(shamefully hiding my head)
It took some digging but I actually found the website. It was one of those free websites from one of those mega wedding websites that has every answer you need as a soon to be bride. For example, what color your bridesmaids should wear, what type of font to use on invitations, how much to tip the limo driver, where to go on your honeymoon. There is an answer to every possible question except for the one you really will need – which is if your mother in law asks if your flower girl can come dressed as a fairy complete with purple wings, a flowered wreath and a ribbony wand in her hand – the answer no matter what you think is undeniably:
Looking at our website, I noticed that Chris and I have now been newlyweds for 968 days. I’m not sure what that translates to in years but if it’s a number representing what feels like a lifetime of finding one man’s wallet when it’s lost (seriously, I have a sixth sense for Chris’ wallet and prescribing junk food as a cure to ailing triathletes) or asking him why he is walking around the house without pants (three times this week) then that number is dead on accurate to me.
The website was not really filled with anything useful; it was more of a memento for us to remember who we were at that time and why everyone was getting together on that one day; October 8, 2005.
It started with a little introduction about me:
Elizabeth is a Coordinator of Youth & Family Programs. Enjoys cycling, running, swimming, shamelessly addicted to Grande Toffee Nut Americanos, dreams of life in San Diego, loves picking up Christian's socks, often can be found armed with a bottle of Windex and a roll of paper towels. Will answer to Small Wonder, Clown Car, Pippi, Rizzy or Team Tiny.
For the record – I still will answer to Team Tiny but haven’t been called Rizzy in a long, long time. Where did that one go?
Next up was a little bit about Chris:
Christian is an Accounting Consultant. Also enjoys cycling, running, swimming, watching movies, shamefully does not drink coffee everyday, dreams of life with Liz and no other!, drops an endless supply of socks throughout the house, very good with numbers, enjoys tools (once found sleeping while clutching a torque wrench). Might answer to Chrispy, Mr. Doodles, or Waterboy.
Then a brief mention of how we met:
It all started at swim practice. We both swim on the same master's swim team. We'd like to think that our future as a couple is stronger than our swimming ability.
In our defense, Chris' swimming has really improved so I'd like to think that his stroke rate and pace per 100 will carry our marriage very far.
The story of how we got engaged:
It's a long, but fairly entertaining story that involves a tent, a flashlight, a set of zip-off pants legs, and Liz's bad night vision while camping in the middle of Iowa in front of a buncha hooligans that wear flowered cycling jerseys and sit in lawn chairs parked illegally on a school playground on a hot summer night; Mitch (the school principal) wasn't pleased to say the least.
(post note: this obviously took place on RAGBRAI, the annual bike ride across Iowa in late July on a night that was probably 100 degrees with 1000 percent humidity with our tents illegally camped on a school playground - how did we know that it was illegal - because of course the lunch lady suggested we call Mitch the prinicipal at his home to confirm that there was no camping allowed which we confirmed and then politely ignored and then staked our tents, lawn chairs and cases of PBR in the playground all night - your typical sweaty summer hot Iowa night with the smell of corn in the air clearly the place where every young bride-to-be dreams of getting engaged)
Next we told a little about our attendants:
Megan; Maid Of Honor -- Megan is Christian's youngest sister; fiesty, young, snappy, the kinda girl who gets her picture taken in a big city newspaper, she hangs around the right people at the right time; an all around fun gal.
Meredith; Bridesmaid -- Meredith is Christian's sister; artistic, world-traveled, free-spirited, the kinda girl you might find talking to barflies on a Monday night; also goes by Dit-dit.
To Be Announced; Bridesmaid -- The third bridesmaid is to be announced to add a sense of mystery and intrigue to the whole event. Liz is accepting applications at this time. Be advised, Popo is a possible stand-in, so the competition will be tough
(post note: Popo is Chris’ grandmother who greets me with you want mangoes every time I go over there and at this point I’m convinced this is how you say 'hello' in Tagalog).
Chris; Maid Of Honor -- Will fight Meg-Meg for the coveted "Maid of Honor" role prior to wedding cermony. Get there early to ensure good view of fight. All joking aside, he's the best man. Christian asked him late at night after too many festivities so I'm not sure if that really counts.
Peter; Groomsman -- Peter is Elizabeth's only brother. They look nothing alike so please don't be looking for a short, dark-haired guy that looks just like Liz. Pete will make a rare appearance in Illinois while visiting from his now native Seattle.
Tim; Groomsman -- Put in his bid for flower girl but settled for groomsman. Tim is a good friend of Christian's. Cat-like with random displays of nimble vagrancy. Rumored to ride bike pretty fast when powered by the letters P – B – R.
Dr. Nuts; Usher -- He's the doctor! The doctor! Tall, dark, handsome, most likely to experience outrageous lifetime events that most of us only hear about on talk shows.
Aichee; Ceremonial accessory dog; will only be around for her good looks.
Chewie; Dog-like and small. We have a feeling that SOMEHOW Chewie will make his way to our wedding. Dressed to kill, of course.
(post note: yes there are pictures of Chris' parents dogs dressed in formal wedding wear. The best part is that Chewie - the boy - wouldn't wear the tux. Instead, he wore the white dress and Aichee - the girl - wore the tux)
We warned guests what to wear:
As long as you're not wearing a white dress and a veil we think you'll be ok.
Then we told them the details they really needed to know:
PREMIUM OPEN BAR
AND, as if that wasn't enough, there will also be food. We have tentatively planned a mixed greens salad, soup, followed by an 'intermezzo' (we're still not sure what that is, so approach it with caution), a double meat entree, and delectable sweets table afterwards. In memory of my grandmother, we will be handing out extra napkins so everyone can wrap up any leftovers and stuff them in their purse.
So what happened on that glorious day? I remember my wedding day like it was yesterday. I remember every little detail. That’s all bullshit. I barely remember more than a few things. That’s because someone (code for: my cousin Stephen) kept putting a drink in my hand every time I turned around. I also credit this to the world’s snappiest catering service that didn’t seem to understand that a plate on the table with food was a plate still being eaten by someone at the table. This also explains why I never did have a piece of my wedding cake.
Repeat – did not get to eat a piece of my own wedding CAKE.
Anyways, I remember the morning of our wedding we went for a run. It was your typical overcast and cold autumn Chicago day. Purposeful on my part because with my hair I knew there was no way a summer wedding would work. I remember when Chris was late in going up to the altar my mom was already spinning theories that he had run off. I knew that wasn’t the case. There’s no way a runner would run off in those black dress shoes. I remember putting forth the wrong hand for the ring. I remember being at the reception and thinking oh dear god the DJ sucks at my wedding and then taking full advantage of that by asking him to place every stupid wedding song out there. I may have even done the chicken dance. I remember when someone requested New York, New York all of the Italians from Brooklyn almost lost their 2,394,895 ounces of shots, wine and mixed drinks while running up to the dance floor to start a kick line. I remember not seeing my husband at the reception. Seriously, he was man trapped by the 1000000 relatives from his side that were there. I remember there were about 6 people sitting at the head table with the name Chris or a Chris derivative. I remember the last song of the night was Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer and when I looked at my (very drunk by now) cousin Stephen and asked him “what gives?” he said “It seemed like the right thing to do.”
So, to my friend as they plan their wedding, keep in mind that for all the details you pour over, fight over and fret about you will actually only remember those truly important to you - the color of the drinks that kept appearing in your hand (green - what were those?), the point at which your very drunk cousin convinced your mom to do a shot (about 11 pm), singing along to Piano Man in a giant circle with all of your Ragbrai friends - it's the little things, the details that you cannot plan, that will happen no matter what color the tablecloths are and whether you had beef or chicken.