Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 18: My Wedding

In talking about our wedding, I find that I could go on for pages and pages and yet at the same time I have a hard time remembering it clearly.

When we got engaged, we decided that we really wanted the pastor from his parents' church in New Mexico to marry us. We contacted him and he was very happy to come up. So we bought him a ticket and got him a hotel room and he flew in the day before the wedding.

The rehearsal was interesting to say the least. The wedding coordinator and I were not seeing eye to eye, and she kept trying to change things when I was out of the room. Pastor Mike had to raise his voice and get her attention and tell her, "Ma'am, it's what the bride wants. We do what the bride wants!!!" We finally got through the rehearsal and headed off to dinner.

The next morning I woke up and grabbed my bag and headed out the door. On my way to Blaine I stopped at our friends' nursery and picked out two hanging baskets that were to be the only floral decorations at the church. I was also supposed to pick up two sets of oil lanterns from my parents' house to line the steps at the front of the sanctuary.

I called my friends at the police department to get the number for the Blackberry House Cafe so that I could order some breakfast to pick up on my way to the hair salon. They told me to just go the salon, and then call me and they'd take care of getting my breakfast there. I arrived at the salon and found that they had sent food over for me and my bridesmaids.

After getting my hair done, I was a vision of beauty in my sweats, tank top, flip flops and veil. My Mom brought our photographer, the same woman who took my baby pictures, to the salon, and she went with me from that point on. We went to the florist to check on the flowers. They weren't ready yet. I decided not to worry, and just let someone else pick up the flowers. We picked up my dress and headed to the church.

It was 75 degrees out that day, which was unusually warm for that time of year. The bride's room at the church was at least ten degrees hotter, and my dress felt like it weighed as much as one of Elvis' costumes. As I was getting dressed I realized that I had forgotten the oil lanterns for the steps. I said, "Oh well. Guess we'll just have the flower baskets." I was remarkably unbothered by the details.

We went to Cornwall Park and took our pictures before the ceremony and then headed back to the church. We were going to try to stall the ceremony by a few minutes so that everyone who had to work that day could get there on time. Our mission was accomplished by Pastor Mike of all people. He'd been out sight-seeing that day and got lost trying to get back to the church.

The ceremony itself took only about 15 minutes, and the thing that stands out most clearly to me was when Pastor Mike accidentally referred to me as a "him." We all laughed.

The reception was lots of fun, and I remember laughing. A lot! I remember that my face was sore by the end of the day from laughing and smiling so much.

I was not really into a lot of traditions. I didn't want to throw a bouquet. I didn't want to wear a garter. I was talked into throwing a bouquet, so I called my friend Lisa and asked her if she could arrange a few silk flowers into a throwing bouquet for me. Then at the rehearsal dinner I was ordered, yes ordered to wear a garter by our friend Dustin who was at the time a Senior Drill Instructor with the Marine Corps. I said, "But I didn't buy a garter." He told me that they'd take care of it. So on our wedding day, Matt and Dustin went and bought garters.

When the time came to throw the bouquet, we got the single ladies assembled and I threw it. I must admit that it was more fun than I thought it would be. Then came time for Matt to toss the garter. I sat in the chair and they started the music. Matt retrieved the garter, and as he stood up and turned around, he whipped a pair of gigantic Incredible Hulk boxers out of his sleeve and held them up as if he'd taken them from under my dress.

I had made it very clear that I didn't want a wedding cake. I didn't want a cake because I didn't want to cut the cake. I was just going to have desserts served. I gave into peer pressure and ordered a couple of cakes from Costco with the understanding that the hall staff would cut and serve it. Then, I got ambushed during the reception and forced to cut the cake. (Now this was after I'd been forced to cut a cake at the rehearsal dinner since we weren't going to be doing it at the actual wedding.) The pictures taken of the cake cutting always amuse me because you can tell, if you know me at all, that my smile is totally forced because I was actually a little pissed at this point. Then people started trying to get us to feed each other the cake. At this point I very firmly said, "NO!!!!"

I do remember very clearly getting out to the car and finding it completely wrapped in saran wrap and written all over with shoe polish, and FULL of balloons. I am scared of balloons. Especially the noise they make when they pop. Well, a couple of well meaning wedding party members decided to clear out the car by popping all the balloons. I was standing there shaking and jumping with each pop. Until my brand new brother-in-law saw me about to have a heart attack and made them stop, got me and my dress all tucked into the car, and closed the door tightly before they could pop any more balloons.

We left the reception and went to the Bellwether hotel where we had a suite for the night. I remember walking into the hotel in my wedding dress and thinking, "Wow!! I'm really married." And then, someone in the lobby asked, "Oh... did you just get married???" And I politely answered "Yes." Had I been introduced to the wonderful humor of Bill Engvall at that time and known the magic that is "Here's your sign" I might have had an entirely different answer!!

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