Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 222: Wedding Photo Smorgasbord!!

I received a package in the mail yesterday.  I knew what it was and that I shouldn't open it.  But I couldn't help myself.  The package contained the electronic files of my wedding photos (YES! YES! YES!!) ... which I've been planning to not look at until the end of my no-mirrors project (NO! NO! NO!).

Back when I was establishing "the rules," YOU FOLKS decided by vote that I could look at my wedding photos (if I wanted to).  Then my sister promised to throw me a huge party at the end of the project if I could resist looking at my wedding photos until the very end.  

I love my sister.  She's SO COOL!  Plus, Hanna and her boyfriend, Nick, throw the BEST parties.  So when she challenged me to this, I just knew that I should try my hardest.  I felt even more certain once I started experiencing blissful glimmers of positive body image and renewed focus on my values.  Why miss out on a fab party and risk back-tracking over a bunch of stupid pictures, right?  Yeah.  That's what I thought too, until the stupid pictures arrived.

I was very good for 2 hours.  Michael is out of town this week for work, so I couldn't ask him to hide the box from me.  I tried to hide it from myself by shoving it in a random drawer in my bathroom dresser.  Somehow - I don't know how - I managed to find it a few hours later.  Then I opened the box, and caught a first glimpse of a forbidden photo when I saw the customized cover of our Wedding DVD Slideshow.  Lookin' good! I thought, but then, Hanna is going to be so pissed!  I stopped myself from snooping any further, but it was really hard.
Then today I met up with Hanna for lunch.  Over a healthy feast of vegetarian bolani's, I casually mentioned that the wedding photos had arrived, prepared to guiltily confess my peek at the DVD cover.  Here's how it went down:

KJ: So.... the wedding photos arrived yesterday... (guilty)
Hanna: Oh yeah? Nice! How do they look?!? (excited)
KJ: Ummm... I'm not supposed to be looking at them, remember? (confused)
Hanna: Oh, right.  I forgot about that.  Whatever. (nonchalant)

Whatever? Right!  Whatever!  Suddenly "whatever" became the appropriate attitude, and it was all the encouragement/forgiveness/permission I needed.  Party be damned!  I'll throw my own party!  

Sadly, Diesel slept through the party.  
And that's just what I did. I went home and threw myself a little Wedding-Photo-Viewing-Party.  Just me, a mug of tea, a cat, and over 1,000 beautiful images (courtesy of The Goodness Photo and Design - thanks Lisa and Geoff!!).  It was the best party I've been to since... well... my wedding!  I saw - no, looked at - photos of myself for the first time in months, and it couldn't have been more cool.  I was surrounded by wonderful memories, and - now that I think of it - what better way to get a body-image boost than to see photos of yourself on a day when you felt particularly gorgeous and loved? 

Here, in order of events, are my favorites! 

Our venue!
My bridesmaids immediately got to work covering the mirrors in our dressing room.
Paper Towels + Tape = Success!
Michael's sister, Mandy, adds the finishing touches to my makeup.  Ooh la la!
Yes, two dresses.  (Duh!)  
And two pairs of shoes.  (Double-duh!)
Hanna helps me into my dress.  What a cool sister moment. 
With heels like these, better safe than sorry.  Thanks Liz and Hanna!
Meanwhile, Michael gets ready in the dude-room.
Michael and the groomsmen all wore custom kicks!
My brother, Peter, fixes Michael's boutonniere.  Now they both have a brother!

I dash off (with a little help) to meet Michael for our "first look".  
I'm sure the suspense was killing him!
Here I am!  I love you. :)
Ceremony time!  The barrels marked the spot.
Our programs, Nick's hands.  Hanna - your boyfriend rocked the usher thing. 
15 minute delay while multiple guests help my dad tie his bow-tie.   Oops!

Finally - time to get the show on the road!
My dad and I share a moment on our way down the aisle.  (note: abandoned bow-tie)
Michael cried. I told him he'd better!
Kisses from mom, high-five from dad!
What a beautiful day!  Our pastor, Tania Haber, was my mom's best friend in childhood.
Isn't my mom beautiful?  I love her smile.
I think I look really pretty!  And HAPPY!
My dress was great.  I felt comfortable and confident, no Spanx necessary!
My bouquet was exactly what I wanted.  So beautiful.
I'm pretty sure this one will end up on my grandparents' fridges.
Ummm.... can you say hottie?  I'm married to this guy!!
Our wedding party. I can't express how important these friends have been in our lives.

We sprinted into the reception to "Eye of the Tiger".  Yes, I wore my heels!
We did a chest-bump, and then ran around getting high-fives from our guests.

Lots of wonderful toasts....
... and one particularly memorable "toast"
(from my "secular fairy godparents" and my "secular-fairy-godsister," Sarah)
Outfit change!  Thanks for all the wardrobe assistance, Laila!
A few moments before our 1st dance.  Awkward shot, I know... but I look so fabulous!  
First dance, to Clem Snide's "I'll Be Your Mirror" (sorry for the overkill!)
My dad and I got teary-eyed dancing to "On My Wedding Day" by Don Henley.  
Apparently my mom cried like a baby the whole time... 
Michael and his mom totally rocked out to Rod Stewart's "Forever Young"
Cake!  Politely served... Soon demolished!
A final dramatic shot to end the night.  MARRIED! FUN! FABULOUS!
Well, those are my wedding photos.  I do feel a little bad that I didn't wait for Michael to get back from his business trip, but hopefully he'll read this blog post from Mexico and enjoy them as much as I have!  

I'll know more in the coming weeks, but I'm optimistic that viewing these photos won't be too much of a set-back on my journey toward greater self-acceptance.  If anything, it's relieved a bit of paranoia about what I looked like that day.  That said... I'm feeling quite vain at the moment!  Hopefully I'll be able to pull myself away from the computer in time for bed.

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  1. Wow! They turned out great. Thank you for sharing your special day with us.

  2. Beautiful!! I especially love how the pastor had her back to the guests so that you could face them. DUH! I always hate that @ wedding the couple spends so much time with their backs to everyone.

  3. beautiful pictures!
    looks like a great party -
    (and you are allowed to feel a bit vain -
    you did look fabulous!)

  4. STUNNING photos! What a fabulous evening that was!

  5. Great pictures! Very beautiful. You looked great at your wedding, but you do everyday! I love your blog and think what you are doing is inspiring. Keep up the good work!

    -much love from a fellow sociologist

  6. Don't feel discouraged for taking a peek at the pictures. I mean this was your WEDDING after all! It is a shame that todays society can make women second guess their beauty. Hopefully this was a reminder, after not seeing yourself for so long, that you are truely beautiful and can see the beauty that everyone else sees instead of the little 'imperfections' that you may have obsessed about in your mind before this project. I would consider it 'reality check- in', a reminder of how special and pretty you are with or without the mirrors. What a georgeous wedding!! Congrats again, wishing you both much happiness!
    - Tiffany

  7. Oh WoW! You are such a beautiful couple! what an amazing looking day to start your life together. Keep inspiring others with what you do.

  8. Yay!! Thank you so much for sharing. You look A-MAZ-ING in all of the photos. And I love that you used For My Wedding by Don Henley, it's such a beautiful and honest song.
    Bless you both and here's to a long and wonderful marriage.

  9. Yay!! I'm so glad you both looked at the photos and shared some with us! I got all teary-eyed looking at some of them. You looked gorgeous!! YAY!

  10. Wonderful photos! Beautiful day!
    And it's good that you looked!

  11. Oh my gosh oh my gosh! I love these! You both look wonderful. Hell, you made it through not looking in the mirror on the actual day--I say you've earned a look at these!

  12. The photos (and you) look amazing! Congratulations to you both.

  13. Congrats to both of you! And glad you can look at the pictures and have relive an awesome day, not second-guess yourself (because of course you have no reasons to)!

  14. Well, I'm glad you looked at your pictures so that we could see them too. You looked beautiful and funky, I loved your two dresses and your mom looks great - she had a good butt dress!


  15. Kj! The pictures are stunning :) They really captured the day as it was - awesome! I hope you are enjoying the married life

  16. Oh the pictures are STUNNINGLY BEAUTIFUL! =) They brought back a bunch of fantastic memories! Glad you posted them!

  17. You are so beautiful! You have inspired me. I hope that you have a wonderful married life. P.S. I love your shoes!!! Thanks for sharing:)

  18. How very awesome of you to share w/ everyone. I hope during your viewing you saw that you LOOKED just as happy & beautiful as you felt that day. Your blog is empowering; so happy I stumbled upon it.

  19. I love you sweetie, you earned a peek!

  20. Congrats on a beautiful day Kjerstin! The pictures were honestly stunning and I even got teary eyed looking at some of them. I was skeptical at first about the "no mirror" idea but seeing how brave you have been has really made me think in new ways about body image and how we view ourselves inside and out. I'm so glad I found your blog! I happened upon it through a UCLA newsletter or something and I'm so glad I did :) I just want to thank you for sharing this journey with all of us.

  21. Beautiful, Beautiful, Beautiful Bride! Stunning photos - glad you peeked. Thanks for sharing this part of the journey. I have to check your blog every day to see if you've posted anything new, and I love your "voice" - the writing is superb and refreshingly honest. Keep it coming!

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