Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Bells will ring, the sun will shine, I'll be hers, and she'll be mine

We had a great time on the rest of our honeymoon. Except for almost not getting our wedding documents back. And the plane trouble on the way home (do we have the worst luck or what?). It still miffs me to think that we missed out on a whole day of our wedding-moon, and how were we recompensed? Complimentary earphones! We do not recommend Air Transat, but at any rate, we couldn’t dwell on any of that, because after our delightfully laid-back wedding, we arrived back in Canada to have a big party with friends and family. We sent out about 300 invitations, and about 180 actually came. A whole family was divided, but I won’t get into family politics. Suffice it to say that I was broken-hearted at the time, but I’ve moved on.

It was a wedding reception, but a pretty relaxed one. I didn’t want to suffer through a sit-down dinner, or hours of speeches, or any of those normal trappings. We had buffet, and lots of dancing.

The manicure this time around held up much better. My mother and I were fussed over and pampered while Jason did the errands. There are no caterers in our small town, and unless you have your reception at a hotel (which were too small a venue for us), you have to do it yourself. So Jason had to go to one place to pick up 15 dozen dinner roles, and another place for the pastas, and another place for the mother’s van smelled like meat for a week! Bringing home the leftovers after the reception also proved to be a nightmare; my mother had to borrow the freezers of 50 neighbours just to store it all!

The morning of the reception we went to decorate the hall. We did a super-cheesy theme that kind of reincarnated the Dominican for us, with fish floating everywhere, and seashells, and palm trees and the like. The DJ was there setting up, and he played us some really great tunes that got us all pumped up. The lady set up our cake, the florist delivered our flowers on time, the 'balloonist' came, and warned us all about the wire she was using to string together the balloon arch. How many of us tripped over it anyway, you ask? Oh, about 8 I think, but only one of us got a bloody lip from it, and who that was, I’ll never tell. I was so, so nervous this time around. It was a quiet wedding, but a great big reception, and somehow, it rattled me. My youngest sister did a good job keeping me calm.

My sisters and I went to get our hair and makeup done together. I sat in the chair for over three hours; apparently I had a very anal-retentive stylist, but it got done. All the while, my cell phone rang off the hook (well, not that it has a hook, but you get the idea). Now here’s a lesson in etiquette: when you want to cancel out on a wedding, do not call the bride herself just hours before the shindig begins! As if I wanted to be dealing with that! Grrr. I almost could not believe that people would be so rude. Almost.

The poor photographer had to chase us around to get any pictures, and I found that I couldn’t find my white wedding thong and had to substitute with a pair of lime green panties – eep! Jason did such a rush job shaving that you can see a slight razor burn on him in every photo. Also, I had a slight crisis when I was in the washroom, trying to get all my dress over my hips but not into the toilet bowl, and somehow hover in the right direction and tinkle without getting any on my dress, or my leg, or my shoe, when suddenly I realized the window was open, and Jason’s grandparents were sitting out there, having a drink, and probably hearing my attempt to pee.

We took some great photos outdoors, but it was a hotter day in Canada for the reception than it was in the Dominican. Plus, in the Dominican we put our toes in the ocean to cool off, and during our horse-drawn carriage ride, I hoisted my dress up, and though I probably gave quite a show to all the native Dominicans we passed, it sure felt good on my skin.

We made it to the hall on time, which is completely baffling. Unfortunately, we were the only ones to do so. The rest of the guests trickled in slowly, very slowly. It was agony for me because I just wanted to get things started. I was tired of smiling and shaking hands. My feet were already killing me, and I hadn’t even had the first dance yet (I danced barefoot, as it turns out; in the Dominican I'd eventually traded in my heels for my Sketchers). I wanted to cry, but before I melted completely, someone saw my distress and we started things whether people were there or not. Another lesson in etiquette: it's the most important day of her life, I'm pretty sure the bride would appreciate it if you could show up on time. My sister had an asthma attack after a brutal two-step, and missed me throwing the bouquet (a girl who was there to serve the food ended up catching it, much to my dismay). Once, when I was getting all 'footloose', I realized that I had a nice breeze on my back, and then to my horror, realized that my zipper had worked its way down! I made a mad dash to the bathroom where I was reassembled and back out dancing in no time.

We luckily got a lot of great candid shots of the reception because as luck would have it, the brand new camcorder Jason had given me as a wedding gift crapped out halfway through our beach poses in the Dominican. Turns out, sand and motors don't mix. So, we were out of a video, but we don't like to dwell on the bad stuff, right?

The entire reception, I had one eye on the door, and I suspect Jason did too. There was a very good chance that we would have wedding-crashers, and I was nervous. We made sure not to even publicize the exact date or location in the papers, but we knew that certain information was available, and we didn't want any irate family members showing up and making a scene. There were no crashers, thankfully, but plenty of uninvited guests. Said guests invariably came dressed like they were going to the gym, ruined my seating plans, and one woman made such a scene she had to be escorted out. Funny how I'd almost blocked that one from memory completely!

When dinner was announced, my grandfather took off running at a speed none of us knew he was capable of. He was upset when the lady told him that the bride and groom were to go first, but I gave him my space because, hello –white dress! I stayed on the dance floor with my Mom and didn’t miss a single second of the fun. We stayed later than our contract stated, no one wanted things to end. But even when it was over, it still wasn’t over. I hadn’t sung yet. Many of our friends stayed the night with us, camped out in my Mom’s backyard. I changed out of my dress and into some pjs, and went out back to find Jason building a raging fire in his tux. We taught our city friends the art of making smores, We talked and got drunk, and didn’t go to bed until after the sun came up. The next day, we opened hundreds of presents on 30 minutes of sleep, but the whole thing was fabulous. There were a lot of ups and downs, but in the end, it was worth it, and I wouldn’t have changed anything. Except maybe the herpes.

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