Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wedding Recap Part IV

After a small bjourning hiatus, we have collected almost all photographic records of the wedding (yes, including the much-awaited professional shots!) so I am ready to finish up the recaps.

I'll post a bunch of photos in this entry, but if you want to skip the narrative and go straight to the photos, you can find them by clicking here. We posted our favorites from both the professional batch and the ones collected from friends and family. There are many pro pics (287, to be exact), which, trust us, is just a subset of what we got. It was hard enough paring down to what you see - we still have to pick our favorite 80 for our album! Any suggestions?

Now on to the conclusion of my wedding thoughts and memories. All photos in this post are from Lee Simmons, our photographer. I believe we were last seen heading into dinner...

11. It's really difficult to eat when you're constantly grinning ear to ear. Despite swearing up and down before the wedding that I was going to eat my fill at the reception, and being ecstatic that we were able to do the "Night at the Castle" food stations (we weren't sure we'd have enough space at one point), I barely touched anything the whole night. There were too many people to hug, too many happy tears to shed, and too many songs to dance to. All accounts of dinner were highly positive - there were a lot of compliments for the cheese, the lambchops (I did have some of those, they were excellent), the risotto, the shrimp, the sushi (which got snapped up faster than tickets to a New Kids on the Block concert in 1990) and the desserts. It's no secret that food is important to us (if you don't know that, you should get the idea by reading through this bjourn), and hotel banquet food is always a bit of a gamble, so we were really glad that everyone enjoyed it. (That may be my largest regret of the whole wedding, not enjoying the food more! I can live with that.)

12. It's nice to get toasted. No, I don't mean *that* kind of toasted. I mean, it was so amazing to have people who know us so well and love us so much get up and say all sorts of nice sweet things about us. (Once again, my trepidation at being the center of attention went right out the window on the actual day.) All of the toasts were full of memories and good wishes, and they just may have brought a tear or two to my eye (who are we kidding). I think the pictures capture a lot of how we felt while we were listening to them.

Jon's toast contained some slightly scandalous but fully hilarious stories
(that's right, we were spanked for being bad as children):

and a heartfelt acceptance of Brian as his own brother:
Donald's told of contrasts between our two sibling relationships ("not so much play fighting [as Jon and I did], as Brian chasing me angrily up and down the stairs"), and how Brian had changed and opened up with his family over the course of our relationship. I was just laughing at how hard Brian was laughing the whole time:
Heather's toast was a funny reminiscence of our elementary and junior high school days together, including her brilliant turn as campaign manager in my successful run at the student council presidency (what did I do in office that year, anyway?!):

Mike talked about his friendship with Brian throughout grad school and how important it was to both of them. Hoo boy, I am getting a lump in my throat just thinking about the toasts again:
13. We successfully avoided kissing to clinking glasses. Brian and I may have disagreed on many things about the wedding, but one thing that we absolutely were in sync about was that we did not want to give in to this wedding tradition. I was worried people would be disappointed when we announced at the outset that we would not succumb, and there were a couple of respectable attempts to make us do so, but somehow we avoided it all night. It likely had a little something to do with the mad skills that Jon displayed as emcee of the evening. He creatively made everyone work for our kisses. Among other things, he had people suck on super sour candies he made magically appear, and he had one couple from each table show us how it's done.

As long as it wasn't at the clinking of glasses, we were happy to oblige:

14. All the time and effort that went into the details was worth it. At some points, planning this wedding felt like it would be my early demise. If I didn't bleed to death from a thousand x-acto knife pricks or papercuts, I thought I would surely go blind from all the time I spent on my laptop researching flower wholesalers, cardstock suppliers and labware supply stores. It might be a bit surprising to some, but I really had very few concrete ideas about the wedding itself before we got engaged (ok, yeah, except for the favors. Yes, it's true, I decided to make candles for the favors many many years ago, and as Heather said in her toast, I began stockpiling supplies as early as 2005.) So a lot of what ended up in the wedding was the result of much consideration, and even more trial and error. As the wedding neared, I also started to worry about how it would all come together - so much was done piecemeal and at a distance, I didn't know if it would truly work. And I wouldn't know, until the wedding. Yikes! But looking back on pictures like these, I would do it all over again. The scariest thing? I would probably do even more. (But only if I once again had the help of my amazing friends).

15. People dig a dancefloor. Though we don't go out dancing very often (ok, like never these days), we used to be pretty good at shaking our groove thangs at our college formals and the odd club outing. More recently, weddings seem to be the only place we really get down, and it's always so much fun because pretty much everyone can be convinced to get up and dance. In case you're trying to deny that you were there, here's some photographic evidence:

And, finally...

16. The night ended too soon, but the rest of our lives had to begin sometime... Yes, we were exhausted from a week of sleepless nights leading up to the wedding. Yes, we had been not only on our feet but also on our best behavior for 15 hours. Yes, our faces were sore from smiling, our eyes were tired from tearing, and our lips were dry from kissing(!) But if I could have, I would have willed the night to go on forever. Getting married in the midst of our friends and family was the happy culmination of not just 15 months of planning, but the last 12 years of our lives. 12 years of living apart but learning and growing together, filled with some downs but so many more ups. We had been looking forward to the celebration for so long that I wanted it to last forever, though I also knew that the wedding was just the start of things, or really, the continuation of what we had already started. May 17th, 2008 was the best day of our lives so far. But in the end, what we did on that day - marrying each other - was just setting us up for bigger and better things. The wedding may be over, but we have so much to look forward to. For the rest of our lives, we will have "best days," days that break personal records and days that compete with our memories of one amazing weekend in Banff. The very best part of it all, though, is that we will have them together...

So, dear friends and family, that ends my public recap of the wedding (because you can bet that I will relive it over and over again in my head for eternity!) Thank you for being there, whether in the flesh or through these posts. Be sure to flip through the new photos (linked again here so that you don't strain your wrist scrolling all the way to the beginning of this novel :) ) and let us know what you think. Here are a few more teasers for your viewing pleasure:

We will now return to our regularly scheduled bjourning about more normative events in our lives. OFTs, bacon, not-so-deep-thoughts and general silliness in the Windy City and beyond.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two down...

Happy two month anniversary, hubby!

Note to everyone else: We finally got our professional photos last week, and are in the process of paring them down and annotating them. So, we're looking forward to posting those, and finishing with the wedding wrap-ups so we can move on to everything else. (Yes, we've been doing OFTs lately, just haven't been writing about them!)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008