Let me see, I could only describe my wedding day as the happiest day of my life. Now, I know it sounds corny or like that’s what I’m “supposed” to call it, but it’s true. It honestly was the happiest day of my life.
The good times started with all the friends and family visiting and staying at my house for a week. We all took a trip to Cedar Point, which was a total blast, and then the rehearsal and dinner. It was just a fantastic week of fun and excitement.
[7/25/2007 Cedar Point, Sandusky, OH]
The rehearsal dinner was wonderful. It was put on by my dad and Angie at my Aunt Nancy’s awesomely-huge house. I had gotten my groomsmen gifts from Things Remembered. (Thanks Amber). I picked out something that each person would like and had it engraved with something hilarious or witty, or just plain amazing. Like my brother, Dan, for instance, I had our “Dymond logo” put on a pocket watch. If you don’t know what that symbol looks like, it’s tattooed on our backs, (Dan and me).
The big day arrived and it was filled with minor disasters. First of all the biggest problem was when we found out that John, our wedding planner Kelly’s husband, had been in a car accident and that she wouldn’t be able to continue planning or even attend the wedding. Right there I wasn’t sure how in the world we were going to pull it off.
The next problem was when the people were setting up the chairs for the outdoor ceremony, they seemed to have stopped quite short of what we needed. I asked them if they were going back for more, to which they replied “Nope this is it. You needed 85 right? That’s what we were told. “ Wow, 85 chairs for a 130-person wedding. That got me pretty annoyed, and with Kelly out of the picture I called my dad to try to get the chairs from the rehearsal dinner. Those ones had already been taken back. So we ended up having people sitting on the grass, which ended up being pretty cool because there were kids sitting here and there and families in the shade and everyone seemed to think it wasn’t a problem.
Another minor incident came when I was trying to button my jacket and the button went flying off the balcony into the main lobby. We had 15 people searching every inch of floor and no one could find the stupid thing. I’m not sure who, but I think it may have been Katie or my mom, but my jacket was taken from me and my button was moved from the bottom to the top and before I knew it, I could button it again.
Once things got settled down and photos of the guys were taken, and time started moving faster and faster, I found myself standing in front of everyone I ever knew. I couldn’t believe that it was time to get this thing started.
[Ryan did an awesome job of keeping me from getting nervous]
It’s silly to think that 2 years went into planning a party surrounding an event that only lasted 20 minutes.
The music started and down came the moms and the girls and the couples and then I saw my dad’s black car slowly roll up behind everyone. I knew that this meant that Trista was about to emerge.
…Before I continue I must say that I didn’t understand that whole “don’t see the bride before the ceremony thing” but boy, I tell you what, it sure added a TON of suspense for when she finally did arrive, thus making the payoff totally worth it. I recommend that anyone getting married, stick to that tradition. It will really freak you out.
So here she came, walking down the aisle with her dad to some really great song she had picked out from the “Amile” soundtrack.
[me = freaking out right about now]
I couldn’t help it, I didn’t think it would happen, but I was overcome with a rush of emotion that I could barely control. She looked more beautiful and happy than I had ever seen her. I couldn’t stop staring at her and I didn’t expect to have to deal with this strong of a feeling so soon, if at all. I mean, I had been so nervous about everything going right and worried about everything that it sort of became more about the even than the ACTUAL event itself, not to mention how fast the whole thing came. But once I saw her, I was whisked away into this world where I was getting married and everything about the day was falling into perfect harmony.
Everything about the ceremony was absolutely amazing. Having Mark and Ben J. perform the marriage was incredible. I really loved having this done by our friends and not some minister or stranger. It just seemed like a bunch of friends getting together to do something really important, each of them filling a necessary role in the event.
[Ben and Mark. Their ties matched the wedding party, how sweet is that?]
When Jen started reading the poem that T had picked out, I couldn’t believe how moving it was, and again, I started to well up. I mean COME ON! (For the record, I strongly dislike poetry,) this reading really got to me because I was looking to T’s eyes and actually listening to what was being said and it was like the most perfect thing to say.
Instead of having a unity candle, we combined sand. My mother brought sand from the sandbox at the elementary school in Birch Run, where I grew up, and Trista’s mom brought sand from a local beach near her home town in New York. (One really cool thing about doing it this way was that we got to keep the “sand art” as a keepsake.)
During this pouring of the sand Leigh Ann sang “The Nearness of You” by Norah Jones as Ryan played piano. This sounded so incredible. Since pouring a small glass of sand into a larger glass doesn’t take nearly as long as singing a song like this, T and I were left standing up there staring at each other while everyone in our entire lives stared at us staring at each other. It was interesting. During this time, we were able to speak to one another for the first time, and then we started laughing and then T noted that we were being the rude people, talking and laughing at our OWN WEDDING.
I will always remember what Ben J. said right before he had us exchange rings, he said that Trista and I have a special and unique way of loving each other that no one else needs to understand, and never let anyone tell us that we are doing it wrong. “Nick, only you know how to love Trista the way you do, never forget that, and never be discouraged or mislead into thinking that your way isn’t the right way.”
We couldn’t have asked for better weather either. The temperature was perfect, with a slight breeze to keep things pleasant. This only added to the perfectness of the day. (Perfect = overall theme).
I realize that I am running out of words to describe, I’ve used “perfect,” “awesome”, “amazing”, “incredible”, “unbelievable”, “cool”, and “wonderful”. Being that I am not a writer, I will now start to reuse some of these words because I can’t think of any new ones that wouldn’t make it completely obvious I was looking them up in a thesaurus.
The ceremony itself was amazing. From the song choices to the poem reading to the actual words that Mark and Ben said to us, to the singing that Leigh Ann did, we couldn’t have asked for a better combination of ingredients. (It was like the perfect storm but in a good way, no one died.)
On to the party:
This was the most fun I have ever had at a wedding reception. Food = awesome, DJ = awesome, Room = awesome. If you were there, then you know, I don’t need to go into great detail about the venue, the word “awesome” sums it up perfectly.
I would like to point out how strange it is having your entire family, your new wife’s entire family, and nearly every single friend you have ever had from any stage of life, all in one room, staring at you wherever you walk and watching whatever it is you do.
On the day of my wedding, I witnessed 3 of the greatest wedding toasts I have ever seen. Katie started them off with a very heartfelt and prepared speech. She had wise words and a clever joke that no one saw coming. (Good one Kate, that’s probably the first time you’ve ever made me laugh.) It really meant a lot to us.
Next came Dan, who probably had more planned to say, but was shooting from the hip and seemed to just say what was in his heart. His words will stick with me forever. He said “Nick recently beat it into my head that I will always be his “little brother” but what I found after thinking about it, is that he will always be my “big brother” and I couldn’t have asked for a better one.” I started to get all emotional again, big time. In fact, I’m tearing up as I type this…
Continuing, Ryan was the hit of the evening. He had little note cards with bullet points and cues. In short, he was FREAKING HILARIOUS. Some of his bits included: “The 3 F’s” Trista and I are Fun, Frugal, and… well, I’m sure you can think of your own “F”. Classic. A poop joke was made. A turned over semi-truck reference was made. And he dissected one of my favorite Crash Test Dummies songs and applied it to our lives. This was one of the most incredible speeches I have ever heard, from anyone about anything. I’m not kidding. I really wish someone had recorded it.
After dinner came the dances. Our song we danced to was called “I have space” by Mates of State. We started to dance and, well look who came back, it’s Crybaby-Nick. I don’t know what it was, again, but I was an emotional wreck. I looked over and saw Katie and Ryan and they had tears in their eyes, and wow, I about lost it. I think after the initial emotion of the moment kicked it off, we fell into a crying paradox because they were crying at us and we were crying at them, and it didn’t stop until the song ended. I can’t listen to this song without getting choked up. Seriously, I had to keep skipping it while I was testing the mp3 player for this site. Again, I’m getting messed up just thinking about it. (Maybe you people don’t realize that I am going through an emotional rollercoaster as I am typing this and I totally didn’t expect to. Look who’s a girl.)
How about this, I’ll just give a summation and end this tear-fest. There are so many details that I left out, if I had included every single thing that happened or that someone said or who did what or how things looked or how everything worked out this way or that, I would be typing an entire novel.
One sentence version of missed details and stories:
– T’s family drawings reunited.
– Wedding party gifts were a huge hit (from us to them).
– World’s smallest and stupidest wedding cake. (I didn’t get any good cake either).
– Dan and Dave = hilarious tag team of drunken foolishness.
– Trista and I singing “Good Thing”.
– Amy singing “In my daughter’s eyes”.
– Erin ruining my “movie ending”.
– Katie being attacked by bees during the ceremony.
– Trista refusing to lead the dancing train into the other wedding party.
– George having a total blast and then, for some reason pouting.
– Erin being the cutest little dancer we ever did see.
– Ben J. asking for the wrong ring.
– Ben J. exclaiming “here it comes folks” before pronouncing us.
– Trista looking for her tissue during the ceremony and finding that it had fallen into her bra.
– We created our own flower bouquets and boutonnieres.
– The wait staff took and dished out food for us. (sounds lame but was cool).
– Me dancing with my mom to a song called “Good Riddance”.
– Trista’s Father-Daughter dance.
– Grandpa Duane saying the prayer.
– Our campaign flutes each had engraved on them, our individual names and date as well as saying “I’m with stupid”.
– The front of Katie’s dress kept opening up.
This day was the perfect way to start off my new life with the love of my life and, thank you to everyone that had any part, however small, in creating what I will always know to be the happiest day of my life.
We’ve decided on a place to host our wedding reception. It’s called the Canterbury Castle located in Lake Orion, MI. This place is a castle. Yeah, just like the name says. We love everything about it. (I personally have always loved things from the “knights and armor” days. I have been collecting this sort of de core for a number of years and have decorated my bedroom in that fashion.)
Isn’t this place beautiful?
There are also another added benefit to having the wedding here, it’s less than 2 miles away from Ryan and Katie. This will be, as you can imagine, quite helpful when it comes to travel arrangements and logistics of the actual day.
We are also looking into possibly having the actual ceremony on the grounds as well. There is a gazebo out in back where this can take place. We’re still looking into that though.
I have put all of the pictures that we took during our li’l tour of the place in the Photo Gallery and have added comments to each of the picture to give you a tour as well.
Now it’s official, Trista has a real engagement ring. We had gone shopping to just a few jewelry stores in the Flint area and hadn’t gotten a chance to really dive into true ring hunting before Trista started school and work and a new nonstop on-the-go lifestyle. About a week or so after Trista started working at the jewelry store, a new ring arrived there and Trista loved it. She called me up and made me drive over there to come and see it.
[Obviously pictures of the ring after the diamonds were removed]
[but you still get the idea]
Apparently the ring itself is an antique from the 1940’s which made Trista fall in love with it even more (She loves old stuff that has a history. I guess those things have a name… which is… antique) Trista tried it on her finger and it fit sort of screwy because the edge of the ring had a pointy ridge that pushed into her knuckle.
We really liked the original for the most part, but there were a few things that we wished could be changed. So we decided to have our friend (and Trista’s boss) Wendy hand-make us a new ring with the same look but with an updated style using those antique diamonds. The first thing we opted to change was the ugly yellow gold (I hate yellow gold. *yuck* sorry for those of you who have it,, um… on you… it looks nice) to 18k white gold. We could have gone with the platinum but were advised that it tends to cloud up and scratch easier than gold reducing the shine. And platinum just isn’t as awesome as people think it is (that’s what I say anyway). In addition to changing the color we had to reduce the pointy sides so the ring would fit on her finger. As it was, the ring itself was simply too wide for Trista’s bony fingers, but on top of that, you add the pointy sharp ridges and it was simply obnoxious. And finally, we added 4 more diamonds to the top of the “basket” that the main diamond sits in.
[Isn’t it awesome]
What’s really cool about this ring is that the smaller diamonds are “floating” instead of being held up by a shelf. Take a look, you can see how the diamonds are held up by little prongs bur aren’t supported by anything else below. I am told that the reason that she went with this design is that the quality of diamonds was high enough that it would look right. Whereas a lower clarity level wouldn’t have been right for that style of mounting.
Now you can see that this ring fits much better. It was brought down a whole size, the “table” was reduced to the width of Trista’s finger and the edge that was formerly a pointed edge is just a huge wide band that looks super sweet.
[Trista’s fingers are red because she just came in out of the cold]
[And she is a freak]
The ring came in this super stylish bamboo box.
[Wendy is especially proud of the box]
But wait, there’s more. This is just the engagement ring, there’s another ring, the wedding band, that goes along with it. (I guess you could figure that out but some people choose to only have one ring. i.e. Katie French.) I have pictures of it in it’s current unfinished state and will now proceed with showing them to you. Yay.
I’ll try to explain to you how the ring was made. I am doing this from memory and I really don’t know what the heck I’m talking about so keep that in mind.
– The ring is hand carved using some sort of Dremel tool grinding thingie that I like to imagine looks like a dentist’s drill. It is carved out of some sort of wax that is somewhat hard but quite fragile. The ring would look something like this. (I WOULD have a REAL picture of the REAL ring in wax but SOMEONE (Wendy) didn’t take a picture of it before the next step.) It’s ok, I forgive her. So I found a picture of what the wax looks like but ours was red.
– After getting the wax set. It is then placed into some sort of thingie where some sort of cement (I wish I knew what I was saying) is poured around it and left to harden.
– Next there is some sort of process where the wax melts out the bottom leaving a cement mold to be filled with gold.
– After the gold cools, the cement is broken to retrieve the ring so it becomes truly a one-of-a-kind.
– When the gold comes out, it looks all crude and nasty.
– You can see that the holes and grooves are still filled with the cement.
– You can also see where the gold had to be broken off from the “tree” like if you remember Transformers or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures, the weapons would come on a plastic tree (I’m informed that any Barbie playset does as well) that you had to break them off leaving a stupid plastic burr to be pointy and annoying. It’s like that only metal.
– Next step is to “tumble” it in what I like to think of as a rock tumbler for jewelry. Wendy says that I’m about right with that description. The point of this is to clean it up and remove the remaining cement and to smooth it out a bit.
– After that, it gets polished up and sent off to have the diamonds set and *boom* you have yourself a hand made ring.
I’m sure that if I missed a step or have something completely wrong, Wendy will tell me and I’ll change it. But that’s what I know about the ring making process.
I’d now like to point out something that Trista and I thought was an extra special touch that Wendy added. If you’ll notice that on the wedding band there are little diamond shapes just like the one on my tatoo.
[We REALLY thought that was cool]
Now there’s a story about how I gave this second ring to her. Wendy had been working on this ring for almost 2 months and we were in no real hurry to get it. We then made plans to have Trista dropped off to visit her family before Thanksgiving on my way to New York. I thought that it would be nice if she could have her ring to take with her and show her family. I talked to Wendy and she told me that it would be a nightmare but it could possibly be done but we wanted to keep it a secret from Trista. Actually, I think that Wendy was more excited about the idea of surprising her than I was. So I had Trista ask Wendy (not knowing that I had already made arrangements) about weather or not she could get her ring in time. Of course, Wendy said there would be NO WAY it could be done. So according to Trista, that was that and she didn’t think about it again after that.
Earlier in the evening of the day we left for New York, Trista had to drive up to Fenton to give Marlena and Travis their painting that she did for them, so I went and secretly picked up the ring and made it back home acting as if I had never left the house. Now from this point on I had the ring in my pocket and I wanted to have a silly second little engagement story since the first one was… well… read and you’ll see. (Here’s the original engagement story)
We ate dinner like nothing was going on and during, I kept bringing up little things about weddings and proposal stories (like our friends Amy and Taylor) and stuff like that to get her to start talking about it. While she was packing for the trip, I came in the bedroom and said, “Man, you know what would have been awesome? If I had secretly picked up the ring for you to have before we went away.”
“Yeah.” She said, continuing to pack and not really giving it a second thought. And I continued to go about my business of packing and getting ready. Then I came back in the room and said, “Yeah, you know how you think of doing something after the fact wishing that you had done it. Like when you get in a fight and think to yourself that you should have said this or that.” And she sort of looked at me like I was retarded and continued on. I then came back into the room a final time and said, “Yeah, wouldn’t it have been awesome if Wendy had worked like crazy to get the ring done by today and I had gone to meet her today while you went to Marlena’s. And wouldn’t it have been awesome if during dinner I would have brought up awkward conversations about weddings and proposals. And wouldn’t it have been awesome if I had secretly had your ring in my pocket all night and then during the time when you were packing, I came in and started making no sense about ‘I should have done this or that’. And wouldn’t have been awesome if I had come into the room and knelt down (as I’m saying this I’m kneeling down) and opened up this box (as I pulled out and opened up the ring box) and said “Will you marry me?”
Now I thought this was very clever and afterward so did Trista, but at the time she was sooOOOooo excited to see I had gotten the ring that she snatched it out of the box and ran it over to the lamp to get a good look at it. Leaving me in the middle of the room still on my knee with an empty ring box. I said “HEY! It’s not about the ring, it’s about the fact that I gave it to you.” She laughed and came back to me and gave me a hug (while I like to imagine still looking at the ring on her finger over my shoulder). It was a nice moment and I told her how Wendy worked on it with little to no sleep for 2 straight days just so Trista could take it to New York with her.
So now I have 2 engagement stories (sort of) and the second was better than the first but both are just like us, we like to ruin tender moments with awkwardness because neither of us really know how to act in serious situations. So that’s what WE do
Well, I’ve finally chosen to make that permanent commitment to someone. I am getting married. I’m pretty happy about it actually.
I started thinking about it after Trista’s dad had a little conversation with me at Christmas in New York. He prefaced it by saying how much he likes me and that he hopes I stick around for a while. After that he looked me sternly in the eyes and said, “But I’m not happy with your living arrangements.” And sort of gave me the stare-down for a minute or so. He then quickly followed up with, “If I at least knew you guys were thinking about getting married or something, it would make me feel a little better about things.” It made me really think.
Now, Trista has been living in Michigan with me for exactly a year and things are pretty much absolutely perfect. We get along better than anyone could hope to and we just have a great time together. I’ve been thinking about proposing since January, and seriously contemplating how and when since May. For the past few months I have been acting very uninterested in the hopes of surprising her. Every time she would mention marriage or weddings, I would act as if I never wanted to get or be married. In fact, I started to fear that I was scaring her away. I mean, everyone knows by now that I have been in serious relationships in the past that have lasted WAY longer than Trista and I have been together, and I did not end up married then, nor did I even come close.
So this completely shocked the heck out of her. I’ll tell you how it went down….
We were at our campsite on Monday at camp (during the first annual Young Adult’s Program Yeeee haw) right before service. We were just sitting there alone and with out preamble or warning, I said, “So… you wanna get married?” She thought I was joking but still started getting red in the face and didn’t know what to do with herself. After a slight bit of silence she then collected herself but I continued, “To… me?” She giggled a little as I fumbled for the ring that I was to give her. The ring is sort of special in the fact that it was left in my semi truck at least a a year and a half ago, maybe two years, I’m not sure. I put it on a chain and hung it up on my visor where I could see it and have it remind me of her everywhere I went as I trucked across America. So I used that ring and it made it sort of meaningful.
So, then I got it off my key chain and held it out to put it on her finger, but she, for some reason, didn’t think I was going to put it on and said as if she were being insulted, “You can’t just hand it to me.” To winch I jokingly snapped, “I’m waiting for your finger!” It was silly, and it was neat.
After that I told her that I love her and we hugged and she, still not knowing what to do with herself, started to cry. We walked to service and no one knew what had happened or anything. It just looked like Trista had been crying for some reason. After service we went and told everyone that we knew, and news spread so fast that people we hardly knew were congratulating us as we walked around.
I chose camp as the place to do it since that’s where we met and it also marked one year since Trista moved here and we decided to give this thing a try. She wasn’t expecting a proposal for at least year but I can’t see what another year would give us. I don’t think I could be happier about the whole thing.