Get some popcorn and a large soda.  This is about as long as a feature film.  I sat down and started typing, typed some more, got something to eat, and then typed some more.  I hope you enjoy my recollection of the days events.  The names have not been changed to protect the guilty.

The Morning
My wedding day started about 5:30 in the morning.  I was woken by a groomsman who was snoring (very loudly) in the other bed in my hotel room.  After telling him to roll over several times, I knew it was a lost cause.  I was up and I was not going to be able to go back to sleep with all the days events weighing on my mind.  I decided to go downstairs to the hotel lobby to get a cup of coffee and let my groomsman sleep.

I was anxious to go downstairs and check the weather report for the day on the TV.  The day before the weather had been perfect for an outdoor ceremony but it was not supposed to last for Saturday.  As I watched the local news on the television in the hotel lobby, my heart sank as they forecasted the rain to start around 4 pm in the afternoon.  I will give you two guesses about when our ceremony was scheduled to start but you probably only need one.  Even though Claire and I would have loved to have our ceremony outside in the garden and the water in the background, I was determined not to let the weather ruin my day.

hisstory_6 Gregs Story about the Wedding DayAs I sat in the hotel lobby, I could only think about how excited I was to get married and how I couldn’t believe I was not nervous.  Chris Ransom (groomsmen) then walked down still in the clothes that he’d worn the night before.  In his defense, he was planning to drive back to Boston on Friday night after the rehearsal dinner and then come back down on Saturday for the wedding.  He wanted to know what I was doing up so early and I also wondered the same of him.  Chris was going back to Boston with Dean (groomsman) to pick up Ian (college friend/teammate of ours) who he had already promised a ride down to the wedding.  The only thing I could think of was… I hope he makes it back in time for the wedding.  But then I had to remind myself that Chris was the only groomsman to make it to the rehearsal on-time.  This made me feel a lot better about him making a run up to Boston.

After another coffee, I was greeted by my cousin Gordon and his little son Marcus.  Marcus is a year old and Gordon brought him down to the lobby so he wouldn’t wake up his mother (Sheri) and sister (Alexandra).  It was very nice to have some company and play with little Marcus.  The last time I saw him he couldn’t even sit up by himself and now he was walking.  He is such a cute kid.  Gordon asked if I was ready for the big day and I answered with “We’ve been planning this day for the last 5 months, of course I am ready.”  After some play time with Marcus, I decided it was time to go up to the room and see if I could go back to sleep.  I had a feeling it was going to be a long day.  Anyone who knows me knows that even regular days I need a nap.

After laying in bed for a little bit, I again knew it was a lost cause.  There were just too many things going through my mind.  I got up (for the second time), showered, and officially got my day underway.  After getting ready, I decided to get paper and a big bottle of water from the 7-eleven down the road.  This was not such a bad idea after all the adult beverages the night before with the wedding party.  Pulling into the hotel parking lot, I could see my immediate family having breakfast in the hotel and decided to join them.  It was very nice to spend some quiet time with them before the days events got into full swing.

I also ran into several other relatives while I was in the breakfast area.  I am very fortunate that all of my extended family is very close.  Every one of my Aunts, Uncles, and cousins (with the exception of one) made the journey to Newport for our wedding.  Some came from as far away as London, England.  Not many people are as lucky as I am.  There was one conversation that I remember having that morning with my cousin Jon.  I remember his wedding and him getting a little emotional.  Jon told me it was ok to get emotional (one or two tears) but it was not acceptable to cry.  I would remember his advice but more on that later.

I would spend the next couple of hours reading the paper in my room (very exciting) and checking the hourly forecast on-line.  At noon, my groomsmen started to meet me in the room and we waited for Chris to return from Boston with Ian and Dean.  They eventually made it (to my relief) and we headed off to Newport Creamery for lunch.  After ordering a big burger and fries, I wonder if this was going to sit well in my stomach.  Too late now.  Up until this point, this day did not feel anymore special than any other day.  This could have been somebody else’s wedding day was they way I felt.  It wasn’t until I looked at my watch and told myself that I was getting married in three hours that it started to hit me.  Now, I was starting to get a little nervous.

Getting Ready at the Glen Manor House
After lunch (around 2:00 pm), it was time to head to the Glen Manor House to get ready.  It was starting to drizzle at this point and all hope of having the ceremony outside was gone.  When we arrived at the Glen, the place was hopping.  I saw Joanne, our wedding planner, putting some of the flowers arrangements (which her mother did for us with the exception of the bouquets) around the Glen.  Staff were running around setting up chairs and making deliveries.  It was quite a sight and I couldn’t get over how beautiful everything was despite the rain.  Katie (The Glen coordinator who organized the ceremony) directed us up to our dressing room.  We walked up the stairs with one of the groomsmen running point to make sure I did not see Claire, her dress, or even worse Claire in her dress.  Our dressing room was right across the hall from hers and it was hard for me to believe that I was going to marry the girl in the room across the hall in about an hour and a half.

hisstory_2 Gregs Story about the Wedding DayThe first incident while getting dressed was with Dean’s vest.  One of his vest buttons popped off.  Luckily, I had an emergency sewing kit in my toiletries bag.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to be prepared for anything and everything.  My father is the one I can thank for this he would always tell me to keep a little hotel sewing kit in my toiletries bag and to have a handkerchief.  It was a proud moment when he was there and I had the sewing kit.

The next incident and comic relief (funny after the incident was solved) would be supplied by Brian Coyle.  As Brian dressed in the middle of the room, he turns to everyone and says, “Hey guys… Why does my shirt look different than all of yours?”.  Everyone was laughing except for me.  All I could think was… “What are we going to do now?  There was a Tux shop across from the hotel.”  Then some yelled out, “You have it on inside out.” and more laughter ensued and I sighed with relief.  Brian checked his shirt and sure enough… it WASN’T inside out.  The tux shop had sent him with the wrong style shirt.  But my father was prepared, just as he had preached over and over to me growing up.  Emergency sewing kits, handkerchiefs, and tuxedo shirts???…  Sure enough, he had an extra tux shirt and it was almost the exact style as the ones we rented and it fit Brian.  Way to go Dad!

After getting ready, we headed downstairs to look around and get out of the little room.  Of course, the groom gets the smaller room to get ready in but at least it had it’s own bathroom.  We got our new instructions from Frank (the officiant) on how the ceremony was going to work inside and our boutonnières from Katie.  It was now 3:00 and the guests would be arriving soon.

So, I headed back upstairs to try to relax until it was game time.  For awhile it was just me in the room we got ready in, and now I was starting to get nervous.  I don’t know what I was nervous about.  I guess anxious is probably a better word.  From the room I could look out and see guests arrive below just before they entered the Glen.  Eventually, my father came up and we made small talk.  Then Frank came up to go over some last minute details and to get my father to sign the wedding certificate as a witness.  Bill also came in, after seeing Claire, and signed the certificate as the second witness.  Eventually it was just the three (my father, Claire’s father, and me) of us and we waited until Katie would come to get us when it was time to start.

The Ceremony
As Jacob (my best man), Frank, and I waited outside to enter the ballroom, I really started to get anxious.  Jacob tried making small talk and joking with me but truthfully I can’t remember one thing he said to me (nothing personal, Jacob).  I could feel my heart beating faster and the temperature rising.  All I could think about was seeing Claire walk down that aisle.  It had been a long time since I had been this anxious about anything.

Frank looked at me and said it was time to go in and take our places.  As the harp and flute started to play the processional music “Canon in D”, I could feel all my emotions getting stronger and stronger with each bar of music played.  Once I saw my sisters walking down the aisle, I could feel my bottom lip starting to quiver.  Now, all I could hear in my head was my cousin Jon from earlier in the day…”It’s OK to get a little emotional but no crying.”  I kept repeating this to myself over and over to try to hold it together.

hisstory_7 Gregs Story about the Wedding DayFinally, it came time for Claire to walk down the aisle.  Just before this happened Frank threw a curve ball at me.  He whispered to me that I had two choices.  I could look down the aisle, through the ballroom doors, and down the hall and watch her walk all the way down to the ballroom from the stairs or I could wait until she got to the ballroom doors at the beginning of the aisle. I was so anxious I answered his question with “Yes.”  He smiled and gave a quick laugh and told me I had to pick one or the other.  I decided to wait until she got to the beginning of the aisle.  Heck, I had already waited most of the day, what was a few more minutes.  Frank instructed me to look at him or the bridesmaids and he would tell me when to turn and look down the aisle.  As I waited for him to give me the OK, I caught a glimpse of my sister, Sandra, who told me to take a deep breath.

I always hear people on TV talk about when they first saw their Bride in her wedding gown.  Before the wedding, I thought to myself that must be a nice feeling but didn’t quite understand what the big deal was about not seeing the Bride before the ceremony.  I am realistic about most things and thought it would be great to take pictures before ceremony and get it out of the way.  However, Claire insisted on waiting and she was the Bride.  What the Bride wants she gets.  When I turned and saw Claire in her dress, I knew what everyone on TV was talking about.  I was very glad that she had insisted on me not seeing her until the ceremony.  Just writing about it I still get chills up my spine.  She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

Truthfully, most of the ceremony is a blur.  So, I will wrap up with some random things I remember from the ceremony.

As I went to take Claire’s hand from Bill, she leaned over to kiss me and I had to back away.  We were not to that point in the ceremony.

I didn’t know what to do with my hands while I was standing up there.  Behind my back or down at my side.

I couldn’t look at Claire’s eyes for too long or I would feel my eyes start to well.  So, I had to look at her lips the whole time.  I remember thinking to myself… “There is no way you are going to be able to just stare at her lips for 30 min.”

I was glad I had a handkerchief to give to Claire to wipe her tears.

I didn’t know my right from my left hand and which one the ring should go on.  I had practiced putting the ring on her hand but never getting the ring put on mine.  When it came time to present my hand, I put out the wrong one.  Even after Frank told me my left hand, I just turned my right hand over.  Finally, Claire just grabbed my left hand.

After we were married and we turned to walk down the aisle, I wanted to bolt down the aisle with Claire by my side.  I have no idea why that was but Frank told us before at the rehearsal it always happens.  Frank stopped us from doing this and whispered to me, “Greg, what’s the hurry?  Are you anxious to get to the bar or something.”

These were the days events that I remember from our wedding day up until the end of the ceremony.  I will cherish them for the rest of my life and hope you enjoyed reading them. See Greg’s Wedding Pictures.

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