A Beautiful Wedding in Hampton, VA

This weekend my lovely sister Amy got married to her best friend Mike. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of the event alongside my wife Kristin and baby girl Layla. We each had an awesome time! While all of these great images are fresh in my mind I thought I’d solidify them e-paper for posterity’s sake! Here are some of my newly formed memories:

The Day Before

  • The breeze is cool and refreshing, and the weather is in the upper 60s.
  • Everyone in the wedding party makes it to the base (Fort Monroe) in time for the rehearsal, but the officiant isn’t there. He’s having car trouble and arrives almost an hour late. Tensions are high, but the wedding party goofs around on stage anyway. We all make jokes about the stupid stuff we could do while up in the gazebo in front of all the wedding guests. Cheesy winks and finger-points, anyone?
  • Four years after our siblings started dating I finally meet the sister of the groom. Katie and I laugh about having missed meeting each other after so many years.
  • After a long and intense debate, the groomsmen collectively decide that they will clasp their hands in front, with their right hand over their left.
  • As we simulate the ring placement Mike goes for Amy’s right hand. Amy gives him a smack.
  • As we break for the rehearsal dinner, which is about 10 minutes away, Kristin and I are in such a rush to get there we leave our umbrella stroller at the base. We conveniently realize our mistake as we get ready to head into the restaurant. Not wanting to go back for a $20 stroller, we go into a Target nearby and get another $20 stroller. We arrive fashionably late to the rehearsal.
  • The food at the rehearsal dinner is crazy good. The offerings are eggplant parm, spaghetti and meatballs, and lasagna. I go with the lasagna and Kristin goes with the eggplant parm. I devour mine quickly and without shame - I’m starved. Layla must be starved too, because she eats all of Kristin’s pasta.
  • Layla is the biggest ham in the world. She cheeses at everyone in the room, really shining that beautiful smile of hers.
  • Amy is having a great time. She pokes fun at Mike and cackles loudly at the jokes the bridesmaids are making.
  • On the way home I notice a tickle in my throat.

The Day Of

  • I wake up with a full blown sore throat. It feels like my tonsils are two golf balls. After dropping Kristin off at the hotel to get ready w/ the girls I grab some Alka Seltzer from Target.
  • The day is noticeably colder than the day before. It’s in the low 60s but still beautiful.
  • I get to the hotel around 1:30. The traffic is much worse than I thought because apparently there is some boat show going on. It takes me 15 minutes to go a couple of blocks on Mercury to the hotel.
  • I drop Layla off in a room with a whole bunch of squealing bridesmaids. Amy has her hair done and is looking great! They have an assortment of fruit which I help myself to.
  • Amy gives Layla a kiss on the cheek, leaving some permanent lipstick there. We have to work with the makeup artist to get it off.
  • I head up to the groom’s room (one floor up) to get myself ready. I forgot how to tie a half-windsor and look it up on my phone. Sean uses the instructions too and is soon equipped with a balla knot.
  • Mike’s dad helps us all with our boutonnieres, and Matt helps me with my pocket square. I didn’t know how intricate the folding for that thing had to be - it’s like oragami!
  • Brian lightens up the mood in the room by playing Frank Sinatra’s “Love and Marriage” on his iPod.
  • The men break off into Mike’s dad’s van while I head back down to the bridesmaid’s room to pickup Kristin and Layla. We head to the venue, where I drop off the two ladies into the limo which carried the other bridesmaids there.
  • I’m not supposed to be wearing sunglasses, but I had to use them to drive. I stuff them in my pocket to prevent myself from putting them on. I spit out my gum as well.
  • Grandma’s knees are bothering her and she wants to sit down. Even though not many people are seated yet, I escort her to her seat in the second row.
  • The ceremony begins without a hitch and everyone is in their positions. Layla comes down the aisle in her little cart oblivious to everyone around.
  • The officiant is in a jovial mood and throughout the whole thing comments on how “awesome” things are. Amy and Mike fill a flower vase with two colors of sand in lieu of a unity candle, which I think is very cool (it will certainly last longer).
  • When the time comes to put on Mike’s ring he has trouble getting it over his knuckle - he has freakishly large knuckles, apparently. Before the cermony he even lubed up his finger with conditioner from the hotel, but that didn’t work very well. The ring eventually goes on (never to come off again, right?) with some force by Amy.
  • Amy and Mike are declared husband and wife and they head back down the aisle to much applause.
  • Layla is freaking out so Kristin’s mom takes her to the car. Kristin and I stay back to take some pictures in the now freezing weather. The breeze got to us after a while! We take a break in Steven’s car to warm up.
  • As Amy finishes up taking pictures she finds a ladybug in the grass. Good luck! Walking away one actually lands on her dress. Double good luck!

The Reception

  • We had to drive Layla back to the hotel to go to sleep, so we arrive at the reception fashionably late. Fortunately Dad has our dinners held for us. We gobble them down - Kristin had beef and I had chicken.
  • I am very impressed with the candy bar. I was skeptical about it leading up to the event, but I’m sold as soon as I see it. Gummy worms, Yorks, mints, and everything else. Great!
  • Grandma has a great time dancing with Brandon.
  • Dad only has two beers throughout the night, but he dances like he’s had about 8. Grandma enjoys watching her son let loose on the dance floor.
  • The photo booth (provided by ShutterBooth.com) is a big hit with all guests. For each set of photos taken Amy and Mike get an entry in a “guestbook” of sorts and the people in the pictures get a copy as well. Brilliant! I take a funny set of pictures with Kristin, Evan, and Lia.
  • Katie, sister of the groom, leads an awesome pop quiz game for Amy and Mike. Each is asked questions about the other in turn, with each of them writing their answers for comparison purposes on whiteboards. They differ on some answers but in an insignificant way - it seems as if the other person’s answer is just as good of an answer as the one they provided on their own (e.g. Amy would love to go to Alaska as much as she’d like to go to Europe).
  • The main dessert is in the form of a full platter of assorted cupcakes. They are unbelievably good and decorated well to boot. I hear they were made by a friend or employee of VBPD. Great job, whoever you are!
  • Everyone grabs glow in the dark wavy-things to greet Amy and Mike as they head out of the reception hall. They come out of the door and into an explosion of cheers and well wishes. In summary everyone had a blast. I was extremely happy to see my sister’s wedding go so well and also to see her so happy. I welcome my new brother in law to the family!