Monday, September 26, 2011

Wedding Diaries: The Final Report

The big day has come and gone. Everything went incredibly well, far better than we had any right to expect. The weather was perfect. There weren't any glitches worth mentioning. The food was great. The cake was incredible. The guys looked sharp and the gals looked amazing. The band rocked the roof off the place. It was perfect.

Things started on Thursday with rehearsal and dinner. We picked Grazie's in Fargo, an Italian place. The food was wonderful and even my brother Andy -- who isn't high on Italian -- was impressed.

My niece Aubrey.

The meeting of the Winkis and Marshall clans. It is hoped
our union will bring an end to decades of war.


Friday was bachelor's and bachelorette's night out. Not together because that would defeat the purpose. The ladies went out for Mexican food while the boys went out for steaks. A huge sigh of relief came out of me when my ribeye at Redford's (formerly Norman's, home of the Best Steak I've Ever Had) lived up to the standard I've come to expect. Afterwards we went to a Buffalo Wild Wings near the hotel, one because it was close and, two because I wanted to see the manager. He bought us a round so, yeah, be sure to book BWW as your liquor caterer at you next event. Yes, I am a cheap whore. The ladies showed up and no one at all made any inappropriate remarks or did anything embarrassing so there's no need to talk about it anymore.

Saturday I actually coached MJ's soccer game. I know, I know. But I had no responsibilities until 1:00 and the game was at 9:00 AM. The family got to watch MJ play. She scored the first goal of the match and Team America won 3-2, so that was pretty perfect.

Donna had bride things to do, so MJ and I grabbed lunch and headed out to the venue. With pictures at 3:00 I began hoping that someone would show up soon with a six-pack but it was not to be. We had only one minor glitch: we didn't have MJ's bridesmaid dress. Luckily Donna's brother Ryan was volunteered to be her errand boy, so he fixed that issue.


Donna and I are not traditional wedding types. With that in mind, we wanted the ceremony to be short and too the point. The kids marched in, Donna came down the path, the officiant said some things, we said some things, there were rings involved, someone tolled a bell, then we got the hell out of there and started to party. It was exactly what we wanted. The guy running the music and sound told me it was by far a record for shortest ceremony at their venue. I told him that I didn't want to know if anyone ever broke it.

I have some good news and some bad news. What's that? You want the good news first? Okay. The good news is that we hired Dave at Milestones Photography to do the pictures. He's the best there is at what he does, so our pictures will be amazing when we get them.

The bad news is that Shanna, a friend of Donna's, agreed to use our little point and shoot throughout the night to get us some candids. Well, that's not the bad news. The bad news is that neither of the batteries I had for that camera would hold a charge. Of course, I found this out after the wedding, so I don't really have anything to share at the moment. I've put out a call to friends and family to send all photos, but as of right this moment, I have no visual evidence that this event ever happened.

No photographic evidence anyway. I also brought my little video camera. My friend Tim did an excellent job filming the ceremony and getting some candid shots of the aftermath:

Then, of course, there was the big surprise for Donna at the reception. A special guest vocalist came to honor her with song. We had a band made up of Microsoft employees who worked incredibly hard to put on a great show for us (which they did). The twist was that the band would allow anyone to come up and sing any song in the set list. It was basically karaoke with a live band. Imagine Donna's surprise when this happened:

All in all it was tons of fun and exactly what Donna and I wanted. Quick ceremony, great food, all our friends together, a live band playing anything except traditional wedding music, and a reception that was more party than wedding dance. One of the most fun nights I've ever had.

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