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Monday, May 14, 2012


Some weddings have flower girls. We had a Bat Girl.

Robert the Psychic was our officiant.

Robert kept telling me we'd planned a perfect Celtic pagan wedding, and I kept pointing he was fixing to marry two Christians.

It was chillier on the bridge than I'd anticipated. Than most folks had anticipated, really. The breeze off the river was brisk.

I'd started meat smoking the day before. Since it took twenty hours to do a whole brisket, I figured all these pork shoulder roasts, brisket and sausage laying over each other in the smoker would behave the same way. Big mass of meat, long time for the heat to soak in.

That, by the way, turned out not to be the case, but we were already hitched and most of the meat had been eaten before I got a mouthful and realized how dried out and overcooked it all was.

As Dr. Goddard would say, I learned things on my wedding day. Another thing I learned was that I'd underestimated how much time the setup would take, or how many hands it would take to do it at all. Luckily, Robert, my Dad and brother showed up shortly after I did and started taking care of business.

I'd woken up in the night to go to the bathroom, checked on the smoker, refueled it, and then lain awake for a couple of hours rolling everything over in my head. I was at Royal Liquors to pick up two kegs of Boulevard (a Pale Ale and a Boss Tom's) at eight so I could be at the trail by nine to meet the AAA Party Rental van with the chairs, tables, food carriers and whatnot.

My brother brought dollies, a good thing since I'd neglected that detail. One of the things I learned on my wedding day is just how freaking heavy a full keg of beer is. I have kettles made from retired AB kegs, and they're hefty, but add 125 lbs or so of liquid to them and it's a whole other ball game.

Trying to get the first keg out of my car and onto a dolly, it got away from me and went rolling. I probably looked like a Chris Farley character, impotently chasing it as it accelerated, stupidly stooping as I ran — as if getting a hand on it would stop anything. It rolled into a chain link fence, the ideal brake for the situation. If it had stopped against someone's car, say, my wedding would have gotten a lot more expensive.

But I just realized (tired as I am), I'm making it sound like a comedy of errors when it was one of the most wonderful days of my life.

The pedicabs were a hit. We'd stationed the porta-potties a little far from the action—not wanting them to stink up the joint—and people were using the pedicabs to make pit stops, which I'm sure helped the drivers' tip situation. People were also taking rides just for the novelty of it.

We were going to do a run-through beforehand, but we were still setting up and people were still finding the place, and in the end we winged it.

As we rode down the bridge on bicycles, me in my kilt, Roj in his Speed Racer getup, Corinna in sequins and fishnets, Em in Bat Girl regalia, etc., it looked as though we were approaching a Statue of Liberty Impersonators convention. Everyone had their cameras and phones up to record our approach, and I realized, none of them had ever seen a wedding party such as ours.

Which was the idea. We weren't interested in the penguin/white dress wedding—been there, done that.

When we'd arranged the chairs, I think I was picturing room for two people, me and Corinna, in front of Robert. But we had the attendants, too, and everyone just kind of squeezed in. It was probably good that everyone was jammed in — the bridge is huge, bigger than we realized, and with all that open space and wind, sound just gets swallowed. I couldn't even hear the cello and violin duet until we were just about on top of them.

And I'm sure some people couldn't hear our vows, which were heartfelt and humorous. I promised to take Corinna even when she gets judgmental and to drag her away from her workaholocausts to have fun. She vowed to take me even when I (as I'm doing right now) stay up far past my sell-by to get one more thing done.

We also did the more traditional vows, though I edited 'plight thee my troth' to be 'pledge you my fidelity.' Same thing, but without the obtuse King James language.

Robert closed the ceremony with a 'Druidic' binding spell. I know, Druid and Christian isn't supposed to mix, but the symbolism of it was neat and it's not like we were sacrificing a goat before a gold statue of Elvis.

We closed with a hastily assembled ritual I'd wanted to do. Basically you have all the cyclists at the wedding pull their front wheels beforehand, hold the up like a bridge of swords for the newlyweds to walk under. We didn't get the word out to nearly enough of the guests, but we managed to scramble an honor guard anyway.

Then we partied like it was 1999.

Lots of friends came, some I hadn't seen in ten years or more.

Lots of others I don't see nearly enough, too.

A few went on the alleycat race (that's what urban cyclists call a scavenger hunt).

We got our rings tattooed on shortly after the reception started. Neither of us does real well at wearing rings (in my case, my fingers taper so much it's almost impossible to keep a ring fitted; always too tight or falling off).

It's funny, actually, me and Corinna can disagree about plenty of things, but the major points of the wedding—what to do, where, and how, I can't recall us differing much. I didn't tell her I wanted to marry her, I told her I wanted to marry her on the bridge, out bridge, and I don't think we seriously considered any alternate venues.

I didn't think she'd go for the wedding ring tattoos, but she was the one who found the tattoo artist to do them.

And while two kegs of beer turned out to be way more than our guests were up to consuming, and the meat might have been overcooked by a shift, we were always clear that we wanted this to be the biggest party we'd ever thrown. We love throwing parties.

I'd taken a few pictures of this roller derby girl who showed up in her costume when she said, "I bet you don't know who I am."

It was true. I said, "You're a derby girl and you came to my wedding."

Then she told me who she was and I fell out. She'd been to our house before, I just had no idea she was in the derby.

There's so much more to tell, but I'm fried. It's been a long, long week, a whirlwind really.

The pictures tell most of it anyway. Only one of these is from our official photographer (I couldn't shoot myself walking under the bicycle wheels). I took over 1000 shots on Saturday, and this is just a sampling of them.

Gotta go, my bride is beckoning me to bed.

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