with a handful of guys from as early as grade school. They were all in the wedding. His brother, Gabe, served as the best man and our son, Kaleb and my Maid of Honor’s son, Chris, served as ring bearers. We did use the original bridal shop, Azteca Bridal for all of the tuxes.
Me on the other hand, I am a bit of a loner. My cousin, Margaret as you know served as the Maid of Honor. My two sisters, Monica and Esther, my brother’s then girlfriend and my bestest, and only pen pal friend since I was twelve, flew in from Rhode Island rounded out my bridesmaids.
I was walking through Dillard’s one day and found simple bridesmaid dresses in our wedding color, red-ish. They were altered at the same bridal shop I bought my dress.
The Wedding Day:
On the day of the wedding all of the girls met at our house and we took a limo to get our hair done. From there we went to the venue to get dressed. My sisters and I could not look at each other because we knew we would start crying, an ugly cry. It was clear I was about to get married and my dad wouldn’t be walking me down the aisle, so we avoided eye contact.
Aside from that I was unusually calm. I was not anxious, at all. It was a weird feeling to have stone sober. The pre-wedding pictures kept us all entertained until go time.
My baby brother walked me down the aisle while a five piece orchestra played the traditional Wedding March. The ceremony was fairly short with the traditional vows being read by a paid officiator. Before Mr. C and I said I Do, a special family circle prayer was read to include a blessing over our children, Kaleb and Karisa (I truly thought I would be getting married with a baby on my hip but Karisa went down for a nap right before the ceremony started so just her name was included). It was important to me that Kaleb knew that I promised he would always be a part of our family. I have kept that promise.
Mr. C and I said I Do on March 29th 2003, as the sun was setting. It was perfect.
A guitarist played and appetizers were served while the bridal party took a million pictures. I heard it was pretty cool.
Before dinner was served, Margaret’s Dad blessed our food and our marriage. Our wedding party was introduced right before Mr. C and I made our first appearance as man and wife. Our guest ate while some instrumental Led Zeppelin played in the background.
Then Mr. C and I danced our first dance to Love Will Keep Us Alive by the Eagles. Mr. C and his mom danced the Mother/Son dance to A Song for my Son and because the DJ didn’t have Benny and the Jets… My brother and I danced to Butterfly Kisses to a tear filled room.
Then, we partied. We danced and laughed all night long.
At the end of the night our kids were sent home with family who stayed behind to clean up the aftermath and Mr. C and I left to spend our first night as man and wife. It was the most amazing night of my life.