They had NO IDEA what they were getting themselves into.
(We got the engagement ring about a week before the wedding. Somehow it had slipped his mind. I kept waiting for a big surprise so I didn't really want to mention it. He has a strong aversion to jewelry so it wasn't really on his list of priorities at the time.)
Our wedding day, unfortunately, ended up being one of the worst days of my life. Up to that point anyway.
We've gone through some pretty awful things since then, so now it's not really the WORST day of my life. (That actually almost made all those bad things sound like a good thing, didn't it? See, I'm not always a pessimist.)
I had the usual amount of mishaps. (Seriously, is it just me? Nobody else has as many dumb things happen as I do.) Here are just a few of the more memorable ones.
The rest I've blocked out because it is too painful.
First of all, the engagement. I'm so glad we had a really short engagement - two months. I don't think our relationship could have survived a longer period of time. Even though it sounds romantic, being engaged is actually not very fun. My mom and I went out every night after I got home from work to look at wedding stuff and I actually lost a significant amount of weight, enough that my wedding dress had to be taken in to fit me. (I lose weight when I'm stressed. I think it's how I keep my girlish figure these days.)
The day before the wedding I went in to have my bridal portraits taken. It took longer than I had planned so I was going to be late for work. I rushed to my car and it wouldn't start. It was dead as a doornail. I called into my job (at LMC) and told them what had happened. I must have sounded really upset because my boss told me not to worry about even coming in at all if I didn't want to. (I didn't.)
That night, the night before the wedding, nobody who should have been helping (ahem, like my brothers and dad) was there, so my mom and I (I think Brett might have been there) hauled everything into the church and set most of it up by ourselves. My Aunt Cora and Uncle Deloy came and rescued us and really helped out a lot, bless their hearts. We got out of there at about 11:30 and I was tired and worn out.
I couldn't stay asleep (I never could sleep the night before the first day of school, so this is not a surprise), so at 2:30 a.m. I finally got up and started watching t.v. My mom got up at 6:30 that morning, which is early for her, and found me eating a bowl of cereal and watching Little House on the Prairie. I also remember watching an episode or two of The Brady Bunch and some other different old sitcoms. It's all kind of a blur at this point.
We made it to the temple on time and all the important stuff went off without a hitch.
At the end of the ceremony, as Hal and I were kissing each other over the altar in our temple, there was a distinct ripping sound. The sleeves that my mom so lovingly made for my dress (because it was short sleeved and I wanted long sleeves) ripped out because of how they were sewn in. All night at the reception after anyone would hug me, I had to keep stuffing the ragged ends of the sleeves back into my dress.
When we sat down for our wedding breakfast, (Why do they call it a breakfast? It's always in the afternoon. Also, they served veal, which is about the only food I'm somewhat morally opposed to. I didn't dare speak up at the time. I probably would now.) Hal pulled out my chair and I lifted up on the seat, which detached, and when I sat down all the little nails holding the seat to the legs went into my fingers. My brother-in-law, Paul caught the look of surprise on the wedding video (more on that in a minute). It hurt!
My cousin, who was supposed to sit at the book, decided the night before that she'd rather go out on a date with her new boyfriend. So, we rounded up another cousin in her place at the last minute (I'm sure she was thrilled). I don't know why we really even had to have someone sitting there. It shouldn't have been that big of deal, but I found out later that my mom was really mad.
During the photo session, one of my brothers (who shall remain nameless but his name begins with the letter T) called me over and said, "Don't smile with your mouth open, it makes you look really stupid." I'd had about 3 hours of sleep, I think that was the least of my problems, though now when I look at all the photos taken at the church I hate them. I really do look pretty bad. And pretty darn tired. I put on extra mascara before the reception to try and look better. In retrospect, it wasn't a good idea.
(This is also when my littlest brother, Brett, had discovered peroxide. His hair is not naturally that color. He was the coolest little kid. Not many eight-year-olds were creative like that back then.)Now here's my favorite part. Are you ready for it?
When Hal's family, which is very large and has since quadrupled in size, finally all arrived (very late) and finally gathered altogether for a photo, my nephew, Alex, (who is on the far right in the photo, on his dad's lap) said "I don't feel very good." and then he promptly threw up. My dad actually ran home (we lived around the corner from the church) and got a can of Lysol and a bucket to help try and clean it up. All night long you could smell the stench of vomit because where Alex threw up was right in front of where Hal and I stood. I don't know why we didn't think to just roll up the carpet piece and get rid of it.
I think this photo was taken after we'd gathered for the second time, after the mess was cleaned up. I think it's a pretty good picture, all things considered.
All my new little nieces were the napkin girls, but their dads took them all home early, so after about the first hour nobody got any napkins. I guess we should have thought this one through a little better too. I think on our tenth anniversary, I let my girls do whatever they wanted with most of the leftover napkins. There's still one more package floating around somewhere.
By the end of the night I had had it. Hal hadn't really wanted a reception, but at that time the only people who didn't have receptions were pregnant when they got married, so I insisted on it. Boy, did I hate the entire evening. I'm not real big into making small talk with people I don't know and I was exhausted! After I changed my clothes I dragged myself into the hallway to wait for Hal and darn near fell asleep right there. Hal was happy though, this was his type of deal. (I'm not sure if I mentioned yet that we are polar opposites in practically every personality trait.)
To top it all off, though the day started out nice and sunny, there was a huge blizzard that started during our reception. All the poor people traveling from Tremonton had quite the adventure to get to Providence. It was a little tricky to get to our hotel that night, though it had slowed down considerably by then.
The worst thing that happened in relation to our wedding didn't actually happen until about a year later. I brought my wedding video home from Texas to show someone and my mom accidently taped Days of our Lives over it. (Please people, if you have important videos, remember to pull out the little tab!) I remember my father-in-law asking me about it another year later. He didn't quite get what had happened and kept asking, "You taped over your wedding video? Didn't you want it?"
Thankfully the marriage has been better than the wedding day, though we have had our ups and downs. You know what they say, "Life happens when you are busy making plans."
But, we've survived it all and here we are, twenty years later. We are both a lot tougher now - and maybe even a little bit battlescarred - than we were back then.
Happy anniversary Hal, and here's to 20 more, even better, years. (Though, hopefully less entertaining and a little more mellow.)
I love you very much.