On November 1st, 2014 at 6:05pm EST I got married to my beautiful and loving wife Rachel Ross.
I know the exact time because I took a screenshot of my phone at that very instant.
The day and the weekend were incredible. My wife (still feels weird to say that) and I - but mostly my wife - planned and prepared for the wedding for an entire year. It somewhat blows my mind how much preparation and work were put in for a weekend's worth of time. Three days. Three days that the wedding spanned. The rehearsal dinner on Friday; the big day, the wedding, on Saturday; and the brunch on Sunday. Just three full days, planned way in advance, for an entire year.
But it was so worth it.
I cannot overstate how incredible the entire weekend was. Leading up to the wedding I kept hearing advice and tips from people who got married earlier this year. "It goes by in a flash". "Don't drink too much". "Enjoy every moment".
I set out to make sure I would soak up every moment and enjoy our big day to its fullest potential. I studied the itinerary for the weekend, memorizing how long each event would last so that I would know how long I had to enjoy that moment. How many minutes I had until that moment would be gone and nothing but a memory with some photos attached.
I have a lot of photos. But I have even more memories.
I remember when we got to the venue early for our rehearsal and we struggled with the handheld huppah. How would we move this giant canopy into the center of the room without knocking into things or people? Where could we put this thing together so that no one would see it before it was revealed? How we fretted and brainstormed to find a way to make this handheld huppah work.
We found a solution, as I knew we would. We turned the handheld huppah into a non-handheld huppah. Game, set, and match.
I remember when we got to the rehearsal dinner early to set-up the table settings. Rachel, her mother, and I went around to each table and decorated them with candles and flowers. Everything was looking good until we looked around and saw the tables weren't arranged for a dinner but for a restaurant. This would not make for a loving and cozy dinner and so we dragged each table into banquet style rows.
It made for a great evening.
I remember taking my last shower as a single man. I remember getting ready in Rachel's father's hotel room. Putting on my socks, putting on my pants, putting on my shoes. Putting on my shirt, putting on my suspenders, putting on my cufflinks.
I was working my way up to tying my bowtie, a skill I had only just learned the weekend before from YouTube videos, when my brothers called asking for help.
From there it was just a blur of frenzied activity as we all raced to get dressed to make it to the venue in time for pictures. At those moments my stress was at its peak as I worried that we would be embarrassingly late to the photos.
We got there with time to spare and all my worries faded away. Plus, we all looked real good.
I remember waking up Saturday morning, the morning, our wedding day morning, and looking up to the gray sky to see rain falling. Rachel and I didn't sleep together the night before the wedding, upholding a fun tradition, but I knew that when I woke up that Saturday morning, and I looked out my window and saw rain, I knew Rachel was doing the same thing. And I know we thought the same thing, "It doesn't matter. It's going to be a beautiful and perfect day anyways."
And it was.