Tag Archives: the marrification of dan and mle

The Big Day, Part 3: We partied until we all fell down

Parts 1 and 2

As soon as the ceremony was over, we hugged and kissed each other some more, and then Holla and OF came over to hug us. People were hugging and kissing and congratulating us and I don’t really remember who all I spoke to or what anyone said, because there were so many. I was really overwhelmed.

The PA system was lugged up from the beach to the great room and re-set up (thanks, Simon!) and while people mingled, drank wine and beer, and ate breads and cheeses and gourmet crackers and fruit and hummus and pita, we took a few more formal photos (both sets of parents with the b&g). Afterward, we wandered around and greeted more people, and someone handed me a glass of white wine (probably one of the catering staff). It was tasty. I never got to eat any of the appetizer-y stuff, but I am told it was good.

Dan and I went inside to remove the pretty flower from the top of the Princess cake and ate it, then tried to put our cake toppers on there. They didn’t last very long – not enough room, too heavy, and so we ended up with a mangled cake and mini-Dan lost his head. Oops!

Eventually the salads (greens, citrus segments, and pumpkin seeds with a citrus vinaigrette) were all plated, so everyone found their escort cards and brought them to their tables. One thing that didn’t work so well in the damp? The table cards, which weren’t on cardstock (just heavy paper) and so they didn’t stay upright. I had made table card holders out of dowels and wine corks and hot glue, but they ended up not being used and just sitting on the tables.

See table sign, sadly flopped over.

We had a most excellent emcee, who got things rolling and did just the right amount of announcing. We could not have asked for a better person to do it. Here he is, showing what a real man wears under his kilt.

OF’s parents left and came back with a borrowed space heater, which a cousin’s boyfriend helped maneuver into place. It helped warm everyone up, and OF made some jokes about it melting the tent. Luckily, that didn’t happen, and everyone was glad for the extra heat.

After the salad course, the buffet was opened up, and our table went first. We had maple-soy glazed salmon, chicken in red bell pepper sauce, sauteed asparagus, and wild rice pilaf, primarily sourced locally and in-season. Dan and I got our food and sat to wolf it down quickly, spent some time chatting with the other people at our table, and then got up to work our way around and speak to everyone. Luckily, we made it all the way around and at least said hi to everyone there before people were finished eating. Then, Holla got up and made a most excellent toast (one regret from the day is that nobody videotaped the toasts, because they were fabulous, funny, touching, and wonderful). When he was finished, OF got up and made a toast. Then Dan and I got up and thanked everyone for coming. I got a little choked up during my bit, because of how emotional I was and how lucky I felt that so many people had done so much to help us in the months and days and hours leading up to the wedding.

After everyone was finished eating, Dan and I went off to take some more photos (in my flamin’ chucks!) and Simon asked people to sign the guestbook. Which, over the course of the day, nearly everyone did! When we came back inside, we did our first dance to “If I had a Million Dollars” by the Barenaked Ladies (one of our songs) and because I was still wearing the chucks my dress was too long and I was worried I’d trip. After a minute or so of dancing, we’d asked that our friends and family join in, and many people did.

Then the party really got started, though not as many people danced as I would have expected. I guess it’s just hard to get into dancing when it’s light outside and all you’ve got to lubricate you is wine and beer. Oh, well. The people who did dance seemed like they had a good time, even the babies. Early on, I did a dance with my sisters to “I’m gonna be (500 miles” by the Proclaimers (another meaningful song) and they taught me the dance that everyone did at camp; they must have started doing it after I left because I never learned it, but it wasn’t difficult.

Soon after that, Dan and I cut our little princess cake and fed it to each other. There was no mooshing of cake in either face; we had agreed beforehand that this was something neither of us wanted. The caterers cut up all the cakes and everyone got to eat it. The cakes were so popular, in fact, that when we brought the leftovers up to the house for the afterparty, there were only four small slices left out of all 3 cakes!

Eventually the sun came out and many people went outside to warm up. Some people enjoyed their cake and wine and visited, while others went on a boat ride. I could tell that there were many people reconnecting and others meeting new friends. Lots more photos were taken, both of us and of our guests. My extended family (mom’s side) took a photo together, which may be the only one in existence from the last 20 years!

It seemed as though people were having a good time. I tried to get around and chat with as many people as possible. Dan and I took some photos on the dock with Leah, which I’m glad we did because they turned out really nicely.

Most people left by around 3 or 4 and the caterers had cleaned up everything but the wine glasses still in use, so those of us who were still there gathered up the rest of the glasses, did some light cleaning, and packed up the flowers, wine, smartwater, and keg to haul up to the rented house. Those last few minutes just enjoying the sun and spending time with our friends were some of my favorites of the entire day. Also, Simon brought both a funny hat and a flask, and Bequi brought some kitty ears. Meow!

Most of us walked up the hill to the house, while Leah and Simon drove the keg and some of the other things. We unloaded everything (well, I helped some, but mostly I was taking off my wedding dress and changing into something a little less restrictive). I was also given a lei, but I’m not sure who gave it to me. We all kind of sat for a few minutes and relaxed, chatting a bit about the day. We opened a couple of bottles of prosecco and poured it for our friends who had accompanied us thorugh the end of the day – Bequi, Simon and Leah, Cil, Monkey. Eventually some of the people who had stayed at the house (EEK, Zipp, etc.) came out to join us. Soon, guests started to arrive at the afterparty, many of whom had changed into more casual clothing. Dan prepped the grill, while I sliced bell peppers, put out the cheese and buns we’d bought at costco, put out the condiments, and dumped some chips and salsa into bowls (hooray for rented houses with fully equipped kitchens!) and put them out in the living room area.

I also sliced and juiced some of the lemons Leah and Simon had brought up from their yard. Leah made simple syrup and finished the lemonade. It didn’t get made in time for the wedding, but there was lemonade on the wedding day. Hooray! And once it was finished, I had myself a tasty beverage of lemonade with vodka and a girly straw. MMMM.

More people arrived, our music was playing, and suddenly the house was full. Scarlett’s boyfriend took over the operation of the grill, with some assistance from other manly types, my mom and her friends hung out, Dan’s family hung out, our friends and loved ones all just kind of did more enjoying of each others’ company, and finally the food was ready. So we started eating. It was hard to make myself eat because I was so tired at that point, after so many hours and days of being “on.” We had forgotten to bring up the leftover food from the club, so Lissa and Holla went to get it, and more people got to eat. I am told some of it was taken by Dan’s aunt to feed the relatives for the next couple of days, and there was still lots left over the next morning. At one point I found myself doing the twist with Dan’s uncle, which was fun and also made me realize that I was about to collapse. I was the most tired I’d ever been in my life, I think.

So Dan and I left our own (after) party, far earlier than we’d expected to leave. But we had to check in to our B&B, a lovely place in Cloverdale I’d driven by for years but never seen inside. I am told the rest of the party was a lot of fun, and that dancing and merriment went on for hours. I wish I could have been there. Instead, we made it to the B&B just in time, hauled our stuff inside, and collapsed in the gigantic bed. Despite my bone weariness, it still took me ages to get to sleep because I was trying to process everything in my head, and it wasn’t going to happen all in one night.

It was a good day. We had a great wedding and could not have asked for anything better.

The End

Thanks to Leah, Bequi, Ginny and Curtis/Lissa for the photos. More here and here.

The Big Day, Part 2: In which we make it legal

Part 1 here

I close my eyes and take a deep breath. The guys have just walked in and the girls are walking in ahead of me. There’s a last minute decision to forego the Italian scarves (though I got them so they would be less cold!) and I end up being the only one wearing a scarf during the ceremony. I can barely hear the music, but I know everyone else can hear it. QIR, Lissa, Laurel, and OF each walk in and stop, and I am the last one in.

The music stops and Erin starts to speak. She welcomes everyone, and introduces each of our readers. I take a deep breath.

Katherine reads an exerpt from Goodridge v. Dept of Public Health, the Massachusetts decision on gay marriage. Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive
commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition. It is undoubtedly for these concrete reasons, as well as for its intimately personal significance, that civil marriage has long been termed a “civil right.” Without the right to choose to marry one is excluded from the full range of human experience.

It is windy; she has to move her hair from her face several times.

Julie reads an exerpt from A Gift of the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindberg.
Here the bonds of marriage are formed. For marriage, which is always spoken of as a bond, becomes actually, in this stage, many bonds, many strands, of different texture and strength, making up a web that is taut and firm. The web is fashioned of love. Yes, but many kinds of love: romantic love first, then a slow-growing devotion and, playing through these, a constantly rippling companionship. It is made of loyalties, and interdependencies, and shared experiences. It is woven of memories of meetings and conflicts; of triumphs and disappointments. It is a web of communication, a common language, and the acceptance of lack of language, too; a knowledge of likes and dislikes, of habits and reactions, both physical and mental. It is a web of instincts and intuitions, and known and unknown exchanges. The web of marriage is made by nearness, in the day to day living side by side, looking outward and working in the same direction. It is woven in space and in time of the substance of life itself.

I am reading the readings from the nice copies we’ve printed and mounted on fancy paper, over the shoulder of whoever is reading. I take a few breaths. I look at Dan. I let Julie’s voice wash over me.

Scarlett reads an exerpt from “I like you,” a children’s book by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. Dan and I were introduced to this book by a friend long before we got engaged, and it was one of the first decisions we made when we started to plan the wedding, that this would be one of the readings during the ceremony.
I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you
know it’s special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, Remember when you told me something special
And both of us remember
When I think something is important
you think it’s important too
We have good ideas
When I say something funny, you laugh
I think I’m funny and you think I’m funny too
You know how to be silly
That’s why I like you
Boy are you ever silly
I never met anybody sillier than me till I met you
I like you because you know when it’s time to stop being
Maybe day after tomorrow
Maybe never
That’s because you really like me
You really like me, don’t you
And I really like you back
And you like me back and I like you back
And that’s the way we keep on going every day
If you go away, then I go away too
or if I stay home, you send me a postcard
You don’t just say Well see you around sometime, bye
I like you a lot because of that
If I go away, I send you a postcard too
And I like you because if we go away together
And if we are in Grand Central Station
And if I get lost
Then you are the one that is yelling for me
And I like you because when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad
If you find two four-leaf clovers, you give me one
If I find four, I give you two
If we only find three, we keep on looking
Sometimes we have good luck, and sometimes we don’t
I like you because I don’t know why but
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then
I like you because because because
I forget why I like you but I do
So many reasons
On the 4th of July I like you because it’s the 4th of July
On the fifth of July, I like you too
Even if it was the 999th of July
Even if it was August
Even if it was way down at the bottom of November
Even if it was no place particular in January
I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
That’s how it would happen every time
I don’t know why
I guess I don’t know why I really like you
Why do I like you
I guess I just like you
I guess I just like you because I like you.

The geese chime in during Scarlett’s reading, the ones that live in and around the lake. They’re hiding out on the island. The reading gets many laughs, as do the sounds of honking. I laugh at the funny parts and am so glad we asked Scarlett to read this one, because she understands exactly how it needs to be read.

Erin leads us through our declaration of intent. We look into each other’s eyes when we say this part and mean every word.
Impressive Clergywoman: Bride & Groom, will you always be open,
honest, and patient, trust one another, and be worthy
of that trust?
Bride & Groom together: We will.
IC: Marriage is an ongoing dialogue, a series
of discussions that will help you find your way
together. Will you communicate with each other fully,
and fearlessly?
B&G: We will.
IC: Every marriage requires a leap of faith.
Will you work, even when the work is hard, to honor
your vows?
B&G: We will.
IC: As your life unfolds before you, you will
remain true to the promises you make this day?
B&G: We will.

Erin introduces our vows using a small part of a piece by Robert Fulghum entitled Union, along with some stuff she has written herself. I hand my bouquet to OF, because Dan and I have decided we will ro-sham-bo to see who says vows first. Dan wins!

Dan has memorized his vows. I am truly, truly impressed. He holds my hand while he makes his promises to me, which revolve around the symbolism of our claddagh rings: friendship, love, loyalty. I almost start crying but I know I can’t start now because I still have my vows to say to him.

I pull my vows out of the bodice of my dress (where else was I supposed to put them?) People laugh again. I am so happy that people are both paying attention to our ceremony and getting enjoyment out of it. I read my vows off the lined paper I’ve written them on and try to look into Dan’s eyes as much as possible.

Erin introduces the ring exchange. The wedding ring represents the strength
and completeness of marriage. It is a circle, a symbol of wholeness, cooperation and peace. The circle of these rings is a symbol of your love and commitment to one another. A ring looks both inwards to your relationship and outwards to the community of which you are a part.
Holla hands over the rings we will exchange. Dan puts my ring on my finger and says, “I give you this ring as a symbol that I love you, every single day of your life.” I surreptitiously slide my ring the rest of the way up my finger before it’s my turn. I put Dan’s ring on his finger and Erin prompts my line, because there’s no way I could have remembered it. I was too busy looking into the eyes of the person who was now married to me.

Erin pronounces us married. We kiss, a good, solid, though not grandmother-cringe-inducing kiss, and the recessional music starts: Vince Guaraldi’s Linus and Lucy. Dan and I dance up the aisle and stop partway up the grass to hug and kiss each other again, and dance a little more. Yay! We’re married! Let’s party!

Thanks to Curtis, Katherine, and Leah for the photos. More ceremony photos here and here.

The Big Day, Part 1: Somehow, it all comes together. I think elves might have been involved.

I awake in a dim grey light, a few minutes before OF comes down the stairs. “It’s 7:07”, she announces. “OK, thanks,” I say, and pull on the wedding underwear and bra I spent waaaay too much money on, my (still wet on the bottom from all the rain the day before) jeans and a shirt.

I realize that I have forgotten to get my button-down shirt from my bag o’ stuff at the rental house. I don’t want to have to pull a shirt over my hair after it’s done, so I ask OF if she has a button-down shirt I can borrow. She finds an old one in her mother’s closet. It’s a little big, but it will do. OF’s parents greet me and offer me a few choices for breakfast. Not being a drinker of beverages in the morning (unless I’m sick or it’s really cold out), I opt for just a toasted English muffin with jam and peanut butter. OF’s mom makes me bring a tangerine with me, but I never eat it and find it in my purse days later.

OF putters around and I realize that it’s 7:25 and we should really get going. My hair appointment is at 7:45. I pick a few lupines that are growing near the house on the whim that they might look nice in my hair, and we drive down to Cloverdale. OF has arranged to have a manicure while I’m getting my hair done, so she and the nail person chat a bit while the lady does my hair and some other lady having her hair colored is sitting in the next chair, draped in a towel, gabbing with us about weddings and such. The lady finishes with my hair and pins in the hair vine I’ve made, and I decide that flowers would be overkill. It’s only taken about 20 minutes for my hair to be finished, and OF and I leave and head to my mom’s house, where two very important bags have been accidentally left – Dan’s smaller backpack which contains the laptop (and thus, all our music) and a plastic Target bag with all my makeup and nail polish. The photographer calls to let me know he has arrived in the neighborhood and reconfirms the address of the rental house. We get to my mom’s and I grab the bags,say hi to my family who is just waking up, then call Bequi who has offered a few weeks beforehand to do anything that needs doing the morning of the wedding. She has just woken up, so we wait a few minutes to give her time to get dressed, then drive over to pick her up. I knock my old knock on the door, for old time’s sake, which makes her parents laugh.

Bequi gets in the car, bags in hand, and I tell her some of the things that still need doing. We chat a bit driving up to the club, see that Dan has already put up the signs directing people to the event, and drop Bequi off at the rental house so she can change and meet up with other people who will be helping with set-up, and then OF and I drive down to the club quickly to make sure that the caterers have everything they need. Luckily, Dan’s already been down there to unlock everything (except, we will discover later, the bathrooms) so we head back up to OF’s parents’ house and I bring in the bucket that has the flowers for my bouquet. Then the photographer shows up, and he introduces himself to OF’s parents and takes a few photos of me while I pick lupines to put in my bouquet. He takes a few more while I make it, wrapping it with ribbon and sticking it with pins. OF’s mom asks if I would like a piece of quiche. I eat the quiche in intermittent bites while finishing up my bouquet and I can’t remember if I eat the whole piece. Probably not.

The bouquet finished and the mess cleaned up, the photographer heads back over to the rental house. My phone rings; it is my cousin who tells me that her husband and my other cousin’s boyfriend are at BevMo to pick up our keg and it hasn’t been paid for yet. Doh! Despite telling myself that I’d remember to call at 9 AM to make sure they wouldn’t have any problems when they picked it up, it has completely slipped my mind. I call BevMo right away and ask to speak to the manager with whom I have arranged this transaction earlier in the week, give her the credit card information, and everything is OK. For some reason, they won’t accept payment in advance or allow people from out of state to pick up kegs so it had to be a local picking it up, and my cousin lives in Santa Rosa. I start to put on my makeup and my mom shows up. She takes a photo of me in my bra which we both find amusing. I finish putting on my makeup and hastily paint a coat of the green nail polish I’ve been saving for today over the polish I already have on my toes, since I don’t have time to remove what’s there or give myself a true pedicure. I’d originially intended to do it the night before, but never found the time.

My sisters arrive and start to get dressed. Both have purchased, as they call them, “plastic boobies,” stick-on bras. I was hoping that they could get away with wearing no bras at all, but at least they didn’t have to pay for the dresses. I tie Lissa’s dress and tie Laurel’s dress. They take pictures of me in my bra and underwear. We all laugh some. The photographer comes back just as they start helping me into my dress, OF and Lissa working on the lacing, Laurel painting my fingernails and helping me into my shoes. I am annoyed at myself; I had intended to put my shoes on first so nobody had to help me, but of course, I forgot. The photographer tells me that Dan is there, hiding in the downstairs part of the house, waiting for me so we can do “first look” photos. In a few minutes I’m ready. I feel as though this is the least amount of time I’ve ever had to get ready for any event, as I put on my makeup in about two minutes. The bumps are as bumpy and red as ever; I hope that the photographer is able to work some magic with photoshop. I forget to put on the earrings I’ve borrowed from my mom. I put on the necklace Julie has made for me from the green pearls I got in China. Because I am thinking about it and my purse is there, I write out a check for the photographer.

Later, I will realize that I have left a whole mess of stuff at OF’s parents house. They are kind enough to pack up all my clothes, toiletries, makeup, and sundries, plus stuff my sisters have left behind, and deliver the bags to my mom later in the afternoon.

Dan is waiting on the back deck, gorgeous view of the valley behind him. From the back, he looks great in his kilt. I tiptoe over to where he is standing and wrap my arms around him. I forget that the photographer is there taking pictures of us, I just enjoy seeing Dan look so smashing. He looks pretty googly-eyed at me, too. Our original plan had been to walk down to the club together, but we’re running low on time, and it’s also pretty chilly, so instead when my mom and her friend come back from helping set up at the club (which I have no idea they are doing until later – and apparently my mom’s friend mopped up a bunch of water still on the ground from the storm the night before), they offer to drive us down instead. I pile myself and my dress in to the front seat, along with the flamin’ chucks I plan to wear in a few photos, while Dan and my mom get in the back, and in just a couple of minutes we are there. So are a ton of other people, and the tent is starting to look great. People are hanging twinkly lights and cranes, the tables have their table name cards and the snars and the flowers. One person I don’t recognize until she turns around; it is Laurel’s best friend, who has recently become a brunette (she’s a natural blonde). The caterers tell us that the bathrooms haven’t been unlocked. Dan sends someone up to get the keys from the rental house, and to get my green scarf from the car. Simon gives my my “something borrowed,” a kickass purple and black garter with skulls on it.

The PA system and the benches are set up down on the beach. I don’t know who does this, only that the tasks are done. I tell my sisters and QIR where to find their bouquets, or maybe I show them which one is for which person, I don’t really remember. I hand out the corsages I’ve made for our readers, our moms, and Leah, which I’d put pins in the night before. I give the bouts to someone and direct them to put them on the appropriate guys, but there are no pins in them. OF drives Leah & Simon’s car up to her mom’s house to get the extra pins. The pins arrive; the bouts are pinned on, everything is ready to go.

We’re almost ready for photos, and more people are starting to arrive. Laurel starts following me, holding up my dress. It is cold and still a little damp; the tissue paper pompoms are all somewhat wilty. The keys return, are used to unlock the bathrooms, and I get my green scarf. We all head down to the beach for posed photos: bridal party, the guys, the girls, the families. Lissa’s got a few photos she wants the photographer to take, and I have no problem with her helping direct things. Bequi acts as photographer’s assistant; I am told that she gave him a few good reasons why she’d be good at people wrangling. She holds the list of the posed shots we’d asked for. Some of the photos include us walking out onto a really wobbly dock and playing on a playground.

We’re finally finished with the photos, and more people arrive. I hug lots of people and greet others and am kind of agog that so many people are there to see us get married. It’s more than a little overwhelming.

Weeks beforehand, I’d asked my friend Joey, a confirmed attendee, if he would videotape the ceremony for Dan’s grandma – he used to do a lot of videotaping and moviemaking in high school, so I trust his abilities. It’s getting later, and more people are showing up, but Joey still hasn’t arrived. We need to start the ceremony, and the only person I can think of who isn’t in the wedding party or a family member and happens to be someone I can trust and is also nearby is my friend the Irish German. I ask if he’ll be so kind as to press record on the videocamera, as we have that and the tripod ready to go. It’s the last minute, but he kindly obliges. I feel terrible but I know it needs to be done and don’t have time to think of someone else to ask. I look across the parking lot and see two people I don’t recognize walking toward the club. It isn’t until they get really close that I realize it’s an old friend of my mom’s and her boyfriend, who I’ve never met, and who has a long white beard. Joey never shows up, and never returns my message when I call him the next day.

The guys gather on one side of the assembled group, near the playground, and the girls gather on the other side, by the boats. Laurel’s boyfriend starts the processional, Mark Motherspaugh’s Canon from the Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack, and Lissa’s fiance walks my mom down the aisle. EEK follows them and stands at the front. The guys walk in from the left side. It’s time to go.

Thanks to Curtis, Lissa, Katherine, and my mom for the photos