So… I haven’t posted in forever… I’m not sure why… I guess I’ve been wrapped up in domestic life and well a lot of travel and a lot of new exciting things!!! Eep! But first I want to record my wedding day! Oh my gosh!!!!
First of all my family and my best friends flew in. As a military brat this is a BIG DEAL. Never have I ever had all of my loved ones in one place at one time! My heart was so full. And best of all everyone got along. My friends who traveled from different parts of the country to be there for me on my special day, became friends! They still keep in contact with each other! That makes me so happy!
Second of all the wedding was so beautiful! My reception was the most beautiful room (gigantic room) I have ever seen. My husband and my husband’s family and friends worked so hard to make it perfect, and it was. I have to admit right now my husband did 80 percent of the planning, maybe 85 percent. He left me in charge of flowers, my dress (he picked out my shoes and purse with me) and the cake. Nick the baker and his wife Grace made our cake. I stole ideas off of Pinterest and what they brought to the table, the cake table that is, was definitely Pinterest worthy!
And tasty, considering I don’t like cake! I am more of a cookie girl, hence why there were so many cookies at my wedding to take home. Sad but funny story really quick: I made myself a box of my favorite Italian cookies to take back to my hotel room after my wedding and then I somehow dropped all of them while I was crossing the street from my venue, The Huntington Bank building, to my hotel, The Kimpton. Luckily, someone driving by who was at my wedding pulled over to give me some of the cookies that they had boxed to take home. Ah I may have been all dressed up but I was still clumsy Chantelle through and through!
And the flowers/lighting: Pieter Bouterse and Gwen Hashimoto did an AMAZING job. It was exactly what I wanted yet I could never really put it into words for them when I was trying to explain it. I like to think I’m an easy going person, but after picking out flowers and my dress for that matter I’ve come to realize that with certain monumental things in my life, I am incredibly nit picky.
Oh and speaking of the dress, my husband still makes fun of me for how long it took me to find one. I think I went to 11 different stores. I looked in Italy (I was there anyway, I didn’t actually fly to look!) New York City (beautiful but EXPENSIVE) Pittsburgh, Cleveland (of course) Miami and finally Chicago. I was convinced I had found the dress of my dreams, well two of the dresses of my dreams, at Chernaya in Miami. Ladies if you are looking for a dress Chernaya bridal has the most beautiful dresses! I was working with a man named Renato and he was absolutely wonderful.
The dresses that could have been.
But! I took one last minute trip to Chicago. I went into a store downtown called Myra’s with my mom. I picked out a few ball gowns because I was convinced I wanted a huge ball gown. My mom pulled this little silky thing with flowers on it off of the rack, now I love flowers so I said, “why not?” Well, that was it.
And the strangest thing! When I first started looking at dresses and cutting pictures out, that dress was the first dress I cut out and stuck inside of my wedding planner, but I completely forgot about it! It wasn’t until a couple of months after my wedding that I looked back at my planner and pulled the photo out! First loves die hard. Anyway we bought the dress off of the rack at an amazing price. Another strange thing, I said a few Hail Mary’s that morning asking Mary to help me find a beautiful dress that was under 5000. Then I was bold enough to say okay under 3000. And then I got up the courage to say, you know what all things are possible with God let’s make it under 2000! No way that’s going to happen but I’m going to put the prayer out there, I thought. Sure enough that dress ended up being under 2000. I know God has more important things to do than answer a young woman’s prayer about finding a wedding dress that wouldn’t fill her with guilt concerning price, but I’m glad God came to the rescue yet again.
So finally, after my part of the planning was complete we had our beautiful rehearsal dinner at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine. There was a harp player, my family and friends had arrived, the food was great, the tables were decorated beautifully. It was so pretty, it could have been my wedding! The next day I ran around Cleveland trying to spend time with friends but also trying to fit in a facial. We went down to Little Italy for a little celebration before the wedding. I didn’t do a bachelorette party so that little run through during the Feast of The Assumption was about as crazy as it got for me.
I didn’t diet before my wedding. I ate whatever I wanted because I was happy and when I’m happy I eat! I did exercise more than usual though. I ran and worked out with Nick’s cousin, Joanna and our trainer Kelsey. The one thing I did do diet wise was a juice cleanse prior to the big day. I will never ever do a juice cleanse again. My stomach hurt so bad. I finally had a salad the night before the wedding and felt healthy again. I appreciate one freshly squeezed juice a day for nutrients and general wellness but a juice cleanse, no thanks. I believe in balance, fresh foods, veggies, a colorful plate, but if someone makes you a home cooked meal from their heart- you eat it! And so far in life that philosophy has worked for me.
Finally the day of the wedding! Okay wait let’s back up. I could not sleep the night before. Of course I was excited but there’s also that super reflective part of me that had to think about the entirety of my life experiences that led me to this one amazing day in my life and then there were the fireworks. The literal fireworks that went on outside of my huge hotel room windows for honestly I think it was an hour. Go Cleveland Indians but seriously a girl needs to sleep before her wedding. Okay now for the wedding day. I was incredibly nervous and I have no idea why. Im pretty sure I was having mini panic attacks, trying to make sure I got to the church on time, worrying about my etiquette, considering the amount of people who were coming to my wedding. I think it was 500… I did not feel calm that entire morning until I walked down the aisle and finally saw my husband.
Then I felt like a child who had finally gotten their security blanket back!
After Nick and I were officially wed in the church we went straight to lunch. My husband wanted to have a huge lunch with food trucks. Originally we were supposed to have the lunch outdoors at St. Ignatius High School but with the weather report threatening rain, it was moved to Cibreo. I thought it was lovely, although I must admit I spent the majority of lunch trying to get marinara sauce off of my breast area! Someone eating a meatball must have hugged me! By the end of the night I smelled like a tide to go stick! I am just not the kind of girl who can wear white! Between my own hot mess self and my pasta eating guests… let’s just say my bridesmaids were in charge of dress maintenance all day.
After that busy morning I finally started to feel calm. We had a slight drizzle after lunch and I had an hour or so to get ready for the reception (always my favorite part of any wedding!) As stressed out as a I felt during the first part of the day, my attitude completely took a 180 during the second part of the day. I think I just needed my best friend.
The reception was unbelievable.
It was perfect… and it was fun.
We danced to, “Let’s Stay Together.” It was the first song we had ever danced to when we first started dating. Nick and I had a choreographed routine. I never needed the dance to be perfect, to be honest I just enjoyed doing something productive together as a couple, just the two of us. I would suggest that for any couple. Do something together, work out, cook whatever.
And the best part is, Ari got what she always wanted and needed.