Yes I'm dragging it out....
After the wedding everyone proceeded back to the hotel for the Reception. The Wedding Party actually went to the beach across the street where we took pictures. Even though this is Southern California it was still October so after about 10minutes of wind battering we decided that the hotel courtyard was a much more attractive spot. Of course when all your guests SEE you taking Wedding Party pictures you pretty much end up having all your guests IN the Wedding Party pictures. But I didn’t mind.
I was feeling pretty darn glorious and fabulously gracious so I proceeded to work the room like I’ve never worked a room before. I think I thanked Kerry (Carmen’s Boyfriend who video taped everything) like 10,000 times. I made sure to have a real conversation with every single soul and I didn’t even have to plaster a smile on my face once. The absence of alcohol in my system pretty much confirms for me that I was running on pure adrenaline.
My hubby was Mr. Cool Calm and Collected (at first) and just casually made the rounds. But his calm was merely a façade. At one point during the cocktail hour I stepped aside to discuss the showing of the wedding video. I had given him two versions of the dvd. One with a “special feature” and one without. I told him he could play the “non-special” one during dinner after everyone had gotten their food. But I wanted to wait until the end of dinner to play the “Special” part. He said “no problem. I can just put the Special feature dvd in and pause it before the big finale comes on.” I just looked at him. Obviously I had just told I didn’t want to risk it starting before I was ready. He looked at my expression and then said, “or we can just hold off on the special dvd until you’re ready.” Thank you.
Why was it so special? Well the video consists of four photo montages set to four songs. The first song shows pictures of Michael growing up. The second pictures of me growing up and the third pictures of us together. A friend of mine had done 3 photo collages/albums with the same idea so I thought I’d take it a step further. The fourth song was a tribute to Michael’s late father. Michael knew about the first 3 parts (it was impossible to spend that much time on the computer without him finding out) but he didn’t know about the fourth part.
Well the wedding planner started the “non-special” dvd a bit too early and people were still getting their plates. Michael saw the first part with photos from his childhood and got really emotional especially seeing pics of his grandparents and the one photo of his dad that I put in that part. He had to go to the bathroom to compose himself he was so emotional. I started thinking maybe the tribute would overwhelm him and he’d be mad at me. But I had to risk it. When he came back and everyone was seated they restarted the video. Everyone enjoyed the first three parts.
Then came the big finale…. (drum role) I was handed a microphone and I stood up.
“Honey,” I said, “I just want you to know that I love you with all the love in my heart. But I know that’s not enough. I want you to have all the love in heaven and all the love on earth. I want you to be surrounded by all the love of the people here and all the love of those who couldn’t be here. And so this is my wedding gift to you.”
Right on cue they started the tribute and in the words of Michael’s Scottish cousins, “there were ne’ a dry eye in the ‘ouse.” Michael was crying and so was everyone else. At one point he turned to me and said, “I can’t believe you did all this for me. No one’s ever done anything like this for me. Thank you.” That’s when I finally relaxed.
We danced. We ate cake. We laughed like fools. And everyone had a fabulous time. I don’t think I ate one bite of my dinner and neither did Michael. In fact when we got back to our house later that night I cooked us dinner. Ah well, I was too busy to eat at the reception anyway. Michael was still a bit emotional and overcome but he was happy too. And we were both ready to start the honeymoon.