The Week before our wedding was both the most fun I had as well as one of the scariest times of my life.
I took the week before my wedding off work, so I could finish up all those tiny details I was committed to having as a part of the big day. I wanted to have touched everything that was out there on the day of my wedding. I wanted the guests to feel Dan and my hard work, personality and creativity in everything around them. Now, I know this wasn't going to be simple or easy, but I've never been a fan of simple or easy.
Before leaving the city, we had our last meeting with our fantastic wedding planner where we got to use my extremely organised excel spreadsheet to work out the order and timing of everything on the day. I felt like my father's daughter in going through all these spreadsheets ;)
Then after that was done, we packed everything left in our apartment to do with the wedding, and I left Dan in Toronto and headed off to the Cottage for setting up anything and everything that could be done in advance.
I dyed my hair extensions and played around all night looking like a mermaid. Although the extensions worked for the braids we were doing for the wedding hair; I've never felt happier to have cut my hair. Those long hair might look beautiful, but it's way too much work.
Everything was going fine - all to plan. It was Tuesday, the week of the wedding when at 5 am, my dad walked into my bedroom, waking me up from a light sleep, and told me he had been coughing up blood, and they were going to the hospital. He sounded so panicked, and I remember feeling like, for that split second, I would never see him again. I'll spare you the anxiety and let you know that he was okay. Well, maybe not fine - but he pulled through. He had some infection in his throat, and they've been doing more test but as of right now - he continues to be OK. BUT at the moment, I did not know that and was terrified that something much much more serious was wrong. I called Dan, absolutely shaking and in a minute, he was one his way up to the cottage to be with my family and me.
It's this big moment that bring things into focus. Dan knew right then, the moment I called at three am, that I needed him and without having to ask - he was there. And more than that so was his family. They were there for all of us. Zach (Dan's brother) came to help out with some of the most manly duties, as did his uncle, Dad and my brothers too. Everyone pitched in while my dad was in the hospital and I've never felt more lucky and happy to be marrying not just the greatest guy but such a beautiful family too.
This was us visiting dad in the hospital. He had to wear scary masks because he was in quarantine for a while before they determined he wasn't contagious. Pretty stylish! Dan and I had been trying to eat well before the wedding but after all this we immediately hit up A&W for burgers and fries. We sat outside on the benches eating the food in the hot summer night air. It was inanely memorable.
The following day we had the tent rental people show up to put up the tent. It was all starting to come together and it finally was starting to get exciting! Watching the tent go up was like magic. It was so interesting to watch something so huge that wasn't there at all, just manifest in a matter of hours. My favourite part about watching the workmen put it up was how they would all take a nap at midday. They put down mats and all took a little siesta. I think we all need to employ this method of work.
After the tent was up, Dan and I along with some other helpers started movie some of the stuff we'd made for the wedding into the tent. It looks very empty, that big tent with nothing in it. It felt so strange that in a matter of days, it would be filled with all our nearest and dearest. Dan and I took a few precious moment when everyone else was gone, to practice our first dance in that big empty tent. It was adorable.
Dan was posing in front of our homemade photobooth curtain.
Next to arrive was our rental fridge. I get this is not a big deal for most people but NOT only was it super useful but LOOK how CUTE it is!!!! OMG! I wish we could have kept it. I would learn to drive if only to be able to ride this cute little thing around.
Patrick helped put up our banner with the address on it to help guests and vendors find their way to the cottage.
There was so much going on on Wednesday that while I was making a grilled cheese sandwich, I forgot it on the stove, and it made so much smoke that the fire department showed up. :O It was kind of embarrassing , but they had a sense of humour about it, and we all had a pretty good laugh.
Thursday the lights and most of the rentals showed up! It turned out that one of the rental trucks had broken down on the road but Dan did a excellent job of hiding this from me (as he rightly knew I would freak out since we were already pressed for time) but they eventually made their way here and everything started to take shape.
Getting to look finally at all the rentals in place was such fun! Mum had never seen some of the pieces, and it was so exciting to see them coming off the trucks.
I put up all my signage I designed for the wedding and loved the pop of colour that they added to the hill as you came up from the road.
After the trucks had arrived I headed out with the rest of the bridesmaids for my Bachelorette party. I was pretty nervous to leave everyone behind to finish setting up the lights, but I felt they had it all under control and hoped that any problems could be solved without me.
Dan spent the rest of the afternoon overseeing the lighting and writing his wedding vows and dinner speech. I think this gave mum a scare since she totally thought he would never finish but knowing Dan as long as I have I knew that Dan works best under pressure, and he would eventually get it done.
When the girls and I came home from partying in the city, we drove up the hill to see the tent beautifully lit up with twinkling lights. It took my breath away!
I was AMAZED by how much our vision for the day had come into reality!
There were a few hiccups - don't get me wrong. The floor plan I had made was slightly too small when the real tables arrived, and it requires some on the fly adjustments to the plan and the dancefloor. It was stressful at the moment, but everyone's help in reorganising helped us figure it out and in the end, no one but us knew that it wasn't originally supposed to look like this. Every little detail was perfect, and I teared up when I walked through those doors for the first time.
Standing there, in the twinkling lights and the moon above me, looking at my friends and family chatting around the tent, seeing all my thoughts and ideas laid out before me was an incredible moment. I never really thought it would all come together. It seemed too impossible. But here we were, one day out, everything hadn't been perfect - but it also simply was just that. Imperfectly perfect.