11/11 Real Bride Julie: The Final Countdown!

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Time is closing in on me guys! Four days to go and the day will be here. If there is one thing I’ve heard from people over and over again, it’s that the wedding itself will come and go like a flash and there’s a good chance you won’t remember most of it. That’s kind of how these last few days have been going too. The time I get up in the morning seems much closer to the time I go to bed each night even though it definitely isn’t. Maybe it’s partially the seasonal change messing with me, but honestly, these last few days just seem quicker. It’s like I somehow messed with the space-time continuum and I’m dealing with the consequences.

These final days leading up to the wedding have been very emotional for me. I cry at the drop of a hat (as was evident the night I found myself bawling at an episode of “iZombie”) and I’m a bundle of nerves. I’ve got all sorts of scenarios in my head of things that could go wrong or things we might’ve been forgotten. Those fears are eased by going through checklists and getting things done. We’ve accomplished a lot in the past couple of weeks and every time we can cross something off our list, the feeling of accomplishment is unbelievable. But then there are other nerves that have come up to replace them. I’ve done a lot of things thus far in my life that I would categorize as “adult” things. I’ve graduated from college. I’ve re-written my resume multiple times. I work in a full time job and have worked multiple jobs at once. I’ve dealt with health insurance, life insurance, mortgage pre-qualifications, my own taxes and all sorts of adult-ish things. Somehow though, this is the one that feels like it’s the end of my childhood once and for all and there’s a part of me that’s having a tough time with it.

Real Bride Julie's Centerpieces

Who’d have thought I’d end my childhood with a party that’s at least partially “Beauty and the Beast” themed?

It makes sense that it’d feel like that in a way. A wedding might be a big fun party, but it’s also the start of something much larger than that. My marriage to Matt is more than just that day. It’s a formalization of our family, separate from (though still a part of) each of our individual families. It’s the start of our personal lineage. As important as all of my other adult decisions and rites of passage may have been, none of them have ever been so significant as that. Branching off of the family tree and joining up with another one, that’s kind of a big deal! I know that when Matt hears about these nerves he worries a little bit that it’s me getting cold feet and that couldn’t be further from what it is.IMG_5695

Hmm … This might be where he’s getting the cold feet idea! That and he’s probably thinking I need to be better about charging my phone.

I think it’s just that my mind has finally calmed down long enough to really be aware of how big this really is. Thinking about it like this doesn’t just make me nervous though. It also makes me more sharply aware of the importance of the ceremonial aspects of the wedding that so often fall to the wayside in the planning process because there are so many moving parts to the reception. There’s a lot less to plan to ceremony, but it’s the real reason we’re all there to begin with!

Those aren’t the only feelings hitting me these days though. There are all sorts of warm and fuzzy feelings that come along with this point in wedding planning  too. On Halloween night, I found my 5-year-old niece jumping up and down for joy in her Elsa costume. “I can’t wait for your wedding!” she yelled at me as I came into the room. Seriously, to have a kid that excited when there’s way cooler stuff going on in that moment (trick or treating and “Hocus Pocus” blaring from the TV), you know that you’re loved. There are people texting me regularly to see what I need help with, and people going out of their way to make sure everything is together for our wedding. The surge of love and concern has been really energizing and really helped fight a lot of the nerves. I want to remember the day of the wedding (obviously) but I want to remember all of this too. I’ve said right along that I wish in addition to the very important day of pictures we could take professional pictures of the events that lead up to the wedding too. I wish I had pictures of my mom with a tear in her eye as she saw me in MY gown for the first time, or of Matt and I as we signed the contract for our venue. I got some cute pictures of my mom and Matt at the first cake tasting (where I couldn’t taste the cake because of my diet!) and that’s something I will treasure forever. The day of the wedding might fly by but those aren’t the only memories we’ve made in this whole process and sharing the experience with people we love make it all worthwhile.

On top of all that, there’s this huge sense of relief that washes over me every so often. Oh my God, it’s almost here! The finish line is in sight. Queue the song from “Aladdin and the Prince of Thieves” (They’re finally getting married!). We’ll have so much free time where we won’t feel guilty that we’re not in constant planning mode! In a few short days, I’m going to be married to my best friend in the whole wide world and our new family will be off and running. The nerves can overtake these feelings pretty often because I’m generally a nervous person as it is, but when these do come up, I can’t help but smile ear to ear. This is really happening once and for all.

So yes, the last couple of days before the wedding have been crazy. They are exciting and scary and overwhelming. They happen more quickly than you expect and are gone even faster. The best thing I’ve done for myself in all of this is take lots of pictures and keep lots of notes. I read once in an article on Offbeat Bride that the way a bride was able to hold on to a lot of her memories from her wedding day was by sitting down and writing about it as quickly as possible after the fact. I’d add to it that it’s worthwhile to do it for the rest of the process too. As crazy as some of these feelings are, they’re all part of the experience and they all enrich your understanding of what it’s really all about it in the end.

Julie is a mild mannered secretary by day, and a blogger/screen-printer/whovian/netflix-connoisseur by night. She was born and raised in Boston in a very large family, where she is the youngest of 8 siblings. Her hobbies include cider brewing, writing, stewarding a Little Free Library, and debating any number of their shared nerdy interests with her boyfriend. She enjoys a love-hate relationship with the word fiance and hopes to some day rule the world. She also has the distinction of stealing the "longest engagement" Dundie from Pam Beesly, as she will be celebrating her fourth year of being engaged in October, one month before her wedding. Follow along on Twitter.