1. My wife-to-be stayed the night at a hotel the night before we got married because of the whole "Bad luck to see your bride" thing but I stayed at our home (Yes, we were living together prior to the wedding like any other pair of sinners). I remember sleeping in until about 10:00 am and waking up to the pulsing thought echoing in my brain, "Holy shit this is happening." It wasn't a scared thing but rather something else. Actually now that I think about it, it was definitely a scared thing. I was petrified. I was an ancient bachelor with anxieties about commitment who was resigned to staying single forever. But as I awoke that August 16th, I was mere hours from getting married. I started sweating right then and didn't stop until nightfall.
2. It was about noon and I realized that I didn't know when I was supposed to be at the location. We were having our ceremony and reception at the Grant House in downtown Vancouver, an outdoor venue, and in what would become a precursor to the next seven years, I really didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. One of Jessica's friends offered her services to us as our wedding planner as our wedding gift which we accepted. That turned out to be a horrible idea as this woman threw us the wedding that she had always wanted. Jessica had some input but I had absolutely zero which wouldn't have bothered me if Jessica were the one calling the shots. Neither one of us has spoken with our planner much the past seven years. Anyway, I must have lost my printed agenda because I really didn't know when I was due at the Grant House. Maybe our planner didn't give me one because I was so secondary to the festivities. Anyway, I called my best man, Kit, and he came by to pick me up at about 3:00.
3. We got married at 5:00 and the time between 3:00 and 5:00 is pretty much erased from my mind. I assume I was playing host but I'm not sure. I know my wife was upstairs with her wedding party getting all pretty and drinking bottle after bottle of champagne. I couldn't even eat anything I was so nervous. These two hours are the black hole of my memory, only memorable for not being remembered.
4. At around 5:15 I stood on the steps of the Grant House with our Universal Light pastor (brother-in-law Josh) while the wedding party slowly and in pairs walked down the aisle. Finally, I saw Jessica for the first time in 24 hours as she rounded the corner with her dad. That vision is BY FAR the most memorable thing of that day (perhaps my strongest memory ever). She was radiant. Beautiful. Dazzling. Stunning. Gorgeous. Breathtaking. And she was smiling like she was having the best time ever which immediately made me relax tremendously. Even as I type this I can't stop smiling because that memory is so strong and awesome. She was a vision. And in hindsight I think she was smiling because she was drunk. And good for her!
5. We said our self-composed vows (I borrowed from Depeche Mode and she from Johnny Cash) and the next strong memories are the toasts that Kit and Jessica's dad made. Kit talked about how much he loved Jessica and his only regret was that my mom wasn't around to share the day. It was a great speech and straight from the heart. Then Mike toasted to our happiness and that he liked this husband much better than Jessica's first one because he was a dick. I love Mike.
6. The reception was there on the lawn of the Grant House and it turned out to be a really nice party. We went through a few kegs of beer and cases of wine and from what people tell me, a good time was had by all. I honestly don't hardly remember any of it and I wasn't even drinking.
7. Our wedding night was spent at a sweet hotel in downtown Portland where we ate some of our wedding food (Thanks to Jessica's friend Tara who squirreled some away for us while we were making the post-ceremony rounds). I vividly remember sitting on the bed with Jessica and watching Michael Phelps swim in the summer Olympics while spending an hour removing what seemed like a hundred spiral metal clips or something from Jessica's hair. The hair looked amazing but those spiral things were such a pain to get out. I pulled a lot of hair out that night. We left for our San Francisco honeymoon the next morning.
So even though so much of my wedding day is a blur, some of the images are burned forever into my mind. In a million years I will never forget setting eyes on my wife the first time that day. I think that some people who were there may read this so please don't be offended that I don't recall much about that day. It was 105 out!
The past seven years have been the best seven of my life. I have the best wife in the world and between the two of us (and medical science!!) we have the absolute best kid on the planet. Frances is a gift and she is the best parts of us. All my fears of commitment have gone away and I have grown into this husband thing. I really enjoy being a husband and dad and I think it brings out my best.
Because of the events of seven years ago today I have gained a wonderful partner, an amazing daughter, a new fantastic family (Jessica's family is the best and has treated me so well), and even a sense of peace that I never had before. Thanks to my wife for these seven years and I can't wait to see what tomorrow holds!
Love you tons.