Yesterday came and went in a big crazy-fun blur. I'm still trying to settle myself down and let the fact that I've been married to the most wonderful woman I can imagine sink in. I don't really have time at this moment to talk my way through the whole day, but before I forget them, I just want to jot down some quick highlights from the big day from my perspective, and also thank the people who volunteeered for various tasks and who all did a fantastic job. Highlights from the weekend:
- There was a lot of people at the rehearsal dinner that Diane's parents put on for us. It was very welcoming.
- Food at the rehearsal dinner was beef or chicken burgers, with all the fixings. Salads and beans were also available in plenty. Dessert was a full out sundae and banana split bar. I was reminded of Marble Slab's selection.
- In the middle of the rehearsal, my Grandpa says the line where anyone who might object to the marriage say something. A couple seconds later a huge crack of thunder goes over our heads. I look up at the ceiling and say... "Oh really?".
- Several of the groomsmen stayed over at my place the night before the wedding. It was a whole lot better to spend it with some good friends. I think I would've had a whole lot more trouble getting to sleep if I was on my own all night building up the next day in my head. They helped keep me calm and relaxed (as much as possible anyways).
- Waiting in the church for the Bride and her bridesmaids to arrive was pretty fun. The guys hung out in a side room and it was a little surreal to be getting so many sneaky waves as the many people I knew passed by the room's door.
- I'm not used to being the centre of attention.
- When the warning came in that the bride was there, I had to leave the groomsmen and wait by myself in the choir room. That wait was a bit more awkward since I didn't really have anyone to talk to.
- Kepi fell over partway through the ceremony. Many jokes were made at his expense throughout the evening, but he was really good natured about it. I had no forewarning of it happening, but people later mentioned that he had gone pretty pale.
- My Grandpa, who performed the service for us, forgot to let me kiss my bride. In my confusion, I asked a little louder than I might've, and the whole congregation had a chuckle. Hey, that's what I signed up for! ;-) We got our kiss in after the signing of the register.
- Despite our note at the bottom of the bulletin asking for a moment to reflect with each other in private immediately after the service, Rebecca (one of the bridesmaids) barged in to our room. We learned later that she hadn't seen a bulletin. Whoops! It was okay though.
- The ceremony took roughly 35-40 minutes.
- The congregation exited the church, and hung around to see us leave the church and enter the limo. That was another surreal moment - once again I'm not used to all the attention.
- I've never been in a limo before. It was a bit tight for 10 people. It was fun, but I probably wouldn't sign up for it again. It was nice to be able to see all the wedding party members between photoshoot locations.
- Jason Kasumovic, our photographer, was fantastic.
- Family formal photos were taken next to the St Albert Public Library.
- The weather couldn't be better (thank you for not raining on us!).
- Other shooting locations included the Muttart Conservatory grounds and the Royal Alberta Museum grounds.
- Lunch was picked up from the Upper Crust Cafe. Absolutely wonderful sandwhiches. Two words: cheese bread.
- Good turnout at the reception. It was good to see so many friends/family there.
- The head table was a very tight fit.
- The food was excellent.
- First course: spinach salad with feta cheese, held in place by a long cucumber slice around it all.
- Main course: salmon and roast beef. The salmon was a bit overcooked I thought, but the beef was very tender and delicious. We heard the salmon at the buffet was pretty good though, and we hope that was the case.
- Dessert: A wonderful strawberry shortcake in several layers. Absolutely delicious.
- Speeches: Short and sweet. Some touching words from everyone.
- Note to other people planning their wedding: don't wing the bride/groom speech. Also, I actually wanted to say that we had planned big-O(wedding) -- that's a computer science joke.
- Second note: have someone organize the details of the reception and come up with a schedule. It's very hard to organize and not be frantic at the same time when things don't quite go smoothly. Let someone else trustworthy handle the details and sit back and enjoy.
- First dance: Diane and I were a bit rusty with our waltzing, and we had to avoid tripping on her dress. But eventually we got going.
- Rickroll: Yup, we pulled off a rickroll. I didn't hear many comments about it though, so I wonder if people actually liked it. Obviously a bunch of people were very confused.
- Slideshow: Absolutely wonderful job by my sister who I kind of threw the job at her at way too late notice.
- Dancing: I'm glad people got some serious dancing in. It was good that it got some use.
- DJs: Dan was absolutely fantastic at the DJ booth. Props to Ryan and Brad too for helping, and Ryan for his adventures getting the equipment there and returned.
- It was a lot of fun to visit with a lot of the guests. I'm sorry if we didn't get a chance to talk to you before you had to leave -- I'm sure there's a lot of you that didn't get a chance to talk to us.
- Last dance: Danced to Norah Jones, Come Away with Me. There was less than 20 people left at that point, and we helped close out the joint. Not too bad I think.
I just want to say that it was an amazing day, and this is just a sampling of what I was thinking about throughout the day. I want to also make sure to thank some of the important people who made the evening possible:
- The Parents. Thanks to both sets of parents, who took care of more details than I can imagine. They were extremely supportive of our desire to run the show our way for the most part, but they were also very helpful in making sure we had details we hadn't thought of figured out. I don't really want to know what all went in to making everything look so wonderful.
- My Grandparents. I am extremely fortunate to still have my wonderful grandparents around to not only see my wedding, but also play an important role. My Grandfather got a one day licence to wed us (he no longer has an active licence since he retired from ministry), and was very supportive in helping us find the right choices for the ceremony we eventually performed. My Grandmother is simply awesome :)
- The wedding party (and as a subset, both Diane's and my siblings): They put up with our lengthy photoshoot, as well as the huge number of tasks that we put on them with little to no notice. Thank you so very much!
- Many thanks to our Ushers: Rhianne and Brendan.
- Thanks to Simone who arranged the beautiful cello quartet that played at the ceremony!
- Nolan played a couple of key roles: he videotaped the ceremony for us, and he provided the projector to play the slideshow on. Thank you very much for your help!
- A huge thank you goes to Ryan Falkenbe(rg), who endured quite a saga to get the audio equipment to the venue on time. Thankfully, his jeep didn't lose a window! Ryan put up with a bunch of harrassment from me to get the audio equipment booked, and transported.
- Thank you to Paul Myroon who did a very good job displaying his MC talents.
- Thank you to Dan, Brad, and Ryan who were in and around the DJ booth for most of the night playing some great tunes. I understand Dan took over the show, so he deserves a great deal of the credit. But thanks to the other guys for stepping in as well!
- A big thank you the the group of people who helped setup the hall. Pam and Madeleine were two people who helped our mothers setup the hall. I sure hope I'm not missing people here, but we weren't there to see that setup.
- Thanks to Jodie for pouring out the tea for our tea ceremony.
- Thanks to An, Jasmine and Crystal for watching the guestbook and the gift table.
- Thanks to Anita for setting up the key prank.
- Megan did a fantastic job with the slideshow too. We kind of threw it at her last minute and she did a fantastic job. She even managed to figure out a way to pace through the slides so that the end of Diane's pictures happened at the end of the first song, and the slideshow ended right at the end of the 3rd song. She was at the laptop hitting the right arrow key to show the next slide.
- Jason, our photographer, spent 12 hours of his day following us around and posing us for some excellent shots. We're really looking forward to seeing the results of his work!
- Our very pretty wedding cake was designed and created by Claudia Kalogirou, who brought the cake herself and arranged it and everything!
- Diane's mom's friend Marilyn drove up from Red Deer to help decorate and serve the rehearsal feast, Diane's neighbour Jane-Anne made us a potato salad with radishes carved into flowers, and Diane's Aunt Janet pitched in too despite feeling a little under the weather.
- And a very big thankyou to everyone that came to enjoy the ceremony and/or the reception. It was so good to see so many faces -- some that I hadn't seen in far too long. We are so happy that so many people were able and willing to come out and see us get married and to enjoy some food and dance with us. Thank you so very much.
I sincereley hope I haven't forgetten anyone. At this point in time I'm pretty tired, but I wanted to make sure that this got out soon. There are just two last things I wanted to say before I ran off to go collapse.
1) Since you got this far, you deserve a reward. Jason has posted a sampling of the photos he took at the wedding. They are posted at his blog. Go there and enjoy! We're incredibly happy with the results.
2) I just want to say that this blog will be sticking around for the long haul. We're going to use it as a way to communicate how we're doing while we're in Ireland. Our experiences, our photos, and our thoughts will all be shared here for you to read. I hope that at least some people find this a useful way to learn about how we're doing overseas. Feel free to comment liberally on the posts we make!
Thank you everyone! It was a wonderful day.