Our wedding day. All those things that people told me during our engagement - how much planning goes into this one day, how the day flies by in a blur, how important good pictures are for capturing these invaluable moments - are true. Truer, still, for the bride on major pain killers for her wedding day! I was a little worried that I wouldn't remember the day with great clarity. I'm pleased to report, however, that I remember much of the day (yes, particularly saying "I do"). I remember standing for at least an hour for our wedding ceremony - a very symbolic, unique expression of us - brushing my veil from my face, shifting my weight uncomfortably on my one good leg, praying I could stand up the entire time without wincing or breaking into a sweat. And while I wasn't as, shall we say, present in the moment as I would have hoped, I reveled in the beauty and delights of the day. And more so, the beautiful gift of finally marrying my best friend and faithful love. Here are more than a few of my favorite highlights from the day...
The day starts here: I know I'll look back on this day and laugh that my most treasured accessory in my "beauty bag" was Vicodin.
And my boots.
Both of them, one of a kind.
One of my oldest and dearest friends,
helping me into my dress.
I helped her into hers one year before
and it was such a privilege.
My faithful entourage, the faithful-est of friends...
This day would have been so different without each of them.
I am truly blessed.
Ok, so maybe one of my boots weren't one of a kind... but these were much more my type for bridesmaid's shoes
- and my own -
And they worked perfectly for an April wedding in Seattle.
Ah, dear Naphtali. She has held my hand through thick and thin, been by my side. Precious friend.
Nearly six years ago, she was the bride and I was her bridesmaid. Now she's an even dearer friend than I could ask for.
"Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters..." Best friend and sister rolled into one beautiful package.
Ruthie, how you always make me smile -
my beautiful cohort in crime -
unbelievably generous and fiercely loyal.
Some of Ricardo's best and oldest friends joined us from Mexico... a truly precious and hilarious gift.
My Papa's wedding band on my bouquet, Spanish "I love you," and our symbols of promise to each other.
My beautiful, beautiful Mom,
holding my arm down the aisle...
both in tears.
Vows: Mine, in Spanish. His, in English.
Our wedding "lazo" - symbol of unity, God with us.
Family on both sides encircling us
with arms of love and prayer.
Our first communion as husband and wife -
cup full of mystery, sacrifice and love.
First kiss as Mr. and Mrs. Cadenas - and not too short, I might add.
I knew going into this day
that I was marrying a man who could hold me up when
I'd have trouble standing...
Who would walk with me,
And still possess a sense of humor,
reminding me to smile.
We gave many "bochito" (i.e., VW bug) kisses this day, thanks to Laura's cousin who lent us her beloved car.
And we received lots of smiles and friendly honks en route to our reception!
I couldn't even imagine a more exquisite, more perfect, more special cake than this. Hours and hours of love and time gifted to us from a precious friend.
I witnessed that my dream wasn't silly after all: rainboots really DO make amazing flower holders...
And our cupcakes were to die for.
Not having my own Papa to dance with this day,
the dance with "Pa" Cadenas sure meant a lot to me.
And seeing my new husband
holding my mom in a dance
brought tears of joy to my eyes.
Thankfully, I was able to dance, too - boot and all. (Ricardo took his turn with the crutches, for solidarity's sake)
They even named a one-legged dance after me - creatively, doing "the Amber."
I was hurting a little by the end of the reception, but it was hard to leave such a lively party.
So while the party continued, a few loved ones came and bid us farewell. And boy, was it satisfying to pull into the prestigious Fairmont Hotel, downtown Seattle, in our vintage blue bochito.
Our faithful photographer followed us to the very end of our adventure...
And no, I don't actually remember this moment... but it doesn't surprise me.