The night before the actual wedding, I crashed in a hotel room with three folks Nikki had put me with. I didn't really have a lot of time to talk to them, because we got home from the dinner so late that I kind of fell into bed, then woke up in time to do makeup and hair and head out.
Driving to the wedding in the rental car was SO SCARY. I drove like a little old lady and probably pissed more than a few people off, but the car was very awkward compared to the one I'm used to, and also I was terrified of getting so much as a scratch on it. So slow goings.
When I actually got to the wedding site, the bridesmaids had arrived and needed help with carrying, so I helped carry The Dress to the house Nikki was getting ready in. I felt all special and important. :) Then I handed it off and let the bridesmaids do their job as I tried to decide if I wanted to put the gifts on the table now or at the reception. I decided on now, and took Sean's Legos along with the Fred & George toilet seat I'd had since Portus and set them on the table. (Nikki had asked me to set the toiled seat among the wedding gifts, which I thought was hilarious and wonderful, and we got tons of questions about it!)
FOR REFERENCE, THE TOILET SEAT OF WHICH I SPEAK IN ITS ORIGINAL SETTING:
We both look terrible. But the toilet seat looks GREAT.
ANYWAY, after I placed my gifts, I felt extra grateful I'd been here yesterday for the rehearsal since I knew exactly where to go. I went and found my seat and wished I'd worn something a little cooler (it had been really cool the day before so I wore long sleeves, but it was much warmer the day of).
I busted out my T-Rex necklace and put it on. Nikki had insisted I wear the thing during the reading I would do. She'd given it to me for my birthday one year, and I'd worn it as Luna to Portus. In all of the fanciness of the wedding, I felt kind of silly wearing it, but I'd asked right up until the day before, and Nikki said, "If you don't wear it, I will CRY." So I wore it!
ZOMG WEDDING TIEMZ:
The groomsmen + Sean. Sean is all the way on the left. He was already getting choked up just standing there. So effing sweet.
The bridesmaids, who all looked beautiful!
Nikki & Sean exchanging their vows. Oh my gosh, this is when I really started losing my shit. I did what I could to not sob audibly, but they were both all choked up and so sweet and Sean could barely make it through his and oh man. I did my best to keep my makeup in check, and felt relieved I'd worn my waterproof mascara.
And after all of that sobbing and weeping, I had to get up and do my reading. Nikki had picked the bit from Stardust where Claire Danes tells mouse!Tristan what she knows about love, and how watching how mankind loves is the only thing that made watching Earth bearable, and I don't know how I made it through. I stupidly glanced at Nikki in the middle of it, which made it even harder to keep it together, but I did, and then I sat down to watch the rest of the awesome.
Guys, if you know me or have been paying attention, you may know that I'm not really the biggest cheerleader for marriage. As a general rule, I'm against it. But I break that rule when it comes to Nikki and Sean, because for them, it just makes sense. They really do, in the most clichéd and overused but completely true way, complete each other. And watching them up there, publicly professing their love for each other, was one of the most beautiful things I have seen in a very long time.
The married couple, walking back down the aisle.
Then the bridesmaids and the groomsmen walked out one by one, with bubbles flying everywhere because Nikki wanted bubbles instead of rice and I could not agree more.
We all made our way back to the reception hall while Nikki and the wedding party got a gazillion pictures taken. The reception was absolutely beautiful. It was really awesome to see, because I've been watching as Nikki planned this wedding, telling me about this element or that element, and here it all was, right in front of me, real and solid, working together beautifully. It was pretty intense.
The place cards. These were hung in a tree by the gift/guestbook table, and you had to find your name, then find the table that matched. I was actually talking to Nikki when she figured out how to turn those stars into charms. (And yes, she handmade every single paper star at the reception. She also designed and assembled the place cards and pretty much everything else at the wedding because she is just that amazing.)
The table settings. See the little jars of paper stars? There were three like them on every single table, and there were...I want to say, eight tables? Ten? It took Nikki a whole year to fold them all. I totally stole the purple jar. :)
I ended up sitting with the people I was staying in the hotel room with, as well as three other of Nikki's friends. We ended up having the best time at our table, as we are all apparently not terribly well-mannered individuals. Much awesome happened!
And then there was the cake:
Ohhhhhh yes, the cake.
Chocolate and Vanilla cupcakes, or The Cake.
The cake topper, or Why Nikki Wins at Life.
CUPCAKES!! Red Velvet, Peaches & Cream.
CUPCAKES!! Mocha, Strawberry Cheesecake. I had one of each of these and they were INCREDIBLE.
I think we ate something in there that wasn't cupcakes, but I really don't remember.
The T-Rex necklace assisted me in the mashing of the towering piles of icing.
Then he sat on Claire the bridesmaid's head. (Don't worry, I washed his feet off, first!)
There was much more eating and laughing and happiness, and somewhere in there I managed to get pictures with Nikki done by the hired professional, which I can't wait to see (we posed again with the toilet seat). Then we all gathered outside to see the happy couple off.
This is my favorite picture from the entire day. :) LOOK AT HOW HAPPY THEY ARE.
This is the car they got to leave in. Sexy? Not to be believed.
I snuck over to take more pictures. I like the way this one turned out!
The bride! SO BEAUTIFUL. I love this one, too.
After the excitement ended, the folks at Table Awesome and I decided to head over to the petting zoo on the grounds. We were to meet Nikki & Sean later that evening for dinner, but we had some time to kill before then, so why not fill it with animals?
I'm not usually one for petting zoos, but this one had the following sign on the outside:
How could we NOT go in, when there were such enthusiastic promises of BEAVER?
The beaver, it turns out, was sleeping, so we did not actually see it. But we DID see:
LUCIUS' WHITE PEACOCK!!!!
Seriously. This thing was SO much better than a friggen' beaver.
I have never seen a peacock with its tail all open like this, or so CLOSE. Awesome? Yes. There was also:
A baby deer,
And this owl. It was sleeping, and I took a picture of it from behind, but it didn't come out quite right. So I readjusted the camera and right as I snapped the picture, he turned around for me!
There were many other animals at the petting zoo, including giant pigs, snakes (in cages), goats, donkeys, an alligator (also in a cage), and a whole mess of terrifying rabbits.
After zoo madness, we went back to the hotel and chilled out for a little bit. My tired set back in, but I didn't have time to take a nap before we were out again, making our way towards downtown Charleston to wander around while waiting for dinner time.
Highlights of wandering around include stopping in a sporting goods store where Maria insisted on borrowing quarters for the fancy basketball hoop-style gumball machine and then not eating the gumball because she just wanted to play the game; Finding a super awesome yarn shop that was actually closed but let us wander around and look anyway; Getting locked into a Catholic church with a huge graveyard on either side; Escaping the church and cutting through a super fancy hotel where everyone stared at us in order to make it back to the main road; Meeting back up with the rest of Table Awesome and going to the Apple store to use the Internet and make LJ posts.
We finally made our way to the pizza place we would be dining, where they had, upon walking through the front door, a HUGE PORTRAIT OF ELVIS MADE ENTIRELY OF LITEBRITES.
We got seated, waited for the rest of everyone to arrive, and proceeded to eat and act goofy.
T-Rex has a drinking problem.
T-Rex hiding in the bushes, with exotic Claire's Dress in the background.
Nikki showing T-Rex some love, while Sean's sister gazes longingly into the startling abyss of the human soul.
Folks I sat with at Table Awesome and company, from left to right: Greg, Nikki & Claire, Hannah, Heidi.
More Table Awesome folks: Erika and Maria, plus a Sean for good measure.
There are no pictures of Mellon, the sixth member of Table Awesome! Boo. Let it be known that she was awesome. And also a NERDFIGHTER!!! She and Erika were both Nerdfighters. BEST THING EVER.
In closing, I will leave you with this picture of the Mr. and Mrs., in their natural states of existence:
I heart them so much it's ridiculous. :)