The artist formerly known as Kate Sprandio
As you all must know by now, I got married. Not like I kept it a secret. I’m sure many of you are grateful the day finally came considering I did an absurd countdown starting at 100 days. And the last few blog posts ranted about different wedding related items. I guess you all know what you are getting into when you click my blog because it is a “Kate centric” blog.
On that note, the wedding was an absolute dream come true. It was by far the best and easiest day of my life. I had some worries leading up to it. Like I told you before, I have heard from some others that the most important thing is to remember what the day is about and to have fun. I tend to over-worry on occasion, so in the days prior, I began to worry that I was going to worry the whole wedding day. My thought process can be erratic. I didn’t want to be stressed at my own wedding, but I knew myself and I figured I would be.
I woke up around 7am the day of. I had a hair appointment at 9 and I had some bridesmaids arriving at 8. My parents came in to my room to wake me. This would be the last time my parents woke me up in my childhood home. They did that so many times before. So many times in my youth that it became insignificant, almost an annoyance the more they did it, until this last time. This last time was a treasure. I rolled over and opened my eyes just in time to see them enter together. The smiles on their faces mirrored each other. I thought their faces were going to crack.
“You’re getting married today!” they said partially in unison.
I responded with, “I know, but I have 10 more minutes until my alarm goes off.” Classic Kate, wanting ten more minutes of sleep even on the biggest day of her life.
They climbed in bed with me, my mom sat on my left, my dad on my right. They asked me how I felt and if I was ready. They talked about how happy and excited they were. We cracked our usual jokes and laughed together. Like me responding, “I guess I’m excited for this. I have to do it now. You paid for everything.”
It’s one moment in my life that I’ll never forget. It seems simple, a girl hanging out laughing with her parents. But I wasn’t the ordinary girl that I used to be. I finally felt grown up. I finally felt at ease with a decision. For someone who can be indecisive and worry about the future constantly, it was one of the rare times in my life I felt such a strong certainty.
It feels like I am downplaying it when I say it felt like the start of a normal day. Obviously, it wasn’t a normal day. I don’t get married every Friday. But the vibe of it was so comfortable, so right. Two of my best friends met at my house and we drove to the hair salon. We met one of my sisters-in-law there.
The woman doing my hair remarked, “You seem really calm considering you’re getting married today.”
(This is how chill I was the day of. I ate a pickle and drank a soda before heading to the ceremony. Don’t worry, I brushed my teeth and gargled mouthwash after.)
I worried a little bit that perhaps it was strange that I wasn’t nervous. Then again, why should I be nervous? I was going to attend a party for Zach and me. I was stoked.
After we got our hair done, we arrived back at my parents’ house… an organized chaos of smiling faces and loud laughter… my favorite type of home. The house consisted of my parents, my brothers, my sisters-in-law, my nephews and nieces, and my friends. We ate food, we danced around, we got our makeup done, we got dressed. Everybody was in and out of every room. The kids ran around in their cute outfits ready for a day of fun. I love my parents’ house. It’s the warmest, most comforting place in the world. But I don’t think I’ve ever loved that house more than I did on that day.
The trolley pulled up around 2:15. In classic Sprandio style, we didn’t leave the house until after 2:30. The mass began at 3:30.
Traffic was steady. My friends and my mom told funny stories about me along the way and we sang and laughed together. We pulled up to the church just in time. Zach told me the priest was worried because we were a few minutes late. My bridesmaids piled out and it was just me and my dad left on the trolley.
“I’m getting married. Oh my god, I’m actually doing this. Can you believe this?” I heaved one breath after the other. The nervousness had arrived.
“It’s okay. This is a good thing,” my dad said as he squeezed my hand.
“I know, “ I said. “I just can’t believe it’s here. I’m getting married!”
We laughed together, as we often do, slight tears in both of our eyes. My dad calmed me down, which he never fails to do. I don’t think he realizes the calming affect he has on others. My breathing slowed. I told him to pull out his phone to take a selfie. I was ready to go.
We entered the church and the heaving breaths started again.
“Holy sh**,” I uttered to myself. Low enough so the priest and the kids couldn’t hear me.
My bridesmaids were all smiling at me, tears in their eyes as well. Half of them had already been through their own weddings. Hearing of their experiences gave me so much comfort and advice.
Soon, everyone had walked down the aisle. It was just my dad and me left.
He gave me a kiss and I hooked my arm in his. The doors opened and we commenced the father/daughter walk down the aisle.
Most of the time, when I walk into a crowded room of people that I know, I like to see who is looking at me. Call me narcissistic, but I do love attention on occasion. I call it “the only girl in the family syndrome.” When entering a room this way, I make faces at people and try to make people laugh. I had been in 8 weddings before this. In most of them, when I walked down an aisle I tried to do a certain strut, I tried to make a silly smile and nod to my family. This time was unlike any other.
I looked to my left, then to my right. I couldn’t see. All the faces were a blur.
I looked straight down the aisle and I saw him. His was the only face I saw, the only face I was looking for. I couldn’t hear any music. I loved the song I chose to walk down the aisle to. It was called, “Music for the Royal Fireworks.” Look it up. The title itself is epic. I didn’t hear one note. It was an out of body experience. I was outside of myself watching. And do you know what I saw? I saw a simple girl in a lace dress being escorted by her dad, her hero. She was no longer daddy’s little girl. She was a woman, ready to take on the role of a wife and ready to begin the journey of building her own family with the man she loves. Like always, her daddy was helping her along the path to her future.
When we arrived at the altar. My dad whispered, “I love you.” I returned the sentiment and we hugged.
I turned towards my groom. He wore a smile that I will remember for the rest of my life. It was similar to the smile he wore the day he proposed, a smile of complete certainty, a smile of euphoric happiness. I can’t quite put into words how it feels to have someone look at you that way. It’s simply unreal. It made me feel like I was the only person he could see.
When I stood next to Zach, my breathing slowed, my shoulders relaxed. I was where I was supposed to be.
The mass was beautiful. I only cried a little bit and slightly shouted my vows. It’s hard controlling the volume of your voice when you are exploding with emotion on the inside. After the ceremony, the rest of the day was a blur. It’s cliché, but it’s true what everyone says, the whole day goes incredibly fast. I could write forever about every detail of the reception and how much fun Zach and I had and how thankful I am for everyone in my life, but I’ll end it here and leave some space on the Internet for more interesting things.
It’s been an incredible year preparing for this and a whirlwind of a month being married. It’s been a month today…here I go again with counting the days. I swear I’ll stop.
Thanks for humoring me and reading about the major steps in life that I have been taking. I hope you readers can relate to my thoughts and feelings and enjoy following along.
So that’s it for now, signing off from my first blog post as a married woman, my first post as Kate Ells.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned,
The artist formerly known as Kate Sprandio
Mr. & Mrs. Zachary Ells