Plenty of sap in the posts on the bachelor party and the rehearsal dinner. The actual day of the wedding? Nothing but fun.
- The groom’s party, plus RJ, plus myself, breakfasted at Clink, the Liberty Hotel’s classy lounge and restaurant. Ben, the groom’s brother, asked for tobasco for his eggs; the waiter produced the tiniest nip bottle in the history of nips. “I’ll pay you ten dollars to shoot that,” I offered.
Ben considered for a moment but shook his head. “I don’t want my annual trip to the emergency room to be today.”
“We’re a fragile bunch,” his brother agreed. “I don’t go to the ER as often as Ben does. But when I do, I get to go on all the rides!”
- “This place used to be a prison,” Jason, brother of the bride, noted. “Full of institutional abuses and civil rights violations. Now it’s a hotel where some of the wealthiest people in America stay.”
“Have we decided whether that’s ‘good ironic’ or ‘bad ironic’?”
- “You are so tall,” the photographer commented. She had me lean casually against a recessed window while taking pictures with the groom.
“I’m used to it.”
- After photos the groom’s party retired upstairs to watch the Red Sox lose to Toronto. We snacked on cold cuts and deli bread provided by Hawver’s wife Dea. We’d hoped that the air conditioner and the Red Sox would prove relaxing, but Ortiz’s continued failure to connect did little for our nerves.
“Your wife is awesome,” RJ mumbled around a mouth full of turkey and provolone. Then: “God damn it, Ortiz!”
- “It’s weird,” Kevin, the bride’s other brother, said. “We’re in an opulent luxury hotel that used to be a pris–”
“We covered that already,” Jason said.
“Really?” The two of them are twins, possessed of that weird genetic telepathy.
- At five minutes of five, having struggled with boutonnieres for several minutes, we marched down to the ceremony en masse. Fraley stood around a corner so that Melissa could make a quick pass behind us. He watched the crowds of friends and family file onto the lawn in front of us, his mother at his side.
“Okay,” he said. “Now I’m nervous.”
- We’d been coached on moving quickly down the aisle – not hurrying, obviously, but taking longer than the step-pause-step pace associated with most wedding marches. This led to a slight traffic jam near the end – I, with the bride’s mother on my arm, drawing up short behind the groom and his mother. It also led to a lot of waiting with the entire party up front for the opening march to end and the bride to enter. I know that happens all the time, but it seemed interminable while we were up there. Should I make a ‘cut’ gesture to the string trio?, I wondered.
- After the ceremony, I cornered a concierge. “What can I–”
“It’s essential,” I interrupted, thrusting an envelope containing the marriage license into his hand, “that this get in the mail today.”
“They might have already picked–”
“Just put it in the box. I don’t care.”
- Impressions of the reception diverge. I spent various points laughing over beef and red wine, lost in somber thought and dancing like I’d always wanted to. Strangers congratulated me on an excellent ceremony.
“It’s all them,” I insisted, nodding toward the happy couple. “I couldn’t have managed for anyone else.”