Friday, June 1, 2012

Flashback Friday: Going to the Chapel...

It seems our wedding was our last major life event captured on film. Digital cameras existed back then (it's only been eight-and-a-half years, after all), but they weren't as commonplace as they are today, and no one had smartphones with built-in, high-quality cameras yet.

Scanning in the hundreds of pictures from our bachelor and bachelorette parties, wedding bar crawl, wedding brunch (which I can't find any pictures of - boo), wedding rehearsal, rehearsal dinner, wedding preparation, ceremony, and reception felt like kind of an all-or-nothing deal, and since I wasn't up for spending the next six months of my life sitting in front of the printer, I just picked a few favorites to scan and use for this post.

A month or so before our wedding, Tom and I held our bachelor and bachelorette parties on the same night, in the same town, and at many of the same bars. This situation worked out perfectly for us - we each enjoyed a few hours with our guy/girl friends, and then both groups met up to close out the night together.  My little sister, Sara, forgot her ID that night, so at all 10 or so bars I went in first and then my mom passed back my ID so Sara could get in as well.  (Sara and I look an awful lot alike, and my driver's license picture at the time was so unflattering that it really could have been a photo of anyone.  Add to the bad picture the fact that Sara knows my stats as well as she knows her own, and she was good to go.)  We thought my mom rocked, not only allowing but participating in this kind of rebel behavior.
Jamie, Leslie, my mom, me, and Melanie; Beri is
behind us, and behind her is a strange man.
Two nights before our wedding, me, Tom, most members of our immediate families, our wedding party, and my entire camping family went on a wedding bar crawl.  We had shirts made (girls in pink, boys in blue), used personalized cups, and my aunt Carolyn made jester hats for every single person who crawled with us.  (Beforehand she learned every attendee's favorite school and made them their own hat in their school colors.  Amazing.)  The bar crawl was a blast, though it did bring about an awareness of my allergy to tequila.  No need to go into further detail there...
Sara, Beri, Chelse, and me as we left the hotel.
It was 20 degrees and snowing that night, but this
is all we wore (plus our hats, of course).
Of course many of us, including me, Jamie,
and Melanie, had Hawkeye hats.
We were married at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City, Iowa (which is incidentally where we met, and later where Will was baptized) on January 10th, 2004.  It was important to us to get married in January for a number of reasons: we love winter and its beautiful snowy weather, we wanted to wait until after Tom's graduation, and we didn't want our wedding to conflict with any Iowa Hawkeye football games.  Check, check, and check: on that day the weather was cold and there was snow on the ground, Tom had his degree in hand, and the Hawkeye football season had come to an end.
Boys: Tim, James, Grant, Mitch, Matt, Adam, and Andy
Girls: Melanie, Leslie, Sara, Jenna, and Jamie
My favorite picture from that lovely day.
Originally I'd chosen long, dark red dresses for my bridesmaids.  When the order came in and my mom and I went to pick up the dresses we discovered they were ALL crooked across the top and we refused to purchase them.  Both my mom and I were incredibly disappointed, so to cope with the pain we went shopping.

30 minutes later we wandered into Banana Republic and came face to face with a fabulous black, strapless, tea-length party dress.  We took every single dress on the rack up to the checkout counter and bought them all; I think we purchased nine or 10 dresses, even though I only had five bridesmaids.  From the different sizes of dresses we purchased we were able to fit every bridesmaid, and lucky me, there was a dress left over in my size.

I loved my bridesmaids dresses so much that at our reception, after dinner, the first dances, and the cake cutting, I changed into mine and wore it - matching my most wonderful sister, sister-in-law, and girlfriends - for the remainder of the evening.  
Tom and I gave an impromptu performance
of the Elephant Love Medley from
Moulin Rouge during our reception.
The best part of our reception (of which I have no pictures, but I want to mention just in case anyone reading this post has pictures they want to send me) was the surprise performance of Tom's band, Jonny Lee and the Bad News.  The ballroom where we held our reception had a stage at one end, and prior to the reception the band members - all of whom were/are great friends of ours - set up their equipment behind the curtain.  As the DJ announced his break midway through the evening, the curtain swung open and Jonny Lee started their set.  The band knocked the socks off all of our guests, and surprised Tom and me with a song they'd written during dinner: "If I Had to Marry Erin" (sung to the tune of "If I Had a Million Dollars", which the band covered regularly).  They lyrics were written down on a napkin that didn't survive the night, and somehow not a single one of our 275 guests recorded the performance, so today, the song exists only in my memory.

Best memory.  Best night.


  1. I loved your wedding. And I still love my classic Banana dress! (I was preggo with Oliver and I remember that the zipper broke when I sneezed! I had it repaired.) Yeah for Flashback Friday!!

  2. I recall that song making a reference to eating a lot of brats!