Wedding Part Two

Ryan’s note: Anything wedding related from here on out is getting cross-posted between here and Thoughts from a Groom. My reasoning is simply because I want all wedding related stuff there for sure, but don’t see the reason to not have it archived here as well.

When Sylvia appeared at the top of the stairs with her father, I’ll admit that I completely lost it. I was not only thrilled to see her, but to finally see the dress that I’d tried so hard to not spoil for myself. It’s kind of a shame too because I don’t think that anyone got the look on my face since they were all so enthusiastic to see the bride! If anyone did get that photo, by all means forward that my way.

Anyway, I managed to regain my composure once we were standing next to each other in front of all of our friends and loved ones. The ceremony wasn’t too long (20ish minutes) and we had some readings that everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy. The one part that everyone seemed to really respond to was the vows. Sylvia and I not only wrote our own vows, but being the gaming nerds that we are, we wrote an extra set of 5 vows. We chose one of them at random with a roll of a D6 with a 6 meaning it was the officiant’s choice. It was totally great even though I don’t think Sylvia or I exactly got the vows we wanted. To hear my friend Megan’s enthusiastic description of it, listen to the first 10 minutes of this episode of the podcast that she’s on.

Once that bit of wonderful silliness was out of the way, we had our brief ring exchange along with some additional vows, then we kissed and then that was it! We were officially married. A thrilling rendition of the Newlywed Game Theme sent us down the aisle and behind the curtain where we hugged all of our attendants before doing a few of the required giant group photos. Then we were able to get some secluded time to finally just be together alone and decompress for a few minutes. We scarfed down some appetizers and generally caught our breath before going outside to get some more fun photos and then having a few minutes again before being announced to our guests in the main hall.

We had the gamut of speeches as well. From Leah’s quiet speech, to Nora’s funny speech, to Chitra’s tearful speech (unfortunately interrupted by the hard of hearing), to my mother calling me a nerd and Paolo doing a really good job of embarrassing Sylvia by telling her life story. There wasn’t any awkwardness and everyone seemed to really enjoy it all. Everyone began eating and Sylvia and I began to make the rounds.

I had always heard about the bride and groom having a hard time getting any food on the wedding day and I didn’t really get it till we started making those rounds. Even if you only spend a minute with each person, when you have about 190 people, there’s just no time to sit down, much less eat. I think I had a couple of bites of sausage and Sylvia had a piece of bacon, but that was about it.

We did take a break to give a brief thank you to everyone at once before moving on to greet more guests. Once we finally managed to say hello to everyone, our attendants put on a choreographed dance that was quite good considering the fact that they’d put it together in all of 10 minutes the day before. Then there was dancing that Sylvia and I were forced into before realizing there was a photo booth that we hadn’t been in yet. After a couple of rounds of that, we were summoned for the Horah, which was just as much fun as it was terrifying.

It’s all a bit of a muddle at that point just because there were so many things going on all at once. There were some photos taken in the lobby with lots of family members. There were some amazing photos taken of Sylvia and I in a Fiat her dad owns. I can’t really remember much else other than everything finally winding down and Sylvia, myself and our attendants as well as a couple of close friend getting on the party bus to go take photos around the city. Once we get the photos back and I have a chance to really go through them, then I might actually remember what all happened prior to that point.

But yes, once everything wound down, we all got on a bus and headed first to the Kinzie St bridge for the first set of photos. I don’t know exactly how well the shots turned out yet, but we had a ton of fun posing a bunch and I think there was a fish-eye lens somewhere in there. At some point, Katy suggested climbing on the damn bridge, so everyone did. I really hope that those photos turned out because they should look pretty awesome.

Next up was the Chicago Theater where we got a few photos of people posing before a group of musicians showed up and decided to give us an impromptu performance. If I remember correctly, their name was Vintage Nation, which seems to be accurate after a quick search. They gave us a really nice impromptu show, which was amazing. I think we got some pretty good photos, and I think we even distracted the people across the street who were watching the channel 7 news being filmed.

After that, the last photo op was at the cliche, but totally worth it Adler Planetarium. There was another wedding party there that we had to sort of wait for before we could take any photos, but they were apparently doing theirs before the wedding, while we were just done hanging out. It really reinforced how good of an idea to take photos after the wedding was for us because man did they look stressed out. The bride even covered her face from us when they walked by for some reason. I still don’t understand it, but I guess I don’t have to.

Once we finished up there, we dropped people off and finally managed to make our way to the hotel to at least check in and sit for about half an hour before hearing about a post-wedding shindig that Sylvia’s parents were throwing. It happened to be right next door to the bowling alley we were going to have our post-wedding shindig, so we went there to see a bunch of people for a bit. After we’d finished up there, we hit the bowling alley and waaaaaaaaay more people showed up than I expected. I didn’t think more than 10-15 people would have showed up, but we ended up having close to 40, which was a really great way to cap the evening. After shutting down the bowling alley, we finally wandered back to the hotel and were able to give ourselves permission to just pass out and sleep. We were finally married. It was amazing and glorious and everything about the day was fantastic.

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