Originally published 10/21/2007:
Have you ever had trouble putting an experience into words? I am having that difficulty right now. It's not that I'm having a hard time understanding that I had fun this weekend. Or that I was a groomsman in one of my best friend's weddings. It's easy to convey that message. But just saying that I had a good time being a groomsman in my friend's wedding seems kind of boring.
Friday I made the drive to Richmond and checked into a hotel. I met Andy and his dad at After Hours to pick up my suit. They made me try it on, just to make sure everything fit the way it was supposed to. And yeah, I looked good. You should've seen it.
Friday evening was the rehearsal and dinner. I have to say, the rehearsal itself was a little dull. And we went through it three times. I get it though. You want things to go right on the actual wedding day, and if practice makes perfect, we got pretty dang close.
The dinner was at a little joint in Short Pump called Maggiano's. Faaaantastic. Pork tenderloin, four-cheese ravioli, chicken marsala, and spaghetti. And you didn't choose. No, you got all four entrees. Think The Home Place with an Italian motif. And of course the entire thing was set to the sounds of old friends telling and retelling stories about the college years. It's always great to see all of these people.
Then came the day we had been preparing for. Andy and Chrissy's wedding day. Ten months ago, it seemed so far away. Suddenly, here we all were. Getting dressed up in rented suits and posing for pictures at the front of the church. The ceremony itself went very well, just like we practiced (over and over). The reception was where the real party began.
After we were introduced, Andy and Chrissy shared their first dance as husband and wife. After the first dance, we all ate. After we ate, there was more dancing. Andy's brother, Joey, gave the best best man toast I've heard in quite some time. The cake was cut and gently shoved into each other's mouths. Then came a time that the singles either love or hate.
Usually, when you come to the bouquet throwing ritual, the single ladies jump all over each other to grab the flowers. But what about the guys with the garter? I've attended plenty of weddings, and I'm always reluctant to even take part in this. But once again, I found myself on the dance floor with about 15 other eligible bachelors waiting for that grenade of elastic and lace to be hurled toward us. I didn't even want to put my hands out there. But I was in the front. And I'm pretty sure that Andy was aiming for me. Reflex response. I caught the garter.
What's that supposed to mean anyway? Seriously, if you know the tradition, let me know. Am I just supposed to hang it on my rear view mirror? 'Cause that job's been done already. Maybe I should've told the bouquet catcher that I'd like a spring wedding. No? Too much? Right.
Unfortunately, not long after that I had to leave. I wasn't able to see the happy couple off or pelt them with rice or bird seed or whatever it is they use these days. There was a rumor about sparklers being used. I'll have to ask about that at a later time.
So to Andy and Chrissy, if you're reading this from Cancun, or from Charlotte when you get back home, I wish you all the best throughout your lives together. I love you guys.