Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Luckiest: Lots and Lots of Primping

Hey, remember this post? All about how terribly I sleep the night before a big event, and how much I was hoping to avoid that the night before our wedding? Uh, yeah. Old habits die hard, I guess. I fell asleep pretty easily around 12:30 AM, but I burst wide awake at 4:30 AM. I knew as soon as I woke up that I was awake for the day--my mind was racing with excitement and nerves, and although I laid in the bed and tried to rest and relax enough to fall back asleep, I knew it wasn't really gonna happen. Around 6:30 or 7, I did manage to calm down enough to sleep for another thirty minutes or so, but that was it.

When I decided to get up for the morning, around 8 AM, I got my first happy thrill of the day. Pittsburgh is absolutely notorious for its unpredictable weather, which is very often gray, gloomy, windy, and rainy. I hadn't even let myself think about what our wedding day weather might be like (and, in the planning stages, never once considered the possibility of an outdoor ceremony or reception!) because I knew the chances of a truly gorgeous day in Pittsburgh were not that high.

So when I got up that morning and tentatively drew back the blinds in my room, I actually gasped out loud. Even as early as 8 AM, it was obvious that we were going to have absolutely perfect weather. The skies were bright blue and cloudless, with lots of gorgeous, crisp sunshine. I was so excited about the fact that, if nothing else, we would have no weather-related stresses or headaches!

I emerged from my bedroom into the living room of our suite, where Bridesmaids Katie, Leigha, and Lauren were also getting up and around. We all marveled at the beautiful day a little more, and soon, Bridesmaids Erica, Clara, and Hannah arrived at our suite too. We sat down and enjoyed a breakfast of bagels, fruit, coffee, mimosas, and episodes of Teen Mom.

A little while later, our hairstylist Brooke and makeup artist Julie arrived, and it was time to get down to business. We set up a bridal party assembly line, with the girls taking turns in the hair and makeup chairs.

Bridesmaid Clara is probably wondering, "HAS AMBER NO SHAME?!"

Look at that pretty MOH!

HOW CUTE is Bridesmaid Erica's makeup? Julie looked at Erica's brown hair and eyes and declared that she had to give her "the full Snow White."

Something that surprised me was how nervous I felt all morning. I am not normally afraid to be the center of attention (cue my sister cackling away from wherever she's reading this and calling it the understatement of the century), but the anticipation of what was to come gave me low-grade butterflies from 8 AM onward. The mimosas Bridesmaid Leigha diligently kept in my hand all morning helped keep them at bay, and so did all the excited chatting with my bridesmaids, but the jittery, keyed-up feeling never fully went away.

Nervous and excited all at once. Also, check out that killer bruise on my leg! I am such a klutz that I walked straight into the coffee table in the middle of the room a few days earlier.

Grandma Octopus stopped by to check in on the proceedings, but mostly to help herself to our mimosa stash.

One by one, the girls (and an errant Groomsman/Brother Adam, who was found wandering the halls with a head full of cowlicks, and was promptly dragged into the suite for a mimosa and a hairstyle intervention) finished up their primping routines, until there was only one girl left: moi.




I think out of all the vendors we used for our entire wedding day, Julie (the makeup artist) may have been my absolute favorite. I gave her free reign to do whatever she thought would look best with each maid's hair color and complexion, and she killed it. And when she was all done with MY makeup? Not gonna lie: I felt absolutely gorgeous. Julie is great at not overloading your face with makeup, and when I headed off to the bathroom to check out the final results, I actually chuckled and thought to myself, "wow, I look awesome."


So we were all made up and styled, and the girls were putting their dresses and accessories on as well. Julie and Brooke packed up, wished us luck, and took off, and our photographer Corey was scheduled to arrive shortly afterward. The plan was for her to photograph me getting dressed in my wedding gown, and then to head out for some all-girls pre-ceremony portraits.

But, bad luck: Corey called and let us know that, due to traffic from road construction, her arrival to the hotel was going to be delayed. It wasn't a big deal, because we had plenty of time before we actually needed to leave for the ceremony, and I wanted the "bride getting dressed" shots more than a few extra rounds of portraits with the bridesmaids. So, there was nothing to do but wait.

This was when my nerves kicked into high gear. I hadn't left the hotel suite at all that day, and my six bridesmaids, my mom, my grandma, my aunt, the hairstylist and makeup artist, and my brother had all been filtering in and out all morning. It was starting to feel pretty cooped up and crowded in there, and the suspense and waiting was making me really anxious. I tried pacing around for a little while, then decided to chill out by myself in one of the suite bedrooms to try to calm down a bit. MOH/Sister Lauren popped in to see how I was doing, and when I confessed how nervous I was, she said, "stop telling yourself you're nervous! That's going to make it worse! Flip the script. You're not getting more and more nervous, you're getting more and more excited." For whatever reason, this was totally what I needed to hear, and definitely relaxed me as we waited for Corey.

Then! Yay! Corey arrived! The construction held her up by about forty-five minutes, but ultimately, it didn't change much of anything. As soon as it was time to stop waiting and start getting a move on our schedule, I felt much better, and my anxiety truly started to transform into intense excitement. So, Mom Octopus, MOH/Sister Lauren, Corey and I hurried up and shut ourselves in one of the bedrooms, because it was time to get bridal.

Previously, in the Octopus wedding...

We did errands all the live-long day.
We ran late, we got stressed, and we argued.
We rehearsed and had dinner, and had a great time doing it.

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