We arrive at Wavelengths a tad early – I was rather excited to have my hair done here, as originally I just planned on doing it myself to save the cash. But then Meredith graciously offered to gift me a hairdo! It was very sweet and generous of her. Last minute, she decided that she would try to get fit in as well for a quick hairdo. She actually got in and done before I was ever in the chair!!!

Lauren and I headed upstairs to wait for my lady to finish with her customer, so we just sat on the couch and chilled. At that point, I was actually starting to feel the weight from the ceremony that would occur that evening. I did this once before, and I didn’t do too good of a job. This is a big decision and a huge step. But I felt confident and rather chill, so I just took lots of deep breaths and I was fine.

Finally it was time for me to get my hair done – I also realized at this time that I had left all the photos I had for suggestions on a possible hairdo at home. They were all sitting on my iPod touch, which was on the coffee table at the house. Poo. So, the hairdresser and I talked a few minutes and I trusted her experience in this subject. Anyway, she did a lovely job, and I was thrilled with my hair.

Once the hair was done, for me it was time to wait. Meredith and I got back in her car and headed over to the East Duke Building. We rented the parlors in the building for respective boy and girl getting ready space, so we just headed over there about 3:30 or so. Lauren needed to touch base with Cookie for last minute things at Alivia’s as well as picking up a table cloth for the guest book, so she took off for a bit. Meredith and I hung out in the Pink room, painting toenails, reading miscellaneous stuff in the room, and I finally had to get to an important task. Instead of exchanging gifts, Mike and I decided to write each other a letter and exchange them shortly before the wedding. Therefore, I picked a lovely antique desk in the corner of the room, formerly owned by Mark Duke Biddle, and I wrote Mike a card. I spilled my emotions all over each open surface of the card, expressing to him how happy I was to have run across him in my life and how excited I was to start this partnership for the future. I thanked him for his love and friendship, I thanked him for his appreciation of my flightiness and desire to try new things every day, I thanked him for being the amazing social creature he is – for loving my friends and family as much as I do, and for being such a wonderful citizen of the world. I think it was a good letter ;-)

After that was wrapped up, I waited. And waited. I actually told Meredith, “Soak this in – it is so quiet right now, but within one hour, the time will fly.” Boy was I right. Eventually, I started to wander the parlors and found out that the Blue Parlor actually had a TV, DVD player and a radio! Jackpot! Meredith and I packed up the pink room and moved everything over to the blue room. Blue is for girls now! We found some fun tunes and started the party. Woo hoo! Shortly after that, Lauren was back, and then my Mom arrived. Taylor got there shortly after and wheeled in a cooler of champagne. Awesome! We broke open the bottles, shared the wealth of yumminess and started to get ready. About 4:30, our photographer arrived, and that was super exciting! This meant it was all going to be real now. WOO HOO! Laura, Darrah and Becky arrived, and it was great to get them in on the celebration, too.

Enjoying some champagne

Our photographer, Annie, was just amazing. She got her bearings with the building then started snapping photos. Awesome. Eventually, Cookie arrived after running all sorts of other errands. By that point, we were only an hour away from the ceremony start, so it was full on “get ready time.” Mike called me (the first time I had talked to him that day) and asked me to go through the list of items he was supposed to bring from home. “Let’s see, marriage license, camera, iPod, um, that’s it!” I said. Thankfully he replied, “You are forgetting one big thing – our toasting glasses!” WHEW. I am glad he thought of that, as it had totally slipped my mind.

By that point, I could hear folks outside and you could feel the buzz in the air. Make-up, hairspray, perfume, dry cleaning bags, shoes, champagne, 80s songs on the radio, hugs, cameras, flowers, oh wow. It was just a flurry of activity. So much fun.

Putting on the dress

Suck it in!

The boys!

Handsome, handsome!

The girls all helped me into my dress and then Mom helped me with my jewelry. By that time, we were only about 15 minutes from start time (my tummy is even getting fluttery as I write this!!). The last guests were shuttled upstairs, and the boys were in the room off to the side of the Nelson Music Room. We were ready to start.

The girls, my Dads and I all headed up the stairs. I realized we never set up a signal to let our good friend Marty, the pianist, know that it was time to start the wedding entry music. Somehow we managed to get that point across, and Canon in D started. YAY! Meredith went first, followed by Cookie, then Lauren and Owen. As I stood there with my Dad, I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. Many worried I would cry like a baby for the wedding, as I kind of have a habit of doing that. But tears were the last thing on my mind. I was just SO excited. I was ready to get in there – I wanted to see my future husband, my family and friends and just soak it all in.

We made our way to the door and went in – Mike was beaming. And it was contagious. I just smiled. A huge HUGE all gum smile. My Dads walked me up and Mike took my hand to help me on stage. My heart had stopped pounding, but I could not stop smiling. The ceremony itself was record speed fast. Ambassador Joseph, my former boss and former US Ambassador to South Africa under Clinton’s second term, officiated the wedding, which was huge for us. The service was ecumenical and spiritual, and it was so packed with everything a couple needs to hear when making this commitment. It was a beautiful ceremony, and Mike and I both could not stop smiling. Smiles, smiles, smiles (we have been told by a few folks that we looked like the happiest people ever getting married).

(I'll give you the professional pics for this one soon...)

Before we knew it, we were hitched. Awesome. It was beautiful, wonderful and quick! Mike and I filed out and just waited outside the doors to greet all of our friends and family. We did a receiving line and said thank you to every single person there – it was a great feeling. Once all the hugs were done, we headed downstairs to sign the marriage license and take photos. Annie was great with the group photos – those went at record speed, too. It was a bit steamy outside, so being quick with outdoor photos was a pretty good idea. We whip through those, then it’s time to grab the stuff out of the building and head off. We managed to load everything up, and we headed for the reception………

COMING NEXT…..the reception and after!!!!!

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