I Got Wedded Up

I figured it’s about time that I posted something about my wedding.  It happened almost two weeks ago, but it feels like it just happened a couple days ago.  I was pretty nervous the whole weekend, but you might be interested to know that I wasn’t at all nervous about marrying Angela.  I’ve known that was the right move for a long time now.  No, what I was more worried about was our craptastic caterer, who is also the owner of our wedding/reception site, Willow Manor.  When we showed up at Willow Manor two days before the wedding to make sure everything would be okay, we noticed some extremely disturbing images.  Namely, the pool that was so filled with crud that is was opaque, the poison oak and poison ivy growing all around the property, and the weeds that were towering over the other plants in the ceremony area in front of the house.  We asked for all of those things to be taken care of before Saturday, but none of them were accomplished.  The owner pulled a few weeds herself, but then left them in a pile in front of the ceremony area.  One of our guests saw them and kicked them out of the way before the ceremony started.  Anyone who was in the pool (and there were some souls brave enough to get in) will tell you that they were covered with slime similar to the ectoplasm in Ghostbusters.  We had many other bumps and bruises along the way, and plenty of lies fed to us by this owner as well.  We did not have a lot of money to make this wedding happen, and the owner, knowing this fact and originally promising to help, found any excuse she could to put her hand in our collective pocket and renege on promises made before we signed the contract.  My advice to those of you who have yet to get married is to get every promise made to you in writing because you have no ground to stand on if you don’t.

So suffice it to say, I will live up to my “Vengeful Pat” billing and report the owner to the better business bureau as well as slam her on any wedding/event sites I can find.  Let me just say that I had an awesome time at my wedding and loved every part of it, but the reason it was a success was in spite of the caterer/owner.  I give a lot of credit to our wedding coordinator, Peter Valiante, who did an exceptional job.  If you’re going to get married in Richmond, hire that guy!

Now that I’ve let off a little steam in a public format (which is my nature), I’ll go on to talk a little more about the wedding.  We could not have made it happen without help from friends.  Our wedding coordinator worked for free.  As did our videographer.  Our photographer, Kyle Lamy, worked for basically the costs he would incur and nothing more.  Dave Harris supplied the sound system.  Bryan Morrell supplied the DJ/MC services.  Other friends and family pitched in with their time and efforts.  Angela and I are both people who like to get things done by ourselves without help from others, and the Lord really forced us to rely on our loved ones to make the wedding that we wanted happen.

When Ang and I first sat down and talked about what we wanted to do for our wedding, we both decided that what was most important to us was a wedding that glorifies God.  After that, we wanted a wedding that embodied both of our personalities so much that people wouldn’t be able to help but see it.  We also wanted to make sure that it would be an event that would leave people with huge smiles on their faces when they left.  I think we accomplished those tasks and then some.  We spent several hours on that choreographed dance routine, and we’re extremely pleased with how it turned out.  There were so many times when Ang and I were practicing that, and she would turn to me and say, “Is anyone going to like this?  Is anyone going to think this is funny?”  I had to keep assuring her that our friends/family know our sense of humor and would realize we were being purposefully cheesy, and I really think that was the case from the crowd’s response.  I really have to extend a round of applause to Willow Manor for blowing a circuit early in the initial slow dance… it only set us up for later in the dance were we had the planned break that led into the dance routine.  People really thought the power had tripped again.  Here are some photos from the dance:

I may upload more pictures from different parts of the wedding as they become available.  I spent a lot of time on the different playlists trying to capture the perfect music for each situation, and I liked the results. And for the record, I did have a ska song on the dance playlist, but we just never got to it. I put the song info into a few excel files, so if anyone wants them, just holler. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget to mention that Steve Rawls did an incredible job as the wedding officiant, and we received a ton of complements from people who had never met him (which was obvious when they referred to him as “Pastor”… hilarious).  It was the best day of my life, and I can’t thank Hunter, the other groomsmen, my parents, Ang’s family & bridesmaids, and everyone else who helped enough. Gotta run for now!