Portrait of Alissa looking joyful at her wedding.

Our Wedding Story, Pt 1: Tarot Cards, Tequila Shots, And FaceTime Tears

inspiration relationships Nov 10, 2020

And… I’m back!

I took a break from blogging for two months (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) as we prepared for our wedding this October. I’d really wanted to stay consistent with the blog because writing makes me so happy. But, between my busy full-time job; my membership community; and planning a wedding… I knew I needed to take care of my mental health and take at least one thing off my plate.

As I write this, we’re on our honeymoon in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m wearing a cozy, hotel robe with a latte by my side, and 8-hours of sleep under my belt. It’s 43-degrees outside and the sun is peaking through the french doors of our honeymoon suite. There’s nowhere I’d rather be right now, than here.

I’m so grateful to slow down. Finally. Our wedding day was amazing; the days afterward were difficult. Here’s part one of the story.

Our wedding morning didn’t start off how I’d planned…

For me, our wedding day started abruptly. It’s a funny, yet, embarrassing story, to be honest. I debated even sharing it, but here we are!

So, I’d planned to have this nice, calm evening with my bridesmaids the night before the wedding. I’d envisioned us girls coming back to the hotel after the rehearsal dinner, setting intentions, pulling tarot cards, lighting incense, and being in bed by 10 pm. It sounds nice, right?

Here’s what really happened.

We had our rehearsal dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant with our families and wedding party. I was wearing a colorful fiesta dress and feeling overwhelmed by all of the love and joy surrounding me. I remember thinking how handsome Matt looked and how lucky I felt to be marrying him the next day.

Our evening started out with… a tequila shot. Now, normally I’m not a shots-type-of-girl, but I felt like the night before my wedding would be a time to celebrate. That shot, followed by pitchers of margaritas on each table, turned into a very fun night. A little too much fun.

I woke up at 5 a.m. with my contacts still in my eyes. ‘Crap!’ I thought. I never sleep with my contacts in unless I accidentally fall asleep while wearing them. My bridesmaids in the hotel room with me started laughing. “Yeah… we had a lot of fun last night. I’m sorry we didn’t get to do the rituals you’d been wanting to do, but we did play some meditations for you while you slept!”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all! Here, I’d had some lovely, slow-paced plan that I totally screwed up because I’d unexpectedly had too much tequila the night before. I couldn’t even be upset by it because the fact that Id let loose this much was kind of out of character for me.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Overindulging in alcohol isn’t something I want to promote, especially for highly sensitive people who tend to be more sensitive to stimulants. I don’t think it’s a great thing to do. However, I am a big proponent for extending grace to myself when I act imperfectly. In this case, I’d wanted to celebrate, and I’d celebrated big.

Now I just needed to make sure I didn’t have a splitting headache for my wedding day, of all days! Thankfully, my bridesmaids, being the amazing girls they are, gave me a spa-like experience that morning to help me ease into the day.

“Just lay down and relax!” they insisted. I laid on the bed with a collagen-infused face mask on while my bridesmaids lit candles, played sound bowl music, and pulled tarot cards. Each girl pulled a card that set her intention for the day. The card I pulled was Ojas which is “the subtle essence of health and well-being, with which you are filled.”

I smiled at the irony of pulling this card and knew that the Universe had my back today. I was going to be feeling good for my wedding.

*Buzz buzz*

“I’m so excited to marry you today!” Matt texted me. My stomach flipped with excitement.

‘Alissa, it’s your wedding day! Your wedding day is here! Can you believe it?’ I thought to myself.

We even got a little bit of rain for good luck!

My mom, bridesmaids, and I arrived at Dove Canyon Golf Club, our wedding venue, later that morning. This venue is special to us. It’s Matt’s country club, just 15-minutes from our home in the canyons. It’s beautiful and grand and serene.

As I got out of the car, a few sprinkles of rain hit my arm. My immediate thought? ‘Yay! It’s good luck for our wedding day!’

As we carried our bags into the building, I thought about how grateful I was for probiotics, adrenaline, and vitamin C because even though I’d had a little too much fun the night before, I was feeling pretty darn good.

‘I’m marrying Matt today!’ I reminded myself as I skipped into the doors.

My bridesmaid, Jess, teaches yoga, so I’d asked her to lead us through a yoga flow that morning before the hair and makeup team arrived. With yoga mats in hand, we walked into the bridal suite. My breath was taken away by the space we walked into. A fire was lit in the grand fireplace; a beautiful spread of breakfast was available to us, and sprawling views of the canyon invited a feeling of serenity.

Gratitude. Excitement. An overwhelming desire to just stay present.

As we got comfortable on our yoga mats in front of the fireplace, my bridesmaids excitedly surprised me with a gift. It was a book compiled of letters and photos from each of them! Tears sprung to my eyes as I flipped through the book and read the thoughtful words each woman had written for me.

Words of affirmation are my second most important love language. Like, I’m one of those people who enjoys receiving gifts, but loves reading the card even more. So, this book meant a lot to me.

If there’s one thing I can share about a wedding day, it’s that you’ll feel completely in awe of how much love surrounds you. I realized, ‘Wow, these people care about me so much that they’re willing to do all of this!’

It was a special moment that I wanted to bottle up and keep in my pocket for the days I forget.

The excitement leading up to the big moment

The hours leading up to the wedding ceremony were a whirlwind of hairspray, laughter, loud music, and flowing champagne. Flowing champagne for just about everyone, except me — I still couldn’t drink much as a result of the night before. Whoops!

Photo by Kristyn Taulane Photography
Photo by Kristyn Taulane Photography

When the moment finally arrived to put on my wedding dress, I was giddy. I’d fallen in love with my dress 15 months earlier and had been antsy to wear it ever since. I took a deep breath as I looked at myself in the mirror. I looked like me! I looked like the truest, happiest, best version of me. I didn’t feel like crying, I felt like dancing.

‘I’m a bride. It’s really, really happening!’ I thought to myself as I swayed back and forth in my flowy, free-spirited gown. I loved how I felt. I loved how I looked. I loved being a bride. I loved it most because it meant I was getting married to Matt, my person.

After a fun session of photos, we had about an hour before I was set to walk down the aisle. Eek! I was having the best day with my friends, but I was also feeling slightly overwhelmed by all of the action happening around me. I needed to breathe.

Photo by Kristyn Taulane Photography

A wedding day is such a highly emotional day and my highly sensitive nervous system was going into overdrive. I was feeling flighty, ungrounded, and excited. I was craving a little bit of quiet time before I faced an action-packed evening.

However, before I could take a moment to relax, I wanted to Facetime my best friend Jenna who wasn’t able to attend the wedding. Jenna is pregnant and lives in Minnesota, so, flying and potentially contracting covid was a risk she wasn’t going to take. While it was a difficult, emotional decision for her, we both knew her choice to stay home was for the best.

As soon as I saw Jenna’s face on the other line, the emotions began to flow. There are certain moments in your life that you envision will be a certain way, you know? And one of those moments is having your best friend there for your wedding day. Knowing that she was still in Minnesota on this special day made us both cry a bit! Nonetheless, I felt so grateful that technology was able to connect us in this unconventional way.

After this emotional moment, I felt a bit more grounded. I sat down, ate some french fries (what else does a gal eat before she walks down the aisle?!), and read through my vows one more time. I was feeling so ready to walk down the aisle and marry Matt!

To be continued…