Thursday, May 28, 2009
After months and months and months of waiting and planning and preparing, May 24th finally arrived. Our wedding day was amazing and I could never write an entry that would do justice to it, but I'll try to give an idea of what went on ... (And while we haven't gotten the professional photos yet, thanks to friends and family we have tons of photos to put up on Flickr already, and I'll include a few here.)
I woke up around 6:00 and couldn't get back to sleep. I was jittery all morning, sometimes almost nauseous with nervousness. I knew that the important parts of the day would work out, that in the end we would be married and surrounded by friends and family, but there were enough small details to worry about that I couldn't seem to relax. At 9:00 the day finally began in earnest when we met the girls at the JCPenney hair salon. After dozens of bobby pins, hair sprays, and magazine pages, we emerged with fantastic hair. I was still nervous but being surrounded by people helped. We headed to the church and milled around for a while, drinking enough coffee to wake up but not so much that we'd need to rush out in the middle of the ceremony. We did our makeup in an upstairs bathroom that might as well have been a sauna and then got dressed in one of the preschool rooms. My gown was a group project, but we managed to get it on, laced up, and buttoned.
My mother started crying as she put on the beautiful necklace she had just bought for me, and I started to wonder whether I would be able to keep from crying myself. (I never did cry, by the way, though I had some close calls.)
The girls looked great in their dresses and silver accessories and I adored the dress that our flower girl Rachel's mother had made for her in white satin trimmed with the teal fabric from the bridesmaid dresses. We also got our gorgeous bouquets: the girls had pink roses (I know, so cliche, but they really worked with the dresses) wrapped in ribbon fastened with buttons, and I carried calla lilies with ruched white ribbon. After bridal party photos in the side chapel and more nervewracking waiting we finally heard Pachelbel's Canon struck up in the sanctuary, the signal for Andrew and Ryan to escort our mothers down the aisle. The bridal party lined up and we walked down the aisle...to the Theme of Jurassic Park. Thanks in part to xkcd, Kyle and I have had a thing for (or sometimes against) raptors for a long time, and while it may not be traditional that piece is breathtaking on organ. With tears in his eyes my father walked me down the aisle and joined my hand to Kyle's. We were ready to get married.
Many of our guests complemented our "short and sweet" ceremony; I don't know how long it lasted or, for that matter, how long weddings usually last, but I know our ceremony had everything I wanted. It was presided over expertly by Pastor Jeff Rill, whose calmness, warmth, and joy have never failed to make me smile. My Uncle Jerry recited Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 beautifully and performed a rendition of The Wedding Song that brought him and many others close to tears. Our frisbee teammate and future jazz star Pie had the same effect when she sang "Come What May" and my maid of honor Sabrina fittingly read a wonderful passage from Madelaine L'Engle:
"Ultimately there comes a time when a decision must be made. Ultimately two people who love each other must ask themselves how much they hope for as their love grows and deepens, and how much risk they are willing to take. It is indeed a fearful gamble. Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created. To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take. If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation."
During the rehearsal Kyle and I both chuckled at the promise to be together "in sickness and in health," something that Kyle has already proven time and time again, but during the ceremony our vows and the exchange of rings were perfectly smooth. We were husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt, and neither of us could stop grinning as we walked down the aisle together.
Even when Dave punched me in the face I kept smiling. (He got a little overenthusiastic while hugging Kyle in the back of the sanctuary.)
We did the requisite receiving line and walk-through-tons-of-bubbles, both of which were pretty enjoyable actually.
Then we went back inside for what I promised would be "a few quick family photos." I had forgotten how big Kyle's family was, but we made it through even though my back and smile muscles were starting to kill me by the end. Then we headed outside for -- what else? -- a frisbee game! Actually we just tossed a bit and played a walking point (won by a huck from Kyle to me, as was only fitting), but it was a ton of fun, especially since I had been banned from playing frisbee for the month before the wedding so that I wouldn't be walking down the aisle with a black eye or on crutches. Sabrina followed me around holding up my train, and I think we made an excellent team.Rickrolled our first dance. We even broke out into a choreographed dance number, which, since we had only had a few hours the day before to create and practice it, was primarily made up of of old dance standards from the waltz to the macarena.
Other than sliding on my train a bit during the swing dance moves, the dance worked perfectly and got a ton of laughs. Near the end of the song we broke into the shopping cart move and grabbed friends to join us. The first few looked absolutely terrified, but soon they got the idea and we had a hopping dance floor by the end. I then danced with my father to "Put Me in Coach," which made him laugh and cry at the same time, and Kyle danced with his mother to "Just the Way You Are." Then we opened up the dance floor and had a ton of fun; I would have danced every minute of every song if I hadn't occasionally needed to leave the floor to talk to guests, fix my failing bustle, pose for photographs, or finally get a piece of cake. (It was ice cream cake, which was delicious and inexpensive and allowed us to play "Melt with You" during the cake cutting.)
We weren't content with a traditional bouquet and garter toss either; we pretended to get them but pulled out frisbees instead.
Even though they were pretty cool discs (with a teal glow-in-the-dark yin yang design) no one wanted to catch them...except maybe Jester, who at least looked poised to leap. My disc went straight to Pie; she yelled at me later but believe me, there is no way to aim a backwards overhead throw that you hadn't even practiced. Her frisbee instincts couldn't allow her to drop it, though she tried to toss it into the crowd after she caught it. Kyle's disc went to, well, no one. Or maybe to the owner of the wine glass that he knocked down. It seems the man doesn't know his own strength, since he threw it far over everyone's head...twice. Apparently he doesn't want any of his friends to get married soon. I still say frisbees were a good idea though.
Two of our Gettysburg friends pulled out a surprise of their own: Blaza Blaze and Lil' Pie, alter egos developed for hilarious youtube videos in college, took the stage and performed a rap celebrating our wedding. Blaze even snuck in a baseball cap and bling. It was fantastic.
Another surprise: at the end of the night Kyle wanted to dance more and stay up later, two things that never happen. It made me so happy to see him so happy and energetic and loving every moment. We both wanted the evening to last forever, which I figure is the best marker of a great wedding. We decided to have friends back to my parents' house to hang out, which turned into touring my dad's basement of baseball collectibles and then playing a rousing game of Dutch Blitz, the best card game ever ever ever. I also had to start saying goodbyes, some to close friends that I wouldn't see for a long time. It made me so happy to have everyone together and it was hard to let them go again. I did, however, get to see a number of Gettysburg friends the next day, when we ate leftovers, let people ride the bike around the block, and went to the park to play frisbee, of course. It felt so liberating to play after so long and great to do so with so many old friends.
Thank you so much to everyone who made our wedding day so fantastic, especially my mom who did so much work to make it happen. I really can't describe how happy the day made me. What a wonderful (and kooky and hilarious) way to start the marriage that we've wanted for so long.
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