Monday, June 30, 2014

My Wedding: The Rehearsal

[This post is part 1 of a multi-part series about my wedding. You can read about the morning of the wedding here, the wedding itself here, and the honeymoon here.]

There is just so much to tell about my wedding and honeymoon that I'm going to have to split it up into multiple blog posts in order to do it justice. With this post I will tell you all about the day before the big day.

Friday morning, just after I awoke, I turned to the girl next to me and instinctively held her close. A moment after the haze of morning cleared my head, I had a realization that filled my heart with glee; it was the last day I would spend as a single man. It was the day before the biggest day. Excited, I held her even tighter against me, feeling the warmth of her body mix with mine, and whispered "we're getting married tomorrow."

It was a time to celebrate, even if there was no time to do so. We had breakfast while we watched the news together (to ensure that Saturday would be warm with clear skies), showered, got dressed, then immediately set out on packing for our stay that night at the hotel where we were to be wed. I found packing for that night less complicated than packing for a week-long honeymoon, but a bit more stressful. Thinking ahead for a week while not accidentally packing something I'll need tomorrow I've done before, but packing everything I'll need for my wedding weekend had me worried at every turn that I'd forgotten some vital thing and not be able to send for it when needed.

After calming down enough to complete the packing, there were errands to run such as getting a few snacks and, more importantly, the roses that we would present to our parents during the ceremony. Eagerly I made an announcement on Facebook that there was only one day left and that I would be Tweeting updates throughout the weekend if I found time to do so. Before 1:00pm we were out the door.
Tweet: Just left the apartment to run errands and check in to the hotel. Hope we didn't forget anything.
Tweet: Did I pack my underwear?
The errands went smoothly at first, until we were to meet her parents (and my to-be in-laws) at their house to go to the hotel together. We ran into four different road blocks on our way; construction, a police-blocked intersection, a truck double-parked on a street only wide enough for two cars, and two women standing in the middle of an intersection having a chat (a good way to get run-over, and they stayed in the street after barely moving out of our way).
Tweet: The road was blocked in 4 different places. We're on a mission, people!
Somehow we arrived early, which gave me time to eat some lunch and tweet how I felt at the time. There was no panic or fear; I was about to get married to the girl I'd been with for over six years and living with for three, what is there to fear about being married to your best friend?
Tweet: Movies make it seem like I should be worried about getting married, but this feels like the easiest choice I've ever made!
We all hit the road and headed to the hotel. Check-in time was fast approaching, and we needed all the time we could get to unpack and hopefully be able to set up some of the decorations. Excitement and anticipation hung thick in the air, especially when we saw the governor's suite room that my to-be in-laws were using as a sort of base of operations for the weekend. As should be expected, my bride-to-be was served at bent knee and kept out of the way of anything that might harm her. This included, apparently, her matron of honor wheeling her around on the Bellman Cart we borrowed from the hotel:
A tweet showing my wife on a dolly getting pushed by her matron of honor.
Fun was had, but it was time for business. We talked to the wedding planner who informed us that she was so confident in clear skies that we were allowed to set up for our reception in the pavilion right then and there rather than having to try to fit it into the morning of.
Tweet: Sweet! The pavillion is ready for us to set up today instead of tomorrow!
The space looked beautiful even with almost none of the decorations up. The hotel staff were nice enough to set up the tables and chairs complete with covers and table runner, as well as the leafy-burlap that hung from the head table where I would eventually sit. Seeing the space was the first time that it really struck me what was going on. I was about to get married!
The pavillion ready for us to set up
After putting up as many of the decorations that we could (just about all of which were homemade), it was time to go rehearse and then have dinner.We all went to our separate rooms, and I was faced with the difficult task of picking which of the two ties I had brought to wear that night. Thankfully I was in a room with both my groomsmen and one of our gatekeepers, so I asked their advice, and chose the blue, patterned one over the grey, plain one.
Tweet: Just had a broment picking out a tie.
We made our way to the gazebo to quickly practice our moves twice, and again I was struck by the sheer beauty of the space at which we were to be wed. It was even better than I remembered; it was perfect.
Image of the gazebo where we were to be married!
And, of course, my bride-to-be looked absolutely stunning in the dress she'd picked just for that night, and it turned out to be a wise decision that I went with the blue tie. We had our families take a handful of photos of us before we made our way to the rehearsal dinner.
A photo of my wife and I the day before our wedding
Tweet: Just finished the rehearsal. Our wedding space is beautiful!
When we arrived at the location of our rehearsal dinner (the nice restaurant inside the hotel), we were surprised to find that they'd reserved three large circular tables for us in the conference/ballroom across the hall from the actual restaurant. It was odd, because the three tables (which seated a few more people than we actually brought) were spaced apart. At first we tried to work with it; picking one of the three tables with whomever we preferred to sit with, but it didn't feel right. Here we were; about to celebrate the joining of two families and sitting at separate tables! Luckily the waitresses didn't have a problem with us bringing all three tables together, and the night continued.

My wife-to-be and I thanked everybody for coming then handed out our wedding party's gifts. My best man got a glass beer stein etched with his initials large on one side and "BMF" small on the other (which stands either for "Best Man Forever," or perhaps is a reference to a certain Tarantino movie) with a modest bottle of cider ale. My groomsman (and brother) got a glass coffee mug with his initials etched large on one side and "BRO" small on the other (which stands for, of course, "brother") with a few packets of assorted coffee.

Both of the matrons-of-honor received matching heart-shaped jewelry boxes with a personal message inside, as well as jewelry that my wife-to-be made for them, in addition to a bottle of wine for each.

Not too long after the gifts were done, food came as well. Everything was delicious (though one or two people were disappointed with the fish they ordered), and most people ate their fill with no room for dessert.
Tweet: Rehearsal dinner was delicious! I can't believe I'm getting married tomorrow!
We continued the celebration in the governor's suite where we had drinks and snacks with even more wedding guests that had arrived at the hotel. Before I knew it, the date on my phone read "June 14th, 2014" and I knew I would be smart to call it a night. Shortly after midnight, the bridal party went their separate ways; the guys to their room and the girls to theirs, where we slept heavily until the following morning; the morning of the day I was to finally marry the love of my life.

It still hadn't registered in my head what was finally happening, yet I couldn't have been more excited.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Things Just Got Real

The fact that the wedding is fast approaching now seems more real than ever.

This past Friday, my wife-to-be and I performed our wedding dance routine for a crowd of students at the dance studio where we've been taking lessons. It went off without a hitch, and was incredibly fun! Our "routine" doesn't actually have a step-by-step plan, and is instead a collection of moves we've learned in tune to our song that we improvise by me leading her and signaling what to do next, complete with a beginning and ending. Given this, it was awesome to be able to adapt to the space we had and prove to ourselves that we could make the dance look fluid.

Then on Saturday and Sunday we were nonstop prepping for the wedding and honeymoon. We went shopping for this week's groceries, as well as for last-minute supplies for the honeymoon, and even got around to doing some packing.

I'll say it again; the fact that the wedding is fast approaching seems more real than ever. It seems to be all we talked about all weekend. We managed to carve out a bit of time to go out to lunch together, but even then the conversation barely took more than a step away from talking about the big day. We'd wake up and our first words to each other would be along the lines of "less than a week away!" and "I can't believe we're finally getting married! It's about time!" Even while we sat on the couch at night watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones, we'd occasionally look at each other, smile, cuddle even closer, and tell each other how much we love each other and how excited we are.

I think it's safe to say that this next Saturday is going to be one of the best days of my life.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Ten Days till the Wedding!

The day is getting closer! In only ten short days I'll be marrying my high school sweetheart, my college girlfriend, and best friend all wrapped up into one!

I absolutely cannot wait! Sure, there have been bumps in the road over the past six years, but I cannot think of anyone else I'd rather promise to share my life with.

I have so much more to blog about, but right now none of that seems nearly as important.