I've been on-the-go since Wednesday morning, pretty much nonstop, until now. And it's not exactly over just because I'm sitting at my computer with a fan pointed straight at me, catching up on blogs and news and how a stellar seven-inning pitching performance today by Jeremy Bonderman got totally fucking wasted by infield hits, errors, and other assorted oddities in the eighth.
On Thursday, after getting a little bracket fixed on my car (it's not often that you get something on your car fixed for a grand total of $38.50, including labour), I hit the 401 at about 3:30 in the afternoon so I could be in London by 6-ish. "Alright, I'm going to beat the traffic!"
...except that, near Milton, because tons of assfucks going west decided it'd be a great idea to slow down and look at a car crash in the eastbound lanes, I spent nearly an hour to go twenty kilometres. This made me late for the rehearsal dinner (which was more a collection of hors-d'oeuvres, really), but the point is that I got there.
The ceremony was to be held on a patio just outside the dining room at a country club outside of London: ceremony at 5, over by 5:30, dinner at 6. I've been to a wedding like this before (no church, everything all in one place), and it made for a nice, relaxed evening. So, we ran through the wedding plan that night, with Mike (a fellow groomsman and teacher) and I cracking-wise throughout the whole thing as Paul (the groom) stood up in front of us, teacher-like, explaining all the steps.
On Friday I came back to London, checked into the hotel (with the meat-locker-like air conditiong in the room; more on this later), got all spiffed-up in the sexiest fucking tux you've ever seen, and we headed off to get photos done. I've known Paul for about fifteen years, and I've never seen him quite so not-quite-himself as Friday... but, seeing as how it was his wedding day, I'll allow him to be a little nervous. Photos were fun, but in black tuxes in the sun and humidity and heat, things got a little toasty. (Fortunately, I was only in about a sixth of all the pictures, which meant most of the time was spent with my jacket off, standing under a tree, in the shade, drinking copious amounts of water, shooting the breeze with my fellow groomsmen and noting that every single one of the six bridesmaids were sporting wedding rings. Balls!)
On the way from pictures to the ceremony, our car (including me, the aforementioned Mike, the aforementioned Paul, and Ali, who is Mike's fiancee) made copious "taint" jokes, blasted the AC to the maximum to try and cool off, and mused about how Paul had about 90 quality minutes left with his testes.
Then, the ceremony: exceedingly nondenominational , punctuated with jokes by the minister-type-dude (I don't think he ever mentioned anything God-like, at all, which was really nice), and since it followed about a half-hour of socializing inside the country club, with a bar which was open for business, some of the people in the crowd were actually sipping drinks during the ceremony. Now that's my kind of wedding ceremony.
(I also had a pint of Sleeman Honey Brown in me.)
The speeches just after (the very excellent) dinner were planned out so that all the bridesmaids went first — presumably to get all the waterworks out of the way — with the groomsmen afterwards left to crack jokes. The thing is, the entire set of speeches — both the ladies and the fellas — were packed with zingers and hilarioius stories. I swear, the whole thing turned into a Dean Martin-style comedy roast... which was truly a great way for things to go, because we've all been at weddings where people are sobbing and blubbering about how they love their mom and dad, and everyone just looks awkwardly down at their wine glasses while the speech-giver tries to compose him/herself. Not fun.
The dance was decent, even if the DJ didn't play any of the songs I suggested ("Build Me Up Buttercup" by the Foundations, "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5, and "I Wish" by Stevie Wonder" — these songs make me want to dance, for crying out loud, so that must turn average people into James Freakin' Brown). A nice nod to my (and Paul's) background was given via the playing of "Friends In Low Places" by Garth Brooks; I'm not much of a country music fan, but I swear this was played at every high school dance we had. Also, "Home For A Rest" by Spirit of the West was played... which, if you were in university in the mid-late '90s like me, was code for "everybody get up and jumping around on the dance floor like a crazed east-coast maniac and spin around while linking arms with strangers." I know it meant a lot to quite a few of the people there... and if you aren't of that particular time and particular place, it doesn't.
For those of you who are interested... yes, I did manage to put a few drinks in me. Not enough to put me on the floor, mind you, but enough to get a delicious little floaty buzz going for most of the festivities. After the hellish July I had, it was exactly what the doctor ordered.
Next post: musings on the pressure to get hitched. It's new to me, and a little scary.