Parades and Wedding Days

Everyone always gets a kick out of my wedding day drama, so in honor of our sixth anniversary I thought I'd tell you about the circus that was my wedding day and share some photos too!

We left our engagement photos
on every table for people
to take home. Because
we aren't self centered
at all.

We had a cheap, simple, small town wedding. No fancy hall or caterers or starched white linens. We rented a local building where families gather for reunions, the Lion's Club holds their meetings, and senior citizens play bingo for the reception. Nothing fancy. Some tables and folding metal chairs. Our meal wasn't a sit down affair in which you had to mark fish or chicken. It was some good friends, a few grills, and about a hundred pounds of meat. We solicited our closest friends and family to bring their potluck specialty in lieu of a gift. It was about as simple and small-town Iowa as it gets. It was everything I could have wanted and so much more.

So small town that EVERYTHING
was DIY-before Pinterest.

As you can probably guess, it was our responsibility then to decorate our little hall and get everything prepared for our reception. Somehow, we totally dropped the ball. I don't know how it happened, but it did. Eight o'clock the night before the wedding and it still wasn't decorated. While sitting at my rehearsal dinner (at a pizza place) my wedding party and groom-to-be all started acting squirrelly and throwing anxious glances in my direction. I was sure that some catastrophe that would ruin my wedding had occurred. Just certain of.

You'll soon discover why my hair needed
a touch up. Thankfully, my mom didn't
burn me!

Once I was finally able to corner Tom, I discovered that the disaster was that no one could find the key to the yet-to-be-decorated hall. Amanzilla began to poke her head out at this point. I had done an excellent job of not becoming a bridezilla. Until that moment. I became a weepy, inconsolable mess. We were ripping apart cars, turning pockets inside out and in an all out frantic rush to find the key.

Mostly I love this picture and
wanted to include it!

I was instructed to go back to my apartment, almost an hour away, and search there. I was a mess the entire time. My bridal party retraced all of our steps at the church in search of it while I went home to look. Finally, around midnight, I got the call that they'd found it in the church parking lot! I was ecstatic. I prepared to drive back to the town our wedding was in and help them decorate, but was ordered to go to my grandmother's and sleep.

Bless my bridesmaids, those wonderful ladies stayed up ALL NIGHT decorating and then slept on tables at the hall for a few hours because there wasn't time to drive home. I love them!
My beautiful, amazing ladies!

If you don't know how small town life works, let me tell you: it's a constant commute. The town I lived in, let's call it Burg, was thirty minutes from the town I had to get my hair done in, City, which was another thirty from the town we got married in, Village, making the total commute from my home to the church and reception about an hour.

Another thing you need to know about small town living is that when there's a festival or event the ENTIRE town shuts down. There isn't enough town to only shut down this part or that. It's all or nothing. And when we have parades it's nobody in, nobody out.
Oh yeah, and I drove a minivan at
the time.

The town I lived in at the time has an annual festival called the Corn Carnival. It's quite the affair. When I planned my wedding I made the mistake of not consulting the town agenda. BIG MISTAKE. We picked our date because it's the day we started dating. It meant something to us. I became so wrapped up in wedding planning and out of town guests that I failed to notice the fliers littering the streets and all of the carnies rolling into town.
The hair style the started this debacle

That is, until I was on my way home from getting my hair done. I *thought* that I would have plenty of time to go to City and get my hair done, drive back to Burg and grab my dress from its hiding place at my great grandmother's and be back in Village to get dressed, take pictures, and marry the love of my life.

The dress that aided in
this chaos.

Not so. After getting my hair done I returned to Burg without a second thought. Until I was stopped outside of town by a very rude fireman's wife on a power trip. She informed me that I wouldn't be able to get into town. Not only on that road but on ANY of them. Amanzilla made another, more aggressive appearance. After arguing with her for several minutes I gunned it and drove through the grass and onto the road that lead to my place, which wasn't far from the entrance to town. However, my dress was several barricaded blocks away. The parade hadn't started yet, so I was able to run through town jumping over small dogs and screaming profanities at any parade goer that dared get in my way. Not my proudest moment.
What everyone else was doing whilst
I was in a parade.

Once I procured my dress it was back through town with the bulky garment bag held over my head. Amanzilla was in full force. I cursed and screamed and ran back to my car. I'm sure I was quite a sight with my pretty updo, garment bag, and sailor's mouth. I tossed the dress on the passenger's seat and started back out of town only to realize that the street I used to enter town now housed a parade. I needed the road to get to the grass to get to my wedding.
The husband that loves me too
much to get married without me.

Bawling, I called Tom and begged him not to get married without me. Yup. I totally did. Amanzilla was not a rational creature. After being reassured that my fiance would in fact, not get married without me, I found a small gap and joined the parade. On the way to my wedding.

Finally, I made it to the exit to town. But of course it couldn't be as easy as turning the opposite direction as the parade. Nope. Power Tripping Wife was there again, preventing me from leaving town. Finally, after Amanzilla was ready to jump out of the car and lay the smack down on this woman, a higher ranking wife came over, demanded she let me go and wished me well. With a sigh of relief and a wave goodbye I high-tailed it to village where I had already missed the planned pre-wedding photos.
Who had time for make up that
morning? This was moments
before we started.

One might think that was quite enough drama for one wedding day. Not for me. It's always go big or go home for my bad days! Once I was dressed and ready to go I was informed but some not-funny-at-all groomsmen that Tom was MIA. Amanzilla, who up to this point had been quietly receding (especially after one of my bridesmaids made a gas station run and fed me) reared her ugly head again and informed them that she didn't really care in the least and was walking down that aisle whether he was there to meet her or not. Again, not the most rational creature.
The groomsmen in question

Thankfully they were just teasing and my husband-to-be was in fact anxiously awaiting our big day. The wedding part of our wedding went well, save for my niece and nephew forgetting to leave the altar and my nephew getting more and more in between us as the ceremony went on.
It was stille a beautiful
cake. Just not the one
I designed.

At the reception they delivered the wrong cake, my mom and sister fought to the point that I kicked them out. They refused to leave. I got red icing on my dress, I never had time to eat, and we wasted five hundred dollars on a DJ that no one utilized. Afterwards I realized that in all the hustle and drama my photographer hadn't taken ANY of the pictures on the list I had given her. The ones she did take were beautiful, but there isn't a single one of me with the grandmother that helped raise me. I can never get those moments back. Not only that, but it took several months and threats of lawyers to get what she did do back. And that wasn't something that we cut corners on at all.

My wedding day was a perfect, beautiful disaster. When I tell the story I see ugliness and chaos, but when I look back over these photos and the memories made, I see life. My marriage has had perfect days and rocky days. Beautiful ones and messy ones. But I wouldn't trade a single one. Just like I wouldn't trade my wedding circus. That's life.

A quiet moment in the

Life is a beautiful mess with ups, downs, and more twists and turns than anyone could ever deign to predict. And I wouldn't have it any other way. That crazy day six years I married the love of my life, the sweetest, strongest, most hardworking and caring person imaginable. I gained a teammate and a partner to walk the crazy, parade and drama ridden roads of life with, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. Thank you, Tom for not getting married without me!