Category Archives: Weddings

The Greatest Wedding of All Time

So … we got married! Honestly, I’m so overwhelmed with the trip to Iceland and all of the organization that comes with wedding gifts … not to mention a wicked sinus infection that I picked up somewhere … that the wedding feels almost like a fever dream or acid trip that I barely remember. Everyone warned me that it would go fast, that I would barely have time to dance or eat or talk to people, that I would have to make an effort to remember things. And wow, they weren’t kidding.

I’ve put together some things I DO remember very well, and in the fine tradition started with Kevin at Jen and Ron’s wedding almost a decade ago, I present:

Stephie’s Top 10 Memories of The Greatest Wedding of All Time

1. The Rehearsal

IMG_0380The wedding rehearsal was a hot mess. Our officiant Røb had stayed up all night practicing for the rehearsal, then took a nap and promptly slept through 99% of it. But I kept trying to remind myself of my theater/choir days: things would turn out okay.

Either way, it was the first time that I had seen my brother’s family, Erin, or Liz in a very long time. We had our very best friends and our entire extended families all in one room. Because Røb wasn’t there until the last 5 minutes, we had plenty of time to catch up with each other. And after a quick run-through, we got to get drunk and eat fried alligator. Yeesssss.

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2. When Justin Saw Me for the First Time

Pre-make-up.

Pre-make-up.

When you’ve worn your make-up the same way for at least a decade, it can be a shock to be made-up a different way. My hair? My hair that I worried about for so long? It turned out perfect. More beautiful than I ever imagined I could look. My dress? Fit like a glove, so comfortable and so adorable. My face, on the other hand, I hated. Looking back on pictures now, I think it looks okay, maybe even pretty, but I almost cried the first time I saw it. I kept asking my bridesmaids if they liked it, praying that they would demand that Kristin change it, but they all said it looked pretty. And when I came out in my dress, they all kind of melted and I almost cried. (P.S. I don’t have this in the list but I would like to mention that we were in a 4-room suite; BALLER.)

IMG_0476I was unsure all the way until the First Look pictures. We took them at this cute building across the street from ours that we’ve always wanted to buy. He stood around the corner from me, and Ben snapped a couple pictures of us holding hands, and then we turned to look at each other. Justin’s face immediately crumpled, his eyes filled with tears, and he softly whispered, “Oh, buddy!” Then I knew everything would be okay. P.S. Justin, in his red bow-tie and sneakers, looked 100% cute and 100% handsome as hell.

3. The Program

IMG_0485Old friends will appreciate this more than new, but Justin put the bridal party into a Brady Bunch picture, and he came up with that idea completely on his own. If that isn’t a sign that he’s the perfect man for me, I don’t know what is.

We listed the wedding party as “The Cast”, the parents and siblings (also parents) as “The Producers”, and made the events look like a TV Guide. Justin coined a new term, “Mom’voyage” to describe the Unity PBJ that we had our moms make, and that word makes me laugh so hard. I was also able to let everyone know that the wedding march music was a tribute to my dad. It was basically perfect.

4. The Wedding March

I first heard this instrumental version of Jimi Hendrix’s “Bold as Love” on a mix CD that Warren gave guests at his wedding. Honestly, the first time I heard it, years before I met Justin, I knew that I would walk down the aisle to this. And when I realized that my dad would not be there to walk with me, there was no talking me out of this idea, but thankfully everyone was game. See, my dad introduced me to Jimi Hendrix when I was in 6th grade. He introduced me to all of the greats. So, as I said in the program, “Since Jim can’t be here today, Stephanie will be escorted down the aisle by their two favorite dudes: [my brother] and Mr. Jimi Hendrix.”

I was determined to hit my mark at the prettiest part at 3:15 and have it fade out when I reached the end of the aisle, and I really thought it would be impossible to do. The rehearsal attempts were a disaster and I pretty much gave up. But then – it worked out perfectly! All the parents and bridesmaids made it down the aisle, the flower girls and ring bearer were hilariously adorable. I almost started walking, and something told me to wait. And then BOOM. I rounded the corner and hit my mark exactly. I had my brother next to me with his colorful medals. I had my “something blue” (and something important) pinned to my bouquet. I saw Steve, Ron and Peter on the ends of the aisles, beaming at me. And of course, my perfect husband at the end.

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5. Røb

JandS-283-XLNot going to lie, we were all worried about Røb after the rehearsal. But damn, he nailed it. It started with a song that I’m going to link to and man, I hope you can see this. (I’ll make a more accessible video eventually.) But from the accordion serenade to the side jokes (“The wedding ring, like the donut …”) to the perfect vows that made me burst into tears (“I Stephanie, take you Justin as you are, to be my companion and my best friend …”) to the very end (shouting “Let’s get drunk!” as we walked down the aisle) … it was flawless. We probably got more compliments about Røb than the actual marriage; it was that great. Plus, because his song was titled, “The Greatest Wedding of All Time,” that’s how people refer to our wedding now. Victory!

Note everyone cracking up in the background.

Note everyone cracking up in the background.

6. Brent’s Speech

945629_951203912806_586270824_nAll of the speeches were amazing and made me tear up (Jen gave a shoutout to Team Papoose), but Brent’s speech was astonishing. It’s probably too personal to print here, but it was hilarious, heartwarming, surprising and unforgettable. And it ended with, “May you have children of average height.”

 

 

 

7. Friends

Obviously, seeing everyone was a big deal, and so many people said things that touch my heart that I’ll remember forever. But some I’ll remember more than others. Like spending tons of time with Steve, Meredith and Janet at a wedding-themed TV Time the night before the wedding. Or when my dear friend Adam told me that he rearranged an entire family reunion (with his 6,000 in-laws) to be there. But especially when I snuck out for a cigarette and Tony handed me a phone … and my dear friend Tim, who has been wrongly imprisoned for over a year for a crime he didn’t commit, was on the other end. He had a phone smuggled into his cell just to call me. I never expected my favorite wedding memory to be me huddled behind Tony while sneaking a smoke and talking to a prison inmate, but marriage can surprise you.

Our gift bag for out-of-town guests.

Our gift bag for out-of-town guests.

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8. Dollar Dance

Most people keep the money for themselves, but Justin and I donated our money to charity. His bucket went to the MS Society and mine went to the Juvenille Diabetes Research Foundation. We collected over $200! But mostly, this is a favorite memory because I got to dance to all of my favorite dudes to the tune of “With A Little Help From My Friends”.

9. Photobooth

The set-up didn’t turn out exactly like we planned, but it was still great and everyone loved it so much. Here’s the full gallery. Designed and built by Justin, run by our friend Ann’s awesome business, Photomaton.

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Justin’s initial mockup. He sewed the curtains himself!


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10. Things Get A Little Pornographic

Again, God, I hope you guys can see this video. I think Sarah has it set to my “Friends of Friends” on Facebook. I’m going to ask her eventually for a file so I can YouTube this shit. But guys, Røb wanted to serenade me with my favorite song, and then he remembered that a million years ago I wrote this blog entry, and Justin thought it was the funniest idea he had ever heard of in his life, and that’s how I got serenaded with “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover” on my wedding night by someone who is not my husband, and at one point by an entire room of my friends and family. Sarah’s video perfectly captures Jen and Ron’s laughter, Fritz and Jenny’s dancing, Røb’s flawless performance, and my simultaneous delight and mortification.

Up Next: The Honeymoon! Probably more lists. I am exhausted.

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On Our Way To Iceland, But First …

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May 13, 2013 · 11:04 pm

Engagement Pictures! Hooray!

This was the best day, just wandering around our neighborhood with Ben (Benjamin Trevor Photography).

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Pleading the Fifth

Man, am I really down to one entry a month? Is that all I have in me? As I get more and more transparent on Facebook, more vulgar on Twitter, more challenged at work and busier at home, I’m finding it harder and harder to find the time, energy, or even reason to have this blog. But 8 years is too long of a commitment to simply stop (especially since it’s an extension of my legendary journal that I started almost TWENTY YEARS AGO OH MY GOD). At least once a year I go through a quiet phase, and maybe this is just that? No matter what, I’ll find a purpose to keeping this alive … even if it’s simply posting journal entries from 1994 so you can all laugh at me.

The running goal is going … so-so. We’re having a heat wave right now (over a week of 100°+ temperatures for the first time since 1988) and even though I run inside year-round, it drains my energy to just be alive in heat like this. However, I think I’ll be able to make it to 100 miles this month. If not, a month and a day. Also, the pain in my calf has finally gone away, so I can stop being one of those creeps who always stretch in public.

The heat is so bad, I was actually relieved to stay indoors and miss all the 4th of July action this year. Though, we did catch a major display from our window. Even though fireworks were banned throughout St. Louis, we could see about 8 simultaneous North City displays from our window. It looked like the end of Fight Club.

Ever since Justin took the citizens class at the Police Academy and learned that gangs have annual picnics, he’s been obsessed, so he was convinced all the fireworks belonged to competing gangs. I even caught him googling “gang fireworks” to prove me wrong. “I think it’s just one of those things that isn’t talked about very much,” he said sadly when the search came up empty.

Also: the Wienermobile! It was parked right in front of my building all day!

Tony’s wedding was incredibly beautiful and insanely fun. Liz and I left the guys at home so we could room together – the first time I’ve seen her in almost three years! Such a great time with all my old friends and Tony’s family – they’ve always treated the whole gang like we’re part of the clan.

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Top 5 Moments of Tony’s Wedding Weekend:

5. Amazing fight between some random couple at the hotel. Liz and I spent at least a half hour perched on a chair with our ears pressed to the air vent.

4. Liz requested Beastie Boys, and all our friends rushed the empty dance floor for “Intergalactic”. After that, the dance floor was packed for the rest of the night.

3. Real North Carolina moonshine! I only took one sip of each flavor. Others weren’t so smart. Others weren’t so lucky. Others were much, much more entertaining.


2. Tony, Liz and I did the Romy & Michelle dance.


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1. The highlight of the night was when Ty’s new girlfriend said, “The thing I love the most about Ty is that he doesn’t fart or take gross poops like other guys.” RECORD SCRATCH. We then spent 10 minutes recalling the best Ty farts (Ty has a PROBLEM) and laughing like this:

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I had never met Alicia before, but we had time to hang out and chat on Sunday morning. Tony’s wife (oh my god, Tony has a wife) has a PhD and is adorable, hilarious, sharp as hell and incredibly sweet. As much as we love Tony, we’re all still in shock.

I was going to see Frank that weekend, too, but then I learned my niece would be in town for one night only. She is speaking in complete sentences!! I have yet to hear her say my name, but she is a total chatterbox and a bundle of energy. 3 hours with her was more exhausting than binge-drinking with my high school buddies for 3 days in a row.

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Finally, since the last time I wrote, I’ve hung out with Ramona One twice. She was crashing at some 43 year-old’s house when he suddenly went crazy. It scared her enough that she went home to her parents and hasn’t done drugs in 4 weeks. I’m glad I waited that long to see her – by the time she got to me, she was the old Ramona. (She still turned into an asshole when we were drinking, but she always turns into an asshole at midnight when she’s drunk. She’s our little Cinderella.) I’m still cautious around her–for example, I hid all my prescriptions pills when she came over–but it was nice to have my old best friend back for a night or two.

She’s finally back with her husband and kid, though the 43 year-old is still writing stalker emails to her every day. At one point, he was writing to me, too–and was really pissed when I wouldn’t take his side. She forwards all the emails to me–half of them are threatening and the other half are like, “I MISS UR TOUCH.” It’s really sad when a 43 year-old uses phrases like “no DRAMA” and “snotty backtalker”. (I am the snotty backtalker.) It’s also really, really funny when a drug dealer tells you that he’s praying for you. Anyway. The other Ramona and I are on better terms, but as you can see, one is more than enough right nah.

Wedding stuff: collecting addresses and working with my friend Ben (not photographer Ben) on the Save the Dates! We’re also playing with art supplies and brainstorming centerpieces.

Just chugging along.

 

See you next month.

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Game, Set, Match

We just signed the contracts and booked the venue, which means we’ve officially set the date! Although, after all of the paperwork and handing over a $1,500 deposit, we kind of feel like we got married already.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some celebration alligator sausage cheesecake to eat before I become a fitness and calorie-obsessed crazy lady.

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My Taylor Swift Moment

Well, Taylor Swift plus a temporary crick in my neck. That girl is like 5 inches shorter than Justin, whereas I am wearing 3 inch heels in that picture and still look ridiculous. She wears short skirts, I wear t-shirts, etc. etc.

Photo by TV Time cohort and fellow Squid Ann Hubbard.

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To The Left, To The Left

A few more wedding pictures:

The aforementioned bus with a stripper pole. I am to the left, probably texting Justin with, “This bus has a stripper pole!”

Tower Grove. I’m all the way to the left. My cousin paired me with the tallest groomsman. She knows me so well.

The infamous trip to Tin Can. Uh, see that guy sitting to the left of me? Doesn’t he look exactly like Chaz Bono?

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