It’s taken me a few days to completely process how incredibly beautiful the day was on October 14, 2016, but I think I am ready to share. I am in Charleston, South Carolina today sitting in my hotel restaurant and I am so amazed by how charming this place is. More on that later.
My Wedding Day……
I went into this day knowing that it was not going to be my “wedding day.” That’s not what I wanted it to feel like, and that’s not how I wanted others to treat it. The day was indeed about the love Nick, and I shared, but it was celebrated in a way that was so very different than what we all expected.
I woke up at 6:30 am, but I wasn’t ready to get up yet. I went back to sleep and what happened soon after that is going to make many of you think I am crazy, but for me, it was so comforting.
I was in and out of sleep and all of a sudden I felt this intense ringing in my ears. This ringing was something I had never experienced before, and it was so loud. I couldn’t hear anything other than the ringing, and I even tried talking to see if I could hear my own voice, but I couldn’t. Time was distorted during this experience, so I can’t tell you how long the ringing went on or how long after the ringing started that I saw outlines of Nick’s face.
There is no doubt in my mind Nick was trying to talk to me, but I couldn’t hear him. I am told it’s because during the experience I was more focused on analyzing what was happening than paying attention to the message that was trying to be sent. I am disappointed in myself for not being better at this stuff, but I am so happy that Nick tried to reach me on our day.
Once again I am sitting in public, with my laptop, crying.
I got up after that and headed over to the Frothy Monkey. I was beginning to feel like a local, but I love it. This time, the Frothy Monkey was packed, and the line-up was out the door. The beauty of being solo is you can usually find seats in most places at the bar that larger groups can’t take advantage of. So I got my coconut cream latte and mentally prepared myself for the day.
Here is what I love about Nashville. When I was purchasing one of the mugs at the Frothy Monkey, I was nervous about grabbing one of them off the shelf because they had them all so beautifully stacked up. I asked the barista what would happen if I broke the mug, he responded, “It would all be fine.” I said, “What if I break all the mugs,” he said, “It would still totally be okay.” WHAT?
I didn’t break the mug.
The make-up and hair stylist Amy Lynn Larwig arrived at my hotel at 1 pm. Let the fun begin. I had no idea what I wanted her to do with me but thank god she is good at what she does. As you can see in the photo, she did an outstanding job. Wow.
We started the photo shoot around 2:30 pm I believe. I can’t actually remember. Unfortunately, it was pouring in Nashville so we couldn’t go to the outdoor park Jessica Macintosh wanted to take photos at. Jessica was able to get us in last minute to a place called The Boundry. This place was gorgeous. It was intimate, had southern charm, and sheltered us away from the rain. The staff there were so lovely. They met us outside with umbrellas and showed us to the bridal suite. Everyone knew my story and no one was uncomfortable.
When I put the dress on we were all nervous. We were all nervous I think because none of us were really sure how I was going to feel. The truth is, I felt good. I felt beautiful, happy, and excited to honour Nick the best way I knew how. I felt like Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
The first shot Jessica wanted to take was of me looking down at my arm at Nick’s portrait. (The photo above).
This opened the flood gates. It was at that moment it hit me. It hit me just how much I loved that man. It hit me just how much he loved me. It is because of his love that I have had the strength to do all of this. This is the truth by the way. I hold on to that love like you wouldn’t believe. It is the only thing that gets me through the days that are so very hard.
When Jessica asked me to hold on to Nick’s ring up close to my heart, the tears started again.
The sexy poses I found very difficult to do because I don’t exactly feel sexy lately but the poses that involved me holding Nick’s ring, or photo, or anything involving my tattoo just came naturally because what you will see in the photos are the emotions I was genuinely feeling.
The photo shoot continued, and Jessica and her assistant Kaitlyn Redmond captured some amazing shots, and believed it or not, it was fun. We laughed, we cried, and we just embraced every emotion and moment that occurred and just went with it.
After The Boundry, we made our way downtown. What an adventure that was. We were trying to make it down there for the sunset, but of course, we got stuck in traffic because of an accident.
Of course, we did…
Jessica was a trooper in that traffic, and she got us to the Nissan Stadium where we decided to park. I jumped out of the car; dress unzipped and barely on. The girls zipped me up, and we raced over to the spot we were going to take the shots. Honestly, I didn’t think we were going to make it. There was a football game at the stadium so it was packed. One gal yelled from the car, “are you getting married here?” I yelled back, “No not here”. Jessica said, “good answer”. We had prepped a little for some of these questions. 😉
The photo shoot came to an end; I had a quick outfit change in a random bathroom, on the side of the road it seemed, and the girls sent me off on my way to the Chris Stapleton concert which was across the bridge.
In a way, I was sad it was over because I was having so much fun with those ladies. Thank you so much, Jessica, Amy, and Kaitlyn for spending the day with me. It truly takes a special kind of human to do what you all did. Not only were you willing to spend the day with me, which will go down as one of the hardest days of my life, but you did such a beautiful job at holding space and allowing me to feel comfortable no matter what happened. You all allowed me to talk about Nick and cry and you even allowed me to share my morbid sense of humor which comes out quite often ;).
When I got to the other side of the bridge in downtown Nashville, I didn’t really know where I was going. I shared an elevator with a couple, and we exchanged a few words that consisted of the following:
Them: “It smells funny on this elevator.”
Me: “Just don’t touch anything.”
When we got off the elevator, I asked them if they were headed to the concert and I asked if I could follow them. Their names are John and Tisha. John asked me where I was from and then asked if I came all this way just for the concert. I told them the story of why I was there and sometimes it’s scary to share because some people will legitimately find a way to get away from you because it’s awkward for them. But they didn’t.
When we arrived at the concert, we ended up in different line ups. I had mentioned to them before that I was nervous that I was going to get to security and find out my ticket isn’t real because my Dad and I got it off some weird site kind of like stub hub.
I made it through security; my ticket was legit, but I had my knife confiscated. I forgot it was in my purse, but the security guard said she would hide it for me under the Bud Light sign.
When I walked in John and Tisha were standing there. They said something like, “Oh there you are, we wanted to make sure you made it in.” They then asked if I wanted to grab a beer with them and John bought me one of the biggest beers I have ever seen.
I decided to give up my seat and sit on the grass with John and Tisha, and I am so glad I did. I had a great time getting to know them and enjoying the music.
Chris Stapleton was so good.
I love the artists that can just stand in one spot on the stage with their guitar and not do anything else but belt out their god given voice. His wife was so good too and together they were a perfect example of the type of love Nick, and I had. It was very nice to see that on a day that was all about true love.
Thank you so much, John and Tisha, for so graciously befriending me. Thank you for helping me find my knife after the concert, driving me home, and being a part of one of the most epic conversations I have ever had about Canadian money. I am sorry, I had to share the video with some of my friends because it was just too funny. I am laughing out loud thinking about it.
I am sorry this blog is extremely long today, and I only just shared small pieces of that amazing day. I have so much more to tell and I can’t wait to come home and share with everyone when I see you.
I know I said this before, but I will say it again and again, if you want to do something people think is crazy; DO IT. I could have never imagined having the day I had and meeting the people that I have met so far on this trip. I am so grateful for the love and kindness I have received from so many strangers. These strangers have turned into people I will likely keep in touch with and see again, and I can’t wait.
You don’t get these experiences and memories by being scared. You don’t get them when you say “I can’t,” and you certainly don’t get them when you are too busy feeling sorry for yourself. I was guilty of this which is why I feel like I can say it. I have spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself, but this trip has reminded me that I am so blessed.
My sweet Nick…
I love you more today than I did yesterday and I will continue to love you through my journey and my entire life. Thank you for visiting me on our day and thank you for holding my hand down this path I have to walk without your physical presence. I hope you approve of the day and I hope you know, it was all for you. <3