It was really just a fabulous time. We got down to southern Oregon on Wednesday very late, and we both were so excited to see our friends and family. Thursday we took an easy day and were able to spend time with my family, extended family, and some of J's extended family. Dinner, frozen yogurt.. we also met with our photographer, who was great and also kind of a nut. Friday I spent the afternoon with our woman Friends of Honor (my sister and her GF, my cousin, my two best friends from high school, my mom) getting our nails done. I thought I was going to cry when I saw my friends from high school- I hadn't seen either of them in over two years! They're just the same, but older, doing more adult things in their day-to-day. I love them so much.
That night we had our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and it was so fabulous. I am so glad that J and I made the decision to tell our officiant (the minister I grew up with) about our relationship last summer, because his extra remarks about our independence and strength and bravery were really special and moving to me. He is such an energetic and peaceful person, and it felt amazing to have him speak as our officiant. I was pretty nervous all Friday evening interacting with J's parents and sister and brother-in-law; I had a stomachache the whole time and felt a little on edge, but I interacted with them minimally and did my best staying focused on everyone else there. It was pretty loving to experience that his parents and sister behaved politely and mostly warmly towards us.
That night we went to clothing optional hot springs with our fabulous sexy friends, J's men Friends of Honor and couple of their partners, J's brother, and J's sister and brother-in-law. I definitely got naked, which was an interesting choice. I had a lot of fun, but I don't know if J's sister and brother-in-law did. (I can't control if they did or not! But I know it was an interesting layer on top of everything else- ie them finding out about our relationship.)
J and I stayed together at the fancy hotel in downtown both Friday and Saturday night, and it was really nice to have a space completely to ourselves to relax in. I woke up early Saturday morning for hair time- the woman who cut my hair from infancy traveled up to Oregon from California to do my hair and all of the other girls'! It was really fun. It was a great way to spend more time with all the girls, and to catch up with my hair lady!
Photos started midday, and I just love that. I am such a ham, and I had so much fun with our whole group dorking around town. We walked down through town, into the park, playing around trees and on jungle gyms and in fountains. We arrived at the park about 45 minutes prior to the ceremony, drank water, said hello to guests arriving (a couple of old college friends, former supervisors from college, and other people we hadn't seen in forever! AND several of our lovely sexy friends!)... and it also gave me time to get nervous. I was having performance anxiety!! The thought of being in front of so many people, having them witness something so personal, private, and vulnerable made me nervous. Right before J and I walked in together we held hands and he helped me shake the nervousness out. (Thanks lover boy!)
And the ceremony was beautiful. I am so proud of the words we chose.
Afterwards: more photos, and so much socializing. It was so great!!
The food was fabulous. Mexican buffet, delicious cupcakes. The band was totally rockin'. We danced so much! I felt like I was going to throw up at one point. Yes, it was that good. Ha!
I cried when it was time to say bye to my (long-distance) friends. Even though I don't feel connected to my vanilla friends in the same way as I do to my sexy friends, we share a history and friendship that is important to me. And I miss them.
We spent the night after the reception with J's guy friends, chatting in our hotel room. It was really fun. Despite our sexy friends' and my woman friends' best efforts of making our honeymoon suite sexy (flowers, relaxing music on an iPad, lube, chocolate, wine) we were both exhausted and were more satisfied with socializing with people we don't get to see often enough.
We woke up the next day saying:
Let's do that again!
That was pretty perfect.
I loved everything!
BEST PARTY EVER!!!
That's the best, yeah?
And then the best honeymoon came! A trip to Glacier National Park for ten days, with the tail end in Canada (my first trip to Canada, wahoo!). We hiked our butts off, camped, stayed in historic lodges, and ate lots of pie and ice cream. Another fabulous experience for what I feel is a fabulous relationship.