So Chris' wedding was yesterday. And it was a whole truck load of a wide variety of awesomes. We'll start with Thursday night. Thursday was the rehearsal day. There was a whole lot of rushing and freaking by the groom, but he was getting married the next day. It's ok. But we had to pack everything up because we were going to stay over in Durham for the night. Which meant even more packing for Chris since he was going to be off to the honeymoon after the wedding. There was a minor issue with my tux, but we were able to get it resolved, no muss, no fuss. We then proceeded to check in at the Embassy Suites on Harrison Ave in Cary (OMFG!) and chill for a bit before heading off to the rehearsal. Of course, in one of several flights of intelligence by the Wagner House, the rehearsal was scheduled for 6PM. Which meant we had to fight rush hour traffic all the way to the rehearsal. So arriving a full 45 minutes late (but only minutes behind the bridal party) we start the rehearsal and we're all done in a matter of, roughly, 20 minutes. Then we all convoy out to Chris' dad's church where we have the rehearsal dinner, which was a lovely all-you-can-eat Italian affair. Chicken marsala, spaghetti, lasagna, and baked ziti chicken alfredo with breadsticks and salad with eclairs and cheesecake for desert. I ate myself stupid since all I had to eat the whole day was lunch at Red Robin around noon. And we had done a whole lot of running around all day to be eating at 8PM. There were a lot of silly and meaningful toasts made, a bonding of the two families, and an all-around good time. We go back to the hotel and chill for a few minutes then hit the 24 hour pool area. I should mention a few of the things that made me love the Embassy Suites real quick. First off, Chris' rate, thanks to the military discount was only $85 for a suite with a fold-out and two queen size beds. And the room was bloody huge. Before heading to the rehearsal we chilled out in the atrium at the entrance and heart of the hotel. The place itself is 9 stories tall. And the atrium was just awesome. Gorgeous with plush chairs and all that. But from 5:30-7:30 they had a complimentary snack bar with the option of a single complimentary drink. Awesome. I had a vodka and sprite, a nice little treat after a day of rushing like maniacs all day. Not top-shelf vodka by any means, but it was nice drink. But back to the pool. Now, for the Ren-Faire season, we stay at a place called the Country Suites. Why? Because Chris refuses to camp, I'm a creature of comforts, and the idea of trying to keep control of 9 teenagers on a campsite is just lame. This place has been very good to us over the years. Its rooms aren't quite as nice. And their pool is always too warm, the hot tob way too hot (even for me) and far too heavily chlorinated, and the whole room poorly ventilated. The Embassy, however, had a hot tub that was perfect in temperature and chlorine levels. The room was well ventilated, keeping ambient chlorine to a minimum and the pool was actually cool, as opposed to the temperature of tepid bath water. Needless to say, we were there for a while before heading to bed.
The next day we got up early and dropped down to the atrium again for the complimentary breakfast. Omelettes to order, with scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage, grits, cheese and pancakes all hot and fresh, with the usual array of oatmeal and cold cereals, milk and juices. I loves me a hot breakfast, and free is even better. After that, we go back upstairs to chill for a few more hours until Wes arrived to escort us to Crabtree mall (to pick up my tuxedo jacket) and then off to the venue. We arrived on time, much to the shock of ourselves and everyone us and proceeded to change into the monkey suits, which were very nice. Crevat and full vest, no cheesy half vests and dinky bow ties, and all in black with the white shirt and silver cufflinks. Very smashing. And then we wait. And then we came to find out that our venue had planned a wedding for the next day, and a rehearsal for the SAME TIME as the wedding. Wow. Brilliance. I'm none too impressed with the Wagner House. Goes back to the planning stages were they made us use their caterer, informed us that there would be no bringing of the alcohol, so we had to pay even more for them to get mead for us. Most of the wedding guests were rennies which meant that there were a lot of mead lovers in the crowd and we wanted it there for them. Most of the non-rennies also grew to love the fermented honey drink as well! But the rehearsal was a minor inconvenience and outside, while we were all inside. The wedding itself was actually a little delayed, but this is Lani we're talking about. It always takes her forever to get ready for anything. But I say that in the kindest way I can. She's family now and all. In a way, it was kinda comforting that she was delayed. A sense of normalcy being lent to the whole affair. And then the wedding. Lani was, of course, gorgeous. Chris got choked up during his vows. Lani got choked up during her vows. All the bride's maids were choked up the whole time. Y'know, normal wedding stuff. Lani had picked out nice black dresses for the girls to wear that they would be able to wear out somewhere else, if the evening called for a semi-formal dress. Lani can be practical sometimes. And the pastor kept the sermon fairly short, amazing for a Southern Baptist if you ask me, which was a true blessing since the shoes that came with the tux were horrrrrrrrible affronts to the very nature of foot wear. The ceremony was short and very sweet, with the both of them reciting their own vows, tears all the way. And that was the awesome part. See, we had booked the place from 4PM until 11PM. The wedding? Took maybe 20 minutes. Even given the late start that left us with over 6 hours to par-tay! The rest of the wedding photos were shot, we sat down, we ate (fabulous!), then off to the cake cutting. In the end I got promoted to Best Man pro temp, as Chris' dad wanted to sit with his wife instead of at the wedding party table. And he had also, it seemed, abdicated the Best Man's toast as well. Yay? But it was alright. I didn't have anything planned, really, but I had some heartfelt things I had to say, and I kept it short and to the point, but that's just me. The Maid(s) of Honor had wrtten things to say (more tears!) and then the cake cutting. No smashing, but there was a Lilliana moment of drawing on each other's faces with icing, which was adorable. And then! Then the dancing! Oh my, the dancing. At that point I had changed into my kilt and the short jacket. Let me sidetrack again for a moment. Originally, Chris had asked me to wear the kilt to his wedding. I was, of course, thrilled to do so, because I love breaking out the kilt. But then Lani didn't like the idea. Then she did, then she didn't again. Which, ultimately, was no big deal. So we called and had my tuxedo order changed. Only when we went to the mall on Thursday (Greensboro) to pick up the tuxes, they had left the waist-length jacket, but had given me pants. Huh. So they called and had the Crabtree store reserve a long coat like the others had to be picked up on the way to the wedding. But what that did mean is that as soon as the rest of the wedding pictures were taken, I changed out of the pants and into the kilt and kilt hose and tossed on the short jacket and looked fabulous again. So I spent the next many hours making an absolute fool of myself on the dance floor in my kilt. There was a Lady's Choice dance which I got "dragged" out for by Rayne. I danced with Chrissy during the first dance, being the lovely lady I was paired with in the wedding party. I danced a bit with Lolly, our queen from CRF and Heather, of course. Then came the tossing of the bouquet. Which was, of course, a full contact event with a tumble on the floor and a chase scene. Ashley, a long time mutual friend of everyone, caught the bouquet. And then the garter. It amazes me how many weddings I go to where the groom overestimates the elasticity of the garter. It fell short. Which I then (I'd consumed at least a full bottle's worth of mead by then) threw myself on to save the rest of the groomsmen from a fate worse then death. Did I mention the making a fool of myself all night long part? The surprise for me, though, was the rarely seen tradition of the man who catches the garter sliding it onto the leg of the lady that caught the garter. It was a very nice surprise for me, since Ashley has very nice legs. And it was very nice to be able to slide it up dangerously high on her thigh. Very nice. But then the more dancing. Ashley dragged me out on the floor a couple of times, as did Rayne and others a couple of more times during the night. That was all interspersed with general hanging out with a bunch of really awesome people I don't get to see as much as I'd like, including my brother. Pictures were taken, but not by me. I'll post the ones I can as soon as I get them. All in all, it was just a really awesome time. I haven't had that much fun in what seems like ages. And this year's renaissance festival was awesome, so that's saying a lot. I hate that some people didn't make it, but in the end, it kinda worked out.
you are so beautiful, to me