Sometimes I don’t feel the way people tell me I’m supposed to feel. When they say I should be deliriously happy, I’m deliriously unhappy. The fear presents itself as an inability to let go. I don’t like to be the center of attention. I shy away.
I’ll be coming for your love, ok?
I’m not really a spotlight girl but somewhere inside of me is probably an ability to bring the house down. We may never know. Something tells me we will know one day. It was on my bucket list to speak in front of a large crowd and draw tears. I may have actually done that, but I’m not positive that it counts. There are four times in my life in which I said three magic words. “I did it.” The first time was on my wedding day after our very moving ceremony, and the reading of our hand-written vows.
The second time I said “I did it” was in surprise when Scarlet was born, and I had really done it! I pushed for 50 minutes or so but it felt like three hours and I thought they were going to take me in for a c-section. They didn’t, because I. Did. It.
And then that brings us to my sister’s wedding. She was SO there for me for my wedding, and really for everything I’ve ever done. There were no alternatives to being 100% present for her. I started writing this post the morning after her wedding.
I was playing my favorite moments from the wedding in a reel in my mind and I didn’t want to forget any so I just started writing. I decided to make a list of my top ten favorite moments from the wedding here, in no particular order:
1. The combinations of people on the dance floor. My father-in-law holding my brother’s son. One of our oldest friends dancing with my mom’s friend in the most connected way. If my kids thought it was strange that all six of their grandparents were together on the dance floor, they never let on about it. It’s not strange to them, in fact. It’s their lucky reality.
2. When my brother looked around and made the powerful statement about how we were at my parent’s house, but it had been transformed. So we had elements of both comfort and excitement, and surely a million other feelings, all in one night.
3. During all of the hair/makeup/photography wedding prep, vendors kept pulling up and taking over the place. It started to feel like the movie Father of the Bride, which also takes place at her parent’s house! I kept expecting to see Martin Short running through the pathways. Or maybe some swans? Cake is made of flour and water! For your enjoyment:
4. Being with a lot of people I love and hadn’t seen in ages, but not having to be the one to get married! Wheeeeeee!!!
5. Have I mentioned yet that I got a new brother that day? I like him.
6. The compliments I got about my writing, my photography and my kids are the kind that stick with you for life.
7. Surely I’ve mentioned (12,000) times that I gave a speech! It was my first public speaking.. ever? In adulthood? I did sing Hebrew to hundreds of people at my Bat Mitzvah but I was 13 then. Everything you do when you’re 13 is surely embarrassing, right? I got REALLY nervous and I was very hard on myself for my matron-of-honor speech, but then I lightened up, because.. umm.. it was my first time public speaking with a microphone.. Of course I was nervous! Which brings me to my next point..
8. I used a lot of learned anxiety-soothing methods all weekend long and they worked. I was able to let go and let loose and have a damn good time. It’s a kind of power that isn’t new to me, but is maybe new to me at this time in my life.
9. And there was that point on the dance floor in which I realized I had won that battle over anxiety, and I had won it on a dance floor! Which is a really great place to have won a battle over anxiety. Dance. Party. Time.
10. The calm before the storm. The prep. The day before. The transformation. The magic. And it got a LOT more magical the next day, but I feel fortunate to have snapped a few photos before the crazy.
I’m odds and ends
But I’ll Be
Slowly learning that life is ok.
— Aha in “Take On Me”
Janine Huldie says
Tamara, you said tho perfectly and seriously have I told you lately I love and adore you. Seriously, thank you for just being you and my friend. I just cannot ever say that enough. That said, you are amazing that day and all the other days you mentioned – in fact always! 😉
It means a lot for me to have you think I’m amazing every day! It was one of the few days in which I really did take in compliments and appreciate them. Usually I sort of shield them.
Janine Huldie says
Aww, always and you are totally worth it and then some – always 🙂
You are a true gem!
Janine Huldie says
As are you!!! 🙂 <3
Wow…Chills. Congrats on the speech. I know it can get nerve wracking, especially when there’s high emotion involved! The colors of the tree are beautiful We’re not quite there yet, here in the south.
That’s so awesome that you still have this to look forward to. Our peak weekend in New England was the weekend before the wedding, so I figured that peak would be somewhere around the wedding for New Jersey, since they are a bit after us.
And I had no idea that emotional speech as would be more nervesracking than talking about something with less emotion in front of strangers!
another jennifer says
Sounds like such a magical day. I have no doubt you rocked that speech. And brought tears to someone’s eyes. Love it!
I hope so! I wasn’t really looking at the crowd, but I made sure to look up every now and then at my sister or my daughter.
What an experience. All around. Thank you for sharing it. I loved your #8 and #9, they kind of go together, right? And #6 is always wonderful – you deserve it. BTW – do you parents live on a farm? It looks so lovely there and the fall colors – gorgeous.
They do live on a farm! And in your state too!
I definitely made 8 and 9 go together, but I also like them as separate thoughts.
Amanda @ Growing Up Madison says
Reading your post I felt like I was there and could only imagine the tears that you brought with your speech. I’m truly in awe of those photos. You did an amazing job, not that you don’t every time. I sometimes wish that I had a sister, one whose wedding I would have been able to attend and get to do the things that you did with your own. Since that never happened I guess I’ll just have to adopt you and Janine. 🙂 Love you both!
Nice! Sad that we are already married so you can’t be our matron of honor and give speeches!
Karen Klein says
Thanks for the wedding tour from another set of eyes, another heart!
I’m sure there are lots of different takes on it, but this was truly mine!
The Mad Mommy says
This is so gorgeous! It actually gave me goosebumps and made me think about the times that I have said, “I did it!”. You are amazing!
I love that you thought about those special times! We all need them.
So much fun. You should be totally proud of yourself that you did it. What a wonderful moment in your family! And such a perfect setting for a wedding. Awesome.
The setting was amazing. And I do feel very proud, which is a strange feeling for me. It’s nice to occasionally just bask in it, though!
You rock! And I love the way you write. That last picture is amazing.
Thanks for all of that! That last photo was a bit of a mistake because the sun wasn’t right, but I am kind of glad I went with the shadow effect.
Lindsay Hrynio says
The speech was beyond powerful! Everyone who knew my sis and me shed tears..i still do when I read it…..magical everything , love you sister/matron of honor, my everything!
Love you so much! Thanks for inspiring it.
lisa thomson-The Great Escape... says
What beautiful countryside and people! You and your Sis are both gorgeous. You did it!!! Your photos are beautiful, Tamara. I love the fall colors you’ve captured.
Thank you so much for all of that. And the fall colors were extra awesome. I think it might’ve been peak weekend in New Jersey or close to it.
Brittnei Washington says
The wedding being out side in the fall was such a beautiful idea! Aw. I’m glad you felt like you did it. I know what you mean! I felt like that when I stepped out about my beliefs being different from so many. And when I let my family go because I knew I had to…when I get through this pregnancy and birth with no doctors or licensed professionals I think I will say “I did it!”
I can’t wait to hear about the special three words after the birth!
Gorgeous!!! I’m happy that you were able to enjoy your sister’s wedding as a sister/maid of honor without doing the pictures even though I know you would have done them to perfection and beyond!!!
I appreciate that so much. If I had done the photography, I’m not sure I would’ve been as good of a matron of honor. Luckily I did some photos the day after that I will share soon.
Fashion and Food Blog says
Wonderful post. Family is blessing, I love also that you gave birth in natural way and all of you are well!!!
Family truly is the best blessing. Thank you!
Perfect. All of it. Love that last shot especially.
Thank you! That last shot was a bit of a happy accident because the light wasn’t right. I don’t always like the shadow effect, but this one was so natural that I decided to go with it.
It sounds absolutely wonderful…every last minute of it!
Thanks, Michelle! This one has been brewing for over a week.
My sister just started seriously dating a guy, and I already have visions of her wedding day. (But don’t tell her I said that!) It must have been a magical day for you and your family. And like Jen said, I’m sure you totally rocked that speech!
That’s hilarious because I’ve definitely had those thoughts before!
Kir Piccini says
Simply beautiful…all of it ! 🙂
Thank you! It was such a beautiful weekend.
Jessica F. Hinton (@jessicafhinton) says
The day and pictures both look so magical! I’m so glad that you overcame so much in being so there for your sister! That’s amazing. Cheers to you. xo.
And not only that, I had a heckuva good time too! I sort of thought I couldn’t have both. I’m glad I was wrong.
Ana Lynn says
I feel like I was there just by reading your post. I am glad your anti-anxiety techniques worked for you and you were able to relax and enjoy!
I’m so happy I was able to relax and enjoy. Sometimes I can only do one or the other of those things. Or neither!
beautiful! I love the stuff about seeing all of your family and friends together, it makes me happy.
I appreciate that! It makes me so happy too. I’m glad there are so many good things to look forward to in the fall and winter when I can see my family again.
Chris Carter (@themomcafe) says
Oh gosh Tamara!!! I literally gasped at that last picture!!! And it wasn’t just the amazing image you captured with their love in the shadows, but the entire post leading up to it- your words and YOU and this AND IT ALL!!!
Oh, your gift always touches me, moves me, lifts me. I love that you were SO blessed with SO much goodness on this precious and cherished day!!! Oh, how I love it.
And I can totally picture ‘Father of the bride’ action in the house the day of the wedding and all the crazy excitement!! And that beautiful alter outside? Who made THAT? OH MY HEART!!!! I want to come stay at your parent’s house- btw. Just gorgeous.
Maybe we should move our awesome weekend to my parent’s farm. I won’t even tell my parents! We will all just show up with booze and stories.
The last photo was honestly an accident because the lighting was so bad, and I just thought I’d try it out anyway. So I got happy shadow pictures!
Eli Pacheco says
If only I had posed as part of the catering crew to hear the speech …
That feeling I get when I see a kid score her first goal? That’s how I feel when you knock stuff down like this. Only, I’m not your coach, of course. I’m just happy to be along for the ride.
Thanks, Coach! You’re my coach right now.
I don’t think you would’ve fit in with the catering staff. They were all older men or women. Maybe you could’ve posed as somebody’s sober date.
Eli Pacheco says
I can remain sober in the most festive occasions, Tamara. Just watch.
Story of my life, Eli.
What a beautiful setting for such a beautiful day. I am glad you won the anxiety battle and did it. That you were able to enjoy, appreciate and capture the perfectness of the day is truly the best gift to yourself and your sister.
Yes! It was such a gift. There was no way around it. I was going to show up and have fun and give a speech and take photos the next day. I would not have been able to tolerate if any of those things hadn’t happened.
The Vanilla Housewife says
I think it’s okay to be scared or afraid but what’s important is that you did it! And you did it each time you thought you couldn’t! Well done you! Love love love the phots! But my favorite is that of you dancing like nobody else is watching!
I love that photo too! It was one of my favorites from the wedding. It was one of my favorite songs too.
I decided to be less hard on myself because it was done and it wasn’t done poorly. So there’s that!
Mrs. AOK says
I felt horrible not wanting to give a speech at my best friend’s wedding, I was shy, I knew I would cry, and would I make sense… I did it! It felt good, I may have rambled, but it was nice to put words out there, and share my love.
I know what you mean 🙂 The pictures are beautiful, and so are you!
And so are you! And I’m so happy to hear that you did it. I was telling someone how upset I would’ve been if I had wimped out. I know she would’ve been okay with it but I wouldn’t have been okay with it!
Mrs_ AOK (@Mrs_AOK) says
I really wanted to wimp out, but alike you, I know I would’ve been upset with myself. And thank you, love.
I get you very much here!
That’s a pretty amazing Top 10. I’m so glad you had a great time and of course, the pictures have been amazing. I love the ceremony setup. It was beautiful! BTW…Father of the Bride is an all time favorite of mine!!
I even saw the sequel, but the original is one of my favorite movies too. I’m so happy it had that feel because my sister and I have talked about that movie since we were kids.
Jen West (@PinkWhen) says
What an amazing speech! Kudos to you for bravely doing it. 🙂
I appreciate that a lot! I was really shaking on the inside, but not as much on the outside.
What great “10 best” moments from the wedding celebration. DEFINITELY whenever I get positive comments about the kids, it sticks with me most too. That’s so awesome you got to celebrate the occasion your parents’ beautiful property! Love the arch that Cassidy was putting up the day before. Love that photo you dancing at your wedding. Such abandon.
My sister’s husband built that arch! But it took three men and a Des to make it stay secure. And it was windy!!
Love Father of the Bride! That photo of you makes so much sense now that I know what song you’re dancing to! Hee hee. So glad you were able to enjoy the day and give a beautiful speech for your sister. I’m sure she really loved everything you did to make her day special, and you just being there most importantly.
Ha!! What song would you think if you didn’t know? Some sort of weird interpretive dance?
Her wedding was so meaningful for all of us. I can’t stop smiling when I think about it.
Oh my goodness, that location for the wedding was magical! I love family weddings for just the reasons you described; family, memories that stick and magical moments to hold onto until the next time we all gather like that.
That location is the best! It was completely transformed, but I love the comfort of knowing it’s a place I go often.
Family weddings are magical.
Katie @ Pick Any Two says
I loved reading these moments. I always love the moment just before—the moment when the anticipation is so much you think you might explode, and yet you also feel an odd sense of calm and peace. Love that moment.
I love every time you ever explain anything even remotely relating to nerves and anxiety. You totally get it.
Wow! What a beatufil setting for a wedding! I love the trees and tranquility of the day before. I am so happy that it was such a great time for all of you. Big YAY for dance parties!
Dance parties are magical. At family weddings. At the farm!
I think I could really feel at home at your parents place! love. gorgeous. those trees – imma hugging them in my mind.
you played the closing of Layla at your wedding and that now makes you my new spirit animal! 🙂
I knew I finally overcame anxiety in high school when a rather ill timed costume/scene furniture change left me standing on stage half naked. if only it were so easy for everyone, right? (and yes, that is probably also somewhat connected to my first date story.)
On behalf of my parents, I hereby invite you to their farm.
I Love that your theater career is coming up again. Second time this week. And the story is fantastically horrible. And amazing.
It is always great when family comes together to enjoy good times. I sounds like you guys had a blast. Congats, on making it through your speech.
Thanks! Now I want to give more speeches! I have no idea when that occasion will arise again.
Liv BySurprise says
Lovely! I’ve been waiting for pics. Leaving satisfied! Congrats hon!
Yay! Only be half-satisfied, though, because the big guns are still coming!!
Ahhh..now I’m wanting more.
You will get it!
Beautiful pictures! It sounds like a magical day, especially since it calls for a Father of the Bride clip 🙂
Right! We always loved the movie so a comparison to it is fantastic.
Sounds like such a magical day and that last shot – perfection. And Father of the Bride – such a good movie and I can just imagine all the craziness! Congrats on your speech and love love love that you have won the battle over anxiety. Definitely deserves a dance party!
Yes! I won the battle, but not the war. Think that might be lifelong, though. Whatever it is, I haven’t done too badly in 34 years.
It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend, and that your sister had an amazing wedding. And I was so excited to read your items 8 and 9…it must have been an exhilarating feeling to realize that!
Thank you! And yes that is the perfect feeling. It was like learning to fly.
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
WILLL YOU BE MY WEDDING CRASHER PARTNER?!?!?! Will you be Owen Wilson to my Vince Vaughn?!
Wait, can I be Vince??
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
FINE FINE FINE! lol! Who would Rachel McAdams’ male counterpart be??! 😉
Hah! You were so nice to agree. You can be whoever you want to be.
So, so beautiful – the words and the pictures. And can I just say, “Father Of The Bride” – one of the best movies ever!!!! 🙂
Yes! It was so special because it’s a movie we’ve always referenced when talking about our adult life.
great pictures and glad you were really able to enjoy it.
Thanks so much! I feel very happy that I enjoyed it.
Jennifer @Virtually Vegan Mama says
beautiful post and beautiful photos, this actually made my heart expand =) Congrats on the speech, I’ve never had to do a speech like that, but I know I would probably have insane anxiety, but when you are doing it with love in your heart all of that would probably just fade away
What’s funny is that I thought I was fine, until that day. And I was really nervous about it. I couldn’t relax until it was over, but luckily it was before dinner. And before dancing!
Beautiful pictures, I can feel the calm before the ceremony and the love. It’s amazing to me that photographs (and words) can make you feel so many things!
I feel the same way about photographs and words!
I really wanted a home wedding too, because it really was calmer than I imagine others are.
That cut me off! I meant to say that I wanted a home wedding, but I didn’t get one because it was too big! we invited too many people.
I hadn’t really thought about it before now, but I think after my wedding, my kids’ births, and their b’nai mitzvahs…my sister’s wedding day is my favorite. There is just something about being with so many people you love, all there to celebrate your very first friend and her happiness. So happy that you did it, although I knew you would.
Thank you! And it is a little sad that both my sisters are not married, because there will hopefully be no other weddings to look forward to. Now it’s babies time, though.
Rabia Lieber (@MamaRabia) says
I sounds like a beautiful wedding. I’m so glad you were able to be fully present for it!
I appreciate that! What you see here is really how it was. I can’t wait to share photos, though. I know these are photos but I mean photos from the day.
Kate @ Another Clean Slate says
So glad you let loose and had a damn good time! You certainly earned it 🙂 A speech would be so nerve wracking to me too.
Thank you! I do feel like I earned it. And I’ve always seen people get really nervous before speeches, but it didn’t hit me until it was my turn that I was nervous out of my mind.
Elaine A. says
What a gorgeous setting for a wedding. I’m glad it was so amazing for you.
Thanks! And I really feel like my parents should rent it out for weddings.
What a perfect wedding setting! Seriously, I love the colors of the leaves and the trees! And it is so nice to hear you say you did it once again. Sisters are so special and so are brothers and I’m happy you gained another one. 🙂
It’s fair to say that siblings rock. I still have an unmarried brother so here’s hoping this family has yet another beautiful wedding to come.
Lady Lilith says
You have a beautiful looking family.
Beautiful! I love that you revisited other treasured moments in your life while recounting your sister’s wedding day. And that last shot – perfection!
Thanks!! I wasn’t sure about that last shot so it means a lot to hear.
And I had no idea I would revisit other moments until I wrote this!
Gaaaah!!! Love love love the pics and that quote at the end!!! Her wedding looked magical and it sounds like it was so memorable for so many different reasons!
I love that I still have tons of photos to edit because it makes the magic last longer.
Lisa @ The Golden Spoons says
It looks absolutely lovely! That last picture is phenomenal. Weddings always seem to bring a flurry of emotions not matter who you are or what part you have in it. I’m sure your speech was awesome.
Thank you so much! I’m glad I printed the speech here, so that it’s going to be saved!
Kim@Co-Pilot Mom says
Such beautiful, dreamy photos of the prep – what a perfect spot for a wedding! I love that you made a list of all the things you wanted to remember. I always love to get my thoughts down too – I am afraid I will lose them if I don’t!
It just started writing itself the day after the wedding. So I use my notes app on my phone.
And then for some reason that turned into a song from the 80s!
Oh, all the pretty, pretty pictures, Tamara. Such a beautiful spot for a wedding. And that Father of the Bride clip–GAH, I just love Martin Short/Steve Martin so much. Must watch that again 🙂 “Well, welcome to the 90s, Mr. Bahnks.”
Awwww congrats on giving–and getting through the speech! I’m sure it was beautiful, heartfelt, and incredibly special to your sister. Congratulations to your beautiful sister and her handsome hubby. XOXO
Martin Short’s finest role! Well, one of them.
It was so important to me to do the speech, that I would’ve done anything to do it. I would have asked for five more minutes and talked during dinner. Anything if I had been too nervous at the time.
Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady says
My anxiety for my sister’s wedding will definately come from that dang speech! Those are tough and everyone sits waiting to hear if someone is going to jack it up, lol!
Ha!! I wonder how often someone actually does jack it up. All of the ones I’ve ever heard were pretty smooth and beautiful.
Tara Newman says
I seriously love weddings. Their venue looks amazing. So picturesque. I can’t believe you read your own vows at your wedding. There is no way I would have survived it. I would be crazy ugly crying within minutes. I can’t even write John love letters without having an emotional meltdown. It’s just all too much.
Totally read them aloud to 230 people!! And I was more nervous this time around. Go figure!
The venue was amazing. Come visit! It’s New Jersey.
What a beautiful bride…and I’m so glad it was a magical time!
I am still processing the photos and it’s like reliving it all over again!
I forgot all about father of the bride!!!i love the scene where there’s no parking and the little brother gets to move cars. Lol your sister’s wedding and the feelings it stirs and the love it brings is nothing short of magic!!! And yes, YOU DID IT!!! I love when there’s a grand celebration and not about me in any regard. No pressure. But a speech….that is pressure and you rose to the occasion like a pro!!!
I just want to feel this magic for ever. Luckily I still have a lot of photos to edit so I can relive it.
The thing about the speech was that my insides felt like a hornets nest, but I was still able to speak clearly.
Ashlee (@somedelightful) says
The pictures of your sister’s wedding are beautiful! She looked absolutely stunning. Seriously, every single person in your family is so beautiful.
Thank you! I’ve spent most of my life thinking that of my two sisters and wishing I measured up! You are very awesome.
catherine gacad says
you are so talented with your writing, your photography, your ability to shine through! i can’t wait to read more about the wedding. i hope you’ve posted more…will be reading!
That means so much. Thank you. I do post them here and there, and you will see them, but I haven’t done one comprehensive post because I’m still not done doing the photos. My sister was happy that I was doing them slowly because it spreads them out, but it was because I had so many clients. I have to catch up.