So after we hugged every single person at the reception, the maid of honor and best man got up to give their toasts. Honestly, I was the worst bride ever in that I didn’t really give anyone direction as to what they should be doing—I just told people they would be giving speeches and that the coordinator would let them know when to go up. Which worked out fine, really, but I find it adorable that they took it upon themselves to go up together. As you might recall, our bridesmaid and groomsman did the same thing at our rehearsal dinner! I don’t know where any of them got this idea to go up together, but I seriously loved it! I thought it was so awesome, especially since they are our siblings. Sort of like a little show of new-family togetherness. Or something symbolic like that. Whatever.
I have never had a brother before, and I inherited two when I married Mr. CA. It has been such a blessing having them around, and I am so glad that I have great relationships with both of them.
So, because we have a great relationship, I have harassed my brother-in-law for over a year to send us his speech, so that I could insert parts of it here. And, of course, he has ignored my pestering and has not sent the speech. Probably because he didn’t write it down. See—no notes! And because I was a terrible bride, I have absolutely no idea what he said. I was too excited and happy to pay attention, maybe? Drinking too much wine? Who knows. I do know that it was sweet and heartfelt.
See? Methinks Mr. CA has a little bit of sentiment in his eye. And I am “awww”ing at something here. Or maybe I’m just admiring how good the ties I picked out for the groomsmen looked. Either way, I love this picture.
Whatever he said, he did great. Just the right mix of humor and sweetness—I remember thinking what a great speaker he was. Maybe that’s what I was focusing on, instead of the words.
Afterward, people toasted. It was fun.
Then my little sis took the mic. My amazing, adventurous, sweet little sis. She started by reading one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, because I am a huge nerd and love Shakespeare, poetry, and rhyming. And making words like “time” a proper noun.
Love is an ever-fixed mark,
that looks on tempests and is never shaken;
it is the star to every wand’ring bark,
whose worth’s unknown, although his heighth be taken.
Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
within his bending sickle’s compass come;
love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
but bears it out even to the edge of doom.”
Then she continued with her own words:
Although the wording is Shakespearean and fancy, I love this sonnet because of its emphasis on the constancy and permanence of love. When I think of true, unconditional love, I think of an invisible and unbreakable string attached to two people that can endure the heaviest of blows and never falter. J and G dated for six years and the obstacles that life threw at them never even questioned the strength of their love…”
Then she described some hilarious parts of our relationship, including moving all over the country, my car breaking down in the middle of New Jersey when she visited and Mr. CA having to rescue us, etc., etc. Cue guest laughter.
Sure, J and G have had their disagreements, but the thing I love and respect about them is how they care so much for each other…and make sacrifices for each other. As a team, they also have the ability to see things rationally and realistically. It must have been the great genetics mixed with the Santa Clara education.”
G and J, I love you both so much, as do all of the people sitting here today. We are your biggest fans. So once again, in the words of good old William Shakespeare, ‘now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts,’ and let’s toast G and J. May they live happily ever after.”
I think we were supposed to join hands there? Maybe. I can’t remember if we did. We did clink glasses, even though I was all WE’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO TOAST OURSELVES! PULL IT TOGETHER, MAN! Whatever. We did. And I am not ashamed.
BM M: Wasn’t that just a marvelous, touching speech?
Me: Quite, quite.
BM M: Are you going to cry?
Me: Nope. I have no soul.
But we did hug! More hugging. We love hugging.
And still, no tears from me. Just hugs. I am a monster.
After their toasts, it was cake time!! The best time of all. And because I don’t think I’ve actually posted a photo of the full, beautiful cake table. (Have I? I have posted too many pictures, so I have no idea if I have.) Here it is! In all of its glory. Sigh. I loved our cakes and our cake table. It was exactly what I was imagining, but so much better.
Suzanne did such a fabulous job with the cakes, and McKenzie, as usual, rocked it out with the floral decorations. Seriously, I love looking at this table even over a year after the event. So gorgeous.
And not only did everything look beautiful, the cakes were delicious too! As it should be.
Another picture of our little toppers. So cute. Still need to make those suckers into ornaments. Dang it.
OK, and here is one of the really embarrassing parts of our wedding. I am ashamed. Well not really, because now I just don’t give an eff and can look back and laugh, but at the time it was somewhat awkward. Can I tell you a secret? As much as I love eating cake, I had no idea how we were supposed to do the whole cake-cutting thing.
Seriously, we should have practiced. Does that make me sound like an idiot? Then I am an idiot, because I had no idea how it was supposed to go. I mean, you just, well, cut the cake, right? How hard is that? Yeah. That’s what I thought.
We just sort of ambled on up to the cake table when our DOC told us to go up. Everyone was staring at us, and we kind of just stood there like, um, OK? I guess we pick up our knife and just kind of, um, cut? I hadn’t planned anything for this part. In fact, I hadn’t even thought about this part at all.
Me (whispering): Which one do we cut?
Mr. CA: The one with the toppers?
Me: But I want chocolate!
Mr. CA: Tough shit.
Me: But there’s floral stuff on that one!
Mr. CA: We’re doing that one.
You can see my apprehension. Mr. CA looks gleeful—I think he really wanted cake at that point.
So we made a single cut, and then Mr. CA let go and was all, keep going! Umm. I stood there like an idiot because I had no idea what to do, how big the slice should be, etc. Was I supposed to cut an actual serving, or just a little teensy ceremonial slice? Because damn it, I didn’t want vanilla, I wanted chocolate! And everyone was staring at me. And I panicked.
So I cut the teensiest of slices, and Mr. CA was all, what are you doing? Cut a bigger slice! So I went back and cut a bigger slice. While everyone watched. Seriously this only took maybe half a second, but it felt like hours at the time.
I am seriously laughing just typing this out. I really don’t remember this part of the night—I think I blocked it out. Thankfully, the photographers didn’t capture most of the awkwardness. Or maybe it just happened too quickly for them to capture, and it was all in my mind how awkward it was.
Finally, I was able to get a decent slice of cake onto our plate, and we awkwardly fed each other cake. Seriously, why are we so awkward!? I wasn’t even going to attempt the whole arms entwined thing, and I’m not sure it even crossed our minds to smash cake in the others’ face. I was too focused on not messing anything up, and Mr. CA was too focused on getting to the dancing.
So we made weird faces at each other that made it look like we didn’t like the cake. But it really was delicious. We just were dumb and had no idea how to eat cake. Who are we?!
Me: What do we do now? Eat the rest of the cake?
Mr. CA: I have no idea.
Me: Or do we just sit down?
Mr. CA: I have no idea. Are we done?
Me: Everyone is staring at us.
Mr. CA: I know. We’re the bride and groom.
OK, let’s kiss! When in doubt, kiss. And we did. And everyone cheered. And we sat down. Finally. And I ate a big hunk of chocolate cake, plus that vanilla slice, because dammit, it was my wedding.
Seriously kids, practice how you’re going to cut the cake! Or maybe you’re just more graceful and poised under pressure when presented with baked goods than I am.
Did you use kisses as a ruse to make your guests forget whatever awkward thing just happened? Did anyone else have no idea how to cut the cake?
- Recaps commenced. Sort of.
- I got over my dress regret.
- We made it official. Legally.
- I stressed out big time.
- We did some last-minute prep.
- We rehearsed.
- Our wedding day arrived!
- The little details fell into place.
- I got all gussied up.
- The guys got ready.
- We had a first look.
- Mr. CA and I took “formal” portraits.
- We took pictures on a dock.
- After some mishaps, we made it to the church.
- We walked down the aisle.
- We said our vows. Voila! Married.
- We took tons of family pictures.
- We relished our alone time.
- Our reception details were amazing.
- We did lots of hugging. And ate food.
**All photography by Sarah Rhoads Photography unless otherwise noted**