How can I put so much joy into words?
Our wedding celebration was incredible from start to finish. I will cover the actual wedding day tomorrow, but what I want you to hear about today is everything leading up to the wedding. We had a marathon of celebration and to tell you how much it meant to me would be impossible. So many wonderful people who love Bill and I drove and flew from all over the country to celebrate our union. It was more than just a night out, a crab feast, and a baseball game. It was about our friends and family being in the same place at the same time and having the most wonderful week ever. Honestly, everytime I looked around I was overwhelmed with a rush of excitement and love. God really blessed me through our wedding with the people in our lives. Whether I haven't seen them in years or I see them all the time, it was such a joy to have everyone in one place. A humbling, overwhelming and joyous blessing.
There were three night time celebrations leading up the wedding. The Bachelor/Bachelorette Party in Baltimore, the crab feast at the Wecker family home (where I grew up), and the Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards. I could never choose a favorite night, but I'm going to attempt to succinctly sum them up for you now.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette party started at a restaurant in downtown Fells Point, which is a neighborhood in Baltimore. Everyone carpooled down and looked amazing (we have some good looking friends). It was one of those nights that felt like a dream. Great food, good drinks, wonderful friends, so much laughter and conversation... our table was perfection - long and high and constantly changing. We walked around and hung out with everyone. Honestly, it was Bill and my dream to have all of our wonderful friends in this environment. I felt like the most beautiful bride in the world everytime I caught Bill's eye. Every friend that made it out this night is SO special and important to us.
Sigh... to have them all together was an answered prayer.
After dinner, the boys and girls split up and I looked at the girls around me and was overcome with what God had provided for me. I went through a dark period that lacked deep relationships with women of God, and as I looked around at my drop dead gorgeous girlfriends and family, I was reminded what an answer to prayer they all are. They are beautiful, they hold me accountable, they take time to listen to my heart, and they check in on me even when we are apart. We got some drinks and dessert and then headed home for a movie and junk food. It was so perfect :)
The next evening was the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. As we started practicing it all started to set in. You plan and plan and then the rehearsal arrives and you start to really understand all that matters is you and your husband-to-be and the love that you share. While we were rehearsing, Bill's eyes welled up with tears and he looked at me in the sweetest way. I gave him a big hug, and in that moment, and every moment after, nothing else mattered. We wrapped up the rehearsal and pulled ourselves together and headed to the other half of the yard for dinner.
Something that Maryland is known for is crab feasts, and Bill and I had a crazy idea to invite 75 people to a crab feast in my parent's back yard for our rehearsal dinner. Honestly, I had my doubts about pulling off a crab feast of this scale, but once we set the ball in motion it seemed like everyone was on board. Once it all started, I knew we hit the nail on the head. It went absolutely perfectly! Beer was flowing, hot crabs were dumped on tables as needed. We had the perfect amount for everyone and the Maryland natives taught those who had never partaken before. We projected the Ravens game on the side of the house, and when I caught Bill's eye halfway through my eyes welled up with tears. It was EXACTLY what we were both picturing and it was an amazing and epic night.
The night before the wedding was one of the most anticipated events of the weekend, the Orioles baseball game at Camden Yards. This was something Bill and I were thrilled to share with our family and friends alike. It was a gorgeous, clear night with a slight chill in the air. As everyone arrived and filled in our block of seats I was once again thrilled with the turnout. Each night had gotten progressively bigger, and this night was a huge group of people. About 2/3 of the people that came to our wedding were at the baseball game the night before.
We were in the top section, and apparently on nationally sydicted television. My sisters and family made KissCam signs and the fireworks lit up the sky after the game finished with an Orioles victory. We danced and drank and ate hot dogs and just soaked up the atmosphere that baseball staidums offer.
I just couldn't believe it had all happened at the end of this night. Not only had we pulled it all off, but it had gone off without a hitch. There was no drama or problems. Everyone was on board for the celebration of a lifetime. We kept it simple and were rewarded for our efforts of dreaming big and making sure everyone felt like family, because they truly are. I could not have imagined a more incredible few days leading up the the wedding. I was blown away by the efforts of our bridal parties and our amazing friends.
Bill and I wish we could thank everyone in person individually by buying them dinner and fawning all over them, but in the case that it can't happen, we want to make sure if you read these words you feel our thanks. We are extremely grateful and overwhelmed by your generosity.