I’m not sure where November 10 ends and November 11 starts. Sure, there is the 24 hour clock. But there’s also your circadian rhythm of sleep and awake that defines your day. Because we had not gone to sleep yet, I consider all the craziness with my grandmother to have taken place “the night before” the wedding, even though it was nearly 1:30AM when she was finally transported to the hospital.
Ken and I went back to our hotel room after my grandmother left for the hospital, and I was frazzled and wide awake. A big difference from just an hour earlier when I could barely keep my eyes open. We turned out the lights and tried to fall asleep. I could tell that Ken fell asleep after a while, maybe close to a half hour, by the way his breathing changed. But I just tossed and turned. And tossed and turned. My heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest and my stomach just churned with jitters. I knew I had packed a small wine cube box to take to the hotel so that I could have a few drinks if I needed to relax, but I had no idea where it was and I didn’t want to wake up Ken as I looked for it.
There were a lot of things running through my head that I realized I forgot to do that day, like:
- Move one of Ken’s friends to a different table on the seating chart
- Post our Virginia liquor licenses
- Ask how long I should hold my bouquet during the ceremony
- Who was going to escort Ken’s grandmother down the aisle (remember, since we didn’t have a bridal party, we had no formal ushers or anything).
- I had put all of our board games in a box to be taken out to the pavilion, but I wanted a few left behind in the Mess Hall.
- Where was Ken going to go for his shave
But, I didn’t want to get out of bed to get my little notebook and write them down for fear of waking Ken. So instead all of the last minute to-do’s bounced around in my head uncontrollably. If you’ve ever read David Allen’s Getting Things Done, he stresses how important it is to clear mental clutter and to just record your to-do’s just to get them out of your brain and into a central repository on paper.
Ugh, and I could really use a glass of wine.
At some point, I fell asleep for about 90 minutes or so. When I woke up at 4AM, Ken was awake too. We started to talk about all the things running through our heads. We both had a very productive cry. It wasn’t a sad cry or anything like that. It was a “holy shit, we have been working so hard for this the last 13 months and it is finally here and I hope nothing goes wrong but if it does we just need to accept it and I wish we could get more sleep but we’re really just too excited and jittery” type of cry.
I got out of bed to go to the bathroom and my eyes were all red and bloodshot and there were heavy dark circles under my eyes. Glorious. Absolutely glorious. I hope I brought enough concealer. But I wish I had brought eyedrops too.
Ken said that he would leave for the venue in a few minutes so that he could get a few last minute things set up, like our DIY deejay equipment in the pavilion (he hadn’t wanted to set up the outdoor equipment ahead of time), his lighting kits, and make sure that the DIY photobooth was ready to go. All stuff only he knew how to do and therefore could not be left up to our day-of-coordinator. He was originally going to leave around 6:30 for the venue, but since it was about 4:30AM by now and we were both wide awake, we decided we would both feel better to just start getting it done. I mentioned the box of wine and that I couldn’t remember where I packed it. Ken said he remembered seeing it when he unloaded the car the previous night but left it in the car because he thought it had gotten thrown into the car by accident.
I wondered how my grandmother was doing, but didn’t want to wake anyone with a phone call. So, I figured a text would be safe. Quiet enough not to wake anyone, but loud enough to hear if they were, in fact, still awake. According to my text message history, I texted my sister at 4:56AM to see how my grandmother was doing. She replied that doctors admitted her to the hospital and that she and my mom were on their way back to the hotel.
Ken laid (lay? lain?) in bed for a few minutes longer and I got up, opened my laptop, and pounded out this blog post. I felt a million times lighter after writing that. It just felt so wonderful to get all those thoughts and feelings organized and on paper (er, computer) and to freeze that moment and emotion forever. I can’t remember if Ken left while I was still writing it or after I was finally done writing the post. But after I was done writing and after he left, I got in the shower.
Lesson Learned: When nerves start to take over and you’re feeling nervous, never, ever underestimate the power of a great hot shower. I must’ve stayed in that shower for 30 minutes.
I got out of the shower and started to get things organized in the hotel room. Since I hadn’t gotten to the hotel room until so late, contrary to my original plan, things were still in suitcases and boxes.
I unpacked all my makeup (including my makeup mirror that I brought from home, as well as a small fan to use in case I started sweating while doing my makeup) and put it neatly on the desk in the hotel room. I unpacked all my nail polish supplies and got together all the clothes I would need to get ready, like my spanx and bra. I packed a “backup” bag of stuff, including an extra bra (one time right before an important work presentation my bra strap broke. I have never forgotten that and I now always have an extra one on hand on important days), different accessories in case I wanted to switch around necklaces or whatever, and I compiled everything I would need into my little clutch, like my driver’s license, health insurance card, extra lipstick and lipgloss, and some tissues.
Then I called down to the front desk to see if they could send up someone to make my bed. I didn’t want a messy, unmade bed in all of my “getting ready” photos after the photographer arrived. They said they couldn’t do that outside of normal housekeeping hours, so I just made it myself.
Once I was finally done gathering stuff and rooting around in bags and boxes, I figured it was a safe time to paint my nails, something I had wanted to do the previous night. I gathered all my manicure supplies and painted my nails, albeit with a shaky hand from the jitters. Luckily I still managed a clean manicure!
While my nails dried, I cranked up the heat and laid down in bed. By that time, it was around 8:00AM and I still had 1 hour and 45 minutes until the hair stylist arrived. I thought maybe I could get in a good nap. But instead, fearing that I would faint during the wedding if I didn’t eat anything, I decided to go to the lobby for some breakfast before the restaurant closed at 9AM. I brought my car keys with me so that I could grab the box of wine out of my car after breakfast. I didn’t want to call anyone to join me for breakfast, like my mom or sister, because I assumed they’d still be sleeping after such a late night at the hospital. So I went to the lobby by myself and made myself a plate of the least greasy food I could find at the buffet. The winner? Home fries, fruit, and a big glass of water.
I wasn’t hungry at all, but I forced down every bite. I knew that I had to. I knew that no matter how NOT hungry you feel, you still need to eat when you’re nervous. I ran into some family friends at the buffet. I think they may have felt bad for me. I was makeup-less, wearing slouchy lounge pants and an oversized t-shirt. And I was by myself. On my wedding day. Apparently they had already heard about my grandmother’s first trip to the hospital, but not the second. I gave them a quick recap of what had happened the night before.
When they saw me sit by myself, they asked me I wanted to join them. I told them no, that I just needed to eat quickly, and that I hadn’t wanted to wake anyone to join me for breakfast because I was hoping everyone was still getting some sleep.
While I was eating my breakfast, my dad came down to breakfast, and then Ken’s sister and 2-year old niece, and my dad’s cousin joined after a while too. My dad asked me to make a plate of food for my mom so that he could bring it up to her (he doesn’t move around too well anymore). So I made her a plate with some food and we tracked down a small cup with a lid to put some pancake syrup in.
I had a few more bites of food and then my dad and I left to take the plate of food up to their room, which was a different room than the one they were in last night. Luckily the hotel was able to give them a different room considering the odor in their original room after my grandmother’s accident. My mom was awake and was going to tell me about the trip to the hospital with my grandmother.