The wedding in review
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
The wedding weekend was a huge success. My sister looked beautiful and was so happy. Despite the rain, everything fell into place for her and Brian. Things went so smoothly, and the cold, wet weather only added a level of coziness to the day that we didn't know we needed.
For me, I completed a new level of my sober journey, that I always thought would be so challenging. But in the end, the experience was so incredibly wonderful and rewarding. Friday night at the rehearsal dinner I felt a little uncomfortable and awkward, but focused on the fun my kids were having. My boys made friends immediately with Richie's grandkids, Kate and Evan's kids Jacob and Charlie and Eric and Renee's son Colin. It was so fascinating to see these little ones come together and be introduced. Eric said, "this is my step-sister!" to his thirteen year old daughter, and I just faltered, not knowing what to say. Feeling so strange to hear the words step-sister. Ronni told me to focus on my sister and the kids and that no one would be thinking about me not drinking all weekend, and that is what I tried to do. In my head I just figured everyone knew I was sober and was judging me or thinking about it. But in actuality, I don't think anyone really knew. I decided to put my sobriety aside for the weekend and not make it the focus of everything and instead try to enjoy each moment, enjoy my sisters, my husband and my children. And do so by being present and thankful that I wasn't hungover or anxious because of alcohol in my system.
I woke up early Saturday morning and went to brunch at my moms. Evan, Karen and the kids came and it was a nice start to the wedding day. I went to the conference center where I spent the rest of the day doing hair and makeup with the bridal party, and it was a really enjoyable day. My sisters bridesmaids were lovely and it was a nice day with my mom and sisters. Also, it was a good break from the kids for me. The day flew by actually and suddenly the wedding began. In the past, I would have been a ball of nerves, drinking my way through the day to cope with this and deal with last night's hangover. Instead, I sipped coffee and water and was relaxed when it was time for the ceremony. I didn't feel nervous and was present for Parker, as she was a bit anxious, this being her first wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and the reception began. The nerves started slightly, as it was nearly time for my speech. My dad went before my sister and I, and I didn't listen to a word he said, as I prepared my own speech.
When it was time for me to take the mic, I was calm and present and I read the words confidently. Despite the wedding planner shoving a glass of champagne in my hand, I managed to speak without a shaky voice and I am proud to say that the toast went well. I didn't slur any words like I would have if I had been drinking. I got many compliments after and I felt good about it. I was then free to hit the dance floor. And I danced for hours. It didn't even occur to me that I didn't have alcohol in my system. The music was great and the kids were having a wonderful time, which allowed me the freedom to move and groove along with them. I was so happy and free.
I probably would have second guessed my every move the morning after this wedding if I had been drinking. I would have felt awkward and strange, waking up the next day, hiding from everyone in sight, wondering what I had done the night before. Which is so dumb that the reason I would have drank in the first place was always to help provide me with an extra bit of confidence. That is usually what I did the morning after weddings, I would wallow in self-loathing, as I never remembered how the night ended or what I even did at the reception. I usually avoided the brunch the day after and everyone from the party, bee-lining it for the airport or car.
But on Sunday, I was happy to see my family and all of Laura's friends. We went for an early brunch with my mom and Jen. Then we took a family hike together with my dad, Richie and his kids. We rode the chairlift up the mountain and meandered our way through the woods, past cascading waterfalls down woodsy paths. It was the perfect end to my first sober wedding weekend, and I am so grateful for this journey that I am on.