During dinner it was dawning: I was getting married the next morning. *gulp*.
Don't get me wrong, of course I've known for many months this was happening, but the past week had been a blur: things going crazy at work along with figuring out the logistics of the day itself – the ease of having such few guests being countered by us leaving for our honeymoon the same evening, without wedding dress, and a few other items. In all, there had been little reflection time for what lay ahead.
Friday around midday, everything was sorted: bags packed, all gadgetry packed along with cables chargers (a geek never travels without his toys), passports in their rightful place, mine containing a picture I no longer look anything like, and Raechel's with her to-be-married surname. Once complete, a sense of calm descended upon me; everything in its place and nothing any longer to worry about.
So there I was, the night before, drinking cocktails with my best friend, about to watch a film about Abraham Lincoln's vampire hunting days (based on a true story), finally appreciating the importance of what lay ahead. Excitement with a little fear, but all good.
I'd heard from a few people to expect bad sleep the night before. As I crashed into a slumber shortly after midnight with dreams I no longer remember, the next thing I knew an alarm was going off, telling me The Day was beginning, and it was time to get going.
The morning was a chilled affair. Having decided the boys would get ready at my Dad's leaving the girls the run of the house was a smart move. I know experience that the combination of a single bathroom, more than 2 people who are comfortable using the toilet in front of each other and a short timeframe is liable to cause issues.
Fuelled by the power of Kellogg's Rice Krispies and soya milk, we were ready within twenty minutes and setting out the door. Fuelled by a desire to see if we could wind up the girls, Reagan sent a text. 'Hey Jo, I was just wondering, how many Xanax is Jonathan allowed to take at once? He says four, but that seems kinda high to me, can you ask Rae?'
I gave it 15 seconds before a call was received; I was wrong, it was 20 seconds.
'HE TOOK HOW MANY??!'
'Just messing with you. He's not taken any today.'
Ho ho ho. Us boys, eh?
Arriving at the house dead on 0830, Jo greeted us at the door. I say greeted, it was a definite greet for Reagan, more a, 'I did NOT FIND THAT FUNNY,' to me, making it even more amusing for us both. Ho ho ho.
After the being made to wait outside for ten minutes on the pretence of Raechel not being ready (I'm sure it was punishment for the wind-up), I was finally allowed in for the first Reckoning of the Day: seeing the bride in her dress for the first time.
A little back-story. I'd said from day one that I wanted the dress to be a surprise. I knew what the underwear was, and the shoes, but I wanted the dress, and how she looked to be a complete surprise. It meant I had to defer to Raechel on things such as my suit design to ensure they went together, but more than anything I wanted that to be a surprise to me. It had been finished in April; sitting in a dress bag in the spare room, teasing me. Raechel's friends have been surprised with my restraint, but my willpower (for things like that; surprises) is strong.
So, invited in to the hallway, I awaited my beautiful bride…