It’s about time I got around to writing about our wedding. The days since the wedding have been more relaxing, but we’ve still been doing a lot of cleanup work.

Update: Photos are starting to roll in, I’ll post more when I get a chance, but here’s a more closeup version instead of the other and another below.

h3. The Rehearsal Dinner

On Thursday, we had our ceremony rehearsal with family and friends who were in the wedding party. Then we went to “The Hardware Store”:http://vashonisland.net/thehardwarestore.html, a place owned by our neighbor, our friend, and the unofficial mayor of Vashon, Melinda. She graciously allowed us to have our rehearsal dinner there and she handled everything – it was the only thing we didn’t have to worry about at all. The Hardware Store used to be a hardware store, hence the name, on “Vashon Island”:http://www.vashonchamber.com/ but went out of business and Melinda and her husband bought it hoping to turn it into a restaurant.

By the time we got there, the place was filled with 30 or so people and the “manhattans”:http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/getrecipe.zsp?id=8877 were flowing – apparently, they found out that manhattans were our our drink so everyone was drinking them. Manhattans are a pretty rare cocktail, but it’s our favorite. It was weird to see a room full of people all drinking them. The bartender didn’t serve a single martini even.

During the delicious beef tenderloin dinner, we served a big (Imperial) bottle of wine that we had bought at a local charity auction. It was a wine from “Vashon Winery”:http://www.winepressnw.com/wineexpert/winery/?id=532 and was very good, better than I expected. :) More wine and music and then we left. This is the part I don’t remember – I hardly ate anything and drank too much and my sister had to drive me home (Gay went with friends to show them where they were staying on the island). According to my sister, we stayed up another hour or so then I went to bed before Gay got home.

h3. Friday

Friday was a busy (hungover) day of getting the house and yard ready. If it wasn’t for our friends and family helping out, we don’t know what the place would’ve looked like. My brother and his wife went into Seattle to pick up the speakers and amplifiers for the outdoor music. That was pretty easy to set up, just lots of lifting heavy speakers on top of our roof for the reception. At about 9pm, we could relax with pizza and beers and listen to music outside.

h3. The Wedding

At 3am, Gay and I woke up somehow and Gay suggested that we turn off the sprinklers that go on at 4am so they don’t soak all the pig-roasting equipment set up in the yard. So I went downstairs looking for a flashlight and turned off the sprinklers. Went back to bed and asked Gay “Where’s my tie?”. She checked the closet, but it wasn’t there. An hour later after looking all over the house for it, we realized that Gay had put it in the garment bag before the suit’s alteration and we never got it back when we got the suit back. By this time, our friends, Scott and Roy, the pig-roasters, had arrived and started setting up the fire and put the pig on the spit. They were trying very hard to be quiet and if we weren’t already awake, only the dogs would have heard them.

We finally fell back asleep for a few more hours, but by 8am, the visitors to the house were too much to stay asleep. So we got up for some coffee. Gay called “Nordstrom”:http://www.nordstrom.com/ to get a replacement tie and they were extremely helpful. They didn’t have the same tie in stock anymore, but they put together three similar ties that our friend picked up for us. It turns out, Nordstrom had given us the three ties since they had lost the original tie. We found out when we returned the two we didn’t want, that we could’ve kept them. That’s customer service!

The morning was still a lot of last-minute work getting the decorations put up. By 3pm, I put my suit and new tie on and Gay and I went out to take pictures in the front yard. Family photos followed and then guests started arriving. I had one beer during the pre-ceremony and I was amazingly relaxed. But when the officiant and I walked up to start the ceremony, I started freaking out. I hate being the center of attention and it hit me that I had to stand up there what seemed like hours while 100+ people stared at me. Thoughts of collapsing, falling down or something else that would ruin the ceremony were racing through my head. I was a mess. But Gay was loving every second of it, it seemed.

After the ceremony, we had a big group photo taken and then everyone went to the backyard for cocktails and appetizers. Gay, me, my sister and Gay’s friend stayed with the officiant where we signed the wedding license. We were officially married at that point. Now for the first manhattan of our married life…

The most important thing about the reception, and one thing I still can’t believe happened, is that we had a keg of “Fuller’s ESB”:http://www.fullers.co.uk/! Fuller’s ESB is my favorite beer and after being to countless weddings with lousy beer, I swore that when I got married I would have Fuller’s. And I did. :D We also had “Pilsner Urquell”:http://www.pilsner-urquell.com/ for those people who don’t like much flavor in their beer, although if you’re going to drink a pilsner, that’s the one to drink. Definitely the best beer selection at a wedding I’ve ever seen.

The wedding went entirely too fast… it’s true when they say your wedding reception is like a blur. We talked to lots of people but only for a few seconds each. And by midnight, we were tired and went to bed where we found a “care package” that our friends had put on our nightstand: big bottles of water, champagne on ice and Advil. :)

h3. Sunday Brunch

We had a brunch on Sunday that many of the wedding guests attended. Gay’s family and my mom cooked sausages, quiches, bacon, etc. and we drank Bloody Marys and tried to finish the Fuller’s keg. For the first time in several days, I finally got enough to eat and just whiled away the drinking beer outside in the sun chatting with friends and family.

After it’s all said and done and all my complaining about all the work we (Gay) had to do, I did have lots of fun. It was much better than I thought it’d be and it went too quickly for me.

h3. Thanks!

I can’t thank everyone enough for all the hard work they put into our wedding:

Steve and Nicki came over weeks before and, with Gay, created “the vision” for the decorations, from decorations in the trees to the flowers on the tables. Days before the wedding, Eric, Steve and Nicki worked all day every day to get everything done and it was incredible. Steve even put blue sand in little clay pots that we used as ashtrays and we found dahlias floating in water and gossamer in our bathrooms. These are things I never would’ve thought of! My sister went right to work on the favors putting little labels on hundreds of little tin canisters and put our own labels on cases of water bottles, with some help from my mom. My dad mowed the lawn and picked up every piece of doggie doo in the yard. Gay’s parents drove a 140lb pig packed in dry ice from Spokane and Scott checked on it every few hours for a couple days to make sure it’s thawed and otherwise prep’d it. My brother and sister-in-law who made the emergency run into Seattle to pick up the sound equipment, helped me set it up and controlled the music throughout. And to Scott and to Roy who worked for too many hours setting up, cleaning up and, of course, roasting the pig that made our wedding very memorable to us and everyone who attended.

Thanks to John and Mark for speaking at our wedding with such well-thought-out words. Lee for volunteering to control the music during the ceremony. Stephanie and Matt for picking up ties for me. Megan and Jon for picking up the kegs the day of the wedding. Dick and Melinda for the wonderful rehearsal dinner in a beautiful environment that made our rehearsal dinner as memorable as our wedding. My parents who gave generously to pay for the rehearsal dinner. Gay’s parents who gave too much for the wedding itself. If it weren’t for all of these people, the wedding wouldn’t have been as perfect as it was! :)

And the gifts….. thank you cards are either already received, in the mail or will be soon. But the generosity of everyone was shocking. And the numerous Recipezaar people, most of whom we’ve never met, who sent us gifts, which mean the most to us.

And, of course, all the friends and relatives who travelled so far to witness our wedding, including “Bergy”:http://www.recipezaar.com/browse/getchef.zsp?id=4470 for driving all the way from northern Canada to meet us and share in our wedding.

And to all the people I’ve forgotten to mention, THANK YOU!