What Went Wrong (and what went right)

So, Mo and I were married just about one year ago... in honor of our anniversary, I thought I'd finally get around to writing up the tale of skirting disaster...we've been meaning to assemble this list for a long time.

T MINUS 3 WEEKS Mother-in-laws-to-be, living in completely different states, pick the same exact outfit (one a skirt, the other with a pantsuit, but everything else was the same - manufacturer, fabric, print/color, everything). Luckily early detection avoided the potential fashion collision.

T MINUS 2 DAYS The apartment across from Mo's mom's went up in flames. While this is traumatic enough, Mo's wedding dress was at her mom's apartment. Do you know how hard it is to find the right dress? To go to dozens of stores, trying on dress after dress trying to find the one that doesn't look like a lace implosion or like a french pastry gone horribly awry? To finally settle on a custom dress and get a million billion fittings done, standing there under the awful fluorescent lights? Do you? Do you?? Well, me neither, but Mo says it was a real hassle, so having it become a pile of ashes, or even the risk of smoke damage was pretty scary -- especially less than 48 hours before the wedding.

T MINUS 11 HOURS Mo was pretty stressed the night before, and couldn't sleep. She had had similar problems before job interviews and the first day at work, and she had brought some anti-insomnia pills...but we must have left them at home...so we drove home (an hour-ish drive starting at 2am, after it became obvious she was not going to be getting any sleep)...and we still couldn't find the pills. (They were later found back at the hotel, in a tiny pocket of her toiletry bag.) But being at home helped her get to sleep, so it wouldn't have been quite so bad except....

final prep

the ceremony

the cake

dancing wet

mexico rain and pyramid

T MINUS 4 HOURS ...The next morning we drive back to the hotel. And the key to the hotel safety deposit box, where we had put the rings after the rehearsal dinner the evening before, was nowhere to be found. Nowhere. (I thought it was a little silly/paranoid to store the rings there... I mean who's gonna steal some rings, especially if they don't know about 'em? But I valiantly tried to keep the "Told ya so's" to an absolute minimum.) Luckily, the hotel staff was very nice, and helped us get a locksmith who was able to drill the lock and retrieve the rings 2 hours before the ceremony, so we didn't have to do anything weird like borrow her folks' rings, which would've had some weird Freudian overtones. (We find the key the next day, dropped on the bedroom floor back home..we've managed to misplace the key once more since then, but once we find it we're considering having it framed...with the locksmith's fees, that was a $200 key!)

T MINUS 1 1/2 HOURS We finally got the rings and all, everything seems to be back on track, when BZWHAH BZWHAH BZWHAH -- it's the hotel's fire alarm, deafening us all and chasing us outside. Luckily, we were about ready, so we could just gather everything up and go to the other hotel nearer the wedding site where we were planning to do final preperations anyway. (It was at this time Mo uttered the semi-immortal "Okay, the one-thing-after-another thing can stop now!")

T MINUS 1 HOUR We realized that The tux rental place must have forgotten the set of studs for the buttonholes of my tux. Luckily my resourceful best man Dylan figured out how to rebalance the studs we did have among the three of us (Me, Dylan, and Mo's brother Dan) in a way that made sense. Months later I find the missing studs in a usually unused pocket of my courier bag...how'd they get there?

T MINUS 1 HOUR The bride's mother corsage has gone missing. It's found on a chair. Underneath a bridesmaid. A little fluffing and shaking and it is returned to a non-flattened state.

T... Actually, the ceremony and following reception went pretty smoothly. So much near-tragedy had been so narrowly averted for so long, that it was actually impossible to be stressed about how the rest of the day was going, and we were able to relax and enjoy the ceremony, photo shoot, dancing, hayride, petting zoo, and all the other accoutrements a wedding at a Christmas tree farm has to offer.

T PLUS 2 HOURS It was hot that day. Hot, hot, hot hot hot. Real hot. Africa hot. The heat finally broke (a scant two minutes after Mo made it out of her not-particularly-waterproof-silk wedding dress) with a GIANT thunderstorm -- huge, huge, Old Testament stuff. Hail. Lightning you can see striking about 50 yards down the way. The hail on the pavilion's aluminum roof (you know, the kind of place with no walls against the rain, just some tent-like side panels) made up for the percussion sounds lost when the power kept going out, taking the DJ's tunes with it. (That was sometime after the wind had blown down his speaker stands...very tolerant (and talented) DJ, that Brother Cleve.) But actually, the storm kind of added to the day as a whole. A certain sense of drama and flair. Felt a little dangerous to drive through after the reception.

T PLUS 9 HOURS And, of course, the power was out at the hotels. So the wedding party party was a bit dark...luckily the pizza place down the road still had power, and they delivered, and the ever-resourceful hotel staff was able to bring us a couple of bottles of champagne.

T PLUS 2 DAYS Honeymoon time! Off to Mexico! By way of Atlanta and Miami. We were worried by the huge lines at Boston's Logan airport, but we made our flight to Atlanta with minutes to spare. The plane was delayed in Atlanta (a strange airport, the only beverage at the stores is Dasani water...doubly odd considering Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola.) So we're in Miami. And we've missed our flight. We get a voucher for the hotel airport, a miserable little (and I do mean little) place that thinks if you put enough mirrors around, people will think it's a bigger place. Or maybe the hotel designers hope we'll get confused and pretend it's a funhouse. We had no luggage there of course. Had to buy the bare neccesities. Our luggage joins us about 8 hours after we're in sunny Mexico.

T PLUS 5 DAYS Sunny Mexico. Sunny, hot Mexico...a bit reminiscent of the ceremony, actually, intense heat with severe thunderstorms. All in all, the honeymoon itself was a good time. Not super duper stellar, but very good.

T PLUS 8 DAYS When we get back, I find out my grandmother passed away, the day after the wedding. We knew that it was a possibility...my mother made the purposeful decision that if it happened on our honeymoon, she wasn't going to contact me, that grandma wouldn't have wanted this time marked by her passing. It was my mom's judgment call, and I think it was probably the right one. There were two notes of grace, though...my mom had me write something to be read at my grandmother's funeral, "just in case", before I left (you can read it here...slipping it on my website was the most reliable quick way of getting it to her.) Also, the day before, we were able to send flowers to her hospital room to arrive on the day of the wedding, with a note saying that they were there to express how she was going to be a part of the day as well, in our hearts and minds. She got the flowers, but the digital camera photoalbum and edited video (which we had a friend shoot and edit, mostly for my grandmother though we are glad we have our own copy now) didn't arrive in time, despite sending it overnight mail the next day.

T PLUS...ERR, A LONG TIME In Mexico, we drank the water. Well, maybe we managed to avoid the water...might've been the ice, or the salsa, or washed vegetables, or something. I only had a bit of la tourista. Mo had it a bit worse...and our last night, there was a big old Mexican rave across the way from the B+B, pumping two distinct and disjoint thumpin' rhythms through to our bathroom where we alternated spending the middle of the night. Fortunately we were able to rally enough to make it to the plane. I made a pretty graceful recovery, but Mo kind of set something amuck in her system...and possibly the heavy-handed antibiotics knocked something else awry. Eleven months later and only now is she really back on balance, but the silver lining is she may be better off than before, with improvements to her diet and sleep patterns...in fact, now she can dance the night away at Man Ray and not be suffering for the next few days after.

So, after reading all this, you might be thinking that we had an awful time....but actually, the day was really amazing and fun. The photographer, Allison Evans (who took all but the pictures on this page, except "Mexico") even stuck around for extra time, no charge, and took our favorite photo of the day, the "dancing" one up above, with a little cheap plastic toy camera. And at the end of it all I have Mo, so how can I be anything but happy?
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