the pre-wedded state

Ready or not, we’re kicking off the wedding posts. This is part 1, which reduces April 2012 to a series of frenetic bullet points before breaking into a nice light jog (in the form of a group nail salon trip, estrogen-soaked sushi luncheon and wine-soaked rehearsal dinner) leading up to the main event. I know you don’t really care, but indulge me, ok?

To understand exactly how this wedding went down, it would probably be helpful to witness the shape I was in going into the whole thing. And, seeing as I wasn’t exactly keeping you current in real-time on this little blog, some catch-up is probably in order.

To summarize: April was a crazy ass month.

To whit, I remember the following:

-Spending several late, lonely nights in my office, working on the biggest story of my silly little fledgling career and wondering, why, in god’s name, this had to happen now. Trying to enjoy the excitement and frustration and fleeting accolades anyway.

– Eating boatloads of sushi takeout from the place down the block; relatedly, starting to consider my kitchen a foreign country where pots and pans went to die.

-A few lucky midweek moments with Dave: one where he got out of work oddly early and met me, giddy off another big byline, in the park with Franny on one of the first perfect days of the season; another after his hospital-mandated alcohol training program in midtown, where I met up with him and all the residency guys ironically indulging in bootfuls of beer in celebration. I downed his.

-Celebrating my mom’s birthday with dad and Dave at the restaurant at the Pierre…and then sneaking into the Pierre’s ballrooms with Mom to take a peak at that which we hadn’t let ourselves see in the beginning stages of wedding planning, for fear of falling in (very expensive) love. With the preparations for the April 21 bride swirling around us, all I could think was one more week, one more week.

-Eating macaroni and cheese in a hotel restaurant in Washington, DC on a rainy Sunday evening with an old, old friend who would, in a few short days, carefully sign our ketubah.

The week of the wedding, I covered a Supreme Court hearing, dashed back from DC on the train feeling 100 times lighter, and worked one last crazy day from our apartment (that ended with a much-deserved nap).

By mid-week I was off from work, picking up the entirely fantastic, entirely frivolous outfits (Hawaiian-print Nanette Lapore dress and electric blue pants) my mother  had insisted on buying me for my honeymoon. (Hot Jap tip: buy your dress at Saks and your mom too, overcome with love for her bride and the proximity of the DVF section to the bridal salon, just might take pity on you during your final fitting and respond with lovely, lovely gifts of the fashion variety.)

On Wednesday night, I went back to Connecticut, where the reality of my insane Type A ways set in: I had pretty much already taken care of everything. With only a few errant wedding errands left on the list, there was really nothing much to do, and the main task at hand became simply to sit and wait and mull in the house I grew up in. Get here, get here, get here, I kept thinking. Also: 20 months is far too long of an engagement.

Fortunately, Thursday night closed with a precious few hours spent with my very best friend, flouncing around in various lacy dresses and crying over my vows, and Friday arrived as if hopped up on amphetamines. Suddenly, Sarah was on the correct coast! Plans that had previously just been itineraries in an email were swinging into motion. And all of my favorite girls were flocking to the nail place I’ve been attending for years, the place I got my toenails painted for prom.

We got sushi at That Sushi Place We Always Go To After Getting Our Nails Done. It wasn’t fancy but it was tradition.

We directed the out-of-towners up to New Haven and I drove back to my parents’ house and found my family gathered around old photo albums, showing Jacob’s girlfriend just how weird we all were as children. Dave called and we realized the train he was on would be passing through Fairfield in a few minutes. No need for him to trek all the way up to the city in which we would be wed alone – I got in the car and retrieved my groom from the station.

A few minutes later, all the kids piled in the car for the ride up to New Haven. We played Call Me Maybe and Meatloaf ballads on repeat and when we got stuck in a little traffic, everyone sang.

The hotel was just as cool as Dave and I remembered. We scoped out our little suite and then headed upstairs to pile on Jon’s bed and eat macarons. Sarah and Tracey were prematurely drafting our announcement for the Penn alumni mag. Everything seemed to be propelling us forward.

I slipped on the red lace dress I had bought during a BHLDN sale. (Why red? you ask. Isn’t that a little untraditional? you say. To which I respond: jig has been up for a long time, bitches.)

I had also, for some unknown reason, brought my entire wardrobe to the hotel, including a white wool winter coat, which I sensibly abandoned in the closet after determining it was at least 65 degrees outside. I couldn’t walk in my satin peep-toes and internally commended myself for at least choosing a pair of sensible, if sparkly, flats for the actual wedding day.

We walked into Zinc to find Megan and Bridget and Courtney at the bar, already through one bottle of champagne. I began to suspect it was going to be an excellent night. Evan arrived and picked me up when he hugged me, like he always does. Grandma Lottie was sipping a glass of red and beaming. Dave and I surrounded ourselves with those who came from farthest away (California! Paris! We are so lucky.) My brothers’ toasts were ego-bruising and hilarious. Chelsea and Amruta stood up and said words I wasn’t planning to hear, in a very good way. It all nearly made me cry.

Afterward, everyone else headed to a dive bar for beers and fries while Dave and I snuck back to the hotel.

We had decided the best approach was just to stay together, as we had done every night for nearly three years and were, apparently, on the cusp of promising to do for a lot longer than that. I remember our bedtime routine – brushing teeth, laying out clothes, pulling back sheets – feeling both incredibly surreal and incredibly familiar. I was giddy, but also content and sure and comfortable — enough so that despite being on the brink of that which I had thought about for so very long (a bride) I fell right to sleep.

*Next up: Someone slaps fake eyelashes on me for the first time, Courtney feeds me bites of a blueberry muffin and crucial sips of champagne, and a green apple almost sends me over the edge (all with professional photographic proof!) Stay tuned.

*Most photos here are either crappy little snippets from my iPhone or the product of other people commandeering my dslr. Rehearsal dinner photos borrowed from my lovely, camera-obsessed friend T.

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