Another guest post by Felicity Sicre Chappell – THE Bride…
Up to the morning of the wedding, I had been living in a dream state. None of it felt real. Don’t get me wrong, it was beyond exciting, but even telling the story of how it all happened, felt like I was talking about someone else. I still couldn’t believe it was all happening to me (oops, “US”, sorry Jeff).
I woke up that Sunday morning in my amazing bridal suite on the 12th floor and I had a cold (uninvited guest number one). I had been fighting it for a couple of days, a last minute gift from my fiancé. Poor Jeff, he had been sick all week and did his best to hide it from me so as not to stress me out. We were living on Nyquil and vitamins hoping to stave it off in time for the wedding. We were determined to not let it get to us. That, coupled with the third eye that had been growing steadily on my forehead for the past week (uninvited guest number two), was just enough to send me into a frenzy pushing me to that fine line between stressed out bride and bridezilla.
While the day before was sunny and breezy, the forecast had called for a 90% chance of showers for the wedding day. I spent all of Saturday praying for the sunshine to hold up because the plan was for our ceremony to be outside surrounding the gorgeous pool overlooking the ocean. (Hence the “Dream Beach Wedding”) Fortunately, the fantastic team at the Hilton and our Wedding Jeannie had already switched to plan B and had prepared for the ceremony to be inside. So I had nothing to worry about, but I was still hopeful.
Sure enough, when I opened the blinds of my bedroom window, I immediately recognized what would be the calm before the storm. The sky was grey and the clouds were rolling in quickly, the wind was picking up and the air smelled like rain. It was coming. I gave in to Mother Nature and reminded myself how they say that rain on your wedding day is good luck. Still, I felt a bit deflated. What wasn’t deflated was the pimple on my forehead. My makeup artist had her work cut out for her. Hope she packed some magic in her bag.
The next few hours went by quickly, and my room was a rotating door of visitors and camera crew. My hair and face had been beautified by Design Visage’s beauty magician Jen, who successfully hid my third eye with tattoo cover-up. Yet, the moment still didn’t feel real. It was more like watching a wedding reality show.
Until, that is, I put on my wedding gown.
As I was stepping into a cloud of ever so delicately tinted blue tulle, and having the custom designer Arminé and my sister zip and button me in, reality hit me that I was putting on my wedding dress — the uniquely created work of art that would adorn me on the most important day of my life and that would grace all the pictures that would commemorate this moment beyond my lifetime.
It was as if someone had flipped a switch. Surrounded by some of the most important people in my life, I was “in it”…that moment that every little girl dreams about but can never quite imagine until it actually happens to her. With help, I put on my red shoes that up to that point had just been some inexpensive red heels, my veil was delicately placed on my head, and suddenly I was a bride. I was glowing and I felt incredible. I looked out the window and the rain was coming down sideways, and within a few seconds, it turned to hail. Yet nothing could rain on the parade of elation that I was experiencing.
That energy carried me as I prepared to walk into our wedding ceremony. I was standing there with my Dad on one side, my Godmother/Aunt on the other, as I watched last minute stragglers rush into the room. Suddenly, the first few instrumental notes of Led Zeppelin’s All of My Love began, with the accompaniment of Tim the Electric Violinist, and my excitement was kicked up to the next notch. Chills overtook me, and I was so energized to hear the music, it was just what we wanted and it sounded phenomenal.
I didn’t think that feeling could get any better, when unexpectedly my ears were filled with the exploding cheers of our guests as they greeted Jeff and his groomsmen. I had never heard that reaction before at a wedding ceremony, and according to Pastor Dave, neither had he in his 20 plus years experience. It was intoxicating.
I couldn’t wait to see Jeff. I didn’t go with him to his tux fitting, and we decided not to have a “first look,” or what I kept calling “the peekaboo,” so I was as anxious to see him as I was for him to see me.
The music tapered and transitioned to a beautiful instrumental of Here, There and Everywhere by the Beatles, and I knew it was my queue, my moment, and the tears welled up in my eyes as my smile widened.
I was more ready than I had ever been…
Stay tuned for part 3