"What exactly is that?" I asked Matt, my head tilted as I looked at a large lego box sitting in the living room of my future apartment.
"It's a Lego Yoda," Joe said as he poked his head through the front door as he and Matt struggled to get a large green couch through. Since we were going to be newlyweds and were therefore broke, most of our furniture was being donated by my family with the exception of a bed and a microwave which had been purchased for us by Matt's parents. The boys had been trying to move the couch for nearly an hour, having rejected my counsel fifteen minutes into the process.
Joe had arrived a few days earlier, planning on spending a whole week with us and going home the Monday after the wedding. Considering I had so much to do and Matt hadn't had the chance to make any new friends in Utah, I was glad for Joe's company. It was nice having friends around to help, and though we'd sent him an invitation, Josh wasn't going to come.
"And what is Lego Yoda for?" I asked curiously.
"It's my bachelor party," Matt grunted, setting the couch down to reevaluate the angle of the giant sofa. "I don't get strippers and bars, so I get Legos and Star Wars. We're going to build it tonight."
"I approve of this party," I nodded and then turned my head. "Where should I put the waffle maker?" I said as I began unloading the gifts from my four separate bridal showers. My single friends from Church had gotten together to throw me one, and then the sweet married ladies from Church threw me another. Finally, my family had planned the final two parties. One for my mother's side and one for my dad's.
"Put the waffle maker on the counter, and then plug it in, and then make waffles to put in my mouth," Matt said from behind the couch.
"If the two of you can get that couch inside this apartment without using the method I told you would clearly work, then I'll make waffles," I grinned and watched them for another ten minutes before they gave up and tried my method, getting the sofa in the the doorway the first try.
"Alright, I'll leave you two to your Legos," I smiled and walked over, kissing Matt. "Sure you don't want to back out?" I asked him. "Cause we're like t minus fifteen or so hours until the big moment."
"I'm good," Matt grinned and hugged me tightly. "I'll see you at the temple."
"Okay. Don't be late." I insisted. "You've got everything you need to get dressed, and I've packed everything else in my suitcase for the wedding night."
"Woo!" Matt shouted and Joe moved to high five him.
I rolled my eyes. "I'll pretend I didn't witness any of that."
Matt's family had driven in and were staying elsewhere and I had prepared everything to go to my sister, Tiffany's house where my family was putting together last minute details. Debbie and I made a stop at the Church to decorate for the reception and then stop to pick up some extra cakes for guests since our wedding cake was going to be on a smaller scale.
Once we'd arrived at Tiffany's, we were greeted by Paula who had driven up from New Mexico with my cousin Tina. Most of the family wouldn't be able to attend since a large snow storm had unexpectedly arrived. Those who had driven from New Mexico had taken a large risk. I was okay with it though. No wedding was ever perfect, and as long as Matt showed up for the big event, it didn't matter who else was there.
"Aunt Jessi!" A tiny person clung to my leg. I looked down and smiled at my four year old niece Isabel, who was clutching a piece of paper in her hand.
"Whatcha got there?" I asked her.
"Do you see dis?" She held it up for me and I noticed it was my wedding invitation. "Dis is my unca Matt. I love heem." And then as quickly as she'd arrived, she fled the scene.
"She's been doing that all week," Tiffany announced from her seat at the dining room table where she and Paula were adding ribbons to the cake knives and Tina was constructing my bouquet of red roses.
"Aunt Jessi, do you like my dress?" Six year old Sami smiled up at me in a baby blue dress before she began twirling around in circles.
"Prettiest flower girls in the world," I grinned.
"Go try on your wedding dress," Paula insisted. "I want to see what it looks like."
"You'll see me in it tomorrow." I set down my suitcase and walked over to examine the bouquet.
"I don't care, I want to see," Paula pleaded.
After the fashion show, a few minor tweaks to the dress plus organizing everything we needed to take with us, it was time for dinner and then bed. Everyone told me to get some rest because the following day was going to be exhausting.
I was sent to bed early, a lot of good that did me. I was too excited to sleep properly. I woke up close to five the following morning even though my alarm wasn't set to go off until closer to six. I took a long hot bath to relax as I reminded myself that starting today I'd have to share a bathroom with a man, something I hadn't had to do for most of my life seeing that I was raised generally by women.
I looked around my sisters bathroom wondering how I'd decorate our place. Wondering what our first house would look like. What we'd name our children. What we'd be like when we were old and saggy. Once out of the bath, I began to get dressed in my Sunday best, even though it was Saturday. I wouldn't put on my wedding dress until we got to the temple, so it was a breeze to get ready.
"What are you doing up?" Tiffany asked as she walked into the bathroom, catching me with my toothbrush hanging out of my mouth as I combed a few snarls in my hair.
"Gebbing reaby," I mumbled before choking on toothpaste.
"Did you sleep at all?" She asked me, walking over to help pull the tangled comb from my hair.
"Meh," I shrugged my shoulders.
"Well it's going to be a long day, you're going to be exhausted by the time this is all over," she muttered as she began digging through her drawers to find a hairdryer. "At least you'll sleep well tonight."
"Who says I'll be sleeping?" I grinned.
Tiffany rolled her eyes and went to get a chair so I didn't have to sit backwards on the toilet while she did my hair. After lightly applying a little makeup, sans the mascara for obvious reasons, Tiffany started curling my hair with a big smile on her face.
"Remember how I used to do this when you were little?" She began to reminisce.
"Yes, you pulled my hair." I groaned, unaware that she wasn't paying much attention to what I was saying.
"You were my little sister and I would brush and curl your hair . . ." she went on.
"You burned me with the curling iron. A lot."
"Oh I did not," she rolled her eyes and then paid extra attention not to get the curling iron too close to my hair before she sprayed the curled lock with an enormous amount of hairspray.
"Put more on, I don't want it to go flat in an hour," I insisted.
My hair was only halfway finished before Debbie and Paula were standing in the doorway taking pictures and mumbling about how much I'd grown up and how pretty I looked and how I was their baby, etc, etc, etc.
"Don't make her cry," Tiffany narrowed her eyes at them. "I just finished her makeup."
"I'm not going to cry," I smiled. "I'm very content right now."
"You seem really relaxed," Debbie pointed out suspiciously. "Considering what you've been like planning this wedding, I figured you'd be a nervous wreck at this point."
"Nope. I've done all I can do. I've planned my perfect wedding. So I figure if anything goes wrong, it's everyone elses fault," I smirked.
After double checking that we had everything ready, we packed up the car with my suitcase, wedding dress and accessories, bouquets, extra makeup, along with everything else we needed to bring to the reception as well. I drove with my sister and her husband and noticed that the closer we got to downtown, the more nervously excited I became.
"Sure you don't want to back out?" My brother in law asked. "Every wedding needs someone to ask the question, and all I'm saying is I could take this next exit and we could all go to Vegas."
"We can head to Vegas another time, I have a previous engagement," I smirked. "Get it? Engagement. Get it?"
The snow was falling hard and fast and already the ground was covered as we took our exit toward downtown Salt Lake City. Even through the hovering February blizzard, I could see it . . . the temple.