Big Wedding Time

Posted on September 8, 2006 by Chris Lumens in .

This past weekend, I went to see my good friends Will and Leah (of the Willrad comic fame) get married in Greensboro, NC. I’ve known Will since back in the Slackware Alpha port days when he worked at Compaq on Alpha Linux stuff, and I met Leah through him some time later. Will was also responsible for getting me my current job and I now live right down the street from where he used to live. So despite knowing me, he still asked me to be in his wedding.

I took Thursday and Friday off to make it into a super long weekend. I grabbed this horrible 6am flight out of Manchester Airport to Raleigh where I met Will, his sister Joanne, and her boyfriend Liam. Then it was off to his house to wait for his family to show up. We got the tour of the new house (I’d actually seen it before, but there were a whole lot more stacked up boxes at that time) while we waited. Then we all ran off to get some food before heading over to Greensboro. Will’s parents left pretty soon but we still had about a thousand errands to run. Liam regaled us from the back seat with quotes from a very horrible movie. Turns out he’s a pretty funny guy.

We finally got over to Greensboro late that afternoon and checked into hotels, met a lot more family and friends, and eventually picked up some tuxes. Everyone remarked how long the coats for them were, and Steve and Dan (two of the other groomsmen) were worried for a while that they’d gotten the wrong sizes. Whatever, I thought they looked very stylish. After all those errands, we ran to another nearby hotel where Dan had rented a couple suites so we could eat BBQ, drink beers, watch a movie, and play Guitar Hero on a projection screen. It was tons of fun. I’d only played once before so I didn’t do very well but I still enjoyed it. Sometime during the night, Sarah arrived at the Greensboro airport and became the only girl in this party. I don’t think that ended up being too weird. Around 4am, we bailed from the party hotel back to the sleeping hotel.

A quick five hours later it was time for me to be up again. The high point of Friday was the wedding rehersal at the Castle McCulloch followed by the rehersal dinner. But first, we had a bunch more errands to run. Sarah and I went with Will to the ABC store to pick up all the booze for the reception and got some lunch before heading over to the castle. We got there right when we were supposed to, then proceeded to reherse the ceremony three times. It was pretty simple. Will’s dad did a good job of leading the ceremony, and Leah’s aunt did well at telling us where to stand and when to walk. Afterwards, we of course had a bunch more things to do. We ran back to the beer and wine store for a bunch of beer and wine for the reception, then to the AV store to pick up equipment. Then we had to go back to the castle to drop things off. Finally, we made it to the dinner at Lucky 32.

I was feeling like crap from the lack of sleep and partying the night before, but somehow managed. Dinner was fancy Southern cooking around two giant tables with tons of friends and family. I spent a fair amount of time talking to Will’s parents and the other groomsmen. By the end of the dinner, I was feeling a lot better though still stupidly tired. Feeling better meant it was time to go do something else so we went back to the hotel where Sarah and I met up with Keith, Jeff, and Mike. We watched some movies and then ran over to the Ruby Tuesday’s in the parking lot where we met everyone else. I was only around for an hour or two, but I hear we basically closed the place out. We already had full control of the bar once I got there.

At least I got some good sleep on Friday night. Saturday, we all got up late and went to a fancy hotel for lunch. I talked to Leah’s dad a lot since I used to live in Alabama and he now does, so there was some stuff in common there. Sarah basically ordered for me. She pointed out this beef, garlic, and mashed potato thing with the comment “Chris, order this!” because she knew I’d love it. I did. Lunch was surprisingly cheaper than the restaurant appeared, though I didn’t really have much room to complain since the only food I’d bought was at Bojangles the day before. For some reason, we spent most of the car ride back to the hotel talking about The Church of the Subgenius.

Then it was on to the main event. I went back to Will’s room to change (and to make sure he didn’t make a break for it - that’s my only responsibility besides standing up). Sarah came with me since it was most convenient for transportation. She wore a nice blue dress that she’d done her own embroidery on. Of course, I was wearing a tux. Then it was off to the car and on to the castle. We took all the groomsmen pictures beforehand outside. I don’t think they’ve ever had a worse group to take pictures of. We couldn’t stop cracking jokes and laughing the entire time.

While we were outside, we noticed another wedding happening at the same place, but this wedding involved a lot more Ren Faire characters than ours. They were certainly dressed for the part, and even had a bagpiper (he didn’t know Ace of Spades, unfortunately) and a guy wearing Viking horns. I’m not sure what that has to do with the Ren Faire, but huzzah! Our ceremony had none of that nonsense, however. We all looked very nice in the tuxes (nicer than we really ought to), and all the bridesmaids looked nice in their red and black dresses. I was paired up with Rebecca, who is another person I know from That Site. Leah looked very nice, of course, since it was her big event. The theme color for this wedding must have been red since it was everywhere - the dresses, the flowers, Will’s tie, etc. It wasn’t a very long ceremony and it wasn’t overbearingly religious.

The reception was pretty good, too. Right after the ceremony, we all had to evacuate the building so they could hurridly set up tables and we could take more pictures. Then we all went right back in for lots of pork, drinks, and dancing. Some of the dancing got a little ridiculous. They did a good job of picking out food and drinks, and the staff did a good job of putting up with us. Afterwards, we got a ride with Ted and Nikki back to the hotel for the afterparty in someone’s room. We packed about 30 people into a little room to finish off the rest of the reception booze and generally caused a huge noise. We got two noise complaints by the time I decided I’d had enough fun for one day and went to bed.

Sunday we met the new couple out in the parking lot on their way out. They were leaving early to go by their house on the way to London. Then we got a group together to go to Waffle House (we don’t have those in New Hampshire), dropped off Sarah at the airport, and then I got a ride back to Raleigh with Jeff and Keith. My flight left around 8pm. I think I must have been the last non-family person to leave town. Will and Leah left early in the afternoon to go by their house on the way to London.

The best part of this whole trip was the people, of course. I really enjoyed getting to hang out with all my friends again. We don’t do it nearly often enough - I need to make more of an effort to get down to Raleigh or over to Chicago. I was already working on plans before I’d even gotten on the plane to fly back. What’s more surprising was the new people I met. Steve and Liam were lots of fun to hang out with. Will’s mom invited me over for lunch since they live right down the street from my office. I left Greensboro with the sort of feeling I haven’t had since Ted and Nikki’s wedding last fall, or perhaps from the last big e2 party I went to. It was very nice.

And congratulations to Will and Leah. It’s hard for me to imagine two nicer people getting married to each other. Oh, and by the way, if anyone needs a groomsman for next fall, I’m now a trained professional at this. I can stand around and party like it’s my job.