I realised I didn't have my vows on me. They were in my bag.
Being the ever reasonable person I am, I made them stop the carts so I could ask my ever efficient organiser bridesmaid (EEOB) where my bag was (all the while, in my head Im screaming & running around with my hands in the air!). My bag, it turned out, had already made its way to the reception. So, being the ever reasonable bride that I was I refused to go any further. What?! It was reasonable! I was NOT going up there, to our gorgeous rainforest setting, where everyone was waiting, without my vows that I had written from my heart. The exact words I wanted to say at the exact right moment. The vows I wanted to make, to my husband to be, in front of all our friends and family. So, NO, I was NOT going any further without them!
Thankfully, a staff member or possibly EEOB's hubby (I think, this stage is rather fuzzy thanks to the almost panic attack I was having!), rushed inside and up to our reception room and grabbed my vows, which were hastily stuffed down EEOB's cleavage, and once again the carts were on the move!
But things still were not going smoothly. Our Mini Miss was chucking the biggest of tantrums! One, even the richest of princesses could be proud of. She was upset that she was not allowed to drive the golf cart herself...and no amount of cuddling, comforting, distracting or reasoning was going to stop her rant! She wanted to drive that damn cart!! But the show had to go on, and so it did, screaming toddler and all!
We arrived at the rainforest. I could see all our friends and family waiting patiently (I hope!) in their chairs, my Dad, pacing waiting for me to arrive, and possibly wondering if I had done a runner, our Pastor, smiling and chatting to the groomsmen, and through the leaves of the trees, my husband to be, carefully being kept in a position that stopped any chance of him catching a glimpse of me!
Cue a flurry of activity as I was helped out of the golf cart, kissed by my emotional Dad, fluffed and straightened and primped by my bridesmaids, given an excited look by Miss Teen and then.....
The music started.
I felt sick. I felt dizzy. I felt terrified. What the hell was I thinking?!! I couldn't do this!
Suddenly I wasn't worried about Dad tripping down the aisle, but me. Suddenly I was worried I was going to faint.....I couldn't breathe.
I focused on the timing of the music. "go..." I said to each of my best friends as their turn came to be the centre of attention for a moment. I smiled at them as they went. Then waited....and there was my cue. With a slight stutter in my step, off we went, Dad & I, arm in arm, walking slowly to the music.
Hubby to be.
And suddenly everything was fine. All the guests disappeared, and for a moment, it was just him and me. All I could see in his eyes was love. For me. True and honest love. He really wanted this as much as I did. THAT, right there was my fear, the cause of all my nerves. I was worried, deep down, that he was marrying me out of some stupid obligation. I had given him a baby, a family, so he thought he'd best "do the right thing".
In that one glance, that one moment, I KNEW he loved me as much as I loved him. Maybe more. He couldn't wait to start this next stage of life. With me.
The next 1/2 hour is a blur, tinged with laughter and tears of joy. Laughter as EOB retrieved my vows from her cleavage for me to read. Some laughter and tears of joy as my poor speechless almost husband tried to respond to my vows with his own. Joy and special moments as we signed the register, then, finally, we were announced as husband and wife & we kissed. And we stood there, in front of everyone apparently, but all alone, and just soaked it up. We were married. Joined in front of all our friends, promised and committed in front of God, and blessed. So blessed.
We walked up the aisle as husband and wife. So many people congratulating us and covering us in bubbles (I really love bubbles, so much cooler than eye piercing uncooked rice!) and cheers. There was congratulation hugs and kisses from family, then friends, then some quick photos, then we were off in our carts again, to take some professional shots and really, start the celebrations!