2:53 a.m. - 2005-11-15
We left the church and had to make a decision about photos. The weather was being mildly cooperative by now and although clouds were still looming, we decided to risk it and go to our first choice for photos rather than going to the second choice that had a gazebo in case of rain. I am very glad we did that, because I love our photos and while I’m sure I’d have loved them at the gazebo, I have no personal attachment to it. Here’s a tip for all brides and grooms: book a back up indoor location very very early. I couldn’t believe how much they filled up and I missed out on a couple of great spots because I was stupid and lazy.
Anyway. The decision was made, and off we went to the photos. The other major advantage of this location was that it is on the university campus, as was the reception site, so we could walk from one to the other. We were one of about four or five wedding parties there taking pictures, but it all seemed to work out okay. People shared the various scenic locales, and we got pictures in all the places I wanted them. I have to say, seeing all those other wedding parties was quite satisfying, because (a) their bridesmaids dresses weren’t as nice as ours, (b) one of the other photographers told our photographer that his bride had a complete and total gigantic meltdown about the weather, and that made me feel very together and zen about the whole thing, and (c) we were all dancing and singing and joking and laughing and snacking between pictures, and they were mostly yelling at each other and looking grumpy. One of the biggest compliments I’ve been given about our photos is how relaxed we look – a lot of people have mentioned it. And I am really proud of that. I wasn’t stressed in the least, I wasn’t running around giving orders, I was just hanging out and having a good time, and I’m glad that attitude comes through in pictures.
But, let’s face it, nobody wants to hear about people taking photos. It’s my fucking wedding and I don’t care - who the hell else is going to? So, to sum up: the kids were hilarious, there are some great shots that Canoegirl took while the photographer was taking official shots where you can see our niece peeking through the tree while we’re all trying to make nice faces for the photographer – I highly recommend having other photographers there to catch the behind the scenes stuff – my dad got bored but was very tolerant of it, and sitting on umbrellas is very uncomfortable.
It was still wet on the ground, you see, and so for the bride sitting on the ground shot, we didn’t want me sitting right on the ground. So I sat on folded out umbrellas. Which was not so comfortable.
There was a hilarious incident when another bride came over to me in a panic, because nobody knew how to bustle her dress. Which – way to slack off there, bridal shop. Tsk. But, I rescued her, to the gratitude of everyone involved, was informed that I saved her wedding, and felt I had gathered some excellent bridal karma.
After we’d finished with the photos, we were ready to head to the reception. The parents had been sent over first, to greet people as they arrived, and the wedding party followed a little later. In a very sensible decision, I had insisted that Jamie and I would be walking to the reception by ourselves. We meandered over there, enjoying the looks and smiles that we got, and chatted. We spent a lot of the time going “oh my god, we’re married,” but it was really nice to have a few minutes to ourselves. We talked about how much fun we were having and it was just really nice to not have a million people staring at us and taking pictures.
That said, I do wish someone had a shot of us from the reception hall as we walked down the street. It would be a neat picture.
We arrived at the reception and I think I might have gone to the bathroom. I do recall doing a small dance of joy at being able to use the bathroom unaided. The reception was upstairs, so we climbed the stairs and kind of hovered to try to deduce if they were ready for us. (We’d sent someone up to tell our MC we were there.) Eventually we just sort of gave up and went in, to loud applause. It was both bizarre and cool to see everyone sitting there, at the tables we’d arranged, with the centrepieces we’d made, with the favours and the name cards and everything all out. The best part is, it looked awesome. We had given every table the name of a book – almost entirely my favourite books, although Jamie contributed a couple of them. That was really fun, actually, because I tried to match up the book with the people sitting at the table so that the personalities matched a bit. (Yes, I know I’m a huge nerd.) The centrepieces at the tables consisted of square vases that had been decoupaged with excerpts from the table’s namesake book on two sides, and pieces of music on the other two sides. These were on cream coloured paper, and then a tea light was inside the vases so that the words glowed. They were really pretty and very appropriate and surprisingly cheap. They were kind of a pain in the ass to make (I had help, thank God) but they looked great.
We made our way to the head table, and there were a few moments for everyone to settle in. At that point, I dispatched my sister, I think, to get me a Coke, and oh my god, it was seriously the best Coke I have ever drunk in my life. I was tired and soooo thirsty and desperately in need of sugar. I gulped that sucker down in no time flat and immediately felt better. Sweet, sweet caffeine.
Before long, our excellent MC was back at the mic, explaining the deal with the tables and the buffet. (He also explained how to make us kiss, which was by telling a cheesy joke, and kicked it off with “why do melons get married in a church? Because they can’t elope!”) When he read the excerpt from each table’s book, that table got to eat. We were the first ones up, and naturally, our book was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. (I got an excerpt from jkrowling.com that had been released early.)
One of my many vows about my wedding day (wedding would start on time, I would wear a comfortable bra, I would not have weird makeup, had to be able to pee unassisted, I would dance at my own damn wedding and if you want to talk to me I’ll be on the dance floor…) was that I was going to eat. I’d heard too many stories of brides too busy to eat, and I thought that was dumb. Passing out at your own wedding is a bad plan, if you ask me. So I had some very delicious roast beef, a couple of potatoes, and two Yorkshire Puddings.
What? It was my wedding! If there was ever a chance to go nuts on the Yorkshires, that was it. (Two is actually quite restrained for me. I’m nuts about those things.) Jamie didn’t eat as much (ie hardly at all) and was pretty much starving by the end of the night. I chowed down pretty quickly, guzzled another Coke, and then began to circulate. I stopped at every single table, chatting and joking and having fun. Some tables I stayed longer than others, but I made it to all of them. I figured that way, I was covered if I danced all night.
At one point, I had a major dress crisis – buttons kept falling off the back and I kept losing my bustle. Fortunately, I knew there was a sewing kit around because my mother-in-law’s pants had lost their hem earlier and someone had a sewing kit to repair it. So I tracked that down and headed downstairs for the bathroom. I recruited a friend to help, and she sewed one button very firmly in place, attached my bustle to it, and sent me on my way. (Another great thing about my dress – I could bustle myself.) It was pretty minor as crises go, really.
The buffet table was a little slow moving, but people seemed to be having a good time. My only oversight was having the table with the littlest kids eat last. Whoops. Still, nobody complained. The setup with the book excerpts worked really well too (and it was very entertaining to see who the nerdier tables who could immediately identify what their excerpts were), Dinner went along quite happily, and before long, it was time for speeches.
Which will have to wait for another day.