Birth Trauma Survivor and Maternal Health Advocate

The Wedding Planner: Part Two

Our wedding took place on Saturday February 28th,2009 at 6:30 in the evening, so we had all day to get ready. Like many brides (at least the crazy ones I had been watching on television for the past year), I had prepared a detailed timeline and schedule that was to be followed with military-like precision.

We stayed at the Millennium Hilton downtown. I had a big, luxurious bridal suite with a private bedroom, separate dining area and plenty of space for everyone to get ready. Starting at 10:00 am, flower girls, bridesmaids and in-laws shuffled in and out of the bridal suite to eat, gossip and have their hair and make-up done. Jen was pregnant with twins and on bed rest. Christine was working hard with another assistant at Battery Gardens, making sure all my bling and crystals and trees and everything were coming together for the ceremony and reception. She would come to the bridal suite every other hour or so to check on me.  It is surreal to watch your wedding day unfold. All the months you spend picking out flowers, linens and food. Finally, the day comes. You want everything to be perfect, but with weddings, as with many of life’s big events, something almost always doesn’t go quite as planned. I had a few surprises on my wedding day, most of which I didn’t find out until afterwards and at that point it was amusing to me.

Here are just a few of my wedding day snafus and funny moments:

– I had to pee an hour before the wedding.  My bridesmaids helped me lift up my gown in the restroom stall and the fabric rubbed against my arms and décolleté. When I finished and went to wash my hands, I noticed that the entire front of my gown was covered in body bronzer. I know some of you might be asking why I was wearing body bronzer. Hey, even those of us with dark skin want a sun kissed glow sometimes. Christine heard me screaming like a hyena in the bathroom and came rushing in. She thought there was a real emergency.  She calmed me down, took a baby wipe out of her emergency kit, wiped the gown and voila! Body bronzer crisis averted!

– We left my father-in-law’s boutonnière in the refrigerator in my hotel room. Of course, no one noticed that until we saw the pictures. Oh, that and also my mother in law walked down the aisle with her purse. It was a funny sight to see Bobby walking down the aisle with both his parents and his mom clutching her purse too!

-If you are brave enough to put nine children ranging from ages three to eight in your wedding, please brace yourself for at least one meltdown. One of our lil cuties bawled her eyes out all the way down the aisle.

– And then there were my bridesmaids… I had three. Ahh, those crazy girls. When we were about to leave the hotel to take pictures outside, one of my bridesmaids suddenly remembered that she forgot to have the make-up artist cover her arm length tattoo. Yup, that’s right. There I was all dressed up in my regalia at four pm waiting in the hallway for my bridesmaid to get her tattooed covered. Then she spent the entire evening cussing out her boyfriend in front of their entire table.

– One of my bridesmaids had the flu. I had no idea. She threw up right before (and several times throughout) the wedding, but I didn’t know until several days later–she didn’t want to worry me. Christine happened to be in the bathroom when she was vomiting and she asked her how far along she was. Disclaimer: she was not/is not pregnant.

– Oh, My Maid of Honor? That little sweetheart spent the evening swigging champagne and flirting with everyone else’s date!

– Our Reverend brought a date. What, didn’t yours? The lovely lady wore blue jeans at our black tie affair.

-There were a few no shows too. Gotta love that! I felt like mailing those fuckers an invoice. Saturday night weddings in Manhattan aren’t cheap!

All jokes aside, we had an amazing wedding. Inspired by Bobby’s Middle Eastern heritage and a work trip I had taken to Qatar two months prior, we decided to hire three belly dancers to entertain our guests. My maid of honor had also gifted me with a semester of belly dance classes for my birthday. The classes paid off, I shook my hips and shimmied, keeping up with the pros. Shakira would have been proud!

My favorite memory of our wedding day is when Bobby and I practiced our first dance in the ballroom, all alone, while everyone else was still enjoying the cocktail hour.We had practiced our dance for  months but when it came time to perform Bobby just turned me around and around in circles. We did manage to do a dip without me falling on floor so we were proud of ourselves. Our first dance was to Feeling Good, by Michael Buble. The song always lifts me up.

Birds flying high
You know how I feel
Sun in the sky
You know how I feel
Breeze driftin’ on by
You know how I feel
It’s a new dawn
It’s a new day
It’s a new life
For me
And I’m feeling good
I’m feeling good

Our wedding day was my, (I mean, our) dream come true.  I (I mean, we) had everything we wanted, and then some. All those millions of tiny details came together and we had the time of our lives. Christine and her assistant did an amazing job. When we returned from our honeymoon, I wrote a rave review for Christine on the bridal website, theknot.com. A couple of months later my gown shopping experience and our wedding was selected to be showcased on a television show.

It was just the beginning.

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