**Edit: Sorry this took me so long to post! It took me all week to put this together**
One of my coworkers summed it up pretty accurately by saying 'We're gonna miss Chantelle Parent... but we're looking forward to meeting the new girl!'
New girl, indeed.
The wedding had the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let me start from what I consider to be the beginning: Wednesday.
I worked Wednesday until 3PM. [I was supposed to work until 4:30, but my boss started pushing me towards the door at about 12PM :) ]
I had a few errands to run - namely, I still had no decorations for the car or a pen to sign the register. First I checked at Walmart at the south end - no luck. I did a quick search on my phone and found a wedding boutique downtown that looked promising, and it was. I not only got what I needed, but on sale too!
Gilles and I then had to finish writing our wedding speeches that night, as we had spent 4-6 hours on them the night before but finally set it aside in frustration. I also had to finish printing off the programs for the ceremony. There was also cooking, cleaning, and packing to be done. Or at least, that was my plan.
It was 6PM when I arrived at home. I was already frustrated about the amount of stuff that had to be done still, and the fact that I had to leave Thursday morning, rather than that night. Emotions were running high, and so when I requested some help from Gilles, the kindling was lit. Gilles was frustrated about having to help with what was not supposed to be his thing, and I was frustrated at not receiving any help. We ended up chatting for a couple of hours before we started doing anything - as it seems to be when we get frustrated with each other - everything goes on hold until the issue is solved. It ended with Gilles agreeing to fold the programs once they were printed, while I finished the speeches (it was just my parts left) and worked on the laundry.
After working on them for awhile, I headed upstairs to use the washroom. Before I headed back down, I stopped to check the answering machine. Four messages. The first two were hangups. Ok, good. The next one threw me. It was my seamstress calling. The modesty piece had fallen out of my dress at her house, and could I come pick it up before I left town? I faltered. The next message was from Simply Sentiments, asking me to book an appointment to pick up my linens. (This being despite the fact that I had already arranged with one of my bridesmaids for her to pick them up, and phoned Simply Sentiments requesting that this be possible and to please call me if it would be a problem). I broke down. That was all it took - I was sprawled across the floor crying. (Looking at it writtne in this way I feel like an idiot. But knowing my emotional state and how overwhelmed I was already before recieving the messages, I don't think I'd react any differently now.)
Gilles had his headphones on, so I assumed that he wouldn't hear me. That I could have a good cry and then go about what I was doing, and he would be none the wiser. Apparently, he knows me better than that. When he noticed I was no longer in the living room, and that I was out of the living room longer than normal, he came upstairs to find me, knowing that this exact situation had likely unfolded. I explained what happened to him, and he became an angel right in front of me. He offered to finish cleaning the kitchen and do the laundry, as well as the already promised program folding and taking out the garbage. My hero. I then got back to work working on the speech. After I had calmed down and cleared my mind, I realized that I could at least ask my bridesmaid to contact Simply Sentiments and work out the linens, and that she could phone me if they weren't willing to cooperate. After I sent a rather longwinded, ranting and explicit text message explaining what was going on, she quickly agreed to help - not only to sort out the linens but to also pick up the modesty piece. Another hero.
We ended up cleaning up and finishing the speeches Wednesday night, but nothing else. Thursday I packed everything up, (mentally freaking out about the possibility of forgetting something for the wedding in Saskatoon), stopped at Walmart to pick up an extra set of toothbrushes/paste (so I could send a bag to the B&B early for our wedding night), and headed down to the farm.
Luckily, I did remember everything, because by the time I left it was 1PM. I met the town representative to look over the rink, did the check through, and got back to the farm just in time to eat and then head back into town for a sound check at the church. The guy who was supposed to do the sound check with us didn't show, so Mom and I did it ourselves and told him to meet us there the following evening. I spent the rest of that evening folding programs.
Friday we dropped off the wedding night overnight bag at the Master Manor B&B (a great place, if you're looking to stay around Gravelbourg), ate a quick lunch, and then went into town to setup. Setup was set for 1PM, with lots of friends and family helping. Gilles didn't arrive 'til 3PM. I was fuming.
Shortly after Gilles arrived, his mom and sister arrived with a surprise for me. Instead of the 3 sheet cakes I had asked Gilles' mom to order from the Co-op, his sister had surprised us by making a 3-tier wedding cake as our wedding gift. I was really happy and excited.
Setup took until about 5PM, with minimal problems. At this point, we had to race back home for supper before the rehearsal!
The wedding rehearsal was at 7:30PM. It was pretty straightforward, although I had to admit that I would not remember any of it by the next day. After that, it was sorting out some last details at the rink, and heading home to bed. I was in bed at about 11PM.
The next day was.... a gong show. We were up at 7:30AM in order to get to the hairdressers at 8:30AM. When we arrived there, we were informed that the other hair dresser's car had broken down in Regina - but not to worry, that she would be there in about an hour. The plan was that one hairdresser was going to do the bridesmaids and my hair, and the other was going to do Kelsey's hair (she has lots of hair), and Angie would do the makeup in the meantime.
The other hairdresser never did come. What was supposed to be a 2-3 hour appointment stretched to 5 hours, and we found ourselves struggling to get it done in time. (The hairdresser managed Kelsey's hair in an hour flat - I am still amazed.)
We all piled into my parents truck and raced (130km/h on a 90 highway) back to the farm, while I called the photographer to let her know that we were on our way to the farm, so she could get some 'getting ready' photos. Once we got to the farm, I realized that my modesty piece was still in town. My dad offered to drive to town to get it, but that's a 30 minute round trip, and the wedding was supposed to start in 30 minutes. We ended up enlisting the help of my aunt and uncle, who went to the rink, found it, and broke many speed violations getting it to the farm in time. In the meantime, we were trying to make my ballet ribbons work on my shoes, but every time I shifted position the ribbons would all fall down. Finally we had to cut them and just tie them around my ankles. We got a lovely picture of my mom under my dress trying to get them done up though :)
We managed to get me dressed and out the door at 2:20PM. We had 10 minutes to get to the wedding - a 15 minute drive away. And by God, we got there in time. The priest was standing up at the front of the church talking already when we walked in, meaning that the men were already up there too. We hardly had time to adjust our dresses before the music started playing, signaling the first bridesmaid to walk up. Elsie was trying not to cry, and I was trying not to hyperventilate. Dad kept checking to see if I was ok. I'm not sure whether he was worried about me hyperventilating, crying, or becoming a mess and not walking up the aisle. But, we made it up there okay.
The rest of the wedding went great. There were some little things, like Gilles and I didn't know where to stand after signing the register at the church, and we made some mistakes in our first dance... but as a whole, the night was a tonne of fun, and i would hardly change anything. Now, I just have to do the legal legwork and I'll officially be Chantelle Brodeur!