This post is entirely for me and not at all for you, so just scroll through the pictures quietly and don’t even think of complaining about how long it is.
Okay, I’m just going to get it out of the way and say that my sister’s wedding was the best wedding ever. In history. And that there’s no reason for anyone else to get married, because all weddings will pale in comparison and will only serve to make every bride and groom from here on out reconsider whether marriage was the right choice for them what with all of their imperfections being brought to light before all of their family and friends. AND GOD.
So as I was leaving work at 12:30 last Tuesday for the airport, my best friend Tracey texted me to say that her fiancé would be picking me up due to the forthcoming snow and freezing rain. I called her immediately and was like, “Bitch, no. You are a whining asshole baby, and you WILL be at the airport at 5:30.” And she was.
So were about 42 inches of snow, along with ice that coated all the trees, cars, and cats in sight:
We braved the weather long enough to pick up my dark red strapless bridesmaid’s dress at David’s Bridal–that’s right! mere days before the wedding, having not tried it on since November!–and then settled in for the evening at her apartment, where we ended up being snowbound for the next two days.
The drive from Ohio to Kentucky with my parents was three hours of blurry, icy trees
which led to four hours of nonstop fun at the rehearsal at the groom’s parents’ church. It was the most perfect setting for a wedding, with a huge cross cut out in glass at the front, giant ceilings, pews that were interestingly bright blue, and a glass door in the back for the bride and groom to walk through:
The afternoon started out joyous enough
but after an hour of making decisions about when the boys were walking in, when the girls were walking in, and which candelabra was getting lit when, Joanie the Bride was ready to get it all over with:
Luckily, there were her five stunning bridesmaids
the bride herself, her best friend Jessica, and her friend Cindy
posing for dirty pictures on the piano
and her future husband staring at her boobs
to cheer her up. And so the rehearsal started:
and our dad answers, “Her mother and I,” before realizing that hey,
her mother’s dead, and maybe she doesn’t want our stepmom being called
her mother, but no, we love our stepmom and consider her the best
stand-in possible, and a good laugh is shared by all later.
Joanie’s friends are so much fun that we couldn’t stop laughing all night, and despite mean looks from both the minister and Joanie every time we made a scene, we knew the bride was secretly on our team. She made it not-so-secret when the minister practiced presenting her and Josh to the audience for the first time as Mr. and Mrs., “Everlasting Love” played over the church speakers, and Joanie couldn’t help but dance down the aisle. Every single time they did it. I couldn’t have been happier that my sister had chosen such a non-traditional ceremony.
Dinner was in the kitchen of the church and was perfectly wonderful until Joanie decided to pass out our bridesmaid jewelry and Kayla caught her tissue paper on fire. Unsure of how to handle it, she exclaimed to Josh the Groom, “You’re a man! Do something!” And so Caffeine Free Diet Coke was poured onto the table, leaving quite an unsightly aftermath:
Joanie and Josh had decided against a DJ and had instead rented a DJ-in-a-Box, which lets you program your own playlists but can also basically be used as a jukebox where guests can search for a song they want to hear. So instead of, say, resting on the night before her wedding, Joanie stayed up late with our cousin Bethany, our friend Michelle, and me, doing karaoke and teaching us the Cupid Shuffle for use at her reception:
The next morning, Bethany, Michelle, and I went over early to the reception hall with Josh to decorate
and admire the cakes, one of which was classy with pearls and ribbon
and one of which was meant for BOYS (and Bethany):
We went back to Josh and Joanie’s house to shower, and then Joanie drove me to the church, where we met her photographer and her bridesmaids to apply our makeup
and to flatten and hairspray my hair into what looked like a helmet. We sequestered ourselves in the church’s kitchen to dress ourselves, to each take a turn touching Joanie’s boobs
and to convince Joanie that snow boots weren’t proper footwear for a wedding day (even though I was obviously wearing Crocs):
However, it was later decided that strappy sandals weren’t exactly proper, either, when the photographer had us venture outside to take pictures in the snow. I didn’t bring my camera out with me stupidly, so you’ll just have to imagine how totally beautiful my little sister was standing in the middle of a field, surrounded by nothing but whiteness. Half of the time she was wearing her cream-colored pea coat, and half of the time we bridesmaids were all cuddling around her to keep her warm. And then the photographer posed her in the gazebo behind the church with icicles falling all over it. Miranda was wearing open-toed shoes, and Cindy actually had to take her heels off and walk barefoot in the snow to keep from slipping on the ice, but all of the hypothermia in the world would’ve been worth it for those shots.
We went back inside for more photos before the guests arrived, and of course I couldn’t allow any of them to turn out decently:
but I wasn’t the only one having a good time:
Look at her little socks!
I sorta want to get married just for the pictures.
Dad was incredibly happy before the ceremony
but then pretty much cried nonstop from the moment he stepped into the church, and for good reason. Joanie chose the music of “Edelweiss” for her walk down the aisle with Dad, for God’s sake. And Josh’s dad sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love“. And they took all of the crappy misogynist Bible stuff out of the minister’s monologues and just left the pretty Bible stuff. And Joanie and Josh just looked so happy that for half a second, I thought, Marriage is so wonderful! I want to get married! But then I realized that no, weddings are wonderful, and marriage still sucks.
I smiled literally throughout the entire ceremony, though. Especially when our parents sang “It’s Your Love“, which made my eyes well up from my dad’s first yeeeeeeeah-aaaaah-aaaaah-aah. But I wouldn’t let myself cry, because I was wearing a hell of a lot of eyeliner, and let’s not kid ourselves about my priorities.
I was impressed with how well Josh held up during his vows, but Joanie only made it about two words in before her voice cracked, and the rest of her vows were adorably barely audible. Co-maid-of-honor Jessica later told me that when Joanie reached back to hand her bouquet over so she could hold Josh’s hands and exchange their rings, the tissue she had been holding was completely soaked from sweat. So charming!
After Joanie re-did her makeup on the one eye that she’d wiped too much during the ceremony and we took pictures with various family members who would’ve disowned us had we not included them, I rode with Joanie and Josh to the reception hall. Cousin Bethany was waiting by the DJ-in-a-Box to press the button that played “Sandstorm” and announced to the crowd that the bride and groom had arrived. It was totally cheesy and totally awesome.
What I loved about their reception is that it was completely informal. There were no seating assignments, no one releasing the tables to the buffet at specific intervals, no ridiculous groom pulling the garter off the bride’s leg with his teeth. Josh’s family made all of the food, so it was exactly what they wanted, and they basically just sat back at the head table and let people shower money on them.
After all of the cured meats and mini cheesecakes had been devoured, Josh pushed a button on the DJ-in-a-Box and grabbed Joanie for their first dance, which was to Ben Folds’ “The Luckiest“:
Then it was time to cut the classy cake, which didn’t involve smearing icing all over anyone’s face, much to my chagrin:
Hours later, most of our family had gone back to their hotel for a cannonball contest in the pool, and most of our friends had gone back to their homes in Kentucky or Ohio, but Dad wanted to get his line dance on, so we headed back to Joanie’s house to change into our best country and western duds and then went to have a few drinks at a barn/bar full of college kids. Which led to Cousin Bethany thinking she could bull ride:
So that’s it, a wedding so good it made me almost rethink marriage. And in closing, I offer you this, the picture that pretty much sums up my relationship with my sister perfectly:
I’m saying, “Yay! Whee! I love you!”, and she’s like, “Hold on, bitch. I’m fixing my hair.”