Then it was on to Vail on Friday, where the weather was actually pretty nice, despite the fact that it had snowed Wednesday night. We had a wonderful dinner at Billy's Island Grill, where we were joined by all of the out of town family and our awesome friends, not to mention, the food was absolutely delicious!
Casey, Andrew and Jessica
Casey's uncle Ritchie
By the time we woke up Saturday morning, I was feeling fairly safe about the forecast, which, although it was not as warm as it had been in 2008, was warm enough to allow us the outdoor wedding we had been dreaming of. It was an amazing day. A bit of a comedy of errors, but I have been preparing myself for the fact that it was never going to go perfectly. And it didn't, but uncharacteristically, I was pretty okay with that.
We started with breakfast, which we had planned to hold in the hotel. Unfortunately, the breakfast that Casey and I attended last year on October 4th wasn't open yet - the consierge said they only do that in the winter, and evidently their definition of when winter begins has changed. So instead, we all trekked out to Denny's, and it was actually really fun!
Then, the boys and girls split to their respective hotel rooms to get dressed. When we went to the spa a few weeks ago, they told me that a thinly sliced cucumber on the face removes impurities, so the girls went on the hunt for a cucumber. To our complete astonishment, we didn't have to look far: our "personal consierge" delivered one to us!
Somehow, I was still feeling relaxed as we drove to Donovan Pavilion about an hour before the ceremony. I wasn't nervous, I was just trying to relax and take it all in. Putting the dress on was awesome, it was a great feeling to stand there in my wedding dress!
My handsome hubby
Everything was kind of blur when the music cued to signal the beginning of the ceremony. Because I am a perfectionist, I was counting in my head and watching from the sidelines to make sure the timing would be okay. Then, the music changed, and I had to send our adorable ring bearer down the aisle. Finally, it was time for me to send off the flower girl, and then... I took my dad's arm and it was like magic to walk out those doors.
By far, my favorite moment of the day was seeing Casey's eyes tear up when he saw me. He almost cried, so of course I almost cried. I don't remember seeing anyone else as I walked down the aisle; I literally only had eyes for him. I think I may have smiled at my mom - I meant to anyway, I'm not sure if I actually did.
The ceremony was perfect. It was officiated by a former teacher of mine, whom I absolutely adore, and she did a phenomenal job. I knew she would make it perfect, but in the moment, it honestly couldn't have been any better. Having her there was... amazing! It was absolutely the best ceremony we could have imagined. And so different from the one we did a year ago! When I wrote the ceremony, I kept the vows the same, so that our vows would always be the same. But it was incredibly neat to be able to actually stand in front of our family and friends, with Gloria leading us, and profess our love for one another. Wow...
We're totally Joe Cool. Didn't cry at all...
Casey saying a few words to me Awwwwww!!! Putting on Casey's ring (again....) What a difference a year makes! 2008....
The reception was a blur. Even though I wasn't drinking, I don't remember much of it even a week later. It was both stressful and wonderful, probably in equal parts. The good things I remember were walking around and talking to all of our friends and family, who we are extremely blessed to have in our lives. We have always know we have wonderful, supportive friends, but on this day, they all seemed to go above and beyond. That part of the reception was AWESOME!
One of my favorite parts of the night was after Casey and I returned to the hotel. We decided to take a walk through the deserted streets around the Arrabelle (by streets, I really mean the quaint little village area surrounding the hotel. No cars allowed on the cobblestones that are totally part of the whole ambiance of the place. Not at ALL like "streets" we might think of!). It was a beautiful night, and it was so amazing to have that time together to decompress after all of the excitement. When we finally got into our hotel room, I discovered one more surprise: my mom had decorated the whole thing with customized "Mr. & Mrs." everything: pillowcases, pillows, mugs, picture frames; and she had put baskets of food in our suite for us to enjoy.
We changed out of our wedding wear - which, somehow wasn't as sad as I had expected it to be! - and settled in to watch the video of the wedding, eat a bit of food and some wedding cake.
It was an absolutely awesome, perfect day full of so many blessings! We are grateful to everyone who came to celebrate with us, because you made our day even more special!!!!