It wasn't the amount of beer that I had the night before; it was the type of beer. Stout beers (e.g., Guinness) are known for their thicker, heavier, full bodied texture and their higher alcohol content. I had only one while I was at the brew house, but it was like eating a plate of appetizers… and I was still full from the BBQ (I shouldn't of had that second sandwich or the beans).
So, I woke up around 8ish (I can't remember if I had pants on or not) but I knew that I had to get ready by 9:30 so that I could get my Tuxedo pants. I washed my face, put on my skin care, brushed my teeth, double checked that I had everything that I needed for the wedding and then waited. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK…
I looked out the window and what do you know. A 5k race was being run RIGHT near the hotel. Who knew?
Finally, I got the call… Gray and Grant were down in the lobby ready to invade the tuxedo place. Devaney met us and we were ready to go. I realized that while in the room, I had made coffee for Jen (it was only decaf…. shhhhhhhhhhhhh) but didn't have any. On route to the tuxedo place, I almost suggested us stopping at Starbucks… but I didn't.
We arrived at the Tuxedo place at around 9:45, but they didn't open until 10 and we had to be at the church at 10:30. We could see people in there… we knew they were there, but they didn't open until 10, on the dot! Okay, maybe it was more like 9:58. Regardless, I needed pants… I was in my Khakis that I had worn the past 2 days. Thank goodness, this was just a pants issue and not an underpants issue.
I was so glad that I exchanged my pants, they fit SO much better. It was nice to have the pants that fit. All the new stuff seemed to work, so we hightailed it to the church. I almost suggested going to 7-11 for coffee… but I didn't.
Once at the church we invaded the Choir Room as the Manly-Men changing room, then proceeded to be goofy as we all got down to our skivvies only to dress back up to the Nines. The stout in me decided that it was time to leave my body, so I, well, you know. And boy did I feel like a million bucks! I was also able to get a 20oz of Diet Coke, which was nice that it wasn't a day that Terry had no caffeine. With an empty colon and a recharge on the ole caffeine… I was ready for two things… pictures and a wedding!
The first picture was one that requested! It's the Kmart Watch Picture. At my wedding the photographer (which was Jen's English Teacher) had Gray and I look at our watch. I never lost consciousness from the lack of oxygen due to the heavy laughing when I saw the picture for the first time. At best, the picture looked like a watch ad from the Kmart circular. But, as time went on, I have grown fond of the picture and I thought it would be cool for Gray and I to have Kmart watch pictures for both wedding. The photographer liked it so much, I think HE'S going to use that pose in future weddings!
Gray handed me the ring box and I was like, “What's this? Oh yeah… that's my second most important job”. My first most important job was to make sure that Gray made it to the ceremony fairly sober (no problems so far) without kicking and screaming. Once the ceremony started, he was on his own! The Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth most important things were what people? “Walk Slowly, Don't Cut Corners, Right (hand) over Left, and don't make an ass of yourself.” So I tucked the bling in my pocket and we went to hang out in the groom’s cubby hole before the wedding.
We must have been back there for about 25 minutes, but I had to PEE. And Gray reminded me that Michael (The Head Wedding Official Dude) said there were no bathrooms in that building. WAH! So, I started looking for, uh, alternatives… nothing. Okay, so I would risk going to the other building and having the bride see me. Oh wait, that's Gray. Nevermind. I made it to the other building through a side/back door and was in and out in a flash!
Okay, The Head Wedding Official Dude was back there and now it was down to the final moments. It was Do or Die, I mean, get married to a lovely lady. And our music cue in 3-2-1.
Task #1 Complete: Gray was completely sober and was not kicking NOR screaming.
I followed Gray out into the sanctuary like a puppy and turned around to see the audience and what do I see? My Elder son standing up in the pew pointing at me. I heard later that he said “THAT'S MY DADDY!”, but I didn't hear it… but it's one of those proud/embarrassing moments. Remember can't violate Task #6 (don't make an ass of yourself). So the wedding party marches down and the flower girls did awesome. Lauri was stunning as her dad walked her down. I kept watching Gray's face while she was making her way down and you could tell he was so proud and happy. The ONLY thing that I would have changed… was when the bridal party was done, that they closed the sanctuary doors before the played the Bride's marching song. That's it… nothing else.
Lauri's parents did a great job not bawling or crying, but I think her mom was getting a little iffy before she left, but I can't confirm that at this moment. So, Now it's Debbie (the Female Best man), Lauri, Gray and Me (The Male Matron of Honor) standing there while Michael is going on about the significance of this wedding. And while he was saying all this I was thinking… “Oh, if Gray passes out, I need to grab him and gently get him to the floor” and other contingency plans. I knew he wasn't going to run anywhere because of his ankle injury. Then we had some scripture reading which I remember knowing most of the them but not all. Gray's brother Rob gave one and he's a good speaker, so that was nice. I don't have a program to know who the other speakers were; sorry… do I still get the “best” superlative?
So now Michael goes on about choices… and how we chose this and that and the little light bulb goes off. “Dude, this is good stuff. I Got to Remember this for my Best Man Toast!” Toast… okay make that an important task. So, we finally go up to the alter and the ceremony goes off without a problem. I had to look at Gray's ear the entire time not to give googly faces at Lauri and make her laugh. If you are keeping score at home, I was able to deliver the ring from my hand to Michael's book. With the tile floor, a bouncing ring would have been LOUD.
I now pronounce you man and wife… you may now try to French your wife in church. Okay, it wasn't that pornographic, but it was more caring that a simple peck on the lips. I now introduce Mr. and Mrs. Grayson Lipford. Remember, I wasn't the one saying that… We were done! Mission COMPLETION. Well, I had a toast to create in a couple of hours.
I'll skip the boring after ceremony-before reception pictures. Click!
At the reception, which was at Maggiano's, there was a coffee cup on the table and I thought… THANK GOODNESS! Coffee. I had only had a 20oz of Diet Coke and usually, I have 36oz of Diet Coke and 32oz of Coffee (a day)… yeah I KNOW, I KNOW! It's not a one time. Layoff Caffeine Police! The food was worth the price of admission… Italien food is not my favorite; in fact, it's so hard for me to decide that I don't like to go to those places. Of course, it's usually Olive Garden, the Ruby Tuesday, of fine Italien Dining. That food was so good [HOW GOOD WAS IT?], it was so good, that when we go back to Richmond, that will be my first recommendation. And if it's pre-marathon meal, that would be all the sweeter.
Instead of a DJ, they had a band and can I say… NO CHICKEN DANCE, NO ELECTRIC SLIDE and NO FREAKING MACARANA. They were great and Eric really liked them. Did I mention how good the food was? The Salmon just melted in your mouth… mmmmmm. Okay, so I was looking forward to the Wedding Cake (I heard there be chocolate) and coffee. At some point, the wedding reception coordinator said that they were running about 30 minutes late and what I would need for my toast. I told her I was ready… did I need to use the microphone or just talk. She looked at my third head and said “You don't have notes or anything”
I looked at her and in my best Mexican voice I said “Notes, I don't need no stinkin' Notes”… okay, that didn't happened. But I just smiled and said nope, just let me know when you want me and I'll be ready. About 30 seconds later she said that it was a GO-GO-GO for the toast. So, I grabbed a water glass and in the middle of the room, got everyone's attention and hoped that what was about to come out of my mouth wasn't a load of horses manure.
I started off my toast by explaining that Ten years and 2 days ago, Gray was the best man at my wedding and I had any forethought, I would have rewatched my wedding video and memorized HIS speech. But since I didn't think of that until we were on the way to Virginia, I'd just with this. I then went on to talk about how Michael talked at the ceremony about choices and that we make these choices everyday. I went on to say at what Great choices the two of them made. Gray making his choice for Lauri. I said in Terry code that we like Lauri more than any other girlfriend he had ever had. Hell, if I was single, I'd want someone like her. And that all of Gray's friends were impressed that she got Gray to do “Not the impossible, but the improbable” [reception room laughs at this… okay, you had to be there] and then I talked about how we all love Gray for the person that he is. Then I capped it off with the words from the wedding card that Jen and I gave Gray and Lauri that morning (yes, I was paraphrasing and copying everything – but I didn't say “These are not the droids you are looking for”). So… my Best Manial duties were now concluded. I just had to turn in the tuxedo, which Big D was taking care of for me.
Did I mention that Ryan liked the food too? Did I mention that Ryan liked to dance? Did I mention that Ryan threw up on my tuxedo? No? Well, yup! thank goodness it's a rental and kudos to Big D and the other [Let me know what your name was, you were nice to me and I was mean and didn't get your name, but I think it's Mike]dude for helping me.
So, let's wrap this wedding thing up with:
1) I never had any coffee at Maggiano's
2) I want to the be the photographer's apprentice… he was cool
3) Maggiano's can feed me italien food any day
4) Tuxedos are not as cool looking with baby vomit on it
5) The wedding cake was delicious
6) I am very happy for Gray and Lauri and can't wait to use my flask
There are no more wedding in my immediate future…