Wednesday morning, I awoke after 2 hours of sleep. Jimmy and I barely got our luggage up our winding staircase and patiently hailed a cab while the rain came gently down at 4:45am in the morning outside of the building where our relationship started so many days before as we embarked on our journey as man and wife. We loaded everything in our cab and laid my wedding dress on our laps. I swear I must have fallen asleep at this point in the cab and dreamt the rest. Our wedding...our wedding...was everything I had or could ever dream for even with the bumps and twists in the roads. It was what little girls imagine when they put the pillow case on their heads twirling in their room. It was in one word...magical.
But let's back up... and everyone said this would happen and in fact it has. I gave birth. It was a beautiful birth (must have opted for the drugs), but I gave birth. By all means, I had 12 months with most of them difficult. I think I fought with every single person I love at least once and swore I would never talk to them again. Yes it's true,I was disappointed a lot but it's only because I love and believe in the people around my so much...and forgot that they too have lives hopes and dreams and just maybe weren't ready to be happy for me and for us. Engagement is funny. It makes you realize who your friends are and who really loves you beyond the fake glaze of the sunny day friendship. It shows you who will be standing there when the world comes crashing down and you may not be at your best. It shows you who will run behind your back and bad mouth you at the first moment they can, and it shows you who can make you feel better with a simple hug when everyone has seemed to turn against you. For those of you who think, engagement is fun and glamorous unless you have a million dollars and have not one single female friend or family member-wake up...it's a freak show!! BUT in the honeymoon haze of it all-I'd do it all over again today to live that one day again and again.
So come with me on my journey to becoming Mrs. Tobin one final time. So here we are waiting in front of the building where 4 years ago we decided hmmm...maybe we are a little more than just friends. A cab pulls up, we get in and lay the goods on our laps. The cab driver almost killed us a few dozen times on the way, but we made it. We check in after a few hiccups and mean glares shared between each other about which line to stand in (I think he forgot I am a Delta expert with my 6 flights in 4 months but he came around). We get rid of our overweight bags ($90) and then round the corner with dress hand to security. OH MY GOD...I have to put my dress through this monster eating machine!! I swear I was 3 again and facing the vacuum cleaner for the first time! NOOOOO... so the nice lady who checked my ID must have seen the amount of sheer dread and fear in my face and explained to us the one person needs to be at the receieving end and one at the giving end while the dress goes through. Sounds easy enough...IF Jimmy hadnt been selected to be randomly dusted and checked for bomb debree. So here I am at the receiving end by myself with two bookbags, one Tiffany bag, and my dress coming right at me. Holy Shoosh balls and all Jimmy could do was look from his little glass cage 5 feet away in terror as I had a mild heart attack. I managed though and he was eventually released.
The flight was crammed pack and running late (only Delta can make a 6am flight with the pane already there delayed). The sort of nice kind of snarky flight attendant jammed my dress in the Captain's closet where an elderly man also slammed his suit into later. Sigh. Of course ontop of it. BUT it came out perfect. Woohoo.
We land. Grab candy from my brother's house. Grab last minute supplies for the welcome boxes. Stop for coffee where I see a jeweler close by. I ran over to see if I could buy a cleaning kit to make sure my ring was super duper clean for Saturday. The lady tells me she just ran out BUT will clean it for free as a wedding gift. Woohoo (or so I thought). It looks amazing and turns out she was actually from the East Village. Everything seemed to be going perfectly (remember the scene in horror movies where they are blissfully happy and then the killer jumps out and kills them seconds later).
So off we go. On our way to the Keys. We stopped in Marathon to pick up our marriage license to make certain we would be legal for Saturday and sat back to enjoy our drive down. It was beautiful and such a perfect drive.
Bright and early I wake up for my hair trial with Michelle and Melissa with the fantastic Marie-Pierre. We had a blast and my hair and makeup looked awesome. We realized we were missing the ribbon so we swung by the wedding coordinator on the same block. While opening the boxes, I noticed I had lost another diamond out of my ring. Sigh. Now, I had lost three diamonds two weeks ago and we had them rushed to be fixed before the wedding, but three days before and hundreds of miles away from NYC...this was a problem. I ran home to Jimmy where he made an annoyed phone call to the jeweler who claimed it was the cleaning (the 3 minute cleaning) which had loosened the diamond (it's never THEIR fault). Four diamonds in 3 weeks seems like a lot to us though...sigh.
The girls leave and we decide to go get a scooter and cruise around the island to shake off some stress. We decide to grab a bite at Sloppy Joes where I discover I have a voicemail from the Florist who we had bought 60 Gerber Daisies wholesale to place in our centerpieces as well as my bouquets. Their number kept going straight to VM but Jimmy finanly got through to find out that 30 of the daisies were not sendable and we would have to choose either carnations or another flower. Carnations...what are we at prom. Folks, I tell you I handled everything until this moment. This same florist called the Saturday before to confirm my red bouquet...our flowers are orange and yellow and now they are ccancelling my daisies when that's the only flower I want. Sigh. I gently look down to my diamondless ring and begin to sob gently at the table at Sloppy Joe's.
I know what you are thinking...that's only two small details...well. Remember that dream I was giving birth to? I was handing it over to a complete stranger who I had just heard of 2 weeks before our wedding. Our original wedding coordinator had gone MIA to us but later we found out the company itself was going through some transitions, but to us they were not answering calls, emails and were just "dropping the ball." And now I had to trust a stranger to execute my dream she just heard about once and seemed distracted...by the way I adore her and she is my hero now and I am could not have been happier with her even through the bumps. See, you can't pick or even know how people represent your business completely. She was our god send and if it took a business break up to get her to us, I welcome it! I think both parties will be just fine and thankful for the split and drama some day. But just like any break up- it ain't easy and we were caught in the middle unknown to us.
So let's go back...sobbing at Sloppy Joe's. All these changes and now we are searching for daisies instead of enjoying the keys. The waitress comes over and gently asks..."is something wrong?" Jimmy tells her about the flowers and the ring. She begins to tell us the story of her rainfilled wedding day in her backyard instead of a sailboat and her blissful marriage. Then she runs to her manager to tell her about our troubles. The manager and the waitstaff begin to do the most amazing thing...they start calling around to florists and jewelers! She even handed me her phone to speak to a few! Ah-mazing. I think we found our after the wedding party place!! So we say our million thank you's and head down to the jewelers the angel of a waitress recommended.
We step into Neptune's to a warm smile behind the counter. We explain and show the jewelers. See my small diamonds are all on prongs...which means PIA to replace each and never a simple 1,2,3 job. He says to wait and he thinks he can fix it. We begin to sweat thinking...ugh..another wedding expense. I begin to talk to the salesman about the Keys and the community which is still truly a community where people love and care for their neighbors. The jeweler comes out about 30 mins later with a fixed ring. He had placed a CZ diamond in where the small supporting diamond fell out. It looked perfect and he did it as a present to us.
Thursday night, we decide to enjoy the nightlife a "little." We had a great night. Jimmy beat Andy in a dance off. The video is classic, and we blissfully skipped over to the next bar where a rude bartender screamed at me. Ugh...where's the Key West community love thy neighbor attitude we had before? One of the bridal party members and one of my best friends get into a little fight presenting a little drama for the weekend, but all in all a good night. We then head home for the night.
Friday, we wake up and begin the wait for the flowers. We had to run to the wedding coordinators to go through the boxes of wedding fun to explain our vision. Then Jimmy finds flowers at Winn Dixie! So we run over to make certain the girls have bouquets. We found our next angel at the flower section. He had owned his own business and was now working the flower section branching out into weddings. We then decide to have him make the bouquets instead of us scrambling for them! Perfect!!! We pick out the flowers and say our million thank you's. We then RUN to go get ready for the rehearsal at 3pm all while my mom waits at the house for the flowers to arrive. We run in the door at 2:30pm to get ready for the rehearsal. I barely glanced at the flowers...which most looked bad but my bouquet looked perfect!!
Off to the rehearsal which the best men were late to due to the fact, one of their girlfriends spent the night in the ER with an extreme allergic reaction. They barely made it at all. BUT here we were all bridesmaids and all groomsmen sic k ones, late ones and all. We run through the rehearsal while it rained and off to check in to our honeymoon suite.
We booked our honeymoon suite a year ago. I explained, we need the biggest room you have and the nicest. I explained I loved the one with the hallway and top windows...we were in the wrong room. I go to the front desk to find out Judi, the hotel staffer who handled our reservation and all of our guest reservation was on vacation! Of. course. she. was. I ask for the manager when a snooty man dismissed me crying explaining we were getting married ( at that point I was just another "bride" to them...another number...no sympathy...all of our hard earned money working three jobs was a spit in the bucket to them). The manager came over and said "sorry" shrugging her shoulders. She said she was sold out and "sorry." I cried hard now. It wasn't about the room...it was everything at this point. Are these signs? What the hell is going on...my dream is coming to a crashing halt and turning into some sort of sick twisted nightmare?
We ran to get ready for the rehearsal dinner/welcome bbq. It went amazingly after one of my maids of honor arrived sick as a dog:). It did though. It was so nice to see everyone come together,and my now sister-in-law and mother-in-law made everything so beautifully. They thought of everything. I could not have pictured a better night. The food was great and the company was better. Things are looking up.
Erin and I went to CVS for some cheap wine to enjoy our last night of single friendship alone. We ordered pizza and reminisced about the good ol'days while starring into the Key West sky. We curled up into bed, and peacefully fell asleep for an hour. I couldn't sleep. I kept waking up starring at my dress and the clock waiting for the day to come.
We woke up and watched the tent trucks arrive to begin the day. Grabbed some breakfast and coffee while my other god send of a maid of honor gathered the many things I forgot at the other hotel suite. We took our showers and waited for the hair and makeup team to arrive. Everything was amazing...and going amazing.
Throughout this whole process..I was very unemotional through the good times...maybe I was scared of the next bad to enjoy the moments of good. I cry at Foldgers commercials..so this was unusual for me. I should have been a blubbering mess through the bridal shower speeches and the rehearsal dinner best wishes. I was cool and calm and most of all READY. After we took our pictures and the girls left me to line up to walk down the aisle, Andy turned the corner to walk down the aisle. I saw the tears in his eyes, and yelled at him to stop but it was too late. The moment was here and it came so fast. It was time for me to walk down the aisle and see Jimmy for the first time. This was the moment I had been waiting for all of my life. So what do I do? I hysterically cry and can't even look at him! But they were good tears...they were tears for all that had gone wrong and all that would now go right forever. They were tears of saddness for my father who couldn't be here and the tears of no longer being a Barron, but also they were tears of joy of joining an amazing family to mine. It was tears of knowing I am marrying my best friend and my soul mate. It was tears of knowing how amazing we are together after everything and it was tears of joy knowing I would love him until the day I die. Maybe I cried all the way through the ceremony and down the aisle, but I have never been happier than that moment and if I could freeze time and sit down in that moment forever I would.
Our wedding was amazing. I want to thank a few million people for making it happen...Megan from Swankey Events made everything amazing and even more perfect than I can ever imagine. And to know she did it with out even a skip in the beat with all of the hurt and drama she had been going through, I will always hold her as a true angel in my book. I honestly think it was fate the way we ended up with her...and I thank fate for her everyday!! Julie from Studio Julie who was a friend, a shoulder to lean on, and a helping hand to completing my dream wedding. These two ladies are dream weavers and angels in my books. Melissa at the Southernmost for always answering my emails and calls and for making EVERYTHING so beautiful and yummy!! You are the only reason we speak highly of the Southernmost. Jennifer McDermott...she is just amazing. The amount of detail in everything she has done and the welcome I received from the Tobin's is so amazing it almost leaves me loss for words. I have never felt so loved in my life. I now have two amazing mothers and finally a sister:). Thank you for remembering everything I forgot! My bridal party..thank you for all of the emails, calls, facebook messages, and finally taking the time and money to stand by my side. My mom, thank you for always being my mom and my friend. I know our relationship is unique but I love you so much and I am thankful to have you as a mom. My brothers- who in this year I have grown closer to more than ever and I hope we will continue to grow closer to having what we never had growing up a tight knit family with kids who actually know their cousins!! Family is more than who you lay your head with at night..it will always be those who you share blood and tears with as well. I love both of you and my sisters-in laws very much! I love my nephews even more than you four!!! :) Kidding...well...ok no I am kidding. Thank you for joining us and adding to our happiness. Thank you to my waitress and the staff at Sloppy Joe s!!! Thank you to everyone who took the time and money to join us on our big day-each and everyone of you mean so much to me and I am so happy to have had you there. My only regret is not personally saying it to everyone at the reception. But most of all, thank you James. You are my Ken doll...you are my peanut butter to my jelly...you are my dream and my soul mate. I never dreamed I would have someone so wonderful and inspiring to hold my hand forever. You make me smile in the darkest hours and drive me crazy at times, but I can't imagine not having you in my life. So on Friday if you decide you want another after I am gone, that chica better know what she has in a man like you. I love, love, love you. Thank you for the most amazing wedding ever. Baby?
Sincerely and with the warmest hearts even on this cold day in NYC, Love each and every one of you,
"All of our dreams come true- if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney