Saturday, October 07, 2006

White Wedding

Well, not quite white... but I think I may have already mentioned that it was perfect. Perfect for us, anyway.

And on this glorious fall morning [note: I did write this last Saturday, but am only getting to post now], as we get ready to celebrate the wedding of our lovely friends Double D and Queen of Tarts (so named not because she's a tart, far from it, but because she once brought us a box of scrumptious tarts from the famous Toronto bakery of the same name and I'll never ever forget her for it!), I'm already feeling a little nostalgic for our own wedding day. If I could wake up tomorrow and be in that hotel bed in Las Vegas, tired and groggy from a long night of gambling and drinks but jittery with excitement for the special day ahead, I would do it all again in a heartbeat.

September 18, 2006:

Crown and I woke up early. Normal for me on vacation, very strange for him. The day was glorious, hot and sunny, the kind of day only the desert can deliver. I was itching to get to the pool. I had visions of spending the day lounging, soaking up rays, and chatting with my girls, and that is exactly what I did.

My sister Chops and my BFF Dings met me poolside. We lazed the morning away, laughing and snapping silly pictures of me in my "bride" baseball cap with the veil attached to the back. Yes, I wore it in public, but only because my mom's lovely lesbian neighbours made me promise I would. They gave it to me, a hand-me-down from their own wedding last summer.

I was not feeling nervous at all. In fact, quite the opposite, I was relaxed and I was ridiculously happy. The experience was not lost on me. I was doing what I love most in the world, laying poolside on a hot day and people watching, in what has to be the absolute best place on earth to watch people. I was in one of my favourite cities, with almost all of my favourite people, about to marry the man of my dreams.

Um? Wait a second. MARRY the man of my dreams? MARRY? HOLY FUCK. It hit me around 2 pm. My nervousness came in a wave, which I self-diagnosed as hunger.

"Dings? Dings? I think I need a hotdog. Can we go get a hotdog, please?"

We went to find a hotdog. Apparently, the poolside bar at the Flamingo no longer serves hotdogs.

"What kind of poolside bar doesn't serve fucking HOTDOGS? FISHBURGERS?! Nobody saunters up to a poolside bar in 110 degree heat and orders a fucking fishburger!"

Dings and Chops took control, got us out of the pool area and somewhere that sold hotdogs. We ate hotdogs. I calmed down again. Better. See, I was just hungry. After our lunch we decided we should hit the casino and burn off a little energy at the roulette wheel. We tried the new "rapid roulette" computerized version of the game and each lost $20 in about three minutes. This was not helping me relax.

"Why don't we take a walk. It's so beautiful outside. Dings, lets walk over to your hotel."

The three of us strolled down the strip to Paris. I was now checking my watch every 30 seconds. It was around 3:00pm. I had decided that I must be back in my room by 3:45pm so I could nap, shower and start getting ready. Dings would meet me back there at 4ish to do my hair and makeup.

We ran into Crown on the way to Paris, the first time I'd seen him all day. Chat for a minute or so, he was also feeling rushed. We shared a smooch and off he went. Next time I'd see him would be minutes before our ceremony.

We spent only enough time at Paris to lose another $20 each in the nickel machines, so clearly not long at all. At this point I was definitely feeling full-blown anxiety. My number one source of stress at that moment? What else? My hair.

Chops and I went back to our rooms at the Flamingo to rest and get ready. I wanted to lie down, but instead convinced myself that I should practice walking in my shoes. My number two source of stress at that moment? That's right. My shoes.

I was petrified of falling on my face in the middle of my short jaunt down the aisle. I teetered around my hotel room in nothing but panties and high heeled shoes for a good half an hour, stopping only to watch a beautiful wedding from my window, which overlooked the surprisingly beautiful grounds of the hotel. It made me cry.
My number three source of stress at that moment? Crying. I was determined that today I would not cry! I wanted to be composed and beautiful, not sobbing and covered in streaks of mascara.

Hopped in the shower and began the long of process of what Scarbie would call, Pimping My Hide. Shave, scrub, wash, condition, blow dry, moisturize, moisturize again (this was the desert people), pluck, powder, moisturize again. Dings showed up bearing vodka and gifts. Bless her heart. It was almost 4:30pm.

Dings did an amazing job on my hair. Using about 1000 bobby pins and some really pretty gold hair pins that she bought just for the occasion, she managed to get my unmanageable hair into the prettiest twisty updo that you could imagine. It was perfect! We both got a little teary as the reality of what was happening set in. I also welled up a little with relief -- hair, done! Stress number one, over!

Makeup came next and again Dings did a beautiful job. Pretty, natural, with just the perfect hint of colour to jazz things up. We pulled my dress on and fastened the gorgeous Swarovski crystal earrings (another perfect gift from Dings) just in the nick-of-time. Limo was arriving at 6pm, it was 5:59pm.

After a brief moment of anxiety -- we couldn't find the limo (wrong lobby -- big hotel) -- Chops, Dings and I piled in and we were off to the chapel, cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard as the evening desert sun streamed in through the windows and the Romanian driver told us over and over again how beautiful we looked. Nothing like getting hit on by the limo driver on the way to your wedding.

We pulled up to the Little Church of the West right on time. Crown was standing outside with all of our guests, watching as the car pulled up. He looked so handsome in his suit that my breath caught a little and I had to wave away tears. I was still determined not to cry.
I had decided to stay in the limo until it was time to walk down the aisle, and sprinkle just a little bit of tradition on our very non-traditional day. The family was lined up with cameras in hand and I have to admit, it was fun to watch from the privacy of my tinted windows as they chatted and waited to go into the church.

Finally it was time. They all disappeared into the church and Chops and I got out of the limo. She headed inside, the wedding planner dude handed me my flowers and gave me a quick run down of what I was supposed to do.

"Hold the flowers here. Walk when you are ready. Smile and don't forget to listen. A lot of people forget to listen."

Then he asked me if "this guy" was escorting me down the aisle. This guy? I looked beside me and there was my Romanian limo driver! He said, "I can do for you -- you are alone -- is no good."

"Um, no thanks. I'm cool. I wanted it this way."

The wedding planner dude waved away the driver and waved me into the doorway of the church. The first few notes of our song, Cruisin' Together by Smoky Robinson, played and I had two thoughts running through my mind.

Don't fall. Don't cry.
Don't fall. Don't cry.

I didn't fall and I didn't cry. Well, I didn't cry yet. I made it down the aisle (it's a very short aisle, maybe 10 steps in total). I paused for a picture and waved at Cairn's family, who I hadn't seen yet. I stood next to Crown, and the minister started his thing.

All I heard was that noise the Charlie Brown hears when his teacher is talking. "Mwawa Wawaam..." I managed to get out my "I dos" at the right moments, as did Crown. Then came the vows. Crown passed his with flying colours. Ring ended up on my finger and I stared at it for a few extra seconds. Pretty, I thought.

"Beaches, please repeat after me..."

I repeated the first line, the second... I repeated the third. The fourth was harder, it took a deep breath. Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry. The fifth line. I'm crying. I had to choke out the last two lines. Tears were stinging my eyes and sobs caught in the back of my throat, but I got them out
and after a few more minutes of "wawaawaawa..." I heard him say loud and clear, "I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may seal your vows with a kiss."

Made out for a couple of seconds. GTs.

And we were done! Married. The entire ceremony lasted 6 minutes and 26 seconds. I know because I have the DVD to prove it. Pictures were taken and as Crown and I walked out of the Little Church, they rang the bells. It was a perfect moment, captured in the picture I posted last week.
We took a bunch of photos outside of the church (see my Flickr for more photos and I'll continue to add them as we sort through) and then "the kids" all piled into the limo together. After a quick stop at the famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign, we cruised up and down The Strip, drinking champagne and laughing. It was perfect. I was ecstatic. We were hungry! Off to the restaurant to meet up with "the adults" and seal the day off with food and drink. Perfect, perfect, perfect.
Although I hadn't expected it, or asked, several people made beautiful speeches at dinner. My no crying rule was out the window. After several hours of amazing food and drink, we were ready to go, full and satisfied, back to the casino.
Dings, Chops and I spent hours playing roulette that night. It was some of the most fun I have had in my entire life. We laughed and drank and gambled. Perhaps not the most virtuous of wedding night celebrations, but we were in in Sin City after all. Dings got lucky and when I finally lost all my money and glanced at that time I realized that maybe it was time for me to go and do the same.


It was close to 4am. Our wedding day was over. Our life was just beginning.