Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Best Day of My Life

Living in a culture were everything is the "Best.  _______.  Ever." makes it tough to call something your best experience without it getting swept up with the rest of the hyperbole.  I'll take that risk and dub my wedding day the best day of my life.  

A nice surprise from the folks at Onondaga County Parks and Recreation greeted us on Thursday.
My sister's wedding gift was renting Camp Brockway on Thursday so we didn't need to rush the day of the wedding.

A good thing, since it took us six hours to put together everything we've doing over the last few months.  

Becky and I drew and labelled place settings.  Becky and her sister made dozens of flowers from book pages.  That's 10 pounds of Starbucks Espresso Roast holding them in place (whole bean; we have coffee for months).  We wrapped the books so they'd match and printed labels so our families would know what they are.  Those are Proust Questionnaires in lieu of a guestbook, which led my seven-year-old 2nd-cousin to say, "Why do we have a test?".

Our troubador, who performed Bob Dylan's You Ain't Goin' Nowhere.  

Our troubador, canoodling our officiant from the First Nation Church.
These folks are also known as Becky's parents.

Sometimes you need a little help getting dressed.

It might even be a two-parent job.

But it's worth the effort when this is your ring-bearer.

When getting married, try not to have too much fun.

Our menu was pulled pork sandwiches, mojo chicken, tomato-cucumber salad, mashed potatoes, and cornbread.
I love me some Dinosaur Bar-B-Que.  You can order the sauces and spices to your home, or you can make them yourself. Their cookbook recipes are the same recipes they use in the restaurants, and they taste just as amazing.

Nonpareils baked our cupcakes: Red Velvet with cannoli cream filling and ice butter cream frosting, Chocolate Espresso   filled with espresso ganache and topped with mocha butter cream frosting, and nut-and-raisin-free Carrot Cake topped with cream cheese butter cream.  Basically, you're looking at a lot of cream.

We weren't quite sure how we were going to pull off the cake-toppers, images of books we love cut from old publishers catalogs, and mounted on our cobalt blue.  Jen from Nonpareils suggested spray adhesive on card stock, then attaching those cards to coffee stirrers.  It worked like a charm.  They're stacked on books from my parents' shelves, wrapped in white, cobalt, and black.  I'm pretty sure Jen suggested that as well.  She was awesome.

We let folks take the leftover barbeque, but we took the cupcakes for the road.  I wish I had one right now.  

After our first meal as a married couple...

We repped 305 during a Pratts Falls photoshoot.
When we returned, we found many in the family had already left.
These are my parents, trying to sneak off.  Luckily, we caught them before they missed our first dance.

Becky thought we should do Judson Laipply's Evolution of Dance.  If you're unfamiliar, check it out.  You're in for a real treat. 

We rehearsed for several hours and several Coronas one Saturday night and decided that, apart from "The Worm," we could pull it off.  For the couple of weeks leading up to our wedding, we rehearsed when we could squeeze some time in.

As an introduction, Becky told our families, "We couldn't pick one first dance, so we picked them all."  

I must say, we rocked the Evolution of Dance.  Our families could not stop talking about it.  For six minutes, Becky and I were dancing machines.  Unfortunately, no footage of our efforts survive except for these grainy, poorly-lit, disposable camera shots.
The twist...
The Brady Bunch...
The Billie Jean...

The Robot...
This shot is clear proof that we know how to "Ride the Pony," but this next photo is a real shame.
We couldn't do The Worm, so this a picture of the up-rock grande jete salsa break we did instead.  It's a sort of Bob Fosse meets break beats meets Cuban Casino.  We couldn't decide on a name, we just called it, "that thing," as in, "Oh man, that thing you guys did?  It was fucking awesome."

Dylan finally met his cousins, Rylee and Sophia.

In lieu of keg stands, they did trash sledding.
Also, I got to use "in lieu of" twice in one post.

Then folks got changed into casual dress for the after-party, and to get the place cleaned up. 

While Becky ran around the mountain screaming, "I'm maaaaaaarrrrrriiiiiiieeeeed!" I stayed on the dance floor, rocking out to Becky's Ipod.  

It wasn't a good look for either of us. 

Ultimately, a good time was had by all.  Becky and I got cupcakes, Dinosaur Barbecue condiments, and some awesome reading material in the form of our family's answers to their Proust Questionnaires.

Some people took home paper flowers in glass vases filled with coffee, some took paper lanterns, and everyone got a book or two.

At this point, the only Curtises left were me and my brother. . . and Becky. 

A wedding doesn't make a marriage.  A marriage is created day-to-day as you and the person you've chosen learn what your love will hold.  Sometimes it means living in the moment.  Sometimes it means putting the mistakes of past relationships to rest so they don't cloud this one.  Sometimes it means having coffee brewed when your spouse wakes up.

But now is not the time for wondering about how our relationship will evolve, it's the time for enjoying each-other.  It's been thirty-seven lovely days that feel like an eye blink.  I intend to play the newlywed card for as long as I can.


  1. Congratulations Aaron and Becky. I wish you peace and love. It's strange how good this makes me feel considering I don't know you and we've never met.

    I clearly remember finding your blog and reading what someone - who clearly had talent - going through that angst-replete period of self-flagellation in the aftermath of relationship breakdown goes through as they try to come to terms with it all, sometimes blaming just themselves for absolutely everything. I remember the hurt that blazed out of those pages that made me think back to similar times of my own and I remember that posts and comments almost felt like a dialogue between us on the subject.

    Having listened to you then and followed your progress just through SWFF I know you will put nothing less than your heart and soul into this. It's all you ever wanted.

    I remember saying something like 'there are a million people out there who deserve you. Some of them you might even like'.

    I'm so pleased for you that you found not one but two people who deserve you and that you deserve in return.

    Good luck, health and happiness and may your God{s} go with you and your wee family.


  2. Thanks so much, Al. My friends were amazing, getting me through those months. I include you in that mix.

    I can't express how much having your comments, being my first reader, helped me realize I wasn't alone. On those days I felt too miserable to be social, when I couldn't handle the role of heartbroken fool, I had the blog to vent to, and you to listen.

    I know you will put nothing less than your heart and soul into this.

    That's the plan.

  3. Coolest wedding ever, you two! First of all, Dinosaur BBQ is my all time favorite in Syracuse. Next, the book flowers and coffee are amazing. To top it off, the evolution of dance. Now, that's a wedding reception, folks! Congratulations!

  4. Aaron and Becky, Congratulations!! Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your day with those that were not able to attend one one way or another.. You both looked FANTABULOUS and so very happy. I wish you all the happiness one couple can have for a VERY long time!

  5. Hi! Looks like you had SUCH a special day at Camp Brockway! How many guests did you have? I might want to plan my wedding there!

  6. Thanks! It was gorgeous. The original plan was to get married at the falls and have the reception at Brockway, but we decided not to put our aging and ailing relatives through that much walking.

    We had fifty people but it could have easily sat twice that. Our big challenge was arranging the tables without making the space look too empty. But it left plenty of room for dancing.

    Brockway was gorgeous and the park and rec folks were great. It's worth a drive over to see if it would work for you. You can check out the grounds but you need to make an appointment to get inside the buildings.

    If you do use the space, I'd recommend the 2-day rental. Much less stress on the day.