we set out on our journey to fort bragg on the morning of may 4th. our caravan included my family, charles's family, and most of the wedding party. in our car, it was just charles, jc and i. jc has not been known as the best road tripper so i was a little worried about setting out on this four hour drive. but he did great! stayed awake the whole time (unfortunately) but stayed in good spirits. until we got about twenty minutes out from our destination. the last thirty or so minutes of the drive are through a very windy road up and over some mountains. i heard jc whining so i offered him an applesauce squeezy pouch which promptly got thrown up along with some chicken nuggets all over jc, his bear, and his car seat. that was fun. we pulled over and we managed to strip jc down and clean his car seat as well as we could and make it to our destination on time, just slightly puke covered.
we arrived first and were shortly greeted by our guests. everyone unloaded their cars, rooms were assigned and we started getting to it. like i said previously, we did everything ourselves. if i could have afforded to pay for a wedding planner or assistant or anything like that, i would have definitely paid for it because it was STRESSFUL! it took everything in my overthinking, overstressed out head to not freak out on everyone. i was just so thankful that everyone was super (beyond what anyone would expect) helpful and that our wedding day was finally here!
the weather was being very touchy. having our wedding on the northern california coast, i knew wind, rain and cold weather were all very likely. this day the wind was K-RAZY! so crazy i had to use a "K" instead of a "C". it looked like rain wasn't going to be a problem but the wind, oh man, it was bad. let's just say i was happy to partake in some "after the babies go to sleep" festivities.
to help ease my stress while the babies were awake, we took a trip down to the beach. the beach is a short walk from the house through meadows and fields. very pretty. we also had to decide for sure where we were going to have the ceremony. we had only visited the house once (and a year prior) before this day so our memory wasn't the best. but we found a perfect spot.
the boys help set up the tables and chairs that we rented from a local party supply business. i don't know how we made it fit on that deck but we did it. that was a major issue for me, worrying about how all of our tables and chairs were going to fit. when we picked our venue, we figured we'd maybe have 30 or 40 people who would actually want to make the drive out for the wedding. but more people really like us than we thought! we ended up with close to 60 guests so to say i was stressed about this would be an understatement. but it worked out and everyone had a place to sit!
we ended up having a very impromptu rehearsal dinner of round table pizza and sodas. classy, i know. i was also very worried about how the ceremony was going to work. we didn't have anyone to help direct us so we had to just count on everyone knowing when to go, where to stand, etc. over and over again charles had to be my reminder that it is not that big of a deal. yes it is our wedding but if someone doesn't walk fast enough or stand where they are supposed to, it is not the end of the world.
after the babies were put to bed, i enlisted the help of some of my bridesmaids plus one of the groomsmen's super awesome helpful girlfriend to make our bouquets. then there may have been some drinking. but the bouquets turned out great! keeping them super simple definitely made the difference.
now when i say we did everything ourselves, i mean it. we didn't even have a dj. and i kept putting it off so i ended up staying up way too late trying to go through ALL of our music to make our wedding playlist. the problem was that i tried to include charles in this task. we have similar music tastes but charles doesn't really understand what people want to hear or dance to at a wedding. super sad folk music the whole time? not going to cut it. i stayed up til probably two in the morning and still didn't finish it. i had to work on it the next day while i was getting my hair done! but hey, it all worked out in the end.
going to bed that night was not hard because i was exhausted but nothing could prepare me for the next day's events! check back soon for the next part of the series!
sidenote: most, if not all, of these photos were taken by our awesome friend mike. almost all the groomsmen are photographers and were taking pictures the whole time and for that, i am thankful.