Memories Continue to Grow Into Beautiful Things
Day Before the Wedding
I first remember the day before the wedding. One last rush of stupid wedding planning stress (the kind of thing that's been happening for 15 months, only intensified) and, finally, we simply leave it to other people's hands. Christy and I go to the rehearsal and see all sorts of friends, ranging from middle school friends to grad school friends to siblings. It is so awesome to see all our friends who didn't know each other conversing and gathering to celebrate with us.
I remember the rehearsal dinner. An inordinate amount of the toasts concerning me mention me playing air guitar. There is nothing wrong with that. Christy and I are often described as "authentic." I am very, very flattered and touched. I discover that my cousin, Jayme Terrell (the only person allowed to call me "Benjy", the name I stopped using in 6th grade), does indeed have an Internet Movie Database Profile. She has acted in a low budget film with Martin Sheen's younger brother.
I remember the post-rehearsal dinner party, a wild affair where the chocolate fondue flowed freely. Actually, it was the only event of the weekend with a fair amount of alcohol. The bridesmaids, groomsmen, and my cousins gathered for some music (in the form of Mike and Jeff playing guitar leading us in cover songs), fondue, and Truth or Dare (relatively tame version). Best T or D moments: Dan Ortiz walking like a chicken/barking like a dog. Christy's coincidentally named bridesmaid, Elizabeth Stark, (no relation) got dared to sing "I'm a Little Teapot" complete with all the hand motions. Elizabeth is a kindergarten teacher and she went into Full Teacher Mode and somehow got the entire room to sing and do the motions with her. It's scary what power kindergarten teachers have. Eventually, we got security called on us and the party disbursed.
And some point in this blog post I went from present tense to past tense.
I remember waking up and getting a free breakfast from the Embassy Suites where we were staying. I ran into Christy, but couldn't stay with her because - y'know....that whole dress thing.
I remember putting on the tux and hurrying down to the church. I met Jeff (finally blogging again - good man!) in the parking lot. I had asked him to buy some food for starving groomsmen and bridesmaids, so we carried it into the church together.
After that, I remember a whirlwind of getting pictures taken in the sweltering August-in-Nashville heat.....of sitting around doing nothing.....of chatting about music, law, and politics with Mike and Jeff................of discussing with Kenny how neither of us were very nervous before our weddings (he got married in May), no matter how many times people asked us if we were.
I remember seeing Christy for the first time in her dress. We didn't do the traditional "don't see her until the wedding" thing. But we did set aside a special moment for us to see each other for the first time with just us (okay....us and the videographer and photographer) meeting at the altar of the church. Christy was crying and singing hymns to herself. We rushed to each other and embraced, like something out of a cheesy romance novel. She looked absolutely beautiful in a way that.............well, words are a meager measure of her beauty. She took my breath away.
I remember the wedding itself only in bits and pieces. That's why we have a videographer. I do remember how unreasonably cute my nieces were as flower girls. I remember the pastor, Carter Crenshaw, said some very wise words...none of which I remember at the moment. Bradley Metrock and Becca Gartrell sang songs for us. Poor Jen Weller, a bridesmaid, fainted...but Simon Weller was there for her in a husbandly flash and she was alright....more embarrassed and concerned that she might have messed up the wedding than anything else. Jeff- the King of Smooth - moved off to the side during the recessional so as not to walk alone and draw attention to Jen's absence.
The bridesmaids had quite a time trying to stuff Christy AND her dress (yes, it was still on her) in my car to drive to the reception. We didn't bother with the whole limo thing.
I remember the reception kicked ass. Let's just bullet point my favorite moments in random order.
- Singing the Everclear version of "Brown Eyed Girl" with Jeff, both of us playing air guitar.
- The garter toss to all of 3 single guys: David Jetter, Jacob Grier, and Mike. Dan Ortiz (par for the course for Dan) misses the entire thing because he's in another room answering his cell phone. I don't remember who got the garter (I think David) but I do remember all 3 of them proceeding to tackle me. When asked "why?" they shrug.
- David Jetter and Becca Gartrell cutting up the dance floor.
- My parents (!) cutting up the dance floor.
- Yes, dammit, we did the chicken dance.
- Talking to lots of friends, most of whom I didn't get to talk to nearly enough.
- Giving my grandparents the wedding bouquet in honor of their 60th (!) wedding anniversary.
- Giving Chris and Monica Raab Burger King crowns in honor of their choosing to come to our wedding on the exact date of their 1st wedding anniversary. (Hey man, we've only got one bouquet and I was out of ideas!)
- My nieces continuing to be unreasonably cute during the dances.
- Everybody on the freakin' dance floor doing the Electric Slide better than Christy and me.
- Running the gauntlet of bubbles up to a glass elevator to take us to our wedding night.
After the Wedding
The day after the wedding, many members of the family and wedding party gathered at Ellendale's for the best omelets in America. I can't believe I lived in Nashville for 4 years and never went to this place. After this farewell brunch (and 5 more hours of packing and reminding each other that we were married) it was off to the honeymoon in lovely Navarre, Florida (population: tourists and beach bums).
- Jet-skiing. The best part was going 40 mph with the wind in our faces.
- Going to a waterslide park
- Picnics on the beach
- Collecting sea-shells
- Watched 3 movies: Brick, Secondhand Lions, and Jurassic Park. Go see Brick if you consider yourself a lover of film. Go see Secondhand Lions if you are sentimental like me. If you haven't already seen Jurassic Park there's no hope for you.
- Hibachi restaurant followed by kareoke.
- The best damn ribs I've ever tasted at this tiny little joint called The Rib Shack. They also make good banana pudding.
- Just being with Christy.
But it was wonderful to see so many of you. There is no measurement for how much you all rock!