So it’s been two days, and Stephen is still married. It’s weird. Very weird. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome. Totally awesome, but it’s still weird. He is the first of our “crew” to get married. Sure, he’s not the first one out of our high school class to get married or have kids, but it’s something special when one of your close friends takes the next step into something special. The fact that I had a front row seat made it even better.
Jake flew in from Boston, Nate from Dallas/Fort Worth. We had planned their flights far enough in advance so they were able to land around the same time making transportation much easier for me. I wish I brought my camera to the airport so you all could see Jake in his Nantucket Reds and his ridiculously terrible mustache. After living with him for 4 years, things like that don’t surprise me anymore but it’s fun to remember Vintage Jake. Thankfully he knew it had to go before the wedding ceremony. Plenty of fun was had with it beforehand. Laura (bride) had a priceless look before we told her he was going to shave it. I’m sure I’ve mentioned here or on twitter that I was shaving my beard/stubble for the wedding. I hadn’t cleanly shaven my face in almost 2 years but this was her (their) day so it was the right thing to do. Even though I shaved Friday morning I swear my full connector was visible by Sunday night. No wonder I stopped shaving in the first place. Madness.
The rehearsal and associated dinner were pleasant. Stephen gave the groomsmen some sweet cufflinks and personalized koozies. Each of us had a different beer in the koozie except for me and Laura’s brother, we got Pepsi One. I lol’d. After the dinner we moved upstairs to the “after-party.” Basically Stephen’s parents rented out a large room for food and beverages of various alcohol levels for both nights. It served as a sufficient pregame for the rest of the night.
Tangent Time. As you might already know, I am not the most social butterfly. This was especially true during college. Whenever we (they) hosted a party at our apartment I was always around, if anything to make sure there wasn’t any damage caused to my home. I stopped going out with them to bars or frat parties half way through freshman year. I didn’t feel like wasting money on a cover charge to stand around while literally everyone else was drinking. It wasn’t fun. So for the 3 years we lived in The Village, if they went out I stayed home. If anything, if only for a couple of hours it meant some quiet time. All of this is important to put in to context the fact that Friday night was my first time at a bar in Blacksburg. Ever. Stephen was getting married, rules and preferences had to be set aside for the greater good, within reason of course. Surprisingly it was not terrible. The bar we went to, Top of the Stairs (TOTS) has a sizable balcony and we managed to quarantine off a corner for our group. By now everyone has grown accustomed to my not drinking so there is never any pressure to buy a round of Red Bull Rails for everyone. Just chillin with friends. While we were there, we were greeted by a number of unexpected friends including Charlie and Lily, who were recently engaged and my roommate from my last year at Tech, Lizzy. Obviously you don’t know those people but I do and it was nice to catch up with some familiar and very friendly faces.
One good thing about a wedding ceremony at 1pm is that the hangovers have almost 0 chance of interfering with the festivus. Everyone was properly James Bond-ified by 11 and we all met up in Stephen’s room. Apparently our primary responsibility was to make sure he didn’t see the future Mrs. Dillon. In reality our primary responsibility was to make sure he got to the chapel on time. Not seeing Laura was a close second.
Side Note: Stephen was classically late. “I’ll be there in 5 minutes” meant 15. 15 meant 30. Tonight meant 2 days from now. There was never an official conversion chart but you get the idea.
Before we made our way to War Memorial Chapel we had our photo session. As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been told that Stephen will have access to all the photos from the before and after wedding sessions and the candids from the reception. Whatever that means, whenever I get my hands (physical or digital) on them, you will get them.
Again, this is where I wish I had more time to take pictures to put the Ceremony in context. Basically, the campus is separated by the Drillfield in the center of campus. On one side is the dorms, the other the academic buildings. It’s a bit more complicated than that, but that basic idea along with this map can give you an idea of what is around War Memorial Chapel. I did get a couple pictures of the area so you can see that it is f*cking beautiful (when the weather cooperates).
The ceremony itself went off splendidly. I escorted Stephen’s mother to her seat during the procession. The Maid of Honor nearly fainted from likely keeping her legs locked too long. It was hot as balls by the end of the ceremony in that tuxedo. Candles were lit, hugs were given all around and we all welcomed Stephen and Laura Dillon to the world. It was beautiful.
After endless photos after the wedding, including an attempt to recreate Abbey Road we made our way to Blacksburg Country Club for the Reception. Slideshows? Check. Toasts? Check. Cake? Bolus Worthy. Car? Just Married with a Hokie Twist. All of that is fine and dandy, but the real highlight came during the dance between Stephen and his mom. The traditional first dance was sweet, but slow. The traditional dance with bride and her father was sweet, but slow. Then the Groom and his mother got their dance. Instead of another slow song, something with a beat hit the speakers.
And. They. Got. Down.
It was equal parts awesome and hilarious. I’m not sure anyone expected that. Well, Stephen’s sister probably knew it was coming since she got called to the dance floor, then Stephen’s father came out for a family jam session. Awesome stuff.
There were moments of Cha Cha and Electric Sliding had by all of us, although I cannot confirm that the pictures of the half-black guy in there are me.
After the wedding, and a much needed nap we all rendezvoused back at the “after-party” spot and proceeded to munch, drink, and chill. We spent a lot of time talking with Stephen’s Parents, who are awesome. There were rumors of another Downtown bar session but will the free food, free alcohol (even Kentucky Gentleman) and general exhaustion we weren’t going anywhere. I don’t think anyone regretted that decision.
It was during this post-wedding chill session that I came to realize a few things. But I will have to leave that tease right there for tomorrow.
If you need more of me, check out Episode 67 of the Post Game Report. I hear the guy who edits the podcast now is a cool guy 😀