I have been back in town for almost a week, and most of that time has been spent running name-change-related errands and sorting through cards and memorabilia and trying to get the house back in some kind of order. But don’t think I haven’t been anxious to blog about the events on the past couple of weeks! It’s a huge task but somebody’s gotta do it.
Two announcements before I get started:
- I have not yet received the pictures that the amazing Chris Lacroix took, except for a few teasers. I’ve had about a million people ask about them, and trust me, I’m very excited to see them too. Also, if you have ever met me, you should know that I’ll have them posted immediately after I get them. I am not one of those wait-a-couple-years-then-finally-post-photos people.But he said six to eight weeks, people! And it’s only been two weeks! Patience, patience. There are, however, lots of amateur photos on Facebook, and also in this Flickr group.
- I NEED YOUR HELP. I can’t tell this story by itself. I feel like we’ve heard some awesome accounts of wedding hi-jinx from friends here and there, but I’d like to collect them formally in this blog post. So please, comment away! I want to hear what things looked like from your point of view. Phil and Brandi have also blogged about it, so let me know if anybody else has!
The wedding was beautiful. I think it really was the best day of my life. Though the date itself is pretty insignificant and was just an arbitrary day to celebrate a commitment we had made to each other in our hearts long before, I have always fantasized about having all of the different groups of my loved ones together in one place. So for that to become a reality, and for it to be in support of our relationship, was an amazing thing to see.
The night before the wedding we rehearsed at the Byrd and then had dinner catered by Comfort at Katie and Patrick’s house. The food was perfect and there was plenty of it, the wine flowed freely, and our parents entertained with stories of their weddings. Dan’s mother is from a very French Canadian family, which is why her first and middle names are “Michelle Marie Antoinette.” When she got engaged her parents insisted that they abide by the traditional family marriage-night rules, which would involve Dan Sr. and her father having a glass of wine before the happy couple spent the wedding night in her parents’ bed. They ended up eloping instead, and I don’t blame them. I was like “WEIRD, I can’t believe they still expect you to do things the way the french court did them in the 1780s!!!!!!!” As much as I love old-timey things, even I can recognize when something is thoroughly outdated.
After everything was cleaned up from dinner, I headed back to my house with Katie and Megan, where they put my hair in sponge rollers and we watched Clueless.
The Wedding Day
[The invitation is here]
I think I slept okay, but woke up insanely early and did mundane things like pay bills online before taking a shower and getting ready. My hair fell into place easily, and that was the number one thing I was worried about, so it was good to get that out of the way early. I did Katie’s hair and Megan’s hair, and we watched Father of the Bride for a little bit. Then Chris Lacroix came over and took some pictures of us while we were fussing over the bridesmaids’ jewelry. I made a last-minute decision to wear gloves during the ceremony, because my maids were wearing them and they looked fantastic. Luckily I have things like long white gloves just lying around the house. See, it pays to be a pack-rat. Also, I very much like saying “my maids.”
At about 2:50pm we headed to the Byrd, where we met up with Emily Lacroix and roped off the sides of the theater with blue ribbon so that people would only sit in the center section. When that was done I had nothing else to do, so we hung around the mezzanine and my maids freshened up their curls and we fussed over jewelry and had a little champagne before family started arriving and coming to peek at us. I hadn’t been sure that my brother would make it, so it was nice when he arrived and came upstairs to give me a hug.
The Byrd looked more lovely than it ever has to me in all these years, and I think it was the perfect place for our wedding. Though the room is huge and epic and gilded, it seems homey and comfortable and so very Richmond to me. The 1920s details, the velvety walls, the smell of popcorn, and the sound of the organ are such welcoming things. Bob Gulledge, by the way — the guy who plays the Mighty Wurlitzer organ — is a total jokester. I was telling him that I’m a big fan, and that we go ever year on Christmas to hear him play carols and to watch It’s a Wonderful Life, and then he was like “so you want me to play ‘Rudolph’ today?” and I was like “NO!” But during his warm-up he kept bursting into a few measures of it just to mess with me.
The ceremony happened exactly as described in the program (note that it’s formatted to be printed out front-and-back and folded, so the pages aren’t in order), and just as I had imagined it. Because Dan, Erik and I all weep at the slightest hint of something sentimental, we had joked that there would be no way we could make it through the ceremony without at least one of us crying. But we did it! None of us wept, though I think a lot of us were biting our tongues to stave it off. I felt pretty calm though, overall. Because the stage is so far away from the doors and because I don’t have the best eyesight, I could barely see Dan when I entered the theater so there wasn’t a moment where I saw him and started crying or anything. The only point where I almost lost it was when I got to the point in the darkened theater where I could see my friends’ and family’s faces smiling so intensely at me, and I realized They’re all really here! At the same time! This is a wonderful thing!
Once Dad and I made it onto the stage, any nervousness that I felt melted away, and of course seeing the person with whom you spend most of your time tends to calm you down. None of us could see the crowd at all since a spotlight was right in our faces, so that actually made it feel more intimate onstage, like our small wedding party were the only ones there. Erik was great, and at some point during his brief talk mentioned the mantra that Dan shared with our small group: too much khaki, not enough black. Words to live by, people. The readings were flawless, the rings were exchanged without issue, I curtsied to the crowd, and we recessed to Star Wars music. WIN!
We took pictures on the mezzanine level with family, then headed to the Bankuet Place and waited outside to be announced. Kenny came down with the flu at the last minute, so Phil very kindly stepped in as our DJ (aka, person in charge of my iPod playlist) and it was he who announced us. I think I smiled a lot and twirled around, and was promptly given a glass of wine, which I promptly spilled right down my dress while hugging Noel. Jaime and some others came to my rescue with some club soda, which actually does work! It made the spot disappear. Then there was a lot of hugging and talking, and a very delicious but rushed dinner (catered by Ipanema!) that was interrupted a lot of times, and more hugging and talking. And then dancing! Hours of dancing, during which we only stopped to hear some quick toasts and cut the cake, and to take some photos in the amazing photo booth that Kristin fashioned out of the empty bank vault. One of my favorite parts of the night was when Rick Astley came on and everybody was like “RICK ROLLLLLLLLLLLL.” Whenever you get rick rolled, the song seems to last so long, and you’re like “oh my gosh, how many times does he go through this stinking chorus?” but at my wedding reception, I was like “Oh dear sweet Rick Astley, please continue on for several more choruses.” Besides the dress, I think the number one thing I was complimented on was the wedding playlist, and I’m so glad we did that ourselves rather than hire some boring DJ who would play the “Electric Slide” or some equally heinous disaster.
I think during her toast my sister said something to the effect of “Tess always took really good care of us, and it’s so good to see her with somebody awesome to take care of her.”
The cake was delicious. Ukrop’s really knows what they’re doing, people. The figurines I got for it looked so at-home on their little frosted tower, but met their doom when our friends bumped into the table. I think Dan said that Cam came up to him and apologized for possibly being responsible for that, but I’ve come to the conclusion that it was a group effort after reading everybody’s very silly, drunken signatures in our guestbook. Anyway when we went to my parents’ the other night, my figurines were sitting pretty on a table because my Mom fixed them. And now you can’t even tell they were broken.
Some of the best things that happened at the reception came in the way of news: our friends Amanda and Garrett are expecting their first child, and our friends Drew and Melody are engaged. Both couples announced those tidbits to us and made us even happier than we already were in the first place. Thanks y’all!
The worst part about the wedding day was that I couldn’t spend the whole time with each person separately. Glancing around the room was half happiness, half agony because I wanted to talk to each person for hours, but couldn’t. So many out-of-town friends, family I never get to see, and people I really need to catch up with…and I was only one person and probably didn’t even manage to say hello to each of them, let alone spend real time with them. So it was hard for me not to get into long conversations, because those were long conversations I wanted to have! If the evening could have been improved at all, it would have been extended by several days so that we could (1) get to the end of my playlist eventually and (2) finish all the talking that needed to happen. I was so not done partying when we had to leave, but the night was coming to a close and saying goodbye was inevitable. We ran through a gauntlet of sparklers and rice (which my Dad brought and beamed right into my eyes even though I asked him not to) and into Matt and Jenny’s car. The Fishers dropped us off at the Jefferson, where champagne was waiting for us in the room and we sipped it while recounting the events of the day, reading some of our wedding cards, nibbling bon-bons, and feeling happy.
On the day after the wedding I woke up still feeling exhausted, with just an all-over tired feeling that didn’t leave me for quite a while. I think my body was just finally letting itself feel the effects of all the last-minute stuff and not-much-sleep of the previous few days. I don’t have much to compare it to, since I’ve never really stayed in a fancy-schmancy hotel before, but as far as I know the Jefferson is all it’s cracked up to be. Everything is comfortable, every nice-smelling toiletry you can think of is provided, and there’s a TV in the bathroom so you can watch Mythbusters while you put on makeup. At least that’s why I think they put it there.
We had a delicious breakfast of eggs, biscuits, bacon, and fresh-squeezed orange juice brought to us by room service, which was exactly what I needed to get some of my energy back. We got ready in a leisurely fashion and then Katie and Patrick picked us up for the post-wedding brunch at my parents’ house. There Mom had all kinds of amazing food including my favorite soup she makes, her cauliflower soup. So family members and the wedding party had a chance to relax and tell stories and enjoy a little laid-back time together before parting for a while.
When Dan and I got home, we found a huge pile of presents which Talia had stashed in our living room, and we settled onto the couch and opened them all. After cleaning up a bit, we had some friends over for a little get-together to try and drain the last of the beer from the wedding kegs. We lit the gorgeous candelabra that Jess got us, and sat around drinking beer and telling stories until everybody left. An excellent end to an excellent weekend. There were so many people who made everything come together right…and I can’t wait to thank all of them wholeheartedly in my thank-you notes!
Coming up next…the honeymoon!