I've been meaning to write down our wedding story ever since we got married and just haven't had the time. It's almost been a year so I hope I can remember the details.
About two weeks before our wedding Chris got a large (6mm) kidney stone. Not so perfect, right? The doctors told him he wouldn't be able to pass it naturally and would have to wait a month or two for the machine that travels all around Utah and blasts people's kidney stones to come to Provo. That was not okay, we were getting married in a week! So the doctor, feeling sympathetic, made some calls and found out that the lithotripsy machine would be in Provo the very next day - literally a miracle. I dropped him off at the doctor the next morning and a $6000 1/2 hour procedure later Grandpa Warner and I picked him up, then we drove to Salt Lake City to drop me off at the airport so I could go to Redmond and be with my family for a few days.
Sunday May 6th came and we packed our bags and headed to the Sea-Tac airport. The flight was on time, there wasn't much turbulence and we landed in Chicago a few hours later. The plan was to meet Ted and Doris at the baggage claim, get the rental car then drive to Nauvoo. And that's exactly what happened.
As we were driving, the clouds in the distance looked ominous. I could see lightning and the rain started falling. I had never thought about rain on my wedding day. I started to cry when we pulled up to the KFC in a town near Nauvoo. According the the weather man, "severe storms" were expected over the next several days.
After dinner we drove to our hotel. And what a hotel it was! It was kitty corner from the Nauvoo temple so the view from the balcony was magnificent. We basically rented out the whole hotel because our guest list was quite large, even considering the fact we were 1000 miles from home. Here's who came to our wedding:
Tom and Carolyn (parents of the bride), siblings Eric and Allison
Tom and Margi (parents of the groom), siblings Bethany, Jay, Andy and his wife Cami, Nick
Ted and Doris Warner (maternal grandparents of the bride)
John and Cathie Taylor (paternal grandparents of the bride)
John Jr. and Natalie Taylor (uncle/aunt of the bride)
Lonnie and Kris Millett (family friends of the bride's parents)
We woke up Monday morning to a beautiful day. There were clouds in the sky, but they were just overcast clouds and there were no signs of rain. Still, the chances were slim it would stay that way... Monday morning was the day I was most stressed about. The rules for obtaining a marriage license were quite stringent - you have to get it no less than 24 hours before the ceremony. Since we were getting married at 10am on Tuesday, that meant we had to get it before 10am that Monday. I called the courthouse at least three times making sure they were opened that Monday - they always assured me it would be and probably thought I was nuts...
We weaved our way along the Mississippi river to the historic town of Carthage. The doors weren't open until 8am so we took a walk around the beautiful building. After watching several employees go inside, we did the same. We gave the woman all the information she needed without a problem, paid the $15 fee and that was that. Everything went perfectly, smoothly, better than expected.
My parents headed back to Nauvoo to check on everybody else while Chris and I and his parents stayed in Carthage to look around. We found a small boutique/floral shop and ordered some cups of steamed vanilla milk - mmmm. Because of the circumstances of our marriage location, I did not plan on having a flower bouquet. However, when I looked around in the floral shop I noticed their beautiful arrangements and decided that I desperately wanted one. What's a wedding without a bouquet? The Evans quickly offered to order me a bouquet with the flowers of my choosing. I was so happy! It wouldn't be ready for a few hours, but I had my appointment at the temple to get my endowment so we headed back to Nauvoo and the Evans' would pick up the bouquet later in the afternoon.
I dressed in my church clothes (specially purchased by my mom to match my wedding colors - pink, brown and green) and carried my super cute hand-made temple bag (thank you Margi) across the street to the temple. The interior of the temple is replicated to look exactly like the original - with some modern technological upgrades of course. I loved the wooden floors that creak as you walk along them.
This was a very special day for both me and my brother. Since Eric was planning on going on his mission to Oaxaca, Mexico in just a couple of months, he received his endowment the same day as me. It was a great experience. Adjusting to garments was a different story, but it only took a couple weeks to get used to.
After the temple we "just kicked it" as Chris would say. We took some pictures as we walked up and down the streets and window shopped. Then we ate a delicious lunch at the little cafe inside our hotel. Chris knew one of the employees from his days at the MTC - how random? They spoke a little Cebuano while we ate and everyone stared at them...
By this time, the sun was miraculously shining. We were meeting the photographer at 5 so we went back to our rooms and changed into our wedding attire. I walked across the street, high heels and all, and met our photographer. He was super nice and made us feel very comfortable while we posed and smiled for the camera.
We changed back into normal clothes and headed across the river to eat dinner hosted by the Warners. However, on the way over we got "barged" as the locals say. It only took about 20 minutes for the barge to pass under the drawbridge and it is a fun memory to recount. The sunset over the hills was beautiful and we got to chat with the other people stuck on the bridge.
Dinner was delicious. The Warners had each person offer Chris and I some marriage advice. Fried strawberries for dessert - what could be better than that?
Did I sleep the night before my wedding? No! I woke up super early on Tuesday morning, May 8th, to a cloudless sky. Even when the weather man said there would be severe storms. It was meant to be. Since my wedding dress was off-white and short sleeved, I didn't wear it when I got married. My mom always likes to say, and now I can say it too, "I didn't get married in my wedding dress!"
It's true what they say, the actual marriage ceremony only takes a few minutes. As Chris and I sat in the Celestial room, the sun shown down through the skylight directly on us - pretty perfect! All I can say is it was beautiful and now Chris and I are sealed for time and all eternity.
We walked outside the temple hand-in-hand and the pictures began. We shot more combinations of different people than I can count (not really, but there were a lot!) After the pictures we packed up all our stuff and headed to a wedding luncheon at Ivy's hosted by the Evans'. The photographer came too and got some great candids of people eating their food. The lunch was delicious, the desserts were delicious and I got to go into a random pet store before we drove out.
The traffic getting to Chicago almost made Bethany miss her flight, but it all worked out. The Evans' went back to Colorado while Chris and I headed to Orlando. Our flight was delayed a little bit, but the pilot made up for the missed time. Since it was pitch black, we got to see the fires burning across Florida from the window - pretty scary/neat!
Our honeymoon to the happiest place on earth was just that. Disney World during the "slowest" time of the year can't be beat. The longest we ever had to wait in line was about 20 minutes at the Test Track at Epcot. Not bad at all. I remember the first thing I ate was a bag of cheetos and some pineapple. Random, I know. We wore these "just married" buttons that we got from the information desk at the Magic Kingdom and got lots of free food, great seats and "congratulations" (or as the Captain Jack Sparrow said to us, "My deepest condolences".)
Our open house reception at the Evans' in Colorado was perfect. The sun was shining, the food was great, the music was great. It was perfect. The open house reception at my house in Washington was perfect. The sun was shining (miracle of all miracles!) so we set up everything outside, the food was great, and Bethany played the harp like an angel.
Now we've been married just shy of a year and we're still happy as ever! And that's our story of the most perfect wedding.