And the countdown hits 12 hours... While showing my blog to a friend, my dad met an incredulous and horrified "you're not going to wear crazy socks to the wedding are you??" He took it as a crackingly spiffy suggestion, and started pondering aloud where on earth he might find bright socks for men (naturally this is my father, so he began with the assumption that one could never find such things). After escaping from my pedicure, (no criminal charges have been brought and all weird black toenails are now prettied up with polish like a bow on a warthog), I offered to take him to MOD SOCKS, the Bellingham sock palace. His vim extended behind his own feet, soon to incorporate my aunts (whose socks he proclaimed "NOT CRAZY ENOUGH"), my nephews (in absentia), and my brother-in-law, Ryan. My sister put her foot down firmly enough to resist being besocked, but my Dad made up for that by buying two pairs for Ryan.
But see, he had to buy two, because one pair showed a burly muscle man, which reflected his love of Crossfit, an the second pair showed hamburgers and fries, which reflected his love of binging on fast food! My Dad has mandated that he shall always wear one of each pair to reflect this balance. Since Andrew and I already have socks set out for the big day, I let him buy us honeymoon socks. And I most definitely let him give me all those socks on my punch card. I am now eligible for a free pair of socks the next time I go in! Quite the satisfying sock binge, and I'm glad to have infected my family for a day.
After a quick rehabilitative cross word and stare, a start which was delightfully interrupted by a cameo appearance by MY LUVAAAAAAH (few hours left, so got to milk that!), I was appropriately geared up for the oncoming party!
The non-rehearsal dinner was like a long extended game of "sort the group into groom's family, bride's family, and friends." My father vociferously insisted it is far harder on the bride's side of the family since obviously my sister and I look NOTHING alike and, I'm not sure if he is still insisting this, I look NOTHING like he does (these are inaccurate statements). Molly, coddling her baby, was briefly mistaken for the bride by a photographer from the (thank goodness) groom's side of the guest list. I met a number of new in-laws, some of whom had already met Ryan on the plane a few days earlier. And waived hastily at a few more people who were a bit more intimately involved in the throwing of the party.
I saw a lot of great people, although as is typical of these events, didn't have much time to satisfyingly talk with any of them amid the noise. Sometimes I feel like parties are sort of like just pushing "preview all" on the amazon mp3 sale page instead of listening to the entirety of any one or two of your favorite songs on that album. I keep settling into one conversation, while being unable to wonder about five other conversations going on between favorite people who may never have met before. Makes it hard to focus on any single interaction and always makes me wish I could pause the action and unfreeze each group at a time for my full participation. But I've learned to think of these micro-connections as samples stolen from a chocolate shop (meant to be savored and only metaphorically drooled all over), and appreciate the little bursts of conversational sapor.
I was happy enough to make my circles on a timed schedule between the beginning-middle-end, and settle in for dinner by Mr. (W)right and Molly-Marcus-Emma... and some extended future in-laws of the appropriately colorful ilk. Aside from Andrew's cousin attempting to abscond with Emma several times and maybe sticking her finger in the baby's mouth (because, why not, I guess!), and aside from a few narrowly avoided shotages (thank goodness my father seems to always stock back up party supplies in his closet - I don't ask), it worked very well. And I'm happy to report, Ryan liked his socks.
And now we're down to the big event.. I'm starting it off with a spa morning with mom and sis. Yep, we did pedicures yesterday and now it's off to the spa. I may turn into a girl yet. I'm sneaking in a secret lunch with MY LUVAAAH for the short time he remains so, and then Zach, brother in law two, will be photographing us for our officialish wedding photos. Zach definitely scored extra BIL points for a very sweet speech last night during the compulsory toasting section - lesson learned by family members was basically the same lesson learned by students all across law schools: don't move, don't make eye contact, and don't look too uncomfortable, or you will get called on. will be taking some photos of us. I hear relatives will want to see the house. Somewhere between all that, I'll be shuttling around about four locations where various wedding party necessities have been laid out. This will hopefully culminate in a complete set of clothes/music/contracts/vows/pens/rings/dance-shoes/guests/food... but let's not be ambitious, here. We'll just rewrite our contract on posterboard with the markers I bought!
Still on Honeymoon - Shhhh I'm not really here and will catch up soon. But I'll say this: (1) It was exactly what we wanted; (3) It was pouring down rain and apparently some kind of astrologically lucky day, so I'd say our marriage is triply blessed; (4) I am, indeed, now, Ms. (W)right!
It was a nice day for a (W)right wedding... followed by an equally nice day of mini-honeymooning. As I've alluded to, the wedding was perfect(ly us anyways). As all things should, it started with a dance lesson and people bringing food. Just as promised, I had no chance to taste any of it, other than ten handfuls of veggies and some chocolate covered strawberries that people kept bringing to me. It looked like some really good dishes, and many sneaky guests cleverly brought us food in wedding gifts of the serving and cooking ware variety. Some less sneaky guests just went ahead and brought us gifts, but the cool thing about our no gift policy was that it meant we only got really personalized and thoughtful gifts (many of them hand made or just so us they had to be given)... and money. We got a good amount of money to blow on filling out the rest of our new housing situation.
But oh the awesomeness of the food. There were fancy beautiful dishes, chocolate covered strawberries, appetizers, hot foods, cold salads, seaweed salads, oreo ice cream cakes and - to peak off a perfect wedding table Penny made the long-threatened doll cake!!
Which shall be saved in our freezer, as is customary, until our first anniversary. Of course, Barbie didn't quite fit upright in the freezer, so she's now wrapped next to the cake in some sort of culinary morgue scene that may some day make guests uncomfortable to happen upon... possibly. But, seriously, DOLL CAKE!
The ceremony happened with minimal hitch aside from the getting-hitched part. Our officiant, Deborra, got lost on her way there, so she arrived with about five minutes to spare. I certainly had a moment's that that we might have to just ask if there was a judge or reverend in the house. Fortunately, any anxiety about such things was interrupted severely by the twenty or so people wanting to talk to me at any given time, and my determination to continue grabbing handfuls of vegetables before I would not longer be able to eat.
There was indeed an official signing of our contract with each other. Each of the ten "vows" were - to the amusement of many - initialed by us as we read them to each other, and signed again at the end. I am told some tables were using our vows as a score card of their own marriages. Maybe we should have had a contest where the highest marks of a collective table wins an extra cake.
After fishing our besties of witnessing honor out of the crowds with the rings, Andrew explained why we had chosen cobalt steel rings to much applause and nerdiness. Rings were placed on fingers and a stray misty front moved about between premature kisses between the happy couple. Deborra did her magical officiant thing, and we stomped on a light bulb. After Deborra pronounced us MOA (married on arrival), then we brought our families out to watch us sign the actual wedding certificate, while a friend of ours played Milonga Sentimental on her harp. When it was done, I announced to the world that I was now officially MS. (W)right! and every one clapped and hugged. Then, Andrew's Aunt Charlotte brought challa bread specially made from New Jersey, blessed it, and shared it with the room. Then we got to our first dances (which were too fabulous for words), and general dancing to my music my way all night long, baby.
It was a complete blur and no doubt instructive to many who had no idea about the whole gregarious outgoing introvert experience. I was definitely in full me mode in a way I suspect most of my in-laws had never imagined before. Hope I didn't scare any one.
It was certainly an evening of multiple waylays en route anywhere. I think I filled up six glasses of sprite or water for myself and never managed to drink (or relocated) a single one. Just crossing a room to get to the bathroom seemed to take about forty minutes. I am so glad that I had control of the music and managed to cherry pick my partners all night long. To my utter delight, we completely subverted the old paradigm and were probably the last people at the wedding, after all the non-helper guests cleared out.
To our excitement, the evening ended with discovering the devilish decoration job my aunties did to Andrew's car and the splendid socks our family sported.
I am so touched and grateful for how much our families put into making this run smoothly for us. Andrew and I basically got to have fun the entire evening and then pack up our gifts, abscond and collapse... in our fancy pants spa hotel room Honeymoon Suite!
Our mini-moon was at The Chrysalis Inn and Spa. It included many activities such as (1) eating - in my case almost an entire left over veggie platter for 8-12 people, and in Andrew's just going to the restaurant (where he duly passed out waiting for his meals):
(2) saying "wow, we're married" and then giggling a lot, (3) hitting our new steel wedding bands together in lieu of high fiving,
(4) writing thank you cards and tearing through cards and gifts, (6) getting massages (ooooh so amazing), (7) attempting to try the deluxe jacuzzi tub and realizing that no matter the size we're really not quite tub people. I enjoyed the fact that it was large enough for me, but Andrew was a little uncomfortable with the weightlessness and never looked quite comfy. We called it good after a brief obligatory soak and headed towards the highly appreciated double shower heads instead.
This morning, it's back to some form of reality, except whoa I'm married... weird! How did that happen? But moving is fast approaching, so Andrew's back to shuttling back and forth between homesteads and I'm escaping the mess of my apartment at work. I am wearing days old clothes and a t-shirt that says Andrew on the back (apparently when I said I'd take his name, I meant it more literally than I imagined!)
It's so strange to be married all of a sudden (or, well, after a year of planning). I spent much of my life knowing that I was statistically likely to get married but not really believing this. I was so awfully fond of my independence and never really clicked with anybody in a way that would ever make me think death-do-us-parting would be at all a sane or interesting idea. At least that was true before my particular Mr. (W)right happened along. Of course in many ways, not much has changed for us in day to day life. Yes, I am now the first person to get consulted about pulling the plug if Andrew's unconscious, and yes breaking up will now suddenly be a lot harder and more expensive to do... but we would live together and plan future together with a piece of paper or not. Still, it makes it easier, and it's just an awesome thing to be able to have a party centered around the fact that you really love somebody and want to be with them. I think there should be friend marriages and family marriages too!