Just a few months ago (June 29, 2019), Kevin and I made the biggest commitment to one another. We got married!! Our wedding was one of the most fulfilling and stressful events I’ve ever planned, and I enjoyed every bit of it. I learned some things about myself throughout the whole process. You cannot imagine what it is like being extremely excited to get married to the most amazing person in your life; the one who sees things in you that you didn’t think or know were wonderful and fantastic about yourself and who wants to spend the rest of his life with you because of it; and then leave everyone and everything you’ve ever known to move across the ocean and start again. I made the decision to start again just knowing that I love Kevin and trust in him completly. I cannot wait to see what adventures lie ahead. Our wedding was the perfect way to kick off our adventure together as husband and wife.
The venue I found was beautiful inside and out. My theme of “elegant woodland” couldn’t be held anywhere else, so the planning began, Trying to keep things reasonably affordable (why do wedding things (limos, venues, florists, etc) in the US upcharge so much just because it is a wedding?) My family: Corrie and Callie (sisters), Jace (niece), Jayden (nephew), Becky (mom) and I made our bouquets and boutonnieres out of sola wood flowers. It took hours to attach wire stems to each flower and leaf with glue guns and then pick and arrange them into four round bridesmaid bouquets and my cascading bouquet. The boutonniers for the groomsmen and twig wreaths for the flowergirls were effortless. All of the bouquets, boutonniers, and wreaths were beautiful, and we had such fun chatting and creating them. Everything melded so easily with the cache of wonder found in my cousin’s, Chad’s, basement.
Chad’s basement holds any and everything one could ever want: Christmas decor, Disney VHSs, vintage bowling pins, glassware in every shape and size, etc. He is an amazing person who collects amazing things ( I know two ‘amazing’s in a row is a big no-no for many writers, but it’s hard to describe him as anything else.) He works as a hospital fundrasier (and surpasses his responsibilities above and beyond what seems possible), shoots wedding photos and loves to decorate. He is my best friend (outside my husband and immediate family.) Chad keeps the arts alive in my life. I knew I could go to Chad and get everything I needed: evergreen swag, mercury glass vases and candle holders, silver serving trays, small bundles of greenery wrapped in burlap and navy ribbon. Chad has EVERYTHING and made my reception idea come to life. Our wedding was what I had always dreamed of (more to come later).
When I decided on a late June outdoor wedding I knew I was gambling on the weather. Just a few years ago, we were camping during the 4th of July holiday and needed hoodies and sweats to sleep through the night. Last year the humidity and heat were horrendous. Unfortuanately for us, on our wedding day the weather followed last year’s temperament. After our rainy spring, the air was sticky and hot, but the setting was still so gorgeous, and our wedding went to plan.
We wanted the people who are the closest to us, those who will be with us through thick and thin, and who will care for us when we are old and decrepit (nieces and nephews have a job on their hands) to be with us during such an important time in our lives. I had my two sisters, Corrie and Callie, as my bridesmaids, and my niece, Jace, and Kevin’s eldest niece, Holly as junior bridesmaids. Kevin had two of his brothers, Raymond and Mickey, as groomsmen, and his nephew, Lorcan, and mine, Jayden, as junior groomsmen. Kevin has five more nieces, under the age of 6, who became our flock of flower girls. My father isn’t in my life, so Jayden proudly walked me down the aisle. When Jayden was tiny and able to understand the concept of friends, he told me I was his “bestest friend”. I think we still have that connection, even if I’ve fallen a few spots because of his school friends. He felt so special and wanted to give me my last kiss before marrying. We asked a family friend, who is an Indiana judge, to perform our ceremony. She made it so personal since she’s known me since I was 8. We were smiling throughout the entire ceremony.
We had a not so typical wedding ceremony. We didn’t have the traditional vows seen in the United States, instead we did an Irish handfasting ceremony. For this, we had a sister-in-law read the vows that we responded to. One at a time we had all six of our siblings lay a cord on our joined hands that corresponded to a promise. Then Edmond, Kevin’s eldest brother, bound the cords around our hands so that when we pulled our hands apart, we “tied the knot” to symbolize our union.
The Irish are great at celebrating and they go all out for weddings. Kevin’s friends and family are used to receptions, held in hotels, starting at 6pm and lasting until 3am. Most weddings I’ve attended in the US finish around 11pm, and the wedding party occasionally goes to a few bars or clubs afterward to continue celebrating. Since most of those attending my reception would be drinking o,and/or were from out of town/country and since I wanted to go out afterward, we rented a trolley to take us about. Best decision ever! The night ended for most around 3:30am. We had so much fun!
A few of Kevin’s friends and I stayed up until 8am (that’s when I went to bed). I watched the boys sing their hearts out to Irish rebel songs as they passed around bottle after bottle. They even reverted back to their caveman masculinity and arm-wrestled. Kevin sat back and watched since they don’t want him to join in because he always wins. After 5-6 minutes, he couldn’t stand sitting out any longer and took his turn, one by one, and beat them all.
We had the most beautiful wedding that embodied who we are. We like pretty things, but aren’t fussy. We like to have fun with good food, drinks, and all our closest friends and family around us. One of us (Kevin) likes to sing and dance the night away while the other (me) sits back and watches the wonderful show. We are a perfect combination, and our wedding allowed us to be ourselves as we celebrated our love.