About a million people hugged me. I knew to expect it, but I was so on hug overload. People I didn't know introduced themselves to me, and immediately went in for a hug. Mmm... kay. Receiving line: Made it through, wasn't too sweaty, stayed upright almost the entire time (I did have a child grab me around the waist unexpectedly and pull me right over-- plus my train was like a freaking sail in gale force winds that day... so to hug approx 175 people and only fall over once, I'd say is a good record for me)
Mom bustled my dress and we headed for the reception where a big empty room had been transformed. I don't think it was the warm lighting, gold decorations, or candlelight that lit up the room. Though all those things turned out lovely, when I entered the room it was glowing with the happy faces of friends and family smiling and cheering. The room seemed to float with excitement and anticipation--our guests were ready to have a good time--as the band played the smoothest music you can imagine and we started dining on ridiculously yummy food...
We were working the room chatting with friends and thanking guests for being there when the emcee made an announcement that Chocolate Milkshakes were being served... and a loud cheer of approval went up from the crowd. I laughed-- excited that they liked our alternative to a champagne toast. The Best Man honored our families and parents with his praise during his toast and I thought that was awesome. I fed Z cake! One of my favorite pictures of the night shows me elated to be force-feeding my groom. It was great. Then there was dancing. Z and I alone on the floor dancing through our name in lights (it was pretty sweet) and then surrounded by all our family and friends laughing and dancing a sweet romantic 'anniversary dance' to Love Me Tender. The family dance was one of my favorite moments of the evening... I always love dancing with my Daddy (he ususally sings to me too, and tonight was no exception), and looking around I could see little girls and big girls alike shared that sentiment. Plus... Mammas were dancing with little baby boys, I saw a 13 yr old boy ask his mom to dance, and even my new father-in-law dancing away with his 86 yr old mother. It was the kind of moment that makes you feel all squishy and sentimental inside! :) It wasn't 'til the last 1/2 hour of the night that people really got into the dancing but by the last song, people were begging for more-- they even started a soul train... and Grandma Pogemiller was the first to go! Classic. Z even danced a few more songs with me so by the time we were ready to leave, I was breathless and my face was flushed, but you couldn't wipe a smile off my face. My mom helped me quickly change into a different dress and as everyone was assembling outside to send us off Z and I happened to catch a moment with both our Dads. We told them thank you so much for everything, and hugged them. They both sincerely congratulated us and then we went running outside to our car through a shower of petals and I laughed and waved as we drove away.
We had so much fun. We were exhausted. But our wedding day? Z and I agreed: It was perfect.
(read A perfect Day: Part I and A Perfect Day: Part III)