It’s cheesy. I know, but that’s how Chris and I really felt last Saturday as we celebrated our engagement with 50 of our nearest and dearest. Sunday was actually 6 months since we got engaged, and even though we’ve already spent some significant money on the wedding, it didn’t start to feel real until Saturday.
Chris’ parents had planned and organized the entire thing, so other than a few last minute errands, Chris and I were able to pretty much just relax and enjoy it. Chris’ brother had set up the yard, and I was just floored when I got to the house and saw it. It was so beautiful. We also lucked out big time with the weather. The temps never rose above 80, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. That’s unheard of for a NJ August.
We had a few hours to pick some things up and got ready, and we were both this goofy mix of anxiety and excited. I got the feeling that this was a very, very small scale version of what the morning of our wedding will be like.
Luckily, we were both dressed and ready before everyone started arriving.
We started things off with an intense photo session. We figured it’d be the best time to get everyone in one place before things got too hectic. I’m so glad we did too because we got some great shots!
I think that’s our first family photo! Chris dad, mom and brother, me and chris, and my sister mom and little sister!
It was really great to get our friends all together in the same place too! After a massive amount of delicious food, we lined up for bridal party photos!
That’s the whole crew! Steve, Donny, Travis, Rob and Chris. Me, Annie, Molly, Judy and Debbie! We’re just missing Anastasia 😦 She gets a pass for that whole “living in Chicago” thing.
We ate, we talk, we ate some more. We laughed, and we took a million pictures. At the end of the night, we hung out inside and opened up some of our gifts. We have some seriously amazing family and friends, let me tell you. Every gift was so sweet and thoughtful and truly more than we could have asked for. We were just so happy to have everyone together.
The only downside of the day was that it just went by far too quickly. If this is a preview for the wedding (and I know it is), someone better hurry up and invent a machine that slows time down! I felt like as soon as I fully relaxed and started to take it all in, it was over! I literally couldn’t believe it when I checked my phone and saw that it was 9:30. Where did the day go?
The theme of this whole year has been, “SLOW DOWN!” I’m so desperate to take everything in because this feels like the most pivotal time in my entire life. I wish there were a way to cement these memories permanently in my brain. I do my best to capture them in photos and on the blog, but it’s not enough. I want to remember the little butterflies in my stomach when our favorite people started filing into Chris’ parent’s yard. I want to remember how amazing it was to look across the party, catch a glimpse of Chris and think, “I get to marry him.” I want to tuck all these memories away for a time down the road when things get tough or scary or sad. I know these will be the ones I’ll have with me forever.
But you can’t slow time. You can only try your best to be present and appreciate it. I feel like I really did on Saturday, and for that, I’m very grateful.