Did I just say Vizcaya Victorian Miami Wedding? Sounds like a dream. And it was. Because . . . I . . . got . . . married! Woot – WOOT! [Want to know what that “woot-WOOT” sounded like in real-time? Enter: Amy Poehler] [Before I go much further, I just want to give a quick shout out to Minted.com and Abbie McFarland photography, as they were responsible for the creation of my Save the Date invite] So back to the wedding. This is Ryan James Nettleship. My then fiancé, now hubby. Cue swooooooon. [Left to right: Michael Graham (groomsman), Ryan Nettleship (groom)]
Anyway, we got married! April 18, 2015. This day will forever go down in history as the day a 5-foot-4 baker from Dallas, Texas married a 6-foot-5 giant from Ft. Worth, Texas – and also consumed an entire pizza via room service once back in the honeymoon suite. Hey, this girl had avoided pizza for months and was starting to hallucinate giant pepperonis in the place of human heads. Ryan ordered a burger like a true viking. Don’t ask me. The guys are always calling each other vikings. I think it’s because they eat a lot of red meat and then grunt afterward, like, “Me so full. Me want more. Feed me now.” Okay, now I’m just confusing vikings with cavemen and the cookie monster, but anyway . . .
So in order to achieve this Vizcaya Victorian Miami Wedding, I needed a venue. The wedding took place in Miami, Florida at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. It. Was. Spectacular. So strikingly beautiful, covered with lush greens and clawing branches. Statues carved directly into the land’s natural rocks and boulders. And only a leap away from Biscayne Bay. Some of the guests were asking how I picked the place. Did I have family who lived in Miami? Was it significant to me at all? I always just shrugged, laughed a little and said, “Google,” because I literally found Vizcaya on Google and decided that it was “the place” just as quickly. Because the truth is, even observing from behind a computer screen, Villa Vizcaya felt like something Jay Gatsby would own. And really, if I’m being honest, that was my only criterion.[Left to right: Lia Zargar, Peyton Urtso, Ashley Nettleship, Morgan Urtso, Erin Landry (MOH), me, Madison Urtso, Mary Bryan (MOH), Jordan Bosstick, Shannon Haynie, Chelsea Larmore]
Oh, just climb those steps up to the casino mound and greet Jay Gatsby himself, clasping a champagne flute in one hand and your heart in the other.
Perhaps Jay never walked these grounds since he wasn’t, you know, an actual human being, but Ronald Reagan did meet the Pope here. Oh, and Iron Man III was filmed here. All sorts of random facts unfolded during our first Vizcaya visit. Did you know that the owner, James Deering, considered Vizcaya to be his “winter home”? Not even his home-home. Let that sink in for a minute.
Anyway, we left for Miami the Monday before the wedding so we could get some things taken care of days in advance. While there, we checked out a few local restaurants, relaxed by the pool and organized welcome packages to be delivered to our guests upon check-in at the hotel (Sonesta Coconut Grove).[Welcome Package: two mini bottles of champagne, two chocolate candies (stamped with photo), two sugar cookies (stamped with photo), two lollipops, two donuts, a welcome card. Those fabulous cookies/candies with photos of Ryan and me were a surprise from my momma. Photo Credit: Jordan Bosstick of Miss American Made.] [Welcome card designed by NewBorrowedandBlue]
After welcome packages were complete, it was time to prepare for the welcome “white-out” party my mom arranged for all of the guests. It would be held Thursday, the 16th – that’s one day before the rehearsal dinner and two days before the ceremony and reception. Wow!! I don’t know about your mom, but my mom can put on a show! She had food catered by Thierry’s, who – by the way – also catered my bridesmaids brunch and wedding [they are brilliant – and especially Alex, who oversaw the entire operation and walked us through the tasting during a prior visit]. Their food was delicious and went quickly. A few people noted that the “finger foods,” if you will, were the best they had ever had. I actually saw someone sneaking food into a napkin to enjoy later in the room. And the display was gorgeous, with a big basket of freshly made breads and a collection of differing cheeses. Sinatra was playing in the background, which certainly set the mood, and a bartender was stationed at the serving bar, fully skilled at over-pouring. I mean that in a great way.
To get in our final rebellion hooray, Ryan and I wore red to the “white-out” party. I claimed that we’d wear red to represent “love,” but really? I just look terrible in white.
Like I mentioned previously, we rented a home for the week leading up to the wedding, which is where the party was held. It was right in the heart of Coconut Grove, only a five minute drive from Vizcaya grounds. If you’re doing a destination wedding, this is the key. A cozy place to call home for the week! People can stop by on the days leading up to the big event for a glass of wine or a quick chit chat! Because weddings really are about the people. That’s what I learned, at least. The next day was rehearsal day, which I suppose was designed for preparation purposes, but I found it difficult to pay any attention. I was just so darn excited for Saturday, I couldn’t focus! Plus, I kept hugging all of my friends and catching up. Having not seen most of them in years, we had a lot to discuss. [Left to right: 1. Ryan, me] [2. Chelsea Larmore, Becca Ewing, me, Jordan Bosstick, Shannon Haynie. Theta love.][Left to right: Mary Bryan (Matron of Honor), me, Erin Landry (Maid of Honor)]
May, my wedding planner (of Elite Planning Firm // Instagram: ElitePlanningFirm) – she was so on top of everything. I had four or five friends comment on how they needed her to run the show at their own weddings. Okay, pause. Think about that for a second. How many people notice that sort of thing? Usually, they notice if something goes wrong. Or, if everything goes right, they just enjoy themselves and don’t think about who was working it behind the scenes. But all of my guests noticed how flawless May’s work ethic was, and how she snapped her fingers and suddenly . . . dream wedding! Just kidding. I know that it took a lot more work than just a snap of the fingers, but man did she fool everyone into thinking it was a piece of wedding cake. She also became a close friend. She is completely hilarious. My entire family fell in love with her. Not only that, but she is organized, disciplined and passionate. So back to what I was saying. Prior to the rehearsal, May gathered the wedding party’s attention by saying, “If you do this thingy right, you get to the cocktails a lot faster.” And believe me. Everyone got it right.
After practice unraveled, we bopped on over via shuttle to the Venetian Lady, which is the yacht where the rehearsal dinner would be held. Shuttle transportation was such a nice touch, not having to stress about how to get there or arriving on time. It made the weekend very easy and worry free! [1. Left to right: via shuttle – Erin Landry (Maid of Honor), me, Mary Bryan (Matron of Honor)] [2. Ryan, me]
Ryan’s parents, Bruce and Susan, hosted the entire wedding party for a sail around Miami at sunset. It was no surprise that they organized the most fantastic rehearsal dinner ever! Bruce and Susan are two of the kindest and most generous people you will ever meet. I can’t express enough how much I love them.
From the ship, the view was spectacular. Everyone took lots of pictures, grabbed drinks, and played catch up until dinner was served. The Nettleships completely rocked it! [Left to right: 1. Me, Morgan Urtso (older sister), me] [2. Me, Peyton Urtso (youngest sister)][Just me and the boys that I love so much. Left to right: Chris Bourke, Joe B. Preston (back), Clayton Blunt, Scott Oshman, Jacob Fuller (back), Ryan Nettleship (front), Billy Condotta (back), Jordan Nettleship (front), Sam Pfleg (front), Chance Azbell (middle), Taylor Beatty (back), Clint Bullin (front), Trey McMenamy (floating away – not really, but kinda), Taylor Cardwell, Caleb Nelan, Michael Graham.][Left to right: Susan (mother of the groom), Ashley (sister of the groom), me, Bruce (father of the groom. This family is so special, I can’t even begin to tell you.]
While aboard the Venetian Lady, May [remember: amazing wedding planner] made sure Ryan and I, as well as our parents and sisters, had drinks in our hands at all times. She had our go-to’s memorized, prepared and an arm away by the time we had finished off half of our current glass. She also specially prepared Ryan and my dinner plates according to what we wanted from the buffet, which allowed us to walk around the ship, greet everyone and thank them for making it out. As we all settled in to enjoy our meal, the toasts began. Ryan’s father, Bruce, gave the kindest speech I’ve ever heard. The room sobbed. My mom, Stace, shocked and awed with her classic beauty and loving words. My older sister, Morgan, made us laugh until our sides hurt. One of my bridesmaids, Jordan, said something I’ll truly never forget. That I believe in what I believe in and make no apologies for it. That really hit me, especially since my love for Jesus is something that many people want me to apologize for.
It wasn’t long before Ryan’s friends stumbled into the spotlight one-by-one. Some chatted about golf and high school football and “that one time,” back in the day. There was a lot of, “…but this is neither the time nor the place.” Not in those delicate words, usually. But each of them said the same thing about my husband // then fiancé. He is the most passionate person on the planet. Whatever he loves, he loves wholly and completely. And about his character. It goes unmatched. As they spoke about Ryan being passionate and loyal, it suddenly hit me. I was the most blessed girl on the planet (which I already felt like, doy) because I was marrying the most passionate guy on earth, and his biggest passion was me. Well, after Jesus. Tiger Woods is a close third. Just kidding, Mercedes (our pup). Tiger Woods and you are totally tied.
Anyway, the next day was wedding day! Surprisingly, I had managed to get six hours of sleep and woke up feeling nothing but excitement. The girls showed up around 9:00 – my bridesmaids, plus a few of my other besties who were helping with the wedding! Make-up and hair kicked off early. I didn’t have much to do waiting for my turn, so I just lounged around and drank lots of coffee. Can I just say, my friends are the best (this includes my sisters, duh!). They are the most stunning, most brilliant, most hilarious people on the planet. And having them there to celebrate Ryan and me and our love for one another was out-of-this-world. Especially since half of them had been there to witness it from the very beginning – that fateful day in the fraternity house when Ryan and I literally stumbled backward into each other. I guess you could say he “swept me off my feet,” though technically, I didn’t fall. Sort of had a swollen ankle the next day, but that’s neither here nor there.
I started getting ready last, about 1:00 PM. Erin (MOH) says I was laughing all day long, usually when I was completely alone. It’s all a big blur to me, but I suppose that’s a really good thing! All I know is . . . I was not nervous. I was soooooo excited! It was sooooooooo weird. [Side note: Having people take my pictures and film me from all sorts of awkward angles was so bizarre, but also kind of fun. I worked hard to channel my inner Audrey Hepburn, because I felt like she was brilliant at that sort of thing.]
Isa, my makeup artist, was such a rarity. She showed up on the day of my wedding, and I gave her a big hug and said, “Okay . . . so I changed my mind. I don’t want glitter or shimmer. I want matte eyes. Give me matte,” and she looked at me, not nervous at all, and said, “Love it. Let’s do it.” And she rocked it! Isa is also completely hilarious. I love her. Everyone loves her.
[Side note: following the wedding, Ryan and I climbed into the elevator on the way up to our room at the Mandarin Oriental. There was a couple already inside, retiring to their suite after what appeared to be an impressive party. The woman stared at me, cocked her head to the side and said, “Isa did your make-up, didn’t she?” My eyes lit up. She explained, “I’d know her work anywhere, because it’s always flawless. She did my makeup for my wedding as well,” or something to that effect. The men in the elevator just shook their heads and said together, “Women.” But that thought (about a random woman recognizing my makeup) hasn’t really left me. How talented do you have to be for a person to recognize your artwork on a stranger’s face?][Hair by the stunning Daili (Instagram: Visionsby_Daili) of Sissi Hair and Make Up]
Daili, from Sissi’s Hair and Make Up, turned a picture from Pinterest into a reality: this messy, teased, wavy ponytail I fell in love with years before. I explained to her, “I don’t want it to be clean. I really don’t. Some people say they want it messy, and then it’s messy and they’re upset. But not me. Give me mess. Make it sloppy and all over the place.” And Daili did it in this classy, old-world kind of way. I couldn’t believe that it was all my hair – that trundling mess of curls, all mine! It was all because of her talent! She really is that good. And, completely unrelated, you can’t help but fall in love with her personality, either. She is an angel!
After hair and make-up were complete, I slipped onto the back patio to take some portraits with my amazing photographers from PS Photography. Let me just say that posing isn’t really my forte, though Patty (head photographer, Instagram: PattyPSPhotog) made me feel so comfortable and the pictures truly reflect her God-given talent. She is completely, unbelievably, earth-shatteringly brilliant. Even though I felt slightly awkward and gangly, which I’ve been most of my life, she gave me direction and truly captured all of the natural beauty that surrounded me. Maybe my awkwardness will be evident on the wedding video, though BlueShore Productions is so insanely gifted, I’m sure they managed their way around it. I can’t wait to see their completed work. If you’re curious, check out their website. But bring tissues.Now, let’s talk dress for a minute. This is my Claire Pettibone, and her given name is “Midnight.” The beading on this dress is so delicate, classic and Gatsby. And check out that lace![Side note: Notice that blue ring, “something blue”? Isn’t it so stunning? I dare you to try to rip your eyes away. It’s my mom’s. She has the most divine taste, which I realize is something most girls say about their mothers as they get older, but seriously. Just look at this woman! I suppose the ring could have doubled for “something borrowed” too, but I really wanted to wear my mom’s pearl necklace, so I carefully explained that each item had to have it’s own purpose, of course. I mean, duh! Rules are rules.]
The day I found my dress, I had been engaged for one week. My Matron of Honor, Mary, and I decided on a whim to scope out Stardust Celebrations in Plano. Mary is married and has been for a couple of years, so she was in that mindset, “Yay! A wedding I can help plan with little-to-no stress on my end. Let’s go shopping!” And shop we did.
My salesgirl, Devin, was such a sweetheart. She pulled up my Pinterest board, took a quick scroll, looked back at me and said, serious-faced, “We need to go see Claire.” I was brought back to the section where Claire was hanging near other flawless, vintage lace. Devin said, “Not everyone can pull off Claire, you know,” as she grabbed dress after dress, only glancing back for nods of approval. The only dress I wasn’t so sure of was “Midnight.” It was stunning, that was certain, but was it a wedding dress? Was it too golden? Did it look bridal? That was my only concern. And then I put it on.
Mary – incapable of lying, or lying well at least – actually gasped as I stumbled out of the dressing room in my roaring twenties gown. “Jordan,” she said. “That’s the one. Can you feel it? that’s it.” I climbed onto the platform and stared at my triple reflection, lit up with neutral crystals and delicate detail. Devin lathered me in pearl necklaces and put me in tall heels. And I started to laugh, because it really was the one. And even more hilarious, I found it on a spontaneous trip only one week after the proposal. And I’d be having a year-and-a-half engagement. But God was good to me and I imagine he couldn’t hold me back from that dress any longer. We were went to be.
So there we were on the day of the wedding, Midnight and I. It felt very . . . fairytale-esque, standing there with her in the warm Miami air. Like a strong magnetic force tugging 1923 into the 21st century. Corny, maybe, but so is life sometimes.
And then there were the shoes.Completely pearled, I found these beauties online at JJ’s House for under $100. I don’t know if you’re married, but my thought process was this: few people will see the shoes, especially if your dress is bulky. Mine wasn’t, but still. And guess what? Few people actually did see the shoes, only one or two asking me to lift up the ends of my dress for a quick peak. It just didn’t cross anyone’s mind. The guests were too busy eating good food and drinking good wine. So here’s a suggestion: why not save money on shoes – buy a less expensive pair that is still gorgeous and striking – and put that saved money toward a more present area in the budget, such as the band or the food? And get away with a gorgeous, less expensive pair that look designer quality.
When the heels arrived, we wanted to jazz them up a touch, so my mom purchased two large, purple stones and arranged them on the toes of each shoe just in case, with any luck, they were visible during the first dance. They weren’t, but that’s what pictures are for I suppose!
Still at the house, after slipping into my dress and shoes, we took a few photos while waiting for the limo and town car to arrive.
It wasn’t long before my Matron of Honor, Maid of Honor, Momma-Bear and I jumped into the town car and headed over to Vizcaya. The bridesmaids were quick to follow. After winding down the entryway, I escaped outside and was immediately directed to this gorgeous iron gate for photos.Then we kicked things off with some group shots.[Left to right: Lia Zargar, Peyton Urtso, Ashley Nettleship (new sister, yay!), Morgan Urtso, Erin Landry, me, Madison Urtso, Mary Bryan, Jordan Bosstick, Shannon Haynie, Chelsea Larmore.]
[Erin (MOH) holding the “bouquet,” which was an old, vintage mirror with some floral details. The Matron & Maid bouquets were the only two with differing frames, slightly more golden and intricate.] Afterward, it was time to take some photos alone. I had Mary (Matron) and Erin (Maid) come along to keep me company and make me laugh whenever necessary.
However, what was going on over in Groomsman World was slightly different.But before beer, this happened . . .Ryan wrote me a note, which I would read prior to the wedding. He gave his groomsmen their personalized bullets and golf tees.Jacob helped Ryan with his tie.Bruce, Ryan’s dad, assisted him with his tux.Susan, Ryan’s mom, gave her “sweet, little boy” a big kiss.And the boys prayed. Jacob, the best man, led. He is the same person who secretly took a video of Ryan and me during Ry’s proposal and said a beautiful prayer following my big, “YES!”This is one of my favorite photos in the whole world, because Ryan and I hold God above all else, because HE is the reason for all things good. And marriage is good. Did you know that marriage is the oldest institution known to man? Just something I know.I also love this picture. I like to think that in this moment, Ryan was taking everything in. Enjoying life, what has happened up until this moment and what will happen following it. But who knows? Maybe it just made a great picture. However, I really do think it says something about this group, regardless of whether or not it intends to. These boys are a passionate bunch. God and prayer and beer. This may be Miami, but really, this is Texas. And in Texas, it goes like this: God and prayer and beer. Oh, and football. But for once in my life, let’s leave football out of this.[Playing center, groomsman Scott Oshman]
Okay, I see very clearly that that was an impossible request. As you can see, before leaving to head to ceremony grounds, the boys snapped some fake footballs. Oh, sorry, I meant photos. Snapped some photos.[Left to Right: Jacob Fuller, Best Man. Ryan Nettleship, Groom]
This, I assume, is when Ryan sent Jacob [Best Man] to deliver his gift. When I saw Jacob, I started to tear up a bit. Jacob has been Ryan’s best friend since – gosh – they were little tykes running around the football field. I remember hearing stories about Jake in college. How he was a Navy Seal, the strongest guy Ryan knew – both mentally and physically – and a true, Godly man. And when I met him, I completely agreed. There was just no denying it. So there Jacob was, holding this gift from the man I was about to marry, and telling me about how much he loves us and how happy he is for us. I guess I should’ve waited for my watery eyes to take a hike, but I couldn’t. Shaking, I tried to open the gift. Jacob had to assist. But first, there was a note.
The letter was beautiful and romantic and so sweet, I melted, and it had this mysterious email address (including my new last name) and the log-in password (one that is meaningful to both of us) scribbled toward the end of the page, following Ry’s signature. Turns out my then fiancé had been writing me emails since the month we became engaged, spanning a little over a year-and-a-half. I couldn’t help but cry, which I had once convinced myself was not going to happen on my wedding day. But, I mean, come on! Who are you, Ryan Nettleship? Who is that thoughtful? Oh yeah, and did I mention that inside of the box was the most perfect David Yurman cross necklace known to man?
[Side note: I logged into my email for the first time that night following the reception. Back at the hotel, I read through every single one. Some of them were funny. One of my favorites said, “You’re sitting right next to me and you don’t know what I’m doing. And it’s driving you crazy that I won’t tell you. You look beautiful, by the way.” I remembered that night – how funny Ryan found it at the time, how weird he was acting, and how quickly I just dismissed it as fantasy football research. And then there were others which were so special, I swore to only share them with our future children. We stayed up on our wedding night until 4:30 AM. We ordered room service and laughed for hours about the things that happened during the reception. But still, in the back of my head, I couldn’t help but drift again to those emails. I’ll tell you, it is the most wonderful thing, being Ryan’s wife.]
But back to the wedding day. Finally, it was time for the ceremony. The boys waited anxiously for their go-ahead, while my dad and I hugged and prepared ourselves. The bridesmaids lined up . . . The groomsmen took their places . . . My dad led us to the steps . . .And the bridal party was seated . . . [Left to Right: Ryan’s dad, Bruce. My mom, Stacy. Yes, we can talk about how stunning and perfect Stacy is on another blog post.][Left to Right: Ryan’s mom, Susan. Ryan. How stunning his her dress? And hair? And her?]
When everyone was seated, and the bridesmaids were in position, May gave us the nod and my dad and I began to climb the steps to the casino mound, where the ceremony would be held. Prior to the wedding, my mom created a unique arrangement to be added to my bouquet. Photos of loved ones who have gone to Heaven framed in beautiful, antique detail. And that gorgeous white Bible? My “something new,” bedazzled by my talented momma!At this point, I had caught the top of the steps. Ryan saw me, but it wasn’t until halfway down the aisle when I could make out his reaction.My daddy gave me away and Ryan and I stood together, our last minutes of being single. Single, at least, how it’s described on that form in the doctor’s office. I couldn’t believe we were there, after all that planning. This was it, just him and me. He was definitely wiping my tears. That happened…the whole time.
Then, it was time to “seal the deal.”I think by this point we’re thinking . . . wait, this is actually happening. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. I love you. Oh my goodness. And then, we gave our fake kiss.And then, we gave our real kiss . . . And then, we said our first prayer as husband and wife. And then we all celebrated! Just like that. We were married! But we couldn’t celebrate just yet. We needed portraits of just the two of us. We wandered down from the casino mound and were greeted with flutes of champagne. PS Photography pretty much told us just to be ourselves, to take in the moment. And we did. We kept talking in-between shots, saying things like, “I can’t believe we’re married!” and “I love you! I love you! I love you so much, I could explode.” I actually said that and meant it.
As we walked off, we both fell apart.
Following pictures, we made our way to the reception – skipped right over cocktail hour since we were a touch busy taking a romantic stroll across the grounds. Thierry’s catering was beyond exceptional. The service, the food, everything. While Ry and I were still busy posing for the camera – though we weren’t really posing – we were brought two of each appetizer to enjoy. Guests continued to comment on the service. With three vegetarians as guests, the waiters and waitresses made sure to serve them delicious vegetarian appetizers and entrees. I loved the filet! It had the greatest flavor. Ryan ate half of mine off my plate. I thought to myself, welcome to married life. But the truth is, I love that about Ryan. As a chef/baker, it’s important that my hub has a big appetite. And then there was the decor. Richard of Distinctive Details blew everyone away. The flowers were completely brilliant, meshed together with such vibrancy. He truly listened to my requests. I obviously love antiques, but I was partial to one shade of silver. Nothing too shimmery. And he understood that. The vintage mirrors were such a classic touch, I received endless compliments. And I just kept thinking, these compliments belong to Richard! I had nothing to do with it. Just a vision and a Pinterest board. And that cake. So I found this cake on Pinterest (doy) titled, “Marie Antoinette.” Only it was grayish-blue. But the style, I adored. When I showed this to the designer at ET Cakes, she picked up the photo and really assessed it. “You can see here,” she said, “They are so detailed. I can do that.” And I knew she could. I flipped through her booklet of past weddings and was mesmerized. But then, there was the tasting. Some cakes are like, beautiful but really, really bad. No. Not ET Cakes. My good Lord! I had a special request, too. Could we also serve tres leches, since it’s a Miami favorite and – you know – my favorite, too. She said, “Sure. Of course!” And so we did. We had our wedding cake and tres leches, We were completely and wonderfully spoiled.
When it was time for us to be introduced, the sun had already set and dusk was crawling in. We walked up the steps and into the reception area where we were introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. Nettleship! And then our first dance song, “You and I” by Michael Buble began. Following the first dance, dinner was served [which I discussed previously], and afterward a crowd gathered for the father/daughter dance and mother/son dance.My dad and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra, which is one of my all-time favorite songs and also reminds me of my childhood. My dad approved, of course, because music made before 1975 was just better, according to him. I have to agree. I love this picture because you finally get to see my beautiful new sister, Ashley! I can’t tell you how many people, especially during wedding shower season, commented on how blessed I am to be marrying into this family. Because anyone who knows Bruce and Susan and Ashley and Ryan know how generous and kind and hilarious and fun they all are.
Finally, the toasts kicked off. My maid of honor, Erin, made hilarious references to growing up as two awkward kids in elementary school. Her message was so sweet, though. How she knows me well enough to know that Ryan is the guy for me. And that she loves him and that she loves us together. And that, of course, we are excellent match-makers. [Side note: Erin’s dating Ryan’s groomsman Joe B. Preston].My matron of honor, Mary, talked about my sense of humor – which was actually lost on a lot of people, because Mary is pretty much the only person on the planet who finds me funny! But she also spoke about me – back in college – talking about Ryan for the first time. About how she knew he was different. It was the sweetest and most honest remark. Finally, Jacob got up to give his speech. He spoke about God, how he destined us to be together. He even spoke a bit about the meaning of my name, Jordan, as it pertains to The Bible. But mostly, he talked about Ryan, reminding everyone of how incredibly honest and trustworthy and passionate and brilliant and down-to-earth he is – how he’s a Godly guy who will do right by me because that’s Ryan defined. Doing right by others.
And then, my dad gave a speech which was seriously (and not surprisingly) so hilarious, the entire audience couldn’t breathe. Though I still wish he hadn’t brought up that one time in high school when I was caught drinking, but anyway . . . The greatest part about my dad’s speech was when he commented on Ryan’s character. That was the word of the week. “Character.” And it was all about Ryan. I can’t express this enough. Ryan is the greatest guy on the planet! After dinner and speeches and toasts, and after I had danced with my daddy and Ryan had danced with his mommy, it was time to cut the cake. This was the last big event of the night, to be followed by some drinking and eating and dancing heavily. Even some falling. I won’t say any names, but only because I don’t want to leave anyone out, of course.[Ry and me cutting the cake] I should’ve said dancing and drinking heavily now that I think about it, but anyway. Before I let you go, I need to talk about the band.
I saved it for last because the band was, according to the guests, the greatest cover band they had ever seen. One person told Ryan, “I always thought a DJ was the way to go at a wedding until tonight.” Numerous people have called me just to say, “… But that band, though! They were unbelievable. Do they travel?” My dad said that “Living on a Prayer” and “Jessie’s Girl” brought the entire party to their feet. The dance floor wasn’t big enough, so people danced on the outskirts, at their tables, and by the water. The band was so lively, so entertaining and well rehearsed that I felt like I was sitting front row at a concert. And that is an experience I will never be able to truly describe. It was completely wonderful.