The Night Before

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Friday. The day before the wedding we went into the city in order to get settled and prepare for our wedding day.

We skipped the morning rush while getting everything ready around the house. Bags were packed, the cats were fed, the car was loaded. Jason's suit and Sheri's dress were carefully hung in the back seat. The drive into the city was uneventful.

Arriving at the hotel was a little strange for Jason. All the prior times we drove into the city we just parked the car at a garage. This time we parked in front of the hotel to unload. At the concierge desk we told them about the car and handed over the keys. They called a garage the car was going to be picked up soon. Jason was very uneasy about leaving the car parked on the curb in NYC. Sheri kept assuring him that people do this all of the time and that the car would be fine.

We had arrived early to the hotel and our room wasn't quite ready. So we stored our bags with the hotel and walked to Grand Central. Jason kept looking back at the car as we walked away from the hotel. We continued on our hunt to purchase a handful of Metro-Cards. The cards were to be used on our wedding day to get all our guests onto the subway.

Back at the hotel the Prius had disappeared into the garage and our room was ready. We unpacked our luggage and settled in. The weather was beautiful so we didn't want to hide away in the hotel. Plus it was NYC on a Friday night, how could we stay inside?!

brooklynbridge.jpgOut for a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. We always talked about walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, but have never gotten around to doing it. This particular day we crossed over it at sunset. It was beautiful. If you ever get a chance to walk over the bridge-- we highly recommend it.

We also recommend stopping in Brooklyn and having some pizza, as we did. By the time we got to the Brooklyn side of the bridge we were pretty hungry. There is a small neighborhood almost under the bridge called DUMBO (short for "Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass") with galleries and restaurants. We stopped at a corner pizza place and had a nice simple dinner.

The walk back over the bridge was just as wonderful as the walk over. This time we had a night view of Manhattan with some fog. The Empire State building was hidden from view but we were able to see enough of the city to really enjoy the walk.

Back at the hotel we had a hard time falling asleep. Nervous.
Everything seemed to come together. Eventually.

The day started like most mornings. Get up. Take a shower. Get dressed uh... hmmm... Jason neglected to pack his underwear. Some shopping was in order. We finished getting ready and headed out for breakfast. We ate at a corner diner and watched the tourists stumble around.

After a quick purchase of underwear, we walked over to Sheri's hairdresser. We were early so had some time to kill. Sitting on the granite ledge around Gramercy Park we talked about the weather and how everything seemed to be fitting into place.

11am rolled around and Sheri walked off to her hair appointment. Jason strolled back to the hotel to wait for Brian to arrive on the train. (Brian is also known as our Reverend-- really he's a very close friend who agreed to get ordained online and registered with the City of New York so that he could marry us.)  He walked through a street closed for foods and crafts. The smells of roasted chicken, sausage, coffee, and cookies were overpowering.

Back at the hotel, the concierge called. It was Brian pretending to be the front desk but Jason saw through the ruse. Brian arrived up at the room sweating like an animal. Did we mention the weather was unusually hot? We were waiting for Brian's hotel to have a room ready for him when Misa & Kelly called.

Misa & Kelly were staying in the same hotel as us. They arrived and brought their luggage up to our room until their room was ready. It was now 12:30 and Jason was getting stressed. Steve and Shelia had called and asked if the La Quinta was checking in people early. Jason had no idea. We weren't even staying at that hotel! Brian needed to check in to the La Qunita. Sheri wasn't answering her phone and we needed to meet the photographer at 2pm in Central Park. Oh yes, the street in front of the La Quinta was closed for a Korean Festival too. So all our guests (including Jason's family) were going to have a hell of a time figuring out where to unload their cars and park. Point of this paragraph: Jason was freaking out at this point.

Leaving Misa and Kelly at the hotel, Brian and Jason walked over to the La Quinta to see if Brian could check in.  While at the concierge desk Sheri called Jason. She calmed him down. Brian got checked in and ran into Steve and Shelia in the lobby.

sherimirror.jpgJason headed back to our hotel to get ready for the wedding. Sheri arrived with her beautifully done up hair. We got all suited up for the wedding and left on time to meet the photographer.

The cab ride to Central Park was easy and neither one of us sat in anything dirty or sticky. Peter Doyle, the photographer, was ready for us when we arrived. After 20 minutes we had loosened up and were smiling. As we walked around the park there were lots of smiles, nods and even a few other wedding parties.

The photographs ended about 30 minutes before the ceremony because Peter wanted to check out the ceremony location and get his equipment ready. So we sat on a park bench and enjoyed the day. We got lots of smiles and "congratulations" from locals and tourist from all over the world. Where else but NYC is it normal to see a bride and groom sitting on a bench in the middle of a park?

We had 30 minutes to wait and get nervous.

Our wedding day, we get married

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After sitting on a bench for 30 minutes (and spying across the lake on our guests), we were plenty ready to move.

We walked over to the ceremony spot, Hernshead. Along the way we bumped into Ruche and Slavek. They had become turned around and were walking off to somebody else's wedding. It's a good thing we found them. We turned them around and continued to the spot.

Outside the spot we met Brian to pass the bouquet to Sheri and take her purse. We waited while he walked back to the ceremony spot. After a few minutes we headed in.

It all was a blur.


See all the photos

We walked up and were applauded. Brian began the ceremony after we adjusted our spot to get out of the sun. Boaters paddled around behind us. It all went by so quickly.

After the ceremony we gathered for photos. You'll see lots of them in our photo album. Then we got everyone together for our own mini-procession to the subway. Some guests had to find a bathroom so we stopped at the American Museum of Natural History.

Our procession made it into the subway and through the turnstyle in an orderly fashion. We all descended into the bowels of NYC to get our train downtown. It was pretty hot in the tunnel. The train was a relief. By the time the train stopped we had all cooled down but the long walk out of the subway station got us all warmed up again.

We arrived at the restaurant, Jane on Houston St., on time. It was a relief to get off our feet for a while.

Our wedding day, the dinner

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We arranged to have one large table. There was no assigned seating so people wandered around the table a bit before settling in. With everyone settled in place we had one more official business item to take care of.

We needed two witnesses to sign our marriage license. Rather than pick two people out of our group we left the choice to a roll of the dice. In this case it was a twenty sided die, from Jason's old Dungeons and Dragons game. We passed out raffle tickets to those present and rolled the die twice.

dinner.jpgThe lucky winners were Sue and Steve. Sue will be marrying Sheri's brother in 2008. Steve, from Scotland, is married to Shelia, one of Jason's oldest friends. They went over and signed the official document and we sat down for drinks and appetizers.

Before dinner was served we gave our speech followed by Jason's mom giving a speech. Her speech was so good that it intimidated everyone else from standing up and giving their speeches. So we proceeded with dinner.

The food and drink was very good. Everyone had their fill and loosened up enough that more speeches came out. Misa started off followed by Shelia, Steve, Susan, Sharon, David, Jason's dad, and finally Harvey. All were well spoken, heartfelt, and touched us.

Thank you everyone.

After dinner everyone scrambled to grab a cab ride. Some of us made plans to meet up on the bar at top floor of the La Quinta. There is a bar up there with views of the Empire State building. Sheri changed out of her wedding dress but Jason wanted to get his money's worth out of the suit. Plus it looked good on him anyway.

The evening finally wound down a little after 1am.

The day after

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Almost everyone who stayed overnight in the city met up for breakfast the next morning.

This time our procession was smaller and we made the trip to Friend of a Farmer (just south of Gramercy Park) on foot.

We packed around the table. It is a quaint place that looked like a country lodge. Seems a little out of place in the city. The food was good and everyone had a good time.

By the time we all got back to the hotel the Polish Parade was getting under way and the street in front of our hotel. The street had been shut down and made Jason worry about how to get the car. Fortunately the hotel was very accommodating and directed the garage where to meet us with the car.

Everyone else made it back to their cars too. Jason's dad, stepmother, mom, stepfather, and uncle all met back at our house. Some of them had never seen our home. We gave a tour and hung out on the porch. The weather was still warm and we were able to relax.

Jason's dad and stepmother were staying the night so we all went out to dinner in New Haven.

Our honeymoon

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And the very next day we flew off to California for our honeymoon. It took us from San Francisco north along the coast, through the redwood forest, into Oregon and ending in Portland.

Check out the photos