First things first go here and read this:
Yes, it’s a bit wordy and yes I’m assigning you reading before reading mine. It’s because, shockingly, it actually has more interesting things than this post will and it’s what inspired me to write this post.
Okay, but you need to hurry up, this blog post won’t wait all day for you…
The week of my wedding I took off from work. Mostly on the off chance that I would actually have to take care of any little things that came up. I didn’t expect it, but I’d much rather be ready to go run off and do things rather than have to suddenly take time off of work. At least then they knew not to expect me. My tasks were basically to clean the house for our guests and be ready. I mostly putzed around and cleaned the house very slowly.
All the fun stuff started to happen on Wednesday. That’s when Stacy’s dad, aunt, uncle, and cousin all rolled into town from their two day drive from the Mitt to the Boot. Stacy’s Dad, Chuck, is a lot like my dad. He’s stern looking and sounding but he has a sly sense of humor and likes to take little pokes at the people he loves. So in this crowd there was plenty of pokes to go around…especially to me since I screwed up and reserved the tux under the name Chuck Powers…when he’s a Patrick…oops…this is something I won’t ever live down in the northern half of the world. I was having a lot of fun actually chatting with my soon to be new family and they wanted to go to lunch. I had some good seafood or cajun places in mind but as good Michiganders they asked “Hey where can we get some steak?”
So we went to TJ Ribs.
Now when you go to TJ Ribs, you get ribs (unless you’re like me and don’t like eating ribs, then you try one of their very fine other items). Today they had prime rib as a special but I couldn’t have ANY of that awesome stuff because my soccer team had become too successful and we were now in the second round of our end of the year tournament and my game was in two hours…I was pushing it eating the pulled pork poboy that I had (which was awesome). Talk about cutting it close, I had just enough time to run home, grab my stuff and get to the field. I then played that game, which we thankfully lost while still playing well (if we had won, we would have had another game on Friday and I would have had to rather guiltily missed that one). As an aside, Stacy brought home a huge box of treats for Guinness from TJ Ribs. I spoiled the crap out of that dog for two weeks until Stacy tossed the box. Thus ended Wednesday.
On Thursday, Stacy and I were both off, mostly so that we could collect people. The rest of her bridesmaids were coming in that day, and we had to go collect them. Katie and Sarah were the first in at the Baton Rouge airport. Chuck came along and we were joking at Stacy’s expense. I do feel a little bad about it in retrospect, but not much because shortly after that she created the absolute biggest scene that this airport has probably ever seen when Katie and Sarah walked out of the terminal. It was so big even the mopey goth/emo guy with the nice tats and pretty interesting piercings started chuckling, which really just served to make me laugh again.
After this, it was time on my own until my groomsmen got off of work, I think tuxes were picked up sometime before, but I forget when. We were having issues with the store not being open. I think I did it at the same time as Stefan, coincidentally. Tried it on, fit well and then Stefan and I proceeded to spend the rest of the time together. We were joined by Edward when he could escape the clutches of his family and Brian and Linnea, and Andrew when he could escape the clutches of work, and Eric when his wife escaped his clutches. Stacy S. was sadly unavailable to join us but it’s okay, she made it for when it counted, and sitting around with five guys drinking beer and playing video games isn’t really up her alley…well okay it is, but derby is more important than that.
That said, I totally kicked ass at Soulcalibur! Being drunk gives us a sort of quasi-zen feeling as ass whipping that we take into this game. It usually devolves into someone calling someone else an asshole. Eventually, the girls joined us and we played more Soulcalibur! This time with Juan and Lisa around. Juan was instantly attracted to Ivy. I think it was her interesting backstory and varied move list… that or her outfits…
Friday! Rehearsal day! The most that I remember about this day is that I wasn’t allowed to get drunk. I think I cooked a lot of eggs and I eventually went to Target to get a couple of new shirts. I picked well because Stacy was practically gushing when she saw it. Sadly, she loves the preppy look and I’m partial to the “Hey, where did my pants go?” look. Friday really is the day I remember the least until the rehearsal. The coordinator at the rehearsal had us whipped into shape in no time flat. The process is rather simple and easy to repeat so the simple expedient of making us do it once helped out a lot. Except Andrew had to work, but he’s a smart guy, he figured it out with minimal coaching. Afterwards, it was a challenge in getting everyone to go to Drusilla’s Seafood. We were a little early and that seemed to freak out the entire staff. So, our group did what we were supposed to do and sat quietly, except for when Rochelle was poking me and making me smile and take pictures and all that. Dinner was served, the room was frighteningly cold and the staff remarkably unwilling to do something about it. Eventually it got taken care of, but…ugh, not fun. Probably the worst thing that happened the whole time and for that I’m honestly quite grateful. One of the best parts was getting Stacy to meet my cousin Mike and his wife Sam as well as his mom and dad Stephanie and Joe. I gave Mike a bit of an introduction when I called him the guy I grew up wanting to be like. Like most people on that side of my family, he took it modestly and shrugged it off saying, “You guys keep saying that, I have no idea why.” Because Mike, I spent most of my early life being “Not William” and you were the next closest person to look up to.
Halfway through dinner, I’d noticed that my dad was writing notes. Dad usually does weird things for odd reasons, but one thing he never does is give an unprepared speech. Engineers are so weird. Needless to say, Dad gave a talk that I (for reasons best left unsaid) kept commenting on. Collectively, I think we got some good chuckles out of the deal. Then, he sits down and mom and Stacy are making me get up and talk…oh goodie! Apparently, I thrive best with as little preparation as possible. I started by thanking everyone for coming, especially those who came a long way and then went down the line of my groomsmen. Edward for being my oldest friend, college roomie, guy who had to put up with most of my crap for the longest that wasn’t related to me, Stefan, Andrew, and Eric for being the guys that made me who I am and helped me make it through high school as funny as possible and really just being funnier than me. Then Stacy S…maybe she was confused as to why I wanted her to be a groomsman. I’ll admit, part of it was that I wanted to rock the boat a little. Having a girl groomsman is definitely not something the Catholic Church would approve of and I definitely wanted to use that as a bit of a thumb to the nose of the establishment (I’m not much of a rebel, but I do like to make a bit of a stir). But the most important reason is that she was the first person to challenge my perspective of how things were. I’m not sure when I found out she was gay but it definitely forced me to confront my feelings about it from an abstract “I don’t care about the issue” to “someone I know and care about is this way.” She showed me a lot about how being yourself is freeing at a time when I was lost and rather lonely. To some degree, she forced me to grow up from my small self-centeredness to actually think about how what I do might affect others and how I can try to do things to affect people positively. Between her and Bond (a very lovely gay man I met in college), I managed to emerge with a better understanding of how that part of life was. Maybe I would’ve gotten there on my own, but those two definitely pointed me in the right direction. (I wax a bit philosophic here and I apologize for getting off topic).
Stacy then stood up and talked a little bit. Thanking everyone and making herself cry. I chuckled at that. What really got me though was when her dad stood up and spoke. Chuck is a very Midwestern kind of guy. He’s taciturn, straightforward, honest, and blunt. He’s not an emotional person but what he said that day made me start to cry and certainly made Stacy cry again. I hope to live up to what you think of me.
Then came the least fun part…separating and me going to sleep alone. Upside, I got to watch some truly horrible movies late into the night. I think I watched Bloodrayne: Rise of the Third Reich. To tell you how bad it was: the director is German. He couldn’t cast any Germans in the roles of the Nazis so he cast Americans who played Germans. Stacy called late and we talked a little before I passed out.
Saturday, wedding day!
This day started out pretty slow. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself, so I do what I usually do when I have a big block of time and no idea what to do…I worked out. Though go figure, in the process of working out, it turns out that Stacy S had a slight change of plan and we now need to go take her car to the church so that she and Audra could drive to the Gatehouse after the ceremony. This caused me to be on the road when Eric called to say he was at my house…oh..oops. I get home, let him in and we all start go get dressed. Stefan and Andrew show and also commence getting dressed. We’re all dressed and now pacing around wondering where Edward is. Needless to say, he’s being held up by his family or Linnea. I call and basically tell him to get over here sharpish, and he does. Yay! Powers of crazy, activate! After that, we start to pace and wonder about the limo. Right as we’re about to say fuck it and drive ourselves, the limo pulls up takes us there and we get to go stand in the vestibule (I think it’s called) until everything is in place. Photographer comes in and takes a bunch of pictures of us clowning around. Then Nicole comes in and takes pictures of us clowning around, then the priest comes in and makes me stop clowning around so he can ask me important questions like “Do you want to be called Chris or Christopher?” I went with Christopher. I figured the maternal unit would appreciate it the most. So, at the start, I walked my mom down the aisle to her seat, then went back into the vestibule with the priest. Then, I walk out with the priest and stand there, all center of attention and what not (with the priest). Then we start to hear a song I’ve heard and played countless times, Canon in D Major by Pachelbel. I wanted Toccata and Fugue in D Minor but no one ever listens to me.
Up came the groomsmen escorting the bridesmaids, it was quite nice. Everyone was matched up well. I think the only complaint was that Katie was taller than Stacy S. in her heels. Then the big reveal, and in comes Stacy in her lovely dress with green strip across the top, the world kinda disappears around this point. I go to her walk her up the steps and as we kneel down and face the altar and William walks up to the lectern to begin the first reading, I look at Stacy and say “Hey, I figured out what kind of rock the altar is made out of. Limestone.” This was promptly followed by a snort and a giggle. I’m not very good with solemn moments. We go through the whole ceremony, say the vows, and just basically move along without tripping each other, specifically for the maternal devotion and the walk down the aisle. We were kinda walking fast, though. We go out, circle to the side chapel and go back in for pictures.
If you’ve never had the opportunity to be in wedding pictures, they’re HARD to do. At first, it’s just smile and be happy. That’s easy. But at some point, when you’re taking the 300th picture your smile goes away. The photographer noticed this and mentioned it so I did the one thing guaranteed to make me smile for real…I put on the absolute worst rictus fake grin possible. The photographer grimaced at me, which made me laugh and got the real smile back. Stacy was quite funny in getting her family up. She turned on her teacher voice and shouted “If your name is Powers, get up here!” When corralling my family, I opted for a slightly more personal way of doing it by going and getting their attention one at a time. Needless to say, Mike repaid my kindness by giving me bunny ears, and John struck an inelegant pose directly in the center of the group…I love my family. We really need to hang out more.
Finally we get out and the limo takes us to the Gatehouse where most of the people have been waiting for us. The Gatehouse coordinator shoos us into a side room and Stacy gets all fixed up and we get announced as Mr. and Mrs. Christopher and Stacy Delmar. So, we walk across the room and when we get to the table there we kinda stop, look at each other and then think…”Now what?”…ok, let’s mingle!
This was shortly before the photographer started pulling us about (like he was supposed to) to get us to pose in the gazebo and cut the cake. It was nice to meet everyone but I do feel like I missed talking to some people and I kinda feel bad about it. I was barely in control of my destiny at this thing. Most of it went by really fast, but the part I liked the most (surprisingly) was the dancing. Stacy and I opened it up with “Your Song” by Elton John. It’s a nice love song that’s written like someone trying to describe what it’s like to love someone. I find it appropriate for the two of us. I only did one twirl at a time I thought most appropriate the first time Elton sings “My gift is my song and/this one’s for you.” I may have been singing the whole song while dancing too.
Stacy and Chuck went next. I wasn’t paying much attention to the song since I went and made sure Mom was ready for our dance. She kept asking me what song it was, and I told her it was an appropriate one for the two of us. Chuck and Stacy finished dancing with a big hug, it was a great scene. Mom and I stepped out there and I had a huge grin on my face because I knew what was coming and in my own way keeping people in the dark about surprises is way too much fun. On pops one of the earliest, heaviest, loudest metal-like riffs followed with a piercing scream that rattles speakers and already I have my mom laughing as Revolution by the Beatles comes on.
My family, by and large, is a family of hidden talents. My dad is an excellent woodworker, a hobby that fits with his analytical nature and engineering background. I’m a decent athlete and musician as well as a scientist. Robert probably knows the scripts to more movies than anyone else in a 200 mile radius hands down. But my mom…my mom can dance. I can’t dance for crap, but a good dancer can make anyone look good. She wasn’t leading, but I was definitely letting her decide what to do. I was just trying to keep up. Revolution is a quick paced song, and we danced together for about 90 seconds before she decides she’s gonna try to embarrass me. Sorry, Mom, can’t let you out do me. I have no idea what I did or how it looked I just know it felt funny and probably looked worse. We finished up before the song was done because let’s face it, dancing takes your wind out quick.
Next was the bridal party dance, and this was the part that, again, my friends (except for Stacy S) knew was coming. Put four nerds in tuxedos and tell them to dance, and what do you get, a lot of grumbling nerds. Eric promised retaliation. Fortunately, the song we picked was Baba O’Riley by the Who, so there was a long lead into any real song so I had time to track down Stefan and everyone else and get them out there. I took this opportunity to dance with Stacy again, then I got to dance with Eva, and finally managed to get Stacy S. to dance with me. She wasn’t terribly into it, but I’d wanted to dance with her at my wedding since she agreed to be a groomsman. Troy managed to film a good portion of it. I’ll have to see how that turned out, especially since Stacy and I stopped and stared at the camera for a second.
Then the money dance…at first I didn’t want to do this one…but let’s face it, it worked out in our favor to do it. I was at first worried that no one would dance with me. I’m guessing that thanks to my display with my mom, everyone wanted to dance with me, as I was told by Stefan later. I said hello and thanked everyone who danced with me. The ones that stand out the most are March’s mom who helped remind the florist to get my lapel flower, my aunts Amy and Stephanie, Stacy’s aunt Jude and Janny. All of Stacy’s co-workers danced with me, too, which was very nice of them. At some point, I looked over and saw Robert and Stacy dancing. Robert doesn’t dance…ever, but he appeared to be having a lot of fun. Stacy’s good with kids (have you noticed?) and she was particularly good with my kid brother. At some point, William came to dance with me, and I held him out as far as my arms would allow as a joke. I think Nicole got a good couple of pictures. Then Mr. Eric started making my groomsman dance with me, which started with me laughing at Eric when he did it, then when Andrew stepped up, I just lifted him off the ground and twirled a bit. The fact that Andrew busted out laughing really made this experience worth it. Then Stefan got up and I could tell he was uncomfortable, so I grabbed his hand and just sort of ran rather silly-like around him until I got dizzy. He was laughing to and called me a jackass (or something similar) but that made it worthwhile. Towards the end, I grabbed Nicole’s hand because I hadn’t had a chance to dance with her yet. As she said in her blogpost (which hopefully you read), I said all sorts of nice things to her. You should read her blogpost to see what I said. :-p
At some point in here, there was cake cutting and speech giving. This must’ve been before the dancing, since we have video of it and the camera died shortly after our first dance. Edward gave a nice speech, I believe I refrained from heckling too much. Lisa then gave a nice anecdote about how I really kinda messed up when I should have met her the first time. Thankfully, I think I made amends for that error.
More photos…and then we left. That was three hours. Mike wasn’t kidding when he said it’d be a blur. So much happened, and that’s what I remember the most about it. All of the out of towners enjoyed the food and festivities. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mrs. Marlene (Stefan’s mom), she got away too fast. I feel like I neglected Lara, and I honestly feel terrible about that. For some reason, I’m afraid she’s mad at me.
When we got home and got changed, I realized that using the restroom at that point was the first chance I’d had to sit down in almost five hours. It was a really good day.
And there was an after party, but that’s for later.