So, we got married back in Oct. We had a FANTASTIC wedding. Kept it to about 45 people and had it on the coast of California.
It was very important for us to make sure SS15 and SD13 were very involved with the wedding.
SS15 and SD13 stood up with DH. We had them involved from the start. SD helped with cake tasting, looking through magazines with me, and loved her dress. I let her be involved with things that didn't make a huge difference to me because I wanted her to know she was part of this wedding too. SS was Best Man and he got to give a speech which he loved (he loves to be funny and the center of attention, but said a lot of nice things and had fun with it). We were engaged for a little over a year which gave them plenty of time to get used to it and accept the wedding and being part of it. This was a MAJOR help. Honestly, giving it time and involving them was probably the best thing we did to make for a happy day with them too.
I got into town the weekend before the wedding to do some last minute stuff and to relax with my family and try to calm all of my nerves. The weather was totally shitty when I got there, and I was freaking a little due to the fact that everything was outside. We were not prepared for rain, but thankfully the morning of the wedding there was not a cloud in the sky and it was crystal clear and blue.
DH and the kids arrived 2 days before the wedding. I did not want to have anything to do with getting them from BM. She had been on her worst behavior the closer it was getting to the wedding and I wasn't about to have her cause a scene that would set me off or cause me stress in anyway. Much less drive for several house with the skids in the car if they were in a mood. This was another GREAT decision on my part because I was perfectly happy and content in wedding mode with my family.
The kids knew my family and friends and immediately felt comfortable and welcome with everyone who was staying at the place with us. My dad and MOH were especially helpful in taking the kids under their wing when we needed them, and even when we didn't we would find the kids off with everyone having a great time on their own. Thank god my steppies are outgoing and easy to get along with people. Rehearsal dinner was great and so good to have the kids seeing everyone there for us. It was amazing having everyone there, and being able to have one last evening before the big day to mingle. DH gave gifts to the kids at the dinner and said such great things to them about how happy he was that they were there and standing with him the next day, and how much he loved them and respected them for being part of all of this. DH cried and so did SD. It was so sweet :) I was so thankful to my MOH who worked so hard to make everything beautiful and how she has accepted my DH and skids with open arms. Truly, I'm so lucky that most people have.
The day of the wedding I was getting my hair and make-up done and paid for SD to have hers done too. MOH, and all the moms were there too! It was interesting to have my own stepmom and mom talking to each other and SD told me later "there is no way you and mom would ever be like that when I get married". I just laughed and said, "probably not, but you never know...either way we'll get along for your sake". Let's hope that's true one day! SD was loving getting all done up and SS kept coming into the room to see everyone. It was funny for the other ladies to have a boy keep coming in there, but I thought it was really sweet that he wanted to be so part of things and see how I was doing. Eventually it was like one big party going on in my room. SD was sweet and thoughtful and told me how nice I looked and how she loved the dress. I think she might have even hugged me :)
When it came time for the ceremony I wasn't nervous at all...I was really anxious to get out there and see DH and everyone. I was so giddy with excitement! When MOH and SD were making their way out I was supposed to start getting into place with my dad, but then I saw some open seats in the front row and asked the coordinator to move a few people up. Unfortunately while doing this it made my dad and I late. I had no clue how late until after the wedding, but it was almost 2 minutes of everyone staring at an empty door. Yikes. In the video you see SS saying to DH, "dad, I don't think she's coming". Like he's comforting his dad. It was sweet and sad, but then I come out and everyone laughs and is happy. DH thought I was barfing my guts out somewhere, but turns out I was just being bossy.
I was so happy that day, and it was everything I imagined it to be. Everyone was happy and had fun. The vows were beautiful (we wrote our own) and the Reverend even included this kids in part of the ceremony which was unplanned by us, but I had asked him to read a quote by Richard Bach that says, "The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life." It was perfect for us and he made it very sweet and sentimental.
After the ceremony we took tons of pictures and they all turned out so great and even the kids were all smiles.
We had a blast at the reception and although I had a few friends who were busy hugging the heat lamps, most everyone got out and danced with us all night.
Despite all of the stress and worry about what would or wouldn't happen...it all went better than I could have imagined and I'm so happy I married my DH and became a wife and stepmom all in one day.
My husband is the most amazing partner I could have in this life. He listens to me, loves me, respects me, and always has my back. He knows when to push me and when to let things go. He is kind, caring, and thoughtful of others, and supportive of everything I want to do. He's such a great dad to his kids by loving them and teaching them life lessons and making them responsible young adults. He has encouraged and helped foster the great relationship I have with SS and SD. I have no doubt that I will live a happy life with him and add to this family with children together. I am so happy to have him as my husband!