In the morning of the wedding, I headed downstairs for a quick bite of breakfast and then went to the room to start getting ready. There will be more pictures later, but the groomsmen all got ready in my room while the photographic assistant, Christine, tolerated our boy-jokes and watched This is the End (which is hilarious, and highly quotable).

We took a lot of photos, filled out flasks with some tasty adult beverages, and headed downstairs to catch the shuttle – which was taking us to the photo shoot that preceded the ceremony.

Even though it wasn’t desirable, Beth and I knew there wasn’t enough time to take all the pictures we wanted between the ceremony and reception. Therefore, we did first look and wedding party pictures before the ceremony. I know it’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, but I’m pretty sure Beth and I couldn’t go that long. Good thing we’re not a superstitious lot.

The groomsmen in the shuttle, on the way to the photo locations

The groomsmen arrived before the girls in the trolley, and started taking a few pictures while we waited. It was a sunny but cold fall day outside, so we had to keep moving while we were outside and waiting. It wasn’t a long wait, however, and pretty soon I was whisked away by the photographer (Colin Lyons) to a bridge in the park and told to turn around.

I could hear Beth approaching – the joy and nervousness in her voice. Eventually I was told to turn around, and there she was – my bride to be, my future wife, and my best friend, all wrapped up into one person.

We took photos in the park as a group at first, and then Beth and I went around by ourselves and the photographers for a while. Once I have the photos, I’ll be sharing them – should take around 60 days.

Greeting guests as they arrive for the ceremony

After the photos, the group got on the trolley and headed to the church to prepare and greet our guests. People arrived, took their seats, many hugs and high fives were given, and eventually it was time for everyone to take their spots. I walked out with the deacon, and watched as everyone in the wedding party entered into the room. My mother (and mother-to-be), my groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the ring bearers (who we dressed up as ring security, and had them enter to the Mission Impossible theme song – which immediately returned to the processional music after they sat down), the flower girls, and then, finally, the lady of my life.

Beth and I were flying high on all kinds of emotions. Several of my friends were making funny faces throughout the ceremony, which helped to keep me grounded and remember my word for the wedding: fun. But we had plenty of Beth’s word (personal) throughout the weekend as well. Did I mention the welcome bags everyone got at the hotel, with TMNT cookies and other snacks?

The happy couple

After the ceremony ended, the bridal party disappeared into the back room so we could rush through photos at the church with the family. We had about 30 minutes to take all the pictures, and then hopped back on the trolley for some more photos at a nearby playground. But the day was not over yet. The best was yet to come.