Wedding Memories

Guess what! I just got photos for Edgar & Ruby’s creative surprise engagement, so I’ve gone back and illustrated the post. I think engagement stories deserve photodocumentation. ๐Ÿ™‚ And in case you’re a fan of engagement stories, here are links to some other ones on this blog:

* Edgar and Ruby’s creative engagement, 8-20-11
* College Roommie Diana and Eric’s epic European engagement, April 2010
* Cindy & Mr. W’s bloggy engagement, 8-2-07 (hint: the actual proposal is buried in the comments)

Happy 2 year birthday to our marriage! 5 years ago on this date, it was a long Labor Day Weekend. Mr. W took me on our first date kayaking around Balboa Island. He told me beforehand that I didn’t have to paddle, and I didn’t. He strained and worked behind me, and I sat in the front of the 2-man kayak watching people, boats and seals. We finally loaded up the kayak and hit up Balboa Island again a couple of weekends ago, and this time I pulled my weight. He was impressed that I appeared tireless. I’ve had lots of practice kayaking at our lake since we’d been married, that’s why. Ocean kayaking was slightly harder but not unmanageable.

And then 2 years ago, on this date, Mr. W and I threw a huge dinner party for our closest family and friends. It took a long time to plan, and it was pretty. Everyone, especially us, were dressed up. Oh, and somewhere in the middle of this party, we got married, too.

It took me this many attempts (5) to finally remember to wish him a happy annismurfsary on the morning of the day. I remembered on the way to work this morning.

Last night, we drove to Dana Point Harbor and met up with Maggie and Tom for dinner. They got married on the same day we did, and due to that (which Maggie and I were heartbroken to find out 2 years ago), neither could attend the other’s wedding. Of course we’d quickly gotten over it cuz there was wedding planning to do, and it makes for fun co-anniversary dinners now. The two of them were spending a few days re-honeymooning at the beach, which happened to be about 20 minutes from our house, so we selected a nice award-winning French restaurant with a compromise of surf (Maggie) and turf (Tom) within walking distance from their hotel. Gemmell’s was great! Hubby said his lemon almondine Dory fish was excellent, the escargot and shrimp scampi appetizers were unique and savory, Tom said his black peppercorn filet mignon was perfectly done, and my sea scallops were tastefully seared on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. And all the French sauces! The restaurant looked French-bistro-chic and quaint (although it wasn’t small), the ambiance romantic and cozy. The matronly French hostess/waitress was friendly and warm, and even surprised us afterwards with free anniversary dessert. Maggie and Tom got a blueberry tart, and we got a lemon tart. The photo above is Maggie and Tom’s tart because their photo came out better than mine. It was a very fun evening chatting, laughing, and fine-dining.

And just yesterday, hubby and I confirmed and paid for our upcoming European vacation. We fly into Venice for a weekend (staying at a converted castle in Venice), take a week-long cruise from Venice to the Greek Isles (hitting Bari, Italy; Olympia, Santorini, Mykonos, and Rhodes, Greece; then Dubrovnik, Croatia; finally returning to Venice), then we’re going to take the Eurostar train from Venice to Florence, stay there a night, visiting Pisa in the day, and then take the train to Rome for 4 nights, staying in a 4-star hotel within walking distance to the Colliseum, Spanish Steps, etc. After we come home, we’ll say hello to the baby-making process.


Today, my marriage turns one year old. We didn’t do anything spectacular over the weekend; his parents drove down for a quick visit to show off their new Prius. All of us had tried convincing them to get rid of their two clunkers and get something they didn’t have to continually sink thousands of dollars into to fix, and they’d always insisted they couldn’t afford a car payment at this point. But they did it! We’ll all have more peace of mind knowing they’re not gonna be stranded again in 115 degree desert heat in the middle of Vegas.

After my in-laws left on Sunday, Mr. W and I went to have dinner with my parents and my cousin Olivia’s family. It was nice to see my nieces again, they took some beautiful professional portraits on their recent trip to Asia that made them both look like beautiful fairy tale princesses. I should’ve gotten Nikki to send some to my phone. Maybe I can still do that, since the digital images were downloaded into her cell phone.

And this morning, of course, I am at work. We have no evening plans. It’s funny that people remember our anniversary; all week I’ve been asked by coworkers what our big plans are for the weekend for our 1-year. I told them “nothing,” and they all looked surprised. It’s expected to not be a big deal to Mr. W, but for me, it’s my first year of my first marriage and it’s an anniversary and women are all about anniversaries, right? Eh. I explain that I’m too practical to buy into Hallmarkish hypes, and that since we got married on our 3-year anniversary, we’ve been celebrating this date for 3 years already. So what’s a fourth year? Plus, our anniversary used to always fall on a Labor Day long weekend, and this year it didn’t as the long weekend is next weekend. Mr. W offered to do something for next weekend, but I wasn’t much help in the way of suggestions with my shrugs. I would’ve done the champagne dinner and eating the top layer of our wedding cake thing, but we don’t have that layer. At the wedding we gave permission to the Garden to cut and serve all 3 tiers since we didn’t need the extra calories anyway, but I found out afterwards that they’d saved the top tier anyway as there was enough cake to go around. Unbeknownst to me, they went to the groom to ask what to do with the top tier, and he told them to toss it. My grandma was nearby and not only is she not wasteful, but she had a huge sweet tooth, and offered to take the cake. He gave it to her and she happily indulged in our anniversary cake for the entire week following our wedding. I actually didn’t even have more than the photo-op mouthful of cake during the cake cutting, and wish I’d gotten to experience more of our cake, but I’m glad I don’t have to eat an entire cake at this time because I can’t afford the calories.

The reason I’m watching my weight is because I have upcoming events in which photographic evidence will be taken, recording the state of my waistline a year from my wedding, and I’m well aware of people’s bets and expectations that I will plump up immediately following the wedding. In the next 2 months, I’ll be attending my cousin Diana’s baby shower, cousin Jennifer’s bridal shower, bachelorette outing and wedding, taking a trip to Florida to meet up with Jordan and Flat Coke so we can hang out at Clearwater Beach (swimsuit!), then to Vegas to meet up with Jordan and her new beau for a weekend, then Mr. W and I will fly to Chicago from there with a road trip back to Vegas stopping by Yellowstone and other sites of interest. If I’m gonna splurge on something before all those events, it will NOT be on food.

It will be on a digital SLR camera. I’m considering the Nikon D90, Nikon D5000, and Canon Rebel (but unsure what models to consider). Any opinions?

We woke up to a pretty day today. To make people in less sunny November days jealous, I took this photo on cameraphone from our master bedroom window and sent it to some peeps.

Downstairs, my husband asked, “Wanna go to Knott’s Berry Farm today?” It’s their annual veterans-get-in-free time, so YEAH! (Mr. W is a Marine.) We got dressed and got there a little past noon. It was a pretty day in Buena Park, too.

You can tell the Californians from the out-of-towners cuz the Californians are the ones in designer sunglasses but long-sleeved shirts and jackets, whereas those from out-of-state are in t-shirts and shorts talking about how “nice” this 70-degree weather is. After making ourselves sick on two rides (we’re getting old), we decided, less than 4 hours later, to just call it a day and head over to my parents’ house early for our weekend visit. My parents showed us the photos they took of my cousin Diana’s wedding, which were of course of better quality because they had an actual camera, not just a cameraphone like me. But I still think my photos had a better artistic quality. Haha. “It almost looks like you intentionally put the flowers in the photo,” my dad said, looking at my cameraphone photos.
“I DID,” I said defiantly. I mean, did he think I was leaning way over into the aisle and shooting upwards because it was comfortable? Hmmph.
Anyway, these are some of my parents’ photos.

Mr. W and I don’t have any photos of just the two of us like that; even in the hour we booked exclusively for a photo shoot before the wedding, we took group shots. We figured at the time that we have tons of photos of just the two of us, but it’s a precious and rare thing to have everyone we love all together at the same place, all pretty and dressed up, so we took exclusively group photos. I kinda regret now, looking at our photos and other peoples’ photos of their weddings, that we don’t have intimate shots like this.

Everyone asked me if they’d copied our cake design. I know that my cousin had commented how much she loved our cake, but really, how many ways can you make a 3-tiered round cake with your floral motif displayed? But even if they were inspired by our cake design…

…I’d take that as a compliment.

Cutting into said cake design.

For the first time I got to see what *I* looked like that day.

Me and the ‘rents.

Me and the moms, showing off how much liquor we had in hand.

Instead of doing a Costco sheet cake like other people when they’re afraid the wedding cake isn’t enough, they did a CLAIM JUMPER MOTHERLODE CAKE. (You have to click on that for a slice image. Really. You do.) Don’t you just wanna get down and worship these two people?!

My husband getting down.

I just like this shot of my legs.

Good times.

My newlywed cousin and her new hubby gets back from their Jamaica honeymoon late tonight.

On Sunday while visiting my parents, Mr. W and I were shooed by a phone call over to my aunt’s house, where apparently a bunch of my relatives had gathered to share photos from our wedding. My mom said the wedding was all the talk at her office all last week (as she’d invited a handful of her closest coworkers and their spouses), and that it had inspired the friends to plan more regular get-togethers. And it’d apparently been the talk in the family circle, too. I feel so special! Anyway, thanks to the marvels of modern digital photography and data storage, I got some CD roms from my aunt and cousins, and when I go to work today, was delighted to find another CD rom of photos from my coworker. Thought I’d share how the wedding looked from the guests’ perspectives. (As with all my photos, rest mouse pointers over photos for captions.)

My adorable cousin Jennifer and her wonderful new fiancee, Bradlee, helping me at the guest table:

My mom and dad:

Some family members:

Jordanabanana and James:

I know who took the now-famous photo of Thee Fantastic Four!

My gym trainee with her son:

See the handsome man in sunglasses in front of them? Apparently his mysterious presence created quite a stir among some single women. He reappears in many photos taken by my coworkers.

He sat alone through the ceremony. Did we have secret agents protecting us?

Did the CIA want to keep an eye on us?

Who IS Mr. W really, and why is the CIA here at our wedding? The world may never know… ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I will tell you that the handsome man is as pretty without sunglasses as with, and if the seating were divided into groom’s side and bride’s side (which it wasn’t), he’d be on bride’s side. The plot thickens…

before guests:

with guests:

My beautiful new stepdaughter sang Kelly Clarkson’s “A Moment Like This” to open the ceremony:

I think you can see us smiling from BEHIND:

I don’t know what I was doing in this photo. I know I hugged my dad before he walked off at some point.

Handing my bouquet to MOH Vicky. I could be wrong, but it looks like Sandy’s holding back tears.

Making eye contact with my guests:

Judge made a funny:

My judge told me at work today that during the ceremony, he’d looked up from his reading material at Mr. W a few times, and that Mr. W had an expression on his face that looked like he’d hitched his carriage onto a star and was just delighted at his good luck. Isn’t that the sweetest…?

Daughter sang our closing procession recessional, too.

The new Mr. And Mrs.:

Walking down to the koi to do our crowd presentation:

The koi are making puckering faces at us. They’re trying to tell us something, I think.

Ya gotta do what the koi say. When in Rome…


Yup, dress #2:

I’ll have to say that Mr. W did good at the cake cutting.

By that I mean that he did not smash any cake in my face.

Apparently my earlier threats for instantaneous annulment worked.

Oh yeah. My #2 dress has a keyhole opening back; no, I didn’t forget to zip it up.

Bride & Groom’s 1st dance, with dress #3:

We waltzed to Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be.” My 2nd choice would’ve been foxtrotting to The Temptations’ “My Girl.”

A shot of our awesome DJ whom I’d recommend to anyone.

Okay, those of you who know me KNOW that the real reason the above photo is in there is cuz I get a kick out of Mr. W looking like Godzilla about to shoot laser beams out of his eyes to attack Tokyo. And I’m not just knockin’ his size.

One of my favorite guest photos — entering the dance floor with my dad for the father-daughter dance:

Mom and Dad gettin’ DOWN:

My mom’s happy that my dad’s actually dancing with her. As opposed to not dancing at all, I mean.

My normally ultra-conservative uncle, gettin’ DOWN:

My aunt and uncle, gettin’ DOWN:

My relatives, gettin’ DOWN!:

Still taking it all in:

This isn’t captured in the photos taken by my family, but JORDAN danced, too. On a high bench platform. With TWO MEN. At the SAME TIME. I can’t wait for my professional photographers’ photos.

It’s been a few days after the wedding now, and I’ve spoken to a ton of wedding guests. Recurring comments:
* Bridesmaids are TOTALLY HOT. Beautiful girls, beautiful dresses. All of them. Hot. Not just 1 pretty girlfriend…one after the other as they walked out alone…all HOT.

* Daughter is one hell of a singer and should be on American Idol.

* Venue was incredibly gorgeous. How in the world did we find this place? (*giving credit to Busykitty Vanessa*)

* Perfect weather, perfectly conducted wedding, entertaining, not boring, not too long.
* Great classical music selections for the processional (thank you!), very classy musical choices overall with Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Babyface, Michael Buble, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Temptations, Brian McKnight/Luther (“Never Too Much”). Even the dancing in the end didn’t get too ghetto as the DJ brought the tempo up with disco and not gangsta rap.
* GREAT food, beautiful cake.

* We have GREAT friends/wedding guests, people loved the people they talked to and sat with.

* Loved my dresses. I was surprised at the detail people remember about each of my dresses. Even men refer to the color of each dress, where I thought only women would notice. Actually, it was mostly men commenting on my dresses and my bridesmaids’ dresses.

* Fun, fun wedding.

One of my favorite comments from yesterday: “I’m never getting married again, but if I come back to this earth in the future [in reincarnation] and want to get married, I want to have a CLONE of your wedding.”

(rest mouse pointers over photos for captions)

Murphy’s Law –
I finally get to my lowest weight since, like, forever, and the month before the wedding, my period comes 4 days late. The month OF the wedding, my period comes 2 days late. This pushes the bloating to DURING the wedding. I try to make myself feel better saying I’m 118.5 lbs at the wedding, 22.5% body fat, that’s not that bad. And then 1 night AFTER the wedding (i.e., late last nite), menstrual symptoms subside and I pee like mad. This morning, I’m 116 lbs and 21% body fat. ARGH! I’m gonna look bigger in all the wedding photos. *sob* At least my skin didn’t break out. And the wedding went by so fast and so much in the dark maybe people didn’t notice.

Bridesmaid Diana just emailed this to me, and gave me permission to post it since she doesn’t blog anymore. I had to edit it very slightly, but here is her experience in her own words…
~ * ~
the day before the wedding, cindy confirmed that sandy and i needed to be at the make up place at 11 am. as i am often late to appointments (because i am always underestimating how long it takes to get things done and get from place to place), i wanted to make sure that i wasn’t late for this. with la traffic, the travel time was even more unpredictable. so i left a full hour to travel a little more than 30 miles. and i was 15 minutes early! well, better be early for something like this.
sandy was also very punctual. but we actually didn’t meet until about an hour into the appointments. i was getting my hair done first, and she was getting makeup put on. the stylist was chinese, and had frizzy hair with a purple-ish tint, and a different color bangs. i was a little nervous as to what she will do to my hair. she asked what style i wanted and a few general questions, and i decided that i would take a chance and let her choose, as she would be much more familiar with hair styles than i would. as she started to work on my hair (curling it first with a curling iron, and then put it up), she made various comments about my hair in chinese. my chinese is decent, but she was using words i didn’t really understand, but i got the general impression that she was unimpressed with my hair style. rather than defending my hair, i figured it was more important that she makes it look good for today.
the style took 20+ pins and maybe half of a can of hair spray. every time she sprayed, i closed my eyes and held my breath. by the time she was done, i was pretty impressed. the style suited me well, and my dress.
sandy was done around the same time, and as we switched rooms, we “met”. but then she corrected me that we had met about 10 yrs when she dropped her cat, adidas, off at cindy and mine place at ucla. i remember that cat – i fed her cheese. and cindy told on me. but cats like cheese and adidas was so cute. and i also tied a string to my little rubber ducky and tied the string to the back of a chair, and let adidas chase it. she liked it. ok, enough digression.
getting make up applied was a whole new experience ( at least i have had my hair done before, for junior prom)! the first thing the make up artist did was apply this thin plastic string to the top lids – i guess they are supposed to make the double lids seem more double, and visible even when eye liner is applied. i also thought the air brush foundation was cool. it was a mist and felt light and well, airy. she went light on the eye make up because i told her i dont wear much make up. and luckily, i brought my own lipgloss so she put that on and i was able to reapply all night. (yeah, reapply, something i never do).
as sandy and i were finishing up, we heard cindy and vicky come in. also cindy’s mom and [Mr. W’s daughter]. we had brief exchange and then it was their turn. but not before i went to cindy’s car to get my qipao. i grabbed the dress and was walking toward’s sandy’s car (since she was giving me a ride to hang out at her place until wedding time) about 30 feet away. and something sharp poked me in the left food. something really sharp.
CRAP! i knew right away it was a nail. i looked, and it had poke through my flip flop and punctured some skin on the bottom of my left foot. it hurt, but not that bad. so i just pulled it out. i limped to sandy’s car, and asked if she had a tissue (it was bleeding quite a bit by that point) and she handed me a roll of toilet paper. it was pretty funny, and sufficient for my purpose. i cleaned off the blood and held the tissue in place for a bit. i guess there are no arteries or many veins in the bottom of the foot, because it stopped bleeding pretty quickly.
as i cared for my foot, sandy and i chatted. this is thefirst time we really ever had extensive conversation, and i quickly learned that she is pretty hyper, direct, and open. I had said I was hungry so she accommodated and drove us to a thai place in LB to get take out.
We ate back at her apartment, which is basically on the sand and over looks the beach. I love the sand of the waves crashing in to the shore, and the ocean breeze. We continue to chat, tried on the dresses and shoes, and just chilled before we took a cab over to the wedding site.
We got there at 4 pm as cindy had planned. But cindy and her group were running a bit behind schedule, so it gave sandy and I a chance to hang out more. we looked over the site, saw that everyone was working diligently in setting up, and then talked to the florist and DJs who came earlier than the scheduled time. Everything was really in order. All we needed were the bride and groom.
Cindy and [Mr. W] and rest of the wedding party actually all arrived around the same time. And things continued to flow smoothly. It was helping everyone get dressed, pictures, and more pictures. I was really excited for the main festivities to get started.
When the coordinator told us to line up for our walk down the garden path, she also informed me that I would be the first to walk (since I would be the farthest from the couple during the ceremony). I said “oh no! I was hoping to follow the other girls.” So I had a few last minute questions รขโ‚ฌโ€œ “where do I stop? Which way do I look?”
All I had to remember was not let my arms drop too low while walking and holding the bouquet, and do not trip during the walk. And smile at the camera. And smile at the guests. And don’t fidget while watching the rest of the bridal party make their entrance.
I wondered if I would cry while cindy walked down the aisle. That would suck. I mean, it would ruin my make up. And if I cry, other girls might too. As she walked down the garden path with her dad, with her beautiful, simply elegant dress (which I totally voted for), I felt the tears coming in. But determined that I would not let that happen, I had to think funny thoughts. Not merely good thoughts, but funny, silly thoughts. That worked, and the urge to cry quickly passed. And it was all smiles from that point on.
The ceremony was short and sweet. We took more pictures, this time in the night time setting, as the with the garden lit up softly. After that we were “excused” and got to hang out with guests during the cocktail hour.
The rest of the night I didn’t have to do much, except for stand behind the couple during the toasts. Both vicky and jeff were great. And this was so refreshing because I was just telling cindy how usually people who give toasts are bad, and some, awful. Often they can’t speak in public (and some just can’t speak english), or have bad presence, and/or don’t share good substantive stories that the guests would enjoy. Jeff was totally prepared, and clearly practiced, and was funny. Vicky didn’t even need notes and was also very funny. I was laughing the whole time.

After that we pretty much retired to our own table (sandy, vicky and I were at the same table) and enjoyed the evening with our dates. I was getting tired towards the end of night, and my feet were hurting. (not from the nail wound, just from the shoes and running around). After packing up the dressing area with sandy and vicky and the guys, we said good-bye.

I don’t mind saying good-byes when it is not sad. There is no bitter-sweet. It was just sweet. And fun.

I have never been a bridemaid before . and I am sure it can’t better than this experience รขโ‚ฌโ€œ it was just very low key, no pressure, and everyone was great and helpful and got along well. Can’t wait to do it again. (ok, I don’t know about that. You know that saying “always the bridemaid, never the bride.” Can’t let that happen. Haha!).
~ * ~
I had no idea until now that Diana had a pre-wedding injury. =P Sounds like she recovered well, though. Hope her tetanus shots are up to date. She was very good all day about calling me to let me know her and Sandy’s whereabouts, and to be the communication between me and the Garden and the vendors.
Oh, and the China hair stylist also criticized my and Vicky’s lack of an everyday “hairstyle”, suggesting that we return to her after the wedding so that she can give us a proper haircut and look. I think it’s just a gimmick she’s doing. Altho my hair’s pretty shapeless presently… But I loved that each girl trusted the stylist to pick a style best suited to her, and they were all different and BEAUTIFUL.

If you guys wanna read Mr. W’s brother gamer brother/groomsman Jeff’s speech, he handwrote it and framed it for us: (also included, a synopsis of MOH Vicky’s speech)

Things are finally kinda quiet for the first time in a week. A feminine little diamond chevron band has now joined my pretty engagement ring. *looking down at the sparklies* I just want to jot some things. (After I wrote this post, I discovered that Mike [“Wilco“] is insanely prompt in his photo processing, so here are some shots I snagged from his collection. The first shots I’ve seen of our wedding, period. Thanks, Mike! Rest mouse pointers over photos for captions.)

1. I can’t imagine how hard the wedding would’ve been if I hadn’t had the help I didn’t ask for. Bridesmaid Sandy made sure my skirt was held up all night (I didn’t have a train, but the back still dragged a bit), sometimes in addition to MOH Vicky and bridesmaid Diana. Jordan did all the wedding day box/stuff migration from the house to the car for me because my nails were still wet after my very first manicure/pedicure and I was a helpless little piece of veal in a box. Lots of people pitched in in unexpected ways, like photographer Josh giving us a ride from the hair/makeup place to the venue, with his wife in tow driving his camera equipment to the venue. MOH Vicky was always there to help me find earrings and do my dress changes. Bridesmaid Diana ran around in circles collecting people and handing out corsages and boutonnieres. Every time I turned in the dressing room someone handed me blotting paper. The dressing tent was cleaned up and dresses hung and bagged as if by bridesmaid-dress-wearing wood sprites. The list goes on and on.

2. Like I expected, no one in the spectator side of the attendees knew anything was different, wrong or changed. No one knew my judge messed up on a pivotal point in the vows, no one realized the Garden neglected to have fish food at the pond edge for our after-vow presentation (but someone did belatedly run the fish food up to us), but everyone DID notice when the DJ weirdly announced me, at our grand re-entrance into the Garden for the reception, “Sandy [last name].” According to lots of people I’ve talked to today, there was a collective gasp in the crowd, a sort of, “No he DIDN’T just say that…” But everyone will forget that in a few days. No biggie. And he did correct himself.

3. The presentation of the wedding was SEAMLESS. I was so impressed with the Garden and the DJ. They coordinated with walkie-talkies and every piece I picked for the procession played perfectly, the DJ fading out and changing pieces. Everyone oohed and aahed at the singing sensation that was Daughter opening and closing the processional and recessional. The speeches were funny and touching.

(Why do I look so obese? Good grief, I’m only 118 pounds right now. And now I’m terrified to see other photos.)

4. The ONLY thing I was unhappy about going into the wedding was that we were totally unprepared for our first dance, and for the father-daughter dance. I didn’t want to do the cliche hold-and-sway for four and a half minutes, so we planned for a fast waltz to “I’ll Be.” Without knowing what we’re doing! We’d paid for a community class that’s supposed to choreograph our 1st dance song for us to the music of our choice, and the lady TOTALLY didn’t do that. All the entire class of 10 couples learned was the stupid foxtrot, just cuz there were more couples that were doing foxtrots than other stuff, even tho the 2 most imminent weddings coming up were ours (waltz) and this other couple’s (salsa). I’m totally gonna write a scathing email. BUT, we were rescued by the fact that the Garden had limited electricity output and therefore had very dim lighting over the dance floor. Nobody really witnessed us not knowing what we were doing. And because the Garden seating was circular around the pond, most people stayed put instead of gathering around to stare and scare me. And my dad couldn’t dance, and had never danced before (according to him), so we just walked around the floor in a pseudo-waltz pattern (my parents wanted me to do a waltz here, too) to the orchestral slow waltz father-daughter song I selected, and nobody could tell we didn’t know what we were doing here, either. At least that’s what they all claimed. Even though the low visibility was a common complaint among guests, I was grateful for this. My mom told me today that the darkness was the only reason my dad had the nerve to go up and do the dance with me.

5. I have, as I knew I would, the most beautiful bridal party I’ve ever seen. So there.

6. Everything coordinated themselves perfectly. The centerpiece matched the napkins sitting in the water glasses on the tables, my guest wedding favors lit up the night beautifully. Our theme-matching 3-D cherry blossom wedding cake was GORGEOUS displayed on the romantic chiffon-draped cake table, surrounded by the shockingly feminine and eloquent bridesmaid bouquets. I need to send my florist a thank-you card for the designs, also timely delivery and installation of the bridge garlands. I’d just told her, “You’re the professional, I trust you, go with it.” My bouquet was beautiful as well.

7. As I said in my impromptu thank-you speech immediately before the dinner started, I’ve discovered that my favorite thing in all this wedding planning stuff is not the pretty dresses (3, in fact) I get to wear, or the pretty flowers I get to hold. It’s having so many people I love, from places as close as next door to as far as Florida, Nevada, and Northern California, be surrounding me at a beautiful venue smiling at me and having a good time.

8. I spoke to a bunch of wedding guests today, and 4 out of 5 female guests agree, Dwaine and Andrae are hot. One chica said my photos on this blog do not do them justice. The 1 female guest who didn’t agree didn’t see them.

9. I spoke to a bunch of wedding guests today, and 5 out of 5 guests agree, the wedding was a raging success and everyone was in great spirits, mingling went well, and overall guests loved each other and made a bunch of new friends. Chemistry was in the air. Grace’s widower husband Justin had said to me, “One of the best things about being with Grace is being around her friends. She surrounds herself with really good people.” I felt like that last night. And others felt it, too.

10. It’s really, really odd to see that many people there for me and taking photos of me. I feel something resembling guilt that all these people went to such great lengths to travel to our wedding venue, just to see me and Mr. W get married. When I was walking down the path to the bridge with my dad (to Clarke’s Trumpet Voluntary, i.e. The Prince of Denmark’s March…no way I was gonna do the cliche “Here’s Comes the Bride”), I kept looking at all the people standing and snapping photos and had this conversation discreetly with my dad:
Me: Wow, look at all these people looking at us.
Dad: Walk slower.
Me: I really wanna do something.
Dad: No, I mean your footsteps. You can take make slower motions. We have 3 minutes for the entire procession, the Garden coordinator told us.
Me: I wanna wave at them. Can I wave?
Dad: I don’t know. Can you?
Me: Is it inappropriate?
Dad: I don’t know. I’ve never done this before, either.
Me: What if I wave? What could happen?
Dad: I don’t know, probably nothing.
Me: I REALLY wanna wave.
Dad: …
Me: *waving at crowd*
Crowd: *snap!* *click!* *wave!*
Me: Hey! A bunch of them waved back! *giggle*

Meanwhile, I learned later that this was happening on the bridge as my bridesmaids and maid of honor waited for us to join them:
MOH Vicky (thinking): She looks so happy with her dad. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her look so happy. Eep! I’m gonna cry! Think happy thoughts. Think happy thoughts. *wringing her hands*
Bridesmaid Diana (thinking): I’m gonna cry! Funny thoughts, funny thoughts, funny thoughts… *wringing hands*
Bridesmaid Sandy (thinking): Awww, look at her walking with her dad, she’s so beautiful and happy… Oh no! I’m tearing! Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts, la-la-la… *fanning hands over face*

What is it about a wedding that makes people cry? Everyone said it was a hugely successful, perfectly choreographed and visually beautiful wedding, and I made a point not to have sappy crying moments put in. I didn’t cry. Nobody else should. They can save the tears for the funeral.

11. One last thought: I missed the entire wedding that happened before my entrance with my dad, and whatever was going on in the courtyard during the cocktail hour. I kinda wish I had a videographer now. I could hear what was going on, the music playing exactly as I had arranged, classical as the guests were arriving, then Daughter singing “A Moment Like This” to open up the procession, the separate classical pieces I’d selected for the parents’ entrance, the men’s entrance onto the bridge, the women’s entrance and long walk to the bridge to join the men, and then my and my dad’s entrance. And the DJ hit my requested period of music on the nose during cocktail hour, mellow stuff, Michael Buble, rat pack, no cussing or rap or hip hop, as we stayed behind inside and did a quick photo session. I wish I could’ve seen the guests’ reactions to the courtyard hors d’oeuvres, sake bar, brushed silver signing photo frame in lieu of guestbook, arrival into the Garden before the ceremony, and especially their re-entry after the Garden was transformed into a glowy wonderland for the Reception. (It was daylight when they left for cocktail hour, and dusk/night when they re-entered and all the rope lights and candles danced in the dark.) I guess I’ll have to wait for the photos.

It’s been a busy week so far. Mr. W’s parents and gamer bro drove down from Vegas on Tuesday and have stayed with us till today. We had wedding rehearsal on Wednesday and dinner afterwards (for 14) at The Yardhouse in Shoreline Village. And also…

Jordan is here! I picked her up from Long Beach airport yesterday and we hung out in her old childhood home town of Long Beach, found a killer Mai Tai Bar on the upper deck of The Pike overlooking the waters and the Queen Mary, and she was a total tourist with a camera pointed everywhere. I’m gonna make her post. She was surprised to see her last post was from May (and let’s face it, that wasn’t much of a post), and I had said sarcastically on her chatbox that her next post would be from California. I’m gonna make sure she posts SOMETHING very, very soon. Even if I have to tie her down to this very chair I’m in right now. I’ll make sure to keep her hands free so she can type. *pause* It appears she’s upstairs in the shower right now. Gimme a half hour…

I’m loving this wedding thing, by the way, if for nothing else than to have so many people I love around at one time.

*** Update at 11:05pm: She POSTED! With pretty embarrassing photos of us being us.

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