good on paper

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A celebration of the best party we've ever had

A year ago, I was waking up in my parent's basement, on a couch next to my best friend. It was still dark out- I couldn't sleep. One year ago was the day I married my person. 

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I went upstairs and my Mom was, of course, puttering around the kitchen as she always is. I remember being a child, and having fond memories of early mornings sipping on coffee in the dark with my Mom. She never sits still, she's always moving, so I'd sit near the kitchen and we would talk and talk and talk. About anything. It once was often about religion, was often about boys, was often about our family. That morning, watching my Mom, I thought about how far we had come, how much we had changed. She made me a cup of coffee and in her very quiet morning voice, asked me, "are you ready for this, Melly-belly?" My stomach flipped with excitement- the day was here. I feel like I'm exploding with happiness.

The day moves at a steady pace from there. Kayla wakes and joins us upstairs, my mom makes pancakes, Kayla accidentally pours candle wax in her coffee. My cheeks hurt because I can't stop smiling. The girls start showing up- my sister Nikki, Alyssa, Alex, Monique, Jo joins us later on, and another Alyssa who does my hair and makeup. We sip on mimosas, talk about how excited we are. Everyone laughs that my music is often hilariously sad, no matter the occasion. Levi, our photographer and now dear friend, shows up, all smiles and joy- despite just jumping off of an early morning flight. Sean and Martin show up with balloons, and it feels real as they start to tell me how pretty I look already. They give me the best hugs. We all go outside and smoke together, a bundle of energy and excitement I can't explain. I still can't believe this is real.

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My mom helps me into my dress, latches my necklace. I come down the stairs, and all my girls are looking up at me. Kayla holds me in one of her famous giant hugs and I can't hold back the tears anymore. Everyone is wiping tears and exchanging stories of other wedding days, how beautiful I look, how they can't believe it's here. We drive over to the ceremony and reception location. 

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Taylor is already there, and immediately offers more hugs and bottle of whiskey. We smoke and wait for Levi. My heart is pounding so hard. Levi arrives, and Taylor drives him down to the ceremony place. He gets his car stuck in a ditch, and we're all laughing as they walk back up to us. Time flies by as we take the bridal party photos. We walk to the small shed where I'll wait until the ceremony starts. I'm starting to get antsy and I just want to see Ian and smooch him and -wow- marry him! I peek out the window as people start to show up. All of these beautiful people begin to arrive that have all played a critical role in our relationship, no matter how small the gesture. I peek out and see Ian talking with his family and he's so handsome! I remember thinking that he is so much more than I ever imagined for myself. So much better than any of the dreams I've had as a little girl, imagining the man that would uplift me and encourage me and love me and touch me with gentleness and kindness and never with anger or rage.

I meet Ian behind a corner of the shed, and we exchange letters to each other without looking at each other. He had written all the words in his heart which I knew he felt, but had not heard so in depth before. It was him- sharing himself with me in a way I had not experienced. I cried as I held his hand and read his words.

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The ceremony comes quickly. I walk out on the arm of my dad and brother, and we laugh as they hold me up because I tripped a little in my heels. We're walking down, and I'm seeing all of the faces I have loved. Friends, old and new, gathering for us. Showing us that we are worth their time, support, and energy. I begin to cry as I look into Ian's eyes and see tears welling up. Every one of our friends is crying. As he hands me off to Ian, my brother leans into my ear and whispers "I'm so proud of you." I hold Ian's hands and look right at him- It's here! it's happening! Ian's dad speaks beautiful, kind words over us. I tell myself I'll always remember every single word, but it's been a year and it all feels lost in a jumble in my mind. But I do remember the care, heart, and love he put into every single word. I'm so thankful to have gained a dad like him. I see Ian's mom and sisters crying over Ian's shoulder. I see all the guys, who I've come to love deeply as my brothers, sobbing behind Ian. I can't imagine Taylor and Kayla behind me or I'll be all water works as well. I trip over repeating my vows and it breaks the tears for a moment. We exchange rings. I'm staring into the face of the man I will love forever. I'm looking into the eyes of a better man than I have ever known. I can't stop repeating it in my head. It's you, it's you, it's you and me forever. And despite how fucking terrified I am of the future, I am ready to do it with you. You, Ian, you.

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Ian's dad tells us we can kiss and I finally kiss Ian for the first time in the day and I feel like I'm exploding and melting all over. It's so much like our first kiss, but so much better because we now know each other so deeply. We walk down the aisle to cheers and clapping, and our friends walk behind us and join us in all of the sobbing hugs. We're all crying, and we're all hugging and it's a mess of joy and thankfulness and all of these things I cannot put words to. It's beautiful. It's right. This is how love is meant to be- it's not just Ian and I, it's all of our people too.

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We take photos together, and spend time connecting. Our first married cigarette is smoked and I cried, just like I thought I would. We finish photos, eat great food, smoke so many bones, and dance our asses off with all of our favorite people. We fall into our hotel bed exhausted and drunk and absolutely elated.

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Ian, I cannot believe you chose me. I cannot believe we're here, a year later. A completely normal, completely incredible year later. You're the best family to me. You're the best husband, the best dog dad, the funniest fucking person I know. Thank you for smoking so many cigarettes over coffee with me. Thank you for holding me when I'm crying in bed (which, I know, breaks all your rules). Thanks for putting up with my lack of desire for chores, and for always waking you up before you want to be up. I could write for a lifetime and there aren't enough words, but I'm trying. You're the best. The dumbest. My favorite, forever. Rhombus.

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