So, Zeke and I got on the motorcycle and started to drive around the block and back to the church for pictures, but I told him to keep on going. I was just so happy. Riding behind the man of my dreams (in a pretty dress), celebrating the joy that we felt to be husband and wife! A lot of people in town honked at us or waved, and that just made the experience even more fun!
Finally, though, we had to come back from our mini-ride and get some pictures done, and sign our marriage license, too (whoops! Almost forgot that part!)
Pictures went well, but I was a little worried about getting to the reception on time. I shouldn't have worried too much, though- we got there with a little time to spare.
Our MC's were Zeke's uncles (they call themselves the out-laws), and boy did we pick a great group of guys! They were perfect- funny, telling jokes and ridiculous stories, and they really kept the energy going. So much fun! We had a buffet style meal of hamburgers and grilled chicken, a condiment bar, cheesy potatoes, salad, and green beans. It was so perfect- so us. Nothing too fancy, just good, friendly, filling food. The tables were all labeled with names of places we've been, with a picture of us in that place. Everyone really enjoyed that, and the stories that went along with the places.
I was still kind of nervous, and between those lingering butterflies in my stomach and my mom tapping her glass to make Zeke and I kiss every three seconds, I didn't eat very much, but what I did was good. We had speeches by one of my sisters and Zeke's best man/brother, and they were very sweet.
When everybody had been served, we played the "Shoe Game." If you haven't heard of it, this game entails the bride and groom taking off their shoes, and switching shoes so that each person has one of their own shoes and one of their spouse's. Then, the MC's asked questions like, "Who's the better driver?" and we raise the shoe of who we think that is. It was so funny! Everyone laughed so hard, myself included- especially when Zeke raised my shoe and I raised his for "Who is in charge of the checkbook?"
Then, as we were waiting for the cake to be brought out, the MC's asked the guests if they wanted to give any advice to Zeke and myself. Several of our family members said a few words. Everything was going very smoothly until my mother did the one thing I asked her not to do. She gave my grandfather the mic.
Okay. I love my grandfather dearly. He's been a role model of mine for years- the way he loves my grandma and his children, his active spirit, his sense of humor and how he clings to his faith. Grandpa, in his old age, has become quite the performer. When I was about ten years old, Grandpa's performer side began shining at every family gathering. And by "shine," I mean, like a 3000 watt spotlight.
So Grandpa gets the mic. He said a few words, and then started singing "Daddy's Little Girl." It was so sweet. There wasn't a dry eye in the place. After he finished the song, I blew him a kiss, and thought to myself, Well hey, he really didn't go overboard! That was so perfect. And then he started singing a hymn. Okay, I could handle that, too. He's a faithful, godly man, and recognizing the One who brought my Hunky Husband and I together was more than appropriate.
After the hymn, Grandpa looked over at one of the MC's and asked if he could have another minute. The MC said no, because we had to do the cake cutting to stay somewhat on schedule, but my Grandpa kept the mic. And led us all in a sing-along of "God Bless America," complete with a prelude.
I can't help smiling about it now. It would be my grandpa who turned our wedding reception into a patriotic sing-along. If the first song was sweet and memorable, the second was religious and a little long, then the third was total unrelated overkill. But that's my grandpa for you.
After the patriotism was over, Zeke and I cut the cake, which Zeke's mom made and his sister decorated. The cake topper was made by a coworker of Zeke's who does woodcarving. It was simple, delicious, and us. And Hunky Husband didn't even smash it into my face (I did warn him before hand.)
|After the cutting- the topper is on the table there.|
We had a short dance, then- Zeke and I had our first dance to one of our favorite songs, "Will You Go With Me" by Josh Turner. During the dance, he said, "You know, we really didn't practice dancing to this at all..." which is pretty much what I was thinking, too. It's quite possible that we looked pretty silly out there, but we didn't care at all. I danced with my dad next, and I kept myself from crying then, too.
We didn't have very much time to dance, what with the impromptu sing-along and all. That was good though, because what with it being like, 2:30 in the afternoon and with absolutely no "liquid encouragement," there wasn't much dancing going on. I danced a lot with my niece and nephews, as well as some of my and Zeke's friends' children. I did get my two good friends from college to dance a little, as well. We also had a "Dollar Dance," which none of my out-of-town relatives were familiar with. It must be an Iowa thing, I guess!
My feet were really hurting by the time we said goodbye to the guests! I had really high shoes for the wedding, because I wanted to even out our heights a little at least. With that Hunky Husband being 6'5" and me at a flat 5'0", it was quite possible that his head would be cut off in lots of pictures if we didn't fake it a little!
Zeke got me onto the motorcycle again, and we took the wedding party to go take a few more outdoor pictures, which were pretty hilarious. At one point, Zeke put me up on his shoulder, and the groomsmen tried to do the same with the bridesmaids for a cute photo-op. Unfortunately, we had the two biggest guys with the two smallest girls, and the smaller guys with the bigger girls! It was a little disastrous. Two of my sisters ended up on the ground... but no major injuries!
After pictures, it was time to leave for our "honeyweekend!" We couldn't take a very long trip, or a trip that took us very far away. Summer is Zeke's busy time at work, and he had to be back on the Tuesday after the wedding. We went about an hour south (in Zeke's truck, not on the motorcycle!), and stayed in a fancy room at a hotel.
I kept my dress on for the trip down there (because, come on, I was only gonna get to wear that dress once!), and we stopped off at a grocery store to get snack-y foods. I wore the dress in, of course, and got lots of looks from little kids, as well as some congratulations from fellow shoppers. Looking back, we must have looked pretty silly, but we didn't care. I was just so happy I could burst!
When we got to the hotel, I did burst.
Yep! I finally cried. Not because I was sad at all, but because I had no idea. I had no idea that God loved me so much that he would bring someone as wonderful as Zeke into my life. I am so incredibly blessed. Blessed with a man who loves me deeply, cares for me, provided a wonderful home and a bright future for me. Blessed with a man who loves Jesus, who loves his family, and who makes me so proud. And I'm a part of him now. We're one. I feel like I don't deserve it- not one bit.
I'm still a little overwhelmed by the joy that comes from being loved so deeply, by both Zeke and by God, and I'm just so happy. I'm learning what it means to be a wife, what Zeke's expectations are of me, and what mine are of him, and I'm sure that we'll have arguments and rough patches. With God at the center of our new family, and remembering how blessed we are, I'm sure that our lives together will be long and happy ones!