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I'm a 32 year old mother of 2 fantastic little boys, ages 5 and 10. I'm a retail lackey who dreams of running away to San Francisco where I'll live on my trust fund and take photographs of the city all day.

Currently Reading

  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

Movies You Should Check Out

  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • The Good Shepherd

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  • Eminem
  • Hinder
  • The Fray

Categorically Speaking...

Friday, August 25, 2006

The Matt & Jen Wedding Saga - Finally!

Well, the last of my house guests finally left today! I'm sooo relieved. Entertaining is such tiring business for me anymore. I'd rather be someone else's house guest! I'm just incredibly glad that this whole business is almost over. Whoever said weddings were magical and fun obviously forgot to mention that they ingested copious amounts of alcohol and/or drugs beforehand! LOL So let's break down the past week or so in the life of Jen, shall we?

Monday, August 14th - It Begins
My grandparents get into town in their 5th wheel. I go to work and put up with the obnoxiousness that is the people I work with. Jeff, my officiant, wants me to stop by his house tomorrow morning so we can look over the ceremony for Saturday. Swell.

Tuesday, August 15th - Full House
I get off work and head over to Jeff's house. I ring the bell to be buzzed in, but no one answers. I try calling on my cell, but no one answers the phone, either. So I figure, whatever, leave a message and go to breakfast while I wait for my hair appointment at 9am. My hair appointment goes grand, and I'm pleased with the results. I run some last minute errands, then I head home to finish cleaning up the house for the rest of the family coming into the house. By the time I finish getting things cleaned up and ready it's 6pm, which means my family should be here any minute. Sigh. I soo wanted to get a bit of a nap in. I decide, though, that I will at least go lay down for a bit. My family (mom, stepdad, both sisters, and future brother-in-law) finally arrives, so we visit for a bit then I head off to work again.

Wednesday, August 16th - Why Didn't We Elope, Again?
After work, I run home and pick up my youngest sister and go to meet with the hotel wedding coordinator to finalize details for both the rehearsal on Friday and the wedding on Saturday. Then we run a couple errands to pick up last-minute supplies for my DIY projects. (Honestly, how many times can one person run out of friggin' ribbon?!?!) Ash & I have nail appointments and a brow wax at 10am, so we head over to the cosmetology academy about 9:45am. Now the girl I usually have do my nails and brows can do both in an hour and 15 minutes, hour and a half tops. Ash & I need to pick up Matt's parents at the airport at 12:30pm. No problem, right? WRONG. It becomes apparent about 11:45 that I will not be picking up Kim & Sharon, so I have Ash call our mom to see if she can pop over and get them. It ends up taking this girl 3 HOURS for my NAILS ALONE. Grrrr. By the time we get done and meet everyone at the hotel, it's almost 2pm. Then Ash & I run grab a bite to eat, and I grab an hour long nap. Then I race back to Bozeman to meet my Maid of Honor Hayley to get a pedicure. When we finish that up, I meet Matt at Famous Dave's for dinner with his parents, brother, sisiter-in-law, nephew, and niece. That was nice. So evvveryone comes over to my house to visit. Then our friend Scott's plane landed so we picked him up from the airport. Mind you, it's now 11pm and I have yet to get any sleep other than that hour nap. So about midnight I finally crawl into bed.

Thursday, August 17th - Maybe It'll Turn Out Okay...
I wake up today and work on putting together the ceremony programs. Naturally, I run out of ribbon YET AGAIN. Honestly... is someone eating this crap or something??? So I work on at least getting all the monogram labels cut and put onto the program covers and getting them all folded. All the boys went to the tuxedo shop to pick up their tuxes and get their final fittings in.

Then some old friends of Matt's parents hosted a FABULOUS dinner for all the family that had already arrived. It was so awesome! Forrest & Christy totally outdid themselves. There was so much delicious food! Tons of delicious appetizers and then a huge dinner of BBQ beef and potatoes and beans...then mini blueberry cheesecakes for dessert. Not to mention some fantastic frozen daiquiris. Mmmmmm! It was great to be able to just relax and spend some time with our families.



Friday, August 18th - If I Don't Kill Something, We'll Call It Good
So I get up and run out to buy yet some more ribbon to finish my favors, candles, and programs. Matt & I stop at the Law & Justice Center to pick up our marriage license. My sister Lisa calls to ask me what is left to be done, so I tell her if she could head to the house and finish the favors, I'll be home shortly to start the program assembly and we can get it all done up. While Matt & I are out, his parents call and ask that we stop by the hotel. I really shouldn't complain because they gave us an INCREDIBLY generous gift while we were there, but I was in a huge hurry and this little stop was totally sucking up more time than I was able to spend at the moment. My sisters and mom (who are supposed to be assisting me in these DIY projects) are nowhere to be found. Thanks, guys. I appreciate that immensely. So I put Scott to work cutting the ribbons I need for the programs and I begin punching out 1/8" holes with my eyelet hole punch. Of course, with the house in complete and utter disarray since we had to shuffle the already disorganized stuff to accomodate 4 more people, I couldn't find my setting mat and I didn't have time to go get a new one. So I was sitting there, trying to make do, all the while beginning to dull my punch. So here's how things are standing:
*It's 1pm.
*I need to finish 40 more programs.
*I need to finish 15 more favors.
*I need to be in the shower by 1:30pm so that I have enough time to shower, shave, wash my hair, and make myself bee-yoo-tee-ful for the rehearsal dinner.
*I need to leave the house by 2:45pm so that I can get out to work pick up my paycheck, take it to the bank before I bounce a check, and get to the rehearsal by 3:30pm.
Got all that?

Lisa shows up about 1:15pm, so I put her immediately to work on finishing the favors. At precisely 1:30pm, I ask her to finish the programs while I am taking a shower. I dash upstairs, take my shower, and while I'm in the bathroom drying off and doing my hair & makeup, I can hear both my cell and my home phones BLOWING UP. So I answer the house phone and it's Matt's mom. Our final groomsman has arrived and can I come pick him up to take him to the tux shop to pick up his tux? OY FUCKING VEY. It's 2:15pm, I'm half dressed, my car isn't loaded, and what's that? Oh yeah. I'm 10 freaking miles away. So not pleased. Why no one else can do this, I still don't know. I tell her that I have to go get my check but that as soon as I get back into town, I'll come pick up Jason and run him to the shop before the rehearsal. I finish throwing on some makeup, run a brush through my hair, and shimmy into my dress, and race downstairs. I inform Scott that we are leaving right this very minute. So he helps me grab bridal party gifts and other things I'll need since I'm staying at the hotel tonight, while my family (who has finally shown up) stares at us. At least my programs are done, right? WRONG. Scott tells me in the car that after finishing the favors, Lisa did about 3 programs before pronouncing them a pain and quitting. Thanks, team. As we drive out to my work I start thinking of all the things that I've left at home. Fantastic. This means between rehearsal and dinner I get to drive allll the way back out to Belgrade to pick stuff up. Niiice.

I get out to work in record time, only to get hung up by one of my managers complaining about the fact that we didn't invite him to the wedding. Umm, hello? We aren't friends. You don't even like me. Why again would I invite you to my wedding? I grab my check and race back out to the car...only to get stuck behind a large vehicle painting the new lines on Highway 191. Grrreat. So instead of cruising along at 70 mph on a straight highway, Scott & I are now cruising along at incredibly unsafe speeds down a country road...a 20 mile bypass of the paint truck into town. This is so not going as planned, now is it? I finally get to the rehearsal at 3:45pm. Jason still doesn't have a tuxedo. We run through the rehearsal briefly, then Matt takes Jason to the tux shop, while my Maid of Honor Extrordinaire Hayley and her daughter Delaney (my flower girl) come with me to pick up the stuff I forgot back at the house. Among the forgotten stuff you ask? My laptop to run the reception music, my camera, the candles, the guest book, the favors, my signature mat for the rehearsal participants to sign, and my cell charger.

Flash forward an hour, plus a spilled drink in the car and horrific traffic, (thank you City of Bozeman and your ill-timed roadway construction projects) and Hayley, Delaney, and I are just pulling up to Ferraro's...10 minutes late. Ugh. I hate being late. Especially when the party is for me. But bygones. Dinner was great. The groom's cake was a huge hit with everyone, and was absolutely delicious. The bridal party enjoyed their gifts, and all in all it was a nice time.


Until dinner was over, that is. During dessert, I rather calmly and politely ask my sister if she will be able to finish the programs when she gets back to the house. She rather snottily informs me that she was not aware that she would have to. Um...what? Where was she when 6 hours ago I asked her to finish them and she said okay? Apparently not in the same conversation that I was. So I just say, okay. I'm not letting this stress me out. Then 10 minutes later, my other sister Ashley comes up and asks me if there is anyone else that can finish the programs because my sisters, mom, and stepdad want to go out. WTF? So I ask Ashley aren't she & Lisa coming out with Hayley & I for my bachelorette party? Nope. Apparently they don't want to anymore. Fine. Fine, fine, fine. So I tell her, whatever. You find someone to bring the frigging programs into town and I'll just finish them myself in the hotel after I come home. Never mind that it's going to piss people off that I'm hammering on a wood board. Or the fact that I still have to double check that all the music is ready and working for tomorrow, make the unity & memorial candles, and try to get some sleep. I'm ready to kill at this point. Hayley is incredibly pissed that my sisters are pulling this shit on me now. So we go out by ourselves. Screw 'em. While we're at the bar, Lisa calls to inform me that the programs are finished. I ask if she & Ashley are going to join us, but no. They're going to watch cartoons at my house instead. Thanks, guys. How...sisterly of you. Hayley & I have a couple drinks, but then she needs to get home and I head back to the hotel. I order some room service, plug in my glue gun and get to work. I crawl into bed around 2am.

Saturday, August 19th - Today's the Day!
I get up at 6:45am, so I can head down to breakfast at 7am. I invited all the girls to join me since we have to be at our hair appointments at 8:30am anyways. I know that Hayley won't be able to make it already because she has to get herself & D ready. So who has breakfast with Jen? NO ONE. That's right, no one. My mother and sisters didn't even bother to join me. I'm pissed and hurt. I finish my waffle and cranberry juice and head back upstairs to finish getting ready. Items 495 & 496 that I forgot? A shirt that I don't need to pull over my head and some sandals. So I call Hayley (since it would appear that she's the only one I can count on) and ask her to pretty please bring me some things to wear. Other items that I've determined I forgot?
My deodorant, my toothbrush/toothpaste, and blank cds just in case. I call my little sister and she manages to bring those to me.

So we get to the salon and we have a nice time getting our hair done. And by having a nice time I mean I'm speaking as little as possible to my sisters. So ha. It's not all for naught, though. Delaney proves to be an absolute riot. She pronounces me to be Cinderella, she's my fairy godmother, and my sisters? You guessed it! The ugly step-sisters. LOL I love this girl!


After hair and makeup fun is over, we head back over to the hotel to get dressed. Hayley, Delaney, and I don't get back to the hotel until just before 1pm. We actually ran into the photographer in the lobby as she was on her way up to take some candids of us all getting ready. Which was quite the chore! Apparently someone forgot to tell me that my room was the new hangout. When the 3 of us walked in, my grandparents, my cousin, my mom, my sisters, and my sister's fiance were all there. Um. Hi people. So Hayley & Lisa assist me in getting sucked into my dress, and believe you me...I was sucked into that dress. Then there was the joy of trying to get the retainer in my eyebrow piercing. It took no fewer than 5 people to get the o-ring on the stupid thing. Oy. Note to self: never make concessions.


So we head downstairs to begin the formal pictures. (PS - I am soooo excited to see how these turned out. She put everyone in some really cute poses! I'll be sure to share them when I get them back around the end of September.) Matt loves my dress, and we have a few minutes alone together before all the picture taking starts. Now around 2:45-ish, I notice that Jeff hasn't arrived yet. I'm not totally concerned, but I make a joke about how we'll be screwed if he doesn't show. This is when Matt's childhood friend/groomsman, Jason, informs me that he just so happens to be ordained because he is officiating his brother's wedding in 2 weeks. I laugh and tell him he's my new back up plan.

When we finish pictures, it's about 3:30pm, and now the fact that Jeff is not here is beginning to freak me out. Hayley & I head up to my room to get my cell phone to call and find out where he is. I call his house, no answer. I wait a few minutes, then I try again. No answer. Just as I'm getting ready to head downstairs, my sister calls to inform me that my father (whom we were led to believe was coming alone) has arrived WITH MY STEPMOTHER. WTF. Can anything else go wrong? She wasn't supposed to be here. But whatever. I've got bigger issues right now. Like the lack of an officiant. As I'm sprinting through the lobby, I run into my dad. I stop for the obligatory hug, he tells me that I look beautiful and congratulations. The stepho also tells me I look beautiful and that I chose a gorgeous gown. WTF? Apparently someone hit the crack pipe before coming. She's NEVER nice to me. This is after all, the woman who branded me the antichrist.

I head back towards the ballroom and try Jeff's house again. This time a woman I don't know answers the phone and tells me Jeff is at work. I'm sorry. Come again? Did she just say at work? Mind you it's now just after 4pm. So I call out to work and demand to speak to Jeff. Here's how that conversation went:
Me: "Jeff?"
Jeff: "Hey honey, whatcha doing?"
Me: "Oh, not much, really....hey were you supposed to be anywhere today, at say, oh....4 o'clock?"
(Long pause)
Jeff: "Oh fuck, the wedding's today? It can't be today, I have to work."
Me: "Um, yeah, it's supposed to have already started, and we're all waiting on you. You are supposed to have the day off."
Jeff: "I don't know if I can leave because Steven went out of town and we have a function out here tonight."
Me: "What do you mean Steven went out of town? He was supposed to be covering your shift! I need you here now."
Jeff: "I'll go talk to Janice and see what I can do."

Now I'm passed pissed. I'm standing in an entryway with glass doors and eveyone is watching (though they can't hear me) yelling into my cell phone. Matt comes to check on me. I tell him what's going on. Now HE'S pissed. I go out and ask Jason to start reading over the ceremony...I might need him to do it after all. I go into the ballroom to calm down. Bad idea. Sound system issues are in there. I demand a shot of Grey Goose....this is going to be a long afternoon. Hayley calls back out to work to see the progress that is being made with Jeff & Janice. And that is none at all. Janice has told Jeff that he can come to the wedding or keep his job, but not both. WTF? She can't spare him for at least an hour so he can at least do the ceremony? I'm livid. Matt's Aunt Nan threatens to key his car, kick him in the balls, or both. I love her for that. Matt's dad, has the guests come back in out of the sun and heat to give Jason a couple more minutes to practice the ceremony he has just seen for the first time. Lisa's fiance Andy brings me another shot of Grey Goose. Bless his little heart. Finally we are ready to go. Ceremony goes well, other than the fact that Jason forgot one of the readers. But it's cool, no one noticed I think.

Reception has major malfunctions. I'll just copy and paste the issues from the letter I wrote to the Hilton:

General Issues:
*No wedding or event coordinators in attendance, nor were we told in advance that this would occur.

Sound system issues:
*Banquet staff unaware that we needed to patch a laptop into the hotel sound system
*Banquet staff unaware that we would need microphone
*Cables necessary to connect laptop to sound system not present, banquet captain had to send someone to Radio Shack to pick up cables.
*In the middle of dinner we were informed that we were not able to both patch laptop into sound system AND use a microphone, so our announcements needed to be shouted.
*After set up was tested in other room and pronounced functional, all we could get was static after the 1st song played. We had to quickly burn CDs while our guests stood around confused so that we could use the CD player instead.
*Volume was too low for first 30 minutes of music, and we were told volume could not be adjusted higher. After some pushing the bartender went and made the volume louder.

Setup Issues:
*Banquet staff was unaware of how to set up patio for ceremony.
*Banquet staff was unaware that they were setting up our centerpieces and had to interrupt pictures to ask what they were supposed to do with all the “extra stuff” in the room.
*7 linens rented, only 6 tables set up.
*When linens and cake plateau were picked up, we were informed by Montana Party Rental that there was an additional $10 freight charge that was never conveyed to us by Sara.
*Cake knife & server not put on cake table and had to be located after we announced we would be cutting the cake and then found them missing.
*Were told that the Hilton would take rental linens back, and then later were told that we would need to because it was Sara’s day off.

Food & Beverage Issues:
*"Full bar” included approximately 2 vodkas, 2 rums, some tequilas & whiskey, cranberry & orange juices, plus our hosted beer and wine. Many guests were not able to get what they wanted other than shots.
*Not told that "Cash bar" literally meant cash bar - only cash accepted.
*Cookies and brownies were to have been set up in banquet room mid-way through reception, instead were at end of dinner buffet and removed with dinner.
*We were told the kids’ meals would be plated and delivered to each child’s table, so we informed all the parents of this. Kids’ food was put in a chafer on the buffet line instead.
*Banquet staff apparently unaware that they were to cut the wedding cake, so 2 of our guests ended up cutting and serving the cake.
*Bartender disappeared for long periods of time, causing guests to pour their own wine and beer.
*Was told the bartender would stay until I let him go: he left before I asked him to, nor did he announce “last call”, leaving guests confused as to why the bartender had disappeared.
*Sodas, lemonade, and ice tea were off to the side and no one knew about them.

All in all, though. It seemed that everyone had a good time. Everyone even obliged me and filled out the fun guestbook pages! But the kicker? I got to meet Dawn! Whoo! So excited. She is every bit as sweet and fun in person as she is online, I tell ya. I was so honored that she was able to drive out for the festivities. So that, in a nutshell, is my wedding experience! I'm so never doing it again! LOL




7 comments:

Michelle said...

omg.. what a week! Glad you survived.. love the pictures! Congratulations to you and Matt.

Cami said...

WTF?!?!?! is right! what the hell is wrong with some people?!?!? You asked them to assemble programs, not "tattoo thier foreheads & join the Hells Angels!" They need thier "ELFIN" arses kicked! Jen, You definitely win the "shitty luck" prize...I'm passing my crown on to you ;)
On the upside, you both looked awesome! and Hunter looked so adorable in his tux :)
ya got hitched, made it official & did have some good times!

at least ya had some grey goose to take the edge off & your dad's wife was pleasant to you....instead if making it worse

I'm so glad you got to meet Dawn, that she was able to come cuz your other friend (the one in ND) sucks!
and
great pics sweetie & you've been missed :)

Shirley said...

Now I know why Rich and I eloped 33 years ago and went to Reno to get married. The photos are beautiful. After surviving your wedding........marriage should be a breeze. Congratulation to you, Matt and Hunter.

Lindsey said...

omfrickingoodness girl...are YOU glad it's over!! The pics don't tell this story, tho, so wtg on those photographers!!! Glad it's over and you can move on...and change your profile from fiance to husband!! oh, and congrats!!!
=)

Dawn said...

I love your photos, gosh just gorgeous! You would have never known that so much was going on! It was handled so well...loved meeting you and Matt and Hunter. It was so great!

Bobbie said...

Sorry you had such rotten luck! But the pics are gorgeous! Congrats to you and Matt.

Tanya said...

You'd never guess any of that was going on from the pics... so from appearances it looks like you kept your cool. And you def. have some stories to tell! =P Big congrats, Jen! P.S. Love the music... LOL