and married! hee hee.
sunday (august 10) night, caleb got a text from his best friend's girlfriend. it asked if we wanted to elope with them the next weekend. he relayed the message. i laughed, thought for a minute, and said, SURE!
he was (naturally) a bit taken aback, as i'd been discussing having an actual wedding and we'd pretty much decided it'd be next fall. i explained that after attending one of my bff's weddings, i had NO interest in going through that much stress for just one day that i'd be stressed out and probably grouchy (due to not eating) for.
he kept asking me if i was SURE. i think he didn't want me to feel like i was giving up my dream wedding. i reassured him, and got super excited. then (within hours) his best friend called to say they were backing out (friend was upset over losing the opportunity to propose and have it be a surprise). we, however, had already concluded that we were IN. no matter who came or whatever. in retrospect, it was one of the best decisions i've ever made. no stress.
monday afternoon, i booked the hotel on tybee island. it was a cute little b & b near the beach (maybe a block or two away).
monday night, my best friend and i went shopping for a dress. EIGHT STORES later, we finally found one--at Dillard's of all places. it was 8:45; we couldn't have timed it better. also monday, caleb ordered the ring (that i still hadn't seen).
thursday evening, we were on the way to tybee. we called family then (only because both our moms had SPECIFICALLY said, we don't care HOW you get married, but we'd at least like to know about it...i'm the baby, and i think at one point caleb's mom thought she'd never see him married, or at least not to me. lol.)
the uproar grew, but people quit their grumbling and either made plans to come, or didn't.
friday morning: to chatham county courthouse for marriage license. then to florist for flowers (just mine and his). then nail place for manicure/pedicure (gotta make my fingers look worthy of that beautiful ring!). then food, parking was a nightmare in savannah friday, finally found some, ate. then back to hotel for nap.
people all arrived friday afternoon/evening. we ate dinner at the crab shack friday night. (though due to other stresses, which i'll discuss in a minute, i was unable to eat more than a bowl of crab stew).
caleb and i ran to wally world friday night to get plastic cups, silverware, and paper plates and napkins for the "reception" the next morning. (we had gotten a tiny, cute cake). we also got OJ and champagne and apple juice. yes, weird, i know. there were kids. they needed apple juice. and mimosas taste good! we arrived at 10:40 and were done by 10:50. which was good since it closed at 11.
saturday morning, i got up at 4:40 am to get ready (i had to make sure my hair was already DRY for the ceremony and pictures so it wouldn't frizz up or look like a wet dog). got ready, got dressed, left at 6:21 for ceremony at 6:40. met the officiant and photographer, signed paperwork, paid the wedding company people. the rest of the group arrived and we all trooped out onto the (beautiful, not too hot, sunrisey) beach to begin the ceremony.
(at this point, it got to feeling a little surreal. was this really ME? was i really this lucky? i'm not dreaming, am i? *pinches self* nope. not dreaming. AWESOME).
we do the ceremony, repeating the words in turn, faces threatening to break from smiling so much. it feels RIGHT. more right than anything i've ever done. and also wonderful. i can't believe i'm here. i'm the luckiest woman alive.
we are done, and we kiss. then he announces us (i am mrs. caleb stephens?! rock on!!!), and we turn, surprised to find there are other people there.
then we go take an assload of pictures and our faces hurt from smiling but we're not forcing the smiles cause we're so freaking happy.
then we go to the "reception" on the rooftop deck and eat cake and drink mimosas for breakfast. hang out, talk with everyone, then people begin leaving.
later that day, breakfast (real food this time), nap, dinner with mom and his mom and stepdad (my dad had to go back to work so he was an early leaver).
all in all, it was a wonderful, perfect, beautiful weekend. happy sigh. i keep looking down at my ring to make sure it was all real, i feel THAT lucky.
so yeah. eloping is great! three emails and a phone call and we had a ceremony and a room all booked...AMAZINGLY EASY.
.....except for one minor (major?) snag.
when my mom, daddy, and grandmother arrived friday evening, they couldn't drive to their hotel (hyatt in downtown savannah on river street). they discovered there had been a taylor swyft (sp?) concert and so streets were blocked for traffic. so they parked and walked to check into the hotel. at which point they discovered a) there had been some kind of underground explosion directly under the hyatt (i think it was a transformer), so b) the official people had turned off the power to the hyatt to check stuff out, and c) the hyatt wasn't offering refunds or letting people cancel. keep in mind my brother, the argumentative, irascible lawyer with two kids under the age of 5, is on his way TO THAT HOTEL. it promised to be very, very ugly. meanwhile, mom, daddy, and mama dean are eating with us at the crab shack...which is why i couldn't eat well (my mom is very, very good at RADIATING stress when she's stressed, which she was very, more so than was necessary).
so we get done eating and all split up to go to our respective hotels (and i'm cringing because i KNOW what david's anger will look like after he's been in the car with a < two-year-old who whines while in the car, no matter how long. especially since he spent the better part of an hour LOST because he and my mom didn't communicate very well about alternate directions due to road blockoffs).
in the morning i discovered that sometime before david arrived at the hyatt, the hyatt people had reconsidered their stance on refunds/cancellations and agreed to refund everyone and cancel for no charge (when it became apparent they wouldn't have power anytime soon). so my family found another hotel. thank goodness. :)
all's well that ends well, i guess.