The Review, Part One

(or “How I spent the night before my wedding”)

The wedding weekend went off quite well. The run up to the wedding was every bit as crazy and hectic as I expected; while I think we actually did a good job of visiting with the guests as much as we could, I’m sorry for everybody who I didn’t talk to quite enough.

I made it down to Galveston with two big guys and a whole lot of stuff crammed into my Golf, with seven minutes to spare before the rehearsal. It was a bonus treat that the timing worked so I could drive Chris, one of my best friends from high school, down to the island from downtown Houston. The first time I saw everybody from out of town in one place was at the rehearsal dinner later that night at Luigi’s, a fabulous Italian restaurant on the island. We surprised my aunt Charlotte, a nun from Florida, by asking her to say grace before dinner (hey, so we dropped a few details) which she did quite well. We had one usher who had to back out shortly before the wedding due to joining the Navy that phoned in his congratulations during dinner (and apparently, had started the celebration from afar in our honor). For my part, I finally understand (roughly) what Stephen does for a living and got a taste of “working the tables” for the reception.

Afterwards, back at the hotel, I pulled all the guys together to give them small thank-you gifts and to polish off a sentimental bottle of bourbon. Just after we’d poured the first round, I got the call from Christine that Kymberlie, who had not been feeling well and left the rehearsal dinner early, was writhing in pain in the room and needed to go to the emergency room. Poor Cari (Chris’ wife) had just made it into town, and her first impression of the bride was her speedtalking about Kymberlie’s probable kidney stone. I had given my card to the valet to go bring my card around and give me directions for the six block drive to the hospital, walked the pale Kymberlie out to the car, and left directions to finish off the bourbon without me, which the guys happily ignored.

To abbreviate this part of the story, we got there at 1 AM but didn’t get seen until 5 AM; although the waiting room was quiet and fairly empty, we had just missed the rush of trauma victims hitting the hospital on the holiday weekend, which had all the staff tied up. I really only got two sentences out of Kymberlie; “It hurts, it hurts real bad” and “Bedpan, BEDPAN” (don’t ask). Fortune smiles on us all at times, however, and Cari had brought along a deck of cards that Chris and I had asked for earlier in the day, so I had something to do for five hours. And that sums up the night before my wedding, spent in the ER next to a beautiful girl in amazing pain.

I did get about four or five hours of sleep, had brunch with the guys, and headed back to start getting ready. Heading down to the lobby began the steady stream of photo opportunities and picture posing that lasted for the next 36 hours. I must say, I have friends who can clean up quite well when needed, and Jason looked awesome in a tux. We got to the church about an hour and a half before the ceremony was to start, the idea being to get the group pictures out of the way beforehand. That ended up not happening, but we all got to wait in the somewhat air conditioned (it was, I promise!) church building. The ceremony was short and sweet, with really nothing major that went wrong and a few chuckles along the way, and then off to the reception.

I now understand what people mean when they say that that day is a blur. Lots of dancing, lots of talking, lots of pictures, and lots of fun. Instead of a groom’s cake (a Southern tradition, I’m told) we had Big Pink Cookies from Starbucks set out for friends – how apropos for us. The party went well into the evening, with a fantastic sendoff at the front of the hotel.

The next day, we got back into tux and dress and went out to take pictures on the beach. Late morning. Texas heat. Fully dressed up. The things I’ll do for love…. Seriously, though, we got some great pictures that morning and later that day (after driving in wedding clothes back into downtown Houston for even more pics). It was good to have brunch with the wedding party one last time, and say some proper goodbyes, before heading back to reality.

That’s about it for the wedding story. I can’t say thank you enough to everybody who travelled, everybody who came down from Houston, and especially to everybody who helped out in small and not-so-small ways.

Coming soon, the trip overseas! Also, pictures will be up soon; we’ve got at least 2200 to sort through so far – still waiting on more to come in.