I write to all of you now with a platinum wedding band on my left ring finger. We will be departing on our honeymoon in about three hours. It would take far longer than that to tell you everything that happened in the last three days, and you, my faithful readers, will have to be content with a few impressions.
On the whole, I think the wedding turned out great. There were a few minor issues as the wedding day progressed, but nothing that anyone who hadn’t read all the contracts would really notice. I can recall a point at the reception on Saturday night when the DJ started to play the old swing tune “In The Mood”. I looked out on the dance floor and saw two or three different generations of people doing the jitterbug. I knew then that we were probably throwing one hell of a party.
I now understand why there are wedding rehearsals. Yes, there is a need to have everyone understand the structure of the ritual so they don’t look stupid when the day comes. I also now understand that it is also needed to prevent skittish brides and grooms from freaking out when the ceremony actually comes. A significant part of my brain actually left the planet as we were going through the rehearsal and didn’t completely come back to earth until a few hours (and few beers) later during the rehearsal dinner. I was much calmer on The Big Day for the experience though.
Many memorable people were part of our wedding, but I think the most memorable for me was my Aunt R. Her father (my Dad’s father) was always more than a bit of trickster. I see this quality in my Dad, but, seeing Aunt R. again really reminded me of this. She also gave me the “lecture” that Wife S. and I need to “have lots of boys” to help preserve the Geek family name — running down the list of male heirs to the family name, I disovered that there is me and one second cousin likely to pass the family name on. Eeeeek! Finally, my Dad was thrilled to actually have someone from his family attend an event we put on — that hasn’t happened before.
Rather than toss bouquets and garters, we decided to do a dance where all married couples were brought to the dance floor and then dismissed based how long they had been married — the newly married couple (us) first, the longest married couple last. That last couple would then get the bridal bouquet. The first few rounds of this as the DJ called out “5 years… 10 years… 15 years” were largely uneventful. Once the DJ got past 20 years, people started to gather around the dance floor and applaud, however. I see it as a testament to the character of both sides of our family and their friends that there were still slightly more than half a dozen couples on the dance floor when the DJ passed 40 years. The DJ had been counting in increments of five years, but switched to single year increments after 45 years.
It ultimately came down to two couples: my Mom’s cousin P. and his wife M., and, Wife S.’s great-aunt B. and great-uncle T. People really began to applaud when the count passed 50 years. P. and M. finally faded at 53 years. B. and T. won with 59 years. Wife S. and I figured early on that B. and T. would win when we planned this; I was very surprised and touched how much of a contest my family made it though.
There were a few notable absences. The two professors I invited from my grad student days mysteriously did not attend, even though they said they were coming. My dissertation advisor D. sent an e-mail on the day saying that something came up and would not be able to attend. The other professor, P., e-mailed me on Friday that he was looking forward to coming. Finally, a friend S. and her boyfriend T. were mysteriously absent. She more or less bullied herself onto the guest list; we weren’t certain if we should invite her, but, she introduced me to one of my groomsmen and his wife. In the end, she seemed thrilled to attend and her absence was puzzling. Ironically, all of these people were seated at the same table at the reception, making a table of eight into a table of two.
I can’t end this on an unhappy note, however. The day was too full of warm, wonderful memories. Probably one of the best came when Wife S. and I left the reception for our hotel suite. I remember having this warm, loving feeling that it was finally just her and me again after three days of chaos. It is still with me, and I hope it lasts for a long, long, LONG, time.
p.s. Please check out wildchica. She’s a freelance writer, a friend, and she attended the wedding. She’s just started a diary a few weeks back. For those curious about the wedding while Wife S. and I honeymoon, maybe she will tell you her impressions of our special day.