The Lees Photography, California
With our 6th wedding anniversary just about 3 weeks out, I’ve been thinking about our day a lot. However, I’ll let you know right now. It may be a fairytale story, but it doesn’t take the path you think it will.
If you’ve missed the first few parts of our story, make sure to check them out here.
In this industry and in this season of life, it’s easy to get caught up in the fairytale stories.
I think a lot of times when people dream of their wedding day, they see the beauty, they feel the love in the air. All their friends are just hours away from celebrating with them. It’s contagious, it’s thrilling and it’s genuine.
It was true of our wedding! However, that’s only one side of the story.
It’s the struggles that make us stronger together. To only share the positive, cheapens the celebration and excitement of this new chapter.
At the time, less than 5 people knew what was going on. We were 72 hours out from our wedding and what I’d just learned was either going to end our engagement or pull us together.
My best friend had just flown in from Philly. We were running around doing last minute wedding preparation. Trying to fit it all in between my last shifts at work.
To be honest, I was a little nervous. I had no clue what my best friend had planned, but it didn’t matter what we did. I was just pumped to see so many of my friends from so many different circles.
She had me throw on something fancy and we hopped into the car to meet everyone. I was REALLY confused when we pulled up in a random neighborhood.
Why was I wearing my little black dress and heels?
That’s when I noticed the bag in the back with my yoga pants and gym shoes. Of course.
After a couple hours of belly dance lessons, we headed back to my future home for food, drinks and everything else bachelorette.
As the hours ticked by people trickled out. It would be my sisters, bridesmaids and anyone who needed it at the house that night.
That’s when one of the few girls left came up to me.
“I know I’m not supposed to tell you this,” she slurred, “but I just can’t let you marry him without knowing this.”
What she said next totally shifted everything I thought I knew. Not because of what she told me. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but because Blake had lied to me.
My best friend quickly put her to bed and came to check on me.
After a couple hours, mind reeling, I made my decision. If he made excuses, we were done. If he told me he was sorry for lying, we could figure it out.
And that was that.
I called Blake the next morning. I told him what happened. I told him I had to go to work. I told him I wanted to talk to him after.
A few hours later. Just 5 hours before our rehearsal dinner we sat in the car together.
My mind was whirling. Would he own up to it? Would he understand why I was really upset? Would this be the end? What would I tell everyone?
Even with all the questions, I felt remarkably calm.
After an impossibly long silence, Blake said the words I needed to hear, “Rachael, I’m sorry I lied to you. It’s the only thing I’ve ever hid because I was afraid of what you would think. I will never lie to you again. I’m sorry.”
We talked longer, laughed, cried and he dropped me back off at my parents house.
It wasn’t the way I imaged spending the day before our wedding, but it also re-affirmed everything I already knew.
That night, I could barely sleep. I was so excited for our wedding, the reception and to start our new life together.
The morning was a whirlwind. Hair, makeup, photos. We pulled up to the church just 10 minutes before our ceremony was supposed to start. Car full of bridesmaids and wedding dress.
Blake and I hadn’t seen each other yet.
I was nervous. I was excited. I was giddy! Everything from the past 48 hours a distant memory.
Our wedding coordinator met us at the top of the church stairs. Guests were seated. Blake was up front with his Groomsmen. My Dad and I hidden around the corner. Breath caught in my chest.
I looped my arm through my Dad’s.
As we came around the corner, I saw Blake for the first time. Tears instantly filled my eyes.
I was about to marry my best friend. Blake and I had faced down our first major challenge and we were now stronger than ever. Blake and I are the real deal. I will fail in the future. We will stumble through different chapters of life, but it’s #TeamWatsonForLife. I felt nothing but confidence, joy and anticipation.
As my Dad and I started down the aisle, first of three girls, his eyes started tearing up too. I looked toward Blake just as a tear ran down his cheek. We were a soggy mess, but, I promise, they were all tears of joy.
This was the start of our next adventure.
Wherever you’re at in this season of life, remember to make time for each other. Work through the hard things and celebrate the big and the small. Marriage is awesome!
Much Love Friend,
PS. Just a couple bonus photos from our reception. 😉 Best celebration EVER!
September 13, 2019