The Build- up
Prior to the wedding, I had in fact no one as best man...after all, I was 6000 miles away from everyone. Then just a few days prior to the big day, my Bro called to say he was coming!... man, Laurie and I were so over the moon. We did have a problem in that he was supposed to arrive on the day prior to the wedding, but he decided to come a day earlier and there was no one available to pick him up from the airport! So I booked a hotel room for him at Best Western Hotels, and we picked him up the next morning. Well now at least I had a best man..:0)
The week had been so busy, what with Laurie having to work and all. Typically her being a woman, she had more to do :0) i.e.. sort the cake, fine tune her wedding dress, finish the bouquets, organize refreshments for the small simple gathering afterwards, sort her hair etc. However, I did try to do "my bit" whenever I could.
The Big Day - March 16th 2001
The day started with a nightmare shopping trip! We had arranged to pick up Tracy, my future sister in law, so she could get a "a few things"?!?! for the get together after the ceremony. We didn't realize she could shop for England! :0) Although the lady serving behind the cheese counter at HEB's didn't help....she was wrapping EACH cheese slice separately after cutting it off the block! We must have been staring at cheeses for 30 minutes...anyway, after the New York marathon shopping spree, we went and purchased a dickie bow for myself from a local wedding store. I ended up with a black one, although I required a navy blue colour, but after the sales girl brought out for the third time a tie that didn't resemble navy blue in any sense of the word (does turquoise blue with sequins qualify as close?), I just gave up and settled for good ole black.
To save my bro money I decided to lend him a shirt. Which he promptly ironed - complete with tram lines to match the jeans he had ironed earlier. When we arrived at the Wedding Cottage, Laurie was just pulling up into the park, so I had to hide! (didn't want to set eyes on her... bad luck and all that). I was eventually invited into the place....shielding my eyes of course. Bro and I had a brief "dry run" with the minister. Then he went away to go see Laurie who was hiding down the back somewhere.
One minute later the Minister came back. With a serious look on his face he said "John you cannot marry this woman". I stood there frozen to the spot and feeling myself going red in the face. Then his expression changed to a smile and he said "I have known this woman since I was a child!". It turned out he used to be the school bully 25 years earlier and had turned to religion a few years back! Even the Bro in law Ricky recognised him and said "hey! gimme my lunch money back you stole when I was 10 years old!" Maaaaan I tried to see the funny side of the joke, but I was nervous enough as it was!
The ceremony was nerve racking yet wonderful. Seeing Laurie walk down the aisle was awesome, she looked so beautiful. Exchanging vows was very intense. I almost feinted twice, but I got through it all OK.... :0) The Minister made me smile when he commenced to talk about the role of the husband not being of a "dominant nature"....if only he knew Laurie....:0) We had chosen three pieces of music to be played in the back ground: Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, Neil Youngs Harvest Moon, and Fleetwood Macs Albatross. The Wedding Cottage owner liked our CD so much that I felt compelled to give it to her - so I did.
The small gathering afterwards was at the Mother in Laws house. When we arrived it was obvious to see that Laurie, her Mum, and the sis in laws Krissy and Tracy had been busy earlier that day. Her mum had designed and printed a poster-size announcement with the wedding details on it etc, it was really nice. The cake was pretty. However read Laurie's perspective of the wedding day - there is a story behind that cake..:0)
Her eldest brother Jay and his wife had bought us a bottle of Merlot wine, needless to say I was best pleased...:0) They also had sent us via e-mail a voucher to be used at our leisure for a weekend away....very nice. The other brother Ricky, and his wife Tracy gave us 40 dollars in their wedding card. We were grateful, although it was strange to me because it is not a custom I am used to seeing in the UK. We eventually retired to bed about 1am...totally shattered. Laurie had commented that I looked sad...I was just emotionally drained! :0)
What a week! That's an understatement :) I now know why people have their weddings planned by others! My week was busy, as John stated, with work being hectic and longer hours than usual, I was a tornado trying to get things organized and ready. I wanted to make my bouquet and still had the small and simple menu to arrange for the reception. My sister Krissy, was still trying to find the perfect dress or at least one that she liked and that would match our colors.
The one thing I did do was take care of the cake!! At least, I thought I did..LOL.. I ordered it as soon as I knew we were going to get married ..the bakery said, "Oh no problem, but we don't need this much notice"...yeah right! Well then we learned of Martyn, Johns brother, was going to make it to the wedding after all, but a day earlier than we anticipated....the day I arranged to pick up the cake. I called the bakery and let them know I wanted it the afternoon prior to my original date of pickup. They said that was fine, no problem...but when I got there they had a cake about 4 times the size than what I had ordered, the colors were all wrong, and no one knew what to do! I asked them if they could make another in time for the wedding, it was the day before! They of course said yes and we went over everything again...the next day I went in to the bakery and I saw no cake waiting to be picked up...behind the counter was an elderly woman, I had never seen before and when she asked if she could help me she said, "Wedding cake? We have not done any wedding cakes today?"!! ARGHHHHHHH!!!!! Is all I could think!! She looked all over and found what resembled a wedding cake in the cooler, but it still wasn't what I ordered and we couldn't find any written order for mine. I was practically in tears by this time, all I could think was I am not going to have a cake at my wedding... The woman said " I will give you this one for the price of what they quoted you because it is all I've got".. I took it. I felt so bad for this woman, she had nothing to do with the foul up, yet she was so beside herself about it.
The rest of the day I stayed at moms, everything finally catching up to me, and I was a nervous wreck!! I tried to figure out what to do with my hair but it wasn't going to cooperate. I was ready to make a run for it!!LOL The time came to get ready and I was rushing everyone else, we had plenty of time but I was READY to get married. We got there before everyone else, when all of a sudden I see Martyn and John pull up right next to us. I told my brother John, who had driven me there, "tell them to park somewhere else!" John went in ahead of me and I was waiting for my cue to sneak in to the bridal room to finish getting ready.
Once inside, Krissy and Tracey were there to keep me intact, Sharon the coordinator came in to explain how everything was going to go, I heard her talking, but I was just trying to keep from passing out. There was a knock at the door, and it was the Minister, LOL... he went to introduce himself, and we both started laughing, he turned around and left. I could hear everyone in the outer room laughing. It turns out "John the Minister" (another one...LOL) was our school bully some 25 years ago! This was getting to be too much...you always hear about other peoples weddings.....too much....finally the time came, the music started....and the rest was just the beginning of my life.
John mentions the gifts and such, but what he forgot to mention was when we were ready to cut the cake and make the toast, we noticed, not everyone was there - they had gone with Ricky my other brother, to the auto parts store because his truck was broken down! So needless to say, we had to wait for them to get back... now, the rest is history...