Well it happened. The Stevens clans made it to NY, Britney went through the temple, the dress was put on, and everything else is a blur.
December 4th: Britney, her mom, and little sister Brynne drove into the city in the morning, hit some inconsequential traffic, greeted Adam and his family for a few brief minutes and ran into the temple for Britney's session. It was an amazing experience. Going through together made the decision we are making real. The Spirit was sweet and piercing and our testimonies and love for each other were strengthened. We can't even tell you how special this experience was. Soon after, Britney bought all her garments and we changed and made our way down to dinner. Yet as we made our way to our east side location, we were stopped by A Diamond is Forever jewelers right around Madison Ave where they were currently stationed, offering couples the opportunity to have their picture taken under the mistletoe for free. Considering our empty bellies and the frigid city, we weren't too excited about standing in line for an hour while our family had nothing to do. We told this to a rep, casually mentioning we were getting married the next day, and he bumped us up to the front of the line. So sweet. So we got our picture taken. Oh, and did I mention they used about 100 different cameras swirled around us? Consequently, we now have a "picture" of us under the mistletoe on Madison Ave that spins around us like a frozen video. SO COOL. (does anyone else have this, No) They even interviewed our story afterwards, check out the small clip they used here (click on "Responses"): http://whenforeverbegan.adiamondisforever.com/#/?behind_the_scenes. Soon after, Adam's family, Britney's mom and sisters Brynne and Briana, and we made our way over to Big Daddy's diner off of 20th and Park.
It's an awesome restaurant that serves upscale diner food (imagine that). Everything was super good. From the milkshakes, main courses, and jumbo-awesome cupcakes, we were stuffed to the brim with good, fairly priced NYC food. Mom and Dad Stevens presented the bride's maids and grooms men with gloves and lip glosses for the girls and sweet ties for the guys and dads. We then presented Jenn, our super awesome gorgeous fabulous talented ambitious photographer, with a tote bag with her initials and also the promise of a painting by Adam done of her and her husband (gifts which cannot even begin to repay her generosity).
Afterwards, we said goodbye to Britney's family and headed over to Broadway to get ready to see Wicked. Since we were a little early, we walked over to Times Square and visited the M&M store. Fun fun.
Wicked was incredible! This was Britney's first Broadway play and way more than she expected it to be. Adam was challenged to resist the urge to belt out the songs while the witches left us breathless from their awesome talent. Afterward, we decided to head over to the Carnegie Cafe with everyone and the Dalley's, some of Adam's family's close friends who came for the wedding. Everyone ordered desserts and were pleased (or horrified) to find that they were huge. Maybe it's just me, but a slice of cheesecake the size of a small infant at 12am just doesn't sit. But still, they were delicious. We just ordered some hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies. So good. We then decided to go over to Rockefellar center to see the tree all lit up, but they had turned it off half an hour earlier (LAME). Well, we all departed, left the city, dropped Britney off on 68th and Lex, and headed to our sleeping quarters, only to wake up 6 hours later (if we even slept)
The BIG Day: Britney slept over her sister's in Manhattan. She woke up around 7am and headed over to her and Briana's friend Karrie's house to have her hair and makeup done. Karrie curled her hair, while their friend and professional Christian Dior cosmetologist, Judy, painted her up. It was so fun and rushed and Britney was SO grateful for the extreme kindness of her friends. Judy did an incredible job, and Britney became even more grateful (and a tad embarrassed) after she figured out Judy does makeup for about $1000 a customer. How ignorant can Britney get? Once everything was done and packed, Britney headed over to the temple with her mom and brother. Once we saw each other and how nervous we were (Adam was the worst) the reality of getting married started to set in. Britney felt like a goddess in the bridal room getting ready and all the matrons were so accommodating. It was such a beautiful experience. Sitting in the celestial room together before the sealing was almost unbearable (at least for Britney) as we awaited the ceremony. It was a great day in the temple to say the least. It was amazing to be all together as one big family.
After changing into our wedding attire, we headed out of the temple to greet our family and friends and headed over to Central Park for pictures before the reality of the cold set it. Mom and Grandma kept insisting Britney wear her white fuzzy blanket to keep warm, but it kept rubbing off on Adam's sharp black tux, so needless to say we were cold--but our hearts were warm. We had all our family pictures taken in the park nearest to the temple, and then Adam, Britney, Jenn, and Chad were off to the Bethesda Fountain right smack in the middle of the park to take more pictures. We were shocked at how perfect the area was for pictures in December. Along with the fountain, there were beautiful stairs, "balconies", and underpass/tunnel-like structures under the walkways. It was gorgeous and our pictures are fantastic. We then made our way over the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel where we had permission to take pictures. Unfortunately, Nascar was having a convention on most of the floors--including the one with the black and white
checkered flooring--but a kind bellman offered to show us to various different floors and places of the huge luxury hotel to take pictures.
Needless to say it was fabulous and we felt royal in our wedding outfits. After we were sick of pictures, Grandma and Grandpa Handley drove us back to PA for our reception. Encountering some traffic caused us to be about 45 minutes late to the family dinner, but the actual reception didn't start until 7:30, so we were safe.
The night was incredible. The cultural hall sparkled in its glamour and glitz and we were more than grateful for the kindness and time of all those who helped with food and decorating. It was such a relaxed night and Adam got to meet all our guests.
After we ate, danced, and spoke, we changed out of our clothes and ran through a line of sparklers lit by our guests and hopped into Britney's "decorated" car toward our hotel about 10 minutes away. Thank you so much to everyone, all our family and friends, for your support, presence, and love, which made this step of our lives possible and special.
Honeymoon: We didn't leave for Puerto Vallarta until Sunday, so we took Saturday to open all our gifts, return the duplicates, and get the rest of Britney's things packed and ready for moving out. We drove over to our hotel in Newark, ordered Chinese, and called it a night. Sunday morning we left early and headed over to the airport. The flight was non-stop so we slept most of the way and got to Mexico a lot quicker than expected. Adam's spanish proved beneficial from the start as he conversed with many airport personnel. We got to our resort called Villa Del Palmar and were treated like royalty. It was GORGEOUS. We walked into our studio-styled room and nearly dropped to the floor. It was a great size, with a balcony and food basket from the Listons (the couple who offered us the week for time share) and our bed decorated with swan towels, rose petals, and a small cake. The week was phenomenal. We ate delicious Mexican, swam in the resort pool and beach, and soaked in the sun as we enjoyed the 80 degree weather. Summed up we shopped around at flee markets, went scuba diving and island hopping on a double-decker boat, went horseback riding through the Mexican mountains and river banks, and ate at great restaurants (not to mention late nights with Oreos, milk, and Family Guy).
We got back Friday night and planned for our open house the next evening. Britney's parents and sister Briana made the trip and were staying in Portland so we ended up doing lunch together at Leonardo's in Portland with us and Cory Furin, one of Adam's close friends, Saturday afternoon.
We then made our way over to the open house where we enjoyed wearing our wedding clothes for the last time and greeting Adam's family and friends. It was such a great night and we all became closer as a new family.
Needless to say I am tired of writing this article. You're just going to have to imagine the wonderful things I had to leave out due to writers block and, honestly, boredom and restlessness. We love you all. Feel free to call anytime regarding the past few weeks with questions, concerns, or curiosity. Thanks again for your love and support and we are enjoying finally being together again and forever. It's a peace and joy like none other.
Married Life Is Awesome!