Before we had a venue, before we had a date set — before I'd even met Radley, really — I'd dreamed about a beautiful wedding send-off. Mostly I blame Father of the Bride and all the movies that use send-offs as some dramatic did-you-get-to-say-goodbye moment, but the truth is, there's just something about everyone you love creating a beautiful, glowing path for you to run through as you set off on your next chapter. It's cheesy, I know, but it's true. Add sparklers and I'm basically a goner.
Well, about a month before our wedding, the venue called to say that we wouldn't be allowed to use sparklers. (Cue the bridal freakout.) There was no point without sparklers, I insisted, but my mom insisted that we still do a sparkler-free send-off. Turns out, some strings were pulled and sparklers were back in the picture — but they never told me, so on that night, I was absolutely, 100% shocked and thrilled. As my reaction shows, I completely lost it. Even though there was a bit of a mix-up and we ended up driving up to the group, it was still one of the most magical moments of the day.
Radley drove his aunt's gorgeous Studebaker up to the Silverado mansion and as we stepped out, everything was aglow and I was just so happy — little-kid happy, blissed-out happy.
Despite the mix-up, we still decided to run down the stairs, and as we did, our friends and family cheered and high-fived us and the whole things was just hilariously, wonderfully imperfect.
"Soak this in," Radley said to me, knowing it was going to be the final, lasting image that we remembered from the day. "Hold onto this one." And I did, I really did.
Before driving off, we hugged our family and friends in a sweet string of goodbyes that completely satisfied my Father of the Bride dream. (I even got a wink from Dad to really seal the deal.)
It was a movie-like moment in the best, most charming way, and I'll never forget the look on my mom's face as we ran down those steps. "How'd you do it?!" I yelled, and she just shrugged — and I could only think how amazing it is that to me, my parents still feel like superheroes.
As Radley and I drove off and headed back to our room, we couldn't stop laughing and gushing, saying over and over again that it was the best day of our lives. "No seriously, the best," he'd say, and I'd say, "No but really, Radley, that was perfect," and he'd say, "Can you believe we're married?!" and I'd say yes and he'd agree and then we'd start all over again and gush some more.
And later, of course, we realized we were starving and we decided to order some pizza... because every couple calls Domino's for a delivery to their honeymoon suite, right? If I hadn't already been so sure of things, though, let me tell you, that would've sealed the deal right there.
Wedding-night pizza? This is truly the guy for me.
(Photos by Cooper Carras)