And our photographer...well, he just took the gorgeous wedding party and made them look even better! :)
However, as my sister's MOH, it was also really chaotic acting as a day of coordinator for her. I feel like I either missed out on a lot of the fun and special things or I was rushing through them to make sure the next thing was taken care of.
She got married on Labor Day weekend in San Clemente, CA and the traffic was horrendous! The ceremony started an hour late because we were waiting for lots of guests to arrive. On top of that, it was an extremely hot summer day and the wedding was outside on the lawn at a golf course/club.
It was finally time for the ceremony to start...everyone was seated. The beach balls she had left for the guests to throw around while they waited for the ceremony had all been collected.
As I approved that the golf carts were lined up and everyone was in their place, I ran back to the wine room to grab the bride and her maids. The photog and videog were already down by the ceremony site so it was just us 5 ladies in the wine room at this point. And as I entered, I could feel myself running in my heels and dress. So I sat in this chair next to my sister, took a deep breath and said "Can I just stop for a minute?"
I looked around at the girls and we were all pretty anxious about what was about to take place. So I just said, "Can we just pray together real quick?" And we all sat in a circle, holding hands, loving on my sister and I just said this prayer. I don't remember what I said but I know I thanked God for these amazingly beautiful and fun ladies who were such a special part of this journey and I know I prayed for my sister and her soon-to-be-husband to have a blessed day and a God-centered marriage. And then I prayed that God would help us all just slow down and take in every moment...enjoying it, not rushing through and not taking it for granted.
When I finished, I looked up and the girls said "Thanks for making us cry right before we're about to walk down the aisle!" We then all laughed and tried to blot away tears and check our makeup and then we were out the door and off to the ceremony!
I was kind of bummed later that our photographer wasn't there to capture the moment because I've seen some friends do this at their own weddings now since I always tell them to stop and take a moment just before the ceremony to pray and soak it all in and just *BE*. But even though we didn't get any pretty shots like this:
It was kind of nice to just have it be an intimate quiet thing with just us girls.
The best advice I can give to you ladies as you get ready for your big day is to not rush anything! The photog is yelling at you that you need to cut the cake? The DJ is telling you that you just must line up immediately for the grand entrance or the coordinator is screaming that the guests have been waiting for 30 minutes for the ceremony to start? Who cares? They can't do anything without you! You're the bride.
So take a moment to just be *IN* the moment. If you feel so led, ask someone to pray for you and your hubby or whatever. Or just stand together with your loved ones holding hands in silence and taking long, slow breaths. Whatever it is, just relax...in that moment, right before you find yourself walking down that aisle and all the chaos begins, just stop and remember this moment....for you'll never get it back again :)
* Praying photo courtesy of Melody Flannery. Unless otherwise indicated, all photos taken by Eric Cotter of Jim Kennedy Photography