One of the reasons I sent Paul home after rehearsal dinner was to spare him the chaos of being at my parents’ house on my brother’s wedding day. But honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Everyone was pretty much and up and it on time–my mom and I got up and out for our hair and makeup appointment, and I sadly forgot the bottle of Belgian raspberry beer I’d bought specifically for us to drink there, especially since for the bulk of the appointment, we were the only ones there. In the end, I toted that damn bottle around all day thinking maybe the bridesmaids would tear into it when we were done getting ready, but there was no time for that and finally, the bottle ended up at the head table during the reception, which was fine. I made sure I saved a glass for my mom and personally delivered it to her.

The only real hang-up came when Brandon couldn’t find his shoes, which of course led to my dad going on and on about how he should’ve had all of his stuff together, which Brandon argued he did–my dad was the one who moved the shoes to the spot where he ultimately found them. It turned into kind of a blame game, really, with my dad repeating that Brandon should’ve been ready and Brandon saying he was. Most of us sided with Brandon on that one. He had set all of his stuff aside for the day, and my dad messed that up. My mom lightened the wood with a Brady Bunch quip of, “It was all Jan’s fault!”

And then it was off to church, where boys and girls parted ways. We got dressed, did any touch-ups on hair and make-up we needed, and took some pictures. Then Kelly got lipstick on her dress, and that’s when Paul came in handy–he was just minutes away from the chapel, so I sent him to get a Tide pen and we did a swift handoff just minutes before the whole shebang started.

Funny thing is after about 1, I was ready to go and get the whole thing over with, and it felt like time just crawled for a while. And then when it hit 1:30, it sped. Before I knew it, we were being summoned to walk down the aisle and coming up the stairs just as the guys were still there waiting, so I yelled down, “Abort! Abort!” and waited for them to go before we brought Kelly up. And then her dad’s shoe broke and he ran back down to fix it. Fortunately, I had a music cue to walk down to and waiting for that bought us some time, and he made it up just in time for them to come down the aisle.

The ceremony was short but nice–they opted not to do a Catholic wedding and instead had a pastor recommended to them do the ceremony. It was short enough that the wedding party all stayed standing with them at the front of church, which is kind of nice, but it was long enough that standing up there in high heels was pretty terrible and we were ready for it to be over pretty quick.

I’d been telling pretty much everyone that I was sure Brandon would cry, and I knew that if he did, it would start a chain reaction–both mothers would go, then some bridesmaids, probably some relatives, maybe even the best man. But to my surprise, he didn’t. In fact, I almost did, and I was surprised by how moved I was to see Kelly come down the aisle. The whole planning of this has been so surreal, and even morning of it hadn’t really, truly hit me, but there it was, my brother’s bride walking down the aisle. But everyone made it through tear-free, which did take some effort on the part of the moms. It was close, apparently, and the way Kelly’s mom told it the next morning, my mom’s determination not to cry helped her not to cry, too.

We spent a good bit of time taking pictures, then it was pretty much party time. By then, we were starving, and we couldn’t go to cocktail hour because we had to be announced. What we should’ve done was go straight to my parents’ house after we left the chapel–I thought the timing would’ve been too tight, but in retrospect, it probably would’ve been fine. At least there were enough sympathetic significant others of people in the bridal party that we had a pretty decent stream of fruit, cheese, and cookies being brought to us while we hung out outside. Wedding advice: pack snacks, especially for the girls, who are likely to have a bit of a busier day with less time to eat something between breakfast and dinner.

I’d been nervous about going into the ceremony, but by reception time, it was a little more informal and we were all feeling better about it–and really hungry. We passed ’round the raspberry beer and ate, with the exception of the maid of honor, who was too nervous about giving a speech to eat anything.

And then it was just a good party. Brandon and Kelly surprised me by actually having practiced their first dance, and my mom, who had initially wanted to scrap the mother-son dance due to a lack of practice, got talked into doing it by the DJ, who’s an old friend of my dad’s and told her she’d regret not doing it. She ended up winging it and tossing in some Marcia Brady dancing, and the whole thing was cute and sweet and I think she’s glad she did it. And then we pretty much just danced and drank the rest of the night, with a decent group going until the DJ packed it up. Funny thing is, compared to some other weddings, it seemed like there was actually less dancing than usual, but we had a couple people comment that they’d never seen so many people dance at a wedding like that. Interesting. It’s also worth noting that a good chunk of the dancers at these things are the women on the Oshinsky side–the ones who go see bands like Dancing Queen specifically to go out and dance.

I socialized a little, but not as much as I probably should have. But I had a good time, and everyone else seems like they did, too. Paul and I, as well as best man Jacob and Katie, helped clean and pack up, and Katie was such a constant helpful presence throughout the day, actually, that I’m gonna have to make sure I remember that when their wedding rolls around. It’ll be easy, too–Paul’s the best man in that one, so I’ll be around all day anyway, available to go do whatever bidding anyone needs. They wanted Taco Bell afterwards and we did go by, but we ended up only being able to do drive-through. Brandon and Kelly spent the night at a little inn up in the mountains while we crashed at my parents’ and geared up for a Sunday of hosting family and serving wedding leftovers.

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