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Memories of my wedding…and more

Wedding DayOn May 30th, 1998, on a hot Virginia afternoon, my best man and I were at the altar at St. Robert Bellarmine Chapel on the campus of George Mason University, waiting for my bride to be to walk up the steps to process down the aisle. I was nervous as hell (as was she, I found out later) but not for the reasons most people would first think of. It wasn’t that I was having second thoughts but rather, it was from hoping I would uphold my end of my vows (which I had fastidiously memorized – more on THAT later) and not disappoint this wonderful woman.

I felt my knees buckle at the altar as I saw here emerge from the rear of the church. She looked radiant and beautiful. I remember Amazing Grace being sung and watching her walk down the aisle with her mom and dad. This was it, the point of no return.

I remember sitting at the altar as we heard the readings, and the part where we recited our vows. Fr. Gregory asked to both write our own vows and memorize them – I hated it then but was so glad we did it afterwards. My best man, Jim Martin, would quiz me on those vows at inopportune times to see if I remembered them.We asked our calligrapher to have those vows printed on vellum which we subsequently hung in our bedroom, a constant reminder of what we promised each other. I look at those vows now and can happily say we are following them, more or less. 🙂

After a long mass, where our friends were the readers, the musicians, the Eucharistic ministers, where we ourselves baked the bread that was to be consecrated, we headed the short trip to the Fairfax Country Club. There, the fun began. We had a great crowd as both her friends and my friends loved to dance. I believe that in itself makes or breaks the reception.

Our first dance was to Mark Cohn’s True Companion, and the father daughter dance was to Butterfly Kisses by Randy Carlisle. We did all the crowd favorites, from the Macarena (please don’t hold it against me), to the Chicken Dance, to the Electric Slide, to YMCA, although as a special treat, there were 5 of us who had, for the previous Halloween, gone as the village people. As part of that celebration, we practiced a YMCA routine (we also did an “In the Navy” dance but that’s another story). Since all those participants were also at the reception, we broke into an impromptu recreation of that dance. It was a big hit and thankfully came before the age of cameras in cell phones so it was immortalized only in the form of a video tape. Which we are in sole possession of.

Another memory of the reception was the delicious wedding cake from Cilly and Jilly. White chocolate cappuccino cake, it had guests having 3 or 4 servings a piece. When we left to go to our B&B, the party continued on and the DJ wasn’t allowed to leave until well past his contracted end time. Apparently we were not needed for a continued good time.

Well, this past Saturday, we celebrated, a day early, by going out to a wonderful little French Bistro in Bayview called Pastiche. There we had a lovely dinner, punctuated by lots of laughs, reminiscences, and good wine and food. We talked about how much had changed over Dorado with a tapenade (me) and halibut with a lemon caper sauce (Suzanne). We discussed our future and our return to Greece, where we had our honeymoon, for our 20th.

Most of all, we were both still in love with each other. I still see the same woman I fell in love with 15 years ago and still have the same desire to grow old with.

Thanks for 12 fun, wonderful years, my love. It’s been quite a ride and I’m looking forward to more fun in the coming years. I love you!

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