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21 February 2015 @ 12:40 pm
The Wedding  
Eeep! Saturday started with a moment of disbelief - This was really happening - I was getting MARRIED! O.o

I couldn't linger in disbelief for too long, though - there were flowers to arrange and other details to attend to before we could get to the ceremony part of the day! The plan was that after leaving the house, I wouldn't see him again until the ceremony, so I gave the Mister a quick smooch and then headed out the door with the flowers.

As I bundled up the flowers into the car, I began to have some serious concerns about how many of them were fully open or starting to wilt. I knew there were extras included, though, so I decided to not worry about it and just go to site without stopping at Woodman's or Costco for reinforcements. When I got to site and started to sort the flowers, though, it became clear that I really should have stopped... There just were not enough flowers that were usable - unless each bridesmaid only got two or three stems and we didn't have any in the decor, there were just too many dead flowers. I didn't freak out over it for too long, though - I just activated Plan B and sent my mom and my friend Anna to the grocery store for more while Buffy, Wren, and I made the boy's boutonniers and the mother's corsages. Unfortunately, by the time my mom and Anna returned with the the grocery store bunches, we were behind schedule and I had to just let Greg see me because I could not vacate the public areas until the flowers were done. Also, the flowers were different from what the grocery had been carrying all week and so I needed to reconsider how to put together the bouquets AGAIN. I actually was having some difficulty since it was such a departure from what I had planned, but then I looked over at what my sister was doing for the bridesmaids and it was brilliant, so I just made a giant version of it for myself. Hurray! Tragedy averted! My mom put together the tossing bouquet out of the pincusion flowers, which I was now VERY glad I had ordered and we used up much of the "extra" foliage I had ordered to get the free shipping from the Hawaiian flower place! THIsm orning we also discovered that the groomsmen did not have pockets for the pocket squares Buffy and I had painstakingly hand-finished for them. *facepalm* I just assumed that suits would have little pockets, so we had sewn the pocket suares to match the cravats. No help for it, we just skipped using them for the groomsmen. :P

Then I got the cake partially set up and then handed the finishing task off to Wren. We ordered in some lunch, since we no longer had time to go out for lunch and Teffan was a rock star in coordinating that. I shoved a piece of pizza into my face and then set myself down to get beautified. :P First Iohnna did my hair and then Wren did my makeup. About half-way through the hair, the photographer showed up, so I knew our time was starting to run very short. I had gflower pin the veil to my headband and vaguely heard her say something about rotating it so it would hide a slightly odd portion of beading. at the last second, I wriggled into the dress... to find that my brastraps showed after all! Aaaaack! We had positioned them so carefully, I'm not quite sure what went wrong, but it was a strapless convertible bra and I was just wearing the straps for security, so my mom and my sister reached in and unhooked the straps. I had the traditional family wedding ivy for my something old, the veil for my something new, my great-grandmother's earrings from my mom as my something borrowed, and my sapphire engagement ring for something blue. Then I shooed my mom out to her seat and it was go time! The bridesmaids all went to thier places in the vestibule and I was alone with the photographer and Wren who would tell me when I should enter. I took a deep breath and looked into my reflection on the door and had a horrifying realization. The veil was on backwards! Instead of a smooth fingertip length circle all the way around, it made a weird U in the front, because the squared off back was in the front! I didn't have time to call the bridesmaids back or the ability to re-pin it myself in time, so I took another deep breath, positioned my giant bouquet over the gap, and headed out into the vestibule.

I wasn't within hearing range when things started, but apparently there was a little misfire with the music initially, but once everything got underway, it went pretty well. Bridei/Lori, the officiant, walked in and "magically" lit the candles in the ceremony space with a wave of her hand (and a discreet click of the remote). Greg and the wedding party walked in to Dead Can Dance's Saltarello. The flower girls followed - they are both in their 20's, but we set up the schtick that one would look confused and wander off halfway down the aisle and be waved back into place by "mom" teffan. (Humor. It is definitely part of our relationship.) Then it was my turn with Siouxsie and the Banshee's Last Beat of my Heart as my entrance music. I had to keep reminding myself: slow and stately, slow and stately... don't let the nerves let you run or you'll trip over this giant dress... I got to the stage safely, though, and handed my bouquet to my sister to give to Denis to hold, since he didn't have a bouquet already. (Having a boy on my side actually worked out brilliantly.) Greg sucessfully raised the veil without incident and the ceremony began.

We had picked out two readings and wrote little intros to explain what each of these readings meant to us and why we had included them. The first reading was done by Jenna and was the "Declaration of Principles" from Babylon 5. The intro read: Jean and Greg have invited all of you here today because of the special places that you occupy in their lives and hearts.  They believe that for a marriage to flourish, it must be embedded within a strong community of family and friends, and have thus chosen as their first reading a short text by citizen G’kar on these themes.

The second reading was read by Deena and was "On Friendship" from Khalil Gibran. The intro read: You have all come here to witness a profession of love and commitment, but it is friendship that has paved the road to this day. Jean and Greg’s families of blood first taught them of the importance of friendship, it was friendship that allowed them to build this larger family of choice, and it was their friendship that bound them together and led them to a stronger love. Therefore, today we share with you some thoughts “On Friendship” from Kahlil Gibran.

At this point, I realized that I really loved the way we had the ceremony arranged. With the stage and the large open area before the theater seating, I could look at Greg, our officiant, or out into the group of friends and family that had come together with us to celebrate. It just made me so stunningly happy to be able to look out and see all those faces. The officiant had some talky-bits about the readings too - "What are the themes of those quotes? ... One-ness throughout time; one-ness through every human situation and emotion; Kindness always; and soul-deepening friendship. The union of two people in marriage is a mighty demonstration of that friendship and one-ness. We are here to witness and to add our blessing to the union that Jean and Greg are making public today. We add our blessings on behalf of not just ourselves, but also our ancestors and our inheritors, on behalf of the eternal spirit of life and love, because we are one. Jean and Greg, you have already committed your hearts and lives to each other privately. What do you want to tell each other here in public, to be witnessed and blessed by the rest of us?" This introduced our "professions of love" - which is apparently a wedding trend I had missed, but Greg was keen to include and was a fun and interesting way of demonstrating how well-suited we are for each other. Parts of it were funny, parts of it were serious, but it all was 100% us, in all our glorious weirdness.

Greg's read: I love you. I love you for your ferocious desire to make the world a better place. I love waking up with you, fuzzy, confused and happy. I love you for your relentless curiosity, and for your desire to share all the interesting secrets with anyone who can be induced to listen. I love crafting extremely peculiar inside jokes together. I love you for your dedication to friends and family, kin and clan.I love watching you horrify Turkish salespeople by eating terrifyingly spicy peppers. I love the thought of sitting with you, one day, when we are old (well, older), and gray (well, grayer), and being able to look back on a long and fascinating trip taken together. I love you, Jean, and can imagine no better partner or companion in life and mischief.

And mine read: I love you. I love you for your intellect, your imagination, and your wicked, quick wit. I love staying up way past my bedtime with you, solving the problems of the world or havering on about nothing. I love that you generally let me be a “self-rescuing princess,” but are on hand to be my white knight when I actually do meet with a dragon too large. I love that you are “the great accepter” and see the best in everyone. I love that your shopping lists may contain excellent Scotch, obscure books, or rabid weasels. I love that you remember how to play and that you’re game for adventures through time and space. I love that a conversation with you can flow from politics to history to pharmacokinetics to industrial music and yet never actually feel disjointed. I love walking with you under the starlight and finding peace under the moon. I love you, Greg, and look forward to adventuring on life together. (I got a little teary during mine, but successfully made it through and had a vintage handkerchief on hand for just this situation.)

Then there were the vows (I, Gregory, take you Jean, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, through adventure and adversity, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part. / I, Jean, take you Gregory, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, through adventure and adversity, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.). One of the challenges of the ceremony was not looking at the Best Man, since he was right behind Greg and is really prone to tearing up. I didn't need any help with that, so I mostly averted my eyes except when he came forward with the ring. :P We also did a handfasting band at this point - I've always loved that imagry and while we were using it AT a weddinginstead of as an engagement or "annual renawable" sort of thing, I still wanted to include it. The band sat on the little altar during the ceremony and then when the time came, Lori picked it up and said "Some of you may know that Jean and Greg share an interest in history. Jean has always loved the imagery of the Handfasting – the binding together of two hands, two hearts, two lives – and has made a handfasting band as an additional symbol of their union. The thin strip of linen is embroidered with ivy vines, representing the wedding ivy handed down from her grandmother and family history in general. A vine starts from each end, joining in a heart in the middle, symbolizing the coming together of Jean and Greg today in this marriage. But the ivy itself is an inhabited vine – there is a bat for Greg and a frog for Jean, of course, but there are also fruits, thorns, birds, bugs, and flowers, symbolizing all the delights and challenges of a shared life. With this symbol of love, commitment, and adventures to come, we bind them together." Then she neatly knotted us together before concluding: "By witnessing their vows, the exchange of rings, and joining of their hands, we bless Jean and Greg in the marriage they have created and support them in the life they will share. As Jean and Greg will grow and change, their relationship will also grow and change, and that is as it needs to be. While change can be unexpected and even unbalancing, remember this revelation from that remarkable philosopher, Terry Prachett : He “considered the nature of time and understood that the universe is, instant by instant, recreated anew. Therefore, he understood, there is in truth no past, only a memory of the past. Blink your eyes, and the world you see next did not exist when you closed them. Therefore, he said, the only appropriate state of the mind is surprise. The only appropriate state of the heart is joy. The sky you see now, you have never seen before The perfect moment is now. Be glad of it. ... Jean and Greg: YOU ARE MARRIED! You may kiss......!And we did! <3 :) <3 She then presented us as the new Drs. Kveberg and we processed out to Modern English's Melt with You.

We had ordered WAAAAY too many too many silk flower petals, so I had hid the extra bag of them under the flower girls' seats, so they got to go nuts with them on the way out. :) Mr. Greg and I, for our part, had a right proper smooch at the back of the hall while the rest of the wedding party processed out.

Next up were photos - we were skipping the receiving line, because everyone hates those anyway and whymc's mom would not have been able to tolerate it. Instead, we decided to make good use of the site - since it was a giant theatre with stadium seating, we got everyone to smoosh into one section and arrayed the wedding party up the stairs and got a giant happy group picture. (I can't wait to see it - it's one of my most-anticipated wedding photos that should be available pretty soon now...) After the group photo, all the guests went downstairs and we proceeded with the photo shoot. First we did the family shots so that we could let them join the reception (and get my mom and dad out of each other's immediate presence). Then there were the formal wedding party shots before we trooped up to the Capitol to do some artsy shots. (On our way our to the Capitol, the site lady stopped me and asked if I wanted the sheetcakes put out as well as the main decorated cake because the baker had really "outdone themselves" and the cakes were spectacular. I was a little confused as to how color-on-color leaves and vines could be so spectacular, but I said sure.) It was pretty cold out, but not as windy as it had been the previous week, so we were able to do at least some shots before we all froze solid. We did need to come inside halfway through since I was getting a little red from the cold, even with wrapping up in the pashmina whenever possible. I'm not so sure about some of the "serious and modern" wedding party photos - we are just not terribly serious people, but we'll see how they turn out. They took about a billion photos, so I am sure some of them will be just fine. We also took some of just Greg and I - I am particularly excited to see how the ones at the church across the street turn out - it looks very castle-y and I think will be a great backdrop.

Unfortunately, just as we were leaving the photoshoot to head indoors, I dropped my bouquet and it was cold enough that several of the fern curls snapped right off. Ack! We got inside and I was inspecting the damage when I noticed zarhooie and Jeanie nearby. I asked zarhooie to fetch a few of the extra fern curl stems and Jeanie lent me her knife to quickly lop off the fern curls to the correct length and stuff them into the bouquet. Ta-Da! all better! Then it was time to process into the reception, which we did to TMBG's Istanbul (not Constantinople), since that was where we had been engaged. As we headed past the cake table on the way to the head table, I missed a step in horror - the cakes were not at all what I had ordered. There were no monochromatic, dignified leaves and vines. No, the "spectacular" cakes were in fact "spooktacular", with haunted trees, ghosts, and a graveyard. We had some Halloween elements, but the cakes were NOT suppposed to be one of them. After the initial shock, though, I just kept going - what else could we do? Everyone had seen the cakes already during the cocktail hour and we were going to eat the evidence. :P

We got settled in and were about to start the buffet when we realized that they had started pouring the champagne toast without asking when we would like that served, so we quickly cued out speakers and did that first. First we toasted out friends and family that were there to share the day with us and to absent friends. Ken, the best man, had some lovely things to say (including a little funny bit about Greg being able to make me fall in love with him not once but TWICE), but it was really my sister, Buffy, who stole the show. She really did her homework and came up with an excellent toast. she started with "Privet i dobryy vecher - Hello and good evening" and then said some squishy things about how much we were in love and that she was happy I had found a man who is "intellectually stimulating and at the same time loves to play legos." Then my mom's family did a round of the "Rose, rose" song that we had all been fond of and that includes the line "when shall I see thee wed?" - I'm sure many in my family had been wondering if the day would ever come! :P The winning portion of the speech, though, was her toast: "May your ears resound with the music of children's laughter, may your keys always open plentiful stores, may your roof tree shelter friends and family in frith, may your table always groan under feast foods and flowing mead, may yout hearth always hear tales of great deeds. Hail the happy couple! Skol!"*

They had us cut the cake before dinner so it could be cut up and served once everyone was through the buffet. The display cake was just from Costco, but I had surrounded it with trees and fences and topped with a giant purple swirl with a Jack and Sally minifigure for the "bride and groom." We had agreed that cake feeding would be nice and pretty, so there were no real shenanigans around that, other than soem axe-murdery stabbing of the cake. :D Then it was on to dinner time - I had my lovely linen apron that I used to cover my dress. I did manage to make it through without dripping anything on myself, but was happy to have it as a safety. :) The food was sort of 'meh' but there were a lot of options and a lot of it. I was a little displeased that when it came time to GET the cake, I was unable to convince the servers to bring me a slice of each of the cakes. I wanted to try them ALL and it was my wedding, damnit! Eventually, I gave it up as hopeless and just focused on the guests. Still, between the Daddy-daughter dance (Wonderful World)and the first dance (Dance Me to the End of Love), and saying goodbye to all the people who were flowing out, the night passed with amazing speed. Thank goodness for our officiant, who realized at some point that we really needed to SIGN the paperwork to make the whole shindig legal! we scooted upstairs, I buslted up the dress, and we signed the paperwork right before the photographer took off. There was some dancing, some drinking, and some mingling, but by about 10PM, the population of the wedding had really dropped off. teffan helped organize taking all the gifts out to her car and then we settled up with the bartender before taking the reception on the road!

Both Greg and I are huge fans of The Inferno - a local goth/industrial club, conveniently located between the site and home. I never had changed into my reception gown, so decided to just go in the wedding dress. We had a spectacular time with the dozen or so wedding attendants and guests that went with us! The dress was even a lot of swishy fun all bustled up and, despite the Halloween crowd, it was only stepped on once in a questionably accidental incident. A few people remarked about what a nice costume I had and so I had explained to a fair number of people that we were, for realsies, newlyweds. :D About an hour into the night, we suddenly realized that we had never tossed the bouquet! (We had never planned on doing the garter thing, so it just sort of got lost in the night's festivities.) I decided that I would toss the bouquet THERE instead and attempted to construct a flower out of bar napkins and straws, but that didn't work out, so I stole the boutineer from my bridesman, Denis, and promised him a replacement later. I stood up on one of the benches and made a general announcement over the sound of the club that I was, in fact, actually a bride and I had forgotten the bouquet toss. I had all the single ladies within the sound of my voice (so, like 7 feet :P) get behind me and I tossed the "bouquet" in the club. I met the catcher later - her name was Lauren and her boyfriend was at the club dressed as a Pict! How cool is that! Finally, around 1AM, Greg and I were just BEAT and it was clear we would not make it to bartime, so we transferred the gifts to my car and headed home.


Greg got home somewhat before me, so I had to ring the doorbell to get him to come down and lift me over the threshold, as is right and proper. ;) There were additional smooches and squishes and lots of "OMG, we're MARRIED," but we passed out pretty quickly, since there was cleanup and a brunch to do in the morning. Weddings are a ton of work, a ton of fun, and I am so glad, for so many reasons, that I'll only have to do this once.

* Ending her speech with "Skol!" fit the toast Buffy had designed, but was also a nod to the speech I had given as MOH at HER wedding. I had stood up, given the speech, and then, being used to toasting SCA feasts, ended it with "Skol!" before thinking about it. I was met with crickets until my Uncle Steve - a giant dude with a booming voice - caught on and responded "SKOL!" from the back of the room and everyone else sort of petered in with a weak "skol?" I was explaining that for the rest of the night. :P
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