On July 27, Max and I will celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. I’ve decided to post something new everyday about us. Because it’s my blog, and I can.
We modeled our wedding on the wedding of my cousin Kristen to her husband Adam. We even got married next to a lake. We wanted a wedding weekend, because so many of our guests would be traveling. We had two inns completely booked – The Shaker Inn and the Mary Keane House, located right next to each other.
Two days before the wedding, some of us arrived at the Shaker Inn – basically Max’s immediate family and my immediate family, including my grandparents. Some of the bridal party got in late that night. My friend Helena, my penpal since the 5th grade, arrived from Spain! It was the first time we had ever met. I remember getting very drunk that night and “swimming” down the ramp of the Shaker Inn to greet my “baby cousins” Nick and Scott (teens then).
The day before the wedding, I went with my sister, her boyfriend (now husband), and my parents to a salon for manicures (the girls) and haircuts (the guys). Later, we had the rehearsal, followed by the rehearsal picnic. (Regret: Not inviting everyone who was there to the rehearsal picnic. We just invited the wedding party. There was a reason, but looking back, I feel bad for not including everyone.) After the rehearsal, we had a shower. So many people I knew came from out of town, that I actually had two showers – one for everyone in the New England area and one for everyone traveling. (Regret: I did not have a bachelorette party.)
That night, we had a Dessert Social for everyone. The members of Max’s improv troupe put on a performance. I wish we had videotaped it. (Regret: We didn’t hire a videographer.)
The wedding on Saturday was suspicious to start. Cloudy, but not cold. My Aunt Sue convinced me to go swimming in the lake. I forgot a towel, and I must have yelled in frustration. My friend (and ex-roommate) Alex brought me one. He said, “You think your voice doesn’t carry across a lake?” Jenn and Lisa (at the time, NPP girlfriends) went to Wendy’s to get the wedding party lunch.
I got ready in the Shaker Inn. I had a headband of flowers. I said, “I look like Queen Amidala.” It was all right, but not exactly what I envisioned. My parents started to bicker, and I apparently yelled at them, “You two! Stop talking!”
It was more or less clear by 3:30 for the ceremony. Because we were getting married in a meadow, I had the bridesmaids all make a wall in front of me so no one could see me getting from the Mary Keane House to the ceremony itself. Apparently, as I got to the front of the aisle, the sun came out entirely.
My manager, Edna, was sitting in the back row and started taking my picture. I flashed her the “Peace” sign. Max’s friend since Kindergarten, Pete Hummon, composed my very own entrance music. I did not have my Dad escort me down the aisle. I’ve never liked the symbolism of being “given away.”
Our friend Kellie Walsh read the first reading. Then, I sang to Max – “All I’ve Got to Say” from The Last Unicorn. Kellie read the second reading. Our friends Jason Specland and Christine sang “You Are My Home” from The Scarlet Pimpernel. Next came the vows, which were a blend of various Christian vows. The ring exchange, which involved our mothers, came next. Our dads and my grandpa read three different Irish blessings. (The Monsignor from my church growing up always closed the Mass with an Irish blessing.) Finally, there was “the kissing part.”
I’ll see if I can get Max to tell the story here of how his high school Chemistry teacher crashed our ceremony, and how it subsequently meant that our exit music was the Windows alert noise.
Again, I’m really sorry that we didn’t hire a videographer. I would have loved to have all of this on tape.
Justice of the Peace:
(we asked her to become a JP just to marry us, and she did)
Jackson (Jake) Shepherd
Jennifer and Katherine Swonger
I have our wedding program online too.
We made sure we took pictures with everybody during the Cocktail Hour, which meant we didn’t get any hors d’oeuvres. My Matron of Honor, Penny, was about 4 weeks pregnant, and we made sure she got some and some bottled water. At dinner, Penny and Taylor made toasts, and we had Max’s mom read a blessing and my grandmother say a prayer.
Everyone told me that I wouldn’t eat at my wedding. We hired Melanie in part because I was determined that I would. And I Did! I have the picture to prove it. The food was quite good!
Right before we cut the cake, we played a dedication that my mom had made to me on the radio in 1991. Then, Max and I toasted our families. My sister asked if she could make a toast, and I said yes. She started by saying “I’d like to thank my sister for leaving me out of the ‘family toast.'” So I grabbed the mic and said, “To my sister, for her humility.”
Max and I danced (ish) to “Once Upon a Dream” from Sleeping Beauty. (Why yes, I did pick that song out while I was sitting in 11th grade AP American History.) Then, my dad and I danced to “Stardust.” (I let him pick that one.) We had all of the dads & daughters dance after the first verse, and my Grandpa danced with my sister.
We had a very 80s reception, which included a game of Ho! set to “Safety Dance.” (Regret: We didn’t do a receiving line or an organized “drive by” every table, which I’m sure some people saw as very rude.)
Our reception had to end by 11, I think, due to local ordinance. It was amazing! And yes, somewhat magical. I wanted to capture so many minutes and save them forever.