The Bunting Bash: Panic!
When more and more guests started to arrive, I was ushered into a small room within the pavilion building where I was to stay in hiding until the ceremony began. Taking our first look photos, bride and groom portraits, wedding party portraits, and then family portraits one after the other without much of a breather had exhausted me, and I was so incredibly happy to see a single chair waiting in my secret room. All for me!
My room even had a guard groomsmen posted just outside the door. Okay, maybe not, but it looks impressive, no?
It wasn’t quite time for the wedding party processional, so the guys spent a few relaxing moments just outside my bridal room while my bridesmaids flitted in and out. And then, for the first time, all the girls darted out and I found myself completely alone.
Nobody warned me not to be left alone at any time pre-ceremony. I remember being told by a bride who’s only moment to herself was when she made a trip to the bathroom, and I was expecting more or less the same. I was also expecting that this rare moment of solitude would be a welcome relief. A small moment to cherish and celebrate my complete euphoria without any distractions. A moment all to myself, to breathe and relax and just be. So when I found myself alone in that small room, I was expecting to breathe easy.
I didn’t relax. I was breathing, but my breaths were much too rapid and unstable. In fact, I felt the onset of a mild panic attack. I had been caught by a sudden, enormous wave of sheer emotion, and I felt my chest close up as uneasiness gripped me in my seat. It was as if all of the emotions I could possibly feel that day, both good and bad, had been released upon me all at once and I was caught off-guard by the intensity of them. I was overwhelmed. I was shaking. I was panicking.
When the door opened to reveal our photographer, Mae, I wanted to hug-attack her with my relief. One by one, my bridesmaids followed in behind her and suddenly I wasn’t alone anymore. I’m pretty sure I told them they were in lock-down with me until they had to walk down the aisle.
I’ve spent a good deal of time thinking back at my moment of panic, trying to decipher what happened to trigger such an episode of panic. It wasn’t that I had cold feet, because any fear I felt was due to the intensity of emotion and not of what I was about to do. Looking back, I realized that what had happened was simply an intense and unexpected release of all the emotion I had been carrying that day. Every moment of that morning and afternoon was filled with whirls of joy, love, laughter, nerves, and excitement. But because I was constantly surrounded by friends and family, my mind was continuously distracted from focusing too much on myself. As soon as I was alone, I found the rush of raw emotions catching up to me and was immediately overwhelmed by the intensity of it all. I have since heard stories from other brides that went to the bathroom and were alone for the first time… only to start bawling uncontrollably. And while I was certainly on the verge of a hysterical crying episode, I’m comforted to know I’m not the only victim! But for all you current brides, be forewarned. Designate a Constant-Companion if you have to, or at least just be aware that it may happen to you. I think it wouldn’t have been nearly so bad if I had been expecting it, but I just wasn’t prepared to suddenly experience so much emotion all at once!
Fortunately I wasn’t alone for too long. With my bridesmaids around me, I calmed my frantic self and soon regained my composure.
Only to lose it again moments later.
I was nervous about reciting my personal vows, so I decided to do a run-through on MOH Bunting. I started out giggling because I felt silly pledging my love to someone other than Mr. Bunting, but then I got serious. And I made it most of the way through my vows. Until I hit a particular line… and the waterworks started up again. Uh-oh, I was in trouble. If I couldn’t even get through them in a private room with my bridesmaids, how was I going to get through them in front of our 150 guests AND Mr. Bunting? Some people can cry and talk. Some people can at least choke through their words. I can’t do either. If I start crying, my voice locks up completely and I can’t even croak. Yikes.
But MOH Bunting had my back. Ever prepared with tissue, she was quick to reassure me with just what I needed to hear: “You’re more beautiful than Cinderella. You smell like pine needles and your face is like sunshine!” Yep. Best woman ever.
Uplifted and grinning again, I took advantage of my situation and did something I have always wanted to do.
That’s right. I fanned my face frantically and thanked all the little people with tears brimming my eyelids. Don’t ask me why, but that silly just-won-an-award gesture always makes me giggle and I was delighted to be able to finally do it myself with genuine happy tears. Legit, yo.
But seriously, those tears needed to go. Dabbity-dab-dab, until I was a happy smiling bride again.
Little did I know that outside, Daddy Bunting was receiving a pep talk of his own by our officiant pastor and family friend. According to Daddy Bunting, our officiant was telling him not to think about all the details of what he was supposed to be doing… standing, responding, etc… but to go slow and enjoy that walk down the aisle with his only daughter, because it was going to be the one and only time he’d get to experience that moment. And that’s exactly what Daddy Bunting did.
Did any other brides experience an overwhelming wave of sheer emotion when alone for the first time on your wedding day? Did you start panicking or crying like this little lady? Did you fan your face when it was over?
*All photos, unless stated otherwise, copyright Bryan and Mae Photography.
Follow the adventure:
- We had a fluffing party and rehearsed.
- I woke up and got ready with my girls.
- I step into the prettiest white dress I’ll ever wear.
- Mr. Bunting recounts getting ready at the Man Cave.
- Wishin’ and prayin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ for perfect weather.
- I received the most important Post-It Note. Ever.
- We race toward one another for our first look.
- Mushy-lovey photos ensued shortly after.
- We strutted our stuff as one big happy Bunting Bunch.
- Our guests started to arrive: welcome to our wedding.