The longer I went without posting the harder it got to post again. I know I promised some details to a few of you that couldn't make it to the wedding. A few people, Barth and Chris, have already posted some things. What do I share about such a life-shaking event as getting married? Well, the last month has been a bit of a blur but I'll try to give some of the highlights. What I remember most clearly are silly little things that probably have no interest to anyone else, but here goes.
Of the two weeks before the wedding, I have few memories although they weren't very stressful just very busy. I know that at one point I found myself curled up in a little ball on the couch bawling my head off while I watched Sean Penn in I am Sam at 2 in the morning. When I read the marriage license for the first time, I was pissed off to find that one of us had to sign it to verify that one of us was a man and one was a woman. I knew it contained something objectionable because of an earlier discussion with Lisa but didn't realize that was it. I felt a little guilty and a huge traitor to the same sex equal rights cause when we both later signed it, but was too chicken not to. I remember dragging Alan's sister and Maid of Honor, Liz all over the place on the day before the wedding running last minute errands, especially looking for stir sticks and drink skewers. I waited with my breath held when Alan finally got to see the inside of the place where we were having the wedding, the Germanic-American Insitute, the day before, too. That was when we hauled half the liquor up two flights of stairs for the ballroom bar and half the liquor downstairs for the dinner/after ceremony bar. A day later, after the wedding, at midnight we were hauling most of it unopened back out to the cars. Talk about over-stocking! I would like to take the time to thank my dad, my brother, Dick, Mike, and the Olson boys for all of their hauling efforts. I think they also helped us lighten the load going home quite a bit with their earlier drinking efforts, too.
One of the highlights of a Friday night get together of family, childhood and newer friends was making boutinieres and bouquets from a variety of mum plants my mom provided. When everyone said I couldn't just put a bunch of different colors together for my bouquet, I panicked. I promptly turned over the job to the multi-talented Kelly who made me the most beautiful bouquet ever. (I'll have our own pictures posted soon but here are some others.) Liz and I went home and to bed fairly early that night while others went out carousing together. I'm one of those crabby/body shutting down types when I'm over tired so I think I made the right decision although I missed some killer drinks and some driving on the sidewalk (by the designated driver).
The weather was beautiful the day of the wedding for both the barbeque and the outdoor ceremony. I don't remember much of the barbeque except for enjoying watching the kids and adults play, shooing away the stupid stinging wasps and Alan hurting his shoulder playing volleyball. I'm thankful to the many people who helped out with it, despite everyone thinking we were crazy for having it on the same day as the wedding, and I am glad so many were able to come. (I will point out however that we were not the first ones to have a day planned like this. We were just copying.) I hope everyone had a good time. I think that I did.
We had a heck of a time getting the dress on me before the ceremony. I'd always had the help of a salesperson or the fitter before, so I thought it was a lot easier than it turned out to be. I had a long moment of clausterphobic hyperventilating in a Darth Vader sort of way when the bodice was stuck over my face and Liz, my mom and Alan's mom struggled to loosen the laces. It did slip on eventually, although at first it was so tight I couldn't bend over to put on my shoes and my mom had to do that. I almost burst into tears as I waited for Alan and Chris to take their places for the ceremony and I looked out over everyone assembled. My dad looked at me in panic when he saw the tears forming, but I was able to hold them back. The excess emotion was able to maintain its manifestation to a perma-grin for the rest of the ceremony. The grin was broken only once when I realized I was holding an extra copy of Alan's vows instead of my own. The very experienced pastor, Audrey, had insisted on getting a copy of both of our vows before the wedding for just such an occassion and so I was saved. At one point, Audrey had us turn to face the crowd while they helped her fill a cup of blessings for us. I don't think I could be happier than at that moment.
The rest of the evening is a big blur. I don't think I sat down for more than fifteen minutes total until the car ride home after midnight. In that fifteen minutes, I did manage to get a few sips of beer and scarf down my chicken. When I was pulled away from the table, I never made it back again. I didn't get any cake that night but Helga and her helpers had saved us two of the bottom rings from one of the cakes and had it wrapped up nicely for our honeymoon. The two cakes hid bottles of Kirsch and Green Chartreuse liqueurs, the cake and Kirsch a tradition from Christmases with my Grandma Price. I didn't get any of that, either, but I was glad to hear that everyone else did. Susan and Karen have forever tainted the macho image my dad's wood-cutting friends had created around Green Chartreuse when the two of them declared it, "heavenly" and "delicate."
Our first dance was supposed to be a waltz (which I've been a sucker for since college) but as Alan doesn't know how to waltz and we didn't make time to practice, we had the wrong song played, and we couldn't hear the music anyway, it was a bit of a disaster. The wonderful thing about photography is that you can't tell that from any of the pictures. After a switch in music, the dancing took off and that's about the rest of the night. My only regret, other than not getting to talk to anyone nearly as much as I should have or wanted to, is that I didn't get any pictures with my grandma, who left early, or with my family, because Dad and Steve were already hard at work unloading the bar after the dance. We chatted a bit in the hotel lobby with people before crashing. I'm glad we didn't wait any longer because the dress was almost as hard to get off as it was to get on with its laces that started at the top instead of the bottom. My hair took another full hour to undo. I carried around almost three pounds of bobby pins and hair spray on my head all day but it stayed up from 8 a.m. until after 2 a.m. so it was probably worth it. Despite my long search for danceable pretty sandals, I'd had to make do with some very low heeled ones which came off after an hour of dancing. I needed to shampoo the itchy hairspray out but was more grossed out by the dirty beer bar smell that rose when the water in the shower hit my feet. All those people trying to dance with their drinks in their hands!
We didn't make it home until nighttime the next day, after the overwhelming experience of opening gifts and saying goodbye to family and friends. I have a vague recollections of Kelly frantically thrusting books into our hands on top of other books they'd already given us for the honeymoon, hugs and kisses with Chris and Jackie by the hotel van, a last coffee at the MOA with Liz and Alan's parents, smiling with my mom and Alan's mom at the sight of the three men passed out on the couch, failing at our attempt to talk Alan's parents into letting us take them to the airport the next day and using the words, "My husband" for the first time.
We had short but very relaxing few days at my parent's cabin in Wisconsin. I got to do a little swimming, we took a walk in the woods, enjoyed grilling sweet corn and other stuff and, of course, there was lots of good reading. Our friends have such good taste in books. I'll include some mini-reviews of all the literary booty soon. On our last day, as it was the first time we'd been up there since having Burt the dog put to sleep, we had our little good-bye to our old friend burying his collar and releasing his ashes down on the point by the lake. A song from a honeymoon gift CD, Kamakawiwo Ole' Israel's "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" was the perfect accompaniment for our goodbyes. If you haven't heard it yet, or only heard the little bit in the car commercial, you need to find it. He blends the old standard with "What a Wonderful World" to such perfection that you think they were made to be performed that way.
We came home to find my computer wiped clean of all of its internet, router and broadband software, probably a virus from before the wedding. It was turned off the whole time we were gone. Alan had already been a few days without e-mail so there was some pressure to get mine going again so he could access the internet, too. I had to reload everything and that combined with work being so computer intense this past two weeks, I haven't had the motivation to work on getting my scanner communicating with my new hard drive and SCSI. I've spent the past few evenings and last weekend sorting through the multitudes of pictures we got from the twenty some disposable cameras we put out and some others friends sent us. Posting the pictures to the internet is going to have to wait until this weekend.
I was also spending considerable time cleaning out and going through old dishes and cookware now replaced by shiny new wedding gift items. Between myself and the inherited kitchens of both grandmas I'd somehow managed to accumulate multiples of many items (Who really needs fourteen muffin pans even if they cover all their assorted incarnations: nonsitck, microwavable, tiny muffins, large muffins, medium muffing, etc.?) and odd utensils with undivinable purposes. I cleaned out a large part of my grandma's kitchen shelves when we first moved in but avoided confronting the ones that were left when our own stuff was put away. We really didn't want to register because we felt we had everything we needed but decided to when people were really disappointed. I like giving wedding gifts myself, so I understand. I always try to give beer mugs and wine glasses if I can get to the registry before they're gone. Everyone who drinks beer should have a few mugs. Beer is just better out of a mug. A chilled mug is even better, of course. We have some now. I have to admit that when I open the cupboard and see all the matching, pretty blue plates and other dishes, I have to smile. I don't think I've had matching dishes since I was a child.
And so, we're married and although it seemed like the world should stop for a while and let us just enjoy the fact, it doesn't stop for anyone. Things have been hectic for both of us since we've been back but somehow I'm writing again for the first time since Burt got sick last spring. A few people have asked me if it feels any different being married. I didn't think it would change very much, but it did. I think we both feel that we have a closer bond now, probably resulting from a combination of all the work that went into the wedding and the actual symbolism of it.