My engagement was quickly coming to an end. In a mere two weeks I would be married to Plumber Guy, forever.
The weather was unusual, to me. It was the beginning of January, and I had yet to see a significant snow storm in Utah. Unlike, Wyoming, where I was use to go trick or treating in thigh high snow drifts. Outside was gray and drab with a smog overcast. I hoped that there would be a blanket of white, fluffy snow on my wedding day, but it wasn't looking too promising.
December was unbelievably hectic. My apartment looked like a wedding had exploded inside of it. I was drowning in piles of fabric, floral arrangements, ribbons, and wedding invitations.
I had managed to complete the dried flower topiary centerpieces and a large floral swag that was going to be hung at the top of our backdrop. The swag contained the roses,that I had dried, from when Plumber Guy proposed to me. My Dad had made the backdrop with his very own hands and transporting it to another state, in the middle of winter, would prove to be cumbersome.
Corsages and boutonnieres containing burgundy and ivory fire and ice roses were ordered for parents, grandparents, groomsmen, and bridesmaids. And I had also ordered bunches of ivory roses for the cake, my bouquet and my bridesmaids bouquets.
I had found a picture of the wedding cake of my dreams in a magazine. If I couldn't have the wedding dress of my dreams, well, by golly I was going to have the wedding cake of my dreams. It was actually 3 different sized cakes, sitting on various heights of cake stands. It was simple in design and would have a basket weave piped all over the cakes. I ordered extra ivory colored roses and ivy to place on each cake. And the biggest cake would have a glass Bountiful Temple cake topper placed on top.
The details were coming in to place, except for one thing...my groom's tuxedo. Seeing Plumber Guy in a black tuxedo for the first time was going to be one of the highlights of our wedding. The thought of it would set my heart a flutter! I fantasized of his broad shoulders in the dark, crisp jacket. And the slacks. Don't even get me started on the slacks! We made a special trip, with groomsmen in tow, to the mall and ordered a total of seven tuxedos. All black with burgundy vests. I couldn't wait to see the love of my life in his tuxedo!
Our first Christmas together, I spent away from home for the first time, but instead, in the loving arms of Plumber Guy. It was a time of peace and calmness, amongst the chaos of wedding plans and me moving into our apartment. Christmas morning, Plumber Guy's family gave us a money tree to help us as we were about to embark on our new adventure of marriage. I was also able to talk to my younger brother, Brian, who was serving a mission in France. I told him all about Plumber Guy and the details of what the wedding was going to look like and the events that were going to take place. He in return told me about teaching the gospel to the French, the food, and culture. I laughed at him, as he tried to remember the English word for "door".
Two weeks prior to my wedding day, I went through the Temple for the first time. My best friend, Christal, came along with my parents from Wyoming, to share the special experience with me. We spent hours laughing and reminiscing, together. Although getting married to the love of my life was exciting, I also knew this would be the last time Christal and I would spend time together as single young women. Our friendship began on the first day of kindergarten and had stood the test of time, over the span of seventeen years. Not only was I going to enter into the new territory of marital bliss, I was also saying goodbye to my old life of independent, single, young womanhood.
Once my parents, Christal and I had returned to my home, after attending the temple for the first time, my Mom brought out some wrapped gifts. Weeee! My very first wedding gifts! I hadn't had a bridal shower, because I never had the chance to return home to Wyoming, and quite frankly, no one planned one for me. I was green with jealousy, every time an engaged friend would talk about her three bridal showers and I was even jealous of the dorky games they played at the showers. I so wanted to be the bride that would get to rip open gifts and the guests would oooo and awe over gifts of baking soda and lingerie. So dog gonnet, this was going to be my bridal shower moment. I quickly ripped open the wrapping paper to see what my Mom gifted me with. One of the gifts was a beautiful quilt that she made for Plumber Guy and I, and the other gift was a pair of large cookie sheets and a cookie scoop.
"Jennifer! You weren't suppose to open that til later!" she proclaimed.
"What's the difference?" I told her. "I'm getting married tomorrow," I said, selfishly. (That was my bridezilla moment)
She just rolled her eyes and figured I was right. Then to my surprise she pulled out a navy, blue, silky, piece of lingerie. "Mom!"
It was very unexpected and so un-mom like. I was surprised at how risque it was. Previous weeks ago, as Plumber Guy and I had talked about our honeymoon plans, it donned on me that I should probably wear something that was silky and skimpy on our much anticipated wedding night.
I shyly asked Plumber Guy, "So what would you like me to wear on our wedding night? W-well, I mean, what style of lingerie do you prefer?"
He turned bright red and smiled. "You could just wear a tee shirt."
"Seriously?" I responded. I felt a little deflated and confused. But then again, maybe that was his little fantasy.
After I thanked my Mom for the gifts, the phone rang.
"Hello," I answered.
"Hey!" It was Plumber Guy. "When are you coming?"
When we left the temple, earlier in the day, we made arrangements for me and my family to meet up at his home later.
"I'm changing my clothes and getting ready!" I said.
"Well, you need to hurry!" he said.
"Why? What are we going to do?" I asked him. I was becoming a little annoyed at Plumber Guy's urgency to get me to come to his house. It wasn't dinner time, and we didn't have any appointments that had to be met.
"Well, just hurry up!" he proclaimed.
"Okay! Sheesh, I'll see you in a little bit!"
My Mom asked if it was Plumber Guy, "Was that Steve?"
"Yeah. He's kinda being annoying. He wants me to hurry and get over there. I don't know what the big rush is?" I told her.
"Well, you better hurry Jen! It's rude to keep them waiting," she barked.
"Okay, okay! I'll hurry!"
In a matter of minutes Christal, my Mom, and me, headed to Plumber Guy's home. My Dad decided to stay at the apartment with my younger siblings. As we approached his house I noticed more cars parked in the front, than usual. "I wonder why Sue's car is here?" I thought to myself.
Plumber Guy met me at the front door and we entered his home.
"Just go through to the family room," he told me.
I walked into the family room and was met with a room full of ladies.
"Surprise!" they yelled.
"What the? What the heck is going on?" I thought to myself. I looked around the room and recognized a few of my friends, and various women from Plumber Guy's ward sitting in the room. But then there were also many women that I had no idea who they were.
I looked at Plumber Guy questionably and I gave him that "what's going on look"?
My dear, sweet, soon to be mother-in-law and sisters-in-laws were kind enough to throw me a surprise bridal shower!
My friend Christal began to cackle loudly at my response to the surprise. Then it hit me, "that's what the gifts from my Mom were for!" Ding! Ding! Ding!
Christal knew how much I despised the silly games some would play at these kind of functions. My kind of shower would be to eat and visit. I leaned over to Christal and said, "I hope they don't plan on making toilet paper wedding dresses or putting the bows from the gifts on my head?"
My bridal shower had a "grocery" theme. There were mints and nuts tucked in cute miniature grocery bag party favors. We played a word game, which was actually kind of fun, and ate yummy cake. I felt loved and appreciated. Even though there were a few total strangers there. After a few moments of doing what women do best, eating and talking... it was time to open the gifts. I opened gift after gift of boxes of baking soda and packages of chocolate chips. My newly wed home's cupboards were going to be well stocked. And then to my utter dismay, as I opened each gift, my dear sister-in-law and her friend Kandie stuck the bows on top of my head. Christal and I would flash looks at each other and she would giggle at the silliness of it. In the end I wound up receiving 5 boxes of baking soda, laundry soap, and enough chocolate chips to make cookies well into the next century.
The day before the wedding, our families helped us decorate the cultural hall at Plumber Guy's church building. I was exhausted. After every table cloth was carefully situated on the tables, every ivy garland wrapped in twinkly white Christmas lights, and every centerpiece was placed squarely in the middle of each table, Plumber Guy drove me home to our apartment.
This would be that last night we would have to depart to separate homes... to separate beds. Instead of ending the night with a long, passionate kiss, we tenderly held each other.
"We are getting married tomorrow," I whispered to him, as we held each other with my head nestled against the crook of his neck and shoulder.
He smiled. He didn't have to say anything. We knew our love story was to come to full circle at 9:00 a.m. in the Bountiful Temple, the next morning.
Stay tuned for tomorrow... The big day and pictures to boot!
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