BY MOLLY O’BRIEN
The Morning Of
I wake up around 4:30 AM. I didn’t mean to, I just did. Poor Glen. Luckily we have a beautiful large room at the Carnegie Abbey to stay in. I wandered downstairs. Mind racing, heart pumping, eyes swollen and saggy.
This was it! Wedding day!
Just a few hours to put the final touches on everything. I gathered my belongings, eventually setting up shop on the balcony. The sun started peeking up through the trees. I heard crunching on the rocks below; Golfers we’re arriving for early tee times.
It smelled good. Like fresh grass and a hint of sea salt.
Our reception was at the Carnegie Abbey Club in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. It’s a gorgeous country club that resides on pristine property. Glen and I, along with family and several friends were staying in residents at the CAC. This made the wedding so much easier, better, more fun and top notch. I can’t explain the ease and KEY of staying where you get married. If you have that option, do it.
The girls took over our room to get ready. My friends and family shower me with even more gifts! We have sandwiches and snacks, champagne and coffee. My mom and Gail (Glen’s mom) coordinate everything magically. I am so lucky to have great moms! It’s such a blast to have all of my friends, my mom and my aunt in one room. I am stuck in a chair with a curling iron frying my hair, but it’s still fun.
Meanwhile, Glen is living large in the “locker room” with his buddies. I say that in quotes because it was more like a lounge or men’s club. The CAC isn’t as old as some of the other country clubs in our region but it’s chic and beloved by many well-known people. I think some of Glen’s favorite locker is claimed by Smokey Robinson.
Brad’s here! That means it’s time for pictures! We opted to take as many pictures as we could before the ceremony. Working with our extremely talented and patient photographer, Brad Smith, we were able to capture some fun and romantic shots of both Glen and myself. We did our first look, family and bridal party pictures all before the ceremony.
Then it was go time.
Literally. We had to go. This was the most stressful time for me – loading everyone up and transferring the half mile to the Newport Beach Club for the wedding!
July 18th was a gorgeous summer day. It started out incredibly cloudy, even raining at one point. Our chairs were set up on a grassy lawn. Adirondack chairs lined the back. Lemonade and sparkling water, waiting for guests. A rocky beach, a boat launch, a weathered and worn brick building, a rickety dock and a huge deck served as part of our back drop.
Your eyes could almost taste the scenery. It was a delectable. Beyond all of that, Narragansett Bay and the Mount Hope Bridge proudly spanned across it.
School buses began carting our guests over. It was time to begin.
But not quite.
A random family darted across the beach, one side to the other. We captured their journey on camera. It’s quite hilarious.
OK, now it’s Showtime.
I wasn’t nervous at all. I was mostly in “let’s get this done” mode. Is that strange? I’m not sure. Glen and I planned the ceremony. From the setup to the take down, the songs, words, chair placements, readings, EVERYTHING. I wrote it all and did it all. When you are “Type A” and slightly OCD why would you want anyone else planning every detail of your wedding but you?
A summer wind carries the fresh smell of saltwater. Shy waves tickle the shoreline.
Eighty or so guests grab their seats. John takes his place at the center of the aisle (we chose to have our friend perform the ceremony). The groomsmen take their places on the left. I wanted Glen to see me walking down the aisle, so I opted for him to stand on the left.
“Spring by Vivaldi” begins to play.
I peer around the corner from the small boat house at the top of the deck, spying down upon our guests and the crowd. How is it going? What do they think? Impressive? I thought everything looked fabulous.
My very best friends wear beautiful Newport navy blue dresses and each carry a delicate bouquet of bold orange lilies down the aisle. Glen walks my mom down.
I nod to my friend Liz who is sitting near the speaker. She and our friend Glen were running audio for us.
Vivaldi, fades out. Silence.
“IT’S GOING DOWN FOR REAL…. IT’S GOING DOWN FOR REAL…. IT’S GOING DOWN FOR REAL. “
I’m still peering around the corner from above. Hoping no one had seen me yet. I’m trying to gage reaction. I thought playing “GDFR” by Flo Rida was absolutely hilarious!
I mean, ME, Molly O’Brien is ACTUALLY getting married?! Ok Glen, seriously, this is really happening.
I can’t tell if people think it is stupid or funny. I laugh.
I cue Liz again. This time, “Break Free” by The Dave Matthews Band comes on, and off I go down the aisle. My aisle is a rickety set of stairs, broken concrete, a boat launch and shells. It’s like a video game and my prince is at the end.
Walking with my dad down the aisle (the normal walkway aisle not the scary part) is exciting and strange. It’s really happening, to me. Everything is really, bright. Colors popped. The music sings. I seem to be walking so slow and so fast at the same time. A billion thoughts buzz through my head: “Smile Molly,” “Try to look at everyone,” “Look at Glen.” I also want to sing along to Break Free.
Our ceremony was fantastic! Mainly because I planned it and wrote it all. Ha! It’s fairly short and simple. John did a wonderful job delivering. My dad, a well-known coach, read a few quotes from the famous Vince Lombardi. Natalie, a Bridesmaid and Kappa Alpha Theta sister read Corinthians 13. Glen’s mom read part of the song “Forever Young” by Rod Stewart.
In between the readings we exchanged vows. Ours were both meaningful and personal. When you marry a broadcaster and a teacher, you know you’ll play to the audience a little. Glen’s good at that. He likes making both me and other people laugh.
Let’s wrap this up!
The sweet “mmmmmm” of Thurston Harris starts to fill the air. Slowly, “WOAH, WOAH, WOAH!“
“Little Bitty Pretty One” is at full blast and Glen and I are walking/dancing down the aisle. I have to remind Glen to actually face the camera a little so we can have one nice picture.
Then we grab our bags and jump in to our getaway car. Jetting out like our lives depend on it. We want to get back to our room, freshen up and be ready to go by the time everyone else is on their way over. See you all at the party!