"I can't do this!" I screamed as I dry heaved, hovering over a toilet in the bathroom of the new apartment I'd set up for Matt and I to live in when we'd be married. Matt had gotten home from his mission in December a few months earlier and after Christmas he bought a one way ticket to Salt Lake City to help me plan our wedding and prepare for the rest of our lives.
Matt lived in the apartment by himself, while I still resided with my aunt Debbie a few doors down, though I'd already moved most of my things into the new place knowing I wouldn't have time to do it later as the wedding date approached. February 28th was just a few weeks away and so much still needed to be done. Most of the wedding plans seemed so simple, so delegating to anyone else felt pointless and stupid. The little things were adding up though, and the stress was building. I was destined to explode.
"Anything I can do?" Matt stood in the doorway as I crumbled into a hot mess on the floor, tears streaming from my now bloodshot eyes.
"Why didn't we just elope?" I asked him.
"Because we were stupid and mentioned the idea to our families who threw hissy fits and insisted on a big wedding," he leaned down and brushed the hair from my eyes. "Does it help if I promise that we'll only ever have one wedding?" He asked.
"Little bit," I sniffled.
"Why don't you go back to Debbie's and put your wedding dress on. That usually makes you feel better." He suggested.
"Oh crap," I muttered. "That reminds me, my bridal portraits are tomorrow and I still don't have any shoes." I sighed.
"Go," Matt helped me up. "Go back to your aunts, call your sister and tell everyone that you need help." He took my hand and lead me to the door. "You won't let me help you, maybe you'll at least let one of them do something."
I was dragging my heels through the shoe aisle at Walmart whimpering about how I hated wearing high heels. Due to a difference in leg lengths courtesy of the car accident seventeen years prior, I had a growing balance issue that constantly had me tumbling over one way or another. It was a rare occasion I broke out anything with a heel and anytime I did, it usually ended badly.
"What if it snows?" I whined to Debbie who had offered to take me around the city to finish a few wedding errands.
"Well you'll be inside for most of the day. Inside the temple for the wedding, and then inside the Church for the reception. What about these?" Debbie asked, holding up a pair of off white high heels with a silver bow across the front.
"Ew," I shook my head. "Well what if I get blisters?"
"Come on, it's not like you'll be on your feet much after you get married." She narrowed her eyes at me.
"What if I fall down?" I sighed.
"Then you'll have a brand new husband ready to catch you. What about these?" She held up another pair of white heels, these ones minus the bow, but an added strap on the back that looked like it would slice through my achilles tendon.
"I want these!" I grinned and held up a pair of slipper that had an oversized pug's head on the front. "When I walk they'll look like bobble heads!" I grinned excitedly and began looking for some in my size.
"You're serious aren't you?" She raised a brow.
"They don't have my size," I frowned. "I'm not wearing heels. I've just decided. It's slippers, sandals or sneakers for my wedding."
"Well, if it does snow you'll get frost bite if you wear sandals or slippers," Debbie sighed in defeat and pulled up a pair of white sneakers with baby blue glittered laces.
"Perfect." I grinned and suddenly wedding plans began to fall in place.
I'd picked out my wedding dress less than a week after Matt's plane landed in Salt Lake City. I'd dropped by the apartment to bring him dinner, take out from my favourite mexican restaurant - foreshadowing of the dinners to come during our first year of marriage - and then I kissed him goodbye before darting out the door and heading to the first place I had found in the phone book for wedding dresses that didn't need to be booked six months in advance.
Fairy Godmother's Bridal was just down the street. Judy Miller, the Fairy Godmother herself walked us into a room full of dresses, took one look at me and said, "I know exactly what you want." She left the room and returned with three dresses. She began to open the first, paused and shook her head before opening the second and pulling it out.
A hoop skirt, corset, and a veil later and I looked in the mirror with stars in my eyes. "Holy crap," I muttered wide eyed. While I always knew that I'd loved Matt, I didn't always know that he would be the one. But when I looked in the mirror wearing that wedding dress, I knew that it and I were soul mates.
"You look so . . . so . . . b-b-beauti .." Debbie stuttered.
"Don't be a baby, you're going to ruin my moment," I instructed before she adjusted the veil on my head which wouldn't stay in thanks to an abusive thin hair gene.
Just to make sure, Judy insisted I try on the other two and each dress I put on my body I felt like I was cheating on my one and only wedding dress. I stated firmly that the first dress was my true love and that I would need to wear it at least once more before leaving the shop. Judy was sweet enough to oblige.
We arrived at the place we'd chosen for my photography session. I'd hired a friend of a friend to take the pictures and she did a beautiful job. We spent the better part of two hours walking around the snow covered grounds, and halfway through I kicked my shoes off completely.
"Are you insane?" Tiffany asked me. "It's freezing."
"I feel the need to be barefoot right now. How many times can a girl say she's walked through the snow, barefoot in a wedding dress?" I grinned, walking on air.
"Are there any other poses you want to photograph before we call this a day?"
"Do you think you could get some good ones of me pole dancing?" I asked as I spotted a telephone pole about thirty feet away.
"Oh my gosh," my sister his her face in her hands.
"Don't worry, I'm not going to get naked. It's freezing out here, Tiffany, I'm not insane."
During the wedding process, Judy Miller became our one stop shop for most things wedding related including the invitations.
Tiffany had taken us out a few nights earlier to take photos for the invitations. Matt and I dressed similar, though dark considering we'd already chosen to go with black and white invites. My sister took us to a number of locations, but one had a pretty bridge we thought would look nice. The sun was setting and we had to move fast. The perfect shot was taken just as I stepped on ice and began my plummet to the ground. Matt caught me halfway and came down with me. Tiffany stood there photographing the entire scene.
..."I don't want our invitations to be normal. They have to say something about us." I said while flipping through the font selection at Fairy Godmother's.
"What's your wedding song?" Judy asked us, trying to prompt for ideas.
I grinned, suddenly realizing exactly what needed to be on the invitation. "We have two, actually."
Judy ordered our invitations and shortly after they arrived I opened to a picture of Matt and I with the typical wedding announcements, dates, times, parents names and such. Then, at the top of the invitation it read