I married the man of my dreams on August 14. The wedding took place at the Tower Club in Tysons Corner, VA- which is an event venue and restaurant at the top of a 17-story building about 10 miles outside of Washington, DC.
The day began as I woke up in an Executive Suite at the Ritz Carlton. I stayed there Friday night so that I could avoid seeing the groom the day of the wedding. We wanted to see each other for the first time that day when I was walking down the aisle. My maid of honor, Tara, had spent the night in the Ritz with me which was a lot of fun. When was the last time I had a sleepover with one of my best friends!?!
I thought that maybe I might run that morning, but ultimately I decided against it because I didn't want to pack the extra running clothes-- I already had so much to think about packing wise! Instead, I watched music videos that coincidentally revolved around weddings as Tara slept in the next room. I also saw an episode of "Married with Children". Definitely not glamorizing married life!
Finally it was time to make our way over to the Tower Club. This was the first time I started to get nervous. I had been surprisingly calm for the entire morning and just enjoyed spending the time with my bridesmaids. But because we were running about 10 minutes behind schedule, I got anxious and really wanted to just get over to the venue. As we left, we all had our hair done, I was not in my dress yet, but the veil had been affixed by the stylist. I also had my makeup professionally done. The makeup had been a saga, but it worked out well in the end.
We arrived at the Tower club, and my mother was waiting for us there. She had already met the florist
The bridesmaids wore zebra print dresses. I am lucky that I got married when I did, with zebra print being so in style. The dresses were actually Greg's idea, and I think the ones that I picked out were really classy.
I started to get anxious. Not nervous-- just that excited anxious feeling you get at the start of a really important race. You start to think about all the preparation that went into this day, and more importantly, how much it meant to you and how much you wanted it. Everyone wanted to talk to me about one thing or another, and yet my mind was elsewhere-- focused on how this was such a huge step for me. Romantic relationships had always been such a struggle for me, and I never thought I would get married. And yet one day, out of nowhere, I met someone who far exceeded my expectations of what a good partner would be. I truly believe that Greg and I were made for each other, and that we met each other at exactly the right time-- once we had figured ourselves out and were able to love and respect each other fully.
During the week leading up to the wedding, I was also surprisingly calm. The week leading up to a marathon is typically a lot more anxiety-laden. I am super worried about what I am eating and drinking, and I am a huge germ-a-phobe. I stalk the weather forecast like crazy. But none of this happened the week leading up to the wedding. Everything was indoors, so the weather didn't really matter to me, and the thought of getting sick didn't even cross my mind. I think this is because I knew the outcome of the wedding: Greg and I would be married. However, with a marathon, you really don't know the outcome. And frankly, there is a lot more time invested in training for a marathon than in planning a wedding. I maybe spent 2-3 hours a week on wedding stuff, and time spent running far surpasses that!
I heard the piano music played and just waited, arm-in-arm with my father until it was our turn to walk. Everyone stood up and the pianist gave me my cue. This was actually happening! I was getting married! All eyes were on me and I felt like a princess. A magazine article somewhere had said that the bride should smile and make eye contact with guests, and not just look straight ahead. It was almost like a dream, seeing all my close friends and family there gathered in one spot to watch me get married.
When I made my way toward Greg, we held hands and the ceremony began. We hired a priest who specialized in performing marriage ceremonies. The ceremony was somewhat religious, but mainly in the sense that "God is Love" and I truly believe that God is an important part of our marriage. The ceremony seemed to go by so quickly. Both our mothers gave readings. We said our vows (we used the traditional ones) and then put the rings on each other's fingers. And suddenly, we were married! We hadn't rehearsed the kiss, but I think it went off just fine. :-)
As for the wedding itself, I already noted that the bridesmaids wore zebra print, in honor of my
obsession with zebras (I have been fascinated with them since I saw them at the zoo when I was seven). I didn't want to go overboard with it, so the zebra print was just represented in the dresses, the cake and the party favors.
As I alluded to in the title, we also wanted to personalize the wedding with regard to our love for running. Greg and I spend a great deal of time training together so we wanted to have that passion represented. We decided to take the bib numbers of the races that we ran together and get them laminated. Once they were laminated, they looked so good that many people were surprised that they were the actual numbers we wore! I was happy that they turned out as well as they did. I also had two tables worth of running friends, so they especially appreciated this detail.
The rest of the wedding went by very quickly, but Greg and I had been warned of this, so we took a few moments to ourselves to just remember how it felt and to tell each other how much we loved each other. It was so nice to see our closest family and friends all at the same time.
After the dinner, it was time for dancing. Our first dance was "Learn You Inside Out" by Lifehouse. We wanted to choose something original that people probably wouldn't have heard of. I then danced with my father to "100 Years" by Five for Fighting. That was a lot of fun-- we had actually practiced beforehand. The dancing continued for a few more hours and everyone seemed to be having a wonderful time. It was by far the best day of my life!