Saturday, July 02, 2005

The Wedding Blog

Last night, M mentioned that I hadn't blogged, and he actually sounded a little disappointed. I've wanted to blog, mostly about the wedding, but I just don't know where to begin, in many ways. And to keep an honest blog, I'd have to confess that I was aggravated and even downright ungracious at times in the days leading up to the wedding, which doesn't fit with the memories I'd like to have of the whole experience, and who wants to do that in public forum? Guess I do. I'm blaming it all on lack of sleep and HAS, Hostess Anxiety Syndrome, which I suffer from excessively. (I've decided that HASers in recovery are called HAS-beens. M discouraged me from that joke, but I'm ignoring his advice.) I'm also trying to write down every detail I can remember, and I didn't want to get distracted from that little project. Oh well.

First of all, I have so much to be grateful for. Many, many people worked on projects large and small to help pull off the wedding festivities and others came from great distances to be there, evidence that yes, I am loved. The weather was great--it rained the weekend before, and this weekend my brother reports that it's in the low 100's, so we lucked out with the high 80's. People seemed to really enjoy themselves, and no-one (that I know of), hurt themselves, got sick (except for M afterwards), or had any other unfortunate mishaps aside from the occasional flight delays. The food was good throughout, though I didn't overeat or acquire a hangover, and I even exercised a bit. I didn't spill anything on my dress, though now I'm not quite sure what to do with a sweat-soaked ivory gown missing two buttons.

Some of the more memorable moments:

We had an emotional, absent-minded minister--very nice, and nice to look at, but he didn't quite have it together during the rehearsal. The bride is on the minister's right, according to Emily Post; the bridesman of honor has the groom's ring, not the bride's. We had a bit of an unusual processional order--M walked in right before me so that his mom could give him away at the same time that my parents gave me away (ahem, again), and he couldn't quite keep that straight so I had to channel General Axtell for part of the rehearsal. But he was a very sweet guy, and that made up for it as well as his sincerity and kindness. He seemed to be on the verge of tears during the actual ceremony, though that may have been abetted by his fiancee hovering in the back of the room.

Aside from the logistical help the rehearsal provided, it expanded the emotion of the wedding itself. M's dress-rehearsal of his vows brought everyone there to tears (except me--who wants to follow the blockbuster performance?). And I was able to enjoy the music pieces that my aunt worked on tirelessly to perfect because we had several run-throughs.

While at the conference last week, a coworker who's tying the knot herself later this year asked what my favorite moment was. I tried to think of just one, and in a rush of embarrassment and shame I thought of how I had squandered so many of my pre-wedding hours with negativity; and just as quickly, those thoughts were washed away by the memory of the joy of the ceremony and the gathering together of so many loved ones and I almost started crying (tears are welling up as I write this) and I couldn't really answer her question then.

But I want to tell her that the best part was the ceremony itself. I spent a nervous hour before it began, dressing and primping upstairs in the Stansbury Home with the help of Mom and two friends, and they left me alone just before the ceremony began. I paced. A friend of my brother's who had come to the pre-wedding dinner said that I ghost lived in that room, a nice ghost, and I wondered if she were there. I heard the rooms below fill with voices and laughter, which made me more nervous. I felt too nervous to even think of anything as I waited at the top of the stairs for my cue to come down and take the arms of my mom and dad. But I also felt very calm and at peace with this choice at my core, in my heart. I felt at once super-aware yet also ghost-like myself, as if only the essence of me were present, the mental and physical heaviness fallen away.

Walking to where M was waiting for me, I didn't hear the music. I could hardly look anyone in the eye except M and the minister. The whole ceremony went by so quickly, and I wondered if the minister was skipping parts. I remember being embarrassed by the sweat gathering on my upper lip--I asked M for the handkerchief I made him carry in case I started to cry, but used it to dab my face instead (and later tears), which I hated to do in front of everyone, but the place was so stuffy...I remembered most of my pledge, but was so thankful for the cue card. M's sister did a wonderful job reciting the poem. I remember looking into M's eyes almost the whole time, and thinking how clear and deep and beautiful they were.

M and I stood on the porch after the ceremony for a sort of receiving line, then posed for a few portraits. The we started off for the reception--not quite the grand procession I had envisioned, it was more in clumps of guests--but it was a transition, in public as husband and wife, a few passersby shouting congratulations.

The reception turned out well. The space looked pretty with Mom's vases filled with colorful flowers, and the sunlight still bright from the long day. The caterers did a great job, the kids colored for a while before the screaming-chasing phase that commenced after dinner, some people even--gasp--danced. I danced, though M and I didn't do that first-dance thing. Also, though we cut the cheesecake together, we didn't do the cram-the-cake-into-the-cakehole thing. I'm so glad that we did the photo booth project. It didn't quite work out the way we wanted it to--photos for everyone and for our guest book--but it sorta did and we have some wonderful photos that I'll post as soon as I can figure out how the &%*)# to get photos residing in the HP photo printer software on M's computer up on Flickr.

A funny-ish story about our photos--we had the usual dozen disposable cameras around the reception that the kids went wild with (at my urging), which resulted in the odd picture of the floor, soda bottles, shoes, heads cut off, and fuzzy portraits. There's also a very long series, lasting through several rolls, of one young female guest who seemed to be photographically hounded. A pouty picture leads to an expression of downright anger, then hands over the face, then turning her back, hiding behind a chair, trying to get under a table, crawling into a get the idea. There's also a nicely framed shot of a teenaged guest's boobs, which we blamed on one of the pre-teen boys, but was in fact taken by her aunt, which was a relief, though not as funny. Can't wait to see other photos people have promised to send me.

And now it's over but the bill-paying and thank-you notes. My red rose bouquet is fading, along with that glow-y, giddy feeling. But my wedding band is bright and feels so good.


Lunch Visit
Originally uploaded by suzipaw.
My aunt and uncle were two of the several people that I didn't get enough of during the wedding week. They spent a few days at my mom's, and so they were able to stop by for lunch today came on their way to SF, and that helped. A little.


The view from my hotel this past week. Not that I saw it much.

SF from the St. Francis


At 9:07 PM, July 02, 2005, Blogger Nancy said...

I can sympathize with Hostess Anxiety Syndrome! I'm really glad to hear how well it all went, and how happy you are.

At 10:53 PM, July 02, 2005, Blogger Rebecca said...

Thank you so much for sharing your description of the day. I feel like I was there.

And can I just say it again?


At 11:42 PM, July 02, 2005, Anonymous Julia said...

Oooo! Wedding details! Love 'em! (And I thought HAS-been was funny...) Truly I am so happy for you both. Yay!


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