I feel the need to write down details from our wedding day, because I have the worst memory ever. I don't want to think about our wedding five years down the road and not remember everything!
Our wedding day was so smooth. I felt like all the planning, stress and minute details were all worth it, because I was stressed out before and not the day of! Matt's mom, Mary was the biggest help, since we got married in Utah and not in California. We were only engaged for about two months, which were the two most stressful months of my life! Planning a wedding plus having a full-time job feels like THREE full-time jobs! Matt helped a lot, but since I'm picky I had to do a lot of stuff on my own.
I was so lucky to have almost my entire family travel from California and Arizona to attend our wedding. It would not have been the same without them! I love my family (and my new family) so much, and it was really nice to have everyone there to celebrate this big step in our lives together, as a new, bigger family. If everything had gone awry, having my family together would have been enough for me! Luckily, it didn't.
Almost my whole family came from California/Arizona to be with us!
Jeannette threw me a small and perfect bachelorette party the night before. I didn't want something huge because I hate attention, so we invited a few close friends to dinner and a small party at my house. We talked scandal and whatnot and had a great time. I woke up around 8 the next morning and went to get my hair done by my SIL Kait's sister. She did a great job and I loved girl-talking in her parent's bathroom. I wore a polka-dot dress to the temple. I had gotten endowed a few days earlier, and wore the same dress to the temple, so even though it didn't turn out great in pictures, that dress is special to me now. I just remember having enough time to not feel rushed and really think about the importance of the act I was about to do in a few hours. We decided to get married later in the afternoon for that exact reason. After my hair and makeup were done (I did my own makeup, mostly because I got a "makeover" in high school at Sephore and walked out looking like Ariel the mermaid princess dressed as a drag queen). It started to rain, but I wanted my car to be clean for the wedding (don't even ask me why), so I went to the car wash in Orem to get it cleaned inside and out. I had planned so much time to do things that I went to jamba to get a smoothie and a pretzel since I heard you don't have time to eat on your wedding day. I didn't want to be hangry all day!!
As I was driving down the freeway, it started to rain a little harder. I wasn't even phased! I just remember being so excited to marry Matt after four long years that a tornado could have come through and I would have been just as happy. I usually listen to music in my car, but I just drove in silence for 40 minutes to the Oquirrh Mountain temple in South Jordan, and I actually started to cry tears of joy.
I got to the temple and found out I was SO early. I guess I was just too excited to wait around at home! I sat in my car and waited for Matt and his cousin, Ammon (and wife Leah) to show up. We waited in the foyer for our parents, who were running a tad late, and I was so antsy! I couldn't sit still! Anyone who knows me knows my talent in life is sitting still. I couldn't do it! We got checked in and my mom took me to get dressed.
The temple matron told me I could wear my temple dress or my wedding dress. I was planning on wearing my temple dress, but it felt right to wear my wedding dress to get married. It was completely white and had no beading or embellishments, except for a queen ann neckline and some rouching at the stomach. I got my temple clothes on and went to sit in the bride's waiting room. It was gorgeous and full of light and that's the moment I started freaking out. We were waiting for everyone to get seated upstairs, so we had a few minutes of down-time. My mom stood five feet away from my chair, chatting with our helper. I couldn't really breath in my wedding dress, so I kind of started to silently hyperventilate. My biggest fear in life besides deep water is passing out (who knew?), and I started running scenarios through my head....what if I couldn't get enough air and passed out in front of 60 people?!?!? On my wedding day!!! I didn't know what a sealing would be like...would I do and say the right thing? I remember just sitting in that chair in the corner silently freaking out while my mom carried on a completely pleasant conversation. Then all of a sudden it was time to go, and I didn't have time to think about all those worries. I figured whatever happens, happens, and that would be it. Anyway, it would probably make a good story.
We walked out of the changing rooms where Matt met me. He looked so serene and ready to do. this. thing. I saw no fear, no hesitation, just complete confidence in what was about to happen. And then I stopped worrying completely. We walked into the sealing room where all our loved ones were magically together! Who even knew?! It was the best feeling! During the sealing, I started bawling because that's what I do. But it was beautiful and wonderful and then it was over. We were married! So many days of waiting and wondering and hoping had passed and the thing I wanted most in life, to marry the man who knew and loved me the most, had finally just happened. After the sealing Matt made a dumb joke and gave me the biggest smile.
We said hello to all our guests then went to change.
Matt walked me down to the changing room, and everyone I walked past knew what had just happened and gave me the best looks. Welcome to the club.
Our grand exit from the temple! Everyone was cheering for us, but we had that awkward moment where no one knows what to do but stare and clap at you. I wonder if that's how babies feel most of the time. My sister and some cousins came up to hug us, and then we took a bunch of pictures. The wind was so cray cray, but you can't even tell in pictures.
Our photographer, Danielle Woodall, was so great. I met with her beforehand so we were comfortable with her, and I would recommend her to anyone! After pictures, Matt and I had some time before the reception, so we went to Carl's Jr, of all places. The best part is that we walked in an no one in the entire building acknowledged that we had just gotten married. We might as well have been wearing Cirque du Soleil outfits or our birthday suits. Not one word, not even a facial expression was different. It was kind of great.
After layering about a billion napkins over my dress, we ate our food and headed off to the reception. Everyone had gone earlier that morning to set up, so everything was ready when we got there. We had the reception at the Draper Day Barn Indoor Pavilion at Pioneer Park in Draper. It was an old dairy barn that was renovated and moved and set up for events. It was really small and the perfect mix between modern and rustic. There were white tables with gold and coral decorations, custom frames on the walls, twinkle lights on the ceiling, flowers everywhere, and great natural light. It was perfect.
The reception passed like a blur. I don't think Matt and I were ever together more than 5 minutes because so many people had come to see us! My biggest wedding-related fear was that no one would show up to our wedding, and I was overwhelmed with the support that everyone showed. It also helped that we held it in a small building (highly recommended if you want your reception to feel cozy). Matt's best friend, Treadway was the MC and we had Matt's cousins and my father do special songs live on the guitar. Jeannette and Treadway gave great best man and maid of honor speeches, and we had a first dance to Love Me Tender. I specifically remember Treadway saying, "I'm supposed to be the best man, but if I were, I would be sitting in Matt's chair right now." It was pretty tender and it made me feel awesome. Jeannette quoted my favorite poem, which was printed by the wedding cake (which also had the poem piped onto it)..."I Carry Your Heart". Matt made a special wedding-day playlist that played in the background otherwise, and copies at the welcome table for people to take home. We had games to play so people wouldn't be bored. Camera games, "Meet the Hardins" boxes with info on the bride and groom, time capsule predictions for our life 50 years down the road, and lots of food provided by moms and aunts and sisters.
We had some dancing, then it was time to change and go to the hotel! I changed into my polka dot dress and sparkly gold heels, and I came out and Matt was wearing shorts, a t-shirt and his dress shoes! The picture of us walking out to our car still kind of infuriates me to this day, because we look like such a mis-matched couple. I guess that's because we are, but it works. I didn't say anything and just let it go. If anything, it makes a pretty good memory.
I remember getting my hair cut by Twix a few days before, and he was so shocked I was engaged, when the last time I saw him Matt wasn't even home from his mission yet! I said it was okay because I already knew most of Matt's "quirks" and I still wanted to be around him. In fact, most of those quirks are quite endearing! Isn't that the best kind of love? I know Matt so well that most times I can read his thoughts or his facial expressions. I know all the amazing things about him, and also what drives me crazy. But I would rather be with this guy than any other guy. And the best part is, he knows all of my "quirks", too, and he stills wants to be around me! That is the best gift I could ever ask for.
We drove off in a car full of twinkle lights and covered in oreos and paint. We went through the car wash on the way to the hotel, but most of it was still stuck on the car. I would normally let that bother me, but I kind of loved the reminder that we were just married. I didn't wash that car for another month, just for the afterglow.