EDITED TO ADD: Anne, our Kickass Wedding Photographer, has sent along some early photos to illustrate some of what I've written about. Love her!
I didn't leave much up to chance. Everything was planned, delegated and communicated. The one thing we couldn't control was the weather, and that was the one factor I simply offered up to chance and wishfulness.
Is it turned out, we had absolutely perfect weather on our wedding day. We had thunderstorms the day before and the day after (more on that in The Honeymoon, Part One), but Saturday, August 9th dawned with low humidity and highs in the upper 70s (unbelievable for August where I grew up.)
Everything pretty much unfolded according to plan, minus the non-arrival of an important floral arrangement from a different service than the regular wedding florist. I was really grateful and lucky, however, that my bridal ninjas just hopped to it and came up with a lovely substitute in record time. Only Jo is pictured here, but at least half a dozen ninjas rocked this out, including the Honorary Parent Ninjas who had fresh rosemary growing in their garden...
The photographer, videographer and hair/makeup lady all showed up at the same time, followed roses and calla lillies from Joel with this quote: "We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours ... we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." Perfect. I grinned until it hurt.
My mom arrived with lunch; my mother-in-law showed up with a new charm on her Charm Bracelet of Important Life Events to represent me.
My mom cried when she saw it.
We all hugged, like you do, and ate subs from Subway. (Remember when I worked at Subway? Oh, we didn't know each other then? Well, I used to work at Subway. God, that sucked.)
Before I knew it, we were off to the gardens to get dressed, and I was jumping into my fat relocation undergarments. No, really. I actually had to jump around while Kelly held onto the boob cups in place just to get the scary rubber corset from the Land Of Torture and Beige on correctly.
Kel, holding onto the waistband of my Spanx bicycle shorts: "It was worth the cost of airfare just for this."
I got dressed with help from my mom, Kelly, Amanda, Sarah, Jo and Bella, who, being a dog, did more running around and eyeing her flower collar with suspicion out of the corner of her eye than helping.
My dad popped his head in, calling "Man in the Hall!" (Announcing "Man in the hall!" was required in the 70s when men visited the women's dorms, and the habit stuck around while raising daughters. I think? Or maybe it's just my dad?)
Anyway, he gave me a big hug, and Jo walked me out to the Japanese Garden where Joel and I saw each other in a private (but documented) Magic Moment.
This memory is a bit tender, blurry and romantic, but I do remember Melissa, our Kickass Videographer, skillfully laying the smack down on some meandering tourists right before I saw him. (Thank you.) Joel and I kissed and practiced our first dance (again) on the bridge.
The song from Juno that goes, "I'm sticking with you/ Cause I'm made out of glue" was running through my head, and I started singing it out loud (and off-key) without realizing that I'm sure it's all caught on videotape. FAN-tastic.
We got all the bridal portraits taken before the ceremony.
You know how they say doctors make the worst patients? Yeah. See, when I'm shooting a wedding, I can whip through posed portraits pretty efficiently provided that everyone who is supposed to be in the pictures sticks around. I've been known to tap dance on a tree stump, give simultaneous directions in Spanish and English, politely back down power-hungry church ladies, work with a Japanese interpreter and stomp around in a tropical storm wearing galoshes and a poncho with plastic held in place over my camera with a ponytail holder. (Never at the same time, though.)
When it came to posing for MY wedding pictures, Anne was incredibly patient as I alternated between capably directing groups of people for posed portraits and confusedly fighting with a cathedral-length veil, borrowed from my sister just for pictures.
Anne: If you run over there and spin around with the veil, good things will happen.
Me: Oh! Okay!
Anne: No, Joel is supposed to spin YOU.
Me: Oh... Whuh?
Joel: We're doing it wrong.
Me: (meekly) My name is Herman.
Anne looks around for wrapped wedding gifts resembling kitchen knives, contemplates killing herself in the ladies room. (I kid! I kid!)
EDITED TO ADD: This is what Anne sent me of us with the veil. Damn, she's good.
Time 'Til We Went Down the Aisle... 1 hour and counting down