Wedding Day

The Big DayI’m finally getting to writing about the big day from my point of view.  It’s still mostly fresh in my memory, but we’ll see.  For the record, this post is probably a bit short on jokes, and long on a straight rehash of what actually went down.  Mainly, this is for me to remember in 20 years what actually went down the big day.

My best man John stayed the night with me (as Jess was staying at the Red Lion Hotel).  We had stayed up late playing video golf on the xbox and I rolled out of bed about 9am or so.  We sat around and watched a little TV and talked a bit, but then he headed off to his brother’s house (in our neighborhood) to prepare for the day.  So, I was on my own.

I can tell you this now… I was very anxious.  I wasn’t nervous, but I couldn’t sit still and couldn’t focus on anything.  I basically wandered around the empty house wondering why time was going so s-l-o-w-l-y.  Ugh, that was the worst.  After about an our of that, which felt like 5 hours, I finally decided that it was time to hit it.  I started to get ready about 10:30am and jumped in the shower.

I wasn’t in the shower 5 minutes before I heard a door close and someone shout.  Thinking it might be John, I didn’t worry about it… Until I heard doors opening and closing multiple times.  Since John would come in and park it on the couch, I knew something else was up.  So, I rush through my shower to see what was going on.  When I get out and walk into the living room I find Jess’ uncles Tom and Ron in the kitchen whipping up a storm for the brunch that was to happen on Sunday morning.

That threw me off a bit, just because I wasn’t expecting it and I have a hard time relaxing when people are in the house.  I went back into the bedroom to finish up getting ready.  Later in the day, I realized that in my haste to get dressed and see who was in the house, I neglected to put on any pit-stick.  This will come into play later…

After I was dressed and put together, I started loading up the car with all of the stuff I needed to take down to the Linen Building for the service and reception.  John rolled up and we were on the road.  I needed to find $80 in singles to use for the photo booth at the reception, so I stopped and one bank on the way, but it was closed.  No big deal, but we moved on.

Reception Room We hit the Linen Building around noon and found Jess’ dad and a few aunts and uncles around.  We put all of the tables together and and got all the various decorations out and ready.  After about 45 minutes that was finished and I needed to go check in to the Modern Hotel across the street (the Bridal Suite).  As I was doing this, my other groomsmen started showing up as we were scheduled for “guy” pictures at 1pm.

I still needed to get that cash, so I bolted out in search of a bank.  The first one I stopped at wasn’t open.  The second one was only open at the drive through and they couldn’t send that much cash through the tube.  I went to the nearby Albertsons and asked the courtesy counter if I could by the singles, and they said they didn’t have that many.  So, I had to jet 20 blocks to the nearest Albertsons with a bank inside.

I get down there and ask for the singles, and the counter lady I’m sure thought I had a stripper party that night or something.  Oh well… I also picked up some beers and cokes for the guys in the room.  I was going to stop and get something to eat along the way, but I was already 10 minutes “late” for the pictures to start in the room, so I just ran back to the suite.

I should mention, that it is already quite warm outside.  Couple that with the stress of the day and I’m sweating up a storm.

Jason's Own Wedding PicsI get back to the room and the photographer chick gets there.  She only wanted to take pictures of us after we got our pants on, so we sent her away and started our getting ready.  Eventually we call her back and she starts snapping.  Of course, we have no clue what we’re doing, and she isn’t giving much direction.  If any of those pictures turn out I’ll be amazed.

Finally, it was time for me to go meet Jess at her hotel and get going with the pictures.  I tell John that if he could have some food for me when I get back to the hotel, that would be tremendous.  Not that I’m hungry in the least, but I figured I should eat at least something.

I drive over to the hotel and have to wait outside while the photographer arranges the whole thing.  Basically, I walked into the lobby and she took me off into a side entrance area, next to some coke machines… classy.  I stood there with my back turned while she went to fetch Jess.

I should mention, that I had really no clue any of this was going to happen.  I had, at most, a vague outline of the timeline of the day but no details.

Anyway, Jess finally comes around and taps me on the shoulder and I turn around.

She was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.  Hands down.

The photog left us alone for a couple minutes to chat which was by far the best part of the day to that point.  It was a touch of normalcy in an otherwise insane day.

With that, we’re whisked away in the car to a local park downtown for some outdoor shots.  Remember how I mentioned that it was hot that day?  Well, it was.  We’re talking upper 90’s.  Jess in 30 lbs of dress, and me in black layered polyester.  All without the antiperspirant.  She took her time posing and directing us, and I’m sure the pictures will turn out well, but I was seriously about to spontaneously combust.  After about 45 minutes of that, it was back to the hotel to grab the whole wedding party for more pictures.

Jess Cooling Down While we were wrangling everyone, Jess and I had a couple minutes in the room, at which point the AC units were on full blast.  Jess sat on one, shooting cold air up her dress, and I sat on the other, whisking cold air up the back of my jacket.  So sweaty…  John had a couple of sandwiches delivered to the room, and I choked down half of a club and a little water.  Not much, but something.

Well, it was time for more pictures with the party… Guess what… they were outside too!  Yay!  After more sweating it was over to the Linen Building for the family pictures.  I bet you can guess what is coming next… yes, they were outside as well.  At least these ones were in the shade.

I did my very best to put a happy smile on my face but I gotta tell you… I was just about circling the drain at this point.

Finally done with pictures, we had about 30 minutes before the ceremony.  We were all waiting around in the reception hall and guests started arriving to the wedding hall upstairs.  It was at this point where I started to feel quite poorly.  Combine the heat, the stress, the dehydration and everything else and I just felt like total crap.  Not like I was going to pass out or anything, but definitely rough.  Those pictures completely drained me.  John mentioned that I was WAY nicer than him putting up with all that because he would have told the photographer that he was done LONG ago.

But, no matter, it was near game time.  We had already gone over the whole plan the night before at the rehearsal, so everyone knew their part.  We headed upstairs to get this show on the road.

The house was full… wow… lot of people.  My parents decided that they did not want to walk down the aisle and went ahead and seated themselves and Jess’ mom almost had a conniption.  That was until I convinced her that it really didn’t matter.  Not sure if she believed me, but she calmed down a bit.

It was 2 minutes after 6, so I stepped over to the quartet providing the music and gave them the high sign.  They started playing the ‘entry’ music.  My boys and all did a quick huddle and then headed up the aisle.  We 2008 08 16 Jas & Jess wedding 120stood up there as the brides maids and flower girl and ring bearers came up.  Maya and Zac looked absolutely adorable.  Hope she got some good pics of them.  Zac especially was great.  I was wondering how he would do, but he was a total trooper.  Marched right up the aisle, then stood right in front of John the whole time.

Finally, it was Jess’ turn.  She walked up on her dad’s arm.  Who gives this woman… I shook his hand and took Jess’ hands.

We put together a very simple service.  The judge (who was terrific, by the way) opened with a little intro about marriage.  Rolled immediately into the vows.  I said mine.  Jess started her’s when what shall be referred to as the “Cell Phone Incident” happened.  Of course, she didn’t stop or even waver at all.  What a trooper!

After the vows, we did the rings.

Closed with the Irish Blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Just like that we were done.  When the judge “presented” us to the crowd, I have to say, I was a bit taken aback by the volume of the cheers coming from the assembled throng.  Mainly because that was also the first time I actually turned to look at them.  I’m not a huge fan of being the center of attention, so during the rest of the time up there, I looked over them or down the aisle.  Turing to face them was the first time and it was a bit much… Great, but overwhelming.

Jason's Own Wedding PicsAs we headed out, I finally saw some of the friends in attendance.  Slapped a couple fives on the way out.  We had planned to head back to the hotel suite for a couple minutes to decompress, then meet our wedding party in the hotel bar for a round of drinks.  The quiet of the suite was really nice.  We didn’t stay there long as there was partying to do.  As the guests at the wedding filed downstairs to the reception, we had a round of drinks.  That was a real nice touch, I thought.  Just to hang out before the REAL craziness started.  A random guy at the bar even bought me a shot in congratulations.  I will say, it was by this time that I started to feel a lot better physically.  All of the stress was gone and somehow the adrenalin was overriding any dehydration or exhaustion.

Finally, it was time to head over to the party.  We sent the bridal party in first, and John went up to queue the DJ that we had arrived.  We waited outside for the word to be passed and for him to do his spiel.  This was the 2nd most nervous I had been all day… again, that whole center of attention thing.  Not my favorite thing in the world to have 160 heads all turn and look at me in unison…  He announced us and we came strolling in.  That walk to our table was a bit of a blur.  But we got there and sat down.  Whew.  We’d made it.

It was all partying from there.  I took my fancy new beer mug (I had them made for the groomsmen as well) and went up to the bar to get a beer.  The great thing was I didn’t have to wait in line.  I just walked up and they poured for me.  Got Jess a beer as well and it was on.

vacation 277I have to say, I LOVED the reception.  Had a tremendous time.  Got to talk to a bunch of people I haven’t seen in a while.  Got to hang out with some good friends from work.  Got to meet some of Jess’ sorority sisters that I’d never met.  Families were there.  It was a grand time.

Jess’ brother Christian was smart enough to make each of us a plate of food and put it on our table.  Thanks, C-Dub.  I would have definitely not eaten anything had he not done that.

First DanceWe did all the “dances”… Our first dance to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz.  Father/daughter to “Sweet Baby James”.  Me and my mom to “What a Wonderful World”.  Anniversary dance to “You Make Me Feel So Young”.  We did the cake cutting.  In fact, that small little piece that she and I cut out, was the only cake I had all night.  Grrrrr…Cutting the Cake

We also did the toasts.  Jess’ sister Ali gave a nice, prepared little thing.  Then John just got on the mic and talked.  Both were great.

Then it was just more mingling.  The best part was that fits into my personal “party style” perfectly.  I like to circulate, move around and talk to lots of people.  Maybe that is because I despise small talk and the more I can limit my time with any one group, the less small talk I gotta get into.  But, I got to see and speak to just about everyone who made it.  That was nice.

Later, Jess’ sorority sisters did this whole weird singing thing with her sitting in a chair in the middle.  I was in the back of the room when this broke out and thought to myself, wow… that’s kinda interesting in a coven-of-evil-witches sorta way.  That is, until the end.  When they finished the busted into the Idaho fight song.  HOLY SHIT… what the hell is going on at my wedding!  I stormed up there shouting “I was not informed of this!”.  Yes, for the record, I was at least 7 beers in at this point.

I spent the next 30 minutes walking around to all of the Bronco fans in attendance asking if they knew the Boise State fight song.  I did not receive the response I had hoped.  I even begged the DJ if he had it somewhere.  (he had worked Ian and Chrissy’s wedding the last summer and played it, but didn’t have it on him).  I knew the song, but 7 beers or not, I wasn’t about to grab the mic and sing it myself.

That’s when the iPhone came through.  I jumped online and was able to find an MP3 recording of the fight song.  I talked to the DJ to see if he could play it from my iPhone and he dug out the proper cable.  Next song, I was queued up.  Once the dulcet tones of the fight song were blasting from the speakers, all was right with the world.  I loved seeing a few Broncos, especially you Anne Fisher, standing and clapping along.  The whole thing damn near brought tears to my eyes.  There is your iPhone commercial, Apple.  “The iPhone saved my wedding reception!”  For the record, the fight song is now on my phone, and I shall never leave home without it.

Heading UpThe reception flew by WAY too fast.  I didn’t want it to end.  But eventually, the crowd started to thin and everything was winding down.  We stumbled across the street to the hotel and found a number of our younger guests at the bar over there, continuing the party.  Right on.  Too bad I’m in no condition to go on.  There are a couple pictures from this moment on the Flickr account, which you can see in my face that I’m done partied out.

Thus endeth one of the greatest days of my life.  Despite the heat and pictures and stress and everything, it was ALL worth it.  Even better that I’m now hitched to the love of my life.  I couldn’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.


The next morning, there was a brunch at our new house for all of the out of town and in town people who haven’t seen the house yet to come out and take a gander at it… all run by Jess’ family that were in town.

Needless to say, both Jess and I woke up pretty rough from all the frivolity the night before.  Wow… I didn’t really want to move much, let alone go an socialize for a few more hours.  But, we sucked it up, took some advil and drank a bunch of water and headed home.

The house was in full swing when we arrived.  People cooking and running around.  Organized chaos.  And that was just her family.  The rest of the people hadn’t even arrived yet.  Soon, they would all start arriving and the party was on again.

I ate a little bit of food, but the old stomach was not in the mood for much more.  Everyone really liked the house, which was great.  If I had to guess, I would say there was probably a total of 50+ people there.

Present Opening Then, it was time to jump into the huge pile of presents.  Ugh… I was not in the mood for that at all.  And there we were… sat again at the center of attention feigning excitement over all this stuff when all I really wanted to do was to lay down.

Don’t get me wrong… just about everything we got was very very cool stuff.  I mean, everyone seriously got us something we really wanted (and registered for) or something that totally fits us or cash or gift cards.  I could not believe how generous everyone was.  But at the same time, if I had opened a nap, that would have been the best of all.  Also, we have started the thank you card process.  Also, there were a couple gifts without cards, so watch this space for pics if you did not receive a thank you in the next few weeks!

Then, just a few short hours after we got home (like 4, but felt like 7) the house cleared up and it was over.  Whew.  The house was maybe 80% cleaned up which was great.

Now, all we had to do was unpack from our night at the Modern, and repack everything we wanted to take for a week in Maui, which we were leaving for the first thing in the AM.

Originally, I had wanted to attempt to attend the Western Idaho Fair that night.  I love the fair.  Have since I was a kid.  But there was no way in hell I was going anywhere that night.

Finally, we were all packed, and we both crashed into bed very early.  When we awoke, it would be off to another adventure, but that is a whole different blog post.

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