Sunday, November 15, 2009

When I Said I Do


Today GI Joe and I are celebrating our 12 year anniversary. I know, how can someone that does not live in Arkansas or in medieval times be only 25 and have been married for 12 years? It happens, I'm proof. I'm also totally lying. Although we were young, we weren't THAT young and we were legal even without parental consent.
We've had an abundance of sentimental, nice, moving posts here lately and frankly I've had enough. So instead of gagging you with tales of how blissfully happy the past 12 years have been and how wonderful GI Joe is and how I'm such a great wife (ha ha) I'm gonna break it down for you. Let me tell you about the wedding day.
You know how I'm kinda over the top, have princess like tendencies, and am a bit of a drama queen? Yeah? Well, that's nothing new and a wedding did nothing to lessen these personality traits of mine.
My mom and I had been planning (scheming) for months, like before GI Joe had even proposed, to make sure every single detail was perfect. This may come as a shock to you but the colors were PINK w/ silver accents. The service time was set for 6pm, ideal for candlelight. We envisioned a Cinderellaesque wedding, and by we I mean my mom and I, once GI Joe realized he was marrying the wrong girl for a camo wedding in a tree stand out in the woods, he just wanted whatever made me happy. P.S. It was good for him to learn that lesson early on. He did have one disclaimer, that he would NOT wear any pink except for the flower. I worked with that.
After all the planning, plotting, dreaming, the day FINALLY came. The morning of the wedding is all a blur to me but I do remember riding in the car with my Dad and my sister Hilary on the way to the church to get ready, when Hilary accidentally spilled the beans about a slight snafu in the ceremony plans. I can always count on Hilary for such things. GI Joe's dad was supposed to sing a song as the mothers lit the unity candles and were seated. I had given him the background music far in advance of the day and had utmost faith that it would be sung beautifully WITH the lovely background music accompanying him. The big news that Hilary spilled was that he was NOT going to use the background music and was instead going to sing it acapella. I'm not proud of what happened next but I FREAKED OUT. I was sure that it was going to ruin the wedding and I was even more upset that the change had been made without consulting me. Once Dad was done scolding Hilary for letting the cat out of the bag, he very firmly told me to quit being a drama queen, that the lack of background music was not going to ruin the wedding, and that's how it was going to be so get over it. Thanks Dad for going so easy on me on my wedding day. (Sidenote: The acapella song turned out AOK because it allowed GI Joe's dad the flexibility of singing the line "A vow that will NOT be undone" 23 times instead of the 2 he would've been allowed with the background music. He also did some pointed head nods and such towards GI Joe while singing it causing the crowd to erupt in laughter. It may have helped Bridezilla loosen up a little too.)

We arrived at the church to get ready for the pictures that were to be taken pre ceremony. I had insisted that GI Joe, his groomsmen and ushers get there ridiculously early too, probably just to make sure they'd all actually show. I MAY or may not have gone a little Bridezilla when I received word that since they were already dressed and ready and pictures weren't for another 2 hours they were going to go down the street and grab some burgers. I absolutely forbid anyone from leaving the premises because I just knew that if 9 guys, including my groom went out for burgers, someone would get hit by a bus, choke on their burger, or some other tragic event that would prevent them from coming back in one piece for MY WEDDING. It's really a wonder that GI Joe didn't RUN AS FAST AS HE COULD FROM THE CONTROLLING, OVERDRAMATIC, DEMANDING, BRIDEZILLA HE WAS ABOUT TO MARRY. But instead he and his posse stuck around and endured the pangs of hunger just to appease me. Thanks boys, see I told you you wouldn't DIE from hunger!

We bucked tradition and opted to do all the pictures prior to the ceremony, mainly because we wanted to eat sooner. We had our "moment" when GI Joe saw me for the first time in all my bridal (non Bridezilla) glory and in that instant I knew that it didn't matter if the song was sung acapella or not, or if the groomsmen started fainting during the ceremony from hunger, or that the music didn't play right. All that mattered was that I got to spend the rest of my life with this incredibly handsome, nervous looking, (starving) guy in the scuffed cowboy boots who was looking at me with nothing but pure love and adoration. I'll never forget that look. Oh sorry about the sappy, it was just one of those moments worth reliving, now on with your regularly scheduled programming.
We survived the millions of pictures I had insisted upon and then went back into our respective hiding places until the ceremony was to start. My entourage (bridesmaids) and I had a prime location at the back of the church with a curtained window looking into the sanctuary. I remember sitting there peering out of that window, watching as the 365 guests filed in, thinking it was really happening. Oh and then I remember FREAKING OUT AGAIN because they weren't playing the right music. Crisis quickly averted when one of my bridesmaids quickly ran and told the sound guy to fix it ASAP before Bridezilla reappeared. I think by that time in the day they were all terrified and realized I was hanging on to sanity by a tattered thread. :)
I watched from my vantage point as GI Joe seated the grandparents and how proud of him they all looked, even my grandparents, he has that effect on people. Probably because they'd known me the longest and knew what he was about to get himself into! Then it was the mothers. I watched as my mom proudly gave him a big ol' kiss on the cheek before she took her seat. Then I watched as one by one my 6 bridesmaids (small wedding anyone?) made their way down the aisle. And then it was my turn. My dignified Dad refrained from RUNNING me down the aisle to throw me at GI Joe's feet although I'm sure he was tempted given the gray hair he'd earned from raising me. We made it down the aisle and Dad had to go from father of the bride to co-officiating the ceremony (ahh the perks of being a pastor's daughter and marrying a pastor's son) and forgot to give me a kiss before he gave me away. I'm still in therapy for that one, just kidding. It probably had something to do with me distracting him by continuously and frantically whispering to him that GI Joe's dad was doing things out of order and would he please get up there and get this wedding back on track before the whole thing was RUINED?!? (Sidenote: Everything was going exactly in order I just have control issues.) Dad made up for leaving me hanging at the altar when later in the ceremony when he read a poem to me that left no eye in the place dry.

During the Broadway musical, I mean ceremony, I had planned to sing a song to GI Joe. Approximately 14 times my (now) father in law handed me the microphone to sing and approximately 13 times I handed it back to him and whispered "NOT YET! It's not my turn," as our other wedding singers started to sing. Geesh you'd have thought he would've read the program and the 3 page outline/schedule my Dad distributed at the rehearsal the night before, he must've been too busy practicing for his ACAPELLA performance.

Speaking of my now father in law, not only did he keep trying to force me to take the microphone he also tried to catch me on fire. I'm gonna go ahead and hope that it was nerves and not a ploy to off me before I married his son. On the 14th time he handed me the microphone to sing, when it was actually time for me to sing, he also knocked over one of the candles next to the unity candle. Because I was leaning towards him to accept the microphone (finally) my veil was precariously close to the falling candle and it was millimeters away from lighting my veil and heavily sprayed hair on fire. Not on my wedding day!! In one fell swoop I grabbed the candle and set it back upright with one hand and in the other held the microphone and prepared to hit the first note of my song. I am such a multi tasker, in this case however, it was more a matter of survival.

The song ended and believe it or not I didn't forget the words or bawl my head off. It was surreal because while I sang to him, it was like GI Joe and I were the only ones in the room. To anyone who attended, my apologies if it sounded terrible, love is not only blind but deaf too, so neither GI Joe or I noticed.

As you may know I'm directionally challenged. Left, right, east, west, north, south, they all give me a headache. This was a problem when it was time for me to put the ring on GI Joe's finger. I grabbed his right hand and started trying to get the ring on his ring finger but he was pulling it away. For a split second I thought maybe he was getting cold feet and was going to refuse the ring and then leave me at the altar, a jilted bride. O ye of little faith. How about he was trying to get me to stop trying to put it on the wrong hand and instead put it on his left hand where it belonged? Ooops my bad, but in my defense this was my FIRST wedding, how was I supposed to know that?

The downside of having a musical for a wedding is that it takes awhile and there's a lot of time spent wondering what you should be doing while a song is being sung. You can only gaze lovingly into your betrothed's eyes thru so many songs. Finally, it was time for the kiss, which was slightly awkward since we were given permission by the officiating ministers who also happened to be our fathers. And strangely enough my dad especially, had discouraged this type of public display of affection with boys my entire life and now all of a sudden he's telling me to do it in front of 350+ people? Talk about mixed messages.

Our dads pronounced us husband and wife and that's when Dusty Springfield came on the scene. As everyone was wiping their eyes from the moving, heartfelt ceremony (namely our mothers), Dusty began to sing "The only one who could ever teach me, was the SON OF A PREACHER MAN....." and we boogied on out of the sanctuary as our wedding party followed. It was so unexpected, silly, fun, and totally us. And now every time they hear that song I would bet that our wedding guests remember the crazy couple who had it as their recessional song.

I had a few more Bridezilla moments before the evening was said and done but hey, I was entitled and no one got hurt, so what's it matter? I will take this opportunity to apologize to anyone I may have yelled at, snapped at, or bossed around on that November night 12 years ago. Except for the limo driver, you had that one coming buddy.

Overall, our wedding day was absolutely perfect even with my (and my mother's) little bouts of crazy. I think in honor of that special day I'll put on my beautiful dress, prance around the house in it, and subject the family to the sacred viewing of "The Wedding Video." I'm sure they will thoroughly enjoy that.

Here's to the first 12 years and many, many more!!!

NOW (Wow we're old)


  1. What a great story! Work on posting the video, will ya?

  2. Love it....I think we had the same hair....I know I'm much older....can you imagine if we would have known each other when I was married too? We could have had a Brady Sister!!

  3. C'mon, you both don't look any different than you did twelve years ago. It's amazing. What a timeless couple!!